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.

The ugly little Australian coalition against Palestinian rights (that will fail)

So this is how it works when advocating for Palestinian human rights. You’ll be smeared, accused of anti-Semitism and told you hate Jews. Anything to avoid discussion about what Israel is doing to the Palestinians; apartheid.

I wrote an article this week for New Matilda detailing the New South Wales Greens and its policy of backing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. A number of key figures were interviewed about the NSW election campaign, what went right and what went wrong.

Today’s Murdoch Australian leads with this laughable front page non “story”, essentially finding countless corporate politicians and Zionist lobby hacks to smear the NSW Greens Federal Senate member Lee Rhiannon for daring to support the “radical” BDS:

Greens leader Bob Brown is under mounting political and diplomatic pressure to pull his hard-left senator-elect Lee Rhiannon into line as she intensifies her support for a radical boycott of Israel.

Ms Rhiannon, who will take her Senate spot on July 1 when the Greens take the balance of power in the upper house, yesterday drew condemnation from Labor and the Coalition after expressing regret that the NSW Greens did not campaign harder for a boycott of Israeli goods and services at last weekend’s state election.

Trade Minister Craig Emerson said last night the policy was disgusting and he feared it represented an extremism that would make its way to Canberra.

Dr Emerson told The Australian: “Confirmation by senator-elect Rhiannon of this disgusting policy is reprehensible.”

He applauded voters in the inner-western Sydney seat of Marrickville, who returned erstwhile Labor deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt to parliament over Greens candidate Fiona Byrne, a supporter of an Israeli boycott.

“Good on the people of Marrickville for rejecting this Greens extremism, and I am confident that the rest of Australia will too.”

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the Gillard government did not condone nor support any boycotts or sanctions against the Jewish state.

Senator Brown’s office said an Israeli boycott was not Greens national policy, but Coalition figures said they were concerned Ms Rhiannon would influence the party’s platform when she arrived in Canberra.

Ms Rhiannon was quoted on the online news site New Matilda as saying, in the wake of the Coalition’s landslide victory in NSW, that the Greens should have spent more time building support for the global BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, particularly among academics, Arab communities and social justice groups.

“Months before the election we needed to explain why the Greens backed BDS and we needed to work closer with our allies on BDS – academics, the Arab community and social justice movements in Sydney and Melbourne,” Ms Rhiannon was quoted as saying.

“Collectively we didn’t do enough to amplify support for BDS and show that this is part of an international movement.”

An Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce spokesman warned yesterday that boycotts on Israeli goods could prevent access to potentially groundbreaking water-saving technology and telecommunications switches that may be picked up by the National Broadband Network.

Ms Rhiannon refused to return The Australian’s calls yesterday, as did all federal Greens MPs.

Tony Abbott denounced her position, calling on Julia Gillard to distance Labor from Ms Rhiannon’s views. “The Coalition completely rejects any campaign designed to weaken Israel and can’t understand why a supposed environmental party are involved in this nonsense,” the Opposition Leader told The Australian.

“Given the Greens are Labor’s political bedfellows, I call on the Prime Minister to pull her alliance partner into line.”

Other Liberal MPs expressed concern that Ms Rhiannon’s position would infect the federal Greens platform and contaminate government policy.

“I am particularly concerned that Lee Rhiannon, who is going to become a member of the governing Labor/Greens alliance federally, is going to bring those views into this alliance,” Liberal senator Mitch Fifield told The Australian.

But Senator Fifield also dismissed Dr Emerson’s attack on the Greens in light of the deal signed by Ms Gillard with Senator Brown last September to secure minority government. “The fact that Labor is prepared to be in a governing alliance with the Greens makes their denunciation of the (NSW) Greens’ Israel boycott ring a little hollow,” he said.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop said Ms Rhiannon’s comments were “extreme”, “highly prejudicial” and “deeply troubling”.

She said that, in light of Ms Rhiannon’s views, the Prime Minister needed to guarantee the Greens would not influence her government’s foreign policy.

“Given that the Greens do not support our alliance with the US either, the Prime Minister must guarantee the Greens will not influence Labor’s foreign policy in the same way as they have influenced Labor’s policy on a carbon tax,” Ms Bishop said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Rudd said last night: “Australia is firmly committed to Israel’s security and fully recognises the significant security challenges Israel faces.

“The Australian government has consistently supported a negotiated two-state solution to the Middle East peace process where Israel and a future Palestinian state live side by side in peace and security.”

Ms Rhiannon, who entered the NSW Legislative Council in March 1999 and is a former member of the Socialist Party of Australia, is one of four new Greens senators who will travel to Canberra in July.

They will take the number of Greens in the upper house to nine, securing the party the balance of power and greater influence over Labor’s legislative agenda.

It is official Greens policy to “support the rights of the Palestinian peoples to statehood through the creation of a viable state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, based on the pre-1967 borders and the right of all peoples in the region to peace”.

