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.

Roll up for another few decades of settlement expansion in Palestine

My following article appears on ABC’s Unleashed today:

Will they or won’t they? The international media were counting down the hours until Israel’s self-described “settlement freeze” ended this week.

Most Western journalists, based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, looked for any signs from the government of Benjamin Netanyahu that would appease the perceived outrage of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas who claimed he would walk out of US-backed talks if colonies continued construction.

The elaborate dance came and went, building resumed and Palestinians were once again left standing at the altar with no concessions and less land without Zionist footprints.

In fact, if reporters had actually travelled around the West Bank during the last months they would have found extensive settler work. Dror Etkes writes in Haaretz that even according to official Israeli figures the number of housing units built in settlements barely reduced over the last 10 months. Etkes explains:

“The truth is that the settlers know better than anyone else that not only did construction in settlements continue over the last 10 months, and vigorously, but also that a relatively large part of the houses were built on settlements that lie east of the separation fence, such as Bracha, Itamar, Eli, Shilo, Maaleh Mikhmas, Maon, Carmel, Beit Haggai, Kiryat Arba, Mitzpeh Yeriho and others.”

In other words, illegal colonies on Palestinian land expanded and yet virtually nobody said anything about it. A two-state solution is impossible with creeping expansion on a daily basis. It’s no wonder the one-state solution, or a variation of it, is increasingly on the mainstream agenda.

US president Barack Obama spoke at the United Nations last week and warned both Palestinians and Israelis to get on-board with his efforts. If they did not, he said, “Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state” and “Israelis will never know the certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable neighbours who are committed to co-existence.”

But then the US president included this clincher: “The hard realities of demography will take hold.” This means that soon the numbers of Palestinians and Arabs will outnumber Jews in Israel and Palestine, making an occupying Zionist state an apartheid entity by definition.

Tragically, realities on the ground are already apartheid-like and a fair and equitable division of land, called for by Washington, Australia and the EU, is delusional. This is what decades of Western indulgence has done to the Jewish state, criminally assisted by the Zionist lobby in the US and beyond. Witness the Jewish Forward editorial last week that praised Palestinian capitulation to Zionist demands, something America may be keen to accelerate.

Peter Beinart recently wrote in the Daily Beast that, “To be labelled a champion of peace by the American Jewish establishment, it turns out, a prime minister of Israel only really has to do one thing: be prime minister of Israel.”

Furthermore, countless Jewish groups work directly against Israel’s long-term interests. A recent investigation by IPS found Jewish groups in Europe receiving tax exemptions for assisting the IDF and illegal settlements.

In Australia, the media mouthpiece of the Israeli government, the Australian Jewish News (AJN), is equally incapable of being anything other than a repeater of Netanyahu government talking points. If somebody else were leader of the country, the AJN would mindlessly echo these, too. It is for these reasons of unthinking patriotism and nationalist fervour that I remain involved in Independent Australian Jewish Voices as an alternative to bombastic and pro-Zionist, settler positions.

The Israeli government has been committed to the colonial project in the West Bank for more than four decades. Palestinians living under occupation experience this catastrophe daily.

Take the town of Wadi Rahaal, on the desert outskirts of Bethlehem. Its residents are increasingly surrounded by the Efrat settlement and its security infrastructure. The 1,700 residents are close to prisoners in their own land. And, of course, Gaza remains under occupation.

The matrix of control of the settlements was shown to a journalist from the New York Times when Peace Now took her on an aerial tour of the northern West Bank. The group has even released an iPhone app to assist in following the ever-growing movement of the colonies. The Israeli government is so proud of its expansion that the tourism minister is planning West Bank tours “for internal tourism and for tourism from abroad”. Roll up and see Palestinians living in cages.

It’s almost redundant to write what is required to undo Israel’s self-destructiveness. Roger Cohen says in the New York Times that Obama “must now break some [Israelis] bones to get his way” and demand a complete settlement freeze.

