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.

Giving respect

It seems some British Muslims are upset that Holocaust Memorial Day solely represents the victims of the Jewish Holocaust and ignores victims of other genocides.

Dr Daud Abdullah, Assistant Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, spoke to ABC Radio’s Religion Report:

“…Other peoples have suffered grave injustices. Our argument is let us recall and commemorate those victims also, because inasmuch as a Jew may feel the hurt and pain of the Holocaust, so too an African descendant will feel the pain of slavery. Three-hundred years of slavery in America has no comparison in modern history.”

One of the most sensitive allegations relates to commemorating the Palestinian victims of Israeli aggression since 1948. Daud Abdullah wants Israel’s “genocidal” policies to be given equal footing in British society.

The Holocaust was a unique event in history and resulted in the deaths of around six million Jews and countless others. It deserves to be remembered. And there is simply no comparison to be made between the Nazi onslaught against Jews and Israeli behaviour towards Palestinians. We need to be careful in making some comparisons. I am a strong advocate of a Palestinian state and Palestinian human rights, but there has never been a systematic program of extermination akin to the Nazis. Anybody who says otherwise is purely trying to score political points.

None of this negates the fact that Israeli governments over successive generations have caused untold hardship, oppression and violence against the Palestinian people and at times have attempted ethnic cleansing in one form or another.

Daud Abdullah has a point when he says:

“…What is happening here is that many people use the idea of criticism of Israel to equate it with anti-Semitism, and to silence critics of Israel’s policies, policies which are being condemned internationally by the various human rights bodies, including the United Nations and including Israeli human rights bodies.”

No argument there. One can almost predict the vitriol against those who challenge Israeli myths with increased Israeli aggression in the occupied territories.

Let’s be proportionate and rational. Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is ludicrous and historically inaccurate. Fighting for Palestinian rights is an important challenge that will continue until a secure homeland is established. The fact that Westerners see their own victims more deserving of commemoration – usually whites of European background – is an indictment of our society.

Perhaps a memorial day to remember all victims of state sponsored terror is in order.

14 comments ↪
  • Ibrahamav

    “so too an African descendant will feel the pain of slavery. Three-hundred years of slavery in America has no comparison in modern history.”

    He’s kidding, isn’t he? When did slavery end in Saudi arabia? The way women are treated in the Arab world has no comparison in history.

    It is an indictment in Arab history that they refuse to acknowledge that the Palestinian leadership desired German and Italian assistance to exterminate the Jews in palestine during WWII.

    Perhaps a day for the Arabs world to reflect on their neo-fascist and genocidal dreams is in order.

  • loyal only to the tr

    "The way women are treated in the Arab world has no comparison in history." And your source for that is? Are we forgetting that women arent exactly honored in the West either? Are we forgetting that the porn industry is supported largely by Western Men? That women in the west are used to sell everything from alcohol to cars? Are we forgetting that Israel is the largest trafficker of human beings (mostly poor eastern european women) on the planet?Are we forgetting that when the jews were being hounded out of Europe during the middle ages and the inquisition, it was the islamic state that granted them asylum?….How easily we forget.

  • Ibrahamav

    Israel is the largest tracker? Perhaps you are exagerating? Maybe even lying? Maybe?The Islamic state was more than happy to accept those who would pay. Yes? Still confused?Do you believe keeping women covered and hidden their entire lives has a comparrison in history, other than Islamic history?And you haven't refuted one previous example. Is it out of your league?

  • MHoward

    Lets figure this out, 90% of the Jewish popoulation of Europe is exterminated , and the British Muslims, object to us saying Kaddish for our dead?Seems to m e that the extermination of 90% of any population, warrants something unique. Lets be realistic though, the British Muslims, just want to dilute, Jewish pain. They dislike the idea of any kind of smpathy due to the Jewish people.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Do you believe keeping women covered and hidden their entire lives has a comparrison in history, other than Islamic history?Errr … I believe there are places in the world with not inconsiderable Muslim populations and their own long Islamic histories where there is NO 'tradition' (in any meaningful sense of the word) of "keeping women covered and hidden their entire lives". I'm thinking of the world's largest Muslim nation of course: Indonesia.How about we keep our culturally specific Middle Eastern traditions in the Middle East, rather than illegitimately generalising them to "Islamic history" as if it were some kind of homogeneous blob. After all, accuracy (not sloppy generalisations) helps your case insofar as people won't write you off as just another ignoramus.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Well spoken, Edward.

