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.

If only Israel had more people like Gideon Levy

The totally unique Israeli journalist Gideon Levy is interviewed by the Electronic Intifada and doesn’t hold back:

The Israeli media, which is a free media, free of censorship, free of governmental pressure, has been dehumanizing the Palestinians, demonizing them. Without the cooperation of the Israeli media, the occupation would not have lasted so long. It is destructive in ways I cannot even describe. It’s not Romania, it’s not Soviet Russia. It’s a free democracy, the media could play any role but it has chosen to play this role. The main thing is about the flow of information. It is so one-sided, so much propaganda and lies and ignorance.

The great man’s words in action (his latest column for Haaretz):

The Palestinians do not want peace. Indeed, they do not even agree to speak with us. While the leaders of the only country in the Middle East (well, not the only country) whose universal greeting is the word “shalom” take every opportunity to shout “let’s talk,” it is the Palestinians who are refusing the outstretched hand of peace and proving themselves stubborn in negotiations. They’re not coming. As such, let us use this space to sound a desperate call to their leaders: Let’s talk.

Let’s talk with an Israeli government that boasts of at least six ministers in its “forum of seven” of top decision-makers who say they do not believe in an agreement with you. Ehud Barak, who represents the “leftist” wing in the group, is the father of the “no partner” doctrine that crushed to smithereens the remnants of the Israeli peace camp. To his right sit Moshe Ya’alon and Avigdor Lieberman, Eli Yishai and Benny Begin, all of whom are led by Benjamin Netanyahu. None of these figures believes in an agreement with you, non-partners that you are. It is only America they wish to appease.

So come and talk to them. Sit down and talk, without preconditions, with a government that views a temporary cessation of construction in the settlements as an insufferable “edict.” Sit down and talk with those who have long ago decided that Jerusalem and the endless settlement blocs will remain under Israeli sovereignty. Come and talk just like you did with previous governments, those who appeared in photo-ops with you and then settled on your lands, proposed “far-reaching” solutions that fall short of the fair minimum from your standpoint and then kill 1,400 people in Operation Cast Lead.

Come and talk with those who have imposed a brutal siege on your Gaza Strip. Speak with those who are not ready to talk with a movement that captured a majority of votes in a democratic election. Talk with those who imprisoned your founding father in the Muqata, claiming that he is an obstacle to peace, and, after he left the scene, said his successor was “too weak” to make peace. Come and talk with those who claimed that the absence of peace is due to terrorism, and that when there is no terrorism, there is also no peace.

Speak with a society that wants not peace but “separation” from you. Come and talk with those who have jailed 11,000 of your compatriots, some of them without a trial, others of whom are political prisoners, including members of parliament. Talk with those who just recently passed the Nakba Law, the law that denies your tragedy, and the Citizenship Law, which prevents your people, and only your people, the basic right to wed. Come and talk with those who do not recognize your refugee problem and are not ready to even discuss the refugees’ return. Speak to them. Much will come of it for you.

Come and talk with leaders who declared war on the few remaining peace
activists left in their society. Talk with those who shoot demonstrators and arrest them in their homes. Come and talk with a society whose peace camp leader, Yitzhak Rabin, was murdered because of his desire for peace with you. Come and talk with a prime minister who once stood at Zion Square in Jerusalem while protesters brandished doctored photographs of Rabin wearing an SS uniform and said nothing. Come and talk with a country that replaces its government at a dizzying pace, a country in which just two of its prime ministers, in the twilight of their terms in office, were ready to offer you semi-reasonable, minimal proposals before their successors disavowed those offers as if they had never existed. It is with them that you should talk.

Talk with a country that needs to enlist an entire division of soldiers just to evacuate a caravan built by land usurpers. You should believe that its leaders will be strong enough to evict tens of thousands of settlers. Talk with the heads of a society that is mired deep in complacency, one that seriously believes that its army is the most moral in the world, one that has been covering its face for years in light of the harm that army causes to you in its name. Talk with those who have never believed you to be human beings equal in stature to them. Talk with those who believe that they are the chosen people and that this land is theirs alone.

Talk with those who pave highways for use by Jews only, who systematically monitor their Arab citizens and who think that anyone who dares criticize them is anti-Semitic. Talk with those who think that the United States is ensconced in their back pocket, which thus far has proven to be accurate. Talk with them through the “fair” American mediator, the one who always tended to adopt an unfavorable position against you and even sent Jewish Zionist emissaries to serve as middlemen in talks. Just keep your fingers crossed as you hope that America is finally on the verge of an about-face.

Palestinians, opponents of peace that you are, come to the negotiating table. Come and talk peace, then watch as your presence at the table suddenly ushers in peace while the occupation is given the kiss of death.

one comment ↪
  • Marilyn

    Levy is my hero.