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.

Some legacy

Ariel Sharon was a “warrior for peace“, writes Murdoch’s Australian. The re-writing of history has begun. Dutiful Zionists are already lining up to praise the unindicted war criminal.

The Arab world will not mourn the passing of Sharon and nor should they. After all, upon the death of Yassir Arafat in late 2004, Israeli leaders lined up to demonise the Palestinian leader. He was little better than Hitler, according to some.

Peace was impossible with Sharon. While the occupation continues and Palestinian life is made next to unbearable, resistance is inevitable and necessary.

37 comments ↪
  • Wombat

    Al,If Netanyahu takes his place, don't you think it will be a case of out of the frying pan into the fire?

  • Wombat

    Incidently, here's what the mother of all crackpots has to say abotu Sharon's death:Sharon's Stroke Was Divine Punishment For “Dividing God's Land”…http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/01/05/ap/national/mainD8EUP88GB.shtml

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Netanyahu is indeed worse, if that is at all possible. Labor's Amir Peretz is the best of the bad bunch in the mainstream. As I've written many times before, a third intifada is becoming more likely.

  • Ibrahamav

    Unfortunately, I see the results of a third intifada as a reduction of the Palestinian population as they try ever harder to starve themselves to death.What tiny sympathy the world has for this miserable lot (much due to antisemitism) will evaporate.

  • Wombat

    It's weird, much as I was angered by Sharon's policies and attitudes towards the Palestinians, I do find it somber that he is passing away so suddenly.It's times like this that remind you of everyone's humanity, and vulnerability, in spite of their politics.

  • Ibrahamav

    Times like this do no such thing. We were not remainded of Arafat's humanity, only that all living things die. Some too late.

  • Wombat

    Ibraham, You yourself said you did not celebrate Arafat's death because you believed nothing would change as a consequence.What made arafat's death too late, other than your suggesting it was Arafat's punishment? If this is what you are alluding too, do you consider Sharon's illness as his punishment?Do you agree with Pat Robertson?

  • Ibrahamav

    I would not have celebrated Arafat's death, regardless. Had Arafat died before Oslo, perhaps things would be different now.I allude to nothing other than Arafat's death proved to be of little consequece.

  • orang

    I hope Sharon lives for ever . Rather that than the never ending eulogies and speecehes from those trying to outdo each other on how much they loved the slug.

  • Ibrahamav

    Indeed, the yearly tributes to his memory will keep you and your ilk ill. Let's hope there is a tribute a week for the next several years.

  • orang

    Please let him stay in a coma, freeze his brain in the hope that he will make a come back …..THE MESSIAH!!!

  • Ibrahamav

    Rather silly statement, but considering the source…

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Orang,"THE MESSIAH!!!"For political Zionism, Sharon is only one of them. As Ben-Gurion said – one of the most bizarre statements in the history of ego-maniacal messianic nationalism: "Every [Jewish] man is his own Messiah."

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    …of course one had to come "home" (to somewhere one had never been) in order to fulfil this modern-day messianic political prophecy. (That's why Ben-Gurion hated the post-WW2 members of the diaspora with such passion.)

