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.

A Sydney paper starts opening its eyes

A senior journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald tells me that the relatively new editor is keen to show to the Zionist lobby that he can’t be intimidated. The last months have been an interesting ride. Hardly revolutionary but a noticeable shift. First an editorial in March telling Jews to accept wider views on the Middle East. Then a stinging op-ed by Jeff Halper that slammed the Zionist establishment for having its head up its own arse. And today an editorial, while mild and full of inaccuracies, certainly increases the pressure on the Israeli government and the locals Jews who offer only uncritical support. It’s titled, “States of denial in Israel”:

Israelis are unlikely to be swayed by the words of Pope Benedict XVI, uttered in Bethlehem in the shadow of the security wall erected between them and the Palestinians, in support of the two-state solution to the dispute the wall symbolises. That’s partly due to the pontiff’s own clumsiness towards a central issue to Israelis and Jews everywhere – the Holocaust and those who question its reality – shown in his reinstatement of a Holocaust-denying bishop earlier this year, and a vague speech this week at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem memorial to Nazi Germany’s 6 million Jewish victims that contained no criticism of Holocaust denial.

But it’s also due to a denial by Israel’s new Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his voters. The Pope’s message has already been dismissed as slanted, even though Benedict also urged young Palestinians to “resist any temptation you may feel to resort to acts of violence or terrorism”. The Israeli right doesn’t want to hear about an independent Palestinian state.

However the same message is about to be put a lot more forcefully to Mr Netanyahu. If, as Stalin once quipped, the Pope has no armies, the US President, Barack Obama, whom the Israeli leader meets in Washington on Monday, has both the finance and weaponry Israel depends upon. Mr Netanyahu has backed away from the two-state plan, and instead now talks about self-governing enclaves linked to Israel’s economy, of sidelining the Palestinians to make deals with Arab neighbours. He thinks shekels will overcome nationalism and jihad. Critics say this has about as much hope of success as the “Bantustans” in apartheid-era South Africa, to which they liken it.

To get Israeli on track in a new peace round, Mr Obama will want plans to wind back Jewish settlements in the West Bank and at least keep the question of East Jerusalem’s status open – which may conflict with Mr Netanyahu’s reported promise to a far-right coalition partner to allow further Jewish settlement around East Jerusalem.

The steadily-approaching threat of Iranian nuclear weapons will be advanced by Mr Netanyahu as a reason he cannot make territorial concessions that will be exploited by Iran’s proxies in Hamas or Hezbollah, and by Mr Obama as the reason he needs Israeli concessions, to win a nuclear freeze by Tehran. The Americans have cracked the economic aid whip twice before on Israel – by Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 and George Bush snr in 1991 – and may have it once again lying on the White House table.

2 comments ↪
  • mallee

    Whilst mention is made of Eisenhower and Bush jnr, 'cracking the whip', perhaps the SMH forgot to remember that JFK also 'cracked the whip' in relation to; questioning Israel's nuclear ambitions, the US Federal Reserve banking system, secret societies and other collateral interests, common to Israel and their apologists.

    Pity, he was shot.

    Seems that the SMH might be eventually realising that they have to appreciate the reality of the the 'internet information highway' and realise that past Israel apologist BS, is seen for what it really is, sheer BS and that is now being realised by a more informed public.

    Games up Israel, start getting along with the rest of humanity rather than trying to run it, you are not that precious.

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