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.

Western politicians prefer to ignore Israel’s inherent racism

My following article appears in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

Imagine a mainstream Australian politician saying that Aborigines should be banned from leading tourists around Uluru because they might “present anti-Australian positions” to visitors. The outcry would be furious.

But a bill is currently before the Israeli Knesset, led by a parliamentarian from the “moderate” Kadima party, that would bar Arab residents of East Jerusalem from working as tour guides in the city. Knesset member Gideon Ezra said it was essential tourist groups are “accompanied by a tour guide who is an Israeli citizen and has institutional loyalty to the [Jewish] state of Israel”.

It is just the latest sign in an ever-tightening noose around Arabs from the Zionist mainstream in the self-described Jewish nation.

Journalist Gideon Levy writes in the Israeli daily Haaretz that no politician “has even begun to think of Arabs as being equal to Jews”. The Israeli Jewish public increasingly shares these authoritarian views. In a study published in the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, 36 per cent of Israeli Jews urged the revoking of Arab voting rights and restriction of free speech in “times of political difficulty”.

Israel is not a democracy for all its citizens but an insecure nation demanding obedience to an ideology that deliberately excludes the legitimate rights of its Arab population.

The occupation in the West Bank is deepening daily, after more than 43 years, with colonies expanding at the fastest rate in two years. The illegal siege on Gaza contributes to Palestinian children suffering debilitating malnutrition.

This is the Israel that Western politicians prefer to ignore. When I recently confronted Opposition Leader Tony Abbott over his blind backing for Israeli “democracy”, he muttered something about the Middle East not being “perfect.” But, I countered, what about Jewish-only settler roads in the West Bank? That was “bad”, he acknowledged, before looking away nervously.

Julia Gillard’s Labor Party shares these delusions. It is one of the reasons that the Independent Australian Jewish Voices group published newspaper advertisements nationally this month demanding the Australian government “exert pressure on Israel to conform to international law and humanitarian standards”.

The growing global concern over Israeli values has been crystallised by the Netanyahu cabinet voting to force non-Jews seeking citizenship to swear allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state”.

The decision was met with furious indignation from a vocal minority in Israel, not least Palestinians who were being asked to negate their historical rights. Leftist Jewish Israelis marched through Tel Aviv chanting, “Fascism and ethnic cleansing are standing proud”.

In the Diaspora there was virtual silence. Blind loyalty came before defending democratic values. The Achilles heel is its deference to Israeli government decisions, a Maoist-like devotion to a country increasingly delegitimised by its own occupying policies.

One of the main reasons the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign is thriving around the world – alongside the one-state solution idea – is that Israel ignores global demands to change its behaviour. Cultural and economic isolation worked against apartheid South Africa.

Just the latest example of a principled stance in reaction to the loyalty oath, was the refusal of the English filmmaker Mike Leigh to participate in a program at a Jerusalem film school. He also cited expanding West Bank settlements and the brutal attack on the Gaza flotilla.

Leigh was praised by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel for highlighting “the fact that collaborating with institutions of a state that practises occupation, colonisation and apartheid, as Israel does, cannot be regarded as a neutral act …”

No other Western state has tried to introduce anything like the loyalty oath. The oath is on an ever-growing list of anti-democratic proposals before the Knesset, including a one-year prison term for “incitement for the negation of the existence of the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state”.

Palestinians and leftist Jews are loathed fifth-columns to be smeared and isolated.

No obfuscation about the supposedly devilish plans of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran or al-Qaeda can distract from the reality of Israel’s inherent racism. The world should stop pumping in funds to perpetuate the infrastructure of oppression.

Antony Loewenstein is a freelance journalist and author of My Israel Question.

3 comments ↪
  • Aaron

    Antony ~ good that you are getting published in MSM, and I was pleased to see they have elected to have a comments section. When I read your article in the wee hours this morning there was no comments section. Now the bad news: Fairfax are editing comments and not acknowledging it. Here is my comment in full (Fairfax cut a portion of my comment after "This trip has been organised by pro-Israel lobbyist Albert Dadon"):

    I'm glad Fairfax haven't been intimidated or co-opted into total silence on the grotesque racism practiced by successive Israeli governments – though the issue deserves MUCH more attention than it receives, especially on the main issue of Loewenstein's article, the complicity of western governments, and the complicity of our own successive governments.

    There remain unanswered questions as to the reasons Rudd was deposed and as others note Paul Howes and Bill Shorten, who engineered Rudd's overthrow, are strident supporters of Israel. Greg Sheridan of The Australian intimated that Israel had been a factor in the coup. It appears Rudd's cardinal sin was to not go along with absolutely everything Israel says and does. So while he remained silent as Israel slaughtered 1400 in Gaza (1000+ civilians, 320 children), he objected to Israel faking Australian passports and booted the local Mossad head. Ciao Rudd, and in with Gillard who said at an overseas forum recently that foreign policy wasn't her strong point, and she'd rather be at home visiting schoolkids or some such nonsense – exactly what Australia doesn't need, a malleable foreign policy know-nothing.

    What Antony didn't mention is that a big chunk of the ALP and opposition are heading to Israel in December for an expenses-paid junket, the Australia Israel Leadership Forum. This trip has been organised by pro-Israel lobbyist Albert Dadon, the same man on whose payroll was Gillard's partner (Tim Mathieson) until just after the recent election. Mathieson, a hairdresser by trade, was inexplicably "employed" to sell real estate, and all suggestions of Dadon buying influence denied. You make up your own mind, I'm going with Occam's Razor.

    PS. I highly recommend Loewenstein's personal blog.

    Is it any wonder people are abandoning mainstream news organisations when they resort to stunts like this?

     

     

     

  • LOL racism in Israel, what a joke!! clearly you are another idiot who does not live in Israel or know anything about it – go join the sheep please

    here is an Israeli Arab who will tell you otherwise how there is minimal racism in Israel – there is more racism in USA and South Africa, so go bug them rather

    http://israelmuse.blogspot.com/2010/09/video-arab

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