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.

How long is the status-quo sustainable?

The Israel Lobby co-author John Mearsheimer asks a reasonable question:

It seems clear to me and to many smart people I know that this story does not have a happy ending. Indeed, it looks like a disastrous ending. Greater Israel cannot be a democratic state, because there will soon be — if there aren’t already — more Palestinians between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea than there are Israeli Jews. So, if you give each person one vote, Israel becomes Palestine. That is not going to happen anytime soon, if ever, which leaves two possible outcomes: apartheid and expelling the Palestinians — and there are more than 5 million of them — from Greater Israel. Talk about repulsive options. It is worth remembering that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that if there is no two-state solution, Israel will end up in a South Africa-like situation and that will mean the end of the Jewish state. In effect, he is saying that Israel is turning itself into an apartheid state.

My bottom line is that Israel, with the backing of the lobby, is pursuing a remarkably foolish — Ehud Olmert would say suicidal — policy towards the Palestinians.

I would appreciate it greatly if Israel’s American backers would explain what I am missing here. They must think that there is a happy ending to this story that Olmert and I simply fail to see. Otherwise they would not be backing the Greater Israel enterprise. There is no need for Christian Zionists to respond, because I know what their happy ending is: the Battle of Armageddon and then the Second Coming of Christ. Israel’s Jewish backers do not buy this story, which, in fact, many consider anti-Semitic. But they must have an alternative explanation for how Greater Israel is good for the Jews. What is it?

7 comments ↪
  • Diane

    I think the Greater Israel strategy makes sense if you assume that Israel is simply waiting for the time when it can finish what it began in 1948. It makes perfect sense to go on settling the territories – even if the result in the short term is a Jewish minority (who cares anyway, it's not like most Palestinians are going to get the vote) – if you intend when the moment is right to sweep out the Palestinian population. Remember what Netanyahu said about Tiananmen Square – that Israel had missed an opportunity to expel Palestinians from the West Bank while the world was preoccupied with China.

    Expelling the Palestinians from the West Bank doesn't resolve the conflict any more than expelling the Palestinians of 1948 Israel resolved it, but I don't think the Greater Israel strategy looks far enough ahead to consider what happens the morning after the expulsions.

  • Marilyn

    Pssssst. We are talking about a pissant place in the middle of nowhere, not some great super power.

    There are a few million so-called jews whom Shlomo Sand has proved have no connection at all to Palestine, and a few million Palestinians who own the land and have for thousands of years.

    Less than 40% of so called jews live in Israel, they could mostly piss off back to where they came from instead of trying to kick out the owners.

    In actual fact Israel does not exist and it certainly does not have the right to exist.

    It is a piece of dirt upon which humans live, just like every other place on earth.

    The rest of course is water.

  • I reject the notion that "one person-one vote" would mean turning Israel into Palestine. There is room for a third possibility of a bi-national state, accomadating both nations without contending supremacy of either.

    Apartheid, of course, is another problematic term, since Israel does not plan on granting rights or disenfranchising people based on race, color, or even religion. Rather, the divide lies in military history: Palestinians of 1948 will enjoy full citizenary rights, while Palestinians of 1967 will not. Is this better or worse than apartheid? That contest does not interest me. All I know is that it is different than apartheid, and that doesn't make it right. Instead of misnomers, I prefer to attack the precise situation with its precise evils.

  • ej

    Aryeh is wrong about Israel.

    Palestinians of 1948 do not enjoy full citizenship rights. The situation if anything is deteriorating. Education, welfare rights, basic human rights as to marriage, where one can live, property rights, etc. All unequal or tightly restricted.

    Read Uri DAvis' Apartheid Israel.

    Israel was conceived, born and is sustained on ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population. How could it be anything but an apartheid state?

    AS for Mearsheimer's analysis, he is right in the essentials. But everybody knows the score that he describes. I agree with Diane.

    The question is how long it can on like this. The terrible prospect is that it can on indefinitely. AFter all, 40 years of Occupation in the non-appropriated territories has had nobody in power anywhere saying 'enough is enough'. Another 40 could roll by, no worries.

    The Palestinians get more groiund down. ANother intifada. More mass murder follows inexorably. Everybody yawns. The mainstream Jewish community pulls down the blinds. And on it goes.

  • It is truly beneath me to reply to anyone who cowardly voices his views without providing his full name and identity to stand behind his views.

    But for the record: Palestinians of 1948 have full citizenary rights. That those rights are not fully implemented, that those citizens are marginalized by official government actions – I do not dispute that. But (a) this is true of most democracies and their minorities, and I don't see anyone calling the USA, the UK or France Apartheid states because of their financial and welfare policies that give advantages to some and marginalize others; (b) these are not constituted by law; (c) the terms under which Palestinians are not allowed to buy land, apply to many Jews as well, without the "right" background, socio-economic status, education, etc.

    I am not saying any of this in defense of Israel, and if you misunderstood me to imply this in defense of Israel, read again. I want to be accurate about the situation, in order to better criticize it.

    Israel is not an apartheid since it does not apply laws of race. This is not in defense of Israel, this makes change more difficult.

  • ej

    'Palestinians of 1948 have full citizenary rights.'

