Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Israel wants a bigger allowance

Not content with the fact that the US pays all of Israel’s bills, Israel is now demanding a payrise.

A few months ago, Israel submitted a request to raise the annual sum by 25 percent over 10 years, from $2.4 billion to $3b. If implemented, this would reverse the course initiated by prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu 10 years ago, which gradually reduced annual assistance by 20%, from $3b to $2.4b. Doing so would be a mistake.

Yes of course it would, Bibi. After all, Israel is doing so much to deserve the money, from treating Jews so well, to being such an international role model and meeting all its obligations.

15 comments ↪
  • BenZ

    Not content with the fact that the US pays all of Israel’s bills

    That's a "fact", is it Andre? Please substantiate this "fact" lest even more people realise you are a liar who makes up 'facts' to suit his one-eyed argument.

    Unlike Arab countries, Israel has massive industry, hi-tech and agricultural as well as military exports and a very healthy GDP. You know this, of course.

    Indeed most of the money the US 'gives' Israel goes straight back to American companies anyway, e.g. Defence and technology exchange.

    Of course America also gives $2-3 billion to Egypt and gets back 'what' exactly?

    So, are you going to retract your statement or rather edit it and then delete this comment, like last time.

  • viva peace

    What on earth is an "international obligation?"

  • Andre

    BenZ,

    Unlike Arab countries, Israel has massive industry, hi-tech and agricultural as well as military exports and a very healthy GDP. You know this, of course.

    Massive industry huh? If that were the case then they would not need to be the largest recipient of US aid in the world would they? Name one country with "massive industry", that is the recipient of aid? Isn't AID by definition, offered to impoverished countries who are unable to help themselves?

    Indeed most of the money the US ‘gives’ Israel goes straight back to American companies anyway, e.g. Defence and technology exchange.

    Apart from the technology they are selling (in breach of agreements) to countries like Chine you mean? And what about the the massive sums of cash all the Gaza settlers received, or the money they extorted from the international community in return for not destroying those lovely greenhouses?

    Of course America also gives $2-3 billion to Egypt and gets back ‘what’ exactly?

    Good question. Isn't that money given to Egypt so that they play nice with Israel and do as they are told?

    So no Viva, the post will remain as it stays.

    Viva,

    What on earth is an “international obligation?”

    I almost forgot Viva, You think that respect for human rights and international law os for pussies.

  • viva peace

    No. It is more that they simply do not exist.

  • Andre

    No. It is more that they simply do not exist.

    I see, so they are guests if Israel I take it?

  • viva peace

    Andre

    The Pals? No. They are "nothing."

  • Andre

    Perhaps you might want to inform Olmert Viva, He just affirmed his support for a 2 state solution, so evidently he does believe Palestinians exist.

    Must be quite something to exist in a parallel universe Viva.

  • viva peace

    Andre

    Oh dear you poor boy. What is so tragic about you, AL, etc. is that you have very average IQs, which when combined with a lack of further formal education results in you being irrelevant to debate and thus ignored. Olmert 'confirmed' a two state solution that has been posited since er, when, exactly? Try 1936.

    I only have a passing interest in these matters, and yet I constantly wipe the floor with you ignoramuses on incredibly basic information.

    You people spend 24/7 obsessing over your bigoted delusions. How can you remain so fucking ignorant?

    1. Israel’s GDP is $150 billion p.a.

    2. You are tellingly silent on Egypt

    3. The Soviet Union pumped more money into Egypt and Syria than the U.S. ever did to Israel.

    4. Have you heard of U.S. financial involvement with S.Korea? Japan? W.Germany?

    5. Israel is a high-tech economy with more per capita Nobel Prizes than any other society of earth.

    6. Almost 50% of Nobel Prize winners have been Jewish

    7. There has never been a Muslim Nobel Prize Winner in Science or Economics.

    8. Historically, the two biggest financial sugar-daddies to the Pals are the U.S. and Israel.

    9. You do the Math.

  • BenZ

    Andre,

    You can argue with me all you want. As I am sure, you will. However this is not about our difference of opinion.

