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.

1948 cannot be forgotten through Israeli legal means

The organisation Zochrot are a group of Israeli citizens working to raise awareness of the Nakba, the 1948 Palestinian catastrophe.

Its head Eitan Bronstein writes in Hebrew (translated below) about Israel’s proposed Nakba law:

The Nakba law is coming up again for consideration in the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, in a more moderate version than before but with the same motivation:  to frighten everyone who wishes to commemorate the human and political tragedy that occurred in 1948, in which the Zionists expelled most of the Palestinian inhabitants of the country and the state of Israel destroyed most of the localities in which they lived.  Those proposing the law hope to mobilize Zionist patriotism by threatening to forbid commemorating Independence Day as a day of mourning.  They are blind, of course, to the historical context, and the development of that tradition among the displaced Palestinians who remained in Israeli territory.  Let us not forget that Arab localities in Israel were ruled by a military government until 1966.  Palestinian citizens were forbidden to travel “beyond the pale” without a permit from the military governor.  On Independence Day all the residents had a vacation, even the Arabs!  The most important place for them to visit was the one where they had lived, to which they were forbidden to return.  As the years went by, and they understood that the Jewish state would never allow them to return home, this event took on a national-political aspect, and in recent years it is celebrated with a “March home” to the remains of one of the localities captured during the nakba.  “Their independence; our Nakba,” became the main slogan of these events.

The government intends to impose economic sanctions on the organizers of these important commemorations, which will only increase the discrimination suffered by Palestinian citizens of Israel.  The economic sanctions contradict the state’s obligation to the welfare of all its citizens, regardless of their political beliefs or national identity.  In recent years, a growing number of Jews have participated in the return marches to Palestinian localities which Israel captured during the Nakba, and support for the right of return is increasing.  These Jews are undermining the ethno-national dichotomy of the slogan, recognizing that the tragedy which occurred in 1948 is part of their own history.  The participation of Jews in events commemorating the Nakba undermines the effort, which is as old as Zionism itself, to bring about confrontation and schism between Arabs and Jews in the country.

It may not come as a surprise that in this difficult time for Israeli public relations efforts, the government disseminates absurd “facts” about the Palestinian refugees.  For example, that they numbered only 320,000, not approximately 800,000, as a result of the Nakba, while 150,000 “were absorbed in Arab countries” and 50,000 “ returned to their countries.”  Such newspeak insults the intelligence of many Israelis, who have known for a long time that the official government explanations for the events of 1948 are intentional lies.

Hundreds of Israelis contact Zochrot every year.  Educators, students, journalists, directors and others who are interested request information which has been concealed for so long about what happened just outside the house where they were born.  The editor of the most comprehensive web site about the Nakba, reports that the number of Israelis entering the site is second only to the number of Palestinians.  These are dramatic developments which no law which tries to compel people to forget the Nakba will be able to stop.

The Nakba is increasingly present in Israeli cultural production, no longer ignored by best-selling books and films by young directors.  Even architects are beginning to show signs of addressing the traditions of local Palestinian architecture.

Despite these positive signs, it is impossible to underestimate the danger presented by the strengthening of anti-democratic currents in Israel.  The present government is acting to greatly restrict the freedom of civil society to negotiate with the regime over the most controversial topics.  Arbitrary arrests, outrageous investigations and draconic legislation are what you find in the toolbox of a government which knows that its survival depends on creating a “iron wall” that, for now, protects the Israeli colonial regime.

Eitan Bronstein

February 2010

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