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.

The normalisation of Israeli criminality

The latest developments in the case of Prisoner X continues to reverberate around the world (though as many Palestinians are rightly say, where’s the equal attention on the countless Palestinians held for years illegally in Israel’s administrative detention system?) Some of the latest on Prisoner X here, here and here.

The New York Times:

The Australian-Israeli man recently identified as Prisoner X — found dead in 2010 in a maximum-security prison cell — may have been involved in the assassination of a Hamas leader that year, an episode that was among the most embarrassing in the history of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad.

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida reported Thursday that Ben Zygier, who immigrated to Israel from Australia and apparently spent a decade working for the Mossad, was among the 26 suspects in the assassination plot, in which Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a Hamas official, was drugged and suffocated in his hotel room in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Al Jarida, a liberal opposition newspaper, said that Mr. Zygier had provided the authorities in Dubai with “names and pictures and accurate details” in exchange for protection, but Israel kidnapped him from a hiding place and imprisoned him on charges of treason about a month after the Jan. 19, 2010, operation.

The Dubai plot, for which Israel has never acknowledged responsibility, led to diplomatic sanctions against Israel because fake passports from Europe and Australia were used in the operation. Australian journalists reported Thursday that Mr. Zygier, one of several people under investigation by the Australian intelligence service on suspicion of passport fraud, was arrested just before he was set to disclose Israeli secrets about the passports to the Australian government or the news media.

The reports quoted a security official with knowledge of the case as saying that Mr. Zygier “may well have been about to blow the whistle, but he never got the chance.”

The Israeli prime minister’s office and the Justice Ministry declined to comment on the emerging details in a case that has dominated the news here for days, more than two years after what appeared to be the suicide of a man known only as Prisoner X was revealed in local news reports that the government immediately quashed.

Politicians, journalists and human rights advocates have questioned the appropriateness of My. Zygier’s secret detention; the circumstances around his death by hanging, which was ruled a suicide despite his cell having been under constant surveillance; and the extraordinary court order that banned local reporting on the entire episode.

“The Prisoner X affair is a classic story of Israeli failure,” read the headline over a column by Amir Oren in the left-leaning daily newspaper Haaretz. “The most sensitive agencies aren’t functioning,” Mr. Oren wrote. “In its 65th year, the State of Israel still doesn’t control the basics.”

 …

Australia was one of several countries whose relations with Israel were strained by the revelations that the Dubai authorities made after the assassination of Mr. Mabhouh, a founder of Hamas’s military wing who played a role in the kidnapping and killing of two Israeli soldiers in 1989 and who helped supply Hamas with weapons from Iran.

In a confidential diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks, Australia’s Foreign Ministry told the United States Embassy in Canberra that the Dubai affair had made a coming United Nations vote more complicated. “Australian officials are ‘furious’ all the way up the chain of command,” it said. “In the wake of revelations from Dubai, the government is in no hurry to reassure Israel of its support.”

The cable was dated Feb. 25 — one day after Mr. Carr said Australia was notified of Mr. Zygier’s detention.

Gad Shimron, a former Mossad agent who wrote a book about the agency, described Mr. Zygier’s case as “so unusual and so extraordinary,” but not unique.

“Throughout the Mossad’s history there are plenty of stories about people who at one point or another behaved in a way that is so bluntly different than the James Bond kind of manner they were expected to be,” Mr. Shimron said in a radio interview.

17 comments ↪
  • http://twitter.com/iResistDe4iAm iResistDe4iAm

    Israel abolished the death penalty in 1954 and put a Nazi war criminal on trial, but uses warplanes or death squads to summarily execute thousands of Palestinians/Arabs (including women and children) WITHOUT charge or trial.

    The most recent example was on 18 November 2012 when Israel obliterated 12 Palestinian civilians (including four children aged from 1 to 7, six women and two men) in their three-story home in a densely populated residential neighbourhood in Gaza City: http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/12/07/israelgaza-isr

    Apparently Israel also summarily executes Israelis by staging fake suicides in supposedly suicide-proof cells.

  • http://twitter.com/iResistDe4iAm iResistDe4iAm

    Israel abolished the death penalty in 1954 and put a Nazi war criminal on trial, but uses warplanes or death squads to summarily execute thousands of Palestinians/Arabs (including women and children) WITHOUT charge or trial.

    The most recent example was on 18 November 2012 when Israel obliterated 12 Palestinian civilians (four children aged 1 to 7, six women and two men) in their three-story home in a densely populated residential neighbourhood in Gaza City:
    http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/12/07/israelgaza-israeli-airstrike-home-unlawful

    Apparently Israel also summarily executes Israelis by staging fake suicides in supposedly suicide-proof cells.

  • http://twitter.com/iResistDe4iAm iResistDe4iAm

    Israel abolished the death penalty in 1954 and put a Nazi war criminal on trial, but uses warplanes or death squads to summarily execute thousands of Palestinians/Arabs (including women and children) WITHOUT charge or trial.

    The most recent example was on 18 November 2012 when Israel obliterated 12 Palestinian civilians (four children aged 1 to 7, six women and two men) in their three-story home in a densely populated residential neighbourhood in Gaza City:
    http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/12/07/israelgaza-israeli-airstrike-home-unlawful

    Apparently Israel also summarily executes Israelis by staging fake suicides in supposedly suicide-proof cells.