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 the Zionist lobby has fewer friends by the day (and the old don’t realise)

Discussion of Australia’s Zionist lobby is far and few between though yesterday’s Crikey was a notable exception.

Does the Israel lobby seriously believe that by backing every single Zionist position they’re doing Israel a favour? Death by a thousand cuts and oddly satisfying to watch:

It’s one thing for the Israel lobby to jack up over the Government expelling an Israeli diplomat for Mossad’s blatant identity theft in its assassination campaign against Hamas. It’s another for Julie Bishop, who if you’ve forgotten is the Coalition’s foreign affairs shadow, to go beyond that and conjure up an Arab plot.

“The government is keen to curry favour within the Arab community,” said Bishop yesterday. “The Arab community have made it quite clear to Mr Rudd in writing that unless the Australian government showed a more negative attitude towards Israel they would not be able to count on their vote for Mr Rudd’s quest for a seat on the Security Council.”

There you go. Those crafty Arabs. One wonders what they had over Gordon Brown when he expelled a Mossad officer over the same business. Although I liked Bishop’s “in writing” reference. Getting things “in writing” is very important for the Liberals now.

Those who think turfing out a diplomat is somehow an “overreaction” should explain exactly what the best way is to convey to Israel how seriously Australia regards this matter. The alternative course, presumably, is to let Israel get away with identity fraud and undermining the integrity of Australia’s passport system. Or, better yet, cooperate in Israel’s program of extra-judicial killing. Three Australian citizens were targeted by and used by an arm of the Israeli Government. What sort of government doesn’t stand up for its people when they’re arbitrarily targeted by a foreign government?

You can bet if the Iranians or the North Koreans pulled the same stunt the media outcry and demands for action would still be echoing.

The contempt of the Israeli Government for Australia and the other countries targeted in this identity fraud operation is demonstrated by the fact that they didn’t dare use American passports for this assassination, for fear of offending their most powerful ally. But they were happy to use passports from the UK, Ireland, Europe and Australia.

The reflexive reaction of the local Israel lobby was predictable, especially from the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council. I’ve long assumed Colin Rubinstein isn’t actually a living, breathing AIJAC executive, merely a piece of software that channels the Tel Aviv line on every issue. That’s why we heard nothing from him back when the story broke in February — and certainly not any suggestion that Israel had acted in any way inappropriately. And yesterday, AIJAC actually attacked Abu Dhabi for having the temerity to investigate the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

All this –Israel’s persistence in refusing to admit it has erred, the criticism of any Government that dares to respond to its transgressions — encapsulates exactly why Israel and the Israel lobby make it so hard for those of us inclined to support it. For those of us who accept Israel’s right to defend itself, and accept that as a democracy surrounded by brutal dictatorships it has a special call on Western support, and recognise that much of the criticism directed at it is motivated by a blatant double standard, usually from the Western liberals, it’s infuriating to watch Rubenstein and his cronies, and their cheerleaders in politics and the media, treat us like mugs.

Their insistence that Israel has done nothing wrong, or should be allowed to get away with what it has done, is patronising in the extreme and exactly the sort of double standard they complain of when they’re on the receiving end.

Worse yet is Julie Bishop’s willingness to engage in some pretty crass Islamophobia by insisting it’s all an Arab plot — part of an emerging pattern of Islamophobia from this Opposition.

If the Israel lobby wants to treat us like fools, it shouldn’t complain about Western double standards about Israel or the lack of sufficiently vigorous support from the West. They’ll get exactly what they’ve earnt, which is nothing.

Suffice to say, the Arab press haven’t exactly covered the story in depth.

one comment ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    What would be the Australian government (and opposition) reaction if the Chinese secret service forged Australian passports and then used them to summarily execute a Tibetan "terrorist" without trial in say, Singapore? 

     

    (a) They would congratulate China on its commitment to the 'war on terror' and admitting that Australia forges passports too, volunteer to provide authentic Australian passports for future  extrajudicial executions

     

    (b) They would give China a diplomatic slap on the wrist and politely ask them not to do it again 

     

    (c) They would expel a Chinese secret service officer from the Chinese embassy 

     

    (d) They would expel the Chinese Ambassador