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.

Gush Shalom condemns Gaza flotilla massacre

The following press release was just sent out by Israeli group Gush Shalom:

Uri Avnery: this night a crime was perpetrated in the middle of the sea, by order of the government of Israel and the IDF Command
A warlike attack against aid ships and deadly shooting at peace and humanitarian aid activists
It is a crazy thing that only a government that crossed all red lines can do

“Only a crazy government that has lost all restraint and all connection to reality could something like that – consider ships carrying humanitarian aid and peace activists from around the world as an enemy and send massive military force to international waters to attack them, shoot and kill.

“Noone in the world will believe the lies and excuses which the government and army spokesmen come up with,” said former Knesset member Uri Avnery of the Gush Shalom movement. Gush Shalom activists together with activists of other organizations are to depart at 11:00 from Tel Aviv to protest in front of the prepared detention facility where the international peace activists will be brought.

Greta Berlin, the spokeswoman for the flotilla organizers located in Cyprus, told Gush Shalom activists that the Israeli commandos landed by helicopter on the boats and immediately opened fire.

This is a day of disgrace to the State of Israel, a day of anxiety in which we discover that our future was entrusted to a bunch of trigger-happy people without any responsibility. This day is a day of disgrace and madness and stupidity without limit, the day the Israeli government took care to blacken the name of the country in the world, adding convincing evidence of aggressiveness and brutality to Israel’s already bad international image, discouraging and distancing the few remaining friends.

Indeed, today a provocation took place off the coast of Gaza – but the provocateurs were not the peace activists invited by the Palestinians and seeking to reach Gaza. The provocation was carried out by Navy ships commandos at the bidding of the Israeli government, blocking the way of the aid boats and using deadly force.

It is time to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, which causes severe suffering to its residents. Today the Israeli government ripped the mask of its face with its own hands and exposed the fact that Israel did not “disengage” from Gaza. Real disengagement from the area does not go together with blocking the access to it or sending soldiers to shoot and kill and wound those who try to get there.

The State of Israel promised in the Oslo Accords 17 years ago to enable and encourage the establishment of a deep water port in Gaza, through which Palestinians could import and export freely to develop their economy. It’s time to realize this commitment and open the Port of Gaza. Only after the Gaza port will be open to free and undisturbed movement, just like the Ashdod and Haifa ports, will Israel really have disengaged from the Gaza Strip. Until then, the world will continue – and rightly so – to consider the Gaza Strip under Israeli occupation and the State of Israel as responsible for the fate of the people living there.

7 comments ↪
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  • mark lance

    Sharpville

  • Israel has proven once again that it is a terrorist state. Only terrorism can kill innocent people even those who come to help others suffering, and Israel has today shown the whole world that not only does it massacre the residents of Palestine but anyone who come in aid to help them also meets the same fate.

    This is truly a sad day for humanity against evil. The governments need to voice their condemnation against Israel.

    BOYCOTT ISRAEL TODAY

  • What a horrible day.

    In America, its Memorial Day.  The holiday that was originally organized after the horrors of the US Civil War to say NEVER AGAIN by remembering the dead.  Today of course its a festival of pro-war, support-our-troops-propaganda.  Yesterday I was hoping someone might notice that if the Pentagon could send what seemed like several battalions, an armored company and a fighter wing to a NASCAR auto race, then maybe they could spare a few budget cuts to fund a few American jobs.

    Today, I'm thinking of the dead.

    Here's an idea.  How about worldwide candlelight vigils for the slain?

    I've got this image of millions of people around the world showing their revulsion at these acts by standing vigil with a candle … tonight, and coming nights.  Give it time to grow.

    We got 30,000,000 to come out against the Iraq War in 2002.  What would 30,000,000 or more standing in vigil the next few nights look like?

    I know I'd like to find out.

    We, the people of the world need a clear way of sending our message that says that no matter what the corrupt war-mongering politicians who rule us say in their carefully worded statements, we the people of the world are disgusted and appalled at these horrible crimes.

