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.

ABC Radio’s World Today on Australian Israel lobby blindness

I was interviewed this morning by ABC Radio’s World Today:

ELEANOR HALL: Now to the latest from Israel on prisoner X.

The Israeli parliament is planning to carry out what it calls an “intensive” inquiry into the death of the Australian-Israeli who was found dead in a secret prison near Tel Aviv in 2010.

The Israeli authorities have confirmed that 34-year-old Ben Zygier was prisoner X but it is still only speculation that he was also a spy for Mossad.

Lindy Kerin has our report.

LINDY KERIN: A week after the story broke on the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program, the mystery surrounding the case of Ben Zygier continues.

The 34-year-old was found hanged in a specially designed, suicide proof cell. After his death, Israel imposed a total media ban on the case but was forced to ease the restrictions after the story gained international headlines.

Today a statement by the Israel parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee said:

ISRAELI PARLIAMENT’S STATEMENT (voiceover): We’ve decided to conduct an intensive examination of all aspects of the incident involving the prisoner found dead in his prison cell in December 2010.

LINDY KERIN: News of the parliamentary inquiry follows calls by the prime minister for restraint from those seeking answers over the case of prisoner X

Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly back the Israeli security forces and has warned that shining too much light on intelligence activities could jeopardise national security.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU (translation): I completely trust the security forces of the state of Israel. They are acting with endless devotion and commitment in order to enable us to live in this country. I also completely trust the law authorities in the state of Israel.

LINDY KERIN: As well as the Israeli parliament investigation, Australia will also prepare a report on the Ben Zygier case.

Journalist and Co. founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, Antony Loewenstein, is a well known critic of the Israeli government. He’s worried the inquiry will whitewash the case.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: History shows unfortunately that Israel is an incredibly opaque society when it comes to these kind of investigations, the fact that the government itself in other words is investigating itself is highly problematic for self evident reason, and in fact it’s a society in Israel over many, many years, over many, many cases, not least in relation to Palestinians who are routinely held in jail and tortured and many other horrible crimes that the Israeli state often refuses to be transparent about that.

So why this would be any different – the only way this could be different is if there is serious pressure from outside forces and there’s not much indication that the Australian Government’s going to put much if any pressure on the Israeli government to do so because of our unhealthily close relationship with the Jewish state.

LINDY KERIN: The World Today has contacted many organisations for comment including the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, and the Australia Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, but nobody wanted to talk about the case.

The president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Nina Bassat, responded to our request saying “The family of Ben Zygier is grieving and have clearly expressed their desire to do so in private. I intend to respect their feelings and do not propose to add to their pain by making any comment.”

LINDY KERIN: Antony Loewenstein says he’s not surprised the community is reluctant to talk.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: The Jewish community and the establishment and the Zionist lobby likes to be in lock-step with the Israeli government. In other words the Israeli lobby in Australia is not an independent bodies, they’re simply a propaganda for the Jewish state.

So when a case like this happens, we don’t know all the facts, no-one knows all the facts, and rather than coming out and saying something which they fear will embarrass Israel, they’d rather say nothing at all.

But of course, the effect of that is that it shows to the wider community, who is not Jewish, obviously the vast majority of the Australian population, the Jewish establishment is incapable or unwilling of actually questioning its master so to speak, which is Tel Aviv and the government in Israel.

And I think that’s very unhealthy for the Jewish community and it’s a shame and quite revealing that very, very few, in fact, if any members, of the establishment in the Jewish community are willing to say anything of note apart from platitudes.

ELEANOR HALL: That’s Antony Loewenstein from the Independent Australian Jewish Voices group, speaking to Lindy Kerin.

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