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.

Their Israel does not exist

Independent Australian Jewish Voices blogger Michael Brull beautifully skewers the parochialism and racism within the Australian Jewish News, a paper containing countless examples of paranoid, bigoted and clueless Jews. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. This is how Jews want to be viewed in the wider community? Some clearly do. Palestinians are all terrorists. The occupation doesn’t exist. And on it goes.

Perhaps this is the funniest. After the resounding success of the recent Jeff Halper tour, Jewish academic Dvir Abramovich writes the following:

When Prof Halper travels the world and describes Israel as an apartheid state, shooting his arrows into Israel’s heart, Jews are hurt. Not only because they may disagree with his assessment, but because the fibre of deep connection, loyalty and commitment to Israel means that any attack upon it resonates as if it were an attack on our sons, daughters and brothers.

Brull concludes:

That’s right, when Halper criticises his own government, Abramovich’s feelings are hurt. More than this, Abramovich seems to consider himself a more devoted Israeli than someone who actually lives there.  Why is it that people who call themselves Zionists don’t feel at all inconsistent in not moving to Israel? And why is it that Abramovich feels more loyal to a foreign government than its own citizens, on the basis of their political views?

Perhaps Dvir would like to see the real Israel, rather than some imagined country that doesn’t exist. Reading the blog by Maariv journalist Noam Sheizaf would be a good start. His words are sobering and indicate the deep racism within Israeli society. Such as:

I have often claimed here that the public atmosphere in Israel is becoming more and more racist towards Arabs. A good example of this can be found in the comments (“talkbacks”) on all major internet sites…

This morning I decided to try and break Ynet’s laws. I found this short interview with MK Ahmed Tibi – taken from Yedioth Ahronoth’s magazine for men, “Blazer” – and I sent the following fascist comment (my Italic):

“Ahmed Tibi is a typical Arab. He might talk nicely, but that only makes him more dangerous. If he could, he would exterminate us all. The problem is that for now he can’t, so, with the help of the left, he uses Israeli Democracy to destroy us all. When will we understand that all the Arabs are a threat to the state of Israel and to the life of each and every one of us? This is a Jewish state – that means a state for Jews only. It is time we start to act to defend ourselves”.

By writing this, I’m not only breaking Ynet’s Terms of Use, but might also be in violation of  the 1986 law against incitement to racism, according to which I might be liable to up to 5 years in jail.

Well guess what? My comment got published (no. 330, under the nick “Avner”), and I don’t think the police will be coming for me soon. If they do, they’ll need to locate the authors of most of the other 535 comments for this article (at the time of writing) – some of them make mine look extremely mild.

How can this be? It is clear that a similar comment against Jews, Blacks or Gays wouldn’t pass the monitor. Furthermore, I had my little experiment on Ynet not just because it is the most important news site in Israel, but also since it is known to have a very strict comments policy. Other sites will allow things which Ynet wouldn’t. And even on Ynet, one can describe all the Arabs as an existential threat to Jews, and to call for collective action against them – and pass for a legitimate side in a debate (and it wasn’t even a real debate, just a profile of an Arab MK in a men’s’ magazine). On other articles you can find worse examples – expressions of joy over the murder of civilians, specific calls for violence, etc.

Yes, we should worry about upsetting Jews and hurting their feelings.

one comment ↪
  • Marilyn

    Some of the American and Canadian responders are truly repulsive as they gloat over arab deaths, cheer when kids are slaughtered and so on.

    It makes Andrew Bolt's little joyous blogs look tame.