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.

History more than repeats itself

All of the below words are taken from Israeli author Jacobo Timerman‘s book The Longest War, written during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon (Operation Peace for Galilee) and first published in Britain in December 1982. Timerman returned to Argentina, where he had grown up, in 1984 and died in 1999.  On 4 October 1982, his son Daniel was confined to a military prison for 28 days for refusing to return to the Lebanese front:

The first day we were dulled by the news, the second by the victories; the third we were certain that the operation could last only a few hours more.
On the fourth day we tried to extract from the news and from conversations some indication of what was actually happening.
Why couldn’t war be avoided?

None of the rational explanations I have heard satisfies me. Yet I have reached a conclusion that doesn’t settle the problem but at least helps me: when an army is convinced of victory, its capacity for transmitting this conviction is overwhelming . . . Even the most peaceful people are tempted by the possibility of winning.
A man walks among those ruins, carrying in his arms a boy or a girl of ten . . . Yet we are forbidden to equate today’s victims with yesterday’s, for if this were permitted, the almost unavoidable conclusion would be that yesterday’s crimes are today’s.
It was more or less the fourth day that the guilt began.
Finally, if by chance the cautious Israeli television network let slip some footage and the screen showed a Lebanese child killed in a war in which (according to film shown in Israel) there are no victims, the prime minister did not lack the 1,500,000 Jewish children sent to the ovens by the Nazis, and, as a last resort, the pathetic memory of his own family . . . He is an intuitive politician who is in perfect harmony with the mood of his natural audience: the Israeli voter.

This very morning, the twenty-third of the war, the Jerusalem Post’s Hirsh Goodman writes: “Three Israeli military correspondents were surrounded by officers and men of four top fighting units, who accused them  . . . of lying to the public . . . of allowing this war to grow out of all proportion to the original goals, by mindlessly repeating official explanations we all knew were false.”
When certain critics accuse us of being Nazis, they do the defence minister a great service. Truly, we’re not Nazis. But the accusation serves the defence minister to discredit the accusers and serves him to claim his innocence. Yet we are not innocent.
Neither the explanations of stored weapons, nor the training camps, nor the terrorists who threatened us can justify the destruction of this city. I try to follow the logic of my companions and compare danger against danger, threat against threat, death against death, and still I cannot understand why we have laid waste to Tyre.

If it is true that the possibility of a small PLO group remaining in Beirut . . . indeed threatens the security of Israel, then the lives of 150 soldiers are a small sacrifice. But what if the threat doesn’t exist? Still, if the threat is there, is war the only answer? Or the best of all?
Boas Evron . . . Writing in a Tel Aviv newspaper, reflects on Israel in these times: “The image of this country, in which all the talent is devoted to the battlefield, is that of a country which thinks all solutions come from the tank and the bulldozer . . . This country, is it still ours?”
It is ours without a doubt, which is why we are the ones who must change it.

If criticism of and accusation against Israel for the invasion are going to be dismissed as expressions of anti-Semitism because they contain verbal images which correspond with Nazi crimes against the Jews, we will become alienated from the world in which we live. Even the anti-Semitic expressions of some critics of Israel’s policy do not invalidate the essential facts, nor do they justify our actions in Lebanon.

It makes no sense to argue that the Palestinians fighting Israeli invaders in Lebanon are terrorists. Yet it’s clear that even if we accept they are terrorists . . . the military suppression of 10,000 guerillas (or terrorists) who arose from the heart of a population of 4 million Palestinians will give us at most a tenuous five-year interlude, until the next generation of guerillas (or terrorists) is ready to resume the armed struggle. History tells us that the new wave of fighters will be more radical, better trained and more desperate.
Many of us, surely a majority of the Israelis, want the Palestinians to vanish physically from this region, want them banished from our presence.  Nothing assuages our anguish better than to repeat three long lists to ourselves:
The crimes of humanity against the Jews.
The crimes of the Palestinians against Israelis.
The slurs of the anti-Semites who now have taken up the Palestinian cause to advance their lunatic interpretation of Jewish presence in history.

When I have finished drawing up all these lists, I weigh and reweigh them . . . but once again the Palestinian emerges, each time a stronger and more defined outline.