In December, however, delegates from local NSW Greens groups unanimously endorsed a series of military, trade and services boycotts of Israel and the international BDS movement as a way of supporting Palestinian self-determination.

The proposal passed by the NSW Greens state council and, in a December 7 media release, called upon all Australians and “the Australian government to boycott Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territory”.

At the time, Ms Rhiannon said the Greens were hopeful their “backing of the BDS movement will win more Australian support for this important cause”.

An Israeli embassy spokeswoman urged the Greens to engage in dialogue rather than support boycotts, suggesting such a path would embolden radicals.

“Those who are behind the policy of singling out Israel through a boycott are clearly showing their true colours,” she said. “The whole boycott program strengthens the radicals in a lot of ways.

“A lot of people who support the boycotts have never read the BDS charter which states Israel should be just a one-state country.

“It does not support negotiations at all.”

Jeremy Jones, the director of international affairs with the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council, said the more Ms Rhiannon publicised her views on the BDS, the more it would harm the Greens.

“It is an extreme policy and it goes against any purported interest in reconciliation, peace or justice,” Mr Jones said. “The only possible impact (of a BDS) is to strengthen the hand of extremists on all sides of the equation.”

Mr Jones said he did not believe the federal Greens would accept a BDS as federal policy and suggested the policy had sparked a very strong negative reaction among the public in inner-city seats such as Marrickville.

This is “journalism”, Murdoch style. Find some opportunistic people to talk about anything except what Israel is doing in Palestine. It hasn’t worked globally and it won’t work here but this won’t stop lazy reporters making a story out of nothing. Of course, the fact that the paper didn’t mention that the New Matilda article from which they quote was written by me is simply the ethics-free zone in operation globally in the Murdoch empire.

Unfortunately, Greens leader Bob Brown has criticised Rhiannon, the sign of a leader who doesn’t really understand the Israel/Palestine conflict and is afraid to take on the Zionist lobby:

Greens leader Bob Brown has carpeted future Senate colleague Lee Rhiannon for her anti-Israel stance, telling her the policy was a mistake that cost the party votes in the NSW state election.

He has also accused Julia Gillard of insulting Australians by suggesting Greens voters do not have a love of family or their nation.

Senator Brown said the Israel boycott proposal was against his advice and had alienated NSW voters when the party should have been focusing on bread-and-butter issues.

He had conveyed his views to Greens senator-elect Ms Rhiannon in a “robust” phone call this morning.

Senator Brown said the federal Greens in no way endorsed the policy.

“The NSW Greens have taken to having their own shade of foreign policy,” Senator Brown said.

“It was a mistake. I differ from Lee on that, and so do the other components of the NSW Greens, who handled so badly that part of the campaign against my advice.

“I reiterate that the policy she and the NSW Greens had in the run to the NSW election was wrong emphasis.

“NSW voters wanted to hear about issues affecting them day-to-day, it’s one that has been rejected by the Australian Greens.”

The Victorian Greens also show themselves to be gutless in the face of Zionist pressure:

The Victorian Greens distanced themselves from their NSW counterparts’ controversial Israel boycott proposal today as a prominent Jewish federal MP attacked the policy as “absolutely extreme”.

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said the party’s state branch did not support the NSW branch’s BDS policy, which advocates a boycott, divestment and sanctions targeting Israel.

“We never have (considered it), it’s never even been put to any forum in Victoria as far as I am aware,’ he said of the policy, championed by NSW Greens senator-elect Lee Rhiannon.

Mr Barber said he was too far removed to say whether the BDS policy had hurt the party’s bid for the Sydney inner-city seats of Marrickville and Balmain.

“I’m just a state MP trying to get the trains running,” he said.

Labor’s Mark Dreyfus, the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, said he was concerned at Ms Rhiannon’s views and their potential to damage Australian-Israeli relations.

“I’m concerned that we’ve got a senator coming in on the 1st of July who seems to have absolutely extreme views on Israel, that I’m confident that the vast majority of Australians don’t share,” he told ABC radio in Melbourne.

“She’s actually calling, as are her state Greens party colleagues in NSW, for a boycott of the state of Israel, when we have a warm, longstanding friendship with the state of Israel.

“We have trade relations with Israel and we have very fruitful academic exchanges with the state of Israel.

“Australia would be the poorer if we were, for no reason at all, to cut off relations with the state of Israel – which is ridiculously what Lee Rhiannon is calling for.”

Finally – and all courtesy of the Australian, that bastion of corporate “journalism” – another Israeli spokesman says the boycott is problematic:

Israeli trade commissioner Ehud Gonen has warned that the Greens-dominated Marrickville Council’s policy of boycotting Israeli goods could contravene international trade rules that Australia has signed up to.

Mr Gonen told The Australian Online that, under the World Trade Organisation charter, Australia was forbidden from discriminating against goods imported from another member.

