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.

Jews telling other Jews what Arabs feel

Indoctrination on the Zionist Birthright programs is legendary (witness my 2009 report that details the Jewish role-playing of Arabs to “understand” the occupation).

Now a new book, Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage, and Israeli Birthright Tourism, expands this ideology further but certainly explains the reasons many Jews return home with a fundamentally distorted view of the Middle East (and the Zionist teachers are fine with that):

At the heart of Kelner’s inquiry is a suspicion that must be shared by many people who hear about Birthright, and probably many people who go on it: Is it a kind of indoctrination? The very fact that the program is free for participants—funded by individual philanthropists, community groups, and the Israeli government—makes the question plausible. [Editor’s note: Tablet’s parent organization, Nextbook, Inc., has partnered with Birthright in the past and may do so again in the future.] Everyone knows there is no such thing as a free lunch: Is the price of this one adherence to a particular political line? “In light of the common assumption, shared by proponents and detractors alike, that state- and community-sponsored tours of Israel are a means of enlisting Diaspora Jews as partisans in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Kelner asks, “should we not expect the [tour] guides to ignore Palestinian points of view, to present only the Israeli government’s perspective, and to discourage tourists from expressing dissent?”

Kelner’s answer is no, and for several reasons. First, he shows, the program guidelines emphasize that Birthright trips—which, though funded by Birthright, are organized by other groups, especially Hillel—are meant to be educational experiences, not political ones, and the tour guides seem to take this seriously. In fact, Kelner shows, much of the value of a student’s experience depends on the personality and principles of the guide she is assigned. He tells the story of one guide, Ra’anan (all the names in the book are pseudonyms), who takes a group of young people to the “separation wall” that divides Jewish and Arab areas near the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem. The Israeli guide goes out of his way to explain both the Israelis’ perceived need for the wall, to stop suicide terrorists, and the Palestinians’ justified resentment of it. “The reality today [is] that if I’m an Arab farmer,” Ra’anan explains, “I want to go to my plantation, I need to go through a security checkpoint because of the security fence that those Israelis built to me.” (Here, as throughout the book, Kelner reproduces speech literally, both Israeli grammatical mistakes and the torrential “likes” used by the Americans.)

Still, Kelner observes, this admirable even-handedness exists within the fundamentally Jewish and Israeli orientation of the tour. The students hear about Palestinian grievances from Ra’anan, not from a Palestinian who is actually affected by the separation wall. In general, Kelner writes, they are introduced to many facets of Israeli life—nature preserves, army bases, discos, restaurants, beaches—but hear about Arabs only in the context of “the conflict.” As he puts it, “even in the most balanced of scenarios … when the discourse paints both Israelis and Arabs in shades of gray, the experience of Israel, and Israel alone, occurs in 3-D Technicolor with Surround Sound.”

one comment ↪
  • Stephen

    The bias is in there if you know the key words. Gilo is not a "neighbourhood", it is a colony for the occupiers. A settlement has different connotations – as if the land is being settled because there is no-one there, which all except hardened Zionists understand to be utterly false.