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.

Another day and another non-story in Murdoch press over Palestine

This is what pathetic obsession looks like. Murdoch’s Australian has run days and days of furious coverage of the “extremism” of the Greens over its boycott of Israel policy. I may have missed it but the sky hasn’t caved in yet. Perhaps Rupert will organise that shortly.

Today sees yet another piece which doesn’t really say much about anything. When a paper refuses to publish any alternative views on the subject of the Middle East, they don’t look confident; it’s a sign of intellectual weakness that another perspective can’t be handled or heard:

The battle for the soul of the Greens in NSW has intensified, with some elements angry at new rules that will give hard-left senator-elect Lee Rhiannon the right to participate in state parliamentary partyroom meetings.

Conservationists in the party yesterday described the new rules as a continuation of the “Stalinist” control over party affairs exercised by Ms Rhiannon during her 11 years in the state upper house, which ended when she quit to contest a NSW Senate spot last year. Ms Rhiannon declined comment.

Although the Greens do not have official party status in NSW, the partyroom rules have been developed in response to the party’s enlarged numbers following the NSW election last month.

The party will have as many as five upper house MPs and has secured its first lower house representation, with former local mayor Jamie Parker ousting former NSW education minister Verity Firth from her inner-western Sydney seat of Balmain.

Ms Rhiannon, who is seen as a potential leadership rival to Bob Brown, has clashed with Senator Brown even before she takes up her Senate seat in July. Senator Brown last week criticised Ms Rhiannon for her support of a boycott of Israel, which he claimed had cost the Greens a second lower house seat in NSW.

He said the state party’s Israel policy was a mistake.

Fiona Byrne, the party’s candidate in the inner-western Sydney seat of Marrickville, supported an Israel boycott on the local council, but made contradictory claims on whether she would push for a statewide boycott.

During her time in state parliament, Ms Rhiannon clashed frequently with fellow Greens MP Ian Cohen, a noted campaigner on conservation and nuclear issues.

Ben Oquist, a former aide to Mr Cohen, is now Senator Brown’s chief of staff and was repeatedly blocked by Ms Rhiannon from preselection for a state upper house position.

Mr Parker has also been engulfed by the Israel issue, attracting widespread criticism for an online interview in which he accused “progressive Jews” of providing cover for Israel’s “extreme actions”. Mr Parker, who has declined to be interviewed by The Australian since the election, told another newspaper yesterday he supported the policy of the NSW division to boycott Israel.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has written to Mr Parker seeking clarification of his remarks reported by online publication New Matilda, which he has since denied making.

Board president Yair Miller said in a statement to The Australian: “We have written to Jamie Parker about his reported comments and the Jewish community’s concern with them and perception of them.”

As mayor of Leichhardt, Mr Parker was instrumental in starting a program that supports the peaceful reunification of Palestine and Israel on the West Bank.

Australian journalist Imre Salusinszky then writes something that asks the “Left” to not obsess so much about Israel because clearly he cares deeply about human rights (well, not the Palestinians mind you, they can be just ignored or mocked):

Opposition groups in Libya and Middle Eastern countries should abandon their protests and return to their homes and workplaces.

These deluded protesters appear to believe their problems stem from the corrupt despots who run their countries.

This is not correct. Their problems stem from a sliver of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, 470km long and 135km wide at its widest point.

This tiny nation, Israel, is the root cause of all the problems in the region.

How do we know this?

Because we have been taught it for the past 25 years, by Left intellectuals in the West.

This is why it has been so baffling to discover, over recent months, that the populations of those neighbouring countries do not appear to be paying attention.

Why don’t they attend to the message of Marrickville Council, in inner western Sydney, which has imposed a boycott on Israel while leaving relations with Cuba, Zimbabwe and other dictatorships intact?

7 comments ↪
  • ej

    Parker attracted 'widespread criticism'?

    They just make this stuff up.

    Let's hope Parker tells the racist NSW Jewish Board of Deputies to fuck off.

    And who do they represent?

    Support for ethnic cleansing as a badge of honour?

  • paul walter

    My goodness, what an enduring piece of nastiness

    Imre Salusinsky remains.

     He claims to be pomo, but I think his mentality is firmly rooted in the MacCarthyite worldview of sixty years ago.

    Of course its academic to us. We sit here suitcases packed ready for the trip to the forced labour camp while the nkvd heads screeches round the corner in its black maria.

    Only just who for the purposes of this exercise is the nkvd?

     Such as Salusinsky, Bolt and co run this world, while the peace makers and bridge builders cop assasin's bullets.

  • Sam Bauers

    So, some important disclosure here: I helped to create the Greens NSW party room rules.

    The claim in the first paragraph is simply untrue. The state party room rules give observer status to one federal parliamentarian from NSW. We only have one, so that's Lee Rhiannon for the foreseeable future.

    Observers may speak at meetings, but have no decision making ability (no "vote" if you like).

    Additionally the rank-and-file membership has representation in the party room with one full member and one observer.

    What's more, the party room is sub-ordinate to another member-based elected group (The Parliamentary Liaison Committee) which itself is subordinate to the member-based State Delegates Council.

    The party room rules were formulated by members and approved by the State Delegates Council. If I recall correctly there was no controversy over having a federal parliamentarian as an observer.

    Further to this, if the party room (unbeknownst to me) has decided to make Lee Rhiannon a full member (which it can do by consensus), and rank-and-file members don't like that decision they can bring the matter to a State Delegates Council and direct the party room to reverse that decision.

  • Sam Bauers

    Shorter me:

    The Australian is interpreting this story through their narrow frame of how parties work. The Greens NSW party room was deliberately setup in a way that ultimately gives ordinary members control.

  • Sam Bauers

    I've just verified that Lee Rhiannon hasn't been granted "member" status in The Greens NSW party room. That status can only be conferred by decision of the party room and it hasn't met yet. So The Australian article is false.

    She is an observer without "voting" rights.

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Sam Bauers:

    Nice work….thanks for the brief

  • paul walter

    Sam Bauers, it might even have been a lie (in the press).

     Can you believe that, from the Murdoch press?

     The idea of Imre Salusinsky lying, even accidentally, is just too difficult to conjure with.