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.

Why it’s now time for Australians to start asking what Israel is doing in our country

Just after yesterday’s pretty surprising decision by Australia to send an Israeli Mossad agent packing from this country – how many journalists are asking what the hell these Mossad agents are doing here? Spying? Co-ordinating intelligence? Shopping for red roses? – I was interviewed by a number of media outlets.

A collection below.

Melbourne Herald’s Sun and AAP wire service:

Australia’s decision to expel a senior diplomat after finding Israel used fake Australian passports in the killing of a Hamas leader will upset the Jewish community, a Jewish-Australian political activist says.

But it could also lead to a “healthy debate” in public about the sort of relationship Australia has with Israel, political activist and author Antony Loewenstein said.

Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a senior figure in the militant Palestinian organisation Hamas, was found murdered in a hotel room in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on January 20.

“The way Israel behaves in Dubai, and indeed in many other parts of the world, is often to ignore local and international law, and expect the western world to support it and back it,” Mr Loewenstein said.

Mr Loewenstein, whose book My Israel Question finds fault with the Jewish state for its part in the conflict with Palestine and ongoing tensions in the Middle East, described the relationship between Australia and Israel as “complicit”.

“Australia has long been treated like fools by Israel, and has often been more than happy to be seen as a fool, in many ways,” he said.

“The bigger question really is, that hopefully this will lead to a debate about how Israel behaves, and how Australia has often accepted that and supports that.

“It shows and hopefully reveals to the wider community that most of the Jewish spokespeople in this country see themselves solely as spokespeople for Israel.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith told parliament today that there was “no doubt” Israel was responsible for faking four Australian passports used in the killing of Al-Mabhouh.

Mr Loewenstein criticised Australia’s Jewish community for its reaction to the news that four passports belonging to dual Australian-Israeli citizens had been forged.

“The Jewish spokespeople in Australia initially said nothing,” he said.

“Then when they did say something, they suggested there was no evidence that Israel was involved.

“Even if Israel was involved, they then said Australia should have turned a blind eye because an awful terrorist (had been) killed.

“They were essentially asking people to accept the fact that their passports are not safe because of what Israel claims to be divine rights to assassinate supposed terrorists.”

Mr Smith said today the high quality forgeries were by a “state intelligence service”, although he did not specifically name the Israeli spy agency Mossad.

But he said Israel had undermined the respect and trust with Australia.

“These are not the actions of a friend,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith has asked that a member of the Israeli Embassy in Canberra be withdrawn from Australia within the week, as a result of the scandal.

“This is not what we expect from a nation with whom we have had such a close, friendly and supportive relationship,” he said.

Mr Smith said an investigation by the federal police and ASIO found the Australian passports were deliberately counterfeited and cloned for use.

“The high quality of these counterfeited passports points to the involvement of a state intelligence service,” he said.

“These investigations and advice have left the Government in no doubt that Israeli was responsible for the abuse and counterfeiting of these passports.”

International investigators believe Mossad was behind the assassination of Hamas official Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai in January.

Four Australian passports have been linked to the murderers.

Mr Smith today said no government could tolerate the abuse of its passports and revealed Israel had previously abused Australian passports.

“I regret to advise the House this is not the first occasion that Australian passports have been misused by Israeli authorities,” he said.

Mr Smith said it was a clear and direct breach of confidential undertakings by Israel “dating back some years”.

“This is not what we expect of a nation with whom we have had such a close, friendly and supportive relationship,” Mr Smith aid.

“The government has asked that a member of the Israeli Embassy in Canberra be withdrawn from Australia. I have asked that the withdrawal be effected within the week.”

Mr Smith said the four Australians were innocent victims of identity fraud.

He said he hoped Australia and Israel could rebuild relations.

The Israeli Embassy said it would issue a statement later today.

Mr Smith said the United Kingdom reached similar conclusions after its investigation into the Dubai incident.

The British Government expelled Mossad’s London station chief in March over the use of 12 forged British passports linked to the assassination.

Mr Smith refused to say which Israeli Embassy member had been asked to leave.

He said he would not give a name or their job description but said it was “comparable to the British response”.

He said there was no set time how long the person was expelled for.

Mr Smith said he would be disappointed if Israel responded by expelling an Australian diplomat.

He said there would be a “cooling of” in the sharing of intelligence material with Israel.

“It does require a rebuilding of trust and confidence,” he said in a press conference.

Mr Smith said ASIO’s director-general David Irvine visited Israel as part of the investigation.

The nation’s overseas-focused spy agency, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), was also involved.

The Australian Federal Police handed a report to the government in April.

Mr Smith said the report and advice would not be released on national security grounds.

“I received my final advice from agencies last week,” Mr Smith said, adding that he had briefed the national security committee of the cabinet this morning.

About $100 million is being spent by the Government over the next six years to further strengthen the security of Australian passports.

Sydney Morning Herald and AAP:

Australia’s decision to expel an Israeli diplomat is an over-reaction to the fraudulent use of four Australian passports in the killing of a Hamas leader, Jewish leaders say.

Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a senior figure in the militant Palestinian organisation Hamas, was found murdered in a hotel room in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on January 20.

Authorities in Dubai identified four falsified Australian passports with the murder, along with others from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, and Germany.

On Monday Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told parliament there was no doubt the Australian passport holders were “anything other than innocent victims of identity theft.”

“The government (is) in no doubt that Israel was responsible for the abuse and counterfeiting of these passports,” he added.

Mr Smith has asked that a member of the Israeli Embassy in Canberra be withdrawn from Australia within the week, as a result of the scandal.

Jewish leaders say they are greatly disappointed over the decision.

“We consider that decision to be an over-reaction,” Robert Goot, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said in a statement on Monday.

He expressed concern that Mr Smith did not reveal any evidence to support his conclusions that Israel or its agents were involved in using the fake passports.

“Little good can come from taking punitive action in relation to this matter against Israel, which is the Middle East’s only stable democracy and the only Middle Eastern country that can be relied on to act resolutely against international terrorism,” he said.

Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia-Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, described the decision to remove a diplomat over the affair as “unhelpful.”

“We would note in this regard, while Australia followed a British precedent in its over-reaction, no similar step has been taken by Ireland, France, or Germany, all of whom also allegedly had forged passports implicated in the killing,” he said.

Despite the uproar, both groups say they are confident the relationship between the governments can be repaired and continue to flourish.

Jewish-Australian political activist Antony Loewenstein, whose book My Israel Question finds fault with the Jewish state for its part in the conflict with Palestine and ongoing tensions in the Middle East, described the relationship between Australia and Israel as “complicit.”

“Australia has long been treated like fools by Israel, and has often been more than happy to be seen as a fool, in many ways,” he told AAP.

“The bigger question really is, that hopefully this will lead to a debate about how Israel behaves, and how Australia has often accepted that and supports that.

“It shows and hopefully reveals to the wider community that most of the Jewish spokespeople in this country see themselves solely as spokespeople for Israel.”

Australians for Palestine spokesman Michael Shaik said the government’s reaction “was vital to breaking the culture of impunity under which Israel has operated for so long.”

“It would carry even more weight if our government followed the British example and refused to allow a replacement diplomat until Israel commits to no further misuse of Australian passports,” he said.

8 comments ↪
  • vealmince

    What is a Mossad agent doing in Australia? Maintaining security, gathering intelligence and liaising with ASIS and ASIO. Durr.

    As usual, you would deny Israel the same rights as other countries and impute sinister motives to all its actions no matter how ordinary or innocent.

    OK, I'll admit it. In truth, they have an entire division over at 6 Turrana St, Yarralumla dedicated to keeping track of dangerous anti-Israeli subversives like you. They have a big poster of you on the wall that they use as a dartboard and someone has scribbled a Hitler moustache on it.

    Why don't you kick up a stink about the Australian-based intelligence operatives from Iran, Lebanon and Syria who, unlike the Mossad's chap in Canberra, do not bother to officially declare their presence?

  • Joanna

    Finally, there is someone of Jewish background who criticises Isreal in the mainstream media. Isreal only wishes to puch its objectives above the objectives of all other countries. For instance, Isael can be accussed of overreacting to the palestinian situation by foreign cargo ships that have supply for the Gaza strip to enter instead they will be diverted to a port in Israel so that Israel can then "facilitate" the goods to be transferred to the Gaza strip. When will the supporters of Israel stop being hypocrtits look at the overreactions of their country before they comment on the overreactions of other countries.

  • Mallee

    Vealmince,

    intelligence gathering is completely different to activities that can compromise Australian citizenship rights and endanger their liberties. Gossipmongering and collection of it is carried out by probably all countries in various forms, from embassies, sayanin, corporate contacts and religious bodies and more. Intelligence gathtering can assist to oil the wheels of world intercourse and even promote trust and alleviate suspicion/s.

    The compromising of  Aussie citizen's identity is completely different. That person may be restricted by being put on a no fly list, arrested in some uncivilised jurisdiction and even in an allegd one; rendered into space for an umlimited time, possibly tortured and without the benefit of the process of Habeus Corpus. The US has excluded Habeus Corpus for suspects they pick up anywhere.

    Helen Clark dealt with the problem by jailing two fraudsters with false passports. A third person in that group was living in St Ives. Now what the heck were they doing wandering around a .friendly country' with false pass ports. Is this Dubai or some other hell hole?

    The whole of the Israeli embassy should have been chucked out. Why?

    Well, they just keep on doing it. The 'Five dancing Israelis" on 9/11 celebrating the murder of citizens in the towers had false pass ports. The two Isarelis caught in or near the Mexican Parliament with explosives had false passports. Now why?

    Many of the Israeli 'Art student spy ring' in the US had false passsports. The Urban Removing system company was a Mossad front, they had the van, the fellows were dancing upon.

