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.

Israeli electric car company, promoted as progressive, dies

This is a classic case of mainstream journalists, so keen to promote Progressive and Green Israel, shilling for Israeli electric corporation Better Place. The fact that members of its board had troubling human rights records and it operated in the occupied West Bank was conveniently ignored.

Now news that will sadden nobody except individuals who believe that finding alternatives to fossil fuels should not involve considering human rights of Palestinians (via New York Times):

The vision was ambitious. Better Place, an electric vehicle infrastructure company, unveiled plans more than five years ago to pioneer a system of quick-service battery swapping stations across Israel to enable unlimited travel.

The company’s founder predicted that 100,000 electric cars would be on the roads here by 2010.

But on Sunday, Better Place announced that its venture, a flagship enterprise of Israel’s image as a start-up hub, was coming to an end.

Dan Cohen, the company’s third chief executive, said in a statement that financial difficulties had left the company no option but to file for liquidation in a district court and to request the appointment of a provisional receiver “to find the best way to minimize the damage to its employees, customers and creditors.”

The announcement followed a string of setbacks in the emerging electric car market. Fisker, a carmaker, is in financial distress; A123 Systems, a battery supplier for Fisker, and, more recently, Coda Holdings, another carmaker, filed for bankruptcy. Tesla, the prominent car manufacturer, has had success, though, repaying its government loan last week after a successful sale of new shares.

Israel had been considered a perfect testing ground for Better Place’s green project, given the country’s small size and high gasoline prices. The electric car fit into Israeli dreams of reducing oil dependency; the initiative gained the support of the government and was embraced by Shimon Peres, the president of Israel. President Obama, during his March visit here, praised the Israelis’ innovative spirit, mentioning electric cars as one of several examples.

Yet the project was hobbled by problems and delays, and the company’s idea failed to gain traction, with fewer than 1,000 cars on the road in Israel and another few hundred in Denmark.

Mr. Cohen said on Sunday that the vision and the model had been right, but that the pace of market penetration had not lived up to expectations. Without a large injection of cash, he said, Better Place was unable to continue its operations.

“This is a very sad day for all of us,” Mr. Cohen added. “The company brought with it a vision that swept along many people here and around the world.”

About $850 million in private capital has been invested in the company, which has 350 employees in Israel. The largest shareholder, with about 30 percent of the stock, was the Israel Corporation, a large holding company that focuses on chemicals, energy, shipping and transportation. The corporation’s decision not to invest further in Better Place led to the motion for receivership.

The Better Place model for electric car use emerged from an effort among manufacturers and suppliers to establish a standard infrastructure in the nascent industry.

Under terms that resembled a cellphone plan, subscribers to Better Place bought their cars and paid about $350 a month to lease access to the batteries, swap stations and charge points. But only one car manufacturer, the French automaker Renault, signed on to adapt its Fluence Z.E. sedan to enable battery switching, limiting the customers’ choices and the company’s potential.

The battery has a range of about 100 miles. For those traveling longer distances, Better Place set up a network of switching stations where it promised that swapping a depleted battery for a fully charged one would take about the same time as filling a car with gas, so that range would no longer be an issue.

“It’s not the future of gas stations; it’s the end of them,” the company Web site boasted.

About three dozen switching stations now dot Israel, which is about 260 miles long from north to south, but they often look deserted.

The company was founded in Palo Alto, Calif., by Shai Agassi, an Israeli entrepreneur who had previously been a top executive at SAP, the German software company. It then moved from California to Tel Aviv.

In October, Better Place said that Mr. Agassi had been succeeded as its chief by Evan Thornley, the company’s top executive in Australia. The company said Mr. Agassi would continue as a board member and shareholder. Mr. Thornley left after only three months, over differences regarding the direction of the company, according to Globes , the Israeli business publication. He was succeeded by Mr. Cohen.

In February, Better Place announced that it was winding down its operations in North America and Australia to concentrate on its core markets in Denmark and Israel.

Mr. Cohen said on Sunday that the company would do what it could to continue to serve its customers and operate the recharging network, until the liquidator decided on a course of action.