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.

Extremists should not be welcome in Australia

The following statement was released yesterday by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Sector union:

Kevin Rudd is set to host an Israeli delegation to Australia led by Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom. Shalom is one of the most senior members of the extreme right wing Israeli political party, Likud, forming part of the current Israeli Government.

Shalom recently met with the UN Secretary General to urge him to prevent debate of the Goldstone Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission into the 2008/09 Gaza Conflict. This Report found that both sides had committed war crimes and called for national investigations of these actions.

Shalom and Likud’s opposition to this Report is no surprise given their strong support for the Israeli attack on Gaza in January this year and the ongoing blockade of Gaza by the Israeli Government. This blockade is preventing 100,000 Palestinians with homes destroyed by Israel from rebuilding, through stopping the importation of the necessary building materials from Israel.

In his other role as Minister for Regional Development, Shalom has overseen the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, watch his press conference urging Israeli’s to continue this process (see here). Shalom even opposes the limited freeze on new West Bank settlements recently announced by his Government.

No doubt some trade union apologists for Israel will be out in force to welcome Shalom, pushing their line opposing the growing Israeli boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, in the face of the Palestinian trade union movement that fully supports it (see here).

Just over two months ago, Kevin Rudd in his speech to the UN General Assembly talked of strengthening international law, reaffirming faith in human rights and advancing economic growth and social progress for all. All of these worthy concepts are alien to Shalom and Likud in their treatment of the Palestinians in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories.

We call on Rudd to consider the plight of occupied Palestine and to hold Shalom and Likud to account for their actions and statements, which are making Israel look more like South Africa under apartheid than a modern democratic state.

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Hats off to the CFMEU for their stance. If you write to the ACTU on the Israel issue, they won't even reply.
    But where's the rest of the Labor movement.?
    I'll tell you where…shivering in fright behind behind the Federal Parliamentary Gang of Four….is Julia Irwin the only Federal ALP member with the guts to speak out against Rudd's outrageous use of his office for his personal diplomacy dreams.
    Rudd's had a touch of the foreign policy sun. I won't be voting Labor at the next election..they've lost me until the damage of this issue to our national conscience is undone.

  • ej

    The labour movement shivering in fright behind Parliamentary Labor?

    Not quite. There are strands within the labour movement independently strongly pro-Israel, from which the acquiescent Parliamentary Labor is partly derivative.

    The attraction is both institutional and personal.

    The institutional connection is the ancient links to Histradrut (international labour solidarity blah), under the ongoing mythical notion that Histradrut is a progressive force, whereas it is an integral component of the apartheid state.

    The personal pro-Israel commitment is pervasive (enhanced by being related to or married to Zios).

    Paul Howes, national secretary of the AWU, is the most prominent. But also figures in the MUA, the ASU, the LHMU, CBUS (industry super), etc.