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.

America signs yet another deal to kiss Israel

On some days, such as today, I look at the Middle East “peace process” and wonder how any serious journalist can’t write about Israel and Palestine and not simply laugh (or cry). Talks, meeting, summits, statements of intent and yet the occupation only grows. A farce allowed to continue by either blind Zionists or bought Palestinians (and a biased media.)

The New York Times reported this week’s meeting between Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas with this inane headline, “In Mideast Peace Bid, Obama Pivots in His Demands“. Well, the Palestinians left empty-handed (not surprising, considering their “leader” is a corrupt and complicit man) and the Israelis are allowed to continue building illegal settlements.

Obama himself, speaking at the UN, issued more pretty sounding words with utterly no political clout behind them:

We must remember that the greatest price of this conflict is not paid by us. It is paid by the Israeli girl in Sderot who closes her eyes in fear that a rocket will take her life in the night. It is paid by the Palestinian boy in Gaza who has no clean water and no country to call his own. These are God’s children. And after all of the politics and all of the posturing, this is about the right of every human being to live with dignity and security. That is a lesson embedded in the three great faiths that call one small slice of Earth the Holy Land. And that is why – even though there will be setbacks, and false starts, and tough days – I will not waiver in my pursuit of peace.

Nice, but Israel is playing Washington for fools. Nothing on the ground in Palestine has really changed. The colonisation continues apace. Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery is disappointed that Obama hasn’t achieved more (er, anything). It’s a shame people like him are still foolishly hoping for a US President to fairly deal with the Middle East. It isn’t going to happen. Hence the importance of a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, a civil and non-violent way to effect change. And it’s growing in power.

But back to this week’s New York meeting (here’s a small selection of Jewish commentators on the event, mostly saying that Israel is the undoubted winner. No kidding.)

J Street, desperate to appear positive and pro-Obama, released a statement with Obama-style platitudes:

J Street welcomes today’s trilateral meeting between President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Abbas.

We applaud the serious commitment President Obama has demonstrated since the first day of his Presidency to personally engage in a sustained and active pursuit of a negotiated, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

With the continued wide gaps between the parties readily apparent, with the window of opportunity for a two-state solution rapidly closing, and with little political leadership coming from the parties or the region, the only hope for progress lies with strong, sustained U.S. leadership.

We urge the parties and the administration to use today’s meeting as a starting point to get to the negotiating table as quickly as possible with concrete plans for addressing final status issues.

The two-state solution and a comprehensive, regional peace agreement are still the only way to ensure Israel’s long-term security as a Jewish, democratic homeland and to advance U.S. interests in the region.

The status quo is unsustainable and the time has come to move beyond process and toward peace – and to address tough questions and make difficult choices. In short, it is time for real leadership.

J Street looks to President Obama to take the bold steps necessary to move toward the resolution of the conflict so needed by both peoples and in the interests of the United States and all the people of the region.

Sigh.

The clearest evidence possible that America wants to continue its unquestioning relationship with Israel is this news:

The Obama administration will not allow the Goldstone report recommendations on Israel’s conduct in the Gaza war to reach the International Criminal Court.

A top White House official told Jewish organizational leaders in an off-the-record phone call Wednesday that the U.S. strategy was to “quickly” bring the report — commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council and carried out by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone — to its “natural conclusion” within the Human Rights Council and not to allow it to go further, Jewish participants in the call told JTA.

The report said the U.N. fact-finding mission investigating Israel’s conduct during the January 2009 war found evidence of Israeli war crimes. Israel has denied the allegations and said the report’s mandate was biased — an opinion echoed by U.S. officials.

The Obama administration is ready to use the U.S. veto at the U.N. Security Council to deal with any other “difficulties” arising out of the report, the White House official said Wednesday. The administration also has made clear to the Palestinian Authority that Washington is not pleased with a P.A. petition to bring the report’s allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court.

The official said the Obama administration’s view was that the report was flawed from its conception because the mandate presumed a priori that Israel had violated war crimes and that the mandate ignored Hamas’ role in prompting the war through its rocket fire into Israel.

War crimes committed by Israel? Never, says Washington, they’re our friends.

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