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.

Gillard reassures the Jews that she loves Israel to death

This week’s Australian Jewish News:

Within the Jewish community, discussions about Julia Gillard often include the whispered question: “She might support Israel now, but have you heard what she was like in her university days?”

So, when we spoke to her last August, while she was still Deputy Prime Minister, The AJN decided to explore Gillard’s days in student politics. Where did she stand in debates about Israel when she was president of the now-defunct Australian Union of Students (AUS)?

“The AUS in the late 1970s and into the early 1980s was racked by conflicting views over Israel and Palestine,” Gillard explained during an interview with The AJN in her Melbourne office on Friday. “It caused many Jewish students around the country and their representative organisation – the Australasian Union of Jewish Students – to become anti-AUS.”

Gillard commenced studying an arts and law degree in Adelaide in 1979, but it wasn’t until a couple of years later, when she transferred her studies to Melbourne, that she launched into the quagmire that was student politics at the time.

“When I came into the AUS, sensible people – and I put myself in that category – were saying ‘Well people will have their individual views about this question, it is a democracy, people can debate and try and persuade each other, but this is not business for AUS’.”

Gillard went on to become a leading figure in the movement and she supported the AUS members’ vote to discard their Middle East policy and not replace it.

“I supported that – the union not having any formal policy on that – as a way of concentrating, or trying to concentrate, the union on the things that make a difference. That was always my position on it.”

The Middle East debate, she added, was at its height a few years before she joined the AUS and her time there was during the tail end of the controversy.

With her early relationship with Israeli politics established, Gillard told The AJN about her recent trip to Israel.

Last July, she led the Australian delegation to the Australia-Israel Leadership Forum in Jerusalem.

Speaking highly of that forum, the first of its kind between the countries, she compared it with the prestigious Australia-American Leadership Forum.

“[The Australian-American Leadership Dialogue] has done so much to drive connections between the two countries: at a political level, at a business level, at a social level, at a scientific level. So to be there for the start of what you would hope will grow into something like that, I thought that was a tremendous privilege and opportunity.

“While it is early days and it was the first meeting, I thought all the signs were good.”

The contents of the forum were, unfortunately, confidential.

But one can imagine the debate that took place between Gillard, former treasurer Peter Costello, Liberal shadow minister Christopher Pyne and other Australian MPs sitting across the table from members of the Israeli Knesset, journalists and other ­decision-makers.

Writing in the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange newsletter, a journalist called the event an “invigorating, candid and often amusing collaboration”.

Gillard said the forum and the rest of her time in Israel demonstrated to her that, excluding the security situation, the two countries had wide-ranging commonalities.

“I think both countries visualise themselves as having a highly skilled, high-tech, high-innovation future,” Gillard said.

She echoed a thought that appears to be verbalised more and more in recent months: that Australia has a lot to learn from Israel, particularly in the high-tech field.

Speaking on education, a matter close to her heart – as well as Deputy Prime Minister, she holds the portfolios of education, employment and workplace relations and social inclusion – she said Australia and Israel would benefit from sharing ­knowledge.

“Both countries are working through how do you keep improving quality, particularly in circumstances where you’ve got large numbers of migrants into the nation from different places,” she said.

“They have had to have an education system aspiring for excellence, but dealing with a lot of diversity and our education system is the same. I think the possibilities for exchange there are very strong.”

Throughout the interview, Gillard was relaxed and comfortable talking about Israel, emphasising recent meetings with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority leaders.

“To have a discussion about economic issues, security issues, world events generally, that was a great privilege,” she said.

4 comments ↪
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  • Aaron

    Sealing beyond a doubt my decision to vote against Labour in the coming Federal election – and I'm in Lindsay Tanner's seat of Melbourne which is quite possibly going to the Greens. I hope so. I'll be doing my bit to make sure Labour don't win.

    Enough of these zionist sycophants who will say sorry to Australia's indigenous population one day then actively support the destruction of the indigenous arabs in Palestine and Israel.

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Je concur

  • autopoet

    “Gillard reassures the Jews that she loves Israel to death”

    …to death? does that mean she would die for that love? or kill for it?