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.

Israel is either a democracy or Zionist; it can’t be both

The gradual push by Zionist extremists in Israel continues apace. This is not the sign of a democracy:

The Knesset ministerial legislative committee was set to vote Sunday on a bill requiring MKs to take a “loyalty oath” to the Jewish state before taking office.

The bill, proposed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu Party, suggests changing the wording of the current oath taken by MKs so that instead of swearing loyalty to “the State of Israel and its laws,” MKs will be required to vow loyalty to the State of Israel as a “Jewish democratic state.”

The bill was submitted by MK David Rotem, who is currently serving as the chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. He cited participation by Israeli Arab MKs in a pro-Palestinian protest at the Gaza border as the motivation for the bill.

The bill aims to require Israeli Arab MKs, who are not Jewish, to pledge loyalty to the Jewish character of the State of Israel, which by definition marginalizes them as non-Jews.

6 comments ↪
  • Shaun

    So the duly elected representatives of the people of Israel including Arab parliamentarians are getting together to vote on a bill and you consider this ‘undemocratic’?. Seems to me to be the exact definition of a participatory democracy. Perhaps you prefer the typical Arab approach where the thugocracy dictates new laws at a whim and if you don’t like it, you get pushed up against a wall and shot?

  • Shaun

    Sorry – my post above was meant to be in response to Anthony's previous entry.

  • jonathon miller

    Hi Shaun,

    When you make such racist deferrals like essentialising all Arabs as 'Thugs', then all you are doing is relativising democracy as a concept rather than something material. Regimes are not representative of the people who have to live under them, and neither is some token gesture toward 'constituency' demonstrative of a democratic system. Obviously you have no expectations of democracy nor do you understand what it is supposed to be.

    regards.

  • Shaun

    Jonathon,

    Calling someone whos view you disagree with as a 'racist' is a sure sign that your counter-argument is weak.  The simple fact is that the Arab world does have a predisposition towards violent dictatorships and oppressive theocracies which are colloquially known as Thugocracies.  If what you say is true about governments not being representative of its people, then clearly my criticism of Arab governments is not the same as criticism of Arab people and can harldy be called racist.  Given the choice between living with Israel's vigorous democracy and extensive system of checks and balances, and any Arab alternative, it's a no-brainer.    

  • Emma

    Rubbish, Shaun. It's rather common for racists to claim that they dislike the *culture* of the people concerned, not the people themselves. It's pretty damned transparent.

     

    Requiring Arab MPs to take a loyalty oath emphasising the Jewish nature of Israel would be the equivalent of Jewish Australian MPs being required to swear loyalty to Australia as a Christian nation, or requiring an indigenous Australian MP to swear loyalty to Australia as a predominantly white Christian state.  We'd rightly consider that racist, and the Israeli equivalent should also be recognised as racist if we're not going  to be raging hypocrites who are ok with racism as long as it's directed at Arabs. Furthermore, this proposed legislation isn't occurring in a vacuum; it's in the context of Israel's brutal oppression of Arabs in the West Bank and even more so in Gaza, continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank, and continued expulsion of Arabs from their homes. To claim the proposed legislation isn't racist is utterly dishonest.

  • Shaun

    "It’s rather common for racists to claim that they dislike the *culture* of the people concerned, not the people themselves."

    I agree 100%, thats why Jew-haters aren't taken seriously when they claim that they don't have a problem with Jewish people, it's just the culture of Israel that they don't like.  

    In case are you seriously going to argue that the Arab world doesn't have a predisposition towards violent, oppressive, intolerant, mysogynistic, racist, homophobic, theocratic and dictatorial forms of government?  It wouldn't matter if I was the racist that you so quickly and casually accuse me of being – this fact is indisputable.