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.

Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman taking a stand for Palestine?

If true, a rather remarkable political act by two very mainstream actors (and one Jew):

Hollywood actors Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman backed out of attending this year’s annual Jerusalem Film Festival, which is set to kick off this coming Thursday, following the international outcry over Israel’s attack on a Turkish-led flotilla that attempted to break the Gaza blockade on May 31, The Jerusalem Post learned Monday.

According to Cinematheque associate director Yigal Molad Hayo, while neither gave the political climate as a direct reason for canceling their participation in the festival, “it became quite clear that this was the reason,” he said.

“Meg Ryan was supposed to come here, it had all been closed with her people,” said Molad Hayo, adding “a day after the flotilla incident we got an email saying she was not going to attend, and although they claimed it was because she was too busy, it was clear to me that it probably had something to do with what had happened.”

In addition to Ryan, who has starred in such movies as Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and, more recently, Kate and Leopold, Molad Hayo said that the Cinematheque had also reached “advanced negotiations” with Jewish actor Dustin Hoffman.

“We were very close to reaching an agreement with him, then the flotilla happened and correspondence was ended,” said Molad Hayo.

Ryan and Hoffman are not the only high-profile names to decline participation in this year’s festival.

Prince Albert of Monaco, son of legendary actress Grace Kelly, was also slated to attend.

“I’d already made arrangements for a tribute to Grace Kelly to appear in the festival program,” said Molad Hayo, adding that he believed Prince Albert’s cancellation could have come from pressure in his own country not to make an official visit to Israel at this time.

“I think they believed it could have been very negative for him and even dangerous,” he said.

18 comments ↪
  • Ruben

    These big names have suddenly become tiny to me. If they can't judge for themselves from videos of Israeli soldiers being beaten to near death who the good guys are and who are the bad guys, what are they good for anymore. Poor role models. Has beens. Perhaps a nice cruise alone with their Turkish/Iranian/Hizbullah/Palestinian heroes will sober them up and bring them back to reality.

  • Avi

    Good for them.  Israel has is being run by fanatics.  they will destroy themselves and the reputation of Judiasm if they dont change their way soon.

    they ought to be boycotted until they start acting like a civilized nation.

  • Corinna

    Everytime a Jew stands against Israel it breaks my heart. 

  • ej

    Every time a Jew stands for Israel it breaks my heart.

  • Kia

    Good on them! To Ruben, the Israeli soldiers upon the flotillas left some Turkish dead. None of the soldiers were killed. And, also, they boarded the ships at 5 in the morning, on international waters, to stop aid from reaching Gaza. The people on board the ships were protecting themselves. You would have done the same.

    It's about time the big names stood up to a fascist regime, just like  everyone stood up to South Africa during South African Apartheid. I now rate Meg Ryan, and Dustin Hoffman, higher than before!

  • Don

    Corinna:

    You are probably an Israeli citizen  –  aren't you ? 

    I have no problem with that , but I do have a big , big , big , problem if you are also an Australian citizen  because ,   with your default mind-set ,  you have a  potentially treasonous role . 

  • Corinna

    Let me ask – your country – where ever you are from – your governments would have allowed this ship into its waters? I dont believe so. No other country would have allowed their blockade to be broken.  You know only too well who was on this boat – its well documented and no one refutes it. The question is why do you think Israel should let this boat into Gaza?  Why not say mmmm well why is there a blockade in the first place ohhh and what has happened to the kidnapped soldier (taken from inside of Israel) who not even the red cross has been allowed to visit (4 years)!!! and please note the red cross was on this flotilla and please note their silence was deafening.  When I hear Jews selling their soul it hurts.  Israel is not perfect – what country is! If Dustin has a problem with Israel then do something productive – to snub Israel just for the sake of thinking its polictically correct to do so says little of the man. 

