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.

The easy steps for Israel to kill enemies in Dubai and make many more enemies in the process

The case of murdered Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai has become a global story. Perhaps the likely culprits (Israel?) are happy about this – after all, the Hamas man is dead – but I doubt it. The Jewish state is once again in the spotlight, its blatantly illegal actions throwing light on the country’s behaviour.

Australian journalist Paul McGeough, author of the book Kill Khalid, about the failed Israeli assassination of Hamas leader Khalid Mishal, provides some historical context for the Mossad essentially harvesting fake passports to carry out its activities:

Now what happened when I came across in researching the Khalid Mishal incident was that quite often what the Israelis do is they borrow the details of a passport, either as a traveller who is going through Immigration.

Or they you know on a Kibbutz or somewhere like that, several of these people are living on Kibbutz’s. They get a friendly operative within the Kibbutz to borrow the passport or simply to purloin it and (inaudible) the details and then they use it to their own end.

Now the Mossad runs what they call their passport factory, Victor Piotrowski, the Canadian-Israeli former Mossad agent wrote graphically about this in his book where he saw thousands of passports from all different countries around the world stockpiled in the passport factory where they could be called upon as need be.

The Israeli press has been having a field-day with this story. Yossi Melman in Haaretz essentially becomes a spokesman for the Mossad itself:

Unless dramatic evidence is found to definitively prove an Israeli connection, it is likely that the State of Israel will emerge from this affair unblemished and the Mossad will continue enjoying a reputation of fearless determination and nearly unstoppable capabilities.

This story in Haaretz is perhaps the strangest of all (from a journalist on the paper who looks very similar to one of the alleged suspects of the killing):

Between the tomatoes and eggplants in my local supermarket yesterday, just as I finished loudly blowing my nose and cursing my recent allergy attacks, an elderly woman approached me and tapped my shoulder. “Good for you,” she said. “You showed those Arabs.”

I nodded in agreement, quickly put away the tissue and straightened my back. After all, my new position as a high-ranking Mossad agent requires a certain dignified mien.

The first phone call came at 8 A.M., when my mother asked gently if I had recently been abroad. Then others called, congratulating me on the outstanding cover story I’d chosen as Haaretz education correspondent, and asking why I hadn’t brought them cigarettes from the Duty Free in Dubai.

Walking the streets, I noticed people were looking at differently – or at least that’s what I told myself.

My wife, of course, was less impressed by my appearance in newspapers the world over as “Kevin Daveron,” a supposed Irishman named by Dubai police as commander of the assassination squad sent to eliminate Hamas strongman Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at his hotel in the emirate.

As usual, Gideon Levy provides the moral heart of the incident:

Only a few weeks have passed since the finest security pundits were wallowing in well-orchestrated magazine cover stories and articles of appreciation for the head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan. These pieces almost totally ignored his dark past in Gaza and Lebanon and adulated his adventurism. We have long forgotten that the Mossad is supposed to be an intelligence-gathering organization, not one that sows death, and that a lawful state does not operate hit squads. To the roars of approval by the pundits, Dagan has just been given another year on job, his eighth. Why? Partly because he’s a specialist at liquidation.

But we shouldn’t complain about Dagan. He has the right to propose reckless operations to his heart’s desire, of the kind that will earn him and his organization compliments and budgets. The responsibility for liquidations lies with the person who approves them, namely Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who learned nothing from the Khaled Meshal fiasco in 1997 and has struck again (if indeed Israel did it) – yet another margin note for the debate about whether Bibi has changed, whether there’s a “new Netanyahu.”

We can believe that the Mossad actually carried out everything that has been ascribed to it, and we can even agree that Mabhouh deserved to die. It’s also possible to understand the desire to take revenge and punish him, as well as the need to combat weapons smuggling into Gaza. We can also continue ignoring, as is our wont, the motive for terrorism: the Israeli occupation. But after the liquidation of Mabhouh with a pillow, we are left in a country that not only dispatches assassins, but in which no questions are asked afterward.

no comments – be the first ↪