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.

What never-ending occupation has done; Hamas needs Gaza blockade

Amira Hass in Haaretz explains:

How embarrassing. While solidarity activists are planning new protests against the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government is adding to limitations on Palestinians’ freedom of movement. One might justifiably ask: What are a few high school students Hamas refuses to allow to travel to the United States to study as opposed to 1.5 million Palestinians imprisoned by Israel in Gaza?

Who cares about a few Fatah activists who have been banned from leaving the Gaza Strip? They have become a “price tag” – Hamas’ revenge for the persecution of its supporters (not linked to the use of arms) in the West Bank by the Abbas-Fayyad government. And who even pays attention to a few hundred people who might be traveling to participate in NGO projects in the West Bank and abroad? What does it matter that they are required to give at least two weeks notice and provide the authorities in Gaza with an abundance of details about the project?

The truth is, these strikes against freedom of movement can be explained away by political circumstances. The explanations would even suit Hamas’ respectable image abroad as a resistance government (as opposed to the PLO government’s image as collaborators). It’s almost certain that any rare Palestinian who Israel allows to leave Gaza via the Erez checkpoint is being shown some sort of favoritism by the Israeli authorities. This person can be close to the Palestinian Authority or a PA official himself, a favorite of the Americans or other Western entities, or of a well-connected Israeli organization.

By its very essence, freedom of movement for the few constitutes privilege, and privilege is a mutilated right, because rights are meant for everyone. Such mutilated rights foster envy and encourage the estrangement of the privileged from the rest of the public. That has been the basis for Israel’s 20-year closure policy.

Last Thursday, the Hamas authorities once again prevented six high school students, scholarship recipients, from leaving for their studies in the United States. A number of them had wanted to leave two weeks ago and were prevented from doing so on the orders of the Hamas education minister. This summer, children were prohibited from participating in a summer camp (! ) in the West Bank. The Gaza security forces interrogated a number of activists who had gone abroad; they were part of the movement against the separation of the West Bank from Gaza. Two had their laptops and cellphones confiscated, one was arrested for two days.

The prohibitions and Hamas’ deterrent tactics must not be taken lightly just because the number of people affected is small. The nature of prohibitions is that they increase in volume as they roll down the slope called “rule.” Hamas believes it has the right to intervene in parents’ choices for their children’s educational future. It believes it has the right to limit national and societal activity that is not based on its religious axioms.

These prohibitions are woven tightly into the Hamas regime’s logic. Hamas, which is not threatened by elections, builds its own separate political-religious entity. The closer the government in Ramallah gets to the UN vote on accepting “Palestine” as a member, the more Hamas stresses the independence of the Gaza Strip under its rule.

In this way the Hamas government provides an alibi for Israel to mendaciously claim that it is no longer an occupier. Hamas needs a blockade to regulate from within so that the subjects of “independent Gaza” will be exposed as little as possible to different realities and will not question its policies. Hamas needs the blockade and needs Gaza to be cut off from the rest of Palestinian society to ensure the continuation of its regime.

no comments – be the first ↪