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.

As an anti-Zionist

As an anti-Zionist Australian Jew, the opportunity to air my views to a wide public audience are few. My forthcoming book on Israel, Zionism and the Australian Jewish community, various articles and this blog are just the beginning of what I believe is an essential re-framing of the debate. Although vitriol follows anyone who dares challenge the right of Jews to live in a country that claims to be secular – but is in fact a land dictated by religiously-based doctrine and racial exceptionalism – the last years have seen an important shift in the worldwide perception of the Jewish state. Zionists know and fear it.

Blind supporters of Israel claim that “legitimate” criticism of Israel is acceptable, yet never define what they mean. This is a deliberate ploy to neuter ever-growing international pressure. The charge of “anti-Semitism” is wearing thin, and indeed is contributing to an environment where true anti-Semitism is both ignored and even excused. How can a country that claims to be a democracy maintain an ongoing and brutal occupation over another people? As leading Israeli journalist Gideon Levy told me last year:

“When you drive a road in the West Bank which is a road for only Jews, what is it if not apartheid? When you cross a checkpoint which is only open for Jews, what is it if not apartheid? If you are an Israeli citizen of Palestinian origin who tries to find in this liberal neighbourhood an apartment to rent, and you have terrible difficulties doing so because you are Palestinian, what is it if not apartheid?”

It is within this context that I will be appearing on SBS television on January 16 at 9pm, debating Israel, Zionism and the future chances for peace. “Speaking in Tongues” aims to highlight issues related to religion and is hosted by shit-stirrer John Safran and Father Bob. In this noble tradition, I’ll be debating Australian “comedian” Austen Tayshus. [It should be noted that he called me many times last year and harassed me over my anti-Zionist views.]

It was an interesting shoot last week in Melbourne. Other guests on the show included a satanist, Messianic Jew and Orthodox, Jewish doctor who specialises in diabetes and stem-cell research.

Austen Tayshus and I “debated” for around 25 minutes, though viewers will only see a roughly six minute edited version. Father Bob stayed relatively silent throughout while Safran attempted to inject a moderating voice. Tayshus, aka Sandy Gutman, is a confused figure. Serious one minute and playful the next, he is perhaps the worst advocate Zionism could ever have. Long may he prosper.

He thinks that by shouting and bullying his opponents, supporters of Israel will rally to his cause. He suggested that the occupation was coming to an end – despite overwhelming evidence proving the exact opposite – and that Israelis had no real desire to occupy another people. The fact that every majority political party since 1967 has both supported and encouraged the settler movement was easily forgotten. The recent Gaza withdrawal was simply a strategic decision to maintain large blocs across the West Bank, making a truly contiguous and functioning Palestinian state next to impossible.

Gutman, not unlike many Zionists, thinks that mentioning the “Holocaust” will convince doubters that a Jewish state is essential to worldwide Jewish survival. It may explain an emotional connection to Israel – and virtually all Jewish families, including my own, lost people in the Shoah – but cannot mask what Zionism has become. Avraham Burg, speaker of Israel’s Knesset in 1999-2003 and a former chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, put it best in 2003:

“The Zionist revolution has always rested on two pillars: a just path and an ethical leadership. Neither of these is operative any longer. The Israeli nation today rests on a scaffolding of corruption, and on foundations of oppression and injustice. As such, the end of the Zionist enterprise is already on our doorstep. There is a real chance that ours will be the last Zionist generation. There may yet be a Jewish state here, but it will be a different sort, strange and ugly.

“”It turns out that the 2,000-year struggle for Jewish survival comes down to a state of settlements, run by an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers who are deaf both to their citizens and to their enemies. A state lacking justice cannot survive. More and more Israelis are coming to understand this as they ask their children where they expect to live in 25 years. Children who are honest admit, to their parents’ shock, that they do not know. The countdown to the end of Israeli society has begun.

“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. We could kill a thousand ringleaders a day and nothing will be solved, because the leaders come up from below – from the wells of hatred and anger, from the “infrastructures” of injustice and moral corruption.”

Burg’s desperation was palpable. Zionists can continue defending the indefensible and justify the imprisonment of an entire people, but the world no longer believes them. And I think it is a Jewish responsibility, perhaps more than others, to speak out. I gather strength from brave Jews such as Amira Hass, Gideon Levy and Norman Finkelstein who, despite constant threats, continue revealing the true nature of 21st century Zionism.

Jews like Gutman prefer to use emotion over reason. That is their right. But they cannot be surprised when a growing number of Jews are speaking out against a nation that, despite its own tortured history, actively promotes the dispossession of another people.

55 comments ↪
  • Jess

    Hey Antony,Just caught you on Speaking In Tongues (being television-less, I had to wait for the podcast).Thought you handled yourself well. It would have been even better if I could have heard you talk or respond to something for longer than ten seconds before you were unfortunately shouted down. Heh x

  • Wombat

    neoleftychick said…"The great irony in all this is that SBS rates AL's thoughts on geopolitics at the level of a passe third rate RSL act."The other is to cosider that the Gutman is the best that the Zionists have to offer.Ibraham. What is so nonesensical about askign you to proivide evidence that attacks on Jews are on the increase or above those on other enthnic groups. Would you liek me to rephrase it or is it that you don't know the answer? No problem if you don't.

  • James Waterton

    Addamo – I doubt it. Gutman was selected 'cos he's such a whackjob. SBS has a quite shocking bias. They would have gone out of their way to make the anti-Zionist case seem calm and reasonable, and the Zionist case seem utterly bananas. If so, they hit a home run in their Zionist selection. Pity about the other guy.

  • Ibrahamav

    Your question had nothing to do with whether or not attacks were on the increase in those two regions.Here is your question, perhaps your memory is as faulty as your thinking. – "Where is the alive and kicking anti-Semitism in the West? How many Jewish people were assaulted mast year in the US or Australia?"

  • house_music

    Attn Anthony,Reading some of the comments on here reminds me of spending time on Storm Front. Very interesting to read all the opposition to your educated thoughts and comments. That Austen Tasteless, well I can't even go there. Whilst reading more comments on this page, I very much find that many people who have posted comments are a lot more extreme and hardcore than I see on Storm Front. Anthony you are on the right track and keep it up.A better place:Chomsky: President of The United States of America.Robert Fisk: Prime Minister of England.John Pilger: Prime Minister of Australia.