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.

Why is even discussing anti-Semitism off-limits?

The Israeli film Defamationslammed by the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick as a work made by “leftist, anti-Israel Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir”, it is actually a fine movie that accuses Jewish groups worldwide of exaggerating anti-Semitism to insulate Israel from criticism – lands in London and makes a splash:

A series of controversial Israeli films are provoking outrage and plaudits in equal measure at the London Film Festival.

The best documentary award has gone to one of the year’s most controversial films.

Defamation is a polemic by Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir. In his expose of America’s Anti-Defamation League (ADL), he claims anti-Semitism is being exaggerated for political purposes. He argues that American Jewish leaders travel around the world exploiting the memory of the Holocaust to silence criticism of Israel.

He gets inside the ADL, which claims to be the most powerful lobby group of its type anywhere in the world. With unprecedented access, he travels with them as they meet foreign leaders, and use the memory of the Holocaust to further their pro-Israeli agenda.

At one point, an ADL leader admits to Shamir that “we need to play on that guilt”.

Shamir says his film, Defamation, started out as a study of “the political games being played behind the term anti-Semitism”.

“It became more a film about perceptions and the way Jews and Israelis choose to see themselves and define themselves – a lot of the time unfortunately choosing the role of eternal victims as a way of life.”

Israel’s national psyche

He wanted to find out how this mentality has become part of Israel’s national psyche.
The film suggests that the attitude is thrust upon children from an early age. School trips to concentration camps in Poland run year-round.

From just 500 children in the 1980s, he claims around 30,000 are now flown to Europe every year.

He discovers that the trips are not designed to educate, but to provoke an emotional reaction. They fly out of Israel euphoric, and end their journey in tears, talking about their shared hatred.

They are accompanied by secret service agents who prevent them from talking to any locals – they are led to believe that most Poles are anti-Semites.

The end result is disturbing. The victim mentality is being used to justify Israel’s occupation and colonisation of the West Bank and siege of Gaza.

In the film, one Israeli Jew tells Shamir that she refuses to get upset by Israeli aggression against the Palestinians because “we” faced worse. To her, the Holocaust justifies anything the Israeli army does.

And for Shamir, that is the real danger. “We are experiencing the most right-wing government we’ve ever had, and there is very little room for discussion. Putting so much focus on hate and the negative, I don’t see it as a healthy thing.”

In Israel, the film has received a mixed response. “It’s kind of a love or hate type of response to the film,” Shamir says. “It’s very hard to get people to come and watch documentaries in the cinemas in Israel.”

Touchy subject

In the UK, too, there is anger towards Defamation.

Mark Gardiner from one of Britain’s biggest anti-Semitism campaign groups, the Community Security Trust, believes the film could put Jews at risk.

“All of a sudden some bloke appears out of nowhere, oh he’s an Israeli, oh he’s a Jew, therefore what he says must have more credence than what organisations like my own and the ADL have said for years – I think that shows a deep-seated bias.” And he is furious at the suggestion that anti-Semitism is being used for political purposes.

“This assumption that people are saying it because they’re being malicious, because they know that it’s not anti-Semitic, but hey lets use anti-Semitism in order to win the Israel case, that’s what I find really really offensive,” Gardiner says.

Shamir is not surprised by reactions like that.

“Anti-Semitism is a very touchy subject and making a film about anti-Semitism is almost like walking on thin ice, you’re going to hurt people’s feelings.”

Martial Kurtz from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) believes the film can make a difference to activists like him.

He says all too often Israel’s supporters label groups like the PSC as anti-Semitic.

It should be noted, in praise of Israel, that a film also screened in London, Eyes Wide Open, about the love between two Orthodox, Jewish men. The fact that such a work even exists is testamount to a spirit of openness in certain Israeli circles.

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