Instead, Obama seems to be begging Netanyahu to extend the “freeze” for extensive US concessions. The world’s only super-power is again on its knees before its client state despite Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor and self-described “Israel’s Attorney”, claiming on ABC Radio’s PM that Netanyahu is “very committed” to peace.

But it’s too late. The Palestinians are being asked to accept Israel as a Jewish state, immediately negating the full rights of the over 1 million Arabs inside Israel and acceptance of the legitimate legal rights of the millions of Palestinians with the right to return to ancestral lands. We can’t be surprised that countless Palestinian refugees in Lebanon prefer armed struggle than futile negotiations.

Author of the book, The Invention of the Jewish People, Shlomo Sand, argues that Israel can’t be both a Jewish state and an Israeli democracy and it appears to prefer the former:

“The trouble is that the Zionist enterprise, which created a new people here, is far from satisfied with its creation and prefers to see it as a bastard. It prefers to cling to the idea of a Jewish people-race, profiting for now from its imaginary existence.”

This week’s controversy was the speech at the UN by Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman calling for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to make way for a contiguous Zionist state. Netanyahu was angry about the timing of the speech but not the content. Lieberman is far more honest than the bulk of Israeli politicians; he articulates what many of them have long wanted to do. His recent suggestion was forcing Israeli Arabs to sign a loyalty oath to the Zionist state.

Another recent Lieberman call was that current peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians should be about the exchange of land and populations and not land for peace; they must accept a purely Jewish state. Lamis Andoni writes on Al-Jazeera that accepting such an outrageous idea would be a betrayal of the decades-old struggle:

“Israel is pushing for Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish state [because] it wants the Palestinian leadership in one swift move to legitimise the expulsion of Palestinian-Israelis and to end any discussion of the right of return.”

This is something that, thus far, neither Abbas nor Hamas would ever accept.

While the US and Israeli-backed Palestinian Authority, armed and trained by American Lieutenant General Keith Dayton to create a crack-team of thugs to crush Hamas opposition in the West Bank and suppress any protest, the international community have a choice.

Many in South Africa are using their historical experience to warn Israel that it faces growing isolation. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, amongst many others, are backing calls for the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to sever academic ties with Israel’s Ben Gurion University (BGU) due to its collusion with the occupation.

The ultimatum by UJ, issued on Wednesday, was that BGU “would have to work with Palestinian universities on research projects and stop its “direct and indirect support for the Israeli military and the occupation” or face exclusion.

A complete boycott was eventually shunned by the university but serious pressure applied.

The logic of boycott, divestment and sanctions is becoming increasingly clear, with Jews sometimes taking charge. The alternative is playing the game of endless negotiations that always move in one direction; South Africans have the moral authority to lead the way.

Tutu’s call to arms speaks for itself:

“Together with the peace-loving peoples of this Earth, I condemn any form of violence – but surely we must recognise that people caged in, starved and stripped of their essential material and political rights must resist their Pharaoh? Surely resistance also makes us human? Palestinians have chosen, like we did, the nonviolent tools of boycott, divestment and sanctions.”

Antony Loewenstein is a journalist, blogger and author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution.

2 comments ↪
  • Palestinian

    Pretty soon there will be no Palestine to haggle over!!! This has always been the Zionist plan from the very beginning, preoccupy the world with meaningless details while they expand their grand project.

    Anyone who believes "Israel" is doomed, is deluding themselves!!!! They know exactly what they are doing, how and when to implement it, whether by violence, trickery or shear thuggery.

  • arab muslim

    The existence of the Zionist entity in the heart of the Arab-Muslim is in itself a strange Because the Zionist entity is not shared with the Arab world, anything that characteristics such as religion, customs Traditions and language. The existence of Israel within the Arab world is a big mistake, and constant tension In the Middle East also note since 1948. Such as the entry of foreign objects inside the human body begins Body fever, tension and fatigue and to ensure even go out foreign objects. To all Arab and Islamic countries to form the Ministry of Defence and one common to all States and the expulsion of the Jews From the Middle East. This is the best choice for Arabs and Jews in that one because the Jewish people will never feel the stability and comfort, but if Came out of Palestine, all Palestine greetings to all