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.

How the Melbourne Film Festival embraces apartheid Israel

Back in 2009, film-maker Ken Loach withdrew his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival after it was revealed that the Israeli government offered financial support for the event.

This year there was supposedly no controversy despite the festival again taking funds from the Israeli government (the director, Richard Moore, is a Zionist whose son has served in the IDF).

And then something changed a few weeks ago, an issue that has thus far received no mainstream media coverage. Australian, Jewish academic Ned Curthoys has written an exclusive report for this site:

About a fortnight ago, some friends of the Palestinian people alerted the production company Human Film that the 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival lists the state of Israel as a cultural partner and therefore official sponsor of the festival. Their award-winning Iraqi film Son of Babylon was due to screen on Wednesday the 28th of July and Friday the 30th of July.

On behalf of Human Film, the Director Mohamed Al-Daradji, the Producer Isabelle Stead and the Producer Atia Al-Daradji wrote on Sunday the 25th of July to the Executive Director of MIFF, Richard Moore, stressing that Son of Babylon is a Palestinian co-production and that as they, as filmmakers, are ‘wholeheartedly against the Israeli governments’ actions against the Palestinian people and as such cannot screen our film at Melbourne IFF whilst there is Israeli government support involved’.

The signatories stressed that they are not against the Israeli people or Israeli filmmakers but ‘against the Israeli government actions against Palestine’ and that they refused to have any association with the state of Israel until it respected the human rights of the Palestinian people. They repeated their request to withdraw the film.

[MIFF head] Richard Moore responded by agreeing to disagree on the political aspect of the matter and, complaining of the logistical impossibility of withdrawing the film on the eve of screening, informed the signatories that the Monday screening would be shown but that he is prepared to countenance financial compensation for the Wednesday the 28th screening.

Isabelle Stead, the main producer of SON OF BABYLON, writing on behalf of Human Film, responded that she really hoped that he, Richard Moore, had respected their wishes and withdrawn the film from the festival, entirely. This isn’t about politics, she wrote, this is about humanity.

She made the point that it had only just been brought to their attention that MIF festival was supported by the state of Israel, and that upon receiving this information, they acted as promptly as they could. Isabelle was surprised that Melbourne IFF had not informed filmmakers whom have a Palestinian element/connection to their film that the state of Israel are involved in funding the festival. She pointed out that the festival was informed in enough time to stop the screening – as in 2009 when Ken Loach withdrew his film on the eve of its screening. MIFF should not underestimate Human Film’s resolve to ensure that their film is not associated with the state of Israel as long as it continues its illegal crimes against humanity.

Richard Moore refused to acknowledge that he had any obligation to inform a Palestinian co-production about Israeli sponsorship, instead claiming that revocation of permission to withdraw the film and to take action against the festival if it does not withdraw the film was a ‘divisive act’ that contravenes the film company’s ethos of breaking down cultural barriers.

Isabelle Stead repeated her willingness to reimburse the festival and repeated her point that the festival must hold some responsibility in not informing a Palestinian co-production that it was being supported by the state of Israel. She reminded Moore that in the 1980s Mr Rod Webb, The Sydney Film Festival Director, refused to accepted any sponsorship or screen films from apartheid South Africa. When Israel is no longer an apartheid state, she wrote, we will of course be proud to screen our films in conjunction with them. In the interim she would be happy to help Richard Moore find alternative sponsorship that is independent of Israel’s support for Melbourne IFF in the future.

She welcomed Moore’s allusion to their mission statement and pointed out it was still in full force and effect, since they were ‘acting from a humanitarian stance’. She asked that Richard Moore respect their wishes not to screen Son of Babylon and wanted to be informed if the film had been screened at the festival.

Richard Moore then revealed his hand by declaring, against the common wisdom of Jimmy Carter and Desdmond Tutu, that the comparison of Israel with an apartheid state was ‘odious’. He now claimed that Human Film had not taken the issue of compensation seriously, and, to rub salt into the wound, smugly talked of how much the patrons had enjoyed the screening and that he hoped the film scored well in audience awards.

Isabelle Stead now accused Richard Moore of petulance, and was clearly upset that he had disregarded the multiple requests of Human Film not to have any screenings of their film at the festival. Isabelle wrote that she had spoken to the producer of Looking for Eric – who informed her that they were not requested to pay the festival any monies for pulling the film in 2009. She reiterated that she had made a fair offer to reimburse the festival for the shipment costs along with any monies paid to their sales company to screen the film. She reiterated that any permissions granted to Melbourne IFF to screen SON OF BABYLON had been revoked.

Isabelle. in a later correspondence, suggested that she was disgusted with the behaviour of the festival towards Human Film, and very saddened that Moore couldn’t see past the politics to the real heart of the issue. Human Film would now prefer to offer the proceeds of the admissions for the screening of Son of Babylon to a charity of their choice.

The second screening of Son of Babylon on Wednesday went ahead without any signal that this was against the express wishes of Human Film. One can safely draw the conclusion that just as MIFF and Richard Moore failed in their ethical obligation to inform international film makers of Israeli sponsorship of the festival, they have also engaged in a conspiracy of silence to prevent you knowing about the principled ethical objections of Human Film to screen Son of Babylon.

The public can make up their own mind but audiences of the MIFF 2010 and the wider public have a right to know about the way in which Richard Moore himself is deliberately politicizing the festival.

Yesterday Crikey published the full email correspondence between MIFF and the film-makers.

2 comments ↪
  • mohan

    Richar Moore is has acted like a bully reminding us of the behaviour of the country he sought patronage from. He has smeared Ken Loach as well as the present film makers with allegations of censorship ans reported in AJN. And AJN gives a very truncated report concealing more facts than it reveals.

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