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.

Illegal East Jerusalem expansion on the cards and Washington approves

A revealing article by one of Israel’s leading establishment reporters, Ben Caspit, that indicates the kind of dance that Washington and Israel have always done. And we wonder why Palestine continues to be colonised?

Israel and the US have reached secret agreements about construction in Jerusalem. Both sides agreed to leave the agreements between themselves and not make them public, and if they should be leaked nevertheless, deny them vigorously. The purpose is in order not to create difficulties for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the coalition, and particularly in the Likud party.

The agreements indicate that contrary to Israeli boasting, Netanyahu’s answer to Obama regarding Jerusalem was not “No.” It was something in the middle, a little closer to the far end (a freeze) than the close one (continued construction at full tilt). The most accurate translation for this agreement is “Yes, but.” It is possible that Netanyahu has learned something from the bad old days of Shimon Peres, during which he got the nickname “Yes and no.” Now it is Netanyahu’s turn.

The agreements were made in a very long series of meetings and discussions between the parties. Attorney Yitzhak Molcho worked for Netanyahu. Working on the American side was mostly Dan Shapiro, the director of the Middle East department at the National Security Council.

As far as anyone knows, the parties agreed that no construction freeze would be announced. On the contrary, Netanyahu may continue to announce that he did not agree to a freeze. But in reality, Netanyahu agreed to delay the Ramat Shlomo project by at least several years and not to issue any new construction tenders in Jerusalem.

He also promised “to do as much as the law allows and use his full authority as prime minister to prevent unnecessary Israeli activity in the Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. These agreements do not include the procedures that are already being carried out, such as, for example, the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem.

Another agreement between the parties is that if Netanyahu should encounter a particularly severe crisis or heavy pressure, or if these agreements should be leaked, there will be a tendency to let him approve a small number of symbolic construction projects in secret coordination with the Americans so that it will continue to look as though he did not give in.

In the end, the agreement is a good and effective one. The Americans are moving forward with it, and the members of the forum of seven are willing to accept it as well. It is saying no and acting yes. In the current situation, if there are no last-minute surprises, there will soon be an announcement of the resumption of the proximity talks between the parties. The Palestinians will go with it, and the Americans will finally be able to finish the job and check off the first item on their to-do list.

They made a big strategic mistake in their insistence on a construction freeze in Jerusalem from the first moment. They paid dearly for it. Now they will try to make up for it, but they will find fairly quickly that the worst of all is still ahead.

Netanyahu is not where they think he is. The reports that the prime minister has offered the Palestinians a state with temporary borders are premature. The plan has existed for a long time. It was created by Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak (and also, separately, by Shaul Mofaz). Just as he did then, Netanyahu has expressed his agreement in secret, but hopes that something will come along to blow up the whole matter, and not move it forward. Prepare for the next crisis.

13 comments ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    "They made a big strategic mistake in their insistence on a construction freeze in Jerusalem from the first moment. They paid dearly for it. Now they will try to make up for it, but they will find fairly quickly that the worst of all is still ahead

     

    They, the Americans, made the biggest strategic mistake from 11 June 1967 to 2009 when they turned a blind eye to the illegal colonisation of occupied land. 

     

    The Americans have paid nothing (in terms of adverse consequences) for it, but they have paid by financially subsidising the illegal colonies. 

     

    The Palestinians have paid dearly for it and will continue to do so. 

     

    The worst of all is still ahead. A mistake will remain a mistake until it is corrected.

  • Shaun

    The mistake is being corrected.  Jews were evicted from their homeland and forced into the diaspora.  Now they have returned, liberated those lands and are rebuilding what was stolen from them.  Yerushalyim is the undivided capital of the Jewish homeland once again.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    Who expelled the Jews 2000 years ago? 

     

    What happened to the Jews who stayed behind and inter-married, assimilated, or converted? Did they automatically lose their homes and ancestral birthrights? 

     

    And what happened to the non-Jews who later converted to Christianity, Islam or other religions/beliefs? Did they also lose their homes and ancestral birthrights for converting to the wrong religion?  

     

    And is there a right religion? 

     

    You're entitled to your Zionist supremacist views, but most people know that the Palestinians, including a minority who were Jews, are the indigenous inhabitants of Israel/Palestine.

  • Shaun

    The simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of 'Palestinians' are ethnic Arabs.  They are descended from the conquering Muslim hordes that swept into the area from the Arabian Peninsula around 800AD.  Many of them are very recent migrants to the region having flocked from countries like Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Lebannon to enjoy the economic boom generated by the surging Jewish revival of the 1880s.  They are not indigenous to the area, their language is foreign, their religion is foreign and their culture is foreign.    The simple fact is that Jews are the indiginous population and no amount of Arab occupation will ever erase that fact.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    You still can't bring yourself to write PALESTINIANS without quarantining the very word within quotes. 

     

    You can continue to deny Palestinian history, culture and national aspirations if you like. You can deny the Palestinians’ right to exist. You can even applaud and make excuses for Israel’s denial of the Palestinians’ human rights. But one thing is certain, the Palestinians will eventually reclaim their human rights in their ancestral homeland, the same rights that Israelis enjoy.

  • Shaun

    There never has been a 'Palestine'.  No place with that name has ever had recognised borders, a capital, a national language, a system of government, elected leaders, a currency etc etc.  The people who you call 'Palestinians' are a collection of predominatly Arabs who are descended from the original invaders from the Arabian Peninsula.  The majority of them are descended from relatively recent migrants from surrounding countries.  'Palestinians' are an invented people who are simply Egyptians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Jordanians etc all trying to steal another people's land.

