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.

Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali accuses Israel of atrocities

The following story by Natalie O’Brien appears in today’s Australian newspaper:

Australia’s most outspoken Muslim leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, has compared the Israeli bombing of Gaza to the Holocaust, sparking outrage among Jewish groups.

Sheik Hilali, the imam of the nation’s biggest mosque at Lakemba, southwest Sydney, lashed out at the Israeli leaders, branding them as “butchers” whose “Zionist racism” was creating another Holocaust.

“When we remember the atrocities of the Holocaust – it seems that what we are seeing is another Holocaust,” Sheik Hilali said yesterday.

“It is not just about numbers of people killed – thousands as opposed to millions – but the atrocity itself, and here we have similar atrocities.”

His comments drew an angry response from NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff.

Mr Alhadeff said comparisons between Israel’s offensive in Gaza and the Holocaust were obscene and historically unsupportable.

“They trivialise the Holocaust and they falsify history,” he said. “The racial hatred and anti-Semitism which Sheikh Hilali has been expressing for 20 years has clearly not dissipated.”

Mr Alhadeff was referring to claims that Sheik Hilali gave an anti-Semitic lecture to a group of Muslim students at the University of Sydney in 1988, in which he was quoted as saying: “The Jews try to control the world through sex, then sexual perversion, then the promotion of espionage, treason and economic hoarding.”

Sheik Hilali was appointed the following year as Mufti of Australia by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils in what was claimed to be a move designed to prevent him being thrown out of Australia over the comments.

Sheik Hilali hopes to lead a delegation into the Palestinian territory to deliver medical supplies to the wounded and to assess the situation.

The group, being co-ordinated by Melbourne-based group the Popular Committee for Palestine, has invited the attendance of Jewish journalist and the founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, Antony Loewenstein, who said yesterday he did not believe Sheik Hilali’s comments were anti-Semitic. Mr Loewenstein said it was important to make the distinction between anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli.

Sheik Hilali is waiting for permission for the delegation to enter Gaza via the Rafa crossing on Egypt’s border, and is planning to take a delivery of hundreds of wheelchairs and three ambulances.

The 15-strong delegation is expected to include five doctors and representatives of several Muslim organisations.

In the wake of the Israel-Lebanon war in 2007, Sheik Hilali travelled to Lebanon to deliver aid.

At the time, he was accused of diverting funds to an Islamic leader with links to Hezbollah. But an Australian Federal Police investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

In 2005, Sheik Hilali travelled to Iraq in an effort to help secure the release of Australian hostage Douglas Wood.

Sheik Hilali, who is a member of the Gaza Committee, which has been established by several prominent NSW community members and religious leaders, said he wanted to be able to see where the funds raised by Australians would most help the Palestinian people.

The Gaza Committee, along with other charities, is understood to have raised more than $2.5 million to send to the Palestinians. Sheik Hilali said the money would only be given to registered charities or hospitals, and would not go to any political organisation.

This is truly a non-story. A prominent Muslim leader makes comments against Israel’s war in Gaza, and rather than focusing on the Jewish state’s crimes in the occupied territories, our media obsesses over the “controversial” statements. Being highly critical of Israel isn’t anti-Semitic.

As for my own role, I was merely approached a few week’s ago – along with Independent Australian Jewish Voices co-founder Peter Slezak – about going to Gaza in the near future and little else said was said (would I go, could I go, should I go etc). I believe it’s important to show solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza at this time, though whether this is the right project to show such solidarity is another question entirely.

2 comments ↪
  • ej

    Same story in the Age today.

    Israel systematically destroys a community on grounds of race and Mr Goot blames the resistance, reproducing the canard that Hamas made them kill civilians.

    Goot is a disgrace. He has blood on his hands.

    I like his demand:

    'He sought an assurance that the Holocaust comparison was not being taught in the five Australian Federation of Islamic Councils schools.'

    Yet Jewish 'faith' schools perennially have as part of their mission statement the inculcation of the love of Israel. i.e. the inculcation of love for an apartheid state built on ethnic cleansing. SO much for vslues.

    What's sauce for the goose …

  • Pingback: Hilali scheme reckless, shortsighted | Atheist Age()