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 supposed rise of a new Israeli left

(Via Israel: The Only Democracy in the Middle East?)

By Udi Aloni and Ofer Neiman

This article was originally published in Hebrew on March 2nd in  YNet, the website of the mass circulation daily Yediot Achronot.

It seems that for the first time in many years the Israeli peace camp is reaping the fruits of its labor. Alarmed by the success of the struggle, which exposes Israel as an apartheid state, the state’s powerful players have begun a smear, counter-campaign, wasteful and vile, which seeks to sweep Israel’s severe human rights violations under the carpet. The campaign includes, for example, the Reut Institute’s report, which portrays BDS activists as a kind of Elders of Zion cabal, acting according to methods taken from the famous (forged) protocols.

An unprecedented media attack against the “delegitimizers” has also begun. Minister Avigdor Lieberman claimed that their activities are “financed by enemy states”.

All this is taking place against the backdrop of violent, illegal measures taken by the IDF to crush the popular, non-violent Palestinian struggle, including the use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians and mass detention of Palestinian activists, who are held without trial.

The Palestinian reaction to all this is at most occasional stone-throwing according to the “Dromi” law (which has legitimized an Israeli farmer’s fatal shooting of trespassing intruders). This Palestinian response is very moderate/restrained, keeping in mind that a strong and violent army is invading and stealing their land.

No, all this is definitely not some “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” conspiracy. Neither is it the anti-Semitic specter of an old European left. On the contrary, it is a joint effort of large numbers of human beings, in Israel and across the world, inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther-King, Primo Levi and Mahatma Gandhi.

Who would have believed that this authentic and deep-rooted movement of the left, which lacks central leadership, would, at last, be able to destabilize and threaten Israeli complacency?

What is so unique about these new groups? Apparently, it is the Israeli peace camp’s understanding that the struggle for the liberation from occupation and apartheid, by Palestinians in the occupied territory, as well as the liberation from racism and discrimination, by Palestinian citizens of Israel, can only be attained through solidarity and cooperation with those who are occupied and discriminated against.

A new peace and justice camp has joined the Palestinian struggle, from a perspective of humility and solidarity with all those Palestinians who have chosen non-violent means to counter occupation and racism, and gratitude for their having invited Jews to take part in their struggle.

The Israeli establishment, which is used to regarding Israelis as obedient soldiers and Palestinians as suppressed subjects, understands that there is no greater danger to its regime than the emerging binationalist front. If there is no separation between Jews and Arabs, how can they go on controlling us by creating fear and hatred toward the ‘other’?

What is the goal of the struggle? The establishment of one state or two states, based on international law and the basic principle of human equality, regardless of race, religion and gender.

At this time the struggle focuses on two themes:

The first is the joint non-violent demonstrations in Bil’in, Neabi Salah, Ma’asara, Sheikh Jarrah, Ni’lin, the Ajami neighborhood in Jaffa, Lod and any place where institutional Israeli racism rears its ugly head.

The second is the building of a solidarity movement, in Israel and across the world, which supports complete civic equality of all human beings, under the title “BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions”.

It’s not so much about the number of occupation industry products the movement has managed to boycott. The most important criterion is the level of awareness that it has managed to raise in the world, towards the unending injustice carried out by the Israel, with the wide-spread support of its citizens.

Who would have imagined that the crumbling Israeli left would nurture a flowering field of real activism, of young people willing to renounce their privileged status, willing to put themselves in danger and challenge the blatant and illegal racism and apartheid which have become so prevalent in our society. Israeli citizens are willing to step outside of the consensus, for the sake of our society too, and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. These Israeli citizens are not letting anyone soften or whitewash their clear message, be it by offering benefits or by threatening to deprive them of their livelihoods.

To join the BDS movement is to say “yes” to dialogue with the Palestinians, with the world and with the Israeli public which has buried its (collective) head in the sand.

Because it is clear to all who have eyes in their heads that joint non-violent struggle, in the form of demonstrations within the Israeli-controlled realm and sanctions outside of it, is the only action that can successfully produce a counterweight to the nearly complete control of Israeli politics and discourse by the right wing.

And the truth of the matter, when we look at those who are smearing us, is already evident: They are A-F-R-A-I-D!

Udi Aloni is an Israeli-American film maker, whose works include “Left,” “Local Angel,” “Kashmir, Journey to Freedom” and “Forgiveness.” He can be reached through his website.

Ofer Neiman is editor of The Occupation Magazine

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