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.

BDS would only empower Israel’s nationalist right

The importance of the BDS against Israel is regularly covered on this site.

Here’s a counter view, by Zvi Bar’el in Haaretz (essentially arguing that the world should not really do anything about Palestine but hope and pray?)

How charming the boycott cry is. Boycott Israeli universities, Israeli products from the settlements, flowers grown in Israel. When this call comes from Israelis, it reflects a great deal of despair, and stems from goodwill, of course. It’s an enchanting formula: They’ll boycott Israel, the public outcry will reach the government and the latter, being democratic, will have to obey the will of the people. How could they not have thought of it sooner?

They did think about it. That is exactly the formula behind the sanctions against Iran. Economic isolation, frozen bank accounts, senior officials not being able to travel abroad – then the Iranian people will wake up and change their regime, or at least its policies. Iran has been under sanctions for 30 years, and the people, wonder of wonders, have not risen up. They protest, but not because of the sanctions; because of the regime’s suppression.

This remedy was also tried with Iraq. For 12 years the Iraqi people groaned under sanctions and dictatorship, but did not rise up against the great military leader who ruled their bedrooms. In the end there was no choice but war. Sanctions did not help.

And what about South Africa? The ostensibly successful sanctions and boycott, which led to the regime’s fall? Sanctions – first military – were imposed on South Africa as early as the start of the 1960s. Then in the mid-1970s, they were extended to oil exports, and finally came the widescale sanctions of the mid-1980s. But apartheid was eliminated only in the mid-1990s, and even then it was not due to sanctions alone; in fact, in those years South Africa experienced economic growth and its exports increased 26 percent. President P.W. Botha’s response to the blacks was no less vindictive than the West’s desire to impose sanctions. Botha wanted to prove that outside intervention would not impact apartheid.

Israel has adopted the same policy. It has blockaded Gaza to spur the inhabitants to rise up against the Hamas regime, in order to achieve politically what the Israel Defense Forces could not achieve militarily. But three years of blockade, four years of fighting Hamas, and even the destructive Operation Cast Lead did not do the trick. The people of Gaza did not rise up, and the Hamas regime only grew stronger.

Anywhere sanctions are imposed – from Iraq to Iran, from Gaza to Pakistan – nationalist and radical forces actually have become stronger. Even the intellectuals who oppose the regimes have found themselves forced to defend them from outside intervention. Nationalism, or more correctly, extreme nationalism, rejoices.

People calling for a boycott of Israel or its institutions and products have given up on change from within. But what is worse, the call is motivated by the same logic that guides government policy in Gaza, and it is just as mistaken. After all, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that the Israeli government or the public will behave differently than Gazans or Iranians.

The fact that Israel is a democracy is no guarantee. Proof of this lies in the collective behavior in the face of Turkey’s attack on Israel and the threat of military sanctions. Cancelling vacations in Antalya, protests and boycotting Turkish goods have become symbols of the “just struggle” against the bad guys.

If Israeli scholars are banned by universities in London, that’s not so terrible. They can still go to Pennsylvania, and if they are banned there, they can still correspond and publish online; what’s more important is that foreigners don’t dictate policy “to us.” If now, even before a boycott, lecturers have to think twice about what they say lest extreme nationalists mark them, then under sanctions, some elected officials may ensure such academics are immediately fired. In any case, people waiting for an academic uprising amidst a boycott should have their heads examined.

Who else can take part in the civil disobedience in the boycott proponents’ fantasy? Farmers? Students? Travelers? Businesspeople? How many of them will wrap themselves in the Israeli flag to show the world we do not give in to sanctions? That will be the finest hour of the right wing, the “nationalist camp,” fascism. Boycott becomes them.

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  • If Israeli scholars are banned by universities in London, that’s not so terrible. They can still go to Pennsylvania, and if they are banned there, they can still correspond and publish online; what’s more important is that foreigners don’t dictate policy “to us.” If now, even before a boycott, lecturers have to think twice about what they say lest extreme nationalists mark them, then under sanctions, some elected officials may ensure such academics are immediately fired. In any case, people waiting for an academic uprising amidst a boycott should have their heads examined.

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