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.

If only Israeli state really cared about stopping terrorism

The recent murder of Jewish settlers in the West Bank was an appalling act of terrorism. No ifs or buts.

But watch the debased response of the Zionist state to this outrage. Haaretz editorial:

The despicable murder of five members of the Fogel family on Saturday is a crime against every human being. But the atrocity in Itamar is not only a criminal act. It was committed in a diplomatic and security context, and we have to examine its background and consequences. Not, heaven forbid, to justify what cannot be justified or grant absolution. Instead, we have to study the complex situation that makes Israel responsible for preventing an escalation that could result in many new victims.

A diplomatic stagnation marks relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Both sides have contributed to this, as has the ineffectiveness of the U.S. administration under President Barack Obama. Two years after his administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government took over, there has been no progress on the formula that ostensibly everyone agrees on: the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The diplomatic vacuum is enabling extremist elements on both sides – terror organizations (and individuals acting alone ) on the one side and settlers ravenous for more territory and a price tag on the other – to take the initiative and dictate events instead of the leaders.

In recent weeks, under pressure from visitors from Washington, Berlin and other foreign capitals, Netanyahu seems to be signaling he intends to unveil a more moderate policy in about two months. Moreover, he and his partner, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, have explained that the moderation will not be a favor to the Palestinians, but rather what Israel needs. They have also promised to evacuate settlements built on privately owned land stolen from Palestinians. For a moment it appeared that the government, to develop a moderate image, was heading for a clash with the settlers.

Now, a single cell of murderers has come and changed the trend of Netanyahu and Barak’s actions to a toughening of positions and the decision to build 500 new housing units in the settlements. This is a terrible decision that will neither placate the settlers nor prevent a revenge attack by the lawless among them. In addition, it is making things difficult for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, angering Obama and feeding the unrest in the territories in advance of tomorrow, a day of planned demonstrations.

A responsible government would act now to calm and not to escalate, to pursue a diplomatic solution and not a belligerent confrontation. But in Jerusalem we don’t have a government like that.

Max Blumenthal continues this line of thought and further develops the gross hypocrisy of Zionists spewing hate towards the Palestinians (I’ve personally received emails and tweets demanding I condemn the killings; such selective Zionist anger was never apparent when Israel was murdering civilians in Gaza):

Everyone is rushing to condemn the gruesome murder of a family in the illegal Israeli settlement of Itamar. Even President Barack Obama felt compelled to offer his “unequivocal condemnation” of the murders. For what it’s worth (very little), I offer my own denunciation of the killings. Murdering kids can not be justified on any human level. However, even if the motives of the killer seem obvious to everyone, journalists covering the incident must be reminded there is no hard evidence that a Palestinian terrorist committed the crime. No viable armed faction has taken credit, and Israeli police are even treating Thai workers as suspects. Itamar is heavily guarded, surrounded by an electrified fence, and monitored 24/7 by a sophisticated system of video surveillance. Yet there is no video of the killer. Like it or not, until the identity of the killer is confirmed, the murder can only be described by journalists as an “alleged terror attack.” Legitimate outrage is no excuse to flout the basics of journalism 101.

Given the amount of violence visited upon local Palestinians by the residents of Itamar and nearby settlements, I will not be surprised if the killer turns out to be a rogue Palestinian bent on revenge. In one instance documented in 2007, settlers from Itamar stabbed a 52-year-old shepherd named Mohammad Hamdan Ibrahim Bani Jaber to death while he tended to his flock. Routine attacks from Itamar have prompted the near-total evacuation of the village Izbat Al Yanoon, while settlers from nearby Jewish colony of Yitzhar have staged homemade rocket attacks on local Palestinians and torched their mosques. As I have reported, Yitzhar is home to Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, author of the notorious “Torat Hamelech,” which uses rabbinical sources to justify the killing of non-Jewish civilians, including children, in combat situations.

A year ago in nearby Palestinian farming villages Awarta and Iraq Burin, Israeli soldiers were accused of executing local youths during riots against settlement expansion. As Jesse Rosenfeld reported, despite the clear evidence of execution style killings, none of the soldiers who held the Palestinians in custody at the time they were shot were convicted of any crimes. And to my knowledge, no official American response followed. Thus the besieged villages near Itamar have been left without any recourse or legal means to redress their harassment and murder.

