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.

If Europe was serious, boycotting Zionist colonies is just the beginning

Typically astute Gideon Levy column in Haaretz:

Europe is waking up. The foreign ministers of that continent will soon issue regulations that will oblige products from the settlements to be marked as such. Good morning, Europe. Jerusalem, as usual, is fuming; it always fumes when anyone dares to mention the settlements. Jerusalem is in favor of boycotts but of course not those against Israel. It is in favor of economic sanctions but, heaven forbid, not against the settlements. The truth is that Jerusalem can calm down. This is merely a minimal step, of symbolic importance, unavoidable, but not anything that will bring about a change. Perhaps they will buy less ginger from Tekoa in the supermarkets of Paris’ 16th arondissement but the settlement enterprise will continue to flourish.

Of course, every consumer with a conscience in the world is entitled to know whether he is buying blood diamonds from Africa; sneakers manufactured in the sweat shops of Asia; perfumes tested on animals; stolen goods, or products from stolen lands. Europe owes this to its citizens; they should know what they are buying. Just like they should know what the components and nutritional values are of every item, it is their right to know what their moral and legal values are. After that, every consumer can decide for himself whether to smear his body with cream from the occupied shores of the Dead Sea or to drink Merlot wine from the occupied Golan Heights. It is difficult to understand how the consumer organizations in Europe did not demand this obligatory information until now.

Israel should actually welcome this step. If it is so convinced that the settlement enterprise is justified, why complain about marking the products it produces? On the contrary, if the enterprise is so justified, perhaps marking the goods will lead to greater consumption? Being angry might still hint that Israel is ashamed of its settlements. The settlers should have marked their products a long time ago; just as blue-and-white products give rise to pride among many consumers in Israel and abroad, so the settlements’ produce should give their producers a feeling of pride. But Israel and the settlers know that this is a problematic enterprise, to put it mildly, and that is why they are so determined to hide the source of products from the occupation. By revealing this Israeli embarrassment, Europe has already achieved something important. But this achievement is not sufficient. Another conclusion can be deduced from the response by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He was quick to attack the Europeans’ intentions and said it was proof of “a lack of understanding of the reality in the field.”

And once again, Lieberman is correct: The “reality in the field” is that the occupied territories long ago became an inseparable part of the one country – the Green Line has become blurred, and is as though it had never existed. That being the case, there is no longer any point to making products that come from the territories; all of Israel gives them its backing, whether by agreement or by remaining silent. Therefore, the conclusion to be drawn from Lieberman’s preaching is that Europe must not make distinctions or separate between things. Do not mark what comes from the settlements. If you want to try to influence Israel, to put pressure on it to end the occupation, boycott all of its produce. Jerusalem that opposes marking products from the settlements tells European consumers that they should not make a distinction. In this way, it is exposing all Israeli produce to a boycott.

But we can be confident that Europe will once again be scared by the “anger” of Jerusalem, to which will probably be added the holy ire of Washington as well. That is how Europe always conducts itself. At a time when public opinion on the continent is becoming more critical and even more and more hostile to Israel, this finds no resonance in the policies of the governments there. This gap is inconceivable in democratic countries. Fear of the past and fear of America descend upon the leaders of the continent and paralyze them.

In the midst of Operation Cast Lead, they all came to cheer on then-prime minister Ehud Olmert but did not bother to go to Gaza to see what it looked like. Now perhaps they will fulfill their duties, and use fine and weak print to affix the Mark of Cain, as required, on the products from the territories. Well done, Europe.

 

3 comments ↪
  • pipistro

    "This gap is inconceivable in democratic countries." Sure it is. Inasmuch as we had or we're having inconsistent leaders, bound to be easily pushed there where US wants (and Hasbara indicates), EU citizens won't be able to get rid of their inherent lightness and sense of guilt.

  • Kevin Herbert

    I thank the cosmos for Haaretz & Gideon Levy……both are gr8 Jewish institutions.

  • John Salisbury

    Sometime down the track those who are used and abused realise .It is difficult to imagine how even the most adroit and manipulative hasbara will not be seen for what it is.