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.

Oh Jerusalem, why do you make it so hard to like you?

The New Zealand Herald’s editorial today reflects a global pattern (I’ll get to more of that later today) that almost feels pain in acknowledging that supporters of Israel are finding it increasingly difficult to support the Jewish state:

Israel can hardly claim to be surprised by the universal international condemnation of its commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip.

There is a sad familiarity about the episode, which left at least nine activists dead.

Here, as in last year’s military offensive against Gaza, Israel has reacted with force completely disproportionate to the situation.

In so doing, it has placed itself even further offside with the international community and, worse still, undermined the prospects of an easing of Middle East tensions.

The aid flotilla, conceived by the Free Gaza Movement, was undoubtedly provocative.

Its aim was to bring world attention to the deteriorating humanitarian and economic circumstances in the narrow Palestinian enclave.

Israel imposed a blockade in 2007 after the militant Islamic group Hamas won power, and has blocked ships from delivering aid since its 2009 offensive.

The stated aim of the blockade is to stop the delivery of arms to Hamas, especially of rockets that can be fired indiscriminately at Israeli villages.

But the number of such attacks has dwindled, and Israel stands accused of being more intent on creating hardship for Gaza’s 1.5 million people in the hope that they will rise up against their extremist governors.

That strategy is as ill-judged as an assault on aid ships in international waters.

Turkey, until recently one of Israel’s few friends in the region, had warned that action against the flotilla, which was manned mainly by Turks, would have “irreversible consequences”.

Yet in the end,Israel was again unable to come up with anything other than armed might.

Resistance to this should have been of little surprise, but, in circumstances that are not yet totally clear, the attack went awry.

It should be noted that Israel had suggested that the flotilla should offload its 10,000 tonnes of medical and building supplies at the Israeli port of Ashdod before it was handed over to the United Nations for delivery to Gaza.

That was a reasonable compromise. Indeed, if such moderation were pursued, the people of Gaza might come to recognise an alternative to an extremism that, according to Israel, has led Hamas to place a higher emphasis on the securing of arms than the wellbeing of the Palestinian people.

3 comments ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    And the conclusion remarks from Page 2 of the editorial… 

     

    "Pressure to lift the blockade will now increase. Having already shown himself quite willing to risk the wrath of President Barack Obama, Mr Netanyahu is unlikely to feel inclined to bow to international entreaties. 

     

    The consequence of these hardline tactics will be a strengthening of the status of Hamas as the flag-bearers of Palestinian nationalism, the increased sidelining of Fatah, and the encouragement of a greater stridency. 

     

    That, and the increasing desperation of the people of Gaza, enhance the prospects of a new Palestinian uprising. A dramatic new approach from the Israeli leadership is required to address that.  

     

    The attack on an aid flotilla that posed no real threat suggests the chances of such a change are, in fact, receding."

  • ej

    Still too kind to Israel.

    offloading the goodies to an Israeli port for on delivery to the starving?  ho ho.

    Who was born yesterday here?

  • Adam

    Handing the medical and building supplies over to Israel is a reasonable compromise? What drugs to do you have to be abusing to come to that conclusion? Is it in the water? I keep hearing this.

    What possible reason would the people on the flotilla have to believe that Israel would pass on the supplies Gaza? They've been holding back the very same things from them for more than a year and suddenly they're going to reverse position?

    Another reason that thinking is disconnected with rationality is that such a compromise, even if Israel broke with all precedent and honoured it's part of the bargain, would still leave the blockade intact. That was unacceptable to the people on the flotilla, it would be unacceptable to anyone genuinely opposed to genocide (and anyone who thinks that starving 1,500,000 people of food and medicine for years on end is anything but genocide should read the United Nations convention concerning genocide and then rethink their position) and it remains unacceptable to international law.

    Palestinians, including Gazans, are promised the right to freedom of movement and the right to leave their homeland and to return to it by the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 13. These rights are specifically being denied them by the illegal and inhuman siege.