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 military runs the place

Where is the real power centre in Israel?

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The more Jews the better

As co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, I was asked to contribute to this recently released British-collection of dissident Jewish voices, A Time to Speak Out.

The latest review of the book appears in The Jewish Quarterly:

Most of IJV’s [Independent Jewish Voices] founding statement consists of generalities in favour of human rights, peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians, and against racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. These are sentiments to which one hopes any mainstream British Jewish leader would subscribe. Similarly, the aspiration for a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians (without mentioning specifics in terms of timetable, territory, refugees, the status of Jerusalem or anything else) is not in itself especially contentious. What really caused the vitriol was IJV’s challenge to the institutions and attitudes within British Jewry in their declaration that ‘those who claim to speak on behalf of Jews in Britain and other countries consistently put support for the policies of an occupying power [the Israeli government] above the human rights of an occupied people [the Palestinians]’. They also reject accusations of ‘disloyalty’ made against Jews who oppose Israeli government policies. The bitterness that IJV generated was not really surprising; no issue has the potential to generate bad feeling more quickly among British Jews than the politics of Israel-Palestine. IJV’s platform was as much about this community as anything happening between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan.

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Trying to mask the reality

Gideon Levy writes in Haaretz:

As the war in Gaza raged, Israel Defense Forces reservists apparently thought anything was permissible: It was possible, maybe even necessary, to kill innocents, in the West Bank, too. Under cover of war, they thought, they could also kill a handcuffed Palestinian.

It may not receive much international media coverage, but Israel’s occupation of the West Bank – which the Jewish state still plans to expand – is a daily violation of human rights:

“They started smashing down doors at 2 a.m. last Wednesday before moving through homes and destroying property,” says Jayyus Mayor  Mohammad Taher Shamasni.

“Residents were assaulted, money was stolen, computers confiscated, over 60 young men arrested and the village placed under curfew. The Israeli soldiers came into my home and threw the contents of cupboards and closets onto the floor,” Shamasni told IPS.

Jayyus, an agricultural community of 3,500 inhabitants, located in the Qalqiliya district of the northern Occupied West Bank, was invaded by Israeli soldiers using police dogs and backed by military helicopters.

Meanwhile, Israel’s successful nationalist, Avigdor Lieberman, writes in America’s The Jewish Week paper that he resents being called a fascist. He just really wants Arabs in Israel to embrace his country as a Jewish state and even argues for a Palestinian state.

Israeli actions speak for themselves. The above examples are merely the latest in a litany of abuses.

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Who may come next?

The Rocky Mountain News ends publication in the latest casualty of an ailing newspaper industry.

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Life and death in Afghanistan

Photographs by Louie Palu and audio clips recorded during his travels capture the violence and tranquility in everyday Afghan life:

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The failing campaign

Wow:

Wikileaks has cracked the encryption to a key document relating to the war in Afghanistan. The document, titled “NATO in Afghanistan: Master Narrative”, details the “story” NATO representatives are to give to, and to avoid giving to, journalists…

The encryption password is progress, which perhaps reflects the Pentagon’s desire to stay on-message, even to itself.

Among the revelations, which we encourage the press to review in detail, is Jordan’s presense as secret member of the US lead occupation force, the ISAF.

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They exist, talk to them

A group of former international peace negotiators on Thursday urged the world and Israel to abandon the policy of isolating Hamas and engage with the Islamist militant group.

“The policy of isolating Hamas cannot bring about stability. As former peace negotiators, we believe it is of vital importance to abandon the failed policy of isolation and to involve Hamas in the political process,” the group said in a letter published in the British newspaper The Times.

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Why can’t the world get us?

An intriguing Israeli satire about the messages and style of Israelis trying to justify Israeli policy to people living abroad:

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Why nobody should accept this situation

Christopher Hitchens laments Israel’s political reliance on a Russian “thug”:

A reliable friend and colleague swears that he saw the following incident in the Israeli-occupied territories a couple of years ago. A Palestinian physician, in urgent need of permission to travel, was trying to persuade a soldier at a roadblock to allow him to hurry on to the next town. He first tried the stone-faced guard in Hebrew, in which many Arabs are fluent, but he received no response. He then made an attempt in English, which is something of a local lingua franca, yet he fared no better. After an unpleasant interval of mutual noncommunication, it transpired that the only word the Israeli soldier knew was no, and the only language in which he could speak it was Russian.

The words occupation and dispossession are flung around pretty freely, but I invite you to picture a life under occupation in which your unfriendly neighborhood cop did not even speak the language of the state that he served, let alone any tongue known to you. There is, by the way, a fair likelihood that the soldier was not even Jewish; it’s an open secret in Israel that tens of thousands of Russian immigrants used forged papers as a means of exiting their country of birth, pretending to exercise the “right of return.” So here is yet another insult to heap on those whose great-great-grandparents were born in Palestine yet are treated as if they live there only on sufferance.

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Stop the killing machines

White phosphorus bombs used by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip were produced and supplied by American arms manufacturers, according to an Amnesty International report that called for a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel.


A Palestinian human rights group has filed a lawsuit at the High Court in London over the United Kingdom’s continuation of trade with Israel following that country’s offensive in Gaza.

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Our control is developing

A session at the Open Forum Institute in New York on February 10 about The Future of Freedom and Control in the Internet Age:

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A democracy for Jews only

The Arab Association for Human Rights in Israel has released a new report:

In the current report HRA presents several principles and findings that emphasize the scale and scope of the discrimination faced by the Palestinian Arab population in Israel. The following are some examples:

There is a proven and close correlation between individual and collective health and socioeconomic status. Poverty, limited education, overcrowding, and unemployment all lead to an increase in rates of morbidity and mortality. The Arab population continues to be poorer than the Jewish population, with higher unemployment and lower education levels. Gaps in health remain.

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