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.

Selective memory

The Australian Jewish News editorialises on the significance of Australia Day:

“We Jews – whose narrative has so much in common with Aborigines in terms of our associations to land, history and memory – know more than most the meaning of dispossession and, if not stolen generations, then massacre and, yes, genocide. It is here that the proximity to Australia Day of the United Nations-sponsored International Holocaust Remembrance Day resonates loudly, without in any way comparing the tragedies that have befallen both peoples. And while we can be rightly proud of our outstanding achievements Down Under, it is the injustices that continue to prevail that we must urgently redress.”

Jews have indeed suffer attempted genocide, discrimination and stereotyping over the centuries and our contribution to Australia has been significant, considering a relatively tiny population. Many have worked tirelessly for Aboriginal rights and the 1992 Mabo case was at least partly due to Jewish legal know-how (and moral certitude.)

The editorial, however, is dangerously selective when discussing “injustice.” While ongoing support for the Aboriginal community is vital, equal effort is not being spent attempting to readdress another tragedy within the Jewish state itself. If an Aboriginal person is dispossessed and disadvantaged, which many certainly are, the Palestinian people are also in need of international support and solidarity. Indeed, it was the formation of the Jewish state in 1948 that directly caused the dispossession of untold Palestinians. This injustice is yet to be resolved.

If some Australian Jews care about refugees, Aboriginals and low-income earners, they should not forget about what their silence is condoning in Israel.

20 comments ↪
  • happyrump

    Very dangerous territory, Antony. The Arab and Muslim worlds contain human rights abuses of all stripes and flavours. Following your logic through, everytime an Arab/Muslim mentions Palestinian suffering he can be zinged with 'Ha! What about Syria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Senegal!" (and that's just the S's). The Australian Jewish News was writing about Australia Day so it's totally understandable why its reference point would be Aborigines and not Palestinians.This isn't the first time you've belittled good-deed Jews using this argument. You sneared at a Jewish hip-hop group because they themed their music with a non-Israel social justice issue.Hey, why don't we all attack your writing for the issues you don't cover. Hey, Antony's writing about Gaza, what does this say about his silence on the Kurds? Antony, when you use Jews standing up for Aborigines as a rationale for attacking Jews, you might want to take a walk in the fresh air and ponder on what you've become.

  • Progressive Atheist

    If I convert to Judaism, does that automatically make Israel my ancient homeland? Or do I need a DNA test?

  • Progressive Atheist

    Just as redress to the Aboriginal community begins with the oppressors saying "sorry", so too does the redress of Palestinian oppression require the Israelis to say "sorry" to them, or to engage in repentance, as Solzhenitsyn called it.

  • Aaron Lane

    Why do you say that Jews were the victims of "attempted" genocide? Because the entire Jewish race was not wiped out? Then you must, by logic, also be against referring to what happened to Aboriginal Australians as genocidal, as every single Aborigine was not eradicated, only a large number.

  • orang

    I think the comment is rather sanctimonius…..slimy. "We …have so much in common with Aborigines….know more than most the meaning of dispossession .." Is this guy taking the piss?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    "We Jews – whose narrative has so much in common with Aborigines in terms of our associations to land, history and memory…"Doesn't all of humanity have a "narrative" with essential assocations to "land, history and memory"?

  • James Waterton

    Fabulous point, happyrump.

