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.

And we wonder why the Jewish community is so sick

The following letters appear in this week’s Australian Jewish News:

Unhelpful to whom? Jeff Halper, (AJN 03/04), the recent visitor from Israel to our shores, seems to judge Diaspora Jewry’s relations towards Israel according to his own views of his country.

A quick lesson in our Diaspora-Israel (not Israel-Diaspora) relations before his visit would have helped him not be shunned by our community.

The general rules for all visitors on speaking tours on sensitive political issues to a foreign country are obviously similar.

1. Check the credentials of your hosts.

2. Check the credibility of your hosts in the communities you want to address.

3. If, in spite of your hosts’ unacceptable credentials within a community, you still wanted the opportunity to address it, then make your own contacts within the community, even via The AJN or on various communal websites, and tell the community exactly what you intend to inform them of that they don’t already know from reading your articles in Ha’aretz and other publications.

4. All foreigners representing minority views and trying to effect “regime changes” overseas are quite frankly not welcome here or anywhere else. This is the same for our community if some Australians would be speaking in Israel, bent on interfering in Australia’s internal affairs from there.

5. Protecting Israel, irrespective of which government is in power at any one time, is very much on our community’s and all Jewish Diaspora communities’ agendas.

Yes, Jeff Halper: the kind of nation Israel is and will be in the future is dependent on those who live and will live there.

At the moment, from abroad, the tilt is very much towards Australian and other Zionists, as well as Brooklyn Chassidim, not the anti-Zionists, the “one-democratic-nation-for-everyone-don’t-need-a-Jewish-State” group who hosted you for their own (nefarious?) purposes.

MALVINA MALINEK
South Yarra, Vic

Steve Brook from the Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS) asks at what point does reasonable criticism of Israeli actions morph into an anti-Israel position (AJN 27/03).

Well Mr Brook, it depends what is the person’s agenda criticising Israel and if they are impartial. If it were, say, Pilger, Saikel, Fisk or Loewenstein, their criticism of Israel would have to be taken in context of their anti-Israel bias.

None of these people have ever singularly criticised the Palestinians or Arabs for their part in the conflict. They obviously have an anti-Israel position. The same would apply to groups that advocate for the Palestinians.

Some typical examples of criticism of Israel that can be taken as an anti- Israel stance are: equating Israel’s response to Palestinian terror attacks condemning Israel for its retaliatory actions against Palestinian aggression objecting to the security barrier, ignoring its purpose and the reason for its construction and success rate in saving lives arguing for all alleged Palestinian refugees right of return or a one-state solution objecting to a Israel as a Jewish state while reaming silent to the Hamas charter calling for a “Islamic State of Palestine” or holding Israel to higher moral standards than its foes.

All the letters and articles I have read that have been published in the media and online by you Mr Brook have been highly critical of Israel, while ignoring all Palestinian and Arab transgressions.

So this would be an example of taking an anti-Israel position. Furthermore, I guess the fact that you are a signatory and supporter of Antony Loewenstein’s dissident group of Jews, the Independent Australian Jewish Voices, doesn’t add to credibility of reasonable criticism of Israel.

Conversely, left-wing academic Philip Mendes, a former AJDS member, is quite prepared to criticise Israel and also singularly criticise the Palestinians and Arabs publicly and without hesitation.

This would be a good example of a critic of Israel without being accused of taking an anti-Israel position.

DANNY DZYWAK
Malvern, Vic

3 comments ↪
  • ej

    The new anti-Semitism.

    And this version has no problem in getting published.

    Which gives one a better understanding of how the anti-Jewish anti-Semitism became disseminated and entrenched.

  • Marilyn

    Sheesh, sort of paranoid isn't it? Why do they think they have to protect Israel? Israel has 200 nukes and we have none.

    And what precisely part of Israel do "arabs" illegally occupy?

    I know the zionists think the land is all theirs because g-d gave it to them but it aint the truth.

    What's hysterical is that this minority group among 110,000 jews in Australia just keep screaming at each other – no-one else is listening

  • eps

    At least the letters are revealing of the bubble-like mindset.

    The first letter basically says: if you disagree with the sponser, then one should shut-down the sponsored. I believe "guilt by association" is a fallacy of reasoning. Anyway, a speaker such as Halper is a bit like television: if you don't like the message, don't go to listen. The question is why one would try to prevent others from hearing the message. Simple: it's the cheapest way of defending the status quo.

    The second letter is more substantive in its inaccuracy. Halper should be shut down because he bears an anti-Israeli message. What is that?

    *"equating Israel’s response to Palestinian terror attacks"

    ->But Halper didn't equate them. He effectively said that Israel's "responses" were worse.

    *"condemning Israel for its retaliatory actions against Palestinian aggression"

    ->But given the number of children murdered in the least "retaliatory action" in Gaza, one would have thought anyone with a moral bone in their body would be compelled to condemn such actions.

    *"objecting to the security barrier, ignoring its purpose and the reason for its construction and success rate in saving lives"

    ->But Halper didn't ignore its purpose. In fact, some of his talk was devoted precisely to explaining its purpose: creating 'facts on the ground' to preempt any possible future negotiations on boarders, esp. in the face of the emerging 'deographic threat', along with a bit of humiliation to boot (on the off-chance it will drive away at least some of the indigenous inhabitants). As for saving lives, the Wall, of course, does not need to be built where it is in order to achieve that … and anyway, when the letter-writer says "lives" what is meant is "Jewish lives". For some reason (I can't imagine why), other lives don't seem to count.

    *"arguing for all alleged Palestinian refugees right of return"

    ->But there are no "alleged" Palestinian refugees. There are only Palestinian refugees – in much the same way as there are no "alleged" victims of the Nazi holocaust, only victims of the Nazi holocaust. As for the right of return, this is just a basic principle of natural justice. After a conflict, people who were displaced are allowed to return to their homes (or if they prefer, be provided with compensation).

    *"or a one-state solution"

    ->A few are now arguing for a one-state solution, but only because the two-state solution is (they believe) now unworkable (due, ironically, to those 'facts on the ground' that Israel has been creating).

    *"objecting to a Israel as a Jewish state while reaming silent to the Hamas charter calling for a “Islamic State of Palestine”"

    ->An interesting line of argument. It would seem that if Halper opposes an Islamic State in Palestine/Israel, the letter-writer would then have no objection to his opposition to a Jewish State. A simple enough move – and one, I suspect, that Halper would be willing to make. The line of argument is interesting for another reason, however. One assumes the letter-writer, being a principled individual, would object to an Islamic State on the basis that it would be discriminatory by definition – i.e. it would have to be run in accordance with the democratic will of Muslims. Substitute the words "Islamic" and "Muslims" with "Jewish" and "Jews". The same morally principled objection should apply. So, the letter-writer, in being (apparently) opposed to an Islamic State, must also be opposed to a Jewish State, and thus should be supportive of Halper's position.

    *"or holding Israel to higher moral standards than its foes"

    ->Halper seems to want to hold Israel to moral standards that are not relative to someone else's. He wants to hold Israel to the minimum standards of any moral, modern nation-state – i.e., non-discriminatory, non-occupational, non-expansionist, and non-militaristic.