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.

Murdoch press success; discuss Palestine and BDS and ignore occupation

Yet another skillful effort today in Murdoch’s Australian. It ain’t easy being so clueless on the Middle East but the paper strives for a moral blindspot and achieves an own goal:

What concerns many people about the Max Brenner campaign, apart from the shadow of history, is that it is directed against something that, although foreign owned, is a legitimate legal business in this country. That it is a chocolate shop only underlines the tenuous nature of claims that it bears some responsibility for Israel’s military and human rights policies in the occupied territories.

“In a democratic society anybody should be allowed to protest, but I find it really distasteful that a Jewish business is being targeted in this way,” Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes says. “If people are upset about the handling of the Middle East process then fine, but why don’t they protest outside the Israeli embassy and direct their protest to the Israeli state rather than a Jewish business? If people do not like the policies of the Australian government, I wouldn’t expect there to be a protest outside the RM Williams store.”

But Samah Sabawi, spokeswoman for the advocacy group Australians for Palestine, defends the targeting of Max Brenner because it makes a greater impact than traditional protests.

“Standing outside an embassy is not always the most effective form of protest,” she says. “We live in a democratic society and we have a choice of different types of campaigns.”

The Max Brenner campaign in Australia is part of the global campaign known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, which seeks in part to boycott Israeli businesses as a means of pressuring Israel to improve its human rights record. The campaign in Australia involves a loose alliance of the radical Left, including greens, unions, socialists and Marxists, in addition to at least 14 separate pro-Palestinian groups.

Says Ted Lapkin, a conservative commentator and former employee of the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council: “What is wrong with providing care packages to Israeli soldiers who are defending their country against terrorists?”

The BDS movement likens itself to the boycott movement against the apartheid South African regime in the 1970s and 80s.

Veteran pro-Palestinian campaigner and former Palestinian envoy in Australia Ali Kazak says that during the anti-apartheid struggle, boycotts on South African businesses were considered to be legitimate weapon of protest. “South African Airways and other businesses were targeted, so if it was OK for the apartheid regime, why not for Israel?” It’s a connection deeply offensive to many in Australia’s Jewish community.

“The Israel-Palestinian conflict is a struggle between two nations, not a struggle for equality within one nation,” the Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s executive director Peter Wertheim says.

“Within Israel all citizens, including Jews, Arabs and Druze, have the same voting and legal rights . . . Jews and Arabs use the same public transport, eat at the same restaurants, shop at the same malls and play in the same sports teams.

“The BDS [Max Brenner] campaign in Australia is not really about economic pressure, it’s about demonising and vilifying Israel.”

Union leader Howes says: “If they [anti-Israeli protesters] are trying to equate the campaign against apartheid in South Africa with a campaign against a Jewish chocolate shop, they’ve got rocks in their head.”

Wertheim says the common link between the anti-Jewish Nazi boycotts in the 30s and the present Max Brenner campaign in Australia is that “both are based on the calculated orchestration of hate”.

It is the historical echoes of the Nazi era and the refusal of the protest groups to recognise this, that makes the Max Brenner campaign so abhorrent not only to the Jewish community but also to many in the wider community.

A news article in The Weekend Australian last week, which outlined the positions of each side of the debate, was attacked by one BDS supporter, anti-Israeli Jewish blogger Antony Loewenstein, as being typical of “a paper that loves the smell of bombed Muslims in the morning”.

The organisers of the Max Brenner campaign maintain that it is political, not racist.

“We stress that the BDS movement is an anti-racist movement that rejects all forms of racism including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia . . . they do not target any particular religious or ethnic group,” says the coalition of pro-Palestinian groups.

It takes effort to discuss Israel/Palestine and ignore the reason BDS is taking off around the world. Political hacks can whinge in Australia as much as they want – mostly people who have enjoyed the largesse of Zionist lobby hospitality in Israel itself – but nobody wants to talk about what Israel is doing in Palestine; suppressing dissent and crushing Palestinian self-determination.That’s why civil disobedience is vital and soaring globally.

But not to worry; a few media whores can enjoy a hot chocolate at a shop that backs Israeli soldiers complicit in war crimes in the occupied territories.

3 comments ↪
  • johd

    [“The Israel-Palestinian conflict is a struggle between two nations, not a struggle for equality within one nation,” ]

    This is like saying that the anti-Apartheid boycott was offensive because it was a conflict between two people; South Africans and the Bantustans. The fact is that the occupation is a legal fiction designed to perpetuate the deprivation of the occupied to their rights as citizens.

    )BTW – intense debate refuses to allow a log on using wordpress, and insists that you open an intense debate account.)

  • Huh

    "Israel…suppressing dissent and crushing Palestinian self-determination". Actually the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights has found Abbas himself is responsible for suppressing dissent and crushing Palestinian rights. Abbas himself is the dictator.

  • yeah right

    If this is meant to be "a struggle between two nations" then why is Palestine not recognized AS a nation. You can't call a group of people a nation and at the same time deprive them of achieving national determination. Why does America, and Auistralia for that matter, give lipservice to a two state solution yet when it comes to the crunch refuse to allow the concept any recognition. Who is calling the shots here??????Time to wake up people!!!