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.

Few mates for Alan

Norman G. Finkelstein is an American academic always guaranteed to generate debate and controversy. His insights into the Israel/Palestine issue have made him, in the words of Avi Shlaim of St Antony’s College, Oxford University: “…one of the most radical and hard-hitting critics of the official Zionist version of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the historians who support this version.”

When he accused Harvard celebrity Alan Dershowitz of deception and plagiarism over his best-selling The Case for Israel, Finkelstein moved from notoriety to infamy. By early this year, Dershowitz was harassing Finkelstein’s publisher and threatening legal action. A new publisher was found, University of California Press, and the book, “Beyond Chutzpah”, should be released in August. Dershowitz even sent letters to the office of Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger because UC Press receives state funding as part of the California school system. Publisher’s Weekly (PW) recently revealed: “A response from that office to Dershowitz obtained by PW shows that it reads, in part, that the governor ‘is not inclined to otherwise exert influence in this case because of the clear, academic freedom issue it presents.'”

The past weeks has seen this issue explode. The New York Times covered it and Dershowitz hit back at Finkelstein, claiming that Noam Chomsky, journalist Alexander Cockburn and Finkelstein himself were conducting “literary McCarthyism” in their attempts at discrediting him.

“The mode of attack is consistent,” Dershowitz wrote. “Chomsky selects the target and directs Finkelstein to probe the writings in minute detail and conclude that the writer didn’t actually write the work, that it is plagiarized, that it is a hoax and a fraud. Cockburn publicizes these ‘findings,’ and then a cadre of fellow travellers bombard the Internet with so many attacks on the target that these attacks jump to the top of Google.”

Dershowitz’s suggestion that his voice is being marginalised is ludicrous. He appears regularly on TV and in newspapers around the world. His pro-Zionist agenda dominates the American mainstream media. To feel seriously challenged by three prominent leftist writers suggests a man not comfortable with scrutiny.

“The Case for Israel” is a book for people who like to be told that Israel is the Middle East’s only democracy that behaves humanely towards the Palestinians. Let them live with these delusions.

Finkelstein is a brave soul determined to challenge the region’s cliches. Don’t believe me? Read his Holocaust Industry and discover the ways in which the Jewish genocide has been used and abused by Jewish individuals and groups to further their bigoted agenda towards Israel.

8 comments ↪
  • Aaron Lane

    If Israel is not the Middle East's only democracy, what is? Perhaps you could specify which country in the region you feel to be more democratic?Why, also, do you single out Israel for criticism when the criticisms you level could be just as validly applied to other nations? For instance, you support you academic boycott of Israel, but have made no intimation that you would support similar action if taken against any other country whose institutions could be seen to in some way support political regimes to which you are opposed. If someone were to single out an Arabic state in the same way you single out Israel, you would loudly and repeatedly denounce them as racist. What makes you repeated denunciations of Israel any different?

  • Bruce M Warrington

    I must say I find this "singling out Israel" claim tiresome. I don't seem to recall a similar demand for Bush, Blair, Howard, etc. to "balance" their criticisms of Saddam's regime; nor has there ever been a concern that anti-Palestinian criticism be "balanced" with denunciation of the occupation.It is also worth remembering that, while anyone can criticise acts they have no hope of controlling or influencing, true moral courage requires a focus on one's own actions; a point Chomsky repeatedly makes. Israel is part of the West, and receives huge amounts of military aid, especially from the US. It is thus far more susceptible to our pressure than a hostile Arab regime like Saddam's. Consequently, it is a greater moral imperative for Westerners to stop Israeli abuses than Arab ones (and even more imperative of course to stop abuses by our own governments).

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Israel and the other Arab states are very different, in terms of US aid received, running an illegal occupation etc.I denounce human rights abuses in the Arab world (god knows why that makes pro-Israelites feel better). This blog talks constantly about a lack of press freedom in the region.Israel calls itself a democracy. For Jews, it certainly is. For others, less so. Why do supporters of Israel feel so uncomfortable with the true facts of Israeli oppression? Oh, I forgot, Jews can't commit oppression, that's only for the Arabs…

  • Jenny Cockburn

    Your comments and put-downs do nothing but stifle debate in a time when it should be encouraged. Rather than deal with facts you see the situations as purely black and white. In this regard you are as bad as G.W. Bush when he said "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists."You think you can get away with calling books like "The Case for Israel" dillusional? How about actually coming up with a counterpoint to some of his arguments then.People as ignorantly blinded as yourself will never be part of the solution. You breed hatered through ignorance to further your own career.You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I should be ashamed? I don't offer solutions? Er, I'm writing a book about just this subject out early 2006. I'm not offering solutions? What, and Dershowitz is, by simply being incapable of finding fault with Israel at all? If you call people like Finkelstein or myself ignorant, chances are you simply don't know the facts or prefer to bury your head in the sand re Israel. Dershowitz? Bigot. There, accept that.And please do keep reading….

  • Jenny Cockburn

    And so you prove my point by not offering counterpoints but reverting, yet again, to name calling.I mentioned nothing about Finkelstein. You, on the other hand, truly are ignorant if you believe there is 100% innocence and guilt on either side of the line.How would you know if Dershowitz ever found fault with Israel. You wouldn't even give him the chance to answer. Have you spoken to him? I have.He, unlike you, has the qualifications and skills to launch a convincing argument. Is his book titled "An Unbiased and Completely Non-Partisan Approach to the Situation in Israel"? No, it is called "The Case for Israel". His bias is stated in the title. I read his book to discover an argument I had never heard in the media.This last couple of weeks I have seen how the media eats its own bullshit with the Schappelle Corby trial. Lies are reported and then accepted and repeated until they are assumed to be the truth. Dershowitz's book has shown the same thing has happened with a lot of the reporting regarding Israel.I don't know where your bias comes from but the mere fact of its existence shows that you know a lot more about showboating and getting your name published than you do about actual journalism.People like you give a wonderful profession a terrible name.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Jenny, thanks for your insights.If you find the Case for Israel compelling and unlike anything you've ever read before, perhaps that's because you've been more than willing to accept Dershowitz's distortions on the subject. Both sides have fault, of this there is no doubt.I breed hatred through my work? Oooook then. I'll take that on board. Then realise that questioning Israel's behaviour is actually acceptable and should be encouraged. Then again, depends if you'd prefer to bury your head in the sand. The world is turning against Israel. And we wonder who is to blame…?

  • B. Rutherford

    I have to agree with Jenny on this one. Your arguments are ill formed and similar to those found in a children's playground.From reading your responses it seems to me you use the age old technique of putting words in someone else's mouth. I've searched through her comments to find where she says Dershowitz's book is "compelling". It's not there.Also, at no time does she mention a reluctance to question Israel's actions. I think you are one of those argumentative types who prefers to keep the argument going rather than come to a solution.