  • violet

    Edward:Your mask is slipping. In other posts you indignantly protest that your criticism of Israel's policies does not equate to a desire to see the Jewish state's eradication. But your inveterate hostility to the very concept of Jewish national self-determination is so blatant in what you say immediately above that it renders your previous protestations implausible in the extreme. Why don't you have the balls to state with clarity the yearning of your anti-Zionist heart – that while you recognise its success on a historical plane, you consider Jewish nationalism to be a moral blight upon the world. But then, I am forced to wonder why your 'principled' opposition to ethno-religious sectarianism only comes into play where the Jews are concerned. The Palestinian constitution proudly declares its ethnic Arabness and its religiously Islamic character. But never is heard from your quarter a discouraging word about this blatant exercise in precisely the same sort of ethno-religious sectarianism that you decry in relation to Israel. So let me get this straight – it's fine and dandy when the Arab/Muslims do it, but it's an abomination when the Jews do it? Hmmm…. But doesn't this meet one of the classic definitions of anti-Semitism — applying a pejorative double standard that pillories the Jews for doing things that pass without mention when done by non-Jews?And what's more, you are factually and historically challenged as well. In a previous post you make the erroneous assertion that the 1967 frontier between Israel and Jordan was an internationally recognized border. Rubbish. Do a bit of reading on the subject. In particular you might want to consult the comments of the UK and US ambassadors to the UN in 1967, Lord Caradon and Arthur Goldberg respectively. Both of these envoys played the primary role in drafting the definitive UN Security Council resolution on the subject, 242, and they justify their unwillingness to demand a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Six Day War territories because: A) The the 'green line' never attained in international law anything beyond the status of a ceasefire line because Jordan in 1949 refused to recognize Israel and sign a peace treaty with the Jewish stateB) Israel was entitled to, in the words of 242 secure and recognized boundaries, something that the narrow waistline imposed upon Israel by the 1949 ceasefire lines could never supply.Thus the drafters of 242 crafted the wording of the resolution with the clear recognition that the green line was not inviolate, and in the clear expectation that any final peace agreement would involve boundary changes that would provide the Jewish state with defensible borders. The Palestinians rejected the 1937 Peel Partition plan that would have granted them 85% of Palestine in its entirety. They rejected the 1947 partition plan that would have given them roughly half of Palestine. They rejected the joint Clinton/Barak offer of 97% of the WB + 100% of Gaza in January 2001. And after years of suicide bombings in its major cities, Israel has finally begun to erect a barrier that will stop the terrorists in their tracks. In light of the above, Israel is under no legal obligation to make the fence route adhere to a ceasefire line that never attained the legitimacy in law of an international border (because the Arabs refused to sign anything more than a temporary ceasefire in 1949). And don't bring up the non-binding ICJ ruling. The ICJ is an arm of the UN, and thus ipso facto is suspect on anything relating to Israel. Moreover, the General Assembly violated the terms of the UN charter when it referred the case to the ICJ, and the judicial panel included two judges from Arab nations who had histories of vilely prejudicial comments about Israel. And of course, the dynamic judicial duo did not recuse themselves. For all these reasons and more, the ICJ ruling was a joke… and a bad one at that.The route of the fence is predicated on tactical considerations of terrain, and the intention of encompassing three or four of the major settlement blocks that will be annexed by Israel in any final peace. This is Arafat's fence, and when the inconvenience and economic loss that is caused to Palestinians is weighed against the loss in Israeli lives that would ensue if the barrier were not built, Israel is under no moral obligation to make its route comply with non-existant legal imperatives demanded by sanctimonious lefty anti-Zionists who in their heart of hearts dream of Israel-less Middle East.

  • Wombat

    Arafat's fence? Well, seeing as it's made of concrete and higher than the Belin Wall, it is hardly a fence, and if it were a fence, should it not actuallt reside on recognised boundaries, rather than be a blatant and obvious effort to simple steal yet more land?

  • Wombat

    To parapahrase the Bush admonistratino, all legal obligations placed on Israel are "quaint" right Violet.Let's be honest here. Irrestective of whatever Israel does, there's nothing anyone do about it is there?

