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.

Are all Israelis legitimate targets of protest?

I’m not sure what I think of this. Protesting the mere presence of an Israeli tennis player (as happened in New Zealand last week) is curious. Israel player Shahar Peer is playing at the Australian Open in Melbourne. From the Melbourne Age:

The planned protest has sparked irate emails to the website of Australians for Palestine, has been condemned by Jewish groups in Melbourne and has been widely reported in Israel.

As part of the protest, Australians for Palestine has pasted a poster around Melbourne that shows Ms Peer, who did Israel’s compulsory national service, in a military uniform while a picture of a distressed child from Gaza is superimposed on her tennis racquet.

Highlighting Israel’s shocking human rights record is important but is the aim now to target anybody from Israel who doesn’t come out publicly and challenge the state’s crimes?

A discussion worth having.

9 comments ↪
  • S. Kenan

    Hi Antony, I agree. this is a topic worth discussing. Mis-spent energy and questionable to target this Israeli tennis player. Focus on positives regarding Palestinians is important as well as condemning the IDF and Israeli state power.

  • jonathon miller

    It is a complex question. Who is a part of the military occupation and who isn't? Israel is a militarised society, you more or less cannot live there, except in certain circumstances, as a citizen of the state without complying with military service. This kind of targeted protest may have the potential to help further force open a discussion on the de-militarisation of Israeli society (ending conscription) as a key aspect of normalisation and reconciliation with the Palestinian people.

  • Paul

    Absolutely all Israelis should be boycotted and I would go so far as to say that all Jews should be targeted too.  All Jews wherever they live must be isolated and vilified until they publicly renounce support for Israel.

  • Maronite

    All Israeli public institutions including sporting bodies should be targeted and the reason being is that Israeli's do not discriminate when it comes to killing Palestinian Militants or Palestinian Civilians. Paradoxically, the Palestinians also target civilians but in essence have been dehumanised by a complicit Israeli population (None of us could imagine what is going through the head of a person who wants to kill themselves). 

    I don't condone terrorism but I think as long as Israel brutally oppresses the Palestinians the ball will always be in their court.  

  • philip mendes

    Unusual insight from Antony. We went to the tennis today to watch Shahar Peer, and keep an eye on the threatened Palestinian boycott protest. There were many Israelis (and local Jews) in the crowd, but alas no pro-Palestinian protesters . Maybe they realized they would be outnumbered, or maybe just didn’t bother to turn up. Maybe they finally realized there was something inherently racist about boycotting an academic or a sports player just because they happened to be Israeli.

  • Kevin Charles Herber

     

     

    All Israelis should be reminded of what anti fascist groups around the globe think of the quasi theocracy government & its Opposition.

    South African sportsmen & women were subjected to the same kind of pressure when that country had a similar pariah status to Israel's.

    Peer's discomfort at being targetted is a picnic compared to what the Israeli Government is continuing to do to Gazans as we speak.

     

     

  • The South African apartheid regime was the target of many protests of different kinds around the world. One of the most potent weapons was the sports boycott because white South Africans were sports-mad and were much affected by cricket and rugby (union) boycotts and demonstrations wherever the Springboks played.

    This young Israeli tennis player is a target for demonstrations not only because she is an Israeli sports-person but also because of the publicity she was involved with for the IDF (See Sol Salbe's report on her activities in relation to her army service.

    It is either right to target Israelis for who they are and what they do, or it is not.

    If you believe, as I passionately do as a South African who lived in South Africa through some of the worst excesses of the apartheid regime – although worse were to come after I left the country in 1978 – that boycotts should be applied under all circumstances and involving all aspects of society, then the demonstrations against this tennis player are legitimate. Black South Africans – those who were oppressed in every way possible by a police state regime – were mostly in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) despite the fact that they would suffer even more than they already were. They saw this as a necessary consequence of the attempt to cripple the regime economically – and it worked in the end.

    Unless there is concerted international effort to exert the same sort of pressure on Israel, the Palestinian situation will not be able to be changed.

    The Israeli tennis player is but one small cog in a very large wheel, but every little effort counts, and should be proceeded with.

  • I disagree that they were protesting simply because she was Israeli. Shahar Peer is the poster girl of the IDF, not some innocent bystander. She even told the press in New Zealand that having the protesters there helped her game!

    You can read about the background in my article for GLW from March 09 at &lt ;http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/786/40451>.
     

     

     

     

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