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 importance of the right of return

I just signed the following recent statement written by Al-Awda, the US-based Palestine Right to Return Coalition:

In the year and a half since Israel’s massacres in Gaza, the Palestine solidarity movement, for fifteen years weakened by the two-state “Peace Roadmap” of the 1993 Oslo Accords, has gone through what can only be described as a major political recalibration.

After years of meaningless “peace negotiations,” the aim of Oslo — a “Jewish state” on 78 percent of historic Palestine and a rump “Palestinian state” on the remaining 22 percent — is rapidly losing whatever credibility it may have once had among Palestinians. Indeed, outside the Palestinian Authority, created by Oslo to serve Israeli interests, it is hard to find any Palestinian voices advocating for such a solution with conviction.

From the ruins of Oslo have emerged new campaigns with holistic goals. The most significant of these has been the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, initiated and overwhelmingly supported by Palestinian civil society.

This campaign seeks to address the entire spectrum of what BDS leader Omar Barghouti describes as Israel’s “three-tiered system of oppression against the Palestinian people”: the 1967 occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem; the denial of Palestinian refugees’ right of return; and the systemic discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

These BDS demands present a direct challenge to the Zionist regime of Jewish domination over the Palestinian people. The same goals have generated growing support for the principle of a single, democratic state throughout all of historic Palestine. Even longtime two-state supporter Mustafa Barghouti concedes, “I believe the vast majority of Palestinians would accept equal rights and one person, one vote in one state with alacrity. I certainly would were we to reach such a day.”

Outrage over Israel’s atrocities in and against Gaza — including the recent assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla — has dramatically infused these ideas into the international Palestine solidarity movement, thrusting the Palestinian struggle in the world spotlight as perhaps never before. Despite attempts of its opponents to tar it with the brush of anti-Semitism, BDS is increasingly advocated throughout the world, often by Jewish activists.

Zionist organizations have noted these developments with alarm. The Reut Institute, a leading Israeli think tank, recently warned that support for BDS is based on a “set of ideas that are increasingly sophisticated, ripe, lucid, and coherent,” which, if not aggressively countered, could lead to a “paradigm shift from the Two-State Solution to the One-State Solution as the consensual framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Meanwhile, some in the solidarity movement seek to limit or even oppose BDS. They claim that it is “unrealistic,” or even morally undesirable, to advocate BDS goals that challenge the separate “Jewish state” envisioned by the “Two-State Solution.” Although those who argue this include courageous critics of Israeli policy, their position here is deeply flawed.

First, the principle of self-determination means, above all, that decisions about what is or is not “realistic” belongs to those who live under oppression, rather than their sympathizers — however well meaning. “As in the struggle against South African apartheid,” writes Omar Barghouti, “genuine solidarity movements recognize and follow the lead of the oppressed, who are not passive objects but active, rational subjects that are asserting their aspirations and rights as well as their strategy to realize them.”

Second, is there any social justice movement that has not seemed “unrealistic” or even impossible? Yet, circumstances change rapidly and unpredictably; what was fantasy yesterday often comes true tomorrow. It is enough to remember the long decades that preceded the abolition of slavery, the civil rights victories of the 1960s, or the collapse of colonialism and apartheid in southern Africa.

Third, the “Two-State Solution” is itself realistic only as ratification of a fractured, Israeli-controlled Bantustan; a “Two-Prison” solution, as Palestinian activist Haidar Eid bluntly describes it. This has been the Israeli and U.S. goal since the beginning of the “peace process”; indeed, anyone looking to catch glimpse of a future Palestinian “state” need look no further than the systematic strangulation of Gaza and continued “Judaization” of the land on both sides of the 1948 “Green Line.” In that sense, the most dangerous aspect of this solution is precisely that it is possible.

Finally, “pragmatism” at the expense of justice is always an illusion. As Martin Luther King Jr. famously pointed out, true peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice. An apartheid state built on the notion of Jewish supremacy in an Arab land cannot be part of that vision of justice; on the contrary, it promises unending oppression and conflict.


Although it would be naive to expect an imminent collapse of this state, the genie is out of the bottle. If King was right — that the arc of the “moral universe” does indeed bend toward justice — there is reason to be confident about the movement’s long-term prospects.

Now more than ever, it is time for the solidarity movement to align itself with the growing number of Palestinians in the 1967 occupied territories, the refugee communities, and within the 1948 lands calling for a single democratic Palestinian state of all its citizens from the river to the sea.

This cannot happen until all those and their descendants who were driven from their villages and cities in 1948 by terror, force and massacre are able to return and live in freedom and equality in all of historic Palestine. For those interested in true peace, that is the only pragmatic option.

one comment ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    From A Road Map to a One-Way Street 

     

    Most roads leading to or from the "Road Map For Peace" have either been destroyed by bombing or bulldozing, cut off and blocked by segregated colonies and freeways, dead-ended by sieges and impenetrable walls, or choked by endless checkpoints leaving only a single One-Way Street to One Shared State.