Finally, here’s the kind of racism that is utterly normal in mainstream Israeli society (and which Western leaders never condemn). Gilad Sharon is the son of former PM Ariel Sharon and the piece was published in Israel’s most important tabloid, Yedioth Ahronoth after the settler murders. Worth noting; Gilad recently joined Kadima – an allegedly center-left party led by Tzipi Livni:

Let us not forget with whom we are dealing here. You can take the wild Palestinian beast and put a mask on it, in the form of some fluent English-speaking spokesman. You can also put on it a three-piece suit and a silk tie. But every once in a while – during a new moon, or when a crow’s droppings hit a howling jackal, or when pita with hyssop doesn’t come out just right – the wild beast senses that this is its night, and out of ancient instinct, it sets off to stalk its prey.

They’ll explain to us, and we’ll also explain to ourselves, how nice and beautiful peace is. We will argue excitedly and with deep inner conviction whether there should be an immediate peace agreement, or perhaps a series of interim agreements. We will discuss these and other such questions, all based on the assumption that on the other side they also think like us and also want quiet and tranquility.

But such an assumption is a rape of reality. A society that can thus sanctify death, and whose best of its youth are baby-stabbers, is simply not like ours. Even their leaders… condemn these acts only by claiming that they “harm the Palestinian cause.” There’s no moral issue here; it’s just a question of harm to the cause. Their three-piece suit is sullied with blood stains, and the mask falls off… and the image of the beast they tried to hide is once again revealed.

They look at us. We are everything they never were and never will be. We have a history and culture thousands of years old, we have a functioning, developing society – while they are just the offshoot of our Zionism.
Their entire national story was born in the wake of Zionism. Even their self-definition as a people has no subsistence without us.

They look at themselves through our image. The more we succeed and progress, the more their hatred intensifies. We are the proof that it is possible to do it differently, that failures are not the result of destiny, but primarily of decisions and actions.

In any arrangement that might or might not come about, remember with whom we are dealing. Our security must always remain in our hands.

5 comments ↪
  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Until an independent criminal investigation into this appalling crime against humanity is conducted, I have an open mind as to whom may have committed it.

    Sections of the Israeli & US media & in The Australian newspaper have reported it as if such an independent investigation has already been held, with Palestinians found guilty.

    The Israeli far right's immediate exploitation of this crime as a justification for settlement announcements has all the hallmarks of a set piece.

    There's a way to go in this story.

  • blowback

    What "appalling crime against humanity"? The "victims" or at least the parents volunteered to be part of the murderous continuing criminal occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territory. The children might not have deserved what happened but is their death any different to the death of children (three hundreed odd of them) in Operation Cast Lead? If anything, the Palestinians occupy the moral high ground as it is they who are resisting the occupation and illegal settlement of their land. Is using a knife to extinguish a child's life any different to killing a child by pressing a button to release a bomb from an aircraft or fire a flechette round from a tank that is typical of the murderous bahaviour of western armies particularly the Israeli one? As any soldier will tell you, killing some one up close is far harder to do.

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Blowback: I see your point..but the killing of children doesn't justify the killing of more children by way of revenge.

    On another point, did anyone notice how the international pro Zionist media have gone completely silent over this incident as of today?

  • "You can take the wild Palestinian beast and put a mask on it…" – Gilad Sharon

    You can take the wild [Jewish] beast and put a mask on it…[?] 

     

    Sounds like a bad cut-and-paste job from 1930s Germany.

  • blowback

    Kevin – I quite agree that in normal circumstances the killing of one group of children does not justify the killing of another child but at some point it may become justified. For instance where one party (the Israelis) have instituted a policy of genocide against another party (the Palestinians) with the unconditional support of the World's only superpower (the United States) that blocks any attempt to investigate and punish those responsible for that genocide.

    While the Israeli genocide against the Palestinians is not as dramatic as, for instance, the Holocaust, the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is intended to destroy the identity of the Palestinians if not the Palestinian people and so should be classified as genocide.