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.

Why are still debating the morality of one-state solution?

Max Ajl wonders the same thing in Monthly Review:

One state or two?  Boycott of Israeli goods or goods from the settlements?  Is the lobby the genesis of American wrongdoing in Palestine or is it imperialism?  The questions — regarding vision, strategy, and analysis — produce sharp cleavages on the Left.  Indeed, generally ones much deeper than they need to be.  And they remain stubbornly unsettled.

They also congeal in the person of Norman Finkelstein, who has taken some unpopular positions — his insistent call for a two-state solution, his references to “cultish” aspects of BDS — as well as more popular ones, like blaming the occupation solely on the Israel lobby.  For that reason he has become a lightning rod, attracting furious bolts of criticism and support.  The core issues, however, remain obscured amidst a charged atmosphere of extravagant denunciations (catcalls of Zionism and worse) from one side and fierce defenses from the other.

From one perspective, it’s an odd contretemps.  Finkelstein has spent decades fighting for Palestinian dignity and a place for Palestinians to live free of the occupation’s suffocating violence and capricious indignities.  He is the maverick scholar who exposed the American intellectual community as a gaggle of hacks by dissecting Joan Peters’s From Time Immemorial, showing it to be a hoax intended to deny the Palestinians peoplehood by painting them as peripatetics who had fabricated a “Palestinian” identity to ride the wave of Israel’s successful nation-building project.  And his forensic dismantling of Israeli scholarly mythologies in Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict remains one of the very best primers on the prejudices that surround the conflict.

For all that time his fight has been for a two-state settlement: something that seemed reasonable in 1988 and in the early 1990s.  But what seemed possible twenty years ago — with the Israeli electorate temporarily shaken by the savage repression of the 1st intifada and Israeli capital needing to recover from the aftermath of the destabilizing military-industrial accumulation patterns of the 1970s and 1980s, break through the sectoral envelope of domestic accumulation, and globalize — seems less possible now, with militarized accumulation again on the rise in the Middle East and elsewhere.  In some ways, the argument for two states has become a relic when so much of the discourse (less so the organizing) of the radical pro-Palestinian Left in the West and the Palestinian Left in the Occupied Territories is oriented towards one single state.

Furthermore, the constituency for partition is far from a majority of the Israeli population.  Those accepting removal of all settlements totaled 18 percent of the population in 2006 and declined to 14 percent in 2007.  So, the Israeli state is in sync with the sentiments of the Israeli people.  Rejectionism is consensual, while disagreements are technical, niggling about how tight should be the noose around Palestinian society’s neck.  Thus a program for a forced withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders is a challenge to Israeli power.  Two states with a just resolution of the refugee question and UN SC 242 borders is rabidly rejected by not only Israel but also America.  It makes little sense to speak of “selling out” when the two-state solution is so stolidly rejected by those who must consent to its implementation for it to have meaning.

4 comments ↪
  • "What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts" ~ Nelson Mandela (1985 statement spurning an offer of freedom on condition that he 'unconditionally rejected violence as a political weapon').

    In 1951, the Apartheid regime formally established ten Bantustans for the country's different black ethnic groups. These were allocated 13% of South Africa's land, with the remainder being reserved for the white population. Despite the active collaboration of many tribal chiefs and leaders, only four Bantustans were ever declared independent. Israel was the only UN member state to afford some sort of diplomatic recognition to any of the Bantustans.

  • [Part 2 – split due to comment size limitations]

    The vast majority of South Africans together with their religious, political and resistance organisations rejected apartheid and the 11-state Bantustan solution imposed on them and continued to fight for their rights. Nelson Mandela, who spent 27+ years in prison, spurned many conditional offers for his freedom. On 11 February 1990, he was unconditionally released from prison and became a free man again. Then 32 years after his imprisonment (or 342 years after his ancestors' dispossession), Mandela was elected President of his ancestral homeland, which in spite of its long bloody history of colonisation, slavery and oppression, chose to become a country for all its citizens.

    Like the indigenous South Africans before them, the Palestinians don't want a two-state or one-state or any other-state "solution". They want freedom! Freedom with justice and equal rights. Both time and justice are on the Palestinians' side.

  • examinator

    The merit of this Salon article en toto is predicated on academic 'national' options, one state or two.
    In my mind what is missing is the individual human nature element.

    Let's start at the beginning. Among the many functional 'pay off's' of religion for the individual, is security and some control over ones future, presumably a better one.

    Now let's consider the question “Objectively, why do you believe are the settlers' personal motive for their actions?” most probably because it improves *their (personal) opportunities more that options offered without the settlements. Let's be real any religious glory of God stuff could and has been done done for nearly 2 millennia anywhere, any real estate . In this case religion, security et al is being (ab)used to justify the occupations (hold that context).

    Now ask your self what benefit to the INDIVIDUAL 'dispossessed' (diasporic) Palestinian is there in simply a state own real estate? Especially if there is nothing to assuage *their personal sense of disposition/ lack of options?

    Next consider the retiring Australian market garden farmers around the major capital cities, what do you think happens to 'their family land' ? Do the children continue the farm, the life long attachment to their land? Not bloody likely….they can't wait to sell it to a developer and become 'instantly rich' (improve *their opportunities). But they have to wait until Mum and Dad to go into a home or shuffle off.

    We now link these consistent human nature by considering a wrinkle on reparations, that of structures (houses, buildings farms etc) being left in tact and ownership was transferred to those that could show like for like etc ( in effect a limited reversal of the Zionist's on the take over of Palestinian houses et al.).

    Finally repeat the original presumed conundrum of a single state where the institutionalised injustice/ inequity is still there or two with the suggested individual diasporic Palestinian human nature in mind?
    It's all about providing basic opportunities…. not so much Sate real estate.
    There is no way that a one state solution would deliver equality to where it matters at the individual human nature level.

    Does any one u really believe that the very apparent existing institutionalised racism etc wouldn't continue repeating the Historic tragedies of Zionist tactics of 1909- 1948 in the one state solution? In short a dysfunctional state. For the foreseeable future it is pragmatic to keep the two separated in equal power. It may well be true that the two will merge as some time in the future but not until they can get on as State neighbours. Better that they diplomatically joust over clear lines between states than internecine civil(sic) war. A house divided on itself can't stand.

    Now the last remaining question is what to do with 16% of the Israelis…..there the practical answer is for the USA and the Jewish Diaspora to simply re direct their largess to providing within the border benefits.
    I put it to you that if these settlers were given in border opportunity and absorbed into existing political boundaries much of the emphasis for the current bellicose policies would dissipate.
    Internally, Israel 's problem is the upsetting of the disproportionate lock on political power, some would go kicking and screaming but the abiding issue is the relatively peaceful guarantee of Israel's existence.
    Nirvana it isn't but it's way better than what's in Israel today.

  • examinator

    PS
    Israel's trenchant Right wing extremists, it's paranoia is ITS problem to deal with, it shouldn't be Palestine's and vise versa.
    If the individual Palestinian has something to lose by the actions of their extremists human nature will marginalise/ eliminate them. Simply look at the IRA extremists in Nth Ireland if you want proof… or look to your neighbours and their council votes.