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 beginning of many such calls for BDS in the mainstream

Probably the first major Western publication to endorse the Palestinian BDS campaign, Ireland’s Tribune is setting an important precedent:

They were not, as Israel’s defence minister Ehud Barack ludicrously tried to claim, “an armada of hate and violence”.

Nor was the Mavi Marmara “a boat of hate”, as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the Turkish ship, trying to justify his commandos gunning down nine civilians on board as they stormed the boat in international waters.

But Netanyahu was right on one count. “This was not a love boat.”

The Free Gaza flotilla has been classed by some as a bunch of well-meaning but misguided hippy activists who want to spread peace and love and do not understand the delicate balances of power within the Middle East region.

The movement is far from that, and legitimately so.

These are well-informed, sincere and highly-motivated people who have come together from across the globe to muster the refreshing force of people power. They know that, in the absence of any meaningful moves at governmental level to force Israel to dismantle its illegal blockade of Gaza and to pressurise both Palestine and Israel to take part in peace talks, 1.6 million inhabitants of Gaza will continue to live in desperate conditions, their access to food and supplies reliant on the whim of the Israeli authorities.

The flotilla carried a humanitarian cargo, but it was ultimately, and powerfully, political.

The Free Gaza organisation knows full well that action to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1860, which calls on Israel to dismantle the blockade of Gaza, will never happen because the blockade is a product of the very foreign policy these countries promote.

It knows that neither the US nor Europe will do anything to pressurise Israel into meaningful talks with Palestinian leaders which, now that the Palestinian Authority has lost all authority in the Gaza strip, must include Hamas in some context.

As a result, the flotilla could not simply offload its cargo at the Israeli port of Ashdod and hand over the aid. It could never be merely a humanitarian mission. The boats had to publicly challenge the blockade itself in order to highlight its illegality and its effect on the people of Gaza.

The mistake Israel made was to act against the citizens of 40 different friendly nations, including many high-profile individuals, in the same way as it generally reacts to those who oppose it in Lebanon or Gaza – with lethal force.

The Israelis will absorb the body blows of international anger. They will try to justify the killings with talk of self defence. They will continue spinning the fiction that the Israeli commandos who opened fire on the people defending themselves were actually the victims. They will talk about unproven links to al-Qaeda and will raise the menace of Iranian weapons.

But there is no doubt that last week’s use of overwhelming force has left them unusually isolated.

John Ging, the UN’s representative in the besieged Gaza says the Mavi Marmara killings have “exposed the failure of the international community to match its words with deeds”.

The initial response has been promising. Britain’s condemnation of the killings was unexpectedly trenchant, with the new foreign secretary William Hague calling for an end to the illegal blockade. The EU, as a whole, was disappointingly more muted, but still condemnatory. Turkey is now, of course, a foe rather than an ally. Ireland may be relatively powerless as a small nation, but Micheál Martin has been assiduous in describing conditions in Gaza to his European colleagues since he became the first EU foreign minister to go there. He is an articulate opponent of injustice and could argue persuasively for the suggestion by aid agency Trócaire that Israel’s privileged trading position within Europe be withdrawn until the blockade is lifted. The beginnings of a change in unconditional support from the US also seem to be taking root.

The power of a people’s movement lies in its ability to challenge national or international policies that are inherently unjust.

The Rachel Corrie, acting as a second wave of protest, was genuinely feared by the Israelis because of its highly-charged symbolic power. A boat loaded with humanitarian aid and carrying an Irish nobel laureate, Mairéad Maguire, and the United Nations’ former deputy secretary general Denis Halliday, could not be confronted aggressively by gun-toting commandos. By all accounts, yesterday’s seizure of the ship as it sailed close to the Gaza shore was a completely different operation to Monday’s massacre.

But Israel cannot prevent wave after wave of similar protests. The people’s movement has made enforcement of the blockade not just “unsustainable” to use Hillary Clinton’s phrase, but indefensible.

These activists are showing that individuals can make a difference and that when an issue has international popular support, symbols take on a political power of their own.

While everyone cannot join a convoy, there are times when it’s not enough to know that citizens of Gaza are suffering at the hands of a country that is supposed to be our friend.

A boycott of Israeli goods by Irish people may seem like gesture politics, but it could achieve two aims. It would show solidarity with the people of Gaza and it would also register collective displeasure at what the Israelis are doing.

Nelson Mandela told the Dunnes strikers, who made a great personal sacrifice during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, that their gesture kept him going while in prison.

The activists who took part in the Free Gaza flotilla may be regarded by some as extremists, and by others as do-gooders who should mind their own business. But most of us who do nothing should remember that it is generally when injustice remains unchallenged that it persists.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Knesset is looking to criminalise anybody who assists in the campaign to boycott or sanction Israel.

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