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.

Another tale of Israel refusing medical care for the Gazan people

Israeli human rights group Gisha released this statement today:

Gisha and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel appealed to the High Court of Justice on behalf of Issam Hamdan against a District Court ruling blocking his exit from Gaza for emergency medical treatment.

·        The State refuses to allow him out of Gaza based on its claim that he may settle in the West Bank after treatment.
·        Mr. Hamdan requires immediate surgical intervention; suffers from severe pain and paralysis of his left side.
·        Israel will bear no cost for the treatment, to be performed in a Palestinian hospital in east Jerusalem, and admits that it makes no security claim against Mr. Hamdan.
·        Mr. Hamdan’s case is part of a new trend in which Israel blocks treatment for Gaza patients, even in the absence of a security claim.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement and Physicians For Human Rights-Israel filed an appeal today (February 9, 2010) in the Supreme Court on behalf of Issam Hamdan against a District Court ruling declining to intervene in a decision by the Israeli military to prevent him from exiting the Gaza Strip in order to receive emergency medical treatment.
Mr. Hamdan, a 40-year-old resident of Gaza, has been suffering for two years from severe back pain due to a protruding disk in the vertebra of his neck, which has caused the almost total paralysis of the left side of his body. Recently, the paralysis has begun to spread to his right side.Due to his deteriorating medical condition and the unavailability of appropriate treatment within the Gaza healthcare system, he was referred five months ago for emergency neurosurgery at a Palestinian hospital in east Jerusalem. The referral was supported by an Israeli specialist in orthopedic surgery from ShebaHospital in Tel Hashomer, who determined that without immediate surgical intervention, Mr. Hamdan is likely to sustain permanent damage.
For months, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) claimed that its refusal to issue a permit was due to the availability of the necessary medical treatment within the Gaza Strip – even though Palestinian and Israeli doctors determined that the treatment was not available there.Indeed, after Gisha’s Adv. Tamar Feldman filed a petition on Mr. Hamdan’s behalf to the Beersheva District Court, COGAT admitted that the treatment is not available in Gaza but instead justified its refusal with a stated concern that Mr. Hamdan would decide to settle in the West Bank after receiving medical treatment.
Mr. Hamdan has children and family in both Gaza and the West Bank. He has committed to return to Gaza, where he lives with his parents and his oldest daughter, of whom he has sole custody, after completion of treatment.He is also willing to commit to refrain from entering the West Bank, where his wife and four of his children live.
Judge Rachel Barkai, who presided over the case in the District Court, conceded that, “There is no dispute that at this time the petitioner needs surgical intervention unavailable in a Gaza hospital.” However, despite this and the fact that the State did not provide any evidence in support of its claim, Judge Barkai denied the petition anyway, writing that:“In balancing the values on both sides of the scales – on one hand, the need for medical treatment, and on the other hand, the concern that he will take advantage of his entry permit in order to relocate, the respondents’ refusal to permit the petitioner’s entry to the territory of the State of Israel does not justify judicial intervention.”
Judge Barkai also ruled that Israel bears no duty to concern itself with the welfare and healthcare of residents of the Gaza Strip.That determination contradicts the judgments of the Israeli Supreme Court,which expressly stated that Israel bears humanitarian obligations towards the residents of the Gaza Strip stemming from the law of combat, the control that Israel exercises over Gaza’s crossings, and the Gaza Strip’s dependence on Israel resulting from the long years of Israeli occupation in Gaza. The position of Gisha and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel is that Israel also owes obligations to Gaza residents under the law of occupation.
In light of the absence of any security claim whatsoever against approving the request, it is not clear to the appellant why the respondents refused his request and why the lower court rejected his petition, preventing him from receiving urgent and vital medical treatment,” Gisha’s Adv. Tamar Feldman wrote in the appeal. “The extended proceedings in the appellant’s case are prolonging his suffering and frustrating his chances of treating his serious ailment.”
Physicians for Human Rights–Israel is aware of two other cases of patients who, like Mr. Hamdan, have recently been refused permission by Israel to leave Gaza in order to receive medical treatment based on the claim that they may settle in the West Bank.This is a new phenomenon that reflects an escalation in Israeli policy toward residents of Gaza who require medical treatment.The policy violates the basic rights of patients to receive medical care, including in emergency cases, putting political considerations ahead of Israel‘s duty to safeguard the health of residents of Gaza.
one comment ↪
  • Mallee

    Send the poor blighter to Haiti and then the Israeli medical team can work on him there and we can see it all on TV.