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.

Pressure on Israel grows, but what will be the real response?

The latest court gossip about the Israeli/American relationship.

Wake me up when the Jewish state actually reverses any of its occupation.

The Guardian:

King Abdullah of Jordan added to pressure on Israel over its settlements policy today, demanding the international community take firm action over what he called the “red line” of Jerusalem.

Abdullah, a close ally of the US and Britain, demanded “firm, swift, direct and effective action to stop Israel’s provocative measures in Jerusalem that seek to change its identity and threaten holy sites”.

“Jerusalem is a red line and the world should not be silent about Israel’s attempts to get rid of Jerusalem’s Arab residents, Muslims or Christians,” the king told Lady Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, according to a palace statement.

The BBC:

The EU’s new foreign policy chief has arrived in Gaza on one of the highest level visits there by a Western official since Hamas took power.

Baroness Ashton’s trip comes amid a new push by the EU and US to revive stalled Middle East peace talks.

The international quartet of Middle East mediators – the EU, US, UN and Russia – is to meet in Moscow later.

As Lady Ashton arrived, militants in Gaza fired a rocket into Israel, killing a man, Israeli officials said.

The rocket struck the Netiv Ha’assera kibbutz in southern Israel killing a foreign agricultural worker, according to reports.

Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian:

Don’t expect the US to suddenly cancel military and financial aid to Israel, or to stop sharing intelligence. But Washington can display its displeasure in many small but incremental ways, from a critical statement at an international meeting Clinton is attending in Moscow this week to a snub for Netanyahu when he is scheduled to visit DC next week, or an abstention in a United Nations resolution critical of Israel.

Melanie Phillips in the Spectator:

Are we seeing the beginning (heaven forbid) of the Obama intifada?

The escalating Arab rioting today in Jerusalem and the West Bank is undoubtedly being stoked up by the fact that the Obama administration has turned so viciously against Israel. Doubtless as a result the Arabs now smell victory within their grasp and may now unleash another wave of violence against Israelis.

Every single one of their recent ‘grievances’ is not just fabricated but stands history and justice on their heads. The ostensible cause of today’s rioting, the re-opening yesterday of the ancient Hurva synagogue in the heart of the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, is a typical example of this fanatical moral and historical inversion. The Hurva has been under reconstruction for years. The Palestinian campaign of incitement over it carries the message that Jews cannot build places of worship in their own city. And before anyone says any of Jerusalem is ‘occupied Palestinian territory’, it is not and never was ‘Palestinian’. In every single attempt to resolve the Middle East impasse, Jerusalem was always regarded as a special case on its own; and from the mid 19th century onwards it has had uninterruptedly a Jewish majority.

Middle America, those millions of mainly Christian souls who are Israel’s staunchest supporters in the world, should be made aware of what their President is doing – turning the United States into a betrayer of democracy, human rights and the Jewish people to become no less than an accessory to terror.

The Daily Beast:

The flare-up between the U.S. and Israel is sorely testing relations between the two countries. It’s also rousing a group of Americans who have been largely out of the headlines in the Obama era: the religious right, which is rallying to the Netanyahu government’s defense.

Gary Bauer, who advised John McCain on outreach to evangelical groups in 2008 and ran for president himself in 2000, just returned from the Jewish state, where he led 700 supporters in a rally for the Israeli government. Bauer, who now leads the advocacy group American Values, is upset that the Obama administration’s decision to take Israel to task over the new settlements. Perhaps no group has been as unflagging in its back of Israel than evangelicals in the U.S.

“I continue to think it’s odd that the U.S. is suggesting to Israel that there are neighborhoods in Jerusalem where more Jews are not allowed to live,” Bauer told The Daily Beast. “This is the first black president, and that is called segregation.”

Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren:

Israel and America enjoy a deep and multi-layered friendship, but even the closest allies can sometimes disagree. Such a disagreement began last week during Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to Israel, when a mid-level official in the Interior Ministry announced an interim planning phase in the expansion of Ramat Shlomo, a northern Jerusalem neighborhood. While this discord was unfortunate, it was not a historic low point in United States-Israel relations; nor did I ever say that it was, contrary to some reports.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no desire during a vice presidential visit to highlight longstanding differences between the United States and Israel on building on the other side of the 1949 armistice line that once divided Jerusalem. The prime minister repeatedly apologized for the timing of the announcement and pledged to prevent such embarrassing incidents from recurring. In reply, the Obama administration asked Israel to reaffirm its commitment to the peace process and to its bilateral relations with the United States. Israel is dedicated to both.

To achieve peace, Israel is asked to take monumental risks, including sacrificing land next to our major industrial areas and cities. Previous withdrawals, from Lebanon and Gaza, brought not peace but rather thousands of rockets raining down on our neighborhoods.

Though Israel will always ultimately rely on the courage of its own defense forces, America’s commitment to Israel’s security is essential to give Israelis the confidence to take risks for peace. Similarly, American-Israeli cooperation is vital to meeting the direst challenge facing both countries and the entire world: denying nuclear weapons to Iran.

Israel appreciates President Obama’s commitment to a comprehensive peace that guarantees Israel’s security and Jewish identity, and provides for a Palestinian state. To ensure that such a state is peaceful, Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that it must be demilitarized and that Palestinians must recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, just as Israel is asked to recognize a future Palestinian state as the nation-state of the Palestinians.

The Independent:

Ask Rabbi Sam White what he thinks of the global political row over plans to expand the community in which he lives, prays and studies, and he answers bluntly: “I don’t see the problem. God gave us the land of Israel.” The notion that the location of Ramat Shlomo, on land occupied after the 1967 Six Day War and officially expropriated six years later, might belong to another people is wholly alien to the 32- year-old Salford-born rabbi. “There’s no question. It’s in the Torah, which says that God gave the land to the Jewish people.”

We are talking in a gabled brown brick house which, incongruously set amid the rows of plain white multi-storey apartment buildings in this hilltop settlement of some 18,000 in the north of Jerusalem, looks as if it might have been transplanted from another country. Which in a sense it was. For this is the Chabad House, the community base of the famous Hasidic sect which still reveres the leadership of the late Lubavicher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, its architecture a replica of the movement’s world headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

And Rabbi White is as opposed to territorial compromise of any part of the greater “land of Israel” – stretching, in his view, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean – as his spiritual leader was throughout his long life. “Look what happened in Gaza, when they took the people from Gush Katif [the main settlement bloc in the territory dismantled by Ariel Sharon in 1995],” he says. “An Israel in pieces is not an Israel at peace.”

Israel is being asked to consider a “settlement freeze” in East Jerusalem, which will in all likelihood be as farcical as the “settlement freeze” in the West Bank. ie. building will continue while the rhetoric will change:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been presented with a new proposal according to which construction in Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem that are located behind the Green Line will be reduced, while Jewish construction in Arab neighborhoods will be frozen altogether, Ynet reported Thursday.

A similar proposal was brought before the “forum of seven ministers,” but was apparently rejected by right-wing members of cabinet. President Shimon Peres, who met with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday, supports the proposal.

Jewish construction in east Jerusalem has gained momentum since Mayor Nir Barkat took office.

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