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.

How an Israeli should back the World Cup

Tell me this is a piece of satire in the Jerusalem Post but I fear it is not:

After the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 49 years in riveting fashion on Wednesday, and with the Lakers-Celtics series wrapping up soon in the NBA Finals, soccer’s World Cup tournament that begins Friday in South Africa will be the focus of the sporting world for the next month.

Israelis are known as rabid soccer fans, even though the country’s national team has only made the tournament once – in 1970 – and even then scored only one goal.

Headlines here that have been dominated recently by sanctions on Iran and the Gaza flotilla are now expected to be devoted to conflicts on the playing field.

But as Israelis, when times are as tough for the Jewish state internationally as they are now, which of the 32 teams that made the tournament can you support?

First of all, in this semi-satirical overview, the good news: The Turks, whose Islamic fundamentalist wannabe martyrs tried to kill Israeli soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara last Monday, did not make the tournament. The sanctimonious Swedes and Norwegians thankfully won’t be there, either.

Since it’s easier to decide who to root against than whom to cheer, let’s start with the teams that no self-respecting Israeli can support.

Brazil, in cooperation with the Turks, initiated a proposal that could have facilitated the nuclearization of Iran, voted with the Turks against Wednesday’s UN sanctions, and recently treated visiting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad like a king.

Five Israelis were attacked in Madrid on Monday, and Israeli gays were told to stay away from the city’s gay pride parade. So, no support for Spain.

South Korea downgraded this week’s visit to the country by President Shimon Peres, and the protests against him were particularly nasty – so it’s out, too.

Israelis won’t be cheering for North Korea, which built a Syrian nuclear facility, or Algeria, for obvious reasons. Germany remains Iran’s largest-trading partner, and a massive 20-billion-euro Swiss gas deal with Iran should prevent Israelis from backing Switzerland, which hosts the notoriously anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council.

There are many reasons not to root for England; from its attempt to prosecute opposition leader Tzipi Livni, its deputy prime minister’s support for banning weapons sales to Israel, it being the home of Israel boycotter Elvis Costello, and its recent expulsion of a Mossad official due to his alleged role in facilitating the use of British passports to kill a mega-terrorist.

Australia also expelled a Mossad official for the same reason. Nearby New Zealand suspended high-level relations with Israel after the Mossad allegedly misused its passports in 2004, and last month outlawed kosher ritual slaughtering of animals.

Honduras has a large Palestinian population. Paraguay sheltered many Nazis, including Joseph Mengele, after the Holocaust. The Ivory Coast is 60% Muslim.

France, Japan, Portugal and Greece are known for outbreaks of anti-Semitism, and – a genuine soccer-related grievance – the Greek team finished ahead of Israel’s in their qualifying group, ending Israel’s World Cup hopes. Some Israelis will never forgive the Uruguayan team for defeating Israel’s World Cup team 40 years ago.

In the aftermath of the flotilla raid, South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations, so any Israeli who considered backing the home team of Human Rights Council Gaza report author Richard Goldstone will hold back.

Besides South Africa, World Cup countries that voted for the council’s decision to authorize a probe of the raid included Argentina (whose coach Diego Maradona has made anti-Israel statements), Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Mexico, Nigeria, Slovenia and Uruguay, so Israelis cannot support their teams, either.

But the real test of friendship with Israel was the Human Rights Council’s vote to endorse the Goldstone commission report. Six of those same countries voted against Israel, with Mexico, Slovenia and Uruguay abstaining, along with World Cup teams Cameroon, Japan and South Korea. France and the UK declined to vote. Slovakia voted against the Goldstone report, but abstained on the flotilla vote.

The only World Cup countries that voted in Israel’s favor on both key issues were the United States, Italy and the Netherlands.

The Dutch government elected this week is expected to be more pro-Israel than its predecessor, just like the Italian government is.

But Italian president Silvio Berlusconi compared Gazans to Holocaust victims on a recent trip to Ramallah.

So that leaves the United States and the Netherlands, and Denmark and Serbia, which are not on the council and protected their Jews during the Holocaust, as possible countries to support. Given Serbia’s dubious human rights record and ties to Iran, that leaves just three.

Still, Israel Radio analyst Hanan Crystal, who is an expert on both Israeli politics and soccer, said the days of Israelis deciding what team to support based on the geopolitical situation are long gone. He said Israelis once backed France when it was the Jewish state’s main benefactor, and rooted for Western European teams against Eastern European team during the Cold War, but it doesn’t work that way anymore.

“Israelis root for a variety of teams for many reasons, and politics is no longer one of them,” Crystal said. “I think that means we have matured.”

3 comments ↪
  • Well its a pretty funny piece even if it isn't meant to be. Two haha's from me!

  • Larry

    I'm going to go with deliberate satire. In that light it is quite brilliant. The piece ends a little abruptly for me, but apart from that, 4 out of 5 stars.

  • Samer

    what about the team of hizbullah….?

    israel made hizbullah: they gave them a reason to exist…they created them. hizbullah gives Israel a reason to bomb Lebanon every few years…they are two sides of the same coin…i think israel should should vote "Hizbullah" next time