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.

Alice Walker on why Gaza Flotilla 2 is essential

Foreign Policy: Why are you taking part in the flotilla mission?

Alice Walker: In 2009, I was in Gaza, just after Operation Cast Lead, and I saw the incredible damage and devastation. I have a good understanding of what’s on the ground there and how the water system was destroyed and the sewage system. I saw that the ministries had been bombed, and the hospitals had been bombed, and the schools. I sat for a good part of a morning in the rubble of the American school, and it just was so painful because we as Americans pay so much of our taxes for this kind of weaponry that was used. On a more sort of mature grandmotherly level I feel that as an elder it is up to me and others like me — other elders, other mature adults — to look at situations like this and bring to them whatever understanding and wisdom we might have gained in our fairly long lifetimes, witnessing and being a part of struggles against oppression.

FP: How long have you been involved in Palestinian activism? What drew you to it?

AW: It started with the Six Day War in 1967. That happened shortly after my wedding to a Jewish law student. And we were very happy because we thought Israel was right to try to defend itself by pre-emptively striking against Egypt. We didn’t realize any of the real history of that area. So, that was my beginning of being interested in what was going on and watching what was happening. Even at that time, I said to my young husband, well, they shouldn’t take that land, because it’s actually not their land. This just seemed so unjust to me. It just seemed so wrong. It’s really unjust because in America we think about Israel in mythical terms. And most of us have grown up with the Bible. So we think that we are sort of akin to these people and whatever they’re saying must be true — their God is giving them land and that is just the reality. But actually the land had people living on it. The people were in their own homes, their own towns and cities. So, the battle has been about them trying to reclaim what was taken from them. It’s important, when we have some new understanding — especially adults and mature adults — we must, I think, take some action so that younger people will have a better understanding of what they are seeing in the world.

FP: Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations said the stated goal of “humanitarian assistance” was a false pretext for your mission — and it’s actually designed to serve an extremist political agenda, and that many of the groups participating in the mission maintain ties with extremist and terrorist organizations, including Hamas. Your reaction?

AW: I think Israel is the greatest terrorist in that part of the world. And I think in general, the United States and Israel are great terrorist organizations themselves. If you go to Gaza and see some of the bombs — what’s left of the bombs that were dropped — and the general destruction, you would have to say, yeah, it’s terrorism. When you terrorize people, when you make them so afraid of you that they are just mentally and psychologically wounded for life — that’s terrorism. So these countries are terrorist countries.

8 comments ↪
  • Golda

    Hamas sends suicide bombers and missiles to kill innocent Israelis – women, children,
    old people, Israeli Arabs. Their stated goal is the elimination of the state of Israel and the
    establishment of an Islamic state. They are in control of Gaza. There is no more land blockade of Gaza and the purpose of the naval blockade is to prevent arms from getting through to the corrupt, terroristic Hamas regime. Hundreds of thousands of Africans in Sudan have been murdered, raped or turned into refugees. Why doesnt Alice Walker go there?

  • I couldn't think of anything useful to say to Golda, who roboticly trots out Mark Regev's talking points and ends with a distracting reference to Sudan. What Alice Walker says, however, makes a lot more sense (and of course, Golda the bot was not programmed to address the points that Alice mentioned because that requires thinking about).

    I would add that I am deeply concerned for US citizens embarking on the flotilla, as they face serious threats by Hilary Clinton to try them with serous terrorist offences. Such is the moral bankruptcy in Washington, they are blind to Israel's crimes against humanity.

    'Hillary Clinton gives green light for Israeli attack on Gaza flotilla'
    Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Fri, 06/24/2011 http://electronicintifada.net/blog/ali-abunimah/h

  • Rabbipete

    In her blog, Alice talks about how she was treated by teenage Israeli soldiers at the crossing point from the Palestininan territories into Israel. She suggests that their behaviour is 'German-esque' and wonders how they can possibly justify their behaviour. I have addressed a letter to Alice and posted it on my website; I tried to post it on hers, but it would not accept it. This is an extract:

    'You suggest that the teenagers who shout so disrespectfully at elderly Palestinian men and women, and Palestinian children, were once children themselves and wonder if their mothers agree with the bad way in which they were raised. But I suspect that their behaviour is not a consequence of how their mothers raised them, but rather of the circumstances in which they find themselves. I have never been in a situation where I have been faced by people who would like to see me, my family and my entire country pushed into the sea and wiped off the face of the map; whose government actively promote that view and ingrain its message of hate into the minds of even the youngest children. (cont'd)

  • Rabbipete

    I don’t think that Israeli children are taught in schools to hate Palestinians, or trained from an early age to dress up as suicide bombers. As far as I am aware, the Israeli version of Sesame Street contains the same fluffy lovable characters as its American counterpart, teaching letters of the alphabet and silly songs, unlike those versions broadcast in Gaza and the West Bank (Occupied Territories if you prefer) some of whose cast carry weapons, and die as martyrs, wrapped in high explosive belts, and encourage their young viewers to see them as role models. I believe that the plays and performances in Israeli schools (where, except among the ultra-Orthodox, boys and girls are taught together) are about celebrations of Jewish holidays and messages of hope rather than parades of small boys dressed in combat gear demonstrating their ability to take part in guerrilla warfare while chanting slogans of hate.

    (cont'd)

  • Rabbipete

    So, Alice, if you truly want to send letters to the Palestinian children in Gaza, please ask them not to take into their hearts the messages of hate that their leaders and teachers, their parents and preachers would have them believe. Because if they do take those messages to heart they will forever confront the disrespect and hostility you describe in your blog, because they will be face to face with the very people they have been taught to despise, whose land they have been told must be wiped from the map, its inhabitants pushed into the sea. And I would imagine that the only response when confronted with such hatred is to behave in the inhuman way you experienced, the way that is, to use your words, ‘wrong and bad' for the teenage Israeli soldiers.

    (cont'd)

  • Rabbipete

    It is wrong and bad for all of us, Alice. And like you, I believe that only children can change the way we treat one another, only children can recognise the humanity that is common to all of us, and, in so doing, help the rest of us find a way to respect, justice and peace. Golda Meir once said that there would only be peace between Israelis and Palestinians when the Palestinians loved their children more than they hated the Israelis. Teaching their children to hate will bring only more disrespect, more hate, more injustice. Highlighting only one part of the complicated Israel/Palestine narrative serves only to increase that hate. Please write about this to your children of Gaza: give them a message of possibility and hope, not one of hatred and despair.

    Yours in the audacity of hope,

    Rabbi Pete

  • "Peace will come when the Arabs start to love their children more than they hate us" ~ Golda Meir

    Peace will come when husbands stop beating their wives.
    Have you stopped beating your wife?
    http://imeu.net/news/article0019136.shtml

  • I think, Americans pay so much of taxes for this.