We were told that the PLO would be destroyed, that terrorism would disappear, that the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza would submit passively to our authority, that Lebanon would have a strong, stable and democratic government allied to Israel, that a whole gamut of new political, diplomatic and strategic opportunities were opening up in the Middle East for us and the United States, our ally.
We enter the eighth week. What remains?  Not even new opportunities in the region. We are barely participating in the diplomatic moves and our ally has not changed its relationship with the Arab world.  Just as before the war, America is striving to strengthen the same countries, seeking new alliances, and its leaders know that in both pursuits what they achieve will depend more upon their attitude towards the Palestinian issue, towards the Palestinian people, than all the military might Israel  can deploy.
Those telling us about our presence in Lebanon seem to respond more to their obsessions with the international press than to our questions and uncertainties. We have returned to the ghetto . . . where survival meant knowing that the other hated us, meant defeating the other. Why has Israel, which was created to forget the ghetto, recreated it? And why is it that we have locked ourselves into a ghetto once again, waiting for the rich uncle from America to help us endure?

Yet if we add up all the triumphs of all the wars, including the present one, we’ll understand that in order to achieve that definitive security we so anxiously desire, we shall have to go halfway down the road that separates us from the Palestinians  . . . we will be forced to employ our power to guarantee his security, without which we cannot guarantee our own.
It’s true that peace is made between enemies, and many people maintain that, because we’re enemies, peace can be achieved. Yet what keeps us fighting is not a war but a conflict over equal rights. A peace agreement won’t be enough. We’ll have to resolve the conflict over equal rights. And Israel has the strength to accomplish this.
The word “enemy” is never used; the plans of those whom we have attacked with such effectiveness and success during the entire week are never mentioned, nor what are the real threats (if any) to us.  In this vast haze, they are the terrorists, six to eight thousand in number, and we are left with the impression that each bomb hurled against Beirut lands on the head of some terrorist without ever affecting the daily routine of hundreds of thousands
of the city’s inhabitants. Later, when we learn through the foreign press that between 500 and 1000 civilians were killed in the bombing raids, we are told that the terrorists sought refuge among them.
Who gave us the right to decide that those civilians must die because they did not know how or could not escape from the terrorists in time? Where did we get such omnipotence?

On my return to Tel Aviv I am informed that the army’s chief rabbi, General Gad Navon, is distributing a map on which Lebanon is marked as the territory that was occupied in antiquity by the Jewish tribe of Asher. The city of Beirut has been Hebraised, appearing as Be’erot.
In 1947, the terrorist Menachem Begin blew up the British officers’ club, killing 13 persons . . . Begin’s terrorists cached their weapons and grenades in schools, synagogues, under the beds of children. When a British patrol arrived unexpectedly at the home of a friend of mine who was a member of a terrorist group, he hid his pistol under the skirt of his aged grandmother.

From now on our tragedy will be inseparable from that of the Palestinian. Perhaps some of us will try to sidestep the Israeli moral collapse by resorting to statistics and comparing Auschwitz to Beirut. It will be in vain. The victims of Auschwitz would never have bombed Beirut. Our moral collapse cannot be diluted by statistics. Abba Eban writes:
“There is a new vocabulary with special verbs: to pound, to crush, to liquidate, to cleanse, to fumigate . . .  It is hard to say what the effects of this lexicon will be as it resounds in an endless and squalid rhythm from one day to the next. Not one word of humility, compassion or restraint has come to the Israeli government in many weeks: nothing but the rhetoric of self-assertion, the hubris that the Greeks saw as the gravest danger to a man’s fate.
“These weeks have been a dark age in the moral history of the Jewish people.”

The peace movement has lost a historic opportunity. A first step towards our own salvation would be assuming responsibility for what we have done in Lebanon. I see no mechanism of conscience for the Israeli people other than the act of repairing what we have destroyed.

In Israel many people complain that this drama was exaggerated throughout the entire world. On the contrary, we should worry about its lack of impact . . . Amsterdam, New York, Rome, Paris and London peace militants should have tried to break the Israeli Navy’s blockade of Beirut, should have allowed their boats to be sunk by Israeli cannons. They should have proclaimed: “We’re all Palestinians.”

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