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 citizen’s way to protest oppression

The global BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign against Israeli apartheid shows no sign of letting up. In fact, it’s only increasing as the political elite continues to ignore the state’s abuses. Here’s an interesting example from Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies:

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ABN 15 211 513 464
Dr Jake LynchAssociate Professor and Director
    To: Professor Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor
    Cc: Members of University Senate
    Members of Academic Board
    May, 2009
    • Please cancel institutional arrangements between the University of Sydney and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Technion University, Haifa;
    • Please support visits by Palestinian academics and students instead.
    Dear Professor Spence,
    I am writing to you on behalf of myself, of the Council of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and of those undersigned, including many who attended a public meeting held in the University on May 7th, titled, ‘After Israel’s attack on Gaza, how do we work for peace and justice?’
    The meeting heard a call from one of the speakers, Honorary Professor John Docker, for academics present to support the academic boycott of Israel organised by PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
    This campaign has been organised in recognition of:
    • Israel’s persistent flouting of international law and abuse of Palestinian human rights;
    • The reticence of governments to insist on norms of international law being enforced and to discharge their responsibilities under court rulings such as those of the International Court of Justice;
    • The opportunity and responsibility for individuals, institutions and associations globally to apply their own sanctions as a means of raising the social, economic and political cost of a recourse to aggression and abuse;
    • The complicity of Israeli universities by defending, taking part in or remaining silent over, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.
    It should be noted that there is no claim that Israel is alone in this conflict in breaches of international law. In an article commissioned by the International Peace Research Association, however, I discuss the call for a special War Crimes Tribunal to be set up, adding: “the disparity of casualty figures means it would be a travesty of justice if the allegations against Israel were not its main focus”. I quote the distinguished international juror, Professor Richard Falk, who is UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Palestinian Occupied Territories:
    • “These two sides should not be viewed as equally responsible for the recent events. Israel initiated the Gaza campaign without adequate legal foundation or just cause, and was responsible for causing the overwhelming proportion of devastation and the entirety of civilian suffering. Israeli reliance on a military approach to defeat or punish Gaza was intrinsically ‘criminal’, and as such demonstrative of both violations of the law of war and the commission of crimes against humanity”.
    Neither does the call for an academic boycott, along with the wider campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, entail overlooking breaches of international law or abuses of human rights by other countries. It is not ‘applying double standards’. In the words of the writer, Naomi Klein, “Boycott is not a dogma; it is a tactic. The reason the strategy should be tried [on Israel] is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work”. The general responsibility to act is particularised, in this case, by the opportunity to do so effectively.
    It should be further noted that the campaign for an academic boycott of Israel is focused on preventing formal contacts and arrangements between institutions, not individuals. For example, as Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, I recently arranged a talk in University premises by Professor Jeff Halper of the Israel Campaign Against House Demolitions, and there is no suggestion that such visits arranged between individual academics should cease.
    The meeting noted the arrangement advertised in an email circular from the University’s Research Office, as below:
    Reminder: Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund Fellowships
    The University of Sydney and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have established an agreement to encourage mutual visits by academic staff.
    For more information about the Fellowships and application details, please contact: Sue Freedman-Levy, Administrative Officer, Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund, telephone (02) 9351 6558 or via the email address below.
    Closing date: 10 April 2009.
    This does cross the line from individual contacts to an arrangement between institutions, being part of a formal Program of Academic and Student Exchange between the University of Sydney and the Hebrew University, “re-ratified in 2001” according to the Sir Zelman Cowen Fund’s web page. We are therefore writing to ask you to cancel this agreement forthwith.
    It may be noted that in 2005 the Hebrew University of Jerusalem obtained a letter from al Quds University in East Jerusalem, opposing a boycott. However this has been superseded by al Quds University’s decision, since the attack on Gaza, to join PACBI’s call for a boycott on all Israeli academic institutions. Furthermore, a substantial part of the Hebrew University campus is on land which is recognised in international law as rightfully belonging to Palestinian families expelled by Israel shortly after the start of its military occupation of the territory, in 1968. Both in general and in particular, therefore, the Hebrew University should be seen as complicit in the occupation and its consequences.
    This call to sever institutional links with Israeli universities also applies to the scheme for the exchange of medical students with Technion University, Haifa, supported by a
    scholarship fund from the Technion Society. We also ask you, therefore, to cancel this arrangement with immediate effect.
    Many at the meeting expressed dissatisfaction at the notion of merely boycotting Israeli academic institutions. There were strong calls for this negative action – refraining from doing something – to be joined by positive action. The onerous conditions of life under military occupation for Palestinian civilians bear equally on the academy. We are therefore writing to request that you, as Vice-Chancellor, approach the University’s donor community with an appeal to fund, instead, a program of Academic and Student Exchange with a Palestinian university.
    To confer this honour on a Palestinian university would also bring honour on the University of Sydney. It would be of practical help in assisting Palestinian universities to maintain strong connections with the international academic community, something they find increasingly difficult. It would give staff, students and the wider university community here the opportunity to hear and consider important perspectives. It would also send a message to the community at large that the University is concerned to take whatever positive steps it can to support colleagues who are struggling to maintain academic life in extremely difficult circumstances.
    Senior university colleagues join me in endorsing this request to you, as listed below, along with others named, who attended the public meeting, or gave their support later, and the Council of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.
    Yours sincerely,
    Associate Professor Jake Lynch
    And on behalf of University of Sydney academic colleagues:
    Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees
    Honorary Professor John Docker
    Dr Kenneth Macnab
    Professor Ann Curthoys
    Associate Professor Ahmad Shboul
    Dr Evan Jones
    Dr Elizabeth Rechniewski
    Dr Nijmeh Hajjar
    Dr Charlotte Epstein
    Dr Bill Dunn
    Dr Tim Anderson
    Dr Melinda Cooper
    Annie Herro
    And others who attended our meeting or added their support later:
    Dr Hannah Middleton
    Keryn Scott
    Magdaline Shenton-Kaleido
    Nadia Fried
    Stewart Mills
    Rami Meo
    Joanna Blachowska
    Lyn Dickens
    Maria Giannacopoulos
    Patrick Langosch
    Gill Burrows
    Abe Quadan
    Anne Picot
    Peter Griffin
    Estelle Hinds
    Renate Watkinson
    Thomas Barnes
    Anthea Vogl
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