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.

Come to the West Bank and shoot Ayrab “terrorists”

Celebrating colonisation, demonising Arabs and making money in the process? Welcome to Israel 2012 (via Ynet):

Like a frozen turkey plunged into boiling oil, a group of American tourists descend from an air-conditioned van into the scorching heat of the West Bank. Flashing smiles all around, they march into Caliber 3, a local shooting range.

“Move it!” the Israeli guide suddenly yells. “Destroy that terrorist,” he orders them, and they charge, guns loaded, at cardboard targets.

Gush Etzion has become a hot destination in recent months for tourists seeking an Israeli experience like no other: The opportunity to pretend-shoot a terror operative. Residents of the nearby settlements, who run the site, offer day-trippers a chance to hear stories from the battleground, watch a simulated assassination of terrorists by guards, and fire weapons at the range.

The fact that the tourist attraction is located beyond the Green Line only intensifies the thrill for the visitors, who often appear disappointed when told by their guides that they are not in any danger.

Shay, a gray-haired guide with a throaty voice, demonstrates the best way to grab hold of an assailant, while shots sound in the nearby range. A variety of rifles and faux explosive belts lay on a desk in front of him, while the pictures of smiling “terrorist” targets line the walls.

“Grab me,” he orders 19-year-old Michael, who finds himself on the ground within moments of touching his muscular instructor.

According to reports in the foreign media, Shay was one of the combat troops who took part in Operation Entebbe, the mission that rescued the passengers of a hijacked Air France flight in 1976. When the tourists hear about it, their eyes light up.

“Suppose that the terrorist in front of me has an automatic weapon,” Shay tells the captivated audience. “He can spray a cartridge within 2.8 seconds, which means I have less than three seconds to take him down. And that is what I will do.”

He turns around and lodges a bullet in each target, prompting loud cheers all around.

But the tourists don’t come out all the way to Gush Etzion for a lecture; they want to push the trigger as well.

Shay hands a dummy gun to the 14-year-old Brian, who excitedly blurts out, “Jesus!”

“Your mommy won’t be here to protect you, so stand up like a man,” Shay yells at the teen. “Are you ready to take out a terrorist?”

 “Yes I am,” Brian retorts.

One by one, the combatants-for-a-day don protective glasses and approach their Tavor or M16 rifles.

Michel Brown, 40, a Miami banker, chose to take his wife and three children to the range with the purpose of “teaching them values.”

Upon entering the range, his five-year-old daughter, Tamara, bursts into tears. A half hour later, she is holding a gun and shooting clay bullets like a pro.

“This is part of their education,” Michel says as he proudly watches his daughter. “They should know where they come from and also feel some action.”

Sharon Gat, the range’s manager, says all the instructors at the site have served in elite IDF units.

“This is a special program created due to popular demand,” he says. “Travelers from all over the world come here to meet former combat troops and hear stories about elite units. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“We heard on the news about shootings in the West Bank,” the mother, Olga, says. “We came to see it in person.”

Her son, Jacob, 24, puts down his rifle and exclaims: “This is an awesome experience. I learned how to stop a terrorist and how to rescue hostages. Now, when I find myself in distress, I will know how to deal.”

Davidi Pearl, who heads the Gush Etzion Regional Council, notes that this kind of experience turns the district into a world-famous “tourist gem.”

At the end of the thrill-filled day, the tourists get a diploma indicating they “completed a basic shooting course in Israel.”

2 comments ↪
  • Cy Berlowitz

    My people are losing their heads with increased rapidity. I hope these tourists
    never run into a real terrorist, who is most likely far better trained than they are.

    Cy Berlowitz

  • Graham

    Forget what you read above! I spent some time with these guys and they are much more professional than the story portrays. You get some sound insight and instruction, mixed with fun.

    You are not taught to tackle a terrorist on your own, just what is necessary for some of the trained shooters should they need to tackle one! This is how they may need to defend their homes and family.

    This is a great day out and well worth the effort!