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.

Long may this Jewish attitude prosper

A really wonderful piece by Joseph Dana, Israeli human rights activist, about the role of dissent in Israeli society. The Iranian uprisings are having an effect:

There is a minority in Israel that is willing to risk life and limb to stand up to the occupation at its core. Multiple times a week, groups of Israelis venture through checkpoints into the West Bank in order to meet with Palestinian counterparts and help them maintain the basic necessities of livelihood and hold on to what little land they still legally own. We are continually attacked by settlers and harassed by Israeli authorities, which try to restrict our efforts and often use excessive force. Despite the constant obstacles and fear of arrest, court dates and injury, we continue to fight the occupation with nonviolence.

As an Israeli actively contesting the overt and covert policies of my government, I have been struck with a feeling of familiarity and identification with the events that have been unfolding in Iran. The images of young people flooding the streets, confronting the authorities and standing up for the rule of law is similar to the Israelis who confront the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank. I see students in Tehran, of the same age as myself, using twitter and blogs to communicate information from the ground in the face of great censorship. I have been watching the YouTube videos from the front line and it conjures up the same feelings as the videos that we are making in the West Bank. It is a different situation in Tehran but one cannot ignore the common determination to challenge governmental policies, take risks and get the word out. In both countries, the only way to do that is to make your presence known in the most corporeal way.

Iran and Israel are different countries with different systems of government, histories and values.  The current regime in Iran is authoritarian while in Israel we have democratic systems, at least as far as the Jewish residents are concerned. But there are also similarities: both countries’ national characters stress the bond between religion and state and are ideologically driven, such that both societies necessarily have elements of oppression and movements against that oppression. The struggle that many young people are taking up against the current Iranian government regarding the election has never taken place in Israel. But Israel’s parliamentary system is horribly flawed and it is widely agreed in Israel that it is in desperate need of reform.

Both Israel and Iran have sizeable populations of people under the age of thirty. These populations carry an unusually heavy burden. In Iran, as in Israel, the country places on its youth the weight of defending its country in the military. The obsession with defense and strength falls directly on the shoulders of the countries’ youth. With responsibility comes voice. In Iran, the youth has been finding its voice quickly and strongly in the past weeks. In Israel it has been a long process, but in both places, it requires the steadfastness of defiance.

If you feel solidarity with the struggle in Iran over elections, don’t forget that in Israel we have our own resistance, a homegrown and genuine resistance. In both countries, law-abiding citizens are looking to reform their governments’ policies out of a commitment to make their country a better place to live in.

4 comments ↪
  • I don't think you've allowed any of my previous comments to be published on your site but I'll give it another try.
    You conflate two issues here. One is the extremist position of right-wing Israelis to hold to a "Greater Israel" mentality that refuses to accommodate any Muslim to own land on the West Bank. This is rightly condemned by Joseph Dana. But you extrapolate from this to disingenuously imply that Israel should refuse to live on ANY of the West Bank land. That is nonsense.
    Why does a future Palestinian state have to be free of Jews? If Arabs can live in Israel, why can’t Jews live in Palestine? Why shouldn’t Jews be permitted to live everywhere?
    Making Jews, and only Jews, leave their homes is ethnic cleansing. Isn’t this exactly what you keep accusing Israel of?

  • Baruch

    Reading ibnEzra's site, I saw that you left the same comment. He gave you a detailed response that I think is really solid. What do you think about it Aleynu?

  • Aleynu:

    Do you believe the West Bank settlers would be willing to live under Palestinian rule? Or would they want to live in Palestine, while enjoying the protection of the State of Israel?

    Of course if you're logical about it there would be no need for partitioning and Palestine would simply be a place for all that live there: 'one man, one vote'.

    You would throw up at that idea though…

    Of course without the One State solution, withdrawing settlers from the WB is in fact nothing more than REVERSING the effects of ethnic cleansing in Palestine.

    Never encountered a greater bunch of truth-inverters than Zionists…

  • Peter D

    Don't know Syd, but I'm nodding my head when I read this post of his:

    http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/06/19/more-respec