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.

Why Marrickville embracing BDS is proper and moral

A fine statement:

Pip Hinman, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the NSW state electorate of Marrickville, has expressed strong support for Marrickville Council’s recent resolution to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid in Palestine.

She disputed claims by the ALP candidate for Marrickville, Carmel Tebutt, and the local federal Labor MP, Anthony Albanese, that the Council’s decision was on a matter beyond the range of concerns appropriate for local government. She congratulated the Mayor of Marrickville, Fiona Byrne, and the NSW Greens candidate for the state electorate, for her stand.

The whole point of the BDS campaign”, Hinman said, “is that despite national policy being skewed by the anti-Palestinian bias of both major parties, we can campaign for our trade unions, community organisations, campuses and local governments to not be economically or institutionally involved with Israeli oppression in Palestine.

For example, many Sydney councils outsource garbage collection to a multinational corporation that is also building a light rail system in the illegally occupied West Bank. Palestinians will be banned from using, or even crossing, this light rail system, which will connect illegal Israeli settlements while further carving up Palestinian communities.

People in this community care about what happens in the wider world”, Newtown resident Hinman said. “We don’t want our garbage collected by a corporation that builds infrastructure for apartheid. Our council’s resolution, the first of its kind in Australia, ensures that this won’t happen.”

Liberal candidate for Marrickville Rosana Tyler condemned the council’s resolution for pandering to “xenophobic” community sentiment.

To call our community xenophobic is quite absurd — 38% were born overseas”, Hinman said. “What Rosana Tyler calls xenophobia is a sentiment for our community’s engagement with the wider world to be ethical. Fiona Byrne and the Marrickville Council have recognised this sentiment. The failure of Carmel Tebutt and Anthony Albanese to do likewise is one of many reasons why they no longer hold safe seats.”

6 comments ↪
  • Daniel

    Why don't we try asking the Palestinian's themselves? By this I mean, real people going about their daily (non-violent) lives, instead of the radical nationalists, Islamists and foreign activists who inevitably make the headlines. You may be surprised to learn that many would just like to have have jobs, education, social services, security, and all the rights available in any Western democracy. For them, the issue of which flag flies over Jerusalem is somewhat secondary.

    The life that they want is possible in the state of Israel, but nowhere else in the Middle East. That's a fact – unless you care to provide a counter example. That some clever (non-Palestinian) activist invented a comparison with apartheid, that is now mindlessly parroted by wanna be Intifada-ite uni students, isn't a valid argument about the morality of the Israeli state. Its just a lie, propagated in the hope that if repeated often enough, people will come to unthinkingly believe it.

    The results of this poll, may come as a surprise to some. I await your explanation:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?…
     

  • iResistDe4iAm

    Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems: one – progressive, liberal – in Israel; and the other – cruel, injurious – in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day” ~ Michael Ben-Yair (former Israeli Attorney-General), 2002 

     

    If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, then as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished” ~ Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, November 2007 

     

    Israel’s relentless drive to establish “facts on the ground” in the occupied West Bank, a drive that continues in violation of even the limited settlement freeze to which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed himself, seems finally to have succeeded in locking in the irreversibility of its colonial project. As a result of that “achievement”, one that successive Israeli governments have long sought in order to preclude the possibility of a two-state solution, Israel has crossed the threshold from “the only democracy in the Middle East” to the only apartheid regime in the Western world” ~ Henry Siegman (former national director of the American Jewish Congress), January 2010 

     

    As long as in this territory west of the Jordan River there is only one political entity called Israel, it is going to be either non-Jewish or non-democratic. If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, it will be an apartheid state” ~ Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, February 2010

  • Phil Jones

    Daniel ask "Why not ask the Palestinians themselves?"  Anna Balzer, a Jewish American has done precisely that while visiting Palestine.  She reports that that is what Palestinians want, they want support for the BDS campaign. The wishes of the Palestinians has also been reflected through the Christian leaders in Palestine through the Kairos Palestine Document.

    They say:

     

    Resistance to the evil of occupation is integrated, then, within this Christian love that refuses evil and corrects it. It resists evil in all its forms with methods that enter into the logic of love and draw on all energies to make peace. We can resist through civil disobedience. We do not resist with death but rather through respect of life. We respect and have a high esteem for all those who have given their life for our nation. And we affirm that every citizen must be ready to defend his or her life, freedom and land.

