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.

Independent Australian Jewish Voices newsletter just out

The following was sent yesterday:

Dear friends,

We are sending out our occasional newsletter and we would like to express our gratitude for the support we have received. In particular, we are grateful to various generous benefactors without whom our activities would not be possible.

We have recently joined the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), which “has been formed by civil society groups to give a national voice to the Palestinian experience, with the aim of bringing balance and truth to the public debate in Australia about the Israel-Palestine conflict.” APAN “was officially established as an Incorporated Association in May 2011 and its founding membership base includes representatives of Palestinian groups, unions, churches, existing Palestinian solidarity organisations, and Jewish groups.” Peter Slezak is on the Executive, and we are encouraging both individuals and organisations to join. Please visit www.apan.org.au for more information.

Miko Peled, the grandson of one of the signers of Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the son of a general in the 1967 war, visited Australia recently for a number of talks and public events, sponsored by the Melbourne-based Australian for Palestine (AFP). Peter Slezak joined him and others for a Parliamentary dinner at the NSW Parliament. There is a good interview with Peled here.

The Leichhardt Friends of Hebron sponsored a forum recently on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Speakers included Peter Slezak  Samah Sabawi (from Australians for Palestine) and Joseph Wakim (founder of the Arabic Australian Council). The forum was moderated by Peter Manning, senior lecturer at Monash University.

Also on the topic of the BDS movement, late last year Marrickville council in Sydney endorsed the BDS as a policy. There followed months of intense public debate, political attacks and misinformation about the BDS movement and the alleged costs to the council. In April of this year the council met to discuss whether to rescind their support for BDS. Antony Loewenstein and Peter Slezak, among others, spoke at the council meeting in support of BDS and the council’s decision of December 2010. Here is the the video of Antony’s speech. The council decided at the meeting to revoke their earlier decision to support BDS. For more information about the BDS movement, visit their website: www.bdsmovement.net

In May, the annual Jewish Limmud-Oz festival held at the University of New South Wales cancelled two speakers from their program following complaints that the two supported Marrickville council and BDS. The two speakers were Vivienne Porzsolt (from Jews Against the Occupation) and Peter Slezak. Here’s a Sydney Morning Herald article with more details of what happened, and here’s an article by Peter Slezak in which he discusses his removal from the Limmud-Oz program.

A forthcoming book may be of interest. It is edited by Avigail Abarbanel and called ‘Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Stories of Jewish Activists’ (in the Cambridge Scholars series), with a Foreword by Harvard’s Sara Roy and including chapters by Ilan Pappe, Jeff Halper, Anna Baltzer, and Peter Slezak and Vivienne Porszolt among others.

Here is an article by Antony discussing Palestine’s bid for UN statehood, and this piece, published on September 11, examines the Israeli/American relationship since 9/11.

In a significant development towards enhancing our efforts, we have hired Eran Asoulin as a part time executive officer to supplement the work he has been doing on a volunteer basis.

Among current plans, we hope to support Peter Slezak’s inclusion in the 2012 APHEDA tour of the Palestinian territories to report back in the form of public lectures, blogs and articles. APHEDA is the overseas humanitarian aid agency of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

Finally, IAJV now has a facebook page and a twitter page, “like” or follow us if you use those services. We will be increasing our online presence with regular updates on many relevant issues, so please visit our website.

As always, we are grateful for funding support which has allowed us to undertake our various activities. To make a contribution you may either use the “Donate” button on our website or use the following bank details for making an electronic transfer:

Unicom Credit Union
BSB: 802-396
Name: IAJV
Account Number: 26241843

Thank you in advance.

Best wishes for now,

Independent Australian Jewish Voices
Peter Slezak
James Levy
Antony Loewenstein
Eran Asoulin
http://www.iajv.org/

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