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.

Anything to keep the occupation out of the headlines

Following the Australian’s article on the weekend about the Australian government’s impending trip to Israel, today’s paper publishes the following responses:

The anti-Israel bigotry to which you refer in the editorial defending Julia Gillard’s visit to Israel (“A trip worth taking”, 13-14/6) is vividly illustrated in Amnesty International’s recently released annual global report.

The survey devotes the same amount of space to criticising Israel as it does to China and Iran, and more than it allocates to Saudi Arabia, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, Cuba and Zimbabwe.

Israel is far from perfect, but the degree of liberalism and democracy which it maintains, while living with constant threats of liquidation from its neighbours in the region, is little short of miraculous.
Bill James
Bayswater, Vic

My heart sank to its lowest level in years when I read your report of Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s plan to lead a delegation to Israel (“Gillard defiant on Israel”, 13-14/6). Then I became afflicted with all the symptoms of swine flu and nausea on reading your editorial “A trip worth taking”.

Gillard leading an an Australian Israel Leadership Forum is a betrayal of President Obama’s peace process and the ALP’s anti-racism policies.

It will further confirm to the people of Asia and Africa and Muslims all around the world that racism is found not only among some of the thugs in the streets of Melbourne and Sydney who beat up Indian students to steal their meagre wages, but also among some parliamentarians who rule this country.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, since winning the election 18 months ago, has not uttered a single word to promote peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict. In fact, Gillard supported Israel’s invasion of Gaza last January and failed to censure its use of war planes, cluster bombs and white phosphorus bombs.

These are not the signs of a peace-loving Labor government.
Bill Mathew
Parkville, Vic

Your editorial avoided the most critical issue—how will Australia’s international relations benefit from such a demonstration of support for Israel? There are obvious advantages for Israel, but, I suggest, none for Australia. Our closest neighbours to the north, Indonesia and Malaysia, will be most unimpressed. Prime Minister Rudd’s efforts to win Australia a seat on the UN Security Council will hardly be enhanced by the trip.

The Netanyahu government is facing major challenges following worldwide reaction to Israel’s military action against Gaza in late December and early January. UN agencies have accused Israel of war crimes and abuse of human rights in its Gaza offensive.

Why the Australian Deputy Prime Minister with portfolio responsibilities for industrial relations and education should get involved in Middle East politics at this sensitive time needs to be explained.

Our trade with Israel is relatively minor. Seven other countries in the Middle East have more important trade relations with Australia than does Israel. Concern about this visit extends far beyond what your editorial describes as fanatics.
Vincent Matthews
Forestville, NSW

Most Australians would never have heard of the “eminent Australians” protesting about Julia Gillard leading a delegation to Israel. Of course we will hear no such protests when the Deputy Prime Minister meets the Iran-supported Palestinian Authority that calls for the destruction of Israel.
Mick Whybrow
Birkdale, Qld

One is no longer shocked by anti-Israel statements and actions or demands, such as those of “170 eminent Australians”. Anti-Zionism has become so widespread and politically correct, and is often so extreme and so divorced from political and historic reality, that one suspects it masks even more dangerous and more ancient hatreds—calls to boycott Jews have a long, ignominious and deadly, indeed genocidal, history.

Full marks to Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard on her principled stance on this issue.

Israel has always welcomed visitors. It is confident that it has nothing to hide and believes that when people visit Israel and see for themselves the country and vibrant democracy that Israel is, the problems that it faces and the way that it addresses these problems, they will become supporters of Israel—or at least more balanced and fair in any criticisms.

The Jewish people are by far the oldest indigenous people of the land of Israel, their historic, religious and cultural links to Israel are—or at least should be—beyond question. It is also a fact that Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East.

If these “eminent” Australians (I can think of other descriptions) wish to sheet home blame for the recent conflict in Gaza they would be better to direct their ire toward Hamas, which has made no secret of its commitment to destroy Israel and which, by its unrelenting rocket attacks on Israel, caused the conflict in Gaza.

To understand the recent Israeli defensive campaign in Gaza we have to recognise that Hamas are not Palestinian nationalists, the Hamas charter calls not only for the complete destruction of Israel, but the creation of a pan-Arab sharia law caliphate throughout the Middle East.

So should we boycott Israel, a legitimate democratic state, in favour of a Taliban style terrorist organisation? One would hope that the answer is obvious.
Bill Anderson
Surrey Hills, Vic

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