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.

No, Kevin Rudd, boycotts against Israeli institutions aren’t anti-Semitic

Late last year Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newsletter ran a campaign against the head of Sydney University’s Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies, Jake Lynch, for bravely rejecting institutional links with occupation-supporting Israeli universities.

Today former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appears in the same paper with quotes implying that boycotts are anti-Semitic and concerned people should trust the diplomatic process. This is comical. The reasons BDS against Israel is growing is precisely because years of “peace talks” have only led to further Israeli apartheid:

The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, which supports the boycotts, divestments and sanctions campaign against Australian businesses with Israeli connections, has “just got it wrong”, Kevin Rudd said yesterday.

The former prime minister used a visit to Sydney University, which is home to the centre headed by director Jake Lynch, to lash the policy he said was ineffective.

“I think people who engage in that sort of activity around businesses who are associated with the Jewish community frankly have just got it wrong,” he said.

“It doesn’t help. There is a much more important debate about how we mobilise international diplomatic action around a durable peace settlement in the Middle East.”

The centre earned widespread scorn when Mr Lynch cited the BDS campaign – usually designed to break businesses with links to Israel as a de facto show of support for Palestine – in rejecting a request for assistance from Israeli academic Dan Avnon.

Mr Avnon, a professor with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is credited with work designed to bridge the divide between the Jewish and Arab communities in the Middle East.

The University of Sydney has repeatedly distanced itself from Mr Lynch’s support of BDS and said the institution itself did not endorse the protest measure.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry executive director Peter Wertheim has previously told The Australian the stance of Mr Lynch was a “continual embarrassment to the University of Sydney”, but Mr Rudd yesterday wouldn’t be drawn on whether the university had ridiculed itself.

“It’s a matter for the authorities within this university,” he said.

“Frankly, this is a matter of diplomacy, it’s a question of putting proposals on the table which work in bringing about a durable peace settlement as opposed to targeting campaigns against businesses which happen to be owned by members of the Jewish community.

“I think that’s just wrong. We should remember history.”

Professor Avnon still hopes to visit Australia this year if his research projects gain funding.

Higher Education Minister Chris Evans has criticised academic supporters of the BDS movement.

And Sydney University professor Suzanne Rutland, a member of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies council, has criticised the centre’s support of the BDS movement.

3 comments ↪
  • redjos

    Suzanne Rutland has an impressive list of writings about Jews and Judaism, and connections with Israel and zionism.
    This does not mean that she is qualified to talk about apartheid and BDS and its significance in affecting outcomes – in South Africa and elsewhere such as Israel/Palestine.
    Does she have knowledge of, and experience of daily life of the Palestinians under Israeli military occupation.
    Rudd and Rutland and their likes should try and understand what happened in South Africa during the worst excesses of police state apartheid rule in those terrible times.
    The reality in Palestine with a Berlin Wall and land grabs by Israelis every day, depriving more and more people of their homes, their properties, their very existences is something that these zionists do not understand.
    They should be totally disregarded and discredited!
    Mannie De Saxe

  • Kevin Herbert

    Redjos: what does Suzanne Rutland have to do with this story?

    Also, Rudd's a dill, and considered so by both his political colleagues & anyone who knows him personally. His support for anything is a negative for the cause involved.

  • Marilyn

    Not really, at least he didn't want to vote against Palestine like the dimwitted Dillard did.