  • Ibrahamav

    Arafat's fence (I like that term, it fits) is mostly fence, not wall. The vast majority of it is not concrete and is not required to be on any specific area recognized by some bulladdamoer as belonging to Israel. At the moment, all of it belongs to Israel. There are no recognized borders. Perhaps when the Arabs finally decide to negotiate in an honest manner… we'll see.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    violet said… "In other posts you indignantly protest that your criticism of Israel's policies does not equate to a desire to see the Jewish state's eradication."And when are you going to reply to that other post, by the way? (It's the one with 70-odd posts.)"But your inveterate hostility to the very concept of Jewish national self-determination is so blatant in what you say immediately above that it renders your previous protestations implausible in the extreme."I'm not opposed not nations. I dislike nationalISM because it tends to send people crazy and make them do morally repulsive things. You know – like 30 year occupations."Why don't you have the balls to state with clarity the yearning of your anti-Zionist heart"A curious mix of AC/DC and Celine Dion there." – that while you recognise its success on a historical plane, you consider Jewish nationalism to be a moral blight upon the world."NationalISM – whoever is doing it – is generally bad news. Nations on the other hand … sweeeet …. can't get enough of them. In fact, I think there should be more of 'em. I know – let's invent one and call it "The Republic of Palestine". It can be right next door to Israel."But then, I am forced to wonder why your 'principled' opposition to ethno-religious sectarianism only comes into play where the Jews are concerned."Oh, it doesn't only come into play when it comes to Jewish nationalISM. It comes into play with Indonesian nationalISM too. What a total human rights disaster THAT has produced! Fortunately, the East Timorese might be able to get back on their feet in the future (if Australia doesn't steal all of their oil reserves). And the rampant nationalISM of Pakistan v. India – now THAT was seriously scary there for a while, what with their nuclear capabilities and all. Thankfully, things seem to be on the mend (at the moment at least). And what about Russia and Chechnya? G-d Almighty! What a moral disaster of nationalISM THAT is! And how about the Iraq war – the US electorate had to be seriously hepped-up on nationalISM tabs for that trip to be pulled off! Meanwhile that Presidential Lunatic in Iran is milking the anti-semitism-cum-nationalISM cow for all its worth. Shall I go on? No, we need focus. Let's deal with one country at a time in accordance with the posts A.L. puts up. Yes? Good."The Palestinian constitution proudly declares its ethnic Arabness and its religiously Islamic character."Can you supply the relevant (un-snipped) Articles of the Constitution? I assume you have it on hand. You seem to be quite familiar with it. Then I'll be able to make a judgement on it. I can't make a blind evaluation until, like you, I've read it."But never is heard from your quarter a discouraging word about this blatant exercise in precisely the same sort of ethno-religious sectarianism that you decry in relation to Israel."If there are nation-states anywhere else in the world that for 30 years have been occupying land not internationally recognised as falling within their borders and have been brutalising the native population of that land, then I condemn them. How many are there? Do you have the list? I suppose Syria could be there. Anyone else?"So let me get this straight – it's fine and dandy when the Arab/Muslims do it, but it's an abomination when the Jews do it?"Nope. Brutal 30 year occupations are evil no matter who is conducting them. To repeat, I condemn all nation-states that brutalise native populations and occupy land not internationally recognised as falling within their borders."Hmmm…. But doesn't this meet one of the classic definitions of anti-Semitism — applying a pejorative double standard that pillories the Jews for doing things that pass without mention when done by non-Jews?"Yes, whomever has such double-standards is very bad. Anyone who selectively applies human rights is very bad. Anyone who abuses human rights is very bad. Anyone who supports an individual, organisation or even (gasp) a nation-state that violates human rights is very bad. "In a previous post you make the erroneous assertion that the 1967 frontier between Israel and Jordan was an internationally recognized border." Really? I had a quick squizz and couldn't find any such reference. I just can't remember writing that (not saying I didn't; anything's possible … that's why I hold out hope for Israel)."Thus the drafters of [UN Security Council resolution] 242 crafted the wording of the resolution with the clear recognition that the green line was not inviolate, and in the clear expectation that any final peace agreement would involve boundary changes that would provide the Jewish state with defensible borders. ….In light of the above, Israel is under no legal obligation to make the fence route adhere to a ceasefire line that never attained the legitimacy in law of an international border (because the Arabs refused to sign anything more than a temporary ceasefire in 1949). And don't bring up the non-binding ICJ ruling. The ICJ is an arm of the UN, and thus ipso facto is suspect on anything relating to Israel."This is all a bit moot since I don't recall the seemingly infamous "1967 comment", but let me get the gist of what you're saying here. The Green Line is not a real legal border because the UN said it wasn't. And anything the UN says about Israel is prejudiced and thus should be ignored. Hmmm … should we then make the inescapable logical deduction from that? Oh, why not. Therefore, the UN's statements about the Green Line should be ignored. Is that about right?"The route of the fence is predicated on tactical considerations of terrain"Yes, the Israeli Ministry of Attack/Defence keeps saying that. I have no idea why. I wonder if all nations should seek to set their borders according to what they perceive to be "tactical considerations of terrain". Isn't that just WW2 writ-large … only Hitler defined "the terrain" as "the Continent of Europe"? Yes, a sound principle if ever there was one."and the intention of encompassing three or four of the major settlement blocks that will be annexed by Israel in any final peace."This is really a side issue now, but what the hell: why bother with the settlements at all?"This is Arafat's fence,"Well, if you're going to call it ARAFAT's, why not make it REALLY ominous and call it what it is: A Wall."and when the inconvenience and economic loss that is caused to Palestinians is weighed against the loss in Israeli lives…"umm – I think it's a little more than just "inconvenience and economic loss". I've heard tell that lots of Palestinian children have DIED due to the occupation. How many Palestinian children's lives are worth one Israeli life, pray … or is that prey … tell?"…that would ensue if the barrier were not built, Israel is under no moral obligation…"Well, perhaps we could at least agree that the Israeli government FEELS no moral obligation. I don't think "Moral" has paid a visited to the Cabinet room in quite a long time."…to make its route comply with non-existant legal imperatives…"That's the UN sanctioned imperatives? – no, wait – non-sanctioned? – no, hang on – fundamentally important – no, that's not right – irrelevant? – no, no, umm – noble – err, wait – contemptably evil – ar, bugger it."…demanded by sanctimonious lefty anti-Zionists who in their heart of hearts dream of Israel-less Middle East."From heart-ripper to heart-reader in the blink of a camel's eye.

