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.

Insecure Zionism, an ongoing series

Another nail in the coffin of Israeli “democracy”, a fanciful word that always meant discrimination against non-Jews:

A new report and billboard campaign launched by Israeli group Im Tirtzu – the Second Zionist Revolution” accuses at least twelve Israeli human rights groups of support for or involvement in the indictment of Israeli officials for serious violations of international law in courts overseas, under the principle of ‘universal jurisdiction’ (see below).

Launched to coincide with Israeli Remembrance Day on 19 April, and Independence Day on 20 April, the campaign also accuses two grant-making bodies, the New Israel Fund (NIF) and the Ford Foundation, of complicity in these activities.

The report, of which 34 pages have been made available to JNews, was published Friday by reporter Ben Caspit of the Israeli daily Ma’ariv. (Both report and article are in Hebrew.)

Caspit covered the report largely sympathetically, although he objected to the blatant connection to Remembrance Day. According to his article:
“Im Tirtzu are keeping the grand finale of the campaign for Remembrance Day. It will feature a hard-hitting billboard: against the background of a wreath placed on the tomb of a fallen IDF soldier from operation ‘Cast Lead’, with a burning torch in the background, the following text will appear: ‘We salute, They persecute! New Israel Fund and Adalah: Subversives, we’ve had enough of you.’”

The chairperson of Im Tirtzu, Ronen Shoval, is quoted in the article as saying: “This research and its results made us feel sick. Every Hebrew mother should know that while her son stands guard, somewhere there is a lawyer connected to the NIF sitting and thinking how to turn him into a war criminal.”

The latter is a play on a famous quote by David Ben-Gurion, who said that every Hebrew (Jewish) mother should know that her son is in good hands in the army.

Caspit says that the NIF employs a “systematic pattern of action” and that it “establishes and sponsors dozens of radical anti-Zionist organizations.” He adds that the Im Tirtzu campaign aims to expose the “antithesis” to Remembrance Day: “Israelis who ask international courts to conduct ‘targeted assassinations’ against Israeli officers.”

The report points to Gaza-based rights group the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) as the prime mover in legal action against Israeli officials overseas in recent years. It then attempts to describe links between that organization and Israeli human rights groups, the NIF and the Ford Foundation.

The report mentions a plethora of Israeli organizations, including Gisha, Bimkom, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, HaMoked, B’Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Yesh Din, MachsomWatch, Social TV, Zochrot, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), Adalah and Rabbis for Human Rights, but the accusations directed at them are rather broad.

Most of these organizations are castigated for maintaining ongoing relations with PCHR and other Palestinian organizations, exchanging human rights information with them and issuing joint statements against human rights violations. Social TV is also castigated for having organized public debates about the principle of universal jurisdiction.

The report also criticizes Israeli lawyer Michael Sfard (Yesh Din) and Ishai Menuhin (PCATI) for saying that if Israeli officials are not brought to justice in Israel, they should face charges abroad, while the feminist peace group Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), is attacked for having issued a statement supporting indictment abroad of Israeli officials for crimes committed during the Gaza offensive (2009).

Menuhin is described as having promoted a war crimes case while he was a spokesperson for Israeli antimilitarist group Yesh Gvul, while human rights group Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – is targeted for having provided a legal opinion for one of the legal cases overseas.

The report also examines in detail the history and connections of Jamil Dakwar, a lawyer whose studies were previously funded by the NIF, and is now active in submitting war crimes cases against Israeli policymakers.

Financial relations between these organizations and the NIF, and between the Ford Foundation and the NIF, are also explored in detail.

one comment ↪