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.

A one-state solution is only way forward for Israel and Palestine

My following article appears today in The Conversation:

How should the world react when a supposedly democratic state can’t acknowledge a 40-year-old occupation?

When US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel during a visit this weekend, he was playing into this mass delusion, and mouthing the official position of the American Zionist lobby.

It is a fallacy that runs right through Israel, self-described as the Middle East’s only democracy, where a recent government-backed report by retired Supreme Court judge Edmond Levy found that its decades-long occupation of Palestinian land wasn’t an occupation at all. The report granted quasi-legal justification for illegally moving Jews into the West Bank. There are now at least 600,000 Jewish colonists squatting on Palestinian land in direct contravention of international law.

But for the Zionist state, the occupation is merely a God-given right to populate land. The lie was proved when Israeli officials, leaders and dutiful Zionist lobbyists in the West spent decades claiming the occupation was temporary and arguing that Palestinian land and natural resources for Israeli use were solely motivated by security concerns.

The occupation can apparently be ignored forever. Soon enough, a person like Levy will be found to create a legal fiction and legitimise what the whole world knows to be illegal. The US issues muted criticism, while Australia doesn’t have an independent foreign policy when it comes to Israel, meekly following American and Israeli dictates, and colonisation continues apace.

What remains fascinating about the Levy findings – American Zionist organisations still can’t bring themselves to speak clearly and honestly about Jewish housing in the West Bank – is what it implies for Palestinian rights under occupation. If there is no occupation, then there should be no problem granting full voting and civil rights to all citizens of the West Bank and Gaza. If that happened today, Jews would soon find themselves a minority. It’s called democracy and it’s something Zionist leadership fears.

Mitt Romney compounded these lies with his comments about Jerusalem. But peace isn’t served when politicians don’t have their own views on the Middle East issue.

What all this means for the much discussed two-state solution is a death knell. It’s beyond time to declare partition of the land both unworkable and unethical. Despite 20 years of this fiction, two decades of dreamers, cynics, Israel lobbyists, politicians, journalists, officials, liberal Zionists and pundits pronouncing the two-state solution the only game in town, it’s over. Finished. Israel killed it by pursuing its natural Zionist, expansionist tendencies.

The result is that Israel has succeeded in conquering the West Bank but ended its chances of remaining a Jewish state. This is something we should celebrate if we believe in the concept of democracy and a rejection of Jewish privilege in a modern age.

The only viable alternative, and one gaining increasing traction, is the one-state solution. Sometimes support appears from the most unlikely of places. British conservative MP, Bob Stewart, who spent 28 years in the UK military, visited the West Bank recently and said he was “deeply upset by what I saw.” His response? “Unless the settlements stop, there can be no chance whatever of a two-state solution, and the only alternative … is a one-state solution. One state where Jews and Palestinians recognise one another as equals. Surely that is not totally utopian”.

In a new book I’ve edited with Ahmed Moor, After Zionism, we explain both the justice and sense of imagining a one-state future. One chapter, by Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook, highlights the case of Ahmed and Fatina Zbeidat, a Palestinian couple who face systematic discrimination simply because they’re not Jews. It is one story but the message is universal.

Another chapter, by long-time one-state proponent, Palestinian Ghada Karmi, outlines the challenges of achieving true equality in Israel and Palestine, not least the determination of Israel and its supporters to talk peace but entrench Jewish exclusivity over land and rights and the Palestinian Authority who have become financially enriched by being Israel’s occupation manager. Such obstacles once faced the two-state solution until it became corporatised and a convenient ruse to mask colonisation.

The exact outline of a one-state solution is not set. Israelis, Palestinians and interested parties, must decide it. After Zionism features Palestinians, academics, journalists, Orthodox Jews, Arabs and intellectuals, many of whom live, work and breathe with Israelis and Palestinians, and know that Israel must be de-Zionised before it can begin to right historical wrongs of continued ethnic cleansing.

A one-state equation isn’t about dismissing or ignoring Jewish history, but recognising the land is shared between two peoples and a soon-to-be minority Jewish population has no legal or ethical right to control a majority Arab people.

On its current path, despite some mainstream Israeli politicians advocating the illegal annexation of the West Bank to create an indefinite apartheid state, Israel will become increasingly ghettoised and militarised, convincing once-proud diaspora supporters to decide between their morality and Zionist loyalties.

The time for a one-state solution has surely come.

 

one comment ↪
  • examinator

    ["A one-state solution is only way forward for Israel and Palestine"] if you are a Jewish extremist or a settler. Is what is more honest.
    Antony, what the “one staters” are suggesting has 4 MAJOR Flaws.
    First, it rewards(encourages) those who have dispossessed the Palestinians in the West bank etc. Illegal is illegal. How are they going to unpick a litany of case law precedents fairly? Possession is 9/10s of the law …if you are Jewish.

    Second. As the General's son said 'Arab ' neighbourhoods already have a dearth or absence of resources/ services how is this going to change in a greater Israel? Like the rump Zionists etc are going to accept 'their budget share facilities down graded (i.e. settlers lose currently enjoyed water levels for lessor amounts so the Palestinians can have more) to allow for the money to be spent where it's most needed on the Israeli Arab ghettoes or to provide the new population to the same currently enjoyed level of services/facilities etc
    The devil is in the detail national budget.

    Third. The Jews already have the Best property/land. By what mechanism, given Israel is already a receiver of USA ($ 2 billion p.a. Admitted to), are Palestinian refugees after 60 years of destitution going to be able to buy properties. Instant underclass.

    Cripes mate, Aussie conservatives resent Social Security and 6000 queue jumpers (sic)refugees and the 'hand outs' (sic) as it is . Imagine if suddenly 14 million( similar proportions) became citizens over night ?
    By what fanciful notion do these people think Israelis are any LESS self interested, resistant to change/difference i.e. are more generous human-beings than Aussies. They sure don't have a history of such altruism/ generosity of spirit….. in short they are people. Not inherently good or bad just people.
    Time for some reality. It must go two states if only to maintain any sense of fairness and to establish a rule of law in Israel with regards to ownership of land in the occupied/squatter settlements.