  • Wombat

    Violet,Is it so difficult to have a debate on this issue without your affirmation that critics of Israel are really just longing for the obliteration of Israel? Can you in your mind, contemplate that one may not necessarily mean the other?Come on, try it, jus to see what it feels like. You might actually find that some of those critics (if not all) are actually quite rapt about the idea Israel not merely existing, but actually prospering.For example, I love Australia to bits, and I am very fond of Indonesia, but I was livid about our foreign policy towards East Timor for much of the Indonesian occupation. Throughout that period, never in my wildest imagination did I even consider the destruction of God's country or any parts of Indonesia.There now, can we conduct this debate with that settled?

  • orang

    addamo_01 are you sure you're not secretely wishing to drive them all into the sea?(…and what did she see? She saw the sea..was it the Atlantic or the Pacific ..was it terrific… come on everybody..hep me… and what did she see, she saw the sea!

  • Ibrahamav

    How is eddie not up to date on the Palestinian constitution? I forgot, his whole purpose here is his antisemitic agenda. He uses the Palestinians to further his cause.As for his little bozo pal, he's just full of addamo.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibby, since you obviously have a copy of the Constitution of the Non-Existent Republic of Palestine, could you point out the bits in it that define it as "An Arab State" with special and exclusive rights for people of the Arab "race"? Thanks, that would be great (for giving you some credibility … not in my eyes of course (although, despite all your tough love, you do seem to care deeply about what I think), but in the eyes of others).

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "At the moment, all of it [the land] belongs to Israel. There are no recognized borders."Hang on Ibby. If Israel has no recognised borders, then that doesn't mean Israel "owns" it all. In fact, it means exactly the opposite: it means Israel owns NONE of it!

  • orang

    eddy, you should know that they own it by legitimately winning it in the pre-emptive war of 1967. They deserve it.

  • orang

    Did I hear right, the Warrior for Peace, the Lion of the Levant, the ah Jackal of Judea, the Nougat of the Negev is being brought out of coma?Woo Hoo no wailing at the wall, state funerals…..The Piano Player can dry her eyes and get back to work….

  • Ibrahamav

    In fact, Israel owns all of it. The proposed Palestinian constitution is on line and available to all who wish to peruse it.It is chock full of addamo but it is what the Palestinians want.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "In fact, Israel owns all of it."What do you mean the state "owns" it? You mean like "it is officially part of the unified sovereign state of Israel, to do with as the government of Israel sees fit"?"The proposed Palestinian constitution is on line and available to all who wish to peruse it."Proposed? Wait, so you mean to tell me this is not the ACTUAL Constitition? You mean it's like a suggested, revisable, debatable possibility only?Don't you have the "choice cuts" from it demonstrating its race-based foundations? I thought you would be LEAPING at the opportunity to reveal them. No?orang said… "eddy, you should know that they own it by legitimately winning it in the pre-emptive war of 1967. They deserve it." Orang, that's certainly the secular Zionist line. I think it depends on to whom you speak. The fundamentalist Zionist line is that they own it by divine bestowal by the Great Real Estate Developer In The Sky.

  • Wombat

    Ibby needs to chase down avid Ben Gurion's ancestors and get them to retract this statement me thinks."If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti – Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" — David Ben Gurion

  • orang

    Ahh, the "Lion of the Desert"Here's the "Butcher of Beirut", the "Nougat of the Negev","We'll make a pastrami sandwich of them, … we'll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years' time, neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart."(Ariel (Arik) Sharon, 1973)But who'se this guy?"Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centres of Israeli escapism. They consign themselves to Allah in our places of recreation, because their own lives are torture. They spill their own blood in our restaurants in order to ruin our appetites, because they have children and parents at home who are hungry and humiliated."(Avraham Burg, 15 September 2003)

  • Wombat

    Yo gotta hadn it to these men of peace.

  • Ibrahamav

    We certainly can't hand it to our ape and antisemite, obvious men of addamo.

  • neoleftychick

    orang"eddy, you should know that they own it by legitimately winning it in the pre-emptive war of 1967. They deserve it."By winning what exactly? The area that Jordan had illegally invaded and occupied in 1948 without a peep from the towelheads?Typical Muslim dopey reasoning AND hypocrisy.

  • orang

    maybe they just don't like being f*cked up the arse by ….non-muslims?I dunno – just thinking out loud.

  • Ibrahamav

    So they are protitutes who believe they weren’t given full fare. Interesting analogy.

    Of course, your racist mark was unneccessary, but it is understood that you can’t help yourself. It’s a simian thing.

  • Ibrahamav

    So they enjoy it, but they're racists because if they find out its a Jew behind them, they hate it? Sounds like a picky prostitute to me.

  • orang

    Maybe they never got paid yet. Typical, Israelis expecting something for nothing.