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.

How much aid is too much?

Israel. The Middle East’s only democracy. A land of freedom amongst tyranny. All true statements if you’re Jewish, but not Palestinian. We now learn that Israel has asked the US for extra aid to fund the Gaza “disengagement”. A journalist colleague in Switzerland tells me that an article appeared in the Hebrew version of Haaretz newspaper stating Israel will ask for US$1.6 billion as financial aid for the Gaza disengagement. It will be asked in the first phase for US$ 600 million for transferring military bases. The second request of over US$ 1 billion will be for the development of the Negev and the Galilee. These figures were negotiated during the recent meeting between George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon.

The English language version of the article is decidedly lacking in details.

These developments once more begs the questions (and mirror statements I heard during my recent travels in the Middle East): is Israel little more than a convenient (for the US), dependent, colonial outpost in the Middle East, and do the American people, from whose tax dollars these loans are coming, truly understand the amount of financial support Israel is receiving?

7 comments ↪
  • syed-m

    If ever I've read a rhetorical question… Here's another one. Does the average Australian know how much it costs to 'protect' our borders from boat people and detain indefinitely the few who manage to slip into the net?In all the coverage leading up to the Iraq invasion the focus was on the possibility of a few piss weak 'WMDs' in Iraq. There was literally zero coverage of the arsenals held by all the neighbouring nations. Yes, principally Israel, but Egypt, Turkey, Syria as well. But that wasn't the only glaring omission. The majority of those nations' arsenals have been, and continue to be, supplied by the United States. And, to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom, the rest of the EU, Russia and China (basically in that order). Of course, Iraq too was once a great regional power thanks to the same generous bunch.That's the world we live in. A world full of silent fascism and, for some, overt material pleasures.PS: interesting that Haaretz's English report was significantly less descriptive! Maybe I'm naive but I didn't think they'd actually bother to do that. Do you think it has something to do with greater access to the newspaper outside Israel thanks to the internet or something?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks for your comments.First, Haaretz. I'm getting increasing amounts of info that suggests massive differences between the Hebrew and English editions. To use in the West, we stupidly believe that the newspaper is liberal and progressive (which, in terms of Israel's mainstream press, it is, relatively), but many more disturbing details are not translated into English. The reasons for this are telling. I'm informed that right-wingers are increasingly taking the reigns at the paper.In terms of mainstream coverage on other important issues, it seems we can no longer rely on corporate media to ask and report the big issues and questions. For example, how the hell is it simply accepted that Israel has nuclear weapons, but Iran is not allowed. How about a nuclear free region, people?And perhaps most importantly, the true role of America in the movers and shakers in the Middle East is frequently hidden. Can you imagine if people actually knew who America is arming and funding?

  • Anonymous

    What do you mean, not true if you're Palestinian (an artificial construct, by the way, if there ever was one). Until the Iraqi elections, Arab citizens of Israel, of which there are a fair few number, were the only Arabs in that part of the world who had the opportunity to vote for their own leaders!If I can engage the question a bit more, Antony, are there other countries whom you think receive too much foreign aid, or is it just Israel?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    If you can't even accept Palestinians as people, then you're delusional. Surely we've moved past that?Secondly, the issue of foreign aid is not just about Israel, but also countries like Egypt, Indonesia, the list goes on. For example, we recently learnt that Aussie aid to Indo is quite possibly being spent on military hardware to oppress West Papua. Accountabiliy is the key and I reckon people want to know where their money is being spent.

  • Anonymous

    OK, fair enough — all I meant to suggest was that "Palestinian" was a fairly new construct, not that those who claim the mantle are less than human. (Also interesting, as an aside, that in terms of aid, just about the only aid their Arab brethren have seen fit to give them is money to push on with an incredibly wasteful and destructive intifada…)On the question of nuclear weapons, though, the difference between Israel and Iran should surely be plain as day, yes?

  • Glenn Condell

    'all I meant to suggest was that "Palestinian" was a fairly new construct'And 'Israeli' isn't?

  • Anonymous

    You consider four or five thousand years a short time, Glenn?