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.

Insulate Israel from attack, oh wise people, its nuclear arms can’t handle it

Take cover, people, Nazi Germany is returning to the quiet campus of Sydney University.

Well, maybe not but the hilarious hysteria whipped up by Murdoch’s Australian over complaints about an upcoming collaboration between the university and an Israeli institution suggests the Zionist state must remain beyond criticism. Perhaps only foreign policy “experts” should be allowed to speak?

First this article today (which reflects terribly on the Palestinian Authority, a group of corrupt fools who have benefited from the Israeli occupation and have only brought shame and destruction on their people in Palestine and globally):

The Palestinian ambassador to Australia has condemned attacks by activists on Israeli businesses and thrown his support behind a controversial visit to the University of Sydney next week by Israeli academics.

Izzat Abdulhadi, head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, said yesterday he did not support a full-scale boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaign designed to isolate and delegitimise Israel, and was scathing about recent BDS-inspired protests outside the Max Brenner chain of shops, which are Israeli-owned. “BDS is a non-violent process and I don’t think it’s the right of anybody to use BDS as a violent action or to prevent people from buying from any place,” Mr Abdulhadi said of the Max Brenner protests, which have occasionally turned violent.

“(The BDS) is also sensitive to the Jewish people (because) in 1937 their businesses in Europe were boycotted.”

Mr Abdulhadi said he favoured a limited boycott of goods produced in Israeli settlements on the West Bank, because those settlements harmed the establishment of a Palestinian economy.

“Our objective is to build our own state, not to delegitimise any other state,” he said.

“We recognise Israel.”

Mr Abdulhadi opposed calls for the cancellation of the Israel Research Forum, due to be held at the University of Sydney next Monday, at which local experts will exchange ideas with Israeli leaders in fields including neuroscience and tissue regeneration.

He noted a similar exchange with Arab scholars was scheduled at the university for next year.

“This is Sydney University’s decision and we support that position, but it should be even-handed and there is another forum next year allowing all parties to present their own views and not to be biased to one side,” he said.

The Australian revealed yesterday that Jake Lynch, the head of the university’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, had written to deputy vice-chancellor John Hearn calling for the forum to be scrapped because, he said, it was a PR exercise for Israel, did not include any Palestinian representation, included institutions linked to Israel’s military and would turn off Muslim students.

Mr Abdulhadi said this was not the official Palestinian position. “We encourage professional co-operation between Palestine, Australia and Israel,” he said.

“This is my message to Australians. We don’t mind this close friendship with Israel. It’s a plus for us Palestinians, as it means Australia can play an even-handed and balanced role between the two parties and challenge Israel on certain issues of international law.”

Professor Hearn provided The Australian with a letter he had written to participants in the forum, supporting their work.

“The arguments used by Jake Lynch are, ironically, similar to the ones I have used to defend him and the Centre or Peace and Conflict Studies when they have been criticised for their own choices,” he wrote. “I will be speaking with Jake shortly about his similar respect for colleagues and a balanced approach.”

Dr Lynch declined to comment.

The letters in today’s paper also reveal a profound level of ignorance and insecurity. Don’t mention the occupation, people:

Boycott of Israeli academics would be immoral

I am saddened, yet again, to read about University of Sydney academic Jake Lynch’s unthinking support of boycotting academic ties with Israel (“University forum with Israeli scientists ‘offends Muslims’ “, 25/10). Just what does he fear from a free exchange of ideas? To pick an example, would he block Australians from learning about Israeli work to develop a new universal flu vaccine by linking flu virus proteins to teach the immune system to make antibodies and killer cells that will attack the virus, now in the early stages of testing?

Or what about the work of Gideon Grader (one of the visitors in the exchange program that Lynch attacks) on the development of processes that enable clean energy extraction from non-carbon fuels, a boon to a world where carbon- based fuels are becoming scarcer by the decade?
David D. Knoll, Coogee, NSW

Universities are supposed to be bastions of free speech but not so at the University of Sydney where, of all people,
the director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Jake Lynch wants to stop Israeli scientists from attending a forum because it might “offend Muslim students”.

Perhaps Lynch needs reminding that there are more Israeli Nobel prizes for science among its 6 million Jews than in the billion-strong Islamic world. One of their few winners was for the Nobel Peace prize, Yasser Arafat.
Randy Rose, Hobart, Tas

The call by Jake Lynch from the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies to shut down an Israel research forum is astonishingly illiberal.

I always thought that the role of academics was to promote rather than silence academic freedom.
Philip Mendes, Kew, Vic

What have we come to when medical researchers are discouraged from speaking at Australian universities on the basis of their ethnicity for fear of causing offence? Why is it that in some minds anything linked to Israel, that Middle Eastern country of freedom, is deemed to be bad?

It is very disappointing that members of our so-called enlightened academia would condone restrictions on academic freedoms because of anti-Semitism.
Cory Bernardi, Senator for South Australia, Kent Town, SA

I see Jake Lynch is irritated by the prospect of an Israel research forum. This is despite the fact that the webpage of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies says: “The centre aims to facilitate dialogue between individuals, groups or communities who are concerned with conditions of positive peace, whether in interpersonal relationships, community relations, within organisations and nations, or with reference to international relations”.

One of his complaints is that Arabic is generally not the language of instruction in Israeli universities. Of course, together with Hebrew, Arabic is an official language of Israel. No doubt, Lynch would therefore support the use of native languages for instruction in Australian universities, as well as elsewhere.
Lawrence J. Doctors, Dover Heights, NSW

Jake Lynch argues that the University of Sydney risks reputational damage. On the contrary, its reputation will be damaged if it responds positively to Lynch’s morally and politically repugnant demands.

As an academic I find the idea of academics demanding a boycott of universities in Israel and Israeli academics unprofessional and immoral.

Whatever happened to the idea that open debate, that argument and counter-argument is crucial to academic and political discourse?

Israel is undeniably the only true democracy in the Middle East. It is indefensible to call for a boycott of any description against such a nation.

Bill Anderson, Surrey Hills, Vic

5 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    That would be the same Cory Bernadi who believes no muslim has the right to speak or exist.

  • efj

    A veritable industry has been established highlighting the firms that benefited financially from the Jewish Holocaust and the professionals who gave their services unstintingly to the Nazi regime.
    Yet Sydney University is supposed to lend its reputation to Israeli comparators, part of the ethnic cleansing machine.
    Lynch is right. It is a PR activity. Any intellectual exchange will be entirely incidental.

  • kevinherbert1

    Mendes & co…the same old "what's wrong with Israel?" crew of denialists….and the Australian..that a bunch of run down hacks like Imre S & Greg S expect to be taken seriously by informed Aussies is the biggest joke…..tabloid foreign affairs commentators.. a new breed f foreign affairs hack….Foreign Relations Journal here they come !!!!!

  • Sam

    Ambassador's clarification statement: http://www.palestine-australia.com/res/file/State

  • brucek

    i was wondering who the "20 academics" are who signed jake lynch's letter – i'm on campus and would happily take time out from exam prep to shake each of their hands – there seems to be no media on them as yet…