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.

Australian media incapable of hearing Palestinians

How to define farce?

The Australian media’s coverage of Israel/Palestine and BDS.

Palestinians and Arabs remain largely absent from discussion, lest they infect people’s minds.

Instead, today we have a litany of articles that say nothing about the Middle East apart from craven white people desperate to pray at the altar of Zionist “democracy”.

The Australian:

Right-wing union boss Joe de Bruyn has joined a backlash of trade unionists angry at a decision by Greens councillors to impose a commercial boycott of Israel.

As NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell warned Sydney’s Marrickville Council of possible consequences if it did not rescind the ban, Mr de Bruyn said the proposal was further evidence the Greens were an “extremist party”.

The national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Union said a boycott of Israel was not in the union’s interest.

“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East,” Mr de Bruyn said. “To put a boycott on Israel sounds to me to be totally the wrong way around.”

De Bruyn is the enlightened soul who opposes gay marriage.

The Sydney Morning Herald shows that even supposedly principled Greens can sometimes prefer rhetoric to action, especially when it comes to Palestine. Courage is sorely lacking:

Marrickville’s controversial boycott of Israel is on the verge of collapse after a Greens councillor withdrew his support yesterday. Any boycott will now rely on the support of Labor, which is in doubt.

As the Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd, joined a growing response of condemnation and the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, threatened to sack the council, the Greens councillor Max Phillips confirmed he would vote against putting the boycott into practice.

It also emerged that the Greens mayor, Fiona Byrne, had received death threats. The NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said Cr Byrne had received the threats and the council’s stance on Israel had shown courage.

Mr Phillips said that although he supported Palestinian human rights he did not think the boycott was the way to go. ”I had unease initially about the [boycott] when first moved in December, and this unease has grown in listening to the local community,” he said.

”I will not be voting for any kind of boycott at the meeting on Tuesday night. This issue must be put to rest.”

He expected at least one other Greens councillor to join him.

The policy was adopted in principle at a meeting in December with the support of five Greens, one independent and four Labor councillors. Two independents voted against it.

On Tuesday the council will vote on what practical form a boycott would take. Any motion supporting the boycott will now need Labor support to pass.

One Labor councillor, Emanuel Tsardoulias, has already confirmed he will not support it. Yesterday he said he expected his counterparts to join him at a weekend caucus meeting, though they could not be reached to confirm this.

Cr Phillips said local Greens groups had drafted a proposal to the NSW Greens calling for support for the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel to be rescinded, pending a review.

”With the benefit of hindsight there should have been a much more thorough debate on this issue before it was adopted by the NSW Greens and moved on Marrickville Council,” he said.

The Herald’s editorial is seemingly written by a five-year-old child. Advocating for Palestine is a joke, you see, and Zionist occupation will simply disappear by writing countless meaningless articles about a “peace process”:

Marrickville Council is being torn apart by Middle Eastern politics. Should Marrickville, or should it not, punish Israel with a boycott for its alleged human rights violations? The question is, of course, on everyone’s lips across the Middle East. The fate of nations hangs in the balance. Is a mere boycott enough? Should Marrickville send troops?

Other Sydney councils, strangely enough, have not followed Marrickville’s principled example, and its lone voice – although important and widely respected – may not be enough to persuade members of the Israeli government to stop whatever it is they have been doing. Marrickville boots on the ground would certainly show them that Sydney’s inner west is not to be trifled with. On balance, though, we think that in the first phase, diplomacy deserves a chance before Marrickville lives are put in harm’s way. As a back-up, the municipality might show a hint of steel by stationing a taskforce comprising the entire waste disposal department off the Israeli coast, ready to bang Israeli bins together at a moment’s notice. Services in Marrickville may be disrupted, but ratepayers can be confident they will be keeping the Israelis awake at night.

At least a Palestinian is heard, albeit briefly, in today’s Australian:

Instead of trawling the internet to find new ways to demonise Lee Rhiannon, would it not be more prudent to focus on the real issue?

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions call is a non-violent and moral way to advance peace and deliver justice and security.

Its tenets are simple: Recognise the inalienable rights of the Palestinian refugees; end the illegal military occupation; end discrimination of Palestinian citizens within Israel.

The longer Israel obfuscates its responsibilities vis-a-vis the question of Palestine, the longer it will have to defend the indefensible.

Moammar Mashni, Australians for Palestine, Melbourne, Vic

Real issues over Palestine? What a crazy idea. Read this latest Haaretz feature to see why BDS is so essential. Israel runs a racially discriminatory system of apartheid in the occupied territories. But I guess that makes me anti-Semitic.

one comment ↪
  • Andrew

    Here's a perfectly reasonable letter I sent to the Herald today, let's see if they publish this:

     

     

    If all this fuss about Marrickville Council should remind us of anything, it is the campaign against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. Remember that? Started small, got big, had many detractors along the way? Local councils were involved then too. Significantly Nelson Mandela has asserted that justice for the Palestinians is "the greatest moral issue of our time" and of his visit to Palestine, Desmond Tutu said "it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa".