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.

Prisoner x scandal should be wake-up call for myopic Zionist establishment

My following investigation appears in New Matilda:

The death of Ben Zygier has exposed Israel’s repressive censorship over national security – and shown how closely Australia works with Israel on military intelligence, writes Antony Loewenstein

The case of Australian and Israeli citizen Ben Zygier and his alleged suicide in an Israeli jail in December 2010 provides an instructive window into the secretive relationship between Canberra and Tel Aviv as well as the dynamics between the Zionist state and friendly Western nations. The death of the former IDF soldier and Mossad agent has triggered a global media storm after last week’s ABC TV’s Foreign Correspondent story revealed the identity of Prisoner X.

But what makes this international intrigue all the more fascinating is not what most of the commentary is obsessing over — the details of Zygier’s life and how he ended up in a high security prison — but the ways in which young Jews are groomed by an Israeli intelligence service to commit acts of terrorism and subterfuge across the world under the guise of protecting national security. It is done with the consent of Western governments and intelligence services, including Australia’s.

New Matilda spoke to a former senior Australian ambassador who says that ASIO and ASIS work hand in glove with the Israeli government, including the assistance of grooming potential spies on Australian soil at universities such as Monash in Melbourne and military academies like Duntroon. Australia long ago outsourced much of its military and intelligence, as well as foreign affairs sovereignty, to Israel and America. “There’s little we [Australia] would not do to please them”, my source says.

The Zygier case has forced Israel’s repressive censorship over national security laws to weaken — it was amusing witnessing Israeli journalists tweeting information about Prisoner X during the broadcast of Foreign Correspondent despite there then being an Israeli gag order on the case — so it’s unsurprising that Israel is so keen to keep details of the story secret. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he doesn’t believe there should be any sunlight on the actions of his country’s intelligence services in the wake of the Zygier case getting wide coverage.

After all, Zygier was a Mossad agent who may well have been involved, directly or indirectly, in the murder of a Hamas operative, Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, in Dubai, the murder of Iranian nuclear scientists in Iran or the recruitment of members of the Sunni terrorist organisation Jundallah, infamous for attacks inside Iran. All these acts are breaches of international law and none are condemned by the Zionist lobby or leading politicians. What the Jewish communityworries about is the wider society regarding Jews as disloyal to Australia.

New Matilda spoke to a senior Israeli defence correspondent who said that he knew about the identity of Ben Zygier in 2010 at the time of his death but was unable to report it because of the Israeli gag order. He said he thought the Australian and Israeli citizen wasn’t a bad man but simply found himself in above his head. He faulted Israel trying to keep the story secret for so long and believed that the virtual silence of the Australian Jewish community was due to embarrassment and ignorance of the case. Their response may have been co-ordinated with the Israeli embassy. They believed, he argued, that by speaking out they may shine an unwelcome light on Israel, something that goes against their DNA.

Although Israel denies that it tortured Zygier while in custody, it’s clear that international norms were breached during his incarceration due to a lack of legal representation and conditions inside jail. News Limited’s Andrew Bolt argues that critics of Israel always look for the worst in the Zionist state, but Israel is doing a fine job on its own. It’s possible, according to an Israeli journalist, that Australia put Zygier’s life at risk by leaking information about his work with Mossad to the media.

The ignorance about this case expressed by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Foreign Minister Bob Carr stretches credibility because Israeli and Australian intelligence agencies likelyknew all about the actions of Zygier before his death. Furthermore, Australia offered a muted response to the illegal Israeli use of forged passports in 2010 for the purpose of murdering Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh; Israel barely received a rap on the knuckles. Deputy Opposition foreign affairs spokesperson Julie Bishop simply said that Australia also forged passports so Israel was not alone in acting illegally.

It is worth considering the reaction of New Zealand to a similar passport forging incident back in 2004, which led to diplomatic sanctions against Israel. New Zealand’s then Foreign Minister Phil Goff said last week that he was “contacted by the Israeli government at the time asking whether we could reach an arrangement over it”. He wouldn’t budge.

“No go. These people have committed criminal offences in our country and they’ll be treated just like anybody else who commits a criminal offence and that we did not appreciate another country seeking passports to misuse for purposes that frankly are unacceptable which is the assassination of people for their own political purposes.” It is unimaginable that any senior politician in Australia would speak like Goff: “We’re not prepared to see friendly countries act in that sort of criminal way against us.”

The details around Zygier’s life and death remains murky. New Matilda has been told, by somebody who knows the Zygier family well, that two Mossad agents with an Australian connection spoke at his funeral in Melbourne and they said how sad it was that Zygier had “lost his spirit” towards the end of his life. No other information about the funeral is forthcoming.

The complicity of silence around Zygier’s actions within the Zionist establishment — witness the “see no evil, hear no evil” stonewalling by Philip Chester, President of the Zionist Council of Australia, on ABC Radio National Breakfast last Friday — is symptomatic of a mainstream Australian, Jewish community that encourages and facilitates young Jews to visit Israel andidealise its identity. Palestinians are largely absent in this worldview. The occupation is virtually non-existent. Iran, Hamas and Hizbollah are the new Nazis. Building a ghettoised, Zionist state, after centuries of Jews often living in isolation across the world, is an irony lost on far too many people.

What the Zionist lobby and its political and media courtiers don’t want to discuss is their complicity in this affair. They all believe that young Jews have the right to move, fight or spy for Israel, including during wars against Lebanon and Gaza, while Muslims who want to join their brethren in Syria, Lebanon or Palestine are labelled terrorists for doing the same thing.

From a young age, the Zionist schooling system and its associated entities indoctrinate Jews to slavishly back Israel and demonise Arabs. Blindly supporting Israel may seem like a good idea to them but in reality has created a monster from which the insecure Jewish community is unlikely to recover any time soon; growing numbers of young Jews are disillusioned with an occupying Israel and no longer tolerate an Israel lobby that acts as propagandists for Zionism. The death or murder of Ben Zygier should be a wake-up call to Australian Jewry that even its own can be treated shabbily by Israel.

Throughout this whole scandal, the reality of illegally imprisoned Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, countless people without a recognisable face in the international media, is ignored. Israeli state-sanctioned racism against Palestinians is conveniently forgotten when talking about a fresh-faced man from an establishment, Zionist home in Melbourne.

After yet another Zionist brutality emerges in the press, the public image of Israel will take another necessary hit. Once the Zygier story disappears from the headlines, the occupation of Palestinian land will continue and deepen. The Oscar-nominated documentary, The Gatekeepers, interviews six former Shin Bet heads, Israel’s internal security agency, about their work and views on Israel’s future. They’re pessimistic and argue from deep knowledge that an Israeli police state exists in the West Bank.

No amount of covert missions from the likes of Ben Zygier will hide this damning reality.

  • Magnet

    "It’s possible, according to an Israeli journalist, that Australia put Zygier’s life at risk by leaking information about his work with Mossad to the media."

    @Ausflatfish said as much in his very learned commentary last week, + I note that public discussion of ASI* hanging BZ out to dry via Koutsoukis was stifled v quickly – but that is true of all reflexive media discourse on culpability, and government-media manipulation. It certainly isn't limited to this one death/incident.

    There is also the mysterious double standard by the MSM in the news priorities that see BZ's death of far higher visiblity in news than the many, many, many almost identical deaths in Oz jails that occur every year.



  • Pingback: Supressed News | Mystery Suicide of Alleged Mossad Spy | The Age of Blasphemy()