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.

Israel was on verge of yet another futile war against Gaza last week

Israel’s biggest newspaper has the story. And what will be the global reaction to this? Silence, because after all, if Israel would have attacked Gaza it would have been seen as “defensive” even if white phosphorus was used, like during Operation Cast Lead. This is the Holocaust excuse, used time and time again, and yet many citizens globally simply no longer accept Israeli violence:

When Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrived at the Defense Ministry Headquarters’ meeting room last Saturday, a thick war book titled “Operation South” was already awaiting his approval on his desk. In those hours, Israel was on the verge of embarking on war in the Gaza Strip.

The book did not pertain to a limited operation. The selected targets would have certainly prompted a major flare-up, including difficult regional implications. Just like in Operation Cast Lead, the political leadership granted immunity to no one in the Strip, regardless of his position or stature.

The detailed plans – the targets, scope, power and timing – would have left Hamas no breathing space and time to debate its response. It would have gone for the jackpot, right away. Indeed, Israel’s war plan included preparations for massive rocket fire from Gaza, including long-range missiles aimed at central Israel in general, and at Tel Aviv in particular.

Last weekend, the General Staff Headquarters looked like on the eve of war. Officials were working around the clock and sleeping in their offices. While formulating the plans, top officials recalled the curse of arrogance of the Second Lebanon War. Back then, the decision to launch a war was taken without sufficient preparation. The military and political leadership decided to deliver a blow, immediately, without taking into account the implications, the enemy’s response, the home front’s condition and the ability to counter rocket barrages. This time around, a full, detailed plan was drafted; it also included the IDF Home Front Command’s deployment. Only then was the scheme presented to the political echelon.

Another lesson learned from the miserable confrontation vis-à-vis Hezbollah is to start such assaults with great fire power, in order to minimize as much as is possible the home front’s suffering. This lesson was already implemented in Operation Cast Lead; in other words, the power utilized during Cast Lead was to constitute the starting point of the next operation.

Most of Israel’s regular army was to be enlisted, at one point or another, for the operation. Hence, last Saturday all regular army units were placed on alert. Air Force squadrons undertook their final preparations. The time given to the army for preparations also gave international parties – namely the United States and Egypt– time to examine alternatives to the war.

Thursday afternoon, a few hours after the terror offensive on the road leading to Eilat, officials started to formulate the operational doctrine. At that point, the targets were only Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC.) Hamas was not yet a clear target, with the exception of several symbolic hits meant to signal to the group that it holds the responsibility to prevent attacks from the Strip.

A short while after the PRC’s top brass was eliminated by the IDF in a surgical strike, Hamas’ entire leadership, both military and political, disappeared to various hideouts. They quickly realized where Israel’s response was headed to; hence, junior spokesmen were sent to address the cameras.

The next phase of Israel’s operation included the extension of the assault to Hamas as well. The assumption was that Hamas’ chiefs must have been aware of the PRC terror cell that headed to the Sinai to carry out attacks from there. A week before the Eilat offensive, PRC terrorists fired Grad Missiles at Kiryat Gat, and Hamas proceeded to detain the shooters, further demonstrating that it is deeply familiar with what goes on among “rogue groups” in Gaza.

In retrospect it turned out that not everything works by the book: To the great amazement of Israel’s experts, Hamas was truly surprised by the Eilat-area attacks.

Zero hour for the large, comprehensive facet of the operation was set. The countdown began. The manpower numbers at some units were complemented with reservists. Less than 24 hours remained before a war broke out. Yet then, Saturday night, a diplomatic opportunity to end the escalation emerged. Hamas initiated a ceasefire.

Officials quickly discovered that Hamas was embarrassed and confused by the fact that someone in the organization assumed responsibility for ending the lull and firing rockets at Ofakim and Beersheba that caused casualties. As it turned out, Hamas did not fire the rockets, and even sent police officers in an attempt to curb the shooters. Hamas heads directly approached the Americans and Egyptians and sought a ceasefire. Israel was aware of these inquiries virtually in real time.

Hamas chiefs did not plan or want this confrontation; not now. They were concerned about being blamed that they are pulling the rug from under Mahmoud Abbas ahead of the September independence bid. Moreover, the economic situation in Gaza is worsening. The government is having trouble paying salaries, with the amount of money pouring into the Strip at this time being a fraction of past fund transfers.

At this time, officials in the Strip need calm and support from Cairo in the contacts on the Gilad Shalitswap. Hamas also fears that Egypt would close the Rafah Crossing. Furthermore, Hamas leaders in Gaza realized that what Israel characterized as a “disproportional response” to the rocket fire was merely the groundwork for a large-scale operation.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh dared leave his hideout only on Tuesday, some 24 hours after the ceasefire. Top Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders are still huddled in bomb shelters, for good reason apparently. On Wednesday, an Islamic Jihad member was killed. Another one was assassinated early Thursday. This pattern will continue. The message in the wake of the Eilat-area offensive is unequivocal: Pinpoint eliminations are back, even if the price of each surgical strike is a night of mortar shells and Grad rockets aimed at southern Israel.

As September approaches, the IDF is being stretched beyond its means, and there will apparently be no escaping the need to call up reservists. Our leadership is navigating through a minefield. Just like we were on the verge of war Saturday night, with most of the public being completely oblivious to the unfolding drama, it can happen again tomorrow morning. The war book is ready.

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