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 the one-state solution is gathering steam

During my recent After Zionism tour in Israel/Palestine, one of the events was in Ramallah. Present in the audience was Philippe Agret, Agence France-Presse bureau chief of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Here’s his piece (inspired by that event?) published in Lebanon’s Daily Star:

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: A renewed Palestinian bid to seek upgraded U.N. status may be aimed at saving the “two-state solution” but many believe the idea of an independent Palestine alongside Israel is looking increasingly unrealistic.

“The two-state solution is the only sustainable option. Yet the door may be closing for good,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned last month just days before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas launched a fresh bid for upgraded status at the United Nations.

“We have reached a critical point,” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi recently said in Ramallah.

“Israel has been allowed to undermine the two-state solution to the point where this is a last-ditch effort to try to rescue the chances of peace and the two-state solution by the Palestinians,” she said.

With the peace process deadlocked for more than two years, the concept of the one-state solution – a binational entity on land encompassing Israel and the Palestinian territories – is gaining ground.

In recent months, the idea has become a hot topic of discussion across the Palestinian territories, its merits and shortcomings taking up an increasing number of column inches in the local and international press.

A survey published in May by JMCC, a Jerusalem-based Palestinian research center, showed that one in four Palestinians – or 25.9 percent – were in favor of a binational state, compared with 22.3 percent six months earlier.

And a more recent joint Israeli-Palestinian survey conducted last month found that 30 percent of Palestinians and 31 percent of Israelis would support a one-state solution in which Jews and Arabs enjoy equality.

“Creating two neighboring states for two peoples that respect one another would be the best solution,” wrote Israel’s former parliament Speaker Avraham Burg in the New York Times.

“However, if our shortsighted leaders miss this opportunity, the same fair and equal principles should be applied to one state for both peoples,” said Burg, a longtime proponent of the idea.

The concept of a binational state is not new.

Until the 1980s, the Palestine Liberation Organization campaigned for a democratic Palestinian state on the territory that comprised mandatory Palestine prior to the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.

The strategy was later abandoned, with the Palestinians calling instead for an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem – territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War which together make up 22 percent of what was mandatory Palestine.

Although the idea of a unitary state has always been favored by a minority of Palestinians, among them the late intellectual Edward Said and prominent academic Sari Nusseibeh, most people continue to favor an independent sovereign Palestine.

In Israel, the idea is also supported by a small number of people, such as Burg and left-wing intellectual Meron Benvenisti, who argue that the two peoples already live in a de-facto shared state.

The binational concept is also backed, for very different reasons, by veterans of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party such as parliament Speaker Reuven Rivlin, and also by settlers who champion a “Greater Israel” encompassing the territories.

“As the two-state outcome has faded from the minds of people who know the region, many are beginning to revisit the idea,” wrote Antony Loewenstein and Ahmed Moor in the introduction to an essay collection entitled: “After Zionism, one state for Israel and Palestine.”

Writing in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Loewenstein said the growth of Jewish settlement meant “a just division of the land” was no longer possible.

“It is for this reason, among others, that a one-state solution is gaining traction, even within conservative circles,” he wrote.

Proponents of a unitary state argue that settlement building breaks up the territory into “bantustans” which makes a viable Palestinian state unattainable.

Bantustans were tribal states set up by South Africa’s white minority government during the 1970s as pseudo-national homelands for the country’s black majority in the hope of staving off the complete collapse of the apartheid system.

When Israel and the Palestinians signed the 1993 Oslo Accords, there were already 193,000 settlers living in the territories. That number now stands at more than 310,000 and the number is growing.

Another 200,000 or so live in a dozen settlement neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in 1967 and annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

PLO statistics show that since Abbas’s historic bid to seek full U.N. state membership in September 2011, the number of settlers has risen by more than 20,000.

“The only ethical solution is a [single] democratic, secular and civic state in historic Palestine,” says Omar Barghouti, founding member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, which is modelled on the South Africa’s fight against apartheid.

“There is no such thing as a one-state solution,” negotiator Saeb Erakat said last month.

“There is a one-state reality being created by the Israeli actions of settlements, dictations, facts on the ground, and with that comes apartheid,” Erakat added.

one comment ↪
  • Enough ethnic-cleansing!
    Enough impunity!

    Bring on one-state for all with full equality.
    [Bar war criminals]