    It is about the fact that you claimed something as "fact" in your article despite it being wholly untrue and completely impossible to prove.

    You have not retracted your claim in later comments, merely tried to confuse matters.

    There is no worthwhile source that will attest to your claim that the "US pays all of Israel’s bills", which you referred to as "a fact".

    Additionally, the vast bulk of US aid to Israel is to cover its massive defence budget. A budget which would not be needed, were Israel not under constant threat by the very people you support.

    However, that is irrelevant. All that matters is you claiming things as "fact" which are manifestly false. So, prove it or retract it.

  • Andre

    BenZ,

    You are making a fool of yourself mate.

    There is nothing impossible to prove and nothing to retract. There is no dispute that the US pays the bills of Israel. No other country in the World enjoys such privelage and such welfare as does Israel.

    Much of the aid given to Israel is not even officially accounted for. The 2-3 billion they receive is just the tip of the iceberg. The costs incurred from the Lebanon war for example, threatened a potential financial crisis in Israel, and lo and behold, the tab was covered by the US.

    Every one of the families that left Gaza received up to $400 thousand in compensation at it was provided by the US. Israel's military aid is entirely provided by the US. The US grantees loans to Israel that are usually not repaid, which is not included in the official AID package.

    It is true that a lot of the aid is for military purposes and that this benefits US defense contractors, but ultimately the US tax payer is fundinding the state of Israel. And please, Israel does not need F-16s, Apache helicopters and Abrahams tanks to kill Palestinians, even though they like to use those weapons for that purpose.

    The fact is, that no one really knows what the true cost of aid to Israel is. Some have put the figure into the trillions.

    Thomas R. Stauffer (a Washington, D.C.-based engineer and economist who writes and teaches about the economics of energy and the Middle East) published a summary of the research into the matter in the June 2003 issue of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Stauffer is a Washington, D.C.-based engineer and economist who writes and teaches about the economics of energy and the Middle East.

    He wrote a report entitled:

    "The Costs to American Taxpayers of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: $3 Trillion"

    Stauffer's findings were first presented at an October 2002 conference sponsored by the U.S. Army College and the University of Maine.

    While the official aid provided to Israel currently stands at $98 billion, it only reflects the minimum, as it does not include the many hidden costs.

    Shirl McArthur wrote in the May 2003 issue of Washington Report.

    "The distinction is important, because the indirect or consequential losses suffered by the U.S. as a result of its blind support for Israel exceed by many times the substantial amount of direct aid to Israel,"

    McArthur's article, "A Conservative Tally of Total Direct U.S. Aid to Israel: $97.5 Billion – and Counting", tallies the hidden costs, such as interest lost due to the early disbursement of aid to Israel and funds hidden in other accounts. For example, Israel received $5.45 billion in Defense Department funding of Israeli weapons projects through 2002, according to McArthur.

    Loans made to Israel by the U.S. government, like the a 9 billion loan in 2003, invariably wind up being paid by the American taxpayer. A recent Congressional Research Service report indicated that Israel has received $42 billion in waived loans.

    "Therefore, it is reasonable to consider all government loans to Israel the same as grants," McArthur says.

    None of these figures include the private donations by Americans to Israeli charities, which initially constituted about one quarter of Israel’s budget, and today approach $1 billion annually. The donors also deduct them from their U.S. income taxes, creating another large drain on the U.S. treasury.

    Many years ago the late Undersecretary of State George Ball estimated the true financial cost of Israel to the United States at $11 billion a year. Since then direct U.S. foreign aid to Israel has nearly doubled, and simply adjusting that original figure into 1998 dollars would send it considerably higher today.

    The bottom line is that if Israel did not need the massive aid they receive, they would not be demanding it.

  • Andre

    Viva,

    You are such an insufferable snob, but what would we do without the entertainment value you bring? Ance again, your ignorance and arrogance proves your Achilles heel.