  • Corinna

    @Kia – whom were the people protecting themselves from exactly?  The soldiers boarded the ship but were not firing at anyone –  You have seen the videos – who was beating whom up – if your son was one of the soldiers would you have not shouted to him – "use your gun"!!! The terrorists on board the boat were out for a killing and if you couldnt see that then what was it you actually saw that I missed!!!  If I was an African I would really be annoyed the way the pro palestinian lobby have usurped the  word "apartied" – its outrageous!  Pro Palestinians love to throw the dirt around hoping that it will stick – it doesnt matter to them how low they stoop.

  • Marilyn

    Corinna you stupid woman the blockade is illegal.   It has always been illegal and it will always be illegal.

    It is a crime against humanity under international law and always will be.

    So I would join anyone who wanted to break the blockade.

  • Corinna

    For clever cloggs Marilyn

    CAN ISRAEL IMPOSE A NAVAL BLOCKADE ON GAZA?

    Yes it can, according to the law of blockade which was derived from customary international law and codified in the 1909 Declaration of London. It was updated in 1994 in a legally recognised document called the “San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea”. Under some of the key rules, a blockade must be declared and notified to all belligerents and neutral states, access to neutral ports cannot be blocked, and an area can only be blockaded which is under enemy control.

    “On the basis that Hamas is the ruling entity of Gaza and Israel is in the midst of an armed struggle against that ruling entity, the blockade is legal,” said Philip Roche, partner in the shipping disputes and risk management team with law firm Norton Rose.

    WHAT ARE INTERNATIONAL WATERS?

    Under the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea a coastal state has a “territorial sea” of 12 nautical miles from the coast over which it is sovereign. Ships of other states are allowed “innocent passage” through such waters.

    There is a further 12 nautical mile zone called the “contiguous zone” over which a state may take action to protect itself or its laws.

    “However, strictly beyond the 12 nautical miles limit the seas are the “high seas” or international waters,” Roche said.

    The Israeli navy said on Monday the Gaza bound flotilla was intercepted 120 km (75 miles) west of Israel. The Turkish captain of one of the vessels told an Istanbul news conference after returning home from Israeli detention they were 68 miles outside Israeli territorial waters.

    Under the law of a blockade, intercepting a vessel could apply globally so long as a ship is bound for a “belligerent” territory, legal experts say.

    CAN ISRAEL USE FORCE WHEN INTERCEPTING SHIPS?

    Under international law it can use force when boarding a ship.

    “If force is disproportionate it would be a violation of the key tenets of the use of force,” said Commander James Kraska, professor of international law at the U.S. Naval War College.

    Israeli authorities said marines who boarded the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara opened fire in self-defence after activists clubbed and stabbed them and snatched some of their weapons.

    Legal experts say proportional force does not mean that guns cannot be used by forces when being attacked with knives.

    “But there has got to be a relationship between the threat and response,” Kraska said.

    The use of force may also have other repercussions.

    “While the full facts need to emerge from a credible and transparent investigation, from what is known now, it appears that Israel acted within its legal rights,” said J. Peter Pham, a strategic adviser to U.S. and European governments.

    “However, not every operation that the law permits is necessarily prudent from the strategic point of view.”

    OPPONENTS HAVE CALLED ISRAEL’S RAID “PIRACY”. WAS IT?

    No, as under international law it was considered a state action.

    “Whether what Israel did is right or wrong, it is not an act of piracy. Piracy deals with private conduct particularly with a pecuniary or financial interest,” Kraska said.

    HAVE THERE BEEN ANY SHIPPING DISRUPTIONS AFTER THE RAID?

    None so far but the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), an association which represents 75 percent of the world’s merchant fleet, has expressed “deep concern” over the boarding by Israeli forces, arguing that merchant ships have a right to safe passage and freedom of navigation in international waters.

    “These fundamental principles of international law must always be upheld by all of the world’s nations,” the ICS said.

     

  • melinda huntley

    It's very courageous of Dustin Hoffman and Meg Ryan to stand up.  Also, Prince Albert too.  It takes guts and truth and I salute them.  From my perspective this movement will grow, nothing will stop it now.  There will be no going back, it is a difficult time but every time someone does stand up it supports another to do so also, however small, it is one defiant act that builds to freedom.

