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.

Australian media minds still seduced by Zionist ideology (shame it’s as accurate as Exodus)

This is what passes for “journalism” and commentary over Israel/Palestine in Australia.

First, this piece completely ignores the wider context of why people would want BDS against Israel. The best the ALP can do is say that local council has no business being involved? Want to make any comment about whether you agree with Israel’s occupation against Palestine? Of course not, far too gutless for that. And how is the wider context ignored, namely that Fiona Byrne is contesting the NSW seat of Marrickville at the upcoming election against sitting member Carmel Tebbutt? And the fact that Tebbutt is the wife of Anthony Albanese, so what a surprise they’re backing each other? And finally, in the recent federal election, Albanese’s once safe Labor seat became marginal and nearly went to the Greens. Perhaps he should stand up for something important now and then.

Shoddy all around:

A Sydney council’s decision has been attacked as self-indulgent by local federal member and senior minister Anthony Albanese.

The council decided to boycott Israel in protest over its treatment of Palestinians.

The Greens-controlled Marrickville Council passed a motion in the final weeks of December pledging to effectively sever all commercial, sporting, cultural, academic and government links with the state of Israel.

As part of the motion the inner-west council also resolved to write to Mr Albanese, whose Sydney seat of Grayndler incorporates Marrickville and is one of a number of seats in Sydney and Melbourne Labor risks losing to the Greens.

But Mr Albanese, who said he had yet to receive any correspondence seeking support for the ban, attacked the motion as counter-productive.

“Foreign policy is a fair way outside the parameters of the role of Marrickville Council,” the Infrastructure and Transport Minister said.

“I think people in the electorate want local government to deal with local government issues.”

Under the terms of the motion the council undertook to identify links with any organisations or companies that “support or profit from the Israeli military occupation of Palestine”, and then sever them. But Mr Albanese said the edict would be impossible to implement.

“If an Israeli exchange student wants to come to Australia will Marrickville council boycott providing any services to that person?” Mr Albanese said.

“As an advocate of peace in the Middle East which achieves justice for both Palestinians and Israelis we need sensible solutions and understanding, not counter-productive self-indulgence.”

That scepticism was shared by Carmel Tebbutt, the NSW deputy premier and member for Marrickville.

“Residents in Marrickville would be better served by a council who dealt with issues closer to home,” Ms Tebbutt said.

But Marrickville mayor Fiona Byrne defended the ban, saying it “(recognised) the role of Council in promoting universal respect for human rights and the protection of democratic principles with a view to ending human rights injustices and violations”.

“It is important for all levels of government to back the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign,” Ms Byrne said

One of the five Greens councillors who voted for the motion, Max Phillips, also defended the ban. “People are obviously concerned about international issues in our area,” Mr Phillips said.

The motion passed 10 members to two.

All four Labor councillors voted for the motion, along with the Greens, who sponsored the resolution.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive, Vic Alhadeff said the resolution would most hurt the people the council was seeking to help, saying there were more than 50,000 Palestinians employed by Israeli companies or studying or teaching at Israeli universities.

This piece in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, headlined, “North Korea, Marrickville: Going rogue”, is about as funny as a migraine. And a picture of Israeli model Bar Refaeli alongside the piece? Oh right, that’s because she’s beautiful and therefore Israel is a great country. I forgot that a 10 year old boy edits the paper. Of course, Zionist laughing at Arab suffering is oh so trendy in some circles. And Israel wonders why it’s lost the PR battle around the world? Hard to see why:

What does the desert theocracy of Saudi Arabia have in common with Marrickville Council in Sydney’s Inner West?

Ever since a Marrickville Council meeting late last year, both are sworn enemies of Israel. In a 10-2 vote, the council decided it would “boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, academic institutions, government or institutional cultural exchanges”.

Trendy councils supporting trendy causes is nothing new. Greens-dominated Marrickville is a nuclear-free zone that abhors Australia’s treatment of refugees while taking a “BANANA” approach to development: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone.

Israel is one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial countries in the world. Its products and inventions find their way into computers, mobile phones, and medicines. A ban means a lot more than just making sure the hummus at council meetings is non-kosher. The second problem is that the move cuts against the proper business of a council and demonstrates that the supposed progressivism of the district only goes so far.

2 comments ↪
  • Hiram

    I live in the Marrickville area and I have been asking many of the local people if they knew anything about the council boycott of Israel. The strange thing is that no one knew the issue was even being discussed before council announced that they had already voted to boycott Israel on the 14th December 2010 and even now with so much being said about the topic, the vast majority of local residents and shop keepers are still in the dark that this decision has been made on their behalf.

    The 10 councillors have over stepped their roles as local community representatives and have breached too many codes of conduct that they must work within. The mayor is just using her platform as a local government representative in order to promote herself and set herself up for the upcoming state elections. She should step down and the other 9 councillors should be given warnings.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    "NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive, Vic Alhadeff said the resolution would most hurt the people the council was seeking to help, saying there were more than 50,000 Palestinians employed by Israeli companies or studying or teaching at Israeli universities" – The Australian

    Is that all?

     

    It's a bit like saying don't boycott Apartheid South Africa because "there were more than 50,000 blacks employed by South African companies or studying or teaching at South African universities"