    Hello?

    Where did this guff come from?

    Why go to all that trouble of guerilla warfare and ethnic cleansing until 1949 if the residual non-Jewish population was to be left with full citizenship rights?

    The Zionist imperative in the creation of the state of Israel and the subsequent post-1967 occupation of Palestinian territory makes no sense unless understood as part of a coherent project – Israel as an apartheid state is fundamental to that project.

    For people who appear to be too lazy to read Uri Davis' Apartheid Israel, a short book, here are some salient excerpts. And remember that Davis is a Jewish Israeli, a real mensch!

    "In fact, all 1948 Palestinian Arab refugees and internally displaced persons are legislated in Israel as ‘absentees’ through the Absentees’ Property Law of 1950. … [of] the approximately one million Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel today, some 25 per cent, 250,000 persons, are internally displaced persons, ‘present absentees’, likewise denied all rights in their pre-1948 properties inside Israel. The enormity of this nation-wide, systematic practice of war crimes is indicated in the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights’ list of destroyed Arab villages. (p.32)

    "Racism is not apartheid and apartheid is not racism. Apartheid is a political system where racism is regulated in law through acts of parliament. … In an apartheid state the state enforces racism through the legal system, criminalizes expressions of humanitarian concern and obligates the citizenry through acts of parliament to make racist choices and conform to racist behaviour. (p.37)

    Apartheid in Israel is an overarching legal reality that determines the quality of everyday life and underpins the circumstances of living for all the inhabitants of the State of Israel. … The introduction of [the] key distinction of ‘Jew’ and ‘non-Jew’ into the foundation of Israeli law is, however, accomplished as part of a two-tier structure. It is this structure that has preserved the veil of ambiguity over Israeli apartheid legislation for over half a century.

    "The first tier, the level at which the key distinction between ‘Jew’ and ‘non-Jew’ is rendered openly and explicitly, is in the Constitutions and Articles of Association of all the institutions of the Zionist movement and in the first instance, the [World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund]. The second tier is the level at which this key distinction between ‘Jew’ and ‘non-Jew’ … is incorporated into the body of the laws of the State of Israel, notably the body of strategic legislation governing land tenure.

    " … it is through this two-tier mechanism that an all-encompassing apartheid system could be legislated by the Israeli Knesset in all that pertains to access to land under Israeli sovereignty and control without resorting to explicit and frequent mention of ‘Jew’, as a legal category, versus ‘non-Jew’. (p.39-43)

    "But most significantly, the State of Israel is guilty of flagrant violation of the constitutional principle regarding citizenship as stipulated by the UN General Assembly in the 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine. There is no question that under the stipulations … all the 1948 Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants, by now some four million people defined under Israeli law as ‘absentees’, are constitutionally entitled without qualification to Israeli citizenship. … The Israeli procedure of denationalization is far more radical and far-reaching than its apartheid South African equivalent. … South African apartheid recognized the legal personality of its black inhabitants in a way that Zionist apartheid does not. … South African apartheid still recognized them as legal persons (albeit inferior). (p. 68-69)

    "The Israeli apartheid legislator, unlike the South African apartheid legislator, did not insist on petty apartheid [buses for ‘Jews’ and buses for ‘non-Jews’, etc.]. The South African Forest, like all public spaces in Israel, is not segregated. … In all matters pertaining to the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the conflict between a settler-colonial state and the native indigenous population, namely, in all matters pertaining to the question of rights to property, land tenure, settlement and development, Israeli apartheid legislation is more radical than was South African apartheid legislation. … Not insisting on petty apartheid has veiled Israeli apartheid from scrutiny by the international community … (p.90)

    "Following the establishment of the State of Israel, the Palestinian Arab population remaining within the boundaries of the new state was immediately subject to a separate administration of the military government under the Defence (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, introduced by the British mandate, and incorporate lock, stock and barrel by the Knesset into the legal corpus of the new state, previous condemnation of these Regulations by leading political Zionist lawyers as worse than ‘Nazi laws’ notwithstanding. …

    "Every aspect of the life of the Palestinian Arab population inside Israel was regulated and determined by the military government until 1966. In Israel, the military government was dismantled in 1966, only to be set up one year later in the post-1967 Israeli-occupied territories … It is important to note that it was the separate administration of the military government inside pre-1967 Israel that was dismantled, not the Defence (Emergency) Regulations of 1945. These have remained in force in all the territories under Israeli rule and occupation since the declaration of the state of emergency by the Provisional Council of State on 19 May 1948, four days after the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel on 15 May of that year. (p.103-104)

    "The legal underpinnings of Israel’s apartheid land policies are widely known inside Israel. Note, for instance, the following [1979] presentation by former [Knesset member] and minister Shulamit Aloni:

    ' … the Arab citizen in Israel, or his representatives, has no voice concerning the right of the lease of lands for cultivation or agricultural settlement. In all the government or public committees on this subject, there is not one single non-Jewish representative. Furthermore, all options for agricultural settlement are carried out through the Jewish Agency, and any person who is non-Jewish, even if he (or she) is the spouse of a Jew, cannot be a farmer here in this country, even if he (or she) is a citizen.'(p.124)"

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