    Israel has a history of 'false flag attacks': just look up 'the Lavon Affair', the 'sinking of the USS Liberty in 1967'.

    It appears that 'our friend' is not to be trusted in any way or form not to do what it bloody weel likes and kill whoever it likes for their own purpose. The murder of the sailiors on the Liberty was not one of a pre-emptive defensive dealing with terrorists but  a deceitfull heinous crime to trick the US into the war with Egypt and no  doubt end in many US deaths, for Israel. Probably, our stupid Canberra represenatatives at the time would have been 'gung ho' and suckered, as was the Howard government chasing a mirage of weapans of masss destruction. Suckers galore in our government. It seems that one of Abbbott's propensities is to follow history that he has not learnt from.

    As they say, a free luncheon trip to Israel by a parliamentary delegation is not without the catch, I am sure Ms Gillard can expalin why she did not take the opportunity at the time of dropping into Gaza, as she was in the neighbourhood.

    One miserable diplomat being expelled…Shhhhsss; pussycats.

  • josh

    Oh for god's sake (and I mean that literally)…

    …wake up morons. There is a war on the liberal-democratic culture and traditions of 20th Century Western European heritage. It is a very young tradition and we take it for granted.

    Look up the word "iconoclast"… and think about it in terms of the growing economic influence of the Muslim states internationally as well as the growing political clout of Muslims internally. Do the math on this one, it is simple, but it depends on some cool assessments of reality. At no time do I mean to denigrate people's rights to practice their religious faith to themselves. However, my concern is that the muslim religion is a fundamentalist crusading religion historically.

    You need to decide whether the fact that every Muslim country in the world tolerates civil liberties. You need to decide whether people of the Muslim faith are happy to adapt to our Western culture of freedom and tolerance. Because once the numbers of these people in our democracy reach a critical mass, they will become capable of voting for deprivations of civil liberties that will transform the way your children and their children live.

    It is bad enough that we have the Stephen Conroy's and Christian lobby of Australia making headway into our basic civil liberties.

    People call this Islamophobia, but the mass migrations of people from other cultures with other agendas and aspirations for law-making and local culture will have an effect on how we live.

    With all the money that the Arab "brothers" of the "Palestinians" that has been devoted to fringe terrorist groups and armaments against Israel over the last 60 years, instead of devoting it to war they had devoted it to "love" of their own so-called brothers… Palestinians would be living with amazing wealth, luxury accommodation, high standards of education…

    …but no. The intolerance of a different culture and religion in the Muslim Crescent of the Middle East demonstrated that hatred of the enemy runs deeper than love of the brother.

    I only say this, be careful where your focus is. Focus on the apparent injustices of Israel as it fights for its survival on a piece of dirt no larger than 1/3 of Tasmania as meanwhile the growing proportion of Muslims in Western Liberal-Democracies spells a velvet-muslim revolution from within.

    Be very careful who you get into bed with right now. There is time to hate the Jews later… tend to your own issues first.

     

     

     

  • Mallee

    Josh,

    strange things seem to be happening to my intended post, I do not have the time to re-do it. In point form:

    Many religions,  and cultures are objectionable in their myths and practices and intolerance of others; e.g. with inter marraiage.

    Some gain power over people by creationg Chaos, people want solutions and then the very peole who designed the chaos present the solution; being more control and power to them.

    Deliberately causing a world clash of cultures is part of the chaos game, just look at the Mexican migration to the US and the problems being created there. Ultimate solution: A North American Union, bye bye US!!! (including Canada)

    Your feeling toward the Muslim hoardes has been created by fear, but how many Muslim massed armies with weapons of mass destruction are invading other countries? How many Muslim nations are propped up by the West who do not give a stuff about the domestic freedoms in those countries; try Saudi Arabia and Egypt for starters. Same was done in South America……propping upurderous distators.

    Seems that we should be careful about chucking rocks, maybe some should have their lands returned.  Not on I suppose, just pinch some more, cubit by cubit.

    Israel is a Zionist dream for a world government based in Jerusalem, none of our business, the Zionists took the miserable place, we should not be suckered into a brawl with the Muslims, it is  not our fight.

    As for the billions in Arab aid, so too, the billions poured into Israel by the US taxpayer and the present wars are up to the trillion mark, enough to set up the whole starving planet, let alone care for a reported 18 US ex serviceman committing suicide each day.

    Josh there are bigger world problems than the Zionist desire for a banker's world government in Jerusalem.

    I suggest that you search the great US General Hedley or Wesley (or something similar) Butler and the video entitled; 'war is a racket', it is just a banker's money maker.

  • Sol Salbe

    Pretty surprising decision? To whom? This was always on the cards.

  • Mallee

    Ahh;  it was 'Smedley' Butler. The fellow some of the corporates tried to get to overthrow the US governemnt in the early 1930's and bring in a fascist 'German" type government.

    Ah yes; have the bankers and large corporates , including now, the controlled media, given up on their desires? Not likely.

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