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.

It takes skill to praise Israel caring for Palestinians (thank you Murdoch)

Today’s editorial in Rupert Murdoch’s Australian is a classic case of receiving a press release from the Israeli government and it somehow, mysteriously, appearing in the paper. Occupation is invisible. Hell, Israel is praised for cuddling Palestinians babies at West Bank checkpoints. Well, nearly. If the editors need some assistance to better understand the brutal, racist reality of Israel’s occupation of Palestine see here, here and here.

Read and weep/laugh:

It says a great deal about the illiberal tendencies of parts of our academic community that the anti-Israeli boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – which often borders on the anti-Semitic – finds support in the humanities faculties of some of our universities.

Given the right of people to go about their legal business, and shop where they please, it is questionable that the University of NSW should even tolerate protests against a chocolate shop being established on its site. But it is beyond question that it should take action against protesters using blatantly racist and anti-Semitic language as part of these protests. We expect that, quite rightly, there would be forceful action to stamp out any vilification of, say, Muslim or Asian students. Yet seemingly the targeting of Israeli-linked companies and Jewish people throws up a confected moral quandary.

The BDS movement wins support not just from jejune students eager for an anti-establishment cause but also from some academics, perhaps for the same reason. If it were not so tragic it would be a hilarious paradox that the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies backs BDS, including preventing academic exchanges. It is difficult to think of an act that is more close-minded or less conciliatory than banning an exchange of ideas between people in liberal democracies. Still, this is what passes muster in some parts of the academy these days.

The blatant dishonesty of this campaign should be identified and condemned. The legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people present a worthy cause, yet to couch their campaign in hateful language about “apartheid” and “war crimes” is demonstrably inaccurate and offensive. No objective view of history could fail to recognise Israel’s offers to surrender territory to the Palestinians in return for peace. The landmark Oslo Accords cemented this reality but the olive branch has never been grasped, primarily because Hamas, like Yasser Arafat’s PLO before it, simply will not recognise the right of Israel to exist. A peace based on two secure states can hardly be delivered without that fundamental acceptance. When Israel evacuated its citizens and withdrew from Gaza in 2005 it wasn’t peace that ensued but bloody battles between Hamas and Fatah. Israel was rewarded with indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into its territory, targeting its civilians. Unless Palestinians accept responsibility for their actions, there can be no serious consideration of a peaceful resolution to their rightful claims for territory, statehood and the return of refugees.

As a pluralistic democracy that provides for the security and well-being of Palestinians, Israel is not remotely comparable to apartheid South Africa. For decades Arabs have had greater democratic and human rights in Israel than in any Arab country. They make up about a sixth of Israel’s population and Palestinian Muslims hold seats in the Knesset on a platform of creating a viable Palestinian state. Israel is not perfect and the Palestinian issue must be resolved. But demonising Israel and Jews is not only wrong because it is racist, it is also an incorrect and deceptive interpretation of reality. Julia Gillard is right to condemn the BDS campaign, now so marginalised it has been disowned even by the Greens. We are entitled to expect our universities to take a stronger stand both against racism and in favour of facts.

  • It won’t matter to you a smack but you may get a negative pulse from my taking you out of my Facebook feed. Never fear – you are in my RSS feed and I will switch to Tiny RSS when time comes. YOUR STUFF IS VALUABLE. I wish that I could be as so. What can I say. Keep it up.

    Though perhaps I could add: “Take Care boyo” (as relatives say in Newfoundland).