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.

Tell me it’s not so

An English synagogue is defaced. Anti-Semitic fools? Islamists? Not quite:

“An Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Stamford Hill in London has been attacked and vandalized – not by anti-Semitic thugs, but by fellow Jews who regard its leaders’ outspoken condemnation of Israel as a betrayal.

“Rising tensions over the forced evictions by Israeli troops last month of Jewish settlers from Gaza and parts of the West Bank as part of the Middle East peace process has sparked a backlash among Stamford Hill’s Orthodox Jewish community.

“Windows at the synagogue in Alkham Road were smashed after bottles were hurled at them last Thursday evening and the front of the building was covered with red spray paint.

“The synagogue belongs to Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox sect opposed to the Zionist political movement that established the state of Israel as a national homeland for Jews.

“The sect claims that the concept of a sovereign Jewish state is contrary to the teachings of the Torah and has led to the bloodshed in the Middle East.

“In recent years it has staged the public burning of the Israeli flag on street corners in Stamford Hill.”

9 comments ↪
  • Ibrahamav

    Is it orthodox, ultra orthodox, or a sect? It can't be all three.But it is a shame and disgrace that it was attacked.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "Is it orthodox, ultra orthodox, or a sect? It can't be all three."Err .. you should know this one. The Naturei Karta are "ultra-orthodox". These guys regard Zionism as evil made manifest because it is, as they understand it, anti-messianic in that it has been brought about not by the hand of god but by the hand of human beings. For them, Zionists, whether knowingly or not, usurp god and replace him/it with their own egotistical desires – and thus, Zionists constantly block the peaceful utopic destiny of the Jews and indeed all humanity.But it is a shame and disgrace that it was attacked.That's cetainly true. What I find most curious is that one never hears about this sort of repression happening in Israel itself. For some reason, the (attempted) silencing of dissent from the current Israeli government line seems to occur mostly OUTSIDE Israel. Any thoughts on why this is so?

  • Ibrahamav

    I do know that one. It is a sect. If it were merely ultra-orthodox, it would still regard israel as a nation and would not assist the PLO nor insist on dismantlement.There is little attempt of silencing dissent, by Jews, outside of israel. There is just the movement to ensure that the dissent motivated by antisemitism is widely noted.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Ibrahamav, your use of the word 'anti-Semitism' to describe any criticism of Israel gives the word no meaning and allows true anti-Semitism to be either ignored or forgotten. Get some perspective.As for this: "There is little attempt of silencing dissent, by Jews, outside of israel." Really, you must be kidding? The number of both Jews and non-Jews who are slammed, intimidated, silenced and threatened for speaking out proves that your point is spurious. And that's being kind.

  • Ibrahamav

    Antony, your attempt to associate the dismay shown concerning certain criticism of Israel with the misuse of the charge of antisemitism gives your attempt no meaning and allows true antisemitism to be either ignored or forgotten.Good thing that everybody but neo-nazis, white supremists, Holocaust deniers, and islamo-fascists (and their helpers, witting or not) is on to that little canard.Using the term 'antisemitic' when criticising those charges against israel which are clearly antisemitic in nature, witting or not, is no crime, nor does it dull the legitimate sting, no matter how much you would love it to.

  • Wombat

    Ibrahamav,I would really appreciate you outlining for what is acceptable criticism of Irael and what is antisemitic criticism.Are these guidelines stipulated somewhere?I'm not asking this to be sarcastic, but it seems to me there are differing opinions on what constitutes antisemitism. I'm sure you woudl agree that if the guidelnes are arbitrarily definied then it opens up the charge of antisemitism to being abused or used in the wrong context.I do not consider myself to be anitsmitic in any way, nor anti Jewish, yet you have suggested that some of my arguments are antisemitic in nature. Can you appreciate my dillema?Regards

  • Ibrahamav

    I understand your dilemma. Here's a hint that might help.Criticising Israel for failure to follow UN resolutions without explaining that the vast majority of such resolutions are passed in knee-jerk fashion, that several of the resolutions require Arab action before Israel can be expected to follow suit, and that similar action by the Arab enemies of Israel are not singled out for resolutions, is merely unfair criticism of Israel and not antisemitic.Any attempt to equate Zionism to racism, without clarifying that every single nationalistic movement including the Palestinian one is equally as racist, is antisemitic.But if it is already proven that you are an antisemite, it makes little difference how you term your criticism of israel and zionism as it usually stems from your antisemitic outlook. You don't get brownie points when you accidentally stumble across an actual non-antisemitic critique.

  • Wombat

    Thanks for that.That last paragraph poses a problm for me. For example, some people are racist for any number of reasons – education, upbringing, negative experience or lack thereof. How they arrive at this outlook affects how they deal with it. Some grow out of it, while others get worse.But there are many examples of people who start out as racists, and subsequently discard their racist aoutlook. Has this hot happened to people who have been antisemitic?I appreciate there are people who are antisemitic, but work very hard to disguise it, but according your reasoning, it would seem once and antisemite, always an antisemite.What about those who's critisism i based purely on what they read or believe to the true. How do you ineterpret the intentions of someone's heart?I hpe you don't mind me saying, but it's certainly a minefield.regards

  • Ibrahamav

    Again, ballpark explanation. But the Rowan's of the world are not about to change their stripes.It is not up to me to look into their hearts. Their intensions will be read from their posts.Here's a hint. When someone complains that someone else label all criticism of israel as antisemtitic, that is a post that gives reason to suspect such a fellow's intentions.