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.

Israel and apartheid South Africa, friends til the end

The latest article by Max Blumenthal simply must be read in full. Powerful, telling and tragic, really. The legacy of Zionism is occupation and complicity with apartheid South Africa. Charming:

A May 6 “expose” from the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot gave Israeli government officials and their hardline American proxies the ammunition they had been seeking against Judge Richard Goldstone. After Goldstone, a Jewish former South African judge who describes himself as a proud Zionist, charged Israel with crimes against humanity for its assault on the Gaza Strip in late 2008 and 2009, the Israeli government sought to destroy him. Now, thanks to Yediot’s report, which documented Goldstone’s career as a judge in South Africa’s apartheid system and ignored his heroic role in guiding the country’s democratic transition, Israel and its allies have renewed their assault.

According to an editorial [1] by Alan Dershowitz, Goldstone “helped legitimate one of the most racist regimes in the world… he had climbed the judicial ladder on whipped backs and hanged bodies.” Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Magazine followed up, calling Goldstone, “a man without a moral compass.” The attack spread throughout the neocon blogosphere, including to Tablet, where Marc Tracy accused Goldstone of publishing his report about the assault on Gaza to alleviate his “severe case of guilt.” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon piled on, characterizing [2] the judge’s explanation for working inside the apartheid system as “the same explanation we heard in Nazi Germany after World War II.”

However, by assailing Goldstone’s reputation to protect Israel from the meticulously documented facts and modest recommendations contained in his report about the assault on Gaza, Israel’s right-wing government and its American allies unwittingly summoned the Banquo’s Ghost of Israeli foreign policy: the country’s longtime military alliance with South Africa’s apartheid regime.

In the wake of the 1973 war, Israel initiated a close relationship with apartheid South Africa, exchanging intelligence, nuclear technology, arms and military strategy with the white supremacist government. Though figures from Israel’s Labor Party initiated the connection with purely cynical motives, the Likudniks who now dominate Israeli politics consolidated the alliance along the lines of ideological affinity, nurturing cozy personal relationships with the architects of apartheid. Israel was apartheid South Africa’s most dependable ally, sustaining its racist system even after the rest of the world recoiled in disgust, and perhaps learning a thing or two along the way.

This sordid and under-examined relationship comes to life on the pages of The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa, [3] a meticulously researched book that reads like a spy thriller. The author, Foreign Affairs senior editor Sasha Polakow-Suransky, spent seven years on his project, conducting interviews with key players from Israel and South Africa, mining South Africa’s apartheid-era archive and resurrecting documents and articles that the Israeli Foreign Ministry would prefer remain forgotten. Rich with intrigue and shocking details but written without a trace of stridency, The Unspoken Alliance is the most authoritative account to date of Israel’s scandalous dealings with the apartheid regime of South Africa.

Readers of the book will learn that while serving as Israeli defense minister, Shimon Peres nurtured his country’s diplomatic relationship with South Africa even while publicly condemning apartheid. After a secret trip to Pretoria in 1974, when Peres first proposed the alliance, he assured his South African hosts that “this relationship is based not only on common interests and on the determination to resist equally our enemies, but also on the unshakeable foundations of our common hatred of injustice and our refusal to submit to it.” The following year, Peres signed a secret security pact with South African defense minister P.W. Botha that led immediately to $200 million in arms deals.

Peres and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin welcomed South African Prime Minister B.J. Vorster to Israel in 1976, taking him on a tour of the Western Wall and the requisite stop at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. It did not seem to matter to Peres or Rabin that Vorster had been an outspoken supporter of Nazi Germany during World War II, or that he devised the policy of torture and repression against his country’s black opposition. Though Vorster’s disturbing past was well known, he encountered few organized protests while gallivanting around Jerusalem.. The Israeli media almost unanimously avoided harsh criticism of the visit, while the Jerusalem Post fawned over the apartheid leader for “recharting his country’s racial and foreign policy.” Back in South Africa, a leading daily called the visit “one of the most successful diplomatic coups in [Vorster’s] ten years in office.”

When Menachem Begin led the right-wing Likud Party into power in 1977, ties between Israel and South Africa’s military brass deepened. Appointed as Defense Minister in 1981, Ariel Sharon became a key link to the apartheid regime; along with Army chief of staff Raful Eitan, he became fast friends with South African military commander Magnus Malan. Days after Israel bombed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981 (“not to allow these crazy Arabs to possess nuclear weapons,” as Eitan wrote), earning harsh condemnations from governments around the world, Malan relayed his sympathy to Eitan, “It is comforting to know that South Africa does not stand alone in facing criticism from the international community,” Malan wrote to his counterpart. “Our respective countries will have to withstand this in many manifestations.” Then, when Sharon resigned after his role in the grisly Sabra and Shatila massacre in Beirut came to light, Malan wrote to thank his disgraced counterpart for the “friendly and understanding way in which you have conducted matters of mutual interest between ourselves and our respective Defense Forces.”

