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.

Israel drives itself off a cliff and the Zionist lobby mumbles to itself

As the 2nd J Street conference finishes in Washington – where, despite the group’s conservatism, they were at least willing to engage in debate over BDS – the American Zionist community seem confused that many Jews at the event wanted justice for the Palestinians. This doesn’t make you a Jew-hater, by the way. Sigh:

The detractors of J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying organization, like to portray the organization’s leader, Jeremy Ben-Ami, as so far to the left of mainstream American Jewish opinion as to be out of bounds.

If they think Ben-Ami is too much of a lefty on Israel, just wait till they meet J Street’s rank and file.

At the organization’s conference in Washington this week, which organizers say drew 2,400 people, the crowd was emphatic in its insistence on Palestinian rights, offered only weak, scattered applause for an Obama administration official’s line about America’s strong support for Israeli security, and complained that more Palestinians should have been featured on conference panels.

For Arnold Moses, an activist in his 70s who came to the conference from Reston, Va., J Street just wasn’t reflective of his politics. “They’re too kind to the Israelis,” he said of J Street. “Obama’s too soft on Israel. The Palestinians need to get out of the jail they’re in.”

Activists from the traditional pro-Israel camp have seized upon such sentiment as evidence that J Street is not pro-Israel but pro-Palestinian. They question the organization’s funding sources, its association with certain Arab and far-left organizations, and its advocacy of U.S. pressure on Israel.

But in J Street’s view, this misses the point. For Ben-Ami and J Street supporters, being pro-Palestinian is not incompatible with being pro-Israel. In their mind, standing up for Palestinian rights, criticizing Israel’s policies in the West Bank and advocating for more pressure on the Israeli government is a way of supporting Israel by helping, or forcing, Israel to become the kind of place they believe it ought to be.

“We don’t view this as a zero-sum conflict,” Ben-Ami said Monday in a question-and-answer session with reporters. “You can be pro-Israel and be an advocate for the rights of the Palestinian people.”

Akiva Eldar writes in Haaretz that mainstream Israeli politics is utterly devoid of perspective. Anybody who criticises occupation is an enemy?

What would happen if the Nobel Peace Prize Committee decided to award the prize this year to, for example, veteran peace activist Uri Avnery? (He deserves it! ) Judging by the boycott the Israeli Embassy in Washington has imposed on the J Street Conference, the chair intended for the Israeli ambassador at the ceremony in Oslo would remain empty.

From reading the cries of protest accompanying the Knesset members who accepted the invitation from J Street, we can conclude that Israel would not send an official representative to congratulate the Nobel laureate. How can one legitimize a Jew who is not ashamed to call for the delegitimization of the settlements?

Here, a boycott of a strictly kosher wine from the Mount Hebron wineries is illegitimate. But a boycott of someone who says a product made in occupied territory is blatantly nonkosher is strictly legitimate. The play “Gevalt, They’re Delegitimizing Us,” directed by settler-Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, assisted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is succeeding beyond all expectations.

Act I: Netanyahu delivers a “dramatic” speech in which he says he desires nothing more than to leave the territories and hand them over to a Palestinian state.

Act II: In a speech at the UN General Assembly, Lieberman announces that there is not the shadow of a chance for a diplomatic agreement in our generation, so we have to see to the (natural, of course ) increase of the settlers.

Act III: Throughout the world they blame Israel for causing the negotiations with the Palestinians to fail, and they condemn its refusal to freeze construction in the settlements. Also, left-wing groups and a handful of MKs join the protest, and the Arabs ask the United Nations to condemn Israel.

Act IV: Netanyahu makes a series of whining speeches about the delegitimization efforts against the Jewish state. Lieberman tells the Israeli ambassadors that henceforth any criticism of the government’s policy, the settlements or the occupation will be considered delegitimization of Israel in a time of war. If the criticism is voiced by a member of our people, he will be considered a “self-hating Jew” and a collaborator with Israel-haters during a delegitimization campaign. Lieberman appends a quotation from Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is called “Yitzhak Rabin’s successor,” warning that this campaign is “no less serious than the danger from Hamas and Hezbollah.”

Act V: Jewish members of Congress break off relations with J Street and other organizations that dared to ask President Barack Obama to refrain from vetoing the Arab proposal for a resolution to condemn the settlements. MKs from Kadima – which for some reason is considered the leftist alternative to Likud – send their invitations to the conference back to J Street. Some of them join the spokespeople of the right and attack their colleagues – MKs Nachman Shai, Yoel Hasson and Shlomo Molla – who have agreed to be guests at the conference of an organization that upholds two states for two peoples.

Kadima MK Otniel Schneller declares: “Participation in the conference of a pro-Palestinian Jewish organization that undermines Israel’s interests is like an act of sabotage against the state.” Shai Hermesh, Kadima’s kibbutznik, fulminates against his colleagues who, he says, don’t understand the danger inherent in supporting an organization that acts against Israel. Kadima’s newest MK, Zeev Bielski, a former chairman of the Jewish Agency, tells reporters that his colleagues who have gone to Washington don’t understand what serious damage J Street is inflicting on Israel.

It’s no wonder Jewish peace organizations around the world have been reporting hesitation about joining protest activities against the settlements or even signing petitions supporting peace negotiations. In meetings with liberal Jews in London two weeks ago, I repeatedly heard variations of the sentence: “Every time we dare to criticize the government’s policy, not heaven forbid Israel, the embassy and the Jewish establishment and press accuse us of disloyalty or betrayal of our people.”

Many, if not all, of them are keeping their criticism to themselves, to the greater glory of the unity of Israel. The Chinese authorities protested against the Nobel committee for giving the prize to Liu Xiaobo, who is serving 11 years in prison for “subversion” – i.e., protesting against the suppression of civil rights. And in Israel, Jonathan Pollak, who demonstrated on his bicycle against the siege on Gaza, has been sent to prison for “interfering with traffic.” Peace activists who win respect and awards abroad are accused of subversion against the state.

This is the real face of Israel; lovers of colonisation.

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