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.

J Street still has a little fight left for the struggle ahead

I have many issues with J Street (see here), but good on its head Jeremy Ben-Ami challenging the Israeli government over its increasingly erratic public statements:

Being an Israeli ambassador these days can’t be easy. On the one hand, you’re working for a prime minister whose strong suit is public relations, who at least talks of peace with the Palestinians and who has consistently judged that engaging in the diplomatic process rather than refusing to talk plays better with domestic and international audiences.

On the other hand, you’re working for a foreign minister who seems to have missed Diplomacy 101 during his orientation. This boss dismisses traditional diplomacy as “groveling” and prefers that Israel lecture the world rather than engage it.

Talk about a rock and a hard place. As one of your bosses talks up the Israeli interest in negotiation and compromise, the other pulls the country unflinchingly toward a racist, undemocratic future.

Along comes a pro-Israel lobby anxious to support the government if it moves beyond speeches about peace to serious action to end the occupation and save the country’s Jewish and democratic character – and what should you do?

ONE NATURAL diplomatic instinct might be to build the biggest possible tent for pro-Israel advocacy, including those who disagree at times with government policies.

If you happened to be a student of history and a more-than-casual observer of the American Jewish community, you would undoubtedly note that Israeli ambassadors have long dealt with pro-Israel groups who disagree publicly (and at times vehemently) with the government – whether over Oslo or the Gaza withdrawal or, going back 30 years, over withdrawal from the Sinai.

However, returning home to Jerusalem this past week, you would have gotten little clear guidance from your bosses. You would have heard the prime minister say that the conditions are ripe for a peace agreement with the Palestinians and the foreign minister calling those same Palestinians a “bunch of terrorists” with whom there is no chance of achieving peace for a generation.

7 comments ↪
  • Shaun

    "If you happened to be a student of history and a more-than-casual observer of the American Jewish community, you would undoubtedly note that Israeli ambassadors have long dealt with pro-Israel groups who disagree publicly (and at times vehemently) with the government"

    And there's the problem.  Most Jewish and Israeli leaders have reached the conclusion that J-Street is not a "Pro-Israel" group.  With funding from all the usual Israel-hating suspects and a policy platform that is rejected by overwhelming majorities of both American and Israeli Jews, J-Street simply doesn't offer anything that isn't already available from any one of the dozens of groups that don't hide their hostility to Israel.  J-Street Board member Hanna Rosenthal was recently appointed as Obama's Office for combatting anti-Semitism and the first person she criticises from that bully pulpit is Israel's ambassador to the USA.  Not Hamas, not Hezbollah, not the resurgence of neo-Nazism in Eastern Europe and former Soviet States.  Not even a mention of the murder at the Washington Holocaust museum.  Nope, her first target for criticism was an Israeli Jew.   Sorry but their claim of being "pro-Israel, Pro-Peace" just isn't taken seriously anymore.

  • John Ryan

    Cant be taken seriously any more so says Shaun the Irish Israeli,member of the propaganda Dept,and all round BS and liar,a man paid to cover up and abuse anyone who disagrees with the official Govt line,which you toe very well Shaun. When is a wall not a wall when Shaun says so,when is a settler not a murderer and a land thief when Shaun says so,what happens when you wage total war against women and children,why there all terrorists,says Shaun from the Propaganda Dept ,keep trying Shaun because you like your masters are running out of friends, and the old BS don't go over as well as it used to

  • Shaun

    Nice way to crap all over Antony and his latest post asking for us to "Debate freely, disagree and argue, but don’t resort to abuse."

    John, you don't know me or my family history any more than I know yours.  Although it doesn't have any bearing on the validity of my comments, I can asure you that I have never set foot in Ireland but I have lived in Israel.  If you have nothing to bring to this forum other than dreary personal attacks, please save Antony the effort of deleting your comments and just don't bother.

    Now we'll wait to see if Antony is a man of his word or if he can only delete comments from people who disagree with him.

  • Mallee

    John Ryan,

    Hard to see any persoanl abuse in your comments. Some seem to be getting a bit sensitive.

    "Ireland'!!!???

  • Shaun

    Nah, theres nothing personal about calling someone full of BS and a liar, accusing them as being a member of some 'propoganda department" , slave to some "masters" or making stupid assumptions about a person on the simple basis of their name

    "persoanl"!!!???

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Squeek squeek, Shaun…when are you going to realise that you're fighting a lost cause?…keep up the good work on behalf of HAMAS.

  • Peter D

    J Street is just another front organization for a substantial minority of the Jewish community to feign that they care and are forthrightly embarrassed that Israel is an ethnic-cleansing, illegally-armed, nuclear rogue state.
     
    You just have to look at how overjoyed the lunatic-fringe Jews (i.e. the remaining majority of Jews) are that they now have a new front organisation to feign outrage over, due to J Street’s “reckless pandering to the terrorists.”
     
    The charade isn’t going to last for much longer. I give it a decade. Then it’ll either be a Palestine for one and all, or a nuclear wasteland. Depending on what the lunatics decide.