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.

The Abbas trap

Ahmed Yousef, Haaretz, July 9:

The Abbas leadership has poorly calculated its political strategy, choosing to align itself with the Israeli regime and its Washington patrons in a bid to retain its hold on power. Yet it has compromised its legitimacy in the eyes of a large swath of the Palestinian public, and it has fallen into Israel’s Machiavellian trap of sowing discord among Palestinians to avoid dealing with the real issue: ending the occupation, fairly and justly.

Voters in the occupied territories are under no illusions about who planted the seeds of the current strife, particularly as Hamas made offers – but was repeatedly rebuffed – to form a unity government as soon as it won the elections in 2006. Despite increasing intransigence by hard-line Fatah activists, Hamas even adhered to a unilateral cease-fire for 18 months in a bid to neutralize tensions.

For over a year, the Islamic movement’s leadership has tried to avoid conflict with Fatah, yet confrontation was inevitable because American neoconservatives, the Israelis and even some Arab officials are determined to undermine a Palestinian government with an Islamic hue.

5 comments ↪
  • Jon

    Its remarkable that you seem to have accepted the Hamas 'narrative' w/o any equivocations as illustrated by the numerous links you have put on your blogs. Your simple narrative seems to be Hamas won the elections, as a matter of right it is entitled to international funding w/o any pre-conditions, its Executive Force in Gaza had a right to take over the PA security installations at Gaza (as they had no choice) and that a sensible policy would be for Israel to negotiate with Hamas and withdraw from the 1967 borders.

    Never mind that Hamas does not accept a two state solution (at best they accept a long-term interim arrangement), never mind they do not propose to honour past agreement and never mind that they will not cease from violence. The Palestinians are stuffed with a rejectionist, ideologically rigidly movement like Hamas in power, which is disastrous for Israel and the region. But rather then dwell over the shortcomings of such a movement, it is of course all Israel and the US's fault and now even the fault of moderate Palestinians.

  • viva peace

    Yet again the Muslims never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

  • Andre

    Jon,

    The fact that Hamas was democratically elected is indeed simple. And no that is not a precondition for international funding, but it is a precondition for access to funds it is entitled to, which were subsequently and illegally withheld.

    The Palestinians were being squeezed on all fronts and Fatah had already sold out to the West, so yes, Hamas had no choice but to seize power in Gaza. Another matters that is indeed simple.

    Why should Hamas accept a 2 state solution when Israel does not? Amazing that you should be so flippant with that accusation only weeks after it was revealed that the Entebe siege was an Israel manufacture charade designed to undermine the Palestinian authority and therefore derail a Palestinian state from eventuating. Never mind that Hamas has offered Israel a 49 year ceasefire, which Israel refuse to accept.

    What did Israel and the US do when Hamas was elected? They made it obvious to all from the beginning that the Palestinians would be collectively and systematically punished. But hey, it's always easier to ignore the elephant in the room and like VIVa, insist that the earth really is flat.

  • Jon

    Andre,

    Mate – Hamas has never accepted a two state solution and it has nothing to do with Israel's postion – its there lame ideology!

    And what's this nonsense about "the Entebe siege was an Israel manufacture charade designed to undermine the Palestinian authority and therefore derail a Palestinian state from eventuating". Was that reported in any reputable news source like Haaretz. I haven't seen it. The Entebbe raid occurred in 1976 prior to the PLO even accepting the two state solution in 1988 and prior to there ever being a Palestinian Authority set up in 1993.

    As for a 49 year cease-fire – pretty pathetic frankly – so Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders only for Hamas to continue their struggle for the other 78% of Palestine. They're not a secular rational movement like Fatah – they will never accept an end of conflict resolution based on a two state solution. Can you honestly say otherwise?

  • viva peace

    Andre

    Newsflash. "Democratic" elections can only take place in a "democracy." The PA is not, never has been, and never will be, a democracy.