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.

A refreshing Jewish voice

Israeli/American peace activist Jeff Halper – currently in Australia on a national tour – appeared tonight on leading ABC Radio’s current affairs program, PM:

MARK COLVIN: Middle East peace negotiations are in something of a holding pattern at the moment, as Binyamin Netanyahu tries to form a government in Israel, and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton start trying to re-position the US after the Bush years.

That hasn’t stopped the opposing Palestinian factions from getting together in Cairo to start a meeting on whether they can create a national unity Government.

That’s a big task in itself because there’s a wide gulf between Fatah, which runs the West Bank, and Hamas, which is in charge in Gaza.

Nonetheless, that gulf is still nothing like as wide as the one between the Palestinians in general and the Israelis.

The peace activist Dr Jeff Halper, who’s the coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, is in Australia at the moment and I asked him about the long-term prospects for a two state solution.

JEFF HALPER: The two state solution seems to be gone. In other words, if we’re talking about a real genuine Palestinian state in the occupied territories, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, people have to understand that the occupied territories are only 22 per cent of historic Palestine. So it’s a very small area and the chances of Israel actually withdrawing its settlements and the Palestinians actually even getting a state even in that 22 percent, seems to be very, very slim.

MARK COLVIN: Is that another way of talking about returning to the 1967 boundaries?

JEFF HALPER: That’s right. In other words, if the Palestinians forget the West Bank issues, East Jerusalem and Gaza, it’s a small area but they could have a shot at a viable state. You know, they’d have borders with Jordan and Egypt, they’d have a sea port in Gaza, they’d have an airport in Gaza. There’d have to be a connection between Gaza and the West Bank and imagine having Jerusalem and Bethlehem as a tourist attractions which is a pretty significant thing.

So I think they could make a go of it but the problem is that they’re not going to get that territory.

MARK COLVIN: Because why? because Israel will never return to the ’67 boundaries, because of the settlements?

JEFF HALPER: That’s right, that’s right. Because of the settlements, there are half a million Israelis living in the occupied territories. You know, settlements is misleading word cause people have the idea of a couple little cabins on a hillside but in fact some of these are satellite cities of 70-80,000 people.

MARK COLVIN: But some people thought that Israel would never withdraw from Gaza and they did.

JEFF HALPER: Well, they sort of withdrew. First of all, there were only 7,000 Israelis in Gaza. In addition, Israel really didn’t really get out of Gaza. In other words, it’s true it withdrew its settlers and troops but Israel retains effective control.

MARK COLVIN: But still they kicked settlers out. I mean, we all remember seeing the news footage of the settlers being kicked out, so it is possible for that to happen isn’t it?

JEFF HALPER: Well it’s possible. On that little scale of 7,000 people it’s certainly possible. But if you’re talking about against cities in which we have major urban populations – you know there are more Israelis living in East Jerusalem than there are Palestinians – you’re talking about a much, much larger evacuation of populations and I don’t see an Israeli Government, either to the right or the left who would ever have a mandate to really dismantle settlements in the West Bank, it’s just doesn’t seem to me possible.

MARK COLVIN: So is that a council of despair?

JEFF HALPER: No, No, but what it means is that we have to think of other options.

MARK COLVIN: Such as?

JEFF HALPER: Because if in fact the two state solution is finished, I mean the other logical alternative is a one state solutions. Now that’s something that really scars Israelis because it means the end of Zionism, it means the end of Israel as a Jewish state but you know, Israel is sort of trying to play it both ways. I mean, it’s trying to resist the idea of a genuine Palestinian state because it wants to keep its settlements but the same time, it simply won’t even entertain the idea of one democratic state of everybody.

So where it’s going is apartheid actually.

MARK COLVIN: So you can see where there might be resistance can’t you, given that the alternatives look like Fatah, which is fairly corrupt and incompetent and Hamas which is authoritarian? There isn’t really an attractive alternative for Israelis in a one state solution is there?

JEFF HALPER: Well, except that we have to understand that Israel’s responsible for that. You know we’re at now about 20 or 30 years into a systematic campaign of assassination of Palestinian leaders.

I mean every Palestinian leader, Palestinian leader that was competent, is either dead or in prison. There aren’t any outside, so if we have poor Palestinian leadership, which we certainly have today, that’s an intended result of this kind of a campaign and we’re arguing in the Israeli peace movement that there has to been alternative because we don’t want to remain occupiers forever.

MARK COLVIN: Do you see any way that it’s going to improve from your perspective?

JEFF HALPER: The only way it’s going to improve I think and that’s why I’m in Australia, not that this is the most strategic place to be, but is through international pressures. I think that the world, I think they’re beginning to understand this, even in the United States, that this is a global conflict.

I mean you know, James Baker called the Palestinian conflict the epicentre of instability in the entire Middle East and if you want to stabilise the Middle East, it you want to deal with Islamic fundamentalism, if you want to deal with Iraq and Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Arab regimes that are teetering today, you’ve got to deal with the Palestine issue because this is around Jerusalem, which is tremendously important for Muslims, and the idea that Israel is Judaising Israel, which Israel says it is doing, is really something that’s creating a theological conflict that’s going to be very dangerous.

But in addition to that, I think the idea that this is an American-western occupation in which an Arab people is being suppressed and oppressed by a western country and Israel’s not even seen as the main actor. I think most Muslims see this as an American occupation, not an Israeli occupation. I think the west has to understand that the west is not going to get on to business as usual and stabilise the Middle East and the whole global system as long as this conflict continues.

And that’s really our message, you know, that we’re going to have to impose a solution. From the outside, Israel’s not going to like it but for the good of everybody, including Israelis, this is got to be done and it’s got to be done from the outside.

MARK COLVIN: Dr Jeff Halper, coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

one comment ↪
  • Marilyn

    Israel is not a bloody jewish state, it is not a state and it never has been.

    What does it take for some jews to get that?