    The simple fact of the matter is that Olmert has agreed to the creation of a “Palestinian State” while you on the other hand, insist that Palestinians never existed. care to explain the disconnect?

    In answer to your points.

    1. Israel’s GDP is $150 billion p.a.

    Ans: Actually it's 140 billion, but so what? GDP figures are entirely meaningless without factoring in the costs of maintaining the state. With a GDP of $140 billion, Israel are still in need of aid to pay their bills.

    2. You are tellingly silent on Egypt

    Ans: I already pointed out that Egypt is basically bribed by Washington to behave and be friends with Israel, yet another cost incurred by Israel to the US tax payer.

    3. The Soviet Union pumped more money into Egypt and Syria than the U.S. ever did to Israel.

    Ans: According to whom? Since when did the the Soviets pour over 90 billion (officially that is) into any country? Your argument has a hole big enough to drive a bus through, not to mention the fact that you are conflating aid with Cold War posturing.

    4. Have you heard of U.S. financial involvement with S.Korea? Japan? W.Germany?

    Ans: Of course, but aren't you conflating aid with investment? Surely even you know the difference? Unlike US guaranteed loans to Israel (which are never repaid by Israel) the Marshall plan accrued handsome returns for the US.

    5. Israel is a high-tech economy with more per capita Nobel Prizes than any other society of earth.

    Ans: And hat’s off to them for that. So how do all those Nobel Prizes prevent Israel needing upwards of 3 billion a year in aid?

    6. Almost 50% of Nobel Prize winners have been Jewish

    Ans: Indeed. No one ever denied that Jewish people have made outstanding contributions to society. Not that this has anything to do with aid to Israel, but anyway…

    7. There has never been a Muslim Nobel Prize Winner in Science or Economics.

    Ans: Unfortunately no. Nor has there been an Olympic gold medal downhill skier. I take it that this is further evidence of your thesis that Muslims are inferior?

    8. Historically, the two biggest financial sugar-daddies to the Pals are the U.S. and Israel.

    Ans: It’s easy to be a sugar daddy to those you have stolen from. West Germany was a big contributor to Israel for many years, especially if you include the return of stolen assets during WWII to the victims. Mind you, neither the US not Israel has been any kind of sugar daddy to the Palestinians since they voted for Hamss, but anyway……

    9. You do the Math.

    Ans: I already did the Math. See Thomas R. Stauffer's and Shirl McArthur's pieces mentioned above. All you did was prove my point once again.

    When I think of you Viva, the image comes to mind is of the black night in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. There he sits on the ground, all his limbs severed, all the while insisting that he is winning the fight.

    Don't ever change Viva.

  • BenZ

    You are changing your story Andre.

    There is no dispute that the US pays the bills of Israel.

    That is not what you originally said.

    You said: "the US pays all of Israel’s bills" and claimed this as "fact".

    You could write another 1000 words (including more bogus "facts") and attempt to confuse the topic as much as you'd like, however until you retract that statement, it is all worthless as is your commentary.

    You are a fraud.

  • Andre

    By all means BenZ

    Please point to which facts are bogus. As is usually the case, you demand proof, and then when faced with it, spit the dummy and insist you are being piled on.

    You gotta grow up one day mate. Might as well start today.

  • BenZ

    Please point to which facts are bogus.

    Andre, you made the claim. You back it up.

    Asking me to disprove something you've invented demonstrates how uninformed you are.

    It's akin to me saying "There are little green men on mars who hide whenever a spaceship approaches" and demanding you to disprove it.

    The simple fact (yes, fact) is that if you submitted your comment in an academic paper or even a newspaper report, you'd be failed or fired (as Loewenstein was) for trying to make up facts.

    The point has been well and truly made and I don't expect you to recant. Indeed I'm sure you are smug in the knowledge it's dropped off the front page. Please note how few people are rushing to your defence… You are wrong. Again.

  • BenZ

    I just noticed the URL of this page "/israel-wants-a-bigger-doll-cheque".

    Presumably that's the original version of the headline.

    I'm greatly surprised someone like Andre doesn't know how to spell "dole".