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.

Why Marrickville BDS should stand; Naomi Klein and others make the call

Thank you:

Dear Marrickvile councilors,

We the undersigned would firstly like to congratulate the Marrickville Council in Sydney’s Inner West, Australia for their courageous motion (dated December 14, 2010) in support of the Palestinian-led global movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. The BDS campaign is deeply inspired by the South African anti-apartheid boycott and divestment campaign for freedom and equality. We understand the Marrickville councilors have come under immense pressure to reverse their decision.  After concerted political attacks laden with misinformation about BDS and its alleged costs to the council, a vote is being held on Tuesday April 19 to attempt a reversal.  As supporters of universal principles of human rights, we are writing today to appeal to all Marrickville councilors to uphold their principled motion in support of BDS.

Supporting BDS means first and foremost upholding universal human rights and the just and fair application of international law to end Israel’s occupation and denial of basic Palestinian rights.  It does not in any way entail or necessitate adopting sweeping boycott or divestment measures that may have a disproportionately negative economic impact on Marrickville or any other council. BDS is not a one-size-fits-all formula; its endorsers around the world converge on the rights-based approach of the Call but apply context-sensitive measures that best fit their own reality and particular circumstances. Some boycott campaigns, such as the CodePink-led “Stolen Beauty,” focus on one specific company that is implicated in Israel’s occupation or war crimes, while others, like “Derail Veolia and Alstom,” target a number of complicit institutions, companies or products.

The smear and intimidation campaign waged against the brave Marrickville motion and its supporters has neglected to mention that in 2005, an overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society called upon conscientious citizens and civil society groups around the world to implement diverse, creative Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign based on the principles of human rights, justice, freedom and equality for all, irrespective of their identity [1].  The BDS movement appeals to people around the world to heed the call until Israel withdraws from all the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and removes all its colonies and walls in those lands; implements United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian refugees rights; and recognizes the right of its Palestinian citizens to full equality [2]. On this last dimension, it is worth noting that the U.S. Department of State in its annual human rights reports has persistently condemned Israel’s “institutional, legal, and societal discrimination” against its Palestinian citizens. [3] These three demands are firmly based in international law; by supporting this movement the Marrickville Council is expressing its solid commitment to human rights locally and internationally.

In light of the hundreds of UN resolutions condemning Israel’s colonial and discriminatory policies as illegal, and considering the failure of all forms of international intervention and peace-making to oblige Israel to comply with international law, respect fundamental human rights and end its occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people, BDS has become the most urgent form of morally-consistent solidarity that can effectively further the demand for implementing Palestinian rights in accordance with international law. Marrickville Council is not alone in taking this moral stand, it has joined a long list of councils, civil society organizations, prominent artists and intellectuals around the world who have taken initiatives to hold Israel accountable similar to those used to end apartheid in South Africa [4].

We understand that some defenders of Israel’s occupation and racial discrimination system have argued that it would be costly and difficult for Marrickville to implement its BDS policy. This is a little more than a cynical diversion by those who wish to protect Israel from being held accountable for its gross violations of international law. BDS need not be unduly costly – councils across the world have taken action in support of Palestinian rights at little or no cost. By being focused, nuanced, and tactical, Marrickville Council can implement BDS in a way that best suits the local context in which it operates while still making an important contribution towards just peace and respect for the rule of international law.

We warmly welcome your solidarity with Palestinians struggling for their inalienable rights. We believe that the time has come to apply BDS as a minimal, non-violent, yet clearly effective form of pressure on Israel, as was done successfully in the struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Please uphold your boycott policy and stand firm in your commitment to human rights.

Victoria Brittain, journalist and playwright, London
Judith Butler, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Hedy Epstein, Holocaust survivor and peace activist, Missouri
Chris Hedges, award-winning American journalist and author, US
Ronnie Kasrils, former South African government minister and African National Congress executive member
Naomi Klein, author and social activist, Toronto
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Belfast
Miriam Margolyes, actress, London
Joseph Massad, Professor, Columbia University, New York
John Pilger, journalist and documentary maker
Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, City University of New York
Clare Short, former UK government minister, London
Baroness Jenny Tonge, life peer and former UK member parliament, London
Salim Vally, lecturer, University of Johannesburg

South African Municipal Workers Union
COSATU-led Coalition for a Free Palestine (CFP)

[1] http://www.bdsmovement.net/call

[2] Ibid.

[3]http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/nea/154463.htm

[4] http://www.bdsmovement.net/2010/five-years-statemen-4602

2 comments ↪
  • Pingback: Naomi Klein, John Berger et al: An open letter to Marrickville Council « Overland literary journal

  • Massimo

    I will simply say that as always those who object to any criticism of Israel's policies will accuse their critics of being antisemitic. Presumably then this charge should include all Israely who are critical of their government's policies and while these may be a minority they are nevertheless a substantial minority.

    Lastly lets state once  again that Israel is a modern national state and it should not be confused with all those who have an allegiance to a particular religious belief any more that all Italian should be identified as catholic subsrvient to the Ppe or for that matter Spanish or Polish catholics.