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.

Jews who understand why BDS must force Israel to be legal and decent

The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network has released the following statement (that I’ve happily signed) articulating an alternative and supportive Jewish perspective on boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel:

Because academic, cultural and commercial boycotts, divestments and sanctions of Israel:

  • are being called for by Palestinian civil society in response to the occupation and colonization of their land,
  • are a moral tool of non-violent, peaceful response to more than sixty years of Israeli colonialism, and,
  • rightfully place accountability on Israeli institutions (and their allies and partners) that use business, cultural, and academic ties to white-wash Israel’s responsibility for continuing crimes against humanity,

The undersigned organizations and individuals stand firm in our support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) initiatives against Israel until it meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law.

BDS is not antisemitic. We reject the notion that the 2005 BDS call from Palestine, and the BDS campaigns the world over which it has inspired, are rooted in anti-Jewish sentiment. On the contrary, BDS is an anti-racist movement against the daily, brutal occupation of Palestine and military threat to the region by the State of Israel. False claims of antisemitism distort the true nature of the Palestinian struggle and are an affront to, and betrayal of, the long history of Jewish survival and resistance to persecution.

BDS is not anti-democratic. We also reject the assertion that the cultural and academic boycotts of Israel defy the democratic principle of free speech. Research and development in academic institutions play a central role in designing and defending Israel’s military and intelligence machinery. Cultural institutions perpetuate the deception of Israeli democracy. To defend freedom of speech for those who disregard justice while demonizing those who struggle for justice is a great disservice to genuine democracy.

Through boycott, divestment and sanctions, civil society asserts our commitment to not contribute to the Israeli state, which is responsible for atrocious acts of disregard for human life and well being. Attacks against BDS campaigns will not prevent us from taking this stance against Israeli impunity. For the Jewish organizations signed onto this letter, self-determination for Jews includes the right to participate in the movement for justice in Palestine and to live in the world with our fellow citizens in peace, freedom, and equity. It does not include the domination and colonization of other people or living separate from our fellow human beings in a state that privileges Jews.

BDS was a key strategy in ending the white South African system of apartheid by applying international pressure. In pursuit of justice, peace and freedom for all, we speak out as Jews committed to BDS and Palestinian liberation.

  • International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
  • Not In Our Name (Argentina)
  • Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in Middle East (EJJP, Germany)
  • Not in Our Name: Jews Opposing Zionism (Canada)
  • Jews for a Just Peace (Fredericton, Canada)
  • Independent Jewish Voice (Canada)
  • Middle East Children’s Alliance (USA)
  • Critical Jewish Voice (Austria)
  • Women in Black (Austria)
  • French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP)
  • Bay Area Women in Black (USA)
  • St. Louis Women in Black (USA)
  • Philadelphia Jews for a Just Peace (USA)
  • American Jews for a Just Peace (USA)
  • Ronnie Kasrils, former South African government minister, writer, founder Not In My Name, South Africa
  • Antony Loewenstein, Independent Australian Jewish Voices
  • Peter Slezak, Independent Australian Jewish Voices
  • Moshé Machover, Professor (emeritus) (UK), founder Matzpen
  • Felicia Langer, Israeli lawyer, author, Right Livelihood Award 2006 (Alternative Nobel Prize) 1990, Bruno Kreisky Prize 1991
  • Mieciu Langer, Nazi Holocaust survivor
  • Hedy Epstein, Nazi Holocaust survivor
  • Hajo G. Meyer PhD, Nazi Holocaust survivor
  • Kamal Chenoy, IJAN India
  • Paola Canarutto & Giorgio Forti, Rete ECO, Italy
  • Liliane Cordova Kaczerginski, IJAN France
  • Sonia Fayman, IJAN France & UJFP
8 comments ↪
  • JOHN CANDIDO

    As a non-Jew, I would like to add my voice to the above organisations and support the BDS against the policies of the Israeli state vis-à-vis the intractable problem of Palestinian justice.  True justice, democracy, and the rule of law, are worth fighting for, and are a most appropriate legacy for the victims of the Nazi regime between 1933 & 1945.             

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Me three….

  • Joe Ronn

    You can advocate for BDS and argue its ethical rationale until the cows come home. It is a spurious argument because it utterly ignores context and the  history of the region. Most Palestinians of course wish to live in peace and tend their orchards. Some Jewish militias did murder indigenous Arabs in mandated Palestine. These facts are true but the broader context has demonstrated time and again that the vast majority of Arabs have always considered a Jewish state in their midst as anathema, while the vast majority of Israelis have always wanted some compromise. The BDS movement has little traction in Israel because Israel's existential threat is palpable. It resonates in every ululating Palestinian mother, rejoicing in the suicide-murder of her shaheed son. It is broadcast in the pages of every copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion sold in Gazan book stores and it is galvanized in the Palestinian national anthem calling for blood and revenge. From the Al-Dura fabrication to the so-called Jenin massacre to the discredited Goldstone Report, Palestinians and their leadership continue to cynically manipulate naive North American leftists in lock step in their obsessive bid to discredit the "Apartheid Zionist Entity"

  • Wolf Sylvan

    It’s revealing how your BDS screed obscures or neglects inconvenient little truths, such as:

     

    1. the source of much of your information from Israel’s free media; hardly a state-controlled intimidated press;

    2. the civil debate within Israel’s democratic society concerning the government’s policies in the occupied territories; hardly a reflection of a totalitarian undemocratic state;

    3. wanton disregard for human life by Palestinian militants as evidenced in savage premeditated attacks against Israeli civilians, whether slitting the throats of sleeping children in Itamar or firing rockets at schoolbuses transporting school children or the Palestinian woman urged by her family to detonate the Israeli hospital that saved her life (see Dr.Eldad & Soroka Hospital). Contrast that with how ALL Palestinians receive treatment equal to Israelis in ALL Israeli state-controlled hospitals.

    4. Israeli Arabs represent 20% of the Israeli university student population, commensurate with their percentage in the general Israeli population. In this, at least,  the surrounding Arab countries can match Israel. Jews represent 0% of the university population in Arab countries because, with the exception of Morocco, Arab countries are Judenrein. Perhaps your BDS group ought to have an honest discussion about ethnic-cleansing in the middle east.  

     

    Your BDS movement provides succor and support to all that believe Jews have NO right to live in their own state in their ancestral homeland. That’s uncomfortably close to those who believe Jews have NO right to live, period. They were called Nazis and antisemites.     

  • Francine Pelletier

    The distinction between legitimate criticism of Israel and left-wing antisemitism is easy to discern.

    If you criticize Israel's occupation, policies of house demolitions, settlement policies in the west bank, checkpoints, etc… as well as constant provocations by Palestinian militants in their rocket attacks and suicide bombings; if you advocate for two states, Israel and Palestine, in peaceful coexistence, side by side…you are a reasoned critic of Israel (as well as of Palestine).

    If you demonize and characterize Israel as an apartheid racist state that must be dismantled and replaced by a bi-national state where Jews have religious rights but no national rights, ie. the rejection of a "Jewish State", you are a rabid left-wing antisemite

  • Francine Pelletier

    The distinction between legitimate criticism of Israel and left-wing antisemitism is easy to discern.

     

    If you criticize Israel's occupation, house demolitions of Palestinians, settlement policies in the west bank, checkpoints, etc… as well as constant provocations by Palestinian militants in their rocket attacks and suicide bombings; if you advocate for two states, Israel and Palestine, in peaceful coexistence, side by side…you are a reasoned critic of Israel (as well as of Palestine).

     

    If you demonize and characterize Israel as an apartheid racist state that must be dismantled and replaced by a bi-national state where Jews have religious rights but no national rights, ie. the rejection of a "Jewish State", you are a rabid antisemite.

  • Sharon Gubbay Helfer

    Although I applaud its commitment to non-violence, I am very much against the BDS strategy. BDS   mobilizes the idealism, commitment and energies of people "for and against". Young people who are fellow citizens here and neighbours, potential friends, potential partners in peace building, are instead devoting themselves to finding ways to deligitimize each other's arguents and positions. Those energies would better be devoted to coming to know and understand each other. I think that the kind of polarization BDS creates and keeps alive is sad and wasteful and I do not believe it is a productive way forward.

    BDS targets Israeli government policy but it hits Jews both here and there, young and old, who get the message that it is they who are being boycotted, excluded, not welcome. Rational explanations that this is not the idea don't cut through deep vulnerabilities and historical experience. We need more real dialogue, we need to learn how to speak to each other and listen to each other and hear each other so that we can work to create the path forward together.

  • Sharon Gubbay Helfer

    MODERATION REQUESTED!

    I HAVE JUST SENT OFF MY COMMENT BUT DID NOT REALIZE THAT THE FOLLOWING TWO SENTENCES REMAINED AT THE END OF MY TEXT! PLEASE DELETE THEM AS THEY ARE SUPERFLUOUS.

    WITH MANY THANKS, SHARON

    SUPERFLUOUS SENTENCES TO BE DELETED: What breaks my heart is the continuing polarizations that these activities create and keep alive. It is a terrible shame that so much youthful energy, time, intensity on campuses here goes into finding new ways to discredit "the other".