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.

The deadly burden of occupation

A fascinating new report by Israeli group Adva Center that details the true cost of Israel’s ongoing colonisation program. And just remember, this is what most Jews in the Diaspora are backing:

Marking 43 years of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, the Adva Center published today its bi-annual report on the burden of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians, written by Dr. Shlomo Swirski. The report analyses the extent of the economic, social, military, political and diplomatic burden of the conflict on Israel.

The prolonged conflict with the Palestinians undermines sustainable economic growth, burdens the budget, limits social development, absorbs most of the energies of the political leadership, calls into question the legitimacy of the actions of the Israeli Defense Forces and isolates Israel internationally.

The burden of the conflict includes:

· Double threat to the Israeli economy instead of one: global crises and crises caused by the conflict. As a result, during the last decade (2000-2008), Israel’s economic growth per capita grew more slowly than that of the countries of East Asia and Eastern Europe, at a rate similar to that of Western countries. The problem is that in order to reach parity with Western countries, Israel needs to grow at a rate similar to that of the emerging economies of Asia and Eastern Europe.

· Low credit rating, in relative terms: Israelis are proud of their country’s credit rating, but the figures show that Israel is ranked no higher than 40 among the nations. Most of the developed countries have a rating of AAA, while Israel’s rating is A.

· Budgets go for guns, not butter: Between 1989 and 2010, the Ministry of Defense received budget increments earmarked for the Palestinian conflict in the amount of NIS 45.3 billion (2009 prices) – a sum that exceeds the 2009 budgetary outlay for schools and institutes of higher learning.

· Guns or butter is the name of the game: The prolonged conflict forces Israel to choose again and again between guns and butter. The following diagram shows the difference between changes in the per capita defense outlay and the per capita social services outlay, for the last decade. Following cutbacks in the wake of the Intifadah, the per capita social services outlay declined during much of the decade to below its 2000 level. In contrast, for most of the years in question, the per capita defense outlay exceeded the outlay in 2000 (with the exception of 2003 and 2004, when the Intifadah ran its course). It was only in 2008 and 2009 that the per capita social services outlay grew more than the per capita defense outlay

3 comments ↪
  • melinda huntley

    It's a heavy burden to occupy in every way but especially psychologically – it creates a kind of schizophrenia collectively and the Israelis need to be free from this burden of occupation.  The only hope I have is that I was traveling in India in 1989 or 90 with a German lady from Berlin and we started to read that the wall might come down and she said "no way, it will never come down."  The next day it did!

  • iResistDe4iAm

    The siege will be broken, the occupation will end, the walls will fall, the institutional discrimination will cease, the colonies and roads will be desegregated, the Palestinians will reclaim all their human rights. 

     

    The only question is whether this violent conflict will end non-violently like the apartheid South African model, or violently when it reaches its logical conclusion.

  • ej

    The South African apartheiders didn't possess Israel's major weapon – the tribalism and essential fifth column activity of official Jewry globally.

    This one is a tougher nut to crack.