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.

When unions back oppression

The following message was sent to the Trade Union Action Committee of the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

An interesting notice appears on the website of The JC.com under the title “New labour movement is ‘pro-peace’” (30 April 2009).

The article states that:

“A new international trades union movement committed to work for peace between Israel and Palestine has been launched this week “to challenge the apologists for Hamas and Hizbollah in the labour movement”.

Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (Tulip), it reports, has been started by the Community union in Britain, the Australian Workers Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in America.”

This suggests that there is a recognition by the pro-Israeli Government supporters in the trade union movement in Britain that they have badly failed and that they are discredited by their intervention on the side of the Israeli Government and the Histadrut in support of the murderous Operation “Cast Lead”  attack on Gaza.

Elsewhere the JC.Com website also makes reference to the STUC decision complaining that the boycott of Israeli goods would prevent the Jewish community in Scotland having access to kosher produce from Israel.  In fact the STUC report specifically identified this issue and said that it did not wish the boycott actions to effect the religious observances of communities.

In Para. 6.3 of the General Council Recommendations it said:

“The STUC recognises the place of Israeli goods, such as kosher products, in Jewish religious observance, and wishes to ensure that a consumer boycott is targeted so that it does not affect, as far as practicable, religious observance.”

The JC.Com article completely fails to mention this of course.  This is clearly an attempt to smear the boycott as anti-Semitic not anti-Israeli Government.

The Australian Workers Union, named as one of the founders of TULIP, invited the Histadrut to their conference this year but Ofer Eini the Histadrut General Secretary was not able to attend.  He did however address the conference by video and his speech can be seen here.  He reiterates the same comments expressed by the Histadrut in January this year justifying the attack on Gaza.

In responding to the speech the comments of Mr Paul Howes, the National Secretary of the AWU, could not be more ironic and tragic when he said, “We admire The Histadrut’s nation building traditions, which resonate with the history of our own union.” The racist history of the nation building process which took place in Australia is well documented.  The indigenous peoples of Australia were driven off their lands to serve the interests of the colonists.  A similar fate befell the Palestinians when 750,000 were driven off their land.

It would appear that one of the functions of the new group (TULIP) will be to oppose boycotts which again is interesting given that the AWU National Secretary Paul Howes is reported in The Courier-Mail on 3rd February 2009 as calling on the Australian Prime Minister to ban imported materials for big infrastructure projects.  Apparently its OK to call for boycotts to defend members jobs (in fact of course potentially at the cost of the jobs of workers in the countries from which the imports originate) but its not OK for Palestinians and their supporters to call for a boycott to pressurise the Israeli Government to save  the lives of Palestinian workers and end the illegal occupation by the Israeli Government which has just carried out the most barbaric attack on the peoples of Gaza.

At the moment there are no public records of the three unions having decided to establish TULIP on their websites but it is clear from JC.Com that this is an attempt to revivify the flagging fortunes of those who have so far uncritically and unconditionally supported the Government of Israel by trying to wrap themselves in the mantle of peace and bringing together trade unions to justify the policies of the Israeli Government. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has talked to the PGFTU about this on many occasions.  They assure us that they have never heard of some of the people who claim to be playing this role of go-betweens – furthermore they point out that they are perfectly capable of initiating appropriate exchanges with trade unionists in Israel as and when they wish or need to.

The struggle to build the solidarity movement with the Palestinian people in the trade union movement in Britain and across the globe must continue and it should continue as long as it has to show solidarity with those inside Israel who oppose the policies of occupation.

Lets keep up the struggle.

Bernard Regan
PSC Trade Union Officer

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