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.

At least one Australian politician stands up for Palestine

Bravo Lee Rhiannon and as always the Murdoch Australian is incapable of framing this movement as anything other than outright anti-Semitism:

Greens senator Lee Rhiannon has again refused to back away from the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, despite opposition from her leader, Bob Brown.

Her comments came as a group of federal MPs from both sides of politics, including Wayne Swan, gathered in a Max Brenner chocolate shop in Brisbane’s Southbank last night to show their opposition to the BDS campaign.

Max Brenner’s parent company, the Strauss Group, has its headquarters in Israel and has voiced its support for the Israeli Defence Forces.

The Southbank store was the target of a protest by BDS supporters on Saturday.
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“I see the value of that tactic as a way to promoting Palestinian human rights,” Senator Rhiannon told Sky News’s Australian Agenda yesterday.

She compared the movement to the anti-apartheid campaign in South Africa.

“I am quite aware Bob Brown has a different view on this,” she said, but claimed there was growing understanding in the community for the campaign.

A spokesman for the Treasurer said: “The vast majority of Australians would think boycotts of individual business, like the rally . . . in Brisbane on the weekend, are misguided.”

The 40 or so BDS protesters on Saturday encountered a larger force of about 60 counter-protesters on Saturday. The two sides exchanged insults, separated by police.

One counter-protester, Logan City councillor Hajnal Black, said BDS supporters shouted anti-Semitic slogans.

“It’s shocking, the sort of things they were saying — that Jews kill babies, Jews are terrorists . . .” she said.

The BDS rally’s organisers, Kathy Newnam and Hamish Chitts, declined requests to be interviewed.

3 comments ↪
  • Bravo Lee Rhiannon, yes agreed. Perhaps there is a need to better explain why a chocolate shop in Brisbane's Southbank should be singled out for protesters' attention. Well, we are seeing the forced dispossession of Palestinians so 'mainstreamed' that it is pretty routine for blood money to slush around the carefree walkways and beach of Southbank without anyone giving it a second thought. The money from selling chocolate will go to steal yet more land at gunpoint and the bulldozing of homes.

    Not much by way of an argument in the Murdoch 'chip-wrap'. Not a single mention of armed fundamentalist extremist, militant settlers or the ethnic cleansing now under way. No mention of the siege of Gaza, the world's biggest outdoor jail. The anti-Semitism claim is so unimaginative, inaccurate and old-school, a worn out slogan, hollow and bankrupt (as we hope soon to see Murdoch himself). Many of those who support the boycott are in fact Jewish, so the anti-Semitic jibe sounds very silly, as it is. It is just another sign that militant extremist Zionism is getting increasingly desperate as they are losing the argument and the PR battle too.

    Does it matter if I sneaked in and bought some chocolate? Yes, the fact that this protest is so upsetting to the Israeli government is becoming known in Israel. That means however trivial you might think boycotting chocolates sounds, the message is getting back to Israeli exporters, especially those with settler connections, their products are likely to receive the same unwelcome attention. What if no one buys?

    A much better strategy which the Israelis could learn from South Africa is end the Apartheid state, that way Israeli products would be greeted with eager consumers wanting to support progressive and humane values. Let us hope this will be soon, along with the demise of the pseudo-news organisation well known for hacking.

    A proud Greens member since 1991.

  • weaver

    What I find weird is the flipside to the infantile notiion that criticism of Israel, even anti-Zionism, are anti-Semitic, which is the idea that evidence of actual anti-Semitism can be refuted by pointing out the culprit's pro-Zionism, as if Zionism and anti-Semitism are mutually exclusive. For example, Bill Anderson's defence of Churchill in the Letters pages of Friday's Age. See also Billy Graham.

  • Bravo Lee Rhiannon, yes agreed. Perhaps there is a need to better explain why a chocolate shop in Brisbane's Southbank should be singled out for protesters' attention. Well, we are seeing the forced dispossession of Palestinians so 'mainstreamed' that it is pretty routine for blood money to slush around the carefree walkways and beach of Southbank without anyone giving it a second thought. The money from selling chocolate will go to steal yet more land at gunpoint and the bulldozing of homes.