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.

Dangerous precedent

Is the editor-in-chief of Le Monde anti-Semitic? A French court thinks so. A June 2002 article suggested that Israel treated the Palestinians with disdain. One of the offending paragraphs:

“The Jews of Israel, descendants of an apartheid named the ghetto, ghettoize the Palestinians. The Jews who were humiliated, scorned and persecuted humiliate, scorn and persecute the Palestinians. The Jews who were the victims of a pitiless order impose their pitiless order on the Palestinians. The Jews, scapegoats for every wrong, make scapegoats of Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.”

The court found the “the paper guilty of ‘racial defamation’ against Israel and the Jewish people.” The attorney representing the paper warned that the decision was ominous for fair comment: “The article was a critique of a policy, of [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon’s policy, it wasn’t a racial criticism,” lawyer Catherine Cohen said. “The remarks were taken out of context; the plaintiffs argued that they were against Jews, but a few paragraphs later, the piece says that all occupiers behave the same way. This is a very serious matter for intellectuals, for commentators who express their point of view on a very complex issue.”

I agree. Slamming all Jews as being responsible for Ariel Sharon’s policies is inappropriate (though the number of Jews who openly oppose the Israeli leader’s oppressive policies is far and few between) but suggesting that Israeli government policy is aggressive, racist and shows a singular disdain and ignorance of Jewish history is both legitimate and necessary. The oppressed has sadly become the oppressor.

Free speech has been dealt a blow.

7 comments ↪
  • Shay

    Very good points were made but, assuming that we have the translation and the context correct, the wording was so clumsy that it could easily be taken as a racist rant. Saying "The Jews of Israel" seems to me to make an assumption that all Jews in Israel support the occupation in all its brutality, which is clearly not true. The government of Israel? No argument here. Of course the general Jewish sensitivity to such writing can be extreme. For example, I would not be personally offended if someone said "Australia locks up innocent people in barbaric conditions in concentration camps", as long as there was no suggestion made that all Australians supported this position. But mention any point of disagreement with Israeli government policy (as a journalist, politician or public figure of any kind), particularly as forthrightly as this article did, and you will be branded anti-Semitic by the Zionist lobby, and risk having your career ruined by the considerable political clout they have.I don't suggest going easy on the crimes of Israel, but care should be taken to point out that it is the government of Israel you are criticizing – supported by many of its people and many Zionists worldwide, certainly, but not universally. They have used their own experience of horror to inflict horror on others for too long and this can only be ended by pressure placed on Israel by educating the world about what they are up to. The Jewish people can achieve this, but will not be sympathetic if they are alienated by sloppy criticism which holds them all personally responsible.(by the way, I'm not suggesting that I disagree with Le Monde's right to publish the article, I just don't agree with the way it was written)

  • Anonymous

    What do you think about Orianna Falacci's being brought up on blasphemy charges in Italy?

  • Anonymous

    and closer to home, what do you think about the blasphemy trial against Catch the Fire, in which the defendant wasn't even allowed to enter passages from the Koran into evidence?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    One needs to be careful, to be sure. Talking about "Jews" as one homogenous group is not what we should be aiming for, but talking about Israeli govt actions is a different story. As for Orianna Falacci being brought up on blasphemy? Ludicrous. Jesus, are our tin govts incapable of taking criticism? In Italy, the vast majority of citizens are against the war, not just Fallacci. Charging people for blasphemy, especially those against the Iraq war, seems petty and rather pathetic.

  • Anonymous

    Right, but I think you're missing the point…Fallaci is pro-war, and got in trouble for raising uncomfortable home-truths about Islam, jsut as that preacher in Victoria did.

  • Anonymous

    Then again, it wouldn't be at all like you to miss the point.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    My mistake (thanks for the insult, sunshine.)As ever, feel like doing anything other than throwing stones from the sidelines? No, didn't think so. Suits your type better to stay in the shadows…