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’s image continues to nose dive

In spite of the valiant efforts of the Israeli lobby to stifle criticism, Israel just can’t seem to get good press these days.

Young non-Orthodox US Jews are becoming increasingly lukewarm if not alienated in their support for Israel in a trend that is not likely to be reversed, according to a study released on Thursday.

Blending into US society, including marriage to non-Jews and a tendency to look on Judaism more in religious terms than ethnic ones, is part of what’s happening, the study found.

Norway has chipped in to criticize Israel.

Norway’s embassy in Tel Aviv has urged the government to criticize Israel for the alleged use of torture in prisons, the state radio network NRK reported Thursday.

The network said it had obtained a secret diplomatic document from the embassy urging action by expressing our concern that torture is still practiced in Israel.

According to Norway’s NRK, the concern stemmed from a report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, an Israeli human rights group, claiming that prisoners were sometimes beaten during interrogation, held in painfully tight handcuffs and suffered isolation, threats, humiliation and sleep deprivation.

This made Israel less than happy, expressing the usual outrage at being held to account without actually denying the allegations.  As is often the case, it’s not the criticism that Israel has a problem with, it is the fact that it is being criticized at all.

The officials said that the Norwegian embassy was “acting in an unprofessional and very one-sided way, and that their actions bordered on hostility.”

Human Rights Watch revealed what we already suspected from last year’s Lebanon War, that Israel does indeed target civilians.

In its harshest condemnation of Israel since the Second Lebanon War, Human Rights Watch charged that most of the Lebanese civilian casualties came from indiscriminate Israeli air strikes, according to a report to released Thursday.

Presenting the group’s findings at a news conference, Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said there were only rare cases of Hezbollah operating in civilian villages.

“To the contrary, once the war started, most Hezbollah military officials and even many political officials left the villages,” he said. And indeed what we found is that most Hezbollah military activity was conducted from prepared positions outside Lebanese villages in the hills and valleys around.”

Meanwhile, Israel continues to behave badly.

According to a Western diplomat in Damascus, IAF planes which had allegedly infiltrated into Syrian airspace overnight Wednesday were most likely positioned in the area to take photographs, Israel Radio reported on Thursday night.

After Syrian aerial defense systems identified the jets, the pilots were forced to throw bombs and fuel tanks out of the planes, said the official.

The IDF spokesperson declined to comment, saying that the army does not respond “to such reports.”

One can only imagine the cries of indignation from Israel’s amen corner had an Arab country violated Israeli air space, along with the obligatory claims of right to self defense.

one comment ↪
  • silkworm

    The use of torture means that Israel has no moral legitimacy. As a nation-state that pretends to be founded on Judaic principles, it is a failure. In fact, it points to a failure of modern Judaism as such.