  • anthony

    "The Holocaust was a unique event in history and resulted in the deaths of around six million Jews and countless others. It deserves to be remembered. And there is simply no comparison to be made between the Nazi onslaught against Jews and Israeli behaviour towards Palestinians."While we ne doubt disagree on what Israeli behaviour we're talking about- well said, Antony.

  • Ibrahamav

    Edward, the reference was in regard to Saudi behavoir, but the question remains.

  • Ibrahamav

    Of course Rowan disagrees. It is part and parcel of his agenda to excuse the German people for the holocaust, and to attempt to lessen the horror by equating it to lesser events.

    Eddie – It looks like the pie is in your eyes. Do us all a favor and take a shower, you look ridiculous.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Strong post Ant.A memorial day for all victims of state terrorism? That would be a sight. And a lot of pride would have to be swallowed before an honest reckoning could occur. Where to start?To their credit, the Turkish government is making noises that show recognition of the atrocities committed against the Armenians. A friend of mine who recently travelled through Rwanda spoke of the memorials to the genocide there and the pride with which the locals showed foreigners the signs of progress since that dark time. There is much to commemorate in South Africa. The horrors of the gulag archipelago must be remembered. Pinochet's victims would qualify, if we could recover their names. And perhaps we'll see a truth and reconciliation commission in Timur soon.I was reading a text a few weeks back dealing with global issues. There is a little anecdote about the Vietnam memorial wall in the US. If a similar wall were erected in honour of all of the children who died prematurely from preventable diseases then that wall would span the equator, or something along those lines. I imagine a memorial for the 20th century's victims of state terror would be visible from space.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Edward, the reference was in regard to Saudi behavoir, but the question remains."Thanks for qualifying that. The wearing of the hijab and jibab are pre-Islamic cultural traditions that seem to have originally been to a response to geography/climate, etc., which then 'morphed' into fashion and then 'morphed' into religious symbolism (both for pre-Islamic paganism and Saudi Arabian Islam) and then 'morphed' into a crypto-theological Saudi Arabian legalism (with all the baggage, half-forgotten, from these previous reasons). I think this is on the way to an answer to your question that 'remained'. As to keeping women 'hidden', that is certainly a 'development' (so to speak) that went hand-in-hand with the puritanical legalism associated with men's and women's dress-codes. (The Qur'anic passages cited by Saudi jurists to justify the dress-code and limitations on movement of women in fact literally sit side-by-side in the Qur'an. Some of these crazies even look to the Hebrew Bible for supplementary justification!) Anyway, it's clear that we can't be talking here about 'Islam everywhere and always' – indeed, in part, we're not even talking about Islam at all, but rather a long pre-Islamic Saudi Arabian tradition that was subsequently mixed with Saudi Arabian Islam and then still later a particular stream of Saudi Arabian Islamic jurisprudence. Ill-conceived simplifications and hopelessly vague generalisations about "Islamic history" – and even about "Saudi behaviour" (as if there were an ahistorical 'type' to it) – helps no-one a jot and makes you look like an amateur pie-thrower to boot. I hope this information helps you craft more accurate and insightful comments in the future. Kind Regards.

  • Rowan Berkeley

    "And there is simply no comparison to be made between the Nazi onslaught against Jews and Israeli behaviour towards Palestinians."– I disagree. The scale may be different but the ideologies are mirror images of one another.

  • 32325235345dfgdgfdg

    I agree, I can think of many shameful periods in history that need to be remembered. Such as the Hama Massacre by Syrian forces against their own people.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squire

    Eddie – It looks like the pie is in your eyes. Do us all a favor and take a shower, you look ridiculous.

    I just don’t understand why you are saying such silly things. I would have thought that accurate statements that address your questions and correct your statements would be valued by someone who is interested in Truth. If you’re not interested in these sort of answers and comments, then please say so, so that I know not to waste time responding to your slightly strange and unusually aggressively defensive comments.