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.

Building a home in Gaza is no easy task

The latest edition of Gaza Gateway:

Building the “perfect home” is a dream shared by many people, especially if you are one of the tenants of the 3,500 homes that were destroyed or of the 56,000 homes that were damaged in last year’s military operation in the Gaza Strip. This week, we’ve pulled together some instructions to help you build your dream house in Gaza. Make sure to keep these useful tips handy!

First of all, because of Israel’s prohibition on the entry of building materials to the Strip since the June 2007 start of the closure, we will need to use locally available materials. Mud will be used to build the foundation and the walls of the house, easily found during the wintertime in Gaza’s natural surroundings. Make sure to avoid collecting mud from areas where raw sewage flows. Have patience, once the ban on the entry of spare parts, equipment and fuel is lifted, the water and sewage systems will operate at better capacity.

We’ll need to mix the mud with gravel. Due to Israel’s ban on the entry of this material, we will use limestone instead. To the limestone-mud mixture, add rocks found scattered around the area and mix for a long time until a thick mass is formed. In order to hasten the hardening of the mud, approach the nearest wheat field, cut off some shafts of wheat, and add them to the mixture. Place the mud into a baking dish, wait until it dries and presto — you now have material to make bricks and begin construction!

Now, to build the house. For the support structures we will need iron. However, as you can already guess, since June 2007, Israel has prevented the entry of iron to the Gaza Strip. If you can afford to pay for the iron available in Gaza coming in via the tunnels at 4000 shekels ($1,060) a ton compared to only 2600 ($690) before the closure, fantastic! If not, you will need to mix sand, straw and glue and then roll the mixture into long beams.

Next, we will use the most basic building material, which we have avoided using so far: cement. Cement, the entry of which is also banned by Israel, will be purchased from the tunnel operators. Due to the fact that cement is extremely expensive — 900 shekels ($238) a ton, compared with about 450 shekels ($119) before the closure — we will only use it to build the bathroom, though we’re itching to use it for the rest of the house!

We’re almost finished. All that’s left to build is the roof and for this we will use plates of glass. Finally, something that is found in Gaza! Despite the prohibition on the transfer of glass to Gaza for two and a half years, since the end of December 2009, glass is no longer considered a security threat, and so far about 100 trucks of glass have entered the Strip.

Now, after all your hard work, turn on the light switch that you’ve just installed and look around at the fruits of your labor. Oh, is there a blackout in the area again? At least you can enjoy the magnificent view of the sky and the light of the stars shining through the glass ceiling of your cozy, little house.

Gisha reiterates its call on Israel to lift the ban on the entry of building materials so that people in Gaza may rebuild their homes with dignity.

no comments – be the first ↪