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 ALP and Israel is like a disease that no medicine can cure

Australian unionist Paul Howes loves Israel. He supports its criminality, murder of opponents, defends it from everybody and would ideally like to make love to the Jewish state. He’s also one of the key figures behind the recent coup of Julia Gillard when overthrowing Kevin Rudd.

Welcome to the modern Australian Labor Party, where Israel is a state religion.

His column in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph is a typical rant that conveniently forgets to mention that one of Australia’s leading Zionist lobbyists, Albert Dadon, is actually an Israeli lobbyist. He wields influence but of course we can’t mention this. Furthermore, Howes doesn’t want to see that there is a profound conflict of influence with the Prime Minister’s partner working for a Zionist lobbyist who is trying to affect government policy towards the Middle East. But of course for some, anything related to the Jewish state is beyond criticism. Fat chance:

It hasn’t taken long for the double standards to emerge, in the week since our first female Prime Minister took office.

While it’s significant that Julia Gillard is our first female PM, what’s really significant is how long it took us to get there.

I’m writing this column in the Sydney CBD, where we have a female Lord Mayor and State member, and female federal MP, a female Premier and a female Governor.

In Canberra, there’s a female Governor General and – at last – a female PM. With the exception of the dual-Lord Mayor/Member for Bligh, all these women are, or were appointed by, Labor.

The Liberal Party, on the other hand, is so bereft of female talent that they’ve recycled Julie Bishop as deputy leader three times for different leaders, despite the fact that she’s not considered competent enough to hold the shadow Treasury portfolio.

But the progressive side of politics has always championed women. In my own role as a union official, we have had female leaders of the Australian Council of Trade Unions since 1996, with the newest president, Ged Kearney, taking office in the past week.

She replaces Sharan Burrow, who has been elected as the head of the global trade union movement.

Yet we’ve already seen double standards being applied to our new PM with significant media coverage of Prime Minister Gillard’s hair, clothes, voice and domestic arrangements.

The Melbourne Age carried a front-page story last week about the employment status of the Prime Minister’s partner, Tim Mathieson.

He works as a salesman for a Melbourne property company, chaired by Albert Dadon, prominent in the local Jewish community.

The article implied that, somehow, because Mr Mathieson works for a company associated with a Jewish community member, this would somehow impact on the PM’s stance on foreign policy, particularly in relation to her views on Israel.

It was one of the crassest examples of shoddy journalism I’ve seen. The implication was, firstly, that because Mr Mathieson is a man and the PM a woman, whatever he thinks about the world or who he works for will impact on what Ms Gillard thinks.

The second implication was that, simply because Mr Mathieson works for a company owned by a prominent Jew, his personal views on policy matters will be skewed by his job.

One Canberra press gallery journalist summed it up best on Twitter when he said: “I can’t ever recall a male politician being the subject of claims his wife’s job would influence his views on the Middle East.”

He was spot on, summing up in one sentence the appalling double standards applied to Prime Minister Gillard in the article. In fact, outrage over the article was so intense that even former Age editor Michael Gawenda labelled it “bizarre”.

Mr Mathieson’s employer, apart from being Jewish, is a well-known jazz musician and was chairman of the Melbourne Jazz Festival.

Following the logic of The Age’s article, one could presume that our nation’s leader will redirect the Government’s arts funding solely towards the Australian jazz industry.

Ludicrous, isn’t it? Just as ludicrous as saying that the PM is going to toe some pro-Israel line simply because of who her partner works for. It’s the type of double standards and sexist reporting that belongs in the past.

Julia Gillard has shown she is her own person. It doesn’t matter what her hair looks like. I don’t think anyone is really interested in how she dresses. It doesn’t matter who her partner works for or what their living arrangements are.

What matters is that she’s the best person for the job and light years ahead of Tony Abbott when it comes to understanding the needs of ordinary Australians. Yes, she’s different from her predecessors, but just like Kevin Rudd, John Howard, Paul Keating and Bob Hawke, she is her own person.

Any suggestion that her partner’s views, or her hairstyle, has any bearing on how she runs the country is laughable at best, sexist at worst.

Paul Howes is national secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union

3 comments ↪
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    Julia Gillard’s blind support for Israel is certainly deeper than the influence of Albert Dadon. Despite this good journalism is required to inquire into the impact of the relationship between Albert Dadon and the Gillard-Matheson household. Howe, himself an avid supporter of Israel’s militarist policy– including assassination and collective punishment of the Gazan population–has disingenuously ignored Mr Dadon’s very public advocacy on behalf of Israel, despite any of Israel’s crimes as documented by the UN’s Goldstone Report, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Mr Dadon organized for Prime Minister Gillard to visit Israel only months after a deadly attack on Gaza including the bombing of the UN compound, the American School, mosques and hospitals that left 1400 dead. White phosphorus was dropped on houses and burnt the flesh of its victims. Ms Gillard’s visit occurred just after the Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister calling for the expulsion of Israeli Palestinian citizens (a fifth of Israelis are Palestinian) if they did not sign a patriotic pledge. Why doesn’t Howe start to look at Israelis like Uri Avnery, Jeff Halper, Rabbi Arik Asherman, Neta Golan, Jonathan Shapira, Joseph Dana, Inna Michaeli or Women in Black that stand alongside Palestinians in their struggle for freedom. If Howe is ever to understand the Middle East he needs to learn about the work of Israelis like this.

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  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Read Albert 'Artillery' Dadon's defence of the shelling & murder of Gazan civilians in the Australian on 22 January 2009.

    He is a disgrace to Australian Jewry.

    When asked about the murders of the Gazans, Julia Gillard responded:

    "Bad things happen every day around the world".

    Really, Prime Minister.

    I look forwad to her early demise.

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