    Palestinian civil organizations, as well as international organizations, NGOs and certain religious institutions call on individuals, companies and states to engage in divestment and in an economic and commercial boycott of everything produced by the occupation. We understand this to integrate the logic of peaceful resistance. These advocacy campaigns must be carried out with courage, openly sincerely proclaiming that their object is not revenge but rather to put an end to the existing evil, liberating both the perpetrators and the victims of injustice. The aim is to free both peoples from extremist positions of the different Israeli governments, bringing both to justice and reconciliation. In this spirit and with this dedication we will eventually reach the longed-for resolution to our problems, as indeed happened in South Africa and with many other liberation movements in the world.

    Through our love, we will overcome injustices and establish foundations for a new society both for us and for our opponents. Our future and their future are one. Either the cycle of violence that destroys both of us or peace that will benefit both. We call on Israel to give up its injustice towards us, not to twist the truth of reality of the occupation by pretending that it is a battle against terrorism. The roots of "terrorism" are in the human injustice committed and in the evil of the occupation. These must be removed if there be a sincere intention to remove "terrorism". We call on the people of Israel to be our partners in peace and not in the cycle of interminable violence. Let us resist evil together, the evil of occupation and the infernal cycle of violence.

  • Daniel

    Phil,

    Do you notice a difference between this wording:

    "Palestinian civil organizations, as well as international organizations, NGOs and certain religious institutions call on individuals, companies and states to engage in divestment and in an economic and commercial boycott of everything produced by the occupation"

    and the Marrickville council resolution:

    "Marrickville Council boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, academic,

    government or cultural exchanges."

    Some groups (such as church groups) have called for a boycott of goods made in the "occupied territories", which most take to mean the West Bank settlements. This is a protest specifically against the ongoing settlement developments and an attempt to undermine the economics of them. Many Israelis themselves support the call for an end to settlement expansions (as I do personally). There are some groups behind the BDS movement who mean the word "occupation" to imply any Jewish presence in Israel whatsoever.

    A blanket boycott of Israel, amounts to a hostile attack on the nation itself, not a protest against a specific policy or action. Marrickville council has gone considerably further than most other organizations in taking this course. The fact it has singled out the only Jewish state, despite the obvious human rights failings of so many other nations in the region and wider world, that concerns many in the Jewish community. Despite the protestations of the councillors, you can't separate an attack on Israel from an attack on Jews everywhere. It is home to nearly half the global Jewish population, and everyone has a connection to it, if not spiritual then through family, or simply as a symbolic entity of the survival of the Jewish race, or possibly a place of refuge.

    All external groups who wish to take a stand on Palestinian issues need to make it clear that they recognize Israel's right to exist. This council resolution doesn't do that, it unambiguously chooses sides against Israel and by extension against Jews. It is anti-Semitic.

     

     

     

  • David Fonteyn

    The main issue I have with the council’s resolution and the media discussion of it is that it is not honest.
    In the resolution, they back clearly the BDS movement’s aims, which includes right of return. This means they back a one state solution with the end of Israel. But they seem to deny this in their media discussion.
    Secondly, they go further than a boycott of Israel to a boycott of Australian companies that are financially linked to Israel – including donations as well as profits. This could be seen as anti-semitic (as most Jews donate to Israel). But they seem to be saying that all they are doing is boycotting companies that are involved in the territories.
    For me, it’s important that the public know clearly what the council is doing so they can make their own mind up on the issue based on the facts. As it is, the council is not coming clean.
    Also, as it stands, the resolution contradicts the Greens party policy on the conflict and the party should come out and state its position – whether it now supports BDS or not. This is certainly important in the coming NSW election as Fiona Byrne is a good chance to win her seat, compelling her to put the BDS up as a motion in parliament as the council has resolved to do. It is important then that the public know the position of all Greens candidates throughout the state on this issue – as is true of the other candidates as well.

  • Yani

    Why don’t we try asking the Palestinian’s themselves? By this I mean, real people going about their daily (non-violent) lives, instead of the radical nationalists, Islamists and foreign activists who inevitably make the headlines. You may be surprised to learn that many would just like to have have jobs, education, social services, security, and all the rights available in any Western democracy. For them, the issue of which flag flies over Jerusalem is somewhat secondary. The life that they want is possible in the state of Israel, but nowhere else in the Middle East.

    Utter rubbish!!!
    http://www.bdsmovement.net
    BDS Israel and be done with this Zionist Disneyland.