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.

There is no Middle East “peace process”, then or now

Ben White in Al Jazeera kills it:

Simply put, the “peace process” is used as a substitute for international law, rather than as a means to secure its implementation. Thus accountability for war crimes in Gaza is seen as a threat to the peace process, while for the Palestinians to go to the UN (putting aside that initiative’s flaws) is critiqued as a substitute for face-to-face, US/Quartet-mediated talks.

This diplomatic game has been going on for 20 years, during which time Israel’s apartheid regime has developed and expanded. As Akiva Eldar put it in Ha’aretz, “the ‘peace process’ has served as a cover for the settlement process”, with the West Bank settler population having “risen from 110,000 to 320,000” and “60 per cent of the area [Area C]… de facto annexed”.

Yet during two decades of continued colonisation, Israel has been able to maintain the illusion of “talks” with the “other side” – and that is where the second obstacle to Palestinian rights comes in: the Palestinian Authority itself.

As was clear to some even at the time, the establishment of the PA enabled Israel to delegate numerous responsibilities of an occupier to an “autonomous” entity that Israel always intended, in the words of Rabin, to be “less than a state”. Years on, there are now layers of vested interests in the maintenance of the status quo, from the “VIP” economic-political elite, to those dependent on a PA (read Western-funded) salary.

Articles on growing public dissent towards the PA have highlighted another of its key roles – that of security sub-contractor for the Israeli military and intelligence apparatus. While Amira Hass wrote recently of “the transformation of the PA into the subcontractor of the IDF, the Civil Administration and Shin Bet security service”, this is in fact what it was always meant to be.

“We give them the names and they arrest them,” said an Israeli officer quoted in piece in The Economist this last week – and there’s no shortage of evidence. According to the Israeli military, in 2009, there were 1,297 PA-IDF “coordinated operations”. In January 2010, a Wikileaks cable notes that “Fayyad and his senior security officials were clear on the need for increased PA-GOI security coordination”. In another cable, the PA’s Minister of Interior told US officials how “publicity about Israeli-Palestinian security coordination threatens the sustainability of the PA’s security campaign”, and thus it was “essential” to keep it “out of the public eye”.

As well as the official peace process and the PA, the decolonisation of Palestine is blocked by a third core element of the status quo: the two-state solution framework. After Sharon, Bush and Blair, it is clear that the only “Palestinian state” that will be allowed to emerge is a stunted reservation, the final confirmation of the permanency of ethno-religious Jewish privilege in the majority of Palestine/Israel. No rights for the refugees. Second-class citizenship inside the ethnocracy. The best those inside the wall can hope for is a work permit for the “industrial zone” that will mark the pinnacle of Jewish-Palestinian “co-existence”.

Why has a trip to Salam Fayyad’s office – stopping by Rawabi – become a must-do item on the itinerary of Israel lobby group tours? Why do the Israeli government and the state’s apologists in the West constantly urge a return to “negotiations”? As signs abound that we are in a transition time, to insist on “two states for two peoples” is to be complicit with those who seek to frustrate Palestinians from achieving all of their rights.

These three cornerstones – “negotiations”, the PA, and the two-state solution – can no longer be allowed to limit the imagination; they need to go. The obvious next questions are how does that happen, and what comes next? Mapping a way forward (if you excuse the pun) is tricky, but there are signs that things are on the move: different sorts of examples include the PNC voter registration drive, youth movementsthe BDS campaign, and efforts to conceptualise a refugees’ return.

no comments – be the first ↪