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.

What is happening to the war-scarred children of Gaza?

I’ve been publishing the compelling stories by Australian Donna Mulhearn during her recent trip to Gaza.

Here’s her latest and last reflections:

Dear friends,

The children concentrated hard as they drew the blood spurting out of bodies, the helicopters firing bullets onto people below, the aeroplanes dropping bombs. They also drew weary palm trees, grey clouds and houses broken in two.

But it was one child’s depiction of the sun that really broke my heart. In this drawing, the scenes of war were graphically depicted in a typical child-like way, and in the top left-hand corner, watching on, was the sun. It was coloured bright yellow, with rays extending towards the earth. It had large blue eyes, with big eyelashes, and little red lips. It looked similar to the way many children around the world would draw the sun.

Except this sun, the sun in Gaza, had tears falling down its cheeks.

The sun was crying. In the mind of this little boy from Gaza, his view of our world is of chaos around him and a sun that is crying.

We were in a dim, concrete back room of a building in one of Gaza’s poorest neighbourhoods. The children, aged from 4 years to about 10 sat cross-legged in a circle and quietly drew their pictures as we looked on. They were not fidgeting, or playing up, or distracted by our presence. They were strangely silent as they carefully drew.

These children have been diagnosed as suffering acute post-traumatic stress disorder. We were at a play therapy group established by the Palestinian Trauma Centre. The Centre hopes to respond to the devastating impact that last year’s attack had on the children of Gaza; the children endured its missiles, bullets, bombs and screams, day in day out.

The teacher invited the children to stand up and, one by one, explain their pictures. Our host whispered the translation to us as they held their pictures and spoke matter-of-factly.  After a minute of this, I turned my head to face the wall, so the children didn’t see me crying.

There were stories of being trapped under rubble in the dark and screaming and screaming some more and fighting their way out, only to find the bodies of their family lying dead in the ruins. There were stories of children holding the bodies of a parent, or grandparent after a missile attack, cradling them as life left their bodies. There were stories of sisters and brothers and cousins they used to have. And there were pictures of the houses they once lived in, now just rocks and rubble.

You can see some of the pictures here.

These are the stories of the little children of Gaza. Stories of things they should never see, or imagine, let alone experience for themselves.

But they did. And now the children of Gaza live the nightmare of trauma within a nightmare of occupation and siege. And it’s making them sick: sleepless, withdrawn, listless, angry. Physically ill.

The Palestinian Trauma Centre has conducted studies which conclude that most Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been subjected to the symptoms of trauma and that 41% of children and their families are suffering serious mental illness and psychological disorders. Since the attack on Gaza last year, in which more than 1400 people were killed, including about 300 children, these figures would now be much worse.

There was another drawing that took my breath away. Created by a 10-year-old girl, it was simply a large eye on page. A carefully drawn eye: with black outline, eyebrows, and eyeballs coloured in light blue with a white pupil. And again there were tears falling from the eye. This time they were tears of blood, coloured dark red.

A child psychologist from the UK who was with us, observed how the drawing has none of the hallmarks of typical children’s pictures. He said the girl must have been in a state of psychosis when she drew it. Perhaps, like so many in Gaza, she had lost the will to live?

An eye with tears of blood and a sun that cries – these images are coming from deep within the little girls and boys of Gaza.

The little children of Gaza will grow up, one day.

Between now and then, I wonder, what has to be done to take the tears away?

Your pilgrim,

Donna

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