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.

Disaster is approaching (but nothing to see here)

Murdoch’s Australian broadsheet tackles the big issues in the election campaign. Such as this front page yarn today:

The accident-prone campaign of star Labor recruit George Newhouse has hit another pothole, with a leaked email revealing his campaign manager has espoused anti-Zionism.

The revelation that Mr Newhouse’s campaign manager, Rose Jackson, has spoken out against the Jewish state has the potential to hurt his chances in the marginal eastern Sydney seat of Wentworth, which has the largest number of Jewish voters of any electorate in Australia.

The Liberal Party also stepped up its attack on the legitimacy of Mr Newhouse’s candidacy yesterday, naming him among 13 Labor candidates across the country it claims may not be able to run.

Labor dismissed the claims, raised by Liberal frontbencher Andrew Robb, as baseless and a sign of desperation by the Government.

But a cloud continues to hang over Mr Newhouse’s candidacy — with conflicting legal advice on whether he resigned from a paid position with the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal in time to nominate for the seat — and Ms Jackson’s comments could further damage his campaign.

In an email addressed “Dear activists”, Ms Jackson wrote to an internet education discussion forum last year: “I oppose Zionism because it calls for the creation of a Jewish state, and I think all governments should be secular.

“No Jewish, Islamic, Christian states anywhere in the world, just good, robust, secular democracies,” she said. “By speaking out on behalf of the Palestinians and Lebanese people, we can give voice to those that some governments and media would wish to silence.”

Ms Jackson, 22, the daughter of ABC television journalist Liz Jackson, was president of the National Union of Students at the time she wrote the email.

She stressed yesterday her email was directed against rabid anti-Israel comments on the website which, she believed, shaded into racism. In it she chastises a forum member who accuses Jews of “a fetish for genocide”.

Asked if her views sat uncomfortably next to those of Mr Newhouse — who is a leading member of the Jewish community and whose father, Arnold, was president of the State Zionist Council of NSW — Ms Jackson said, “I don’t know George’s position on Israel. “I’m just opposed to theocracy. I certainly support the right of Israel to exist, but not as a Jewish state.”

Later, Ms Jackson released a statement retracting her 2006 comments.

“Last year, when I wrote the email, I did not understand the definition of Zionism,” she said in the statement.

“Since then, I have discovered that Zionism is about a homeland for the Jewish people.

“I support Israel. I support Israel’s right to exist.”

Informed of Ms Jackson’s clarification, Wentworth resident Ron Weiser, immediate past president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, said: “It is very important to the Jewish community and to a proper understanding of the conflict in the Middle East that there be a two-state solution with a Jewish state and a Palestinian state.”

This is truly a hilarious article and reinforces the point I’ve been making for years. Expressing anti-Zionist views is simply unacceptable for much of the mainstream media. Furthermore, supporting a Jewish state – a racist enterprise where non-Jews are discriminated against and occupied – is taken as a given. After all, who would want to denigrate the poor Jews and their plucky Jewish state? As it turns out, a growing number of people around the world. The fact that the Newhouse staffer was probably forced to issue a press release “clarifying” her position and unequivocally endorse Zionism – what is this, Communist China, and the need to praise the wonders of Mao? – just shows how staid this debate has become.

Last week Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in the run-up to the upcoming Annapolis “peace” conference in the US, said that Israel must remain a Jewish, democratic state and negotiations with the Palestinians must continue to “avoid [the situation] ending up like South Africa.” In other words, there is a realisation that the status-quo is unsustainable (the fact that apartheid already exists in the Palestinian territories seems to have been ignored by Olmert.)

But in the meantime, let’s focus on a candidate manager’s supposed anti-Zionism.

A head in the sand mentality has never looked so pathetic.

one comment ↪
  • b

    Jackson is quoted as saying (let's assume The Oz quoted correctly):

    “I oppose Zionism because it calls for the creation of a Jewish state, and I think all governments should be secular.

    “No Jewish, Islamic, Christian states anywhere in the world, just good, robust, secular democracies,” she said. “By speaking out on behalf of the Palestinians and Lebanese people, we can give voice to those that some governments and media would wish to silence.”

    “I’m just opposed to theocracy. I certainly support the right of Israel to exist, but not as a Jewish state.”

    What's striking about this is that Jackson has been bullied into retracting reasonable views in favour of an embarrassing and anachronistic absurdity – a "Jewish State" – and yet this is considered unremarkable or even desirable.

    The article continues:

    "Informed of Ms Jackson’s clarification, Wentworth resident Ron Weiser, immediate past president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, said: “It is very important to the Jewish community and to a proper understanding of the conflict in the Middle East that there be a two-state solution with a Jewish state and a Palestinian state.”"

    This is a non-sequitor, what is he talking about? I think most of us would be more than happy to support a two state solution, ie a withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers behind the 1967 Green line, and mutual recognition of two states on those borders.

    Except that Israel and the US have no intention and never have had any intention of ever achieving this solution. Instead the Zionist settlement and colonisation of Palestinian land will continue until it totally corrodes the soul of Israel (not to mention what it does to the Palestinians).

    I like to compare Zionists to the Western supporters of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Substantially wrong in concept from the beginning, the cause has been hopelessly and perhaps inevitably betrayed by the actual practice of Stalinism/Settlers.

    But what does it take for people to realise this? The Gulag? Hungary 1956? Czechoslovakia 1968?
    The Jewish community is rightly abandoning Zionism in shame but they need to act more swiftly if any resolution is to be achieved.