Marrickville Council in Sydney’s inner west passed a motion in December pledging to effectively sever all commercial, sporting, cultural, academic and government links with Israel.

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 Gonen said today that Australia and Israel were both members of the WTO and signatories to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

“It’s not permitted within the WTO/GATT charter for elected bodies, including local governments, to do any boycott,” he said.

“Of course we know that Australia will respect its obligation. We think this boycott is illegal and it’s not going to happen.

“I personally take this, from a symbolic point of view, as very negative. But practically it makes no sense.”

So what does all this really mean? That the establishment is scared. Worried that BDS will take off in Australia like it has globally. Concerned that people will start looking more closely at a Zionist state that happily occupies Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. And where are the progressive Jews, unions and backers of Palestine speaking out in support of BDS? They need to raise their voices. Now.

Bottom line? This smear job will fail. And Israel will become increasingly internationally isolated. As it deserves. When you occupy another people for decades, you must pay a price. BDS is one answer.

These bullying tactics are even turning off many young Jews, something I hear all the time. For example, here’s Manny Waks, Zionist Australian, writing yesterday on J Wire:

Young Jews are regrettably alienated by prevailing approaches to the advocacy of Israel. I am unequivocally supportive of Israel—my birthplace and spiritual homeland—and at the age of 18 I travelled to Israel to serve in the Golani Brigade. I have also published widely in support of Israel and accept its centrality in the Jewish consciousness. However, and tragically, many young Jews are at best indifferent, and at worst antagonistic towards Israel.

In his 2010 article, The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment, Peter Beinart notes that, ‘In recent years, several studies have revealed, in the words of Steven Cohen of Hebrew Union College and Ari Kelman of the University of California at Davis, that “non-Orthodox younger Jews, on the whole, feel much less attached to Israel than their elders,” with many professing “a near-total absence of positive feelings.”’ Inevitably, many within the younger demographic are alienated by the uncritical alignment with Israel of our structured communal roof bodies. National and State communal roof bodies should focus largely on matters that concern the local Jewish community. Advocacy of Israel should instead be the province of those organisations who unambiguously have this mandate. This would, to some extent, prevent the alienation of those Jews who do not have a favourable view of Israel.

We’ll be helping those splits grow even wider.

4 comments ↪
  • Kevin Charles Herber

    The schism in international Jewry is happening before our eyes, as we all predicted.

    Decent fairmimnded Jews are sayiong the game's up.

    And there's nothing the far right apartheid supporting Aussie Zionists can do about it.

    …despite their substantial wealth & supposed influence.

     

    Today's silly piece in ther Oz smelld of desperation…the BDS is biting hard.

    I conduct a weekly patrol of our local Coles & Bi Lo supermarkets in inner Sydney, and I haven't seen a 729 prefix for many months…even in the oranges section.

    Suck it up you facile Aussie Zionist thugs.

  • Excellent article. For anti-racist Jews – and indeed all anti-racist humanitarians – the core moral messages from the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and from the more general WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slav, Jewish and Gypsy dead) are “zero tolerance for racism”, “never again to anyone”, “bear witness” and “zero tolerance for lying”. However, these sacred injunctions are violated by Lib-Lab support for genocidal, racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel. I sent the following letter to Australian MPs and media (including the obscenely pro-Zionist ABC). The silence is deafening.

    Dear etc,

    There are Australian racists, thieves and murderers but law officers saying so are certainly not anti-Australian – they are simply doing their duty as politicians, police, prosecutors or judges in the public interest.

    Race-based, nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel  is involved in de facto racism, theft and murder as well as  mass imprisonment and ethnic cleansing.

    Full marks then to decent, anti-racist humanitarians like Greens senator-elect Lee Rhiannon who correctly argue for the global BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Apartheid Israel just as decent people around the world successfully supported similar sanctions against Apartheid South Africa.

    Numerous anti-racist Jews in Australia and around the world condemn the  Palestinian Genocide being conducted by Apartheid Israel (for a compendium of such eminent opinions Google “Jews Against Racist Zionism”). Thus, for example, Sir Isaac Isaacs, Australia’s first Australian-born Governor-General and arguably Australia’s most eminent Jew (1946): “The honour of Jews throughout the world demands the renunciation of political Zionism.”

    Lib-Labs and Zionists who support the genocidal, Jewry- and Judaism-defaming crimes of Apartheid Israel and who reject the moral advice of outstanding anti-racist Jews are complicit in Zionist anti-Jewish anti-Semitism and anti-Arab anti-Semitism that soils Australia.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dr Gideon Polya

  • John Weickhardt

    Thanks Anthony for another excellent article, exposing the hypocrisy of the well connected Zionist lobby and the gullibility of our political "leaders". Why not include in your newsletters, email links to these naive politicians, so we readers can more easily let them know that there IS a growing resistance in Australia to the Zionists' agenda ? 

  • Paul

    I have said it before and say it again.Antony does more against antisemitism than any

    one in Australia.