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.

Spreading the word

I appeared on LA radio this afternoon to discuss the Israel/Palestine conflict and the Zionist lobby. “Middle East in Focus” is a weekly show on KPFK. The show started in 1980 during the Iranian hostage crisis and is currently hosted by Don Bustany. KPFK is owned by the Pacifica Foundation. They are listener sponsored and of the 140 programmers, 130 are unpaid volunteers.

The first guest on the program was a correspondent in Iran. He discussed the nuclear stand-off between America and the Islamic state.

Next up was Amy Wilentz, a contributing editor of The Nation magazine, author of The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier and a novel, Martyr’s Crossing. Her review of Alan Dershowitz’s “The Case For Israel” appeared in the Los Angeles Times last week:

“Dershowitz is not the only supporter of Israel and of peace who argues in this way. Many Jews in America never really examine how Palestinians might feel about certain Israeli policies, always assuming that Israel tries to be humane (even when it drops a bomb on an apartment complex to eliminate one terrorist and also kills 10 children; even though more than 500 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since the start of the second intifada). He always assumes that Israel will be the one to set the parameters of what’s an acceptable peace. Sadly, the vicious and self-defeating suicide-bombing strategy of the masterminds of the second intifada has not changed such condescending and intemperate talk, to put it mildly.”

Wilentz suggested that Dershowitz was not unlike her young boys: petulant, always claiming to be right and incapable of seeing fault with the Jewish state.

My segment consisted of a general overview of my forthcoming book on the Middle East conflict, the power of the Zionist lobby in Australia and some possible reasons why honest debate about the Israel/Palestine conflict is next to impossible without resulting in raised tempers.

A number of listeners wanted to engage in the subject. Max from LA called in and asked why the Palestinians “always want to destroy us” and if I was proud to be a Jew with my views. I said that Jews historically always questioned official dogma and they should speak out if they see injustice. Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is one such example.

It was a fascinating 30-minute session and proved that rational discussion is possible on this subject if, unlike Max, contributors don’t start claiming God-given rights to the land.

On a related issue, since the recent publication of my article on Counterpunch, I’ve received nearly one hundred emails from around the world, orders for the (as yet) unfinished book, requests from libraries across the globe and words of support. Thank you all. The strongest message I received is the level of frustration amongst people who want to talk about America’s relationship with Israel, the power of the Zionist lobby or the disgraceful role of Arab countries towards the Palestinians.

Let honest debate begin.

9 comments ↪
  • Glenn Condell

    Don't do a Hitchens on us will you? No swanning over there and having your head turned by the neocons, OK? Not bloody likely I admit.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Thanks for the concern.Not likely? Less than that. Impossible. Hitchens must surely know he's hitched his ride with a bunch of extremists and war-mongers. At least he'll get invites to the White House. Goodie for him…

  • anthony

    "Wilentz suggested that Dershowitz was not unlike her young boys: petulant, always claiming to be right and incapable of seeing fault with the Jewish state."Well, thats a complete load of crap.No doubt he does claim to be always right (he often is), but of course he sees fault with Israel.

  • Ibrahamav

    "Sadly, the vicious and self-defeating suicide-bombing strategy of the masterminds of the second intifada has not changed such condescending and intemperate talk, to put it mildly."It was designed so that rational human beings were to change the way they do business? If only we had known! We thought it was to maximize the number of Jewish children killed. Silly us.

  • David

    "Silly us."Indeed, you do sound rather silly. Surely someone must have tried to explain to you that terrorism is just a political movement, utilizing the only tools you have given them.But to accept that you'd have to give up all that silliness about "they hate me because of me Choseness." And I expect that's too high a price for you to pay.

  • Ibrahamav

    I have to give them tools? You give them tools. Let their Arab overlords, who keep them in poverty and in 4th generation refugee camps, give them tools.But you come to me with terrorism, and you will be repaid with death.

  • leftvegdrunk

    Ibrahamav, can you explain the orgins of the refugee camps for us ignorant people?

  • leftvegdrunk

    Sorry – "origins". Bugger.

  • Ibrahamav

    As long as you can tell me why the Lebanese, Syrians, and Egyptians refuse to give Arabs born in those countries, to fathers born in those countries, to fathers born in those countries, because their great grandfather happened to be among the Arabs living in the Palestinian region in 1946 and decided to leave because of a war.