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.

Line up for the essential tools of selling Zionism in the modern age

Are you a Zionist and in need of tools to sell the wonderful democracy known as Israel? Concerned that too many people see the Jewish state as an occupier? Hope that finding new tactics will assist the noble act of selling Israel to the world?

Rest easy, help has arrived:

In 2001, IDC Herzliya students Gur Braslavi and Ariel Halevi won the Oxford Union Debating Competition for teams from foreign countries. Nine years later, their joint company, Debate Ltd., was chosen to carry out the Israeli government’s new public diplomacy initiative.

The company recently took on a contract to conduct 200 workshops in which its instructors teach regular Israelis the arts of rhetoric and persuasion. If the pilot proves successful, it will likely be extended and multiplied. By creating an army of amateur ambassadors, Israel hopes to counter negative media portrayals and improve its image abroad.

“Define terrorism,” said the instructor, entering the boardroom of the Tel Aviv district branch of the Histadrut labor union. “Come on. You’ve all experienced it. Tell me what terrorism means,” he urged.

After overcoming their surprise at the abrupt and irregular entrance, the 15 participants – members of the Histadrut’s under-27 exchange mission to Berlin – started suggesting answers.

“War,” threw out one. “A threat,” said another. “A lethal danger.” “Violence.” “Injury to civilians,” more people shot out.

“OK. By those definitions, is Israel a terrorist?” asked the instructor.

In the silence that followed the question, the instructor, a good-looking man in his late twenties or early thirties wearing a button-down shirt and sporting a short haircut, took a pause to introduce himself.

“My name is Ran Michaelis, and I am a senior instructor at Debate. Debate is a company that specializes in interpersonal relations and project management. We work with organizations in Israel and federations abroad on Israeli advocacy, on behalf of the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora affairs.”

“I was once asked that very question by an Arab woman after a lecture I gave at Richmond University,” said Michaelis, returning to his question. “I told her Israel’s definition of terrorism, which is: the attempt to harm or kill innocent civilians.

“Without pausing for a second, she pulled out a photo of an Israeli soldier aiming a rifle at an old Palestinian woman. She pointed her finger at me, and shouted: ‘You, and all the Israelis are not innocent! According to your own definition, suicide bombers are not terrorists.’

“My question to you,” Michaelis asked the group, “is: How do you answer her?”

In the hours that followed, Michaelis taught the group how best to answer the woman’s question, as well as many others. Throughout the workshop, he challenged the participants with difficult situations, all of which have come up over the years, and provided them with the best tools to approach resolving them.

Like a young soldier returning from battle, Michaelis regaled the participants with stories from Israel’s hasbara front lines, sharing his experience of speaking before hostile audiences of anti-Israel students and leftist professors in American universities, tackling issues ranging from the security barrier to the Goldstone report.

“The basic structure of the workshops was developed during an all-night marathon that Gur and I held,” explained Debate co-founder Ariel Halevi. “After an intensive brainstorming session, we attempted to turn what we knew intuitively into an organized lesson plan. The 14-hour session resulted in five principles of effective advocacy. Later we added two more, to create the backbone of the method.”

The seven principles of effective advocacy are a set of analytical and rhetorical tools that help give novice advocates the means of engaging people on issues regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“It’s not about information, it’s about knowledge. It’s about navigating the discussion effectively. Every one of the principles offers a different tactic to tackle issues that come up in encounters with foreigners,” saidHalevi.

The first principle the participants are taught is the importance of terminology.

“Don’t enter into a conversation before you are clear about the terminology you’re using,” Michaelis urged. “For example, 95 percent of thesecurity barrier that Israel built around Judea and Samaria is a fence, yet people continually refer to it as a wall. The word “wall” tends to conjure up images of the Berlin Wall. It is an inaccurate and misleading characterization of the barrier and its function – keeping out terrorists.

“I have no problem with you talking about the merits or problems of the barrier, but make sure that the conversation sticks to the facts, and not to an Israel-hater’s misrepresentation of them,” said Michaelis.

Other words to watch out for, according to the seven-principle method, are apartheid, assassinations, freedom fighters and human shields.

“Each one of them carries some kind of mental or emotional infrastructure. If you overlook the terms people use and dive straight into the ideological discussion, you are overlooking a major obstacle that someone put in your place, preventing the audience from relating to you,” saidHalevi.

one comment ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    Learn, memorise, recite, practice, simulate, role-play, analyse, analogise, cross-reference, navigate, approach, converse, discuss, relate, disseminate, reframe, engage, appeal, animate, emotionalise, impress, present, project, promote, explain, articulate, persuade, advocate. 

     

    OR 

     

    When in doubt, or can't remember which version of the 'truth' to advocate, always tell the truth.

     

    Truth liberates!