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.

Please keep changing the topic and don’t talk about Palestine

Following the speech in parliament by Labor MP Michael Danby against the supposed evils of Israel criticism (and Crikey’s Guy Rundle in response), today’s Crikey publishes these letters:

Michael Danby, the Federal Member for Melbourne Ports, writes: Re. “Rundle: No wonder Danby is pissed off” (Monday, item 12). Eric Beecher, the owner of Crikey has had the decency to agree that Crikey’s poor moderation and editing allowed some comments/letters during the first three months of 2009 that were bigoted (click here read his comments). That is precisely what concerned me in my speech about “the dark and ugly recesses of the internet”.

Perhaps Guy Rundle, Crikey is hyper-keen to demonstrate he is still a loyal, plodding, knee-jerk, anti-Israel commentator like most of Crikey’s contributors; Jeff Sparrow, Antony Loewenstein, etc. That is why he insists that the focus of my remarks were a disagreement with his extreme Middle East proscriptions. They weren’t. I agree with Rundle when he correctly analyses why anti-Jewish bigots made comments on New Matilda and Crikey when he says “this happens because the anti-Zionist basis of the attack also attracts anti-Semites”.

When, in relation to online publications moderating their sites, he says “I’ve noticed this policy tends to be tightened soon after the editor in question first gets attacked and realises how creepy it is to have crazies wanting your loved ones to get cancer”, and when finally he explicitly concludes “I’d support a more aggressive comments deletion policy”, hooray, I agree.

I challenge anyone to read my speech and not understand that Beecher’s statement and New Matilda’s new policy of moderating comment to avoid anti-Jewish bigotry, are exactly what I argued for in parliament.

Michael Reich writes: Guy Rundle refers to analogies between Zionism and Nazism. Comparisons with Nazism and Hitler have long been used inflame debate rather than illuminate. This has been true for those Zionists who label their opponents with these epithets and politician slurring their opponents. In the case of opponents of Zionism, the same tactic fulfils the dual purpose of irony while is guaranteed to upset the Jewish community. It may be stating the obvious but many in the Jewish community have had much more direct experience (or indirect by one or two degrees of separation) of the Nazis. Even watching the numerous SBS documentaries on the Nazis does not necessarily provide the same insights.

Guy Rundle has, rightly condemned the traditional use of the Zionist/Nazi analogy by rabid anti-Semites while hinting disingenuously that on the other hand there maybe some basis for the analogy. He is correct that the relationship between Zionism and Nazism is complex and needs to be examined. His examination includes newspaper descriptions of storm trooper like uniforms of segments of the Israeli army and the fact that Zionist political leaders referred to their political opponents as Nazis prior to the second world war (political leaders going overboard throwing abuse at each other —  how unusual).

Rundle’s other supporting evidence includes the fact that some gentile anti-Semites (as distinct from the Jewish ones!) supported Zionism before the war to get rid of the Jews from their neighborhoods. The overlap of the aims of Zionists to return the Jews to Israel and the Nazis attempts to make Europe Judenrein has enjoyed a good run for rabid anti-Semites in their support for a Zionist/Nazi conspiracy. In a similar fashion, the attempts by some Zionists and Jews to bribe Nazi officials to allow Jews to escape the slaughter of the Holocaust has long been used by the same parties in support of the thesis.

In addition Rundle has pointed out the appalling ethnic cleansing that occurred during Israel’s war of Independence. If this was his sole criteria for making the analogy then there are other numerous appropriate cases for such an analogy. The ethnic cleansing in the Indian sub-continent co-incidentally at a similar period to Israel’s war of Independence comes to mind, never mind the more contemporary horrors of Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, Darfur etc. The underlying ideologies that led to these atrocities do not seem to attract the attention of conspiracy theorists as much as Zionism.

I normally enjoy Guy Rundle’s pieces for his polemics but this disingenuous piece causes disquiet for his attempt to simultaneously disown some of the traditional anti-Semitic Zionism/Nazism rhetoric while trying to imply there is a ring of truth underlying the canard.

Michael Brull writes: Daniel Lewis (yesterday, comments) says I make the “embarrassing claim in defence of Islam, that: ‘more suicide bombings had been committed by the (secular) Tamil Tigers than any other group’. Wrong!”

If we turn to the link, my full sentence reads: “Even in the case of suicide bombings, Pape’s study showed that more suicide bombings had been committed by the (secular) Tamil Tigers than any other group.” My reference was to Robert Pape, whose study from 1980 to 2003 is described in the New York Times here. Lewis goes on to claim that this was in defence of Islam, when I am an atheist and secularist. Perhaps disputing that terrorism is somehow intrinsically Islamic seems to him contentious. In my view, this simply reflects that one can make gratuitous claims about Muslims in the media that would not be permitted to make about Jews.

This exhausts the facts that Lewis disputes in what I’ve written, but does not exhaust his extensive invective. In fact, his attack is an improvement on Danby, who did not dispute anything I have said in his latest diatribe, and even accuses me of comparing Israel to the Nazis, when I have done no such thing and have in the past publically objected to such comparisons.

Finally, I know belief in a giant Loewenstein conspiracy is fashionable among Zionist jingoists, but the claim that Loewenstein is my mentor or whatever simply indicates the sort of mentality that can’t imagine how two Jews could possibly oppose Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

John Kotsopoulos writes: Daniel Lewis wrote: “The reason Loewenstein and Brull appeal to people like Guy Rundle, and other leftist groups, is not because their commentary is especially insightful (it’s not even accurate). But because they call themselves Jewish, and thus have a novel defence denied to the typical Jew-hating (sorry, anti-Zionist) obsessive.” Not so in my view.

The reason that Loewenstein and Brull have appeal is that are able to see both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and they deny uncompromising Zionists and right-wing reactionaries like Mr. Lewis the cheap and convenient out that anti-Zionists are also anti-Semites.

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