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.

Durban II, the how, why and who

The farce currently taking place in Geneva, known as Durban II, has already thrown up a veritable collection of freaks, distractions, nutty celebrities (what the hell is Angelina Jolie’s dad, Jon Voight, doing there?) and agendas. What follows is a small selection of the issues raised (and yet more evidence that the Western world, led by the US, Australia etc, continues to shield Israel from accepting responsibility for its horrific crimes against the Palestinians). Zionist activists were ready.

Former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges wonders when the US will take seriously its shameful history:

Israel and the United States, which could be charged under international law with crimes against humanity for actions in Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan, will together boycott the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Geneva. Racism, an endemic feature of Israeli and American society, is not, we have decided, open for international inspection. Barack Obama may be president, but the United States has no intention of accepting responsibility or atoning for past crimes, including the use of torture, its illegal wars of aggression, slavery and the genocide on which the country was founded. We, like Israel, prefer to confuse lies we tell about ourselves with fact.

Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, challenges those who compare the Jewish Holocaust to the occupation of Palestinian land (as a response, I presume, to the charges at Durban II that the Jewish state is committing genocide against the Palestinians, as well as marking Holocaust Remembrance Day):

I have never called Israel Defense Forces soldiers Nazis and I never will. The Holocaust and the Nazis could not and should not be compared to any other inhumane behaviors.

In Europe, this designation is becoming more and more common. The IDF are Nazis and Israel is a Nazi, Jews afflicting unto others all that was done to them.

A large part of the world’s leftists – many of whom consider themselves to be friends of Israel, some of them even Jewish – see the Israeli occupation as a manifestation of renewed Nazism.

I reject that comparison with anger and contempt. It is incorrect, horrifically infuriating and harmful to the just Palestinian cause. The occupation is cruel enough, and while comparison to the Holocaust not only cheapens that historical memory, it also undervalues the crimes of the Israeli occupation.

Muzzlewatch has one of its key players in Geneva providing essential updates of proceedings, not least examining Zionist groups that preach human rights but in fact are designed to focus on abuses in every corner in the globel except Western nations or Palestine:

So hopefully by now, you’re getting the gist of the Israeli government’s campaign. They work closely with various NGOs that make up the pro-occupation/pro-Israel lobby. The Israel Project, for example, functions as a PR arm.

How about pro-West Bank settler groups talking about racism and discrimination? A lot of credibility there.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sadly not exactly the best poster boy for human rights. As one Iranian blogger said after his speech in Geneva:

It is a very ridiculous and bitter thing that a president who in his own country witnesses a high number of human rights violations… where women are deprived of the most basic rights such as [choosing] their own clothes, and prisons are full of political and ideological prisoners… talks about racism and human rights violations of other UN countries.

One of these so-called human rights groups, UN Watch, surprised the Libyan chair by presenting a victim of the Muammar Qaddafi regime:

And the Jewish Telegraphic Agency produced this video about the pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel gatherings in Geneva:

What does all this tell us about Durban II? A few things come to mind. Israeli policies are seemingly beyond debate. Crimes in Gaza and the West Bank are not really crimes at all because Iran also abuses citizens and therefore let’s focus on those. The Western states are fearful of allowing the world – and let’s face it, a great proportion of the globe are present in Geneva, aside from a handful of Western states – to talk about their crimes. Allied bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan? Biased.

The Australian Jewish community is overjoyed that Australia has withdrawn. Being potentially “marred with anti-Semitism” was seemingly a good enough reason to put out.

As a Jew who writes extensively about Israel/Palestine, I have no desire for Iran to speak for me on human rights (and my recent book, The Blogging Revolution, details the woeful record of the Islamic Republic.) But the fierce resistence to even examine the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and its well documented recent abuses in Gaza is shameful. These are not actions of a civilised nation. It is the behaviour that we would condemn if done by a relatively unknown Third World nation, but Israel is seemingly untouchable.

Well, it’s not anymore. Any number of activists, journalists, human rights workers and lawyers are increasingly speaking out about Palestine. Until the Western political and elite understand this, resistance will continue. Self-appointed Jewish leaders and their Western backers are trying to stop the inevitable; Israel is the new South Africa and will soon be viewed in exactly the same way that that apartheid regime was seen.

It’s already happening.

I don’t write this with glee but the madness of Durban II won’t change anything, other than convince a handful of smug Jews that the world hates Israel and Jews. A handful do, most do not.

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