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.

Killing any prospect for peace

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions released the following statement on June 29:

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and Rabbis for Human Rights-Shomrei Mishpat welcome the Jerusalem Municipality’s announcement that it is considering a freeze on the demolition of 70% of the so-called “illegal” Palestinians homes built without a permit. The Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem himself, Yakir Segev, revealed that in 2008 only 18 permits were issued for building in the Palestinian parts of the city, home to some 270,000 Palestinians. It was the Municipality’s policy of granting so few permits that was driving Palestinians to construct illegally. “To get a construction permit in East Jerusalem you have to be more than a saint,” said Segev. In 2008 the Municipality demolished 87 Palestinian homes, issued 959 demolition orders and collected $3.6 million/€2.5 million in fines from Palestinians, 70% of whom live below the poverty line.

While we welcome any change of policy that reduces home demolitions, we must protest the continuation of that policy, even if parts of it are “frozen.” Twenty thousand (20,000) Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem housing 180,000 people currently have demolition orders.  Freezing the demolition of 70% of them means that 6,000 homes would still be slated for demolition.  In fact, the Municipality has indicated that it intends to remove completely those 6,000 homes. It seems to believe that offering compensation will legitimize that action.

This is not merely a game of numbers. Lying behind the plan is the intent to leave intact “unauthorized” Palestinian homes in areas of East Jerusalem of little interest to Israel – those on the periphery of the city in particular – while targeting those in areas that Israel wishes to annex. The targeted 30% are therefore in the most politically sensitive areas subject to conflict: the Old City, the Silwan area adjacent to the al-Aqsa mosque (already renamed the “City of David”), the Mount of Olives, Sheikh Jarrah and other strategic locales.

We call on the Jerusalem Municipality and the Government of Israel to end their policy of demolishing Palestinian homes altogether, whether in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza – or inside Israel, where the homes of Palestinian and Bedouin citizens of Israel are also targeted.

3 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    Everyone seems to forget that the jews have no right to govern for the Palestinians or tell them where they can build their home in their own country.

    Just imagine if some other country told us where we could build our homes.

  • moonkoon

    I heard an Israeli spokesperson talking about the Silwan neighborhood the other day.
    He referred to it as the Holy Basin.
    Maybe for the Israelis, but it is an unholy mess for the Palestinians.
    The City of David idea is taking on all the appearances of a monumental snow job.
    It has crept down the Ophel into Wadi Sitti (Kidron Valley) and up into Silwan (Siloam), give me a break

    The idea of the Holy Basin has a somewhat ominous meaning for critics of Israel like Antony (and me?) as some Jews conflate Wadi Sitti with the valley of Jehosophat "…where, after the return of Judah and Jerusalem from the Captivity, Yhwh would gather all the heathen and would sit in judgment on their misdeeds to Israel…"

    This interpretation of is disputed and provides no justification for the ethnic cleansing that is currently being undertaken in the area. I read somewhere that the plan is to shoo a quarter of a million Palestinians out of the neighbourhood.

    "…The name is first met with in the fourth century of the common era, having been applied by the unknown Pilgrim of Bordeaux in 333. It has since continued to be so used among Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans, who identify it with the valley of Kidron (the present Wadi Sitti Maryam, which separates Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and through which at one time the stream Kidron flowed), and believe that the Last Judgment will be held there. According to the Midrash Tehillim (viii.; quoted by Neubauer, "G. T." p. 51) no "valley called Jehoshaphat" exists ().E. G. H. B. P."
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=

    Jewish claims to Silwan are, to say the least, dubious.
    I posted this opinion about the subject on Mondoweiss a while ago.

    ""…Silwan was a Jewish Yemenite village for hundreds of years until 1948"

    According to this account that is not strictly correct,

    "The greater part of the village (Siloam/Silwan -mk), the older and better built section, belongs to Moslem fellahin who cultivate the well-watered gardens in the valley and on the hill slopes opposite, but a southern part has recently been built in an extremely primitive manner by Yemen Jews, immigrants from South Arabia, and still farther South, in the commencement of the Wady en Nar, is the wretched settlement of the lepers. How long the site of Silwan has been occupied it is impossible to say. The village is mentioned in the 10th century by the Arab writer Muqaddasi."
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'SILOAM; SILOAH; SHELAH; SHILOAH'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com – ISBE; 1915.

    According to the wiki, the Yemenite Jewish "refugees" arrived at Siloam in 1882.

    "In 1882, a group of Jews arrived from Yemen, fleeing the persecution there. Initially, they lived in tents. Later, when the rainy season began, they moved into the ancient burial caves on the east side of the valley. In 1884, the Yemenites moved into new stone houses on the eastern slope of the Kidron, north of the Arab village, built for them by a charity called Ezrat Niddahim…" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silwan

    I quote "refugees" because the Ottomans took control of Yemen from 1832 onwards and they had a fairly evenhanded policy towards indigenous Jews although they went to some pains to apply restrictions specifically to immigrant Jews who could act outside of Ottoman jurisdiction by claiming "Capitulatory Rights". Perhaps they were "refugees" from the British controlled region around Aden, but I don't know of any British policies along those lines.

    They seem to have been part of an early Zionist settlement initiative. It was around this time that Hertzl was trying to buy Palestine from the Sultan for $20million! The Ottomans opposed the efforts of the Zionist movement to establish a Jewish immigrant community in Palestine. They saw the attempts to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine as being detrimental to the stability of the region ( and you could argue that history has vindicated their view). Jews could still emigrate to other regions of the Ottoman empire.

    A bit of the history,

    "…the Ottoman government turned its attention to another aspect of Jewish settlement in Palestine, the question of land sales to the Zionists. The Ottomans tried to prevent the Zionists from acquiring real estate in Palestine. The law declared that "subjects of foreign governments are allowed to take advantage of the rights to possess property within or without towns in every part of the Imperial dominions with the exception of the Hejaz lands, in the same way as Ottoman subjects."' Having realized this, the Turkish government on 5 March 1883 passed a law especially designed to stop Jewish settlers from obtaining any land in Palestine…

    …Although the Zionists failed to accomplish their political objective of acquiring a Charter for a proposed Jewish state, they managed, despite Ottoman intransigence, to penetrate and settle thousands of their followers in Palestine. By 1908, the Jewish population of Palestine had risen to 80,000, three times its number in 1882,…

    …The failure of the Ottomans to prevent the establishment of a Zionist foothold in Palestine must not be placed squarely on the shoulders of the local authorities.During the period under consideration, Palestine was governed by exceptionally honest and competent administrators who earnestly administered the Porte's regulations.

    The wide gap between the theory and practice of the Ottoman policies was attributable to the intervention of the Powers on behalf of the Zionist colonizers. Of all the Great Powers, Germany and Russia had genuine interests in the promotion of Zionist policies. As Herzl told Wilhelm II and W. K. Plehve, the exodus of the Jews from these countries, from the domestic point of view, meant that the Socialist movement would be deprived of its leaders and supporters on the one hand, and anti-Semitism would be sapped of its impetus on the other.

    With respect to external considerations, both the Germans and Russians must have thought that these Jewish elements, once placed under their protection, would prove themselves useful agents for the enhancement of their respective spheres of interest at that part of the Ottoman Empire…

    – The Ottoman Empire, Zionism and the Question of Palestine http://www.scribd.com/doc/8104532/The-Ottoman-Emp

  • moonkoon

    Sorry, third paragraph should be,
    This interpretation of events is disputed…