    My thought on how to do that would be world-wide candlelight vigils.  Over the next few nights. Hopefully growing each night.  Its time to tell everyone that this is a time to stand with us, peacefully, in a park, with a candle.

    Time to shine a little light into the darkness.

  • George Collins

    It's most encouraging to see human rights stalwarts within Israel give the lie to that government's shameful behavior that greatly erodes its the credibility of Israel's moral standing to criticize any other nation.

     

    Shalom!

  • Richard Gruberg

    Unfortunately, this press release does not provide me with enough facts to exculpate the crew on this boat.  If it is true that the soldiers started firing as soon as they landed on the boat, how do we account for the video footage showing IDF soldiers being beaten by crew members?  Exactly how and when did the beatings occur?  Are we to believe that the crew actually overpowered the soldiers that were shooting at them and started beating them?  How do we account for the fact that one IDF soldier was shot in the stomach and one in the knee?  And why was there a confrontation on just one boat, and not on the other flotilla boats that the IDF boarded?  There are just too many unanswered questions here.

    And what are the organizers' ties to Hamas?  And if they are so desperate to get these supplies into Gaza, why did they refuse to accept Israel's offer to have their boats unloaded in Israel, where the contents would be inspected and then sent on to Gaza?  Doesn't Israel have a right to check these ships for weapons before the cargo is sent to Gaza, given that Israel is at war with Hamas?  And if Israel is so evil for having a blockade, why is no one also criticizing Egypt which has both supported and maintained this same blockade?

    Obviously it is a tragedy that crew members were killed, but there seems to be more to this than meets the eye.  It would seem sensible to wait for all of facts to come out before passing judgment.

  • jana karaca

    this is a response to Richard Gruberg.

    ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS.
    1. WHAT BENEFIT DO THE ISRAELIS EXPECT FROM CONTINUALLY BLOCKING AND DEPRIVING A MINORITY PEOPLE FROM THEIR RIGHT TO LIFE;
    2.DO YOU REALLY THINK ISRAEL CAN PERMANENTLY DEPRIVE MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN FROM BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS;
    3. DO YOU THINK ISRAEL WILL ACHIEVE ITS  GOAL BY CONTUINING TO DEPRIVE MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN WHO CANNOT DEFEND THEMSELVES;
    4. ARE YOU HAPPY TO SEE MORE CHILDREN BEING KILLED  BY ISRAELIS. SO FAR ISRAEL HAS DONE WELL BY KILLING ONLY  ABOUT 500 CHILDREN, DO YOU WANT THIS FIGURE TO INCREASE.
    5.WHY DOES ISAEL WANT TO BLOCK AID TO THIS MINORITY.
    6. ISRAEL DOES HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT TO DO THAT, DO YOU KNOW THAT?
    7.WHAT HAVE THE ISRAELIS  LEARNED FROM THE GENOCIDE COMMITTED BY THE NAZIS, THE ANSWER IS NOTHING. THEY ARE PERPETRATING THE SAME
    CRIMES.

    I APPLAUD TURKEY FOR WHAT IT HAS DONE. IT WILL STOP THE KILLING OF CHILDREN, EVEN IF IT SUCCEEDS IN SAVING ONE CHILDS LIFE.

    DO YOU ISRAELIS REMEMBER SCHINDLER AND WHAT HE SAID WHILE HE WAS CRYING , IWILL  REMIND YOU , HE SAID ” IF I COULD HAVE SAVED ONE MORE LIFE WITH THIS PIECE OF GOLD” MEANING SAVING A LIFE OF A JEWISH MAN, WOMAN OR A CHILD.

    I DONT THINK I WILL HAVE TO SAY ANYMORE.

    ISRAELI PEOPLE HAVE CHANGED INTO A MINDLESS, NAIVE AND DANGEROUSLY IGNORANT RACE.

    JANA