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.

How much Islam does Gaza desire?

The Islamisation of Gaza under Hamas is something I’m hearing and seeing. But is it what the people want?

The following story by leading local journalist Fares Akram – whose father was murdered by the Israelis during the January warwrote the following story for Xinhua news service a few days ago:

Four men showed up suddenly at a Palestinian Telecom service center in Gaza City. One of them, a bearded young preacher, started talking to the customers about Islamic virtues.

The move caught the eyes of the mobile company’s (Jawwal) employees who failed to stop the garrulous heralds from poking into the subscribers.

The event was part of a campaign the Islamic Hamas movement has just launched in the Gaza Strip, aiming at fighting any scene contradicting with the Islamic law and promoting people’s awareness of the Islamic virtue.

A bright-faced speaker, dressed in black T-shirt and jeans, talked loudly to the customers about a series of behaviors the Palestinian residents in the impoverished coastal Strip must follow or give up.

The employee of Hamas’ ministry of religious affairs showed a poster of Satan looking at a girl wearing a headscarf but a tight shirt and pants.

“This is a 100 percent devilish dress,” the man said about the clothes most of the Gazan girls wear. “The Satan promoted to her that this is a legal Islamic clothing.”

In Islam, woman has to wear a long, dark, and loose robe with a headscarf that also covers the neck.

Salah Abu Saqer, the supervisor of the campaign, said his ministry “aims at bringing the people back to their good morals and true religion.”

He confirmed that the preachers will not use force in their campaign “which is amicable, based on advice and peaceful guidance.” Abu Saqer added his ministry seeks Hamas government’s ratification of the campaign’s goals.

Hamas has been controlling Gaza since 2007 after it routed forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and ousted his secular Fatah party. As a result, Israel and Egypt have maintained the closure of their borders with the enclave, slowly devastating Gaza economy and increasing poverty and unemployment rates.

With high-quality colorful posters and sheets, the four young men, mostly wearing Jilbab (Arab gown), continued their walking from shop to shop, focusing on stores that show photos of celebrities and models.

They would talk to the storekeepers and urge them to stick the new posters to the walls and fronts of their stores. They also recommend them to remove the mannequins “because they look like a human body that only lacks soul,” said Bassel al-Madhoun of the campaign’s field team.

Sami Ajour, a women’s clothing shop owner, is unhappy with the step Hamas has taken. He claimed that the preachers had come to his shop earlier and forcibly removed the mannequins.

“How will the people know that this is not only a lingerie store?” he wondered. “This is my only source of income and I don’t know what shall I do.”

But Mohammed al-Ja’ouni, who sells Islamic uniforms for women, explained the Islamic standards for the mannequins. “I put loose garments on them and let them only show their face and hands. When the plastic model wears seductive cloths, it elevates the man’s sexual drive.”

One of the posters encourage people to watch seven satellite channels, including Hamas’ al-Aqsa television. Other posters of cartoon images alert people from “evil friend,” such as drugs, smoking and pornographic websites.

Some small leaflets have warned people from English words that appear on kids and girls’ shirts by explaining their Arabic meanings. Among the words were “vixen, nude, pork, Cupid, brew, vice and charm.”

Jameel Sarhan, program director of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), said that his group “is closely observing the ministry of religious affairs’ campaign and will take a position along with similar rights groups against any violation of general freedoms.”

Sarhan recalled that the basic Palestinian law “emphasizes the respect of human rights, personal dignity and anything the society needs.”

The campaign was launched one day after Taher al-Nounou, a Hamas spokesman, denied reports that the Islamic movement was going to restrict general liberties in Gaza.

“The reports try to convoy an unrealistic image of the situation in the Gaza Strip,” al-Nounou said.

one comment ↪
  • AA

    'How much Islam does Gaza desire?'

    I wouldn't call their actions 'Islamic', what exactly are you trying to say?