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 ease with which they lie

Israeli officials are wonderful at lying, telling the world that black is white or that “there is no humanitarian crisis” in Gaza.

This kind of deception has an infamous pedigree.

The lobby group, Australian Committee for Truth in the Middle East, has just published its latest missive and included the following necessary history lesson:

Let us travel back to a well documented case, Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. In his 1983 book The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians (Pluto Press), ex-kibbutzim Noam Chomsky devotes two pages (pp224-5) to Israel’s systematic destruction of hospitals in Beirut. He begins:

Beirut: Precision Bombardment

“Repeatedly, Israel blocked international relief efforts and prevented food and medical supplies from reaching victims. [* Chomsky’s note: The International Red Cross, World Vision International, UNICEF and other relief agencies report long delays in supply of food and medicines caused by Israeli interference. This is confirmed by Israeli officials responsible for relief … .] Israeli military forces appear to have gone out of their way to destroy medical facilities – at least, if one wants to believe Israeli government claims about “pinpoint accuracy” in bombardment. “International agencies agree that the civilian death toll would have been considerably higher had it not been for the medical facilities that the Palestinian Liberation Organization provides for its own people [David Lamb, Los Angeles Times, 18 June 1982] – and, in fact, for many poor Lebanese – so it is not surprising that these were a particular target of attack.”

Chomsky goes on to detail lethal attacks on 14 named hospitals or medical institutions, several of them suffering multiple attacks, and further attacks on unnamed hospitals. He continues:

“Most of this was before the bombing escalated to new levels of violence in August [1982]. By 4 August 8 of the 9 Homes for Orphans in Beirut had been destroyed, attacked by phosphorus and cluster bombs. The last was hit by phosphorus and other rockets, though clearly marked by a red cross on the roof, after assurances by the International Red Cross that it would be spared. On August 4, the American University Hospital was hit by shrapnel and mortar fire … The director reported: “It’s a carnage. There is nothing military anywhere near this hospital.” [Boston Globe, 5 August 1982]. The hospital was the only one in Beirut to escape direct shelling, and even there, sanitary conditions had deteriorated to the point where half the intensive-care patients were lost and with 99% of the cases being trauma victims, there was no room for ordinary illnesses. “Drive down any street and you will almost always see a man or a woman with a missing limb.” [Los Angeles Times, 19 August]

“The Red Cross reported that by August 6, “there were 130 beds available in west Beirut out of a total of about 1,400.” The American University Hospital was admitting only “those who look salvageable” … At the Hotel Bristol, hit by an Israeli phosphorus shell, the Red Cross had set up an underground hospital. … “Even the Red Cross delegation has been shelled twice.” …The Berbir hospital was already seriously damaged by mid-July … the mortuary full of corpses until the remaining doctors were able to leave the building to bury the unidentified bodies in a communal grave when the shelling and air attacks temporarily stopped.” (New York Times, 12 August, Robert Fisk, London Times, 13 July 1982)

“The Norwegians (a doctor and a social worker, later arrested and taken to Israel, where “[u]nder Israeli captivity they were forced to sit, hands tied, for 36 hours without permission to move … they were given ‘preferential treatment’”. Arab prisoners were subjected to constant brutality and degradation) said they had seen at least 10 people beaten to death, including an old man who was crazed by lack of water and intense heat as the prisoners were forced to sit for hours in the sun; he was beaten by four or five soldiers who then tied him with his wrists to his ankles and let him lie in the sun until he died. (testimony to a Congressional House Committee). Another demonstration of courage and purity of arms.

“Little of this was reported in the mainstream media, but [the] testimony obviously did impress Congress, as we can see from its decision, shortly after, to improve the terms of Reagan’s proposed increase of military and economic aid to Israel.”

We could continue, Chomsky does for another 90 pages in that chapter alone, but you should have the picture by now: the wanton destruction, the wilful killing, the sadism and the lying – none of this is new in Gaza and the only point in listening to people like Mark Regev is to find out what the Israeli government wants us to believe, not what is happening.

It has all been done before and, we suggest, it will continue to be done – until our journalists and politicians summon up sufficient intestinal fortitude to probe for the truth. Or are they closet anti-Semites?

3 comments ↪
  • ej

    An integral part of the lying machine is the Israeli union body Histadrut.

    Note the article in today’s Age in which an AWU heavy (at the AWU annual conference) rails against maritime unions that support boycotts.
    http://www.theage.com.au/national/union-leader-re
    The punch line is:

    ‘In a video speech to the conference, the Histadrut leader Ofer Eini said “a boycott of any kind is totally unacceptable as it counters the solidarity of trade unions around the world”.’

    Note also the claim from the AWU heavy:

    ‘unions in Israel and Palestine have made important, if tentative, steps to build co-operative, working alliances’. What? A bit like all that inter-faith dialogue shit from the religious mafia.

    I see no Occupation.

    Histadrut has from the start been an integral part of the Israeli racist colonising machine.

    The bizarre thing is how union federations (and their associated political Parties), as in Australia and Canada, have their eyes blinded to Israeli criminality because of this 50 year ago link that prsumed that something ‘progressive’ (even ’socialist’) was happening in Israel under the powerful Histadrut administration.

    Australian Labor has been capped at the knees by the link.

    The solidarity of trade unions around the world indeed.

    Israel has all its propaganda & lobbying bases covered.

  • mallee

    Further to Mr Chomsky's observations: the Official policy of the Israel Government is demonstrated by the Mossad motto being; "By deception thou shall wage war".

    so how is the deception put into practice?

    There are many examples; two of the best are the Lavon Affair" (could be operation Susanah)when Israel interests tried to blame Arabs for bombimg US and English interests in Egypt in about 1954. Some of those operatives were rewarded with a medal over the last year or so.

    The other is the Israel attack by Israeli unmarked aircraft and torpedo boats on the US communication ship, US Liberty, in 1967, resulting in the murder of about 34 sailors. The purppose of course was to get The US into the war with Egypt.

    It is very saddening that the Israel policy does not seem to have changed and that the general public are not properly informed of the Israeli criminal and hypocritical duplicity that apparently continues.

    It is unbelievable that the arrogance demonstraed by Israel is such that their government spokespersons think we are too stupid or are so bullied/threatened that they think we believe them, notwithstanding that many would like to.

    Israel certainly gained nothing from their Mossad boys, with false passports etc, celebrating, dancing, doing 'high fives', etc when they were 'documenting' the murder of thousands of office and rescue workers in the twin towers on 9/11.[Google "five dancing Israelis"]

    Once credibility is lost, how is it regained? Well, we will see perhaps.

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