  • RHRoss

    It's political spin. By emphasising past dispossession…. what was it, a few thousand years ago, and only after those dispossessed, the Jews had dispossessed another nation, the Canaanites …..And now, conveniently harking back to times so long ago they are not worth remembering …. just about everyone, everywhere, sometime has been dispossessed …. there is this attempt to 'link' Jews with Aborigines when in fact Jews are no longer dispossessed. They have a country. They just have to deal with the fact that they once again dispossessed someone else to get it.Until Jews and Israelis deal with the fact that the State of Israel was created by committing yet more wrongs of dispossession they will not have true legality in any 'moral' sense.People accept the Israeli State exists. Most would say only on original borders. Most would say that does not give Israel the right to commit human rights abuses against the people from whom the land was stolen. Israel either gives back what it occupies and helps Palestinians to create a viable State of their own or Israel does what other colonising nations like Australia have done …. full rights as citizens to everyone living in Israel and Palestine. Can't have it both ways. The tone of this piece from the Jewish News is yet more of the:'poor us,' look what happened to us, we are victims, feel sorry for us when in reality Israelis and Jews who support what Israel is doing are now the aggressors. It's been more than half a century since Jews were victims anywhere.In that same time they have created new victims in the Palestinians.We also conveniently forget that another people, without a land, were also the subject of Hitler's attempts at genocide: the gypsies. They still have no place to call home, they are still persecuted and abused throughout Europe and yet no-one seems to care about their story.When you want to talk 'poor me' on a percentage basis the Nazis killed more gypsies than they did Jews. Gypsies however seem to lack the entrenched victim mentality that Jews have…. no doubt because their culture is not sourced in religion … they also lack the ego … something else that Judaism encourages with the 'we are special,' chosen people approach …. which means in essence, 'we are better.' It's not the literal teaching from the religion but at the end of the day that's what 'chosen people' has come to mean to many Jews.Disingenuous is the word that comes to mind when reading the editorial in the Jewish News.But then the Jewish Holocaust Memorial in Israel doesn't mention gypsies either. It's as if the only people the Nazis targeted were Jews. But it's all part of the Holocaust Industry.It was interesting to see all the same but would have had more credibility if the Israelis had been able to extricate themselves from their ego-driven mentality and give some wall space to the others who were targeted by the Nazis.The other interesting thing was pictures from the Warsaw ghetto showing well fed, and obviously wealthy Jews walking past the bodies of starving, dying Jews.We are all as bad as each other and as good as each other. When we forget that we become the sort of monsters that the Nazis did.

  • Wilbourne

    And why does being a Jew automatically mean an association with Israel. Can you not be Jewish, seperate and apart, without any concern for, or action against the state of Israel? John Howard does many things in my name, but I'm not tarred with his brush. Yet, Jews must all be accountable for Israel, even if they have never been there or care to?

  • Glenn Condell

    Non-sequitur harryrump. Anthony points up the odd absence of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, even as an aside, in a Jewish opinion piece comparing the Jewish and Aboriginal experiences of 'dispossession' – a telling omission. It's as if this issue, perhaps the pre-eminent global political problem since WW2, doesn't exist. Unfortunately for the editor, but this studious ignoring of the elephant tends to highlight rather than obscure it. Australians were guilty of Aboriginal dispossession and genocide and Germans were culpable for the Holocaust of the Jews. It takes chutzpah for a Jewish community organ to draw such comparisons without mentioning the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine. And it makes nonsense of your attempt to distract and confuse the issue by dragging the Kurds into it. Typical tactic – someone mentions Palestine to a Jew who is using the Holocaust as the central support in a moral argument, and away they go 'why aren't you complaining about Darfur, where's your protest about Myanmar' etc. It's often a successful tack to take, but it's a pretty ignoble one.A similar strategy is employed by Aaron Lane, who gets all huffy at an adjective in the hope that such confusing minutiae will keep the big game – Israel's illegal behaviour – safe from the threat of a few pointed comparisons.'you might want to take a walk in the fresh air and ponder on what you've become'At least he can draw comfort from the fact that, whatever he's become, he's not like you.

  • Wombat

    Excellent rebuttals Rh and Glenn.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    "We Jews – whose narrative has so much in common with Aborigines in terms of our associations to land, history and memory – know more than most the meaning of dispossession and, if not stolen generations, then massacre and, yes, genocide."The irony of course is that, contrary to the impression one might get from the article, Kooris gravitate toward the Islamic faith in part because they can identify with Muslims' experiences here:"A small but growing number of young Aboriginal men are now turning to Islam, and it is now estimated there are 1,000 Aboriginal Muslims in Australia, including new recruits and descendants of mixed marriages. …Many [Koori] converts believe the discrimination they endured growing up as Aborigines has prepared them well for life as a Muslim in Australia." Source

