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.

AIPAC is a nice show but the chaos continues in the Holy Land

So, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells the Zionist lobby AIPAC faithful that (illegal) settlements in East Jerusalem are staying and expanding:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told AIPAC activists that “Jerusalem is not a settlement,” and also depicted the Palestinian Authority as not taking steps for peace.

During the comments on Jerusalem, the 8,000 American Israel Public Affairs Committee activists packed into the Washington Convention Center burst into lengthy cheers Monday evening, underscoring how the U.S.-Israel tensions over Israeli building in the eastern part of the city have yet to subside.

In her own address Monday morning to the annual policy conference, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state, described building in eastern Jerusalem as frustrating an “atmosphere of trust.”

Netanyahu, who had met Clinton earlier Monday, told the AIPAC crowd that building in Jerusalem was a natural Jewish right, but stopped short of pledging to keep launching new building projects.

“The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 year ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today,” he said. “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital.”

Netanyahu also depicted the Palestinian Authority as not taking steps for peace. “What has the Palestinian Authority done for peace?” Netanyahu said. “They have placed preconditions on peace talks, waged a relentless international campaign to undermine Israel’s legitimacy, and promoted the notorious Goldstone Report that falsely accuses Israel of war crimes.”

Netanyahu blamed the Palestinian Authority for continued incitement.  “A few days ago, in a public square near Ramallah, the Palestinians named this square after a terrorist who murdered 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children, including the murder of an American photographer, Gail Rubin, and the Palestinian Authority did nothing.”

The Palestinian Authority has refused to rejoin talks with Israel until it imposes an absolute settlement freeze; the Netanyahu government has imposed a partial freeze and has improved movement in the West Bank.

“President Abbas, come and negotiate peace,” Netanyahu said. Peace, he said, was not sustainable when “Israel makes all the concessions and the Palestinian Authority makes none.”

In her speech, Clinton blamed the incident involving the square on the Palestinian Authority’s Hamas rivals.

Clinton’s address was hardly radical but certainly insisted that business as usual was now unacceptable in the Middle East. Hold back the money, Hillary, and then explain to the Jewish state that its behaviour is against peace. They’ll come begging soon enough when they can’t buy the latest weapon to kill Palestinians.

But perhaps the weirdest event of the day in Washington was this:

Rival Israel activists locked horns at Monday’s AIPAC conference in Washington as leading pro-Israel commentator Alan Dershowitz launched a blistering attack on pro-peace group J Street.

J Street representative Hadar Susskind was in the middle of an interview with Haaretz when Dershowitz let fly with a verbal onslaught against the group, which has openly criticized the Israeli government over its West Bank settlement policy.

Dershowitz accused J Street of dividing the Jewish community.

“I reject J Street because it spends more time criticizing Israel than supporting it,” he said. “They shouldn’t call themselves pro-Israel.

The combative Harvard law professor said that he too opposed settlements. “But I spend 80 per cent of my time supporting Israel,” he said.

He added: “It’s a shame that J Street has set itself up as an independent lobby.”

The sort of supporters J Street was attracting to its conferences showed that the group was damaging to Israel, Dershowitz said.

“If you invite [former U.S. Secretary of State] Zbigniew Brzezinski you are not pro-Israel,” Dershowitz told Susskind. “You should ask yourself why Norman Finkelstein loves you,” he said, referring to the noted leftwing American political commentator.

Responding to the attack, Susskind told Haaretz:

“No single community speaks with one voice. There are differences – but you won’t force other Jewish organizations to shut down just because of differences of opinion.”

Susskind told Haaretz that some fellow conference delegates had raised eyebrows, asking him what is was doing there.

“I’ve met people here that took part in our conference too. They are all Israel supporters and it doesn’t matter if they are at AIPAC or J Street,” he said.

He added: “We have disagreements with AIPAC that I don’t want to minimize. But we are all on the same side.”

And Dershowitz is still seen as a rational voice in the Jewish community? He supports AIPAC, who backs an ever-expanding occupation. Nice friends there.

Jerusalem’s mayor also wants more and more colonies in Jerusalem.

Away from the elaborate theatre in the US, Israel becomes more racist by the day:

The Knesset yesterday put Israeli democracy to shame when it passed the “Nakba Law” at first reading with a majority of 15 against eight.

If the law is passed at second and third readings it will be able to deprive bodies of state support and fine them if they mark Independence Day as a day of mourning, or if they hold memorial events for the Palestinians’ “catastrophe” in 1948.

The proposal adopted at the end of the Knesset’s winter session was “moderate” compared to the original one initiated by MK Alex Miller of Yisrael Beiteinu. It stipulates fining public institutions that hold activity “denying Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state,” and activity supporting armed struggle or terror against the state, inciting to racism or degrading the state’s flag or symbol.

And this:

The establishment of an “infiltrators’ city” next to the border with Egypt that would be built by illegal residents from Africa, which would be the only place they could live; hiring these refugees and immigrants to do state sponsored labor such as building the new border fence and paving roads for the benefit of the residents of southern Israel — these are just some of the proposals raised by MK Yaakov (Katzele) Katz of the National Union and chairman for the Knesset committee to examine the problems of the foreign workers, to battle the phenomenon of the infiltration of tens of thousands of refugees and African work immigrants into Israel.

And back in the heart of the American Jewish community, the New Yorker’s editor David Remnick doesn’t want to shock his readers too much – after all, American Jews have largely shut their eyes to what is truly happening in the West Bank and Gaza – but at least he manages this:

Without the creation of a viable contiguous Palestinian state, comprised of a land area equivalent to all of the West Bank and Gaza (allowing for land swaps), and with East Jerusalem as its capital, it is impossible to imagine a Jewish and democratic future for Israel. There is nothing the Israeli leadership could do to make the current fantasy of an indifferent American leadership become a reality faster than to get lost in the stubborn fantasy of sustaining the status quo.

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