  • Mallee

    Shaun you are a problem.

    You say that Palestinians are a collection of …………whatever and "…Palestinians are an invented people who are simply….".

    The greatest invention in Israelis  are the ' collection ' of Ashkenazis  descendants originating from the South of Russia, settling in Palestine, they have no inaliable right to wander into Palestine and throw people out of their houses. Fullstop.

  • Shaun

    Ashkenazi Jews did not "originate" in the South of Russia, they were forced to settle there when they were evicted from their ancestral homeland of Judea and Samaria.  Not only is this widely documented in Roman and Russian historical records, but it has been scientifically proven through numerous genetic studies.  And what of Sephardi Jews?  I guess you're going to say that their culture, language and religion originated in Fiji or somewhere else other ancient Israel.  Try harder fool. 

  • Mallee

    How about some authorities for those claims Shaun? As for DNA studies, I take it you will refernce the DNA reports published in 2002, just to almost disappear!

    Sorry that I upset you so much to prick your true character.

  • Shaun

    I'm not in the slightest bit upset.  It actually amuses me to see the incoherent rants that come back from people like yourself when a few simple facts are presented that challenge your worldview.

    I'm not sure which 2002 study you are referring to.  The fact is that there have been dozens of scientific papers that clearly indicate that Ashkenazi Jews have their origins in the Middle East and not in Europe as some anti-Semites have suggested.  Probably the most famous study was the one published by the National Academy of Sciences in 2000.  I'll save you some time and give you the money quote from that report that states "The results support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora."  You can read the original paper here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC18733

    You might also want to explain how it is that supposedly "Russian" people with no link to the Middle East speak a language (Yiddish) that is largely based on Aramaic and Hebrew – two languages used by the indigienous population of ancient Israel?. 

    Try harder fool.

  • Mallee

    Well you do like insults, quite common though, when dealing with this subject.

    Perhaps you might note  one of my fellow fools reported on 24th March 2010 reported in Haaretz in an article by Ofri Ilani titled; 'Shattering a national Mythology'. The article summarises Shlomo Sands (Sand?) book; "How and when the Jewsih people was invented".

    Now I wll defer to the Jewish hostorians to argue it out, as really I do not care one way or the other.

    What you are arguing for is that some convert in Europe, whether from Southern Rusia or elsewhere can wander in and chuck the Palestinians out just because of that.

    On your argument, I can demand to be let back into either:

    England,

    Scotland.

    Ireland or

    what was Prussia

    and chuck someone out of there, even though it is within the last two hundred years that gave me that right, not thousands.

    Sorry Shaun, but the Israel national myth has been shattered completely  and if not a fraud, is plane unjust, and inhumane.

    If you bring on the attempted perscution/genocide/holocaust  guilt as an excuse, hey sunshine, all our ancestors have been persecuted, pillaged, raped,and killed by some group or other. What should happen is that activity should be discouraged if not stopped all together. It is against the laws of God, if you accept that there is a God.  If one is an aetheist, take up the morality discussion with Richard Dawkins.

  • Shaun

    Too funny – I give you a peer researched scientific paper using genetic tracing and your counter evidence is a book by Shlomo Sands!  Hillel Halkin had people like you in mind when commented on Shlomo's work by saying there is "no book too foolish to go un-admired by someone" 

    You say that my argument is that "some convert in Europe, whether from Southern Rusia or elsewhere can wander in and chuck the Palestinians out" which is totally false.  No, some European convert cannot just walk in and throw people out but the descendants of the original inhabitants are most certainly entitled to reclaim what was stolen from them.  As the science has shown over and over again, Jews in the diaspora are directly descended from those Jews who were forced out of Judea and Samaria and therefore they have every right to return home.

    As for your straw man argument about "perscution/genocide/holocaust guilt", frankly, it has no bearing whatsoever on the Jews right to their homeland.  Jews have 3000 years of unbroken affiliation with Israel, and the Shoah or any other incident of international Jew-hatred does nothing to either strengthen or weaken that bond. 

     

     

  • iResistDe4iAm

    "It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist" ~ Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (Sunday Times, 15 June 1969) 

     

    "There is no more Palestine. Finished…" ~ Moshe Dayan (TIME Magazine, 30 July 1973) 

     

    "There never has been a ‘Palestine’ "

    " ’Palestinians’ are an invented people who are simply Egyptians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Jordanians etc all trying to steal another people’s land"

    "They are not indigenous to the area, their language is foreign, their religion is foreign and their culture is foreign" ~ Shaun 

     

    Denying the history, culture and aspirations of the Palestinians, is like denying the history, culture and aspirations of African Americans on the trivial basis that the term "African American" was not invented/used until the late 1980s. 

     

    Do African Americans "not exist", merely because they were once known as slaves, ex-slaves, coloreds, Negroes, non-whites, Blacks, Afro-Americans?

    Do African Americans continue to have their enslavement, exploitation, oppression and suffering trivialised, mocked or denied?

    Do African Americans continue to have their history, culture, aspirations, contributions and achievements denied?

    Do African Americans continue to have their human rights denied?  

     

    Then why the hell do Palestinians continue to have their history, culture, national aspirations and human rights denied?