But South Africa and Israel were bound together in their respective battles against the ANC and PLO by much more than a shared anti-communist agenda. In their private correspondences, as Polakow-Suransky documents, leaders from the two countries discussed their alliance in terms of a holy war against the dark-skinned hordes. As Israel’s former ambassador to apartheid South Africa, a Likudnik named Eliahu Lankin, wrote to his South African allies in 1987, “What the ANC is demanding today is nothing less than ‘one man, one vote’… If the whites were to agree to this in present circumstances, they would be committing suicide, not only politically but physically as well.” Eitan made no secret of his fears about empowering the demographic majority, warning before an audience at Tel Aviv University that blacks “want to gain control over the white majority just like the Arabs here want to gain control over us. And we, too, like the white minority in South Africa, must act to prevent them from taking us over.”

During the mid-1980’s, while Western governments gradually divested from South Africa, the Laborites Rabin and Peres maintained practical imperatives for continuing the alliance. When the idealistic young Foreign Ministry director-general Yossi Beilin lobbied Peres to support sanctions against South Africa, Peres angrily summoned Mossad chief Nahum Admoni to berate Beilin, insisting to him at Peres’ behest that the white minority government would not give up power for another thirty years no matter what the international community did. For his part, Rabin justified opposing sanctions on the grounds that they would “mean the firing of tens of thousands of workers” in Israel’s defense industry. Israeli labor unions echoed Rabin’s argument. In 1988, one year after Israel finally imposed sanctions on South Africa, its arms sales to the apartheid government totaled over $1.5 billion.

“Israel was probably our only avenue in the 1980’s,” South Africa’s former Air Force chief Jan van Loggerenberg told Polakow-Suransky.

By the mid-1980’s, international opinion had turned solidly against South Africa’s government. In the United States, the anti-apartheid movement had broken into the mainstream, gathering celebrity support and powerful allies in the Congressional Black Caucus. Seeking to reverse the tide, South African intelligence agents found an eager accomplice in the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a New York-based Jewish outfit supposedly dedicated to combating bigotry.

Under the leadership of Irwin Suall, a former communist who came to see the American left as a threat to Israel’s existence, the ADL deployed a spy named Roy Bullock to the mission, dispatching him to infiltrate US-based anti-apartheid groups and monitor the movements of visitors like Archbishop Desmond Tutu. While the ADL concealed Bullock’s salary by paying him through a shadowy Los Angeles law firm, Bullock collected a paycheck from South Africa’s intelligence service, which also benefited from his “findings.” The ADL supplemented its skullduggery with a propaganda campaign against the ANC. In a 1986 article, ADL national director Nathan Perlmutter called Nelson Mandela and the ANC “totalitarian, anti-humane, anti-democratic, anti-Israel and anti-American.”

The apartheid regime’s former allies in the ADL now readily concede that the state of Israel is engaged in a legitimacy battle remarkably similar to the one South Africa faced. Together with Dershowitz and the usual “pro-Israel” voices, the ADL assails any public figure who dares use the term “apartheid” in the context of Israel’s policies in the occupied West Bank, tainting them with accusations of anti-Semitism. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has personally authorized a campaign of political warfare against Judge Goldstone and the human rights NGOs who contributed data to his report on the Gaza assault, accusing them of waging “lawfare” against the Jewish State.

Netanyahu appears in The Unspoken Alliance in a remarkable cameo. As one of the Likud Party’s rising stars, Netanyahu was deployed before the UN General Assembly in 1986 to rebut charges that Israel was assisting South Africa’s apartheid regime. Larded with diversions and outright deceptions about Israel’s trade ties with South Africa, Netanyahu’s speech was immediately discredited. At the same time, his bravado performance helped pave his path to the prime minister’s office.

Netanyahu ended his speech with a stentorian denunciation of the apartheid system. “The battle against apartheid has reached an historic junction,” he boomed from the podium. “It can either surge forward on a straight path to the total abolition of this hateful system. Or it can sink into the mud of falsehood and vindictiveness.” His words grow more ironic by the day.

one comment ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    "What the ANC is demanding today is nothing less than 'one man, one vote'… If the whites were to agree to this in present circumstances, they would be committing suicide, not only politically but physically as well" ~ Eliahu Lankin, Israel's former ambassador to apartheid South Africa 


    Heard this before?


    History shows that the whites did not commit suicide, nor were they massacred by the indigenous inhabitants who the whites brutalised, oppressed, dispossessed and massacred.