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 we need to start imagining today what comes “After Zionism”

My co-editor on the new book, After Zionism, Ahmed Moor, writes in The National:

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on Palestine and Israel at the Frontline Club in London. About a hundred people packed into the intimately sized meeting hall to join in the conversation about the one-state solution. The other panellists and I disagreed on a number of issues, but our exchange was anchored by the unanimous recognition that a one-state solution is now inevitable. All else developed around that view.

Also on the panel was Antony Loewenstein, a journalist with whom I edited After Zionism, a book that seeks to move the Palestinian-Israeli discussion beyond the two-state standard.

Our purpose in crafting the anthology of essays was modest: we hoped to contribute to the growing awareness that there is an alternative to a moribund negotiations process, or, at least, to highlight the fact that the two-state track is not a viable alternative to the one-state solution.

Following events in the Palestinian Territories is like trudging knee-deep through black mud. There is no moving forward. There is only inertia and the irresistible sensation of suffocation from all sides. For Palestinians living there, misery can come slowly or all at once – the difference between the steady erosion of one’s dignity at a checkpoint and the sudden demolition of a home.

For Palestinians things are getting worse. The apartheid system that governs their lives is growing more entrenched and rigid. The occupation has flourished through the steady flow of euros and dollars to become all-encompassing. The one-state reality exists today.

Eventually, the Palestinians will overcome apartheid – but the risks latent in any political transition are considerable. One of the objectives of Palestinians, non-Zionist Israelis and others has to be to minimise the turmoil produced by that transition.

Beyond that, developing a clear idea of what a free and shared society should look like before it is practical is both sensible and wise. The American nation-building project in Iraq revealed the folly of improvisation when the stakes are high.

During the question-and-answer session at the Frontline Club, a person in the audience challenged the premise that the two-state outcome is unworkable. To both paraphrase and extend his argument, Israel exercises total control over the lives of the Palestinians in historic Palestine, but that needn’t be regarded as a permanent state of affairs. Settlers can withdraw, or be withdrawn, from parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem – as they were from Gaza in 2005. Mutually agreed land swaps can make up the difference, so why not focus on the development and implementation of the internationally agreed upon outcome: two states for two peoples?

My response to him was that a Palestinian state will never emerge in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. The forcible removal of 8,000 settlers from the midst of 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip was deeply traumatic for Jewish Israeli society. It was also a complex and challenging operation.

Today, the Israeli political class possesses neither the willingness nor the capability (settlers now constitute a sizeable proportion of the Israeli government and army) to remove even one-fifth of the 600,000 settlers who currently occupy Palestinian land, especially not from East Jerusalem.

Furthermore, even if the political will to abide by international law materialises one day, the potent mixture of settler arms and rigid ideology remains. Israelis will not fight a civil war for the Palestinians.

But that is an issue that Jewish Israelis will avoid altogether. Every government since 1967 has worked to bloat the colonies – including the government of Yitzhak Rabin, the late prime minister who signed the Oslo Accords with Yasser Arafat. It is clear today that the settlement project is an integral part of Israeli society. Marginal Israeli leftists have failed to alter their country’s basic DNA.

There are also other reasons “two states for two peoples” never developed beyond the realm of banal sloganeering.

Israel has several purposes for occupying the West Bank – but only one of them is unalterably non-negotiable. The Mountain Aquifer, a significant source of Israel’s potable water, sits beneath the West Bank. It is largely by design that some of the largest settlement blocks are situated right on top of it. The Israelis would like to keep the water even if “mutually agreed-upon land swaps” ever materialise. Yet for the two-state solution to be viable, Israel would have to cede its control of the aquifer to the Palestinians. True sovereignty means exercising control over one’s resources within one’s borders.

It is possible that Israel could one day relinquish its control over the water, but it is hard for me to imagine a set of circumstances that could induce it to do so. To be sure, the Oslo years produced a set of interim resource-sharing agreements, but they were never implemented (the more powerful Israelis had no reason to compromise with the Palestinians).

Many observers recognise that a viable Palestinian state cannot be established, for the reasons outlined above. Furthermore, an honest appraisal of the current reality in the country leads to the conclusion that there is only one sovereign entity in Mandate Palestine (the combined area of Israel and the Palestinian Territories).

For Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, the sole authority that really matters is the Israeli government. It is policymakers in Tel Aviv who decide whether to allow families from the separate Palestinian Territories to reunite, or whether businesspeople can transport goods, or whether students are permitted to attend universities abroad. Israel collects Palestinian taxes and polices Palestinian streets. It monitors Palestinian lives – it has for decades.

So there is now a single sovereign state in historic Palestine. But it is an apartheid state. Jewish privilege is the supreme law and Palestinian rights are subordinated to it. That does not mean, however, that the occupation is permanent or that the Palestinian struggle will end in Bantustanised frustration.

That the Palestinian people will be liberated is an article of faith for many. The historical record on segregation and apartheid buttresses their guarded optimism. More than 90 years of continuous protest and revolt against oppression suggest that the Palestinians share in that optimism – I certainly do.

Yet the question of how much longer the struggle will last is an open one. And the means for defeating apartheid are only vaguely known to us right now. Uncertainty should not lead to inaction, however.

The one-state solution is the only viable outcome for Palestine/Israel – it’s the only destination at the end of the long road travelled by the Palestinians. Knowing that much means that now is the time to begin thinking creatively about what a shared country could look like.

For instance, one federalist vision for the country requires the creation of four different states modelled on the American political system. Two majority Palestinian states and two majority Jewish states in one country could serve to protect both the communitarian and political rights of the people who live there.

Societies that have weathered transitions like the one that Palestinians and Israelis must undergo work to highlight the risks inherent in any reformation process. For instance, apartheid-era income inequality in South Africa has only worsened. Could that problem have been addressed or minimised?

The reality in Palestine/Israel is dynamic and complex. There is no guarantee that Palestinians will succeed in liberating themselves and reforming Jewish-Israeli society. The outcome is profoundly uncertain but it can still be influenced.

For that to happen, the work has to start now.

Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American writer who was born in the Gaza Strip. He is a Soros Fellow, a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and co-editor of After Zionism. On Twitter: @AhmedMoor

 

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