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.

A few simple steps for Israel to win back friends (measured in decades)

Note yesterday’s editorial in Murdoch’s Australian broadsheet. Defensive, seemingly pained that the beloved Israel had acted so brazenly and less defiant as usual. Next step, backing a targeted boycott campaign (ok, I can dream):

The Jewish state must reassure the world it wants peace

In boarding vessels intent on breaking the Gaza blockade the Israeli military has done the Jewish state a great deal of harm. Hamas, the terrorist organisation that controls Gaza, cannot hope to destroy Israel by military means. But by isolating Israel diplomatically it can weaken its ability to defend its interests everywhere from the UN General Assembly to the Gaza border and there is no doubting this morning Israel has fewer friends than it did two days ago.

Israel’s motivation is easy to understand – the flotilla was testing Israeli resolve to ensure the seas did not become a supply route for rockets to be fired at them from Gaza. So is the reason why the Israelis opened fire when they boarded the biggest vessel, their advance party was attacked by friends of Hamas spoiling for a fight. But Israeli explanations are being drowned out by condemnation from Hamas and its allies, a chorus that will be joined by people all over the world who buy the lie Israel is always the aggressor. There are at least nine reasons why – the number of people who died in the fracas. Like Bloody Sunday in Londonderry in 1972, when British paratroopers fired on demonstrators, killing 13, these deaths will be what is remembered, not the way the Israelis offered to accept supplies for Gaza in one of its ports, or any errors of judgment or mitigating circumstances that may be revealed by the inevitable inquiry.

Understandably so. The fact Israel has been in a fight to survive throughout its entire history does not exonerate its officers in the deaths of people who would be alive but for poor planning. Certainly, the five smaller vessels in the flotilla were stormed without strife. But what did the Israelis expect would happen when they boarded a vessel carrying 600 people, including some keen on a confrontation? It appears senior officers involved did not anticipate resistance and deployed too few men, ill-equipped to contain a mob without using deadly force. For a nation whose police and armed forces have decades of experience in containing riots with minimal casualties, this is a failing as unnecessary as it is unacceptable. All military establishments become complacent and make mistakes and the Israelis are no exception, demonstrated by the 2006 incursion into southern Lebanon which was slow to start and lacked clear objectives. And now the Israelis have again demonstrated an inability to manage the new ways of war where terrorists, not troops, are used. It is a long time since Israel’s classic battle victories of 1967 and 1973.

But while military failings are alarming, the real worry for its friends is the way Israel’s government either does not understand or, more alarmingly, no longer cares what the world thinks of it. This year Israel has committed three unforced errors that have made it look arrogant and uninterested in its image. In January, assassins, all but universally agreed to be Israeli agents, killed senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. Nobody outside the terror organisation and its Iranian paymasters mourned Mabhouh. But countries were enraged that the hit squad used forged passports, including some in the names of Australians. In March, Israel announced a new housing development in Jerusalem, on land the Palestinian Authority claims, during a visit by US Vice-President Joe Biden. Mr Biden, who was trying to kick-start talks with the Palestinians, was furious. And now people are dead in a fight that could have been avoided.

Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorists is beyond doubt. But this does not exempt it from continually making its case to the world or mean it need not do everything it can to demonstrate it is the only state in the Middle East governed by democracy and the rule of law. There are all sorts of reasons why Israel seems uninterested in making the effort. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in coalition with nationalists who are hard to control. Many Israelis are tired of talks that go nowhere and prefer to put their faith in the military. But Israel must remember that it had the sympathy of the Western world when it carried, and occasionally used, a very big stick but always talked of peace and made concessions to secure it. As recently as 2006, retired general and then prime minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally evacuated Gaza. But now Israel is looking like an aggressor. After losing the shooting war, Hamas, which is committed to destroying the Jewish state, is incongruously winning the struggle for sympathy. And Israel is losing support even in social-democratic countries that traditionally supported it. Israel needs to win back their support – its security requires more than military might.

no comments – be the first ↪