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.

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.

When Murdoch’s clown rag gets desperate for stories over Palestine, throw in anti-Semitism slur

Clearly Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspaper feels it hasn’t written enough foolish articles about the rampant anti-Semitism inside Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. Today another gem that feels like a hilarious mish-mash of separate ideas tied together with dodgy tape. If the “journalists” who write the stories, or the Liberal MPs who love to give a quote and show blind love to Israel care to use the Google machine, they’ll see that BDS against academic institutions in Israel has nothing to do with Judaism but instead taking a principled stance against universities that endorse Israeli occupation policies:

Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies may be breaching the Racial Discrimination Act by supporting the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, the opposition has warned.

The Coalition has also lashed the Human Rights Commission’s decision to shortlist the centre’s founder, Stuart Rees, for its top award.

Professor Rees defended the centre’s decision not to deal with Israeli academic Dan Avnon on the basis of his nationality in a letter to The Australian on Friday.

“If the only reason that Professor Avnon has been excluded from consideration is because he’s Jewish and from Israel, then he or Sydney University would have potentially a good case against the centre and its head,” acting opposition legal affairs spokesman Christopher Pyne said yesterday.

He warned the centre’s policy was holding Sydney University “up to international ridicule”.

Opposition higher education spokesman Brett Mason also expressed concerns, saying the BDS policy “promotes just the sort of prejudice and conflict the centre should be fighting”.

A spokesman for the university dismissed the potential for action under the Human Rights Act as “hypothetical”, saying that other staff and schools were keen to work with Professor Avnon.

Higher Education Minister Chris Evans did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr Pyne slammed the Human Rights Commission for shortlisting Professor Rees for its Human Rights Medal, to be awarded at a lunch in Sydney today.

“The Human Rights Commission needs to explain how a person who defends BDS could be considered for one of its awards in spite of the BDS movement being responsible for a narrowing of understanding between peoples rather than a settling of differences between peoples,” he said.

Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs said nominations came from the community.

“We . . . don’t take any position . . . on the views of the Sydney Peace Foundation in relation to Israel,” she said. “We see this as a matter of freedom of expression.”

The row raged as members of the Palestine Action Group Sydney, the Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative and at least one member of the Greens Party yesterday went on a “walking tour” of businesses they say back Israel in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall.

Organiser Patrick Langosch said he and about 14 other protesters wanted to raise awareness about Israel’s “illegal” behaviour in Palestine. “It’s a Christmas retail message telling people not to support the Israeli apartheid.”

Not many in the mall appeared to hear it, despite the presence of a megaphone, and some who did abused the group.

The rally ended after the group walked the mall, targeting businesses such as Estee Lauder, The Body Shop, Motorola and Westfield — owned by businessman Frank Lowy — under the watch of two police officers who occasionally intervened to calm frayed tempers, mostly from annoyed shoppers trying to listen to Christmas carols.

The letters:

If Associate Professor Jake Lynch were in the department of physics or biology I would be saddened, but not outraged, by his support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions group, and his wish to boycott Israeli academics.

But he is in charge of the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Even if Dan Avnon were an extreme Israeli hawk, it would still seem misguided to prevent dialogue.

But in fact he has worked hard for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Solveig Hamilton, West Hobart, Tas

The attacks on Associate Professor Jake Lynch for his commitment to boycotting Israeli institutions are not surprising and are reminiscent of similar attacks against those of us who supported a boycott on South Africa during the apartheid era. I have no knowledge of the work of Israeli academic Professor Dan Avnon and no reason to believe that his research is any less valuable than work undertaken by some liberal-leaning South African academics who were isolated during the boycott of apartheid South Africa.

People may well have philosophical objections to this boycott, but let’s not demonise those who advocate the Israeli boycott as extremists, anti-Semites or objects for ridicule.

Alastair Harris, Braidwood, NSW

  • examinator

    Their 2188 words boils down to two points.
    1. our prejudice is better than yours.
    The article is at best hyperbole, self interested (profit motivated) bias and relies on assertion and in many cases their internal arguments are non seq.
    2. Hamas is a Muslim fundamentalist group.
    This is probably a red herring/diversion from the reality on the ground. A way of diverting from the truth . i.e. Israel IS behaving like a apartheid state towards the Palestinians. By both Christian and Judaic law this is Wrong. . What they face, in the context of the situation The cause is their apartheid and occupying treatment . Given what the Palestinians face 24/7, Hamas is the effect/consequences a lessor of the two evils or alternatively 'the enemy of MY ENEMY is my friend". e.g. US backing the Viet Cong against the Japanese ,Saddam Hussein against Iran, the Taliban against the Russians the list goes on (maybe Israel against Islam)
    In that in all probability the Palestinians would prefer a free tolerant secular government not simply pawns between a rock and a hard place (tentatively see Egypt's second spring).
    I find the letter that rants about uni students being corrupted by 'left' wing professors in the same way as I view obscene graffiti unnecessary infantile and in this case insulting to both the students and the professors.
    The notion that uni 'students' in general are :-
    1. in general (enough to worry about) that gullible compliant, malleable clearly the author hasn't studied in one recently .
    Simply ( for the author's benefit ) You are out of touch big time. statistics show that unis are similar to any other slice of society they have a distribution of views that range from the politically radicals (both sides), through the studious ones whose ONLY real interest is to pass as well as possible (most), to the good time blonks who probably won't make it .
    2 . That the professors won't deliver their lectures in a professional way. Academicians are human, almost (the one who didn't like all my essays criticising economics) . BTW T here are feedback systems that would spit out any egregious ones.
    BTW Antony, Your editorialising was well, a little hyperbolic and in one case ageist ! under 68YO? really ? (a put down? why? What demographic proof of the Australian's readers ? While I'm definitely well under 68 Y O I would dispute hotly that 68 is relevant or necessarily either i.e. 68 =is a criteria for being right winged, mentally competent or simply not being discerning in their reading have you seen some of the 'women's mags ' lately? At best I read any media with a blue pencil .
    As you know, I'm not a fan of BSD in that it is:
    a. blunt tool potential for collateral damage.
    b. it is never going to work as a economic lever given the USA is never going to support it.
    c. it won't convince those who need convincing to them it's a matter of religious faith.
    And as we know religious people (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus) have and will sacrifice anything to uphold their emotional commitment. Essentially it is an emotional issue and will only be truly solved with a change of emotion (not necessarily religion).
    Notwithstanding I do respect the right of an institution or individuals to have their views. And therefore I'd be inclined to suggest both sides calm down and get on with life. As neither side will win this one least of all by shouting at each other.

  • Kevin Herbert

    Hamas is a legitimate resistance group, fighting the illegal occupier of their lands.

    Does anyone believe anything the Oz prints on foreign policy?