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.

The tortuous discussion within Palestine over BDS

How to show solidarity with Palestinians under occupation seems increasingly clear; civil society is calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

Here’s an interesting piece in Haaretz about a new documentary that tackles the complex issue of a cinema in the West Bank town of Jenin and the inevitable political debates:

Yet the technical and practical problems were only some of the hurdles on the road to completing the project. Despite the three founders’ intention to steer clear of politics, it kept intruding, and it does to this day.

Vetter emphasizes how important it was to the founding generation to preserve the social character of the cinema, while deliberately ignoring other voices. Those other voices also came from intellectuals like Mer-Khamis and filmmaker Udi Aloni, who got involved in the project at a later stage, as well as from local VIPs such as Zakaria Zubeidi, a leader in the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and former Israeli security target who quit the militia and became involved in the Freedom Theater.

Vetter explains: “We wanted to build a good movie theater, to discuss sound rather than the conflict. An Israeli sound engineer and a Palestinian sound engineer can communicate better and more easily if they talk about a professional matter. They have more in common than politics and conflict. The problem was that we repeatedly got involved in a discussion of ‘normalization,’ of whether this was an attempt to normalize the existing situation.”

That’s a discussion that can be dangerous. Vetter: “Absolutely. We realized how fragile the entire project was. In my opinion the great achievement of the film lies in its ability to show all the points of view surrounding the movie theater: Fakhri, who says spectators from all over the world can come to the theater, and opposite him Zubeidi, who says that being political is an obligation. There are high and low classes in Jenin, there are people who are politically aware and those who are less so, people who are more pragmatic and those who are less so, and people in the middle of the road. When I arrived there for the first time I thought that there were terrorists and fighters in Jenin and no normalcy at all. I feel that the film shows that the ordinary people are there and they need support.”

One of the marvelous moments in the film is a conversation between Hamad and Vetter side by side with one between Mer-Khamis and Aloni. The Israelis speak in extreme terms, demand that the Palestinians set down conditions for guests from Israel who are interested in coming to the cinema, for example that every guest sign a BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – declaration against Israel. Hamad, on the other hand, is totally opposed.

“That really was an amazing moment,” says Vetter. “The Israelis accuse Fakhri [Hamad] of being a ‘normalizer’ – encouraging normalization with Israel. I felt that perhaps the intellectuals on both sides are defining what the conflict is and what normalization is, and by doing so are making things insoluble. You can destroy any idea in Palestinian society with the word ‘normalization.'”

Hamad: “I have six siblings. We were all arrested in the first intifada and some of us in the second one too. I don’t come from the moon, I suffer from the occupation just as I suffer from the corruption of the Palestinian leaders. After 60 years of conflict I believe that resistance is one way and it causes damage. If we could get the normal Israeli populace, people who are likely to vote for the extremists under certain circumstances, to understand that we want an ordinary life, as they do, we can change things. I believe that in this way, through cinema for example, we can explain ourselves. It was very strange to get instructions from Udi Aloni on how to protest and how to resist. He shouldn’t come to my community and convince them that Israelis are bad.”

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