  • Corinna

    @Melinda – What exactly are they standing up for – Terrorism – that to you is commendable – something in your vision of a good world is a little off dont you think.

  • fatimah

    @Corinna – have you no morales? have you no idea whats happening in Palestine? A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. i wonder, do you understand the word humanity? or do you consider humanity only an appropriate word when refereed to those who favor the Jewish state? your condoning a blockade. i dont understand people very well, people who can justify terror, pain, poverty, sickness, hate.

    you may or may not be american but : http://www.ifamericansknew.org/ i hope it helps.

    maybe it'll help you understand what right from wrong, just in that sense. politics aside, blood shed should not be justified, cannot be justified.

    i dont even want a response, cuz i've read and heard it all before. i just hope you start to care more about the quality of all lives. thats what the turkish flotilla was about, bettering the quality of some peoples lives, no matter their nationality or religion.

  • Corinna

    @fatimah  – You are right there is a crime against humanity against the palestininas just one thing you have wrong it is being committed by Hamas – they are the ones that deny human rights to women – they are the ones the caused the blockade – or is it that you see nothing wrong in firing rockets into Israel which went on for 8 YEARS!!!  The crime against the palestinians is that they are being used and abused by their own muslim brothers for the destruction of Israel and that is all.  A Palestinian state could of been established many many times over but it will never happen because its not really the issue.   If you truely care for the palestinians then demand that Hamas gives them human rights! No human rights for women – no freedom of press and look what they just did to the UN Summer camps.  Dont you dare blame this on Israel.

  • Fayez

    Corinna,

    I don't know who you are, but I believe you need to go to school to learn how to be a good and decent human.

  • Corinna

    @Fayez- what is it that makes me not a good decent human being – I am trying to defend the rights of the Palestinians whom dont get any from Hamas – is that making me bad in your eyes?

  • eloise

    Good for Meg and Dustin, I am now a bigger fan of them than ever.  Israel has been the king of collective punishment for the small actions of a few. Even though they are the 5th largest nuclear power, they cry like babies when a couple of homemade rockets fly into their illegal colonies in the first place. They have no place surrounding Gaza and the West Bank with their illegal colonies, violating 68 UN resolutions, bulldozing homes and ancient olive orchards so they can built their ugly trailer homes and create facts on the ground because they are the so called "chosen people." No one told them to leave their comfortable homes in New York city and Europe so they can go and bully Palestinians with AK47s on territory Palestinians have lived on for 1000s of years.  Palestine should not have to pay for Germany's crimes. No way would God condone Israel's actions today in his name. Bless the Jews with a conscience who are the most courageous of all!!!

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    @Corinna: You are a very very misinformed sad woman. When so much as a scratch surfaces on Illegal (Israel's) soil, they blame and point the fingers on the poor Palestinians who have been in intense blockade for over 6years now with probably one of the lowest HDIs and per capita income on the entire planet. Not to mention being bombarded for 6 decades, having one of the WORSE living conditions to face and getting worse by the day. If you look at the history of the state of Israel and how to came to be, you'll know who the REAL terrorists are.

    I'm Kuwaiti/French/Tunisian. When Saddam Hussein invaded my country, the famed reason was because he wanted to occupy us, but there was also an underlying reason. This takes us back to the Iraq-Iran War of the mid 1980s, Iraq was the only Arab nation which stood up against Iran and yes we were grateful, but we got greedy and didnt want to provide anymore aid and yet, we also extracted oil from a northern province of ours which borders with Iraq and according to researchers the land was titled and large amounts of oil came from Iraqi soil, TECHNICALLY. This pissed Saddam Hussein off, and he was quiet about this for many years until things got bitter (mind you our relations with Iraq prior to this unfortunate war was formidable and fantastic until greed came along the way)….surprised that I, a national of my country, took a stand against the mistake we did which cost Iraq many lives and bad blood…BUT IT'S THE TRUTH, it's a b*tch but by God it's the truth and nothing but the truth. And what's right is right. So rather than defending Israel based on PURE bias, do some research (it wont cost you a penny) and see the real evil-doers before bad-mouthing a helpless nation.

    Thank you.