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.

How to show solidarity with good Jews

A Jewish peace activist, writing for the US-based Jewish Voice for Peace, recalls a comical yet tragic encounter:

Several weeks ago, while on a solidarity visit with Ta’ayush in the South Hebron hills region of the West Bank, we were stopped by a makeshift Israeli Army roadblock and told that we could not pass into a closed military zone.  Having all traveled that road many times before with no problem, and watching settlers whiz by us, we asked to see the military order.  Before producing it, the soldier said, “I am very happy for any Jew to visit the Land of Israel, but leftists aren’t allowed.”

That’s right. Only radical Zionists should be allowed access to monitor apartheid in the West Bank.

one comment ↪
  • frank

    This reactionary blog requires context:

    “China: Tibet independence ‘doomed’

    Tibetans in exile are meeting to plan a future course of action for their Himalayan homeland [EPA]

    China has dismissed suggestions that a meeting of Tibetan exiles may step up efforts to seek independence for their homeland, saying any such moves were “doomed to fail”.

    The comments from China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday came as some 500 Tibetan exiles continued a week-long meeting in India aimed at mapping out a future strategy for dealing with Beijing.

    “Our position on Tibet is clear and resolute. Any attempt to separate Tibet from China is doomed to fail,” Qin Gang, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry told reporters in Beijing.

    Qin went on to label the meeting, held in the Indian town of Dharamsala, as lacking legitimacy, saying “the so-called Tibetan government-in-exile is not recognised by any government in the world.”

    More than 500 delegates are meeting, the first major strategy re-evaluation since 1988 when the Dalai Lama outlined his “middle way” approach, seeking autonomy but not outright independence for Tibet.

    “Our position on Tibet is clear and resolute. Any attempt to separate Tibet from China is doomed to fail”

    Qin Gang,

    Chinese foreign ministry spokesman

    The exiled spiritual leader called the meeting after expressing frustration at years of fruitless talks with China.

    Karma Chophel, speaker of the Tibetan parliament in exile told delegates on Monday that “the middle way approach has failed, it has not produced any results”.

    “In that light, the Tibetan public should come out with an opinion about what to do.”

    Samdhong Rinpoche, Tibet’s prime minister in exile, described Monday’s first session as “emotionally charged”, but said it was important to have an “open and frank discussion”.

    Any new approach, he said, needed to have “the clear mandate of the people” and would have to be brought before the parliament in exile for approval.

    Growing frustrations

    Analysts warn that a more confrontational approach could play into China’s hands [AFP]

    The Dalai Lama himself is not expected to attend the talks, saying he does not want to sway the debate with his opinions.

    The meeting follows growing frustration in Tibet over Chinese rule, with an uprising in March in western China that was subsequently quelled in a violent crackdown by the Chinese authorities.

    Following the incident, Chinese forces were said to have set up camps near major monasteries and towns while many monks were expelled from the clergy.

    The younger generation of Tibetan exiles are calling for full independence, saying they cannot live with China.

    Chophel, the parliament speaker, said a secret survey done recently in Tibet indicated more than 8,000 of 17,000 Tibetans were willing to follow the Dalai Lama’s “middle way”.

    But the results also indicated more than twice as many wanted independence for their homeland.

    Caution advised

    Some analysts cautioned against any deviation from current policy, saying that a strong anti-Beijing sentiment could actually play into China’s hands.

    “The people inside Tibet may say as quick as possible a solution is better, anything that will get the Chinese off our backs,” Robbie Barnett, an expert on Tibet at Columbia University, told the Associated Press.

    But he warned that “it seems to be a possible Chinese strategy to make the radical section much stronger”.

    Barnett said it could mean no contact with the Chinese government and tougher ties with the international community.

    Any move by Tibetan exiles to push for independence is very likely to draw a backlash from China, bring an end to dialogue and scuttle the tenuous ties with Beijing.

    A more confrontational approach would also put Tibetans living under Chinese rule at risk as they would bear the brunt of Beijing’s response.

    Some delegates, however, were willing to accept such an outcome.

    “We can’t live with China,” said Lobsang Phelgye, 55, who was representing the Tibetan exile community in Nepal.

    Many Tibetans say they were an independent nation before communist troops invaded in 1950, while Beijing says the Himalayan region has been part of its territory for centuries.’