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.

What the Gaza war has done to Israel’s image

The fallout from the UN report on Gaza continues.

Two pieces have particularly caught my eye.

Here’s Norman Finkelstein on Democracy Now!:

Well, the report is the last in a large number of reports that have been issued on the Gaza massacre. There were two significant reports issued by Amnesty International, five reports issued by Human Rights Watch, and a whole slew of Israeli-based human rights organizations have issued reports. But this was the most awaited report of all of them. It was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council. And Richard Goldstone, as you mentioned in your own introductory remarks, is a significant international figure, legal figure.

So the report basically is consistent with the findings of the other human rights organizations, that Israel targeted civilians, Israel targeted civilians who were carrying white flags, Israel systematically targeted the Palestinian infrastructure. The findings were consistent with those of the other human rights organizations: Israel is guilty of a very significant number of war crimes. And also, the findings which were—other reports, the same conclusions, that the Palestinians were not using hospitals to hide Hamas officials. There’s no evidence that the ambulances Israel targeted were carrying Hamas militants or ammunition. And most significantly, in terms of the coverage during the Gaza massacre, the report found, as did Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, there’s no evidence whatsoever—and I would want to underline that—there’s no evidence whatsoever that Hamas was guilty of human shielding. But on the other hand, there is significant evidence, actually copious evidence, that Israel was guilty of human shielding.

What’s significant about the report, in my opinion, and what’s significant about what happened in Gaza, I think it marks a major turning point. It’s like the Sharpville massacre in South Africa. Now, Sharpville is not Soweto, but Sharpville was a turning point. Richard Goldstone is a liberal. Richard Goldstone is very supportive of Israel. And it’s now marking the breakup of liberal Jewish support for Israel. And as we both know and as all of your listeners know, Jews are overwhelmingly liberal in their sentiment. Seventy-nine percent of Jews in the last election voted for Obama. And what you’re seeing now is the breakup of Jewish support for Israel.

You saw during the Gaza massacre you had some of the old-timers like Alan Dershowitz, Michael Walzer, characters—Martin Peretz, characters like that, you know, kind of comical figures coming out supporting Israel. But if you looked at the younger Jewish—the younger Jewish constituency—bloggers like Matt Yglesias, Glenn Greenwald and so forth—they all opposed the Gaza massacre from almost like day one or day two. And then you had significant defections, like Andrew Sullivan, who—not Jewish, but still a significant figure, who also came out against the Gaza massacre.

So I think now what you’re seeing, especially with the Goldstone report, especially with his stature, especially because he’s Jewish, especially because he’s a liberal, what it’s signaling now, is the breakup of Jewish support and liberal support—and those are basically the same thing—the breakup of liberal Jewish support for Israel.

Larry Derfner in the Jerusalem Post:

Maybe this will do it. Maybe the Goldstone report on Operation Cast Lead will be the thing that finally puts the fear of God into Israeli society, that shocks this country into deciding once and for all that the occupation must come to an end – for our sake if no one else’s.

I don’t want to see Israeli political and military leaders brought to The Hague; I don’t want them to be unable to get off a plane in a foreign capital. It wouldn’t be fair, not if fairness entails equity: There are countless foreign politicians and military men who’ve done much, much worse things than we did in Gaza who roam the world freely.

But if Israelis have a sense of foreboding since Tuesday’s release of the Goldstone report, a fear that the world may really be fed up with our treatment of the Palestinians, then I’m glad. Then I’m hopeful. Because fear is the only thing that might get us to finally set free the 4 million people of Gaza and the West Bank. Of our own accord, of our own moral reckoning, we won’t do it. Four years of intifada bus bombings hardened us for a generation, maybe longer. When it comes to Arabs, we’ve been morally numb for too long to change on our own.

WE JUST don’t get it about Gaza. Why, we wonder, doesn’t the world understand that we fought a just war, that we were defending ourselves?

We’re unable to see that if anybody did to Israel what we did to Gaza in Operation Cast Lead, we wouldn’t be talking about war crimes. We wouldn’t be talking about crimes against humanity. We would be saying, in one voice, that the end of Israel was upon us, and we would be out to obliterate whoever did that to us.

But, we exclaim, what about the context? What about those thousands and thousands of rockets they fired at Sderot? No country would stand for that. We had to go to war.

We’ve become so numb, so brainwashed, that we really believe that that’s all that happened before we started the war, that that’s the entire context. We don’t see what the rest of the world saw – that those thousands and thousands of rockets on Sderot caused a tiny fraction of the death and destruction we caused in Gaza at the same time.

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