  • David

    rhross:So let me get this straight. On the one hand you are saying that the practice of forcible dispossession is the oldest game in the history books:just about everyone, everywhere, sometime has been dispossessedAnd let's not forget that the Arabs conquered the Holy Land by the sword during the 7th century, dispossessing the Byzantine Greek Christians. So the question arises if the history pages are filled to the brim with episodes of one people being kicked out of a certain piece of land by another, why are you so exercised about this one particular instance out of many others? Even if I were to accept (and I certainly don't) your depiction of events as the premeditated eviction of the Arabs by the Jews, by your own admission this is quite a common occurance throughout history. So why the obsession with the Jews? Why don't you get your knickers in a knot to the same extent about… say… the Indian wars in the US, or the Mongol invasions, or the British seizure of Australia or New Zealand, or the Arab conquest of Spain? In all these instances you had one people coming in and taking the land from others. And, of course, there is your penchant for factual error. You claim that the:Jewish Holocaust Memorial in Israel doesn't mention gypsiesBoy, you've been reading too much Norman Finkelstein. Pure and unadulterated drivel. Both Yad Vashem (in Jerusalem) and the US Holocaust Museum in Washington make substantial reference to the Nazi persecution of the Roma (gypsies), homosexuals and political dissidents. There is also serious mention of the Nazi 'T-4' program in which the mentally ill/retarded were euthanised. This is from the Yad Vashem website:http://www1.yadvashem.org.il/search/index_search.htmlWho were other victims of Nazism? How was their fate similar to and different from the fate of the Jews?Numerous people fell victim to the Nazi regime for political, social, or racial reasons. Germans were among the first victims persecuted because of their political activities. Many died in concentration camps, but most were released after their spirit was broken. Germans who suffered from mental or physical handicaps were killed under a "euthanasia" program. Other Germans were incarcerated for being homosexuals, criminals, or nonconformists; these people, although treated brutally, were never slated for utter annihilation as were the Jews.Roma and Sinti (often called by the derogatory term Gypsies) were murdered by the Nazis in large numbers. Estimates range from 200,000 to over 500,000 victims. Nazi policy toward Roma and Sinti was inconsistent. In Greater Germany, Roma and Sinti who had integrated into society were seen as socially dangerous and eventually were murdered, whereas in the occupied Soviet Union, Roma and Sinti who had integrated into society were not persecuted, but those who retained a nomadic lifestyle were put to death.It will be interesting to see whather rhross has the balls to own up to his calumnous misstatement and beg the pardon of the readers of this thread. I'm betting that he doesn't

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    To concur with Addamo_01 – RHRoss and Glenn Condell: ouch and double ouch!

  • orang

    What's surprising is that it hasn't happened earlier. One constant with the European colonisers, the missionaries were in there first converting the heathens to Christianity.

  • orang

    Edward Mariyani-Squire said…" The irony of course is that, contrary to the impression one might get from the article, Kooris gravitate toward the Islamic faith in part because they can identify with Muslims' experiences here:"And you know that they should have been converting to Judaism where they would be welcomed with open arms – being similarly dispossessed and all.

  • Melanie

    organge: "And you know that they should have been converting to Judaism where they would be welcomed with open arms – being similarly dispossessed and all. "Sure they'd be welcomed if they wanted to do a the required couple years of studying Judaism beforehand.And from the article edward linked to doesn't seem like the were all welcome with open arms into Islam: "The experience of indigenous converts is not always positive. Some have been ostracised by Aboriginal communities who see them as traitors. Others speak of racism within their adopted Muslim brotherhood."

  • Melanie

    edward"The irony of course is that, contrary to the impression one might get from the article, Kooris gravitate toward the Islamic faith in part because they can identify with Muslims' experiences here:"Actually maybe because they were targetted by the Muslim clerics while in jail.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Melanie said… "Actually maybe because they were targetted by the Muslim clerics while in jail."Given you have made an out-and-out assumption that it is only as criminals that non-Muslim Aboriginals and non-Aboriginal Muslims would meet, you must be basing this 'race-religion-criminality' assertion on race-based and religion-based stereotypes. You must therefore be a racist and a religious bigot because that's what they do by definition.

  • house_music

    Many have worked tirelessly for Aboriginal rights and the 1992 Mabo case was at least partly due to Jewish legal know-how (and moral certitude.)The truth is: The Mabo decision and the Native Title Act that followed are "the greatest single act of dispossession since 1788". When the full bench of the High Court in the Mabo case found that terra nullius was now no longer a valid notion, the erstwhile judges decided that ‘native title’ existed in 1788, and therefore must ‘survive’ today in those parts of Australia where freehold title did not exist. This finding meant that in all the main populated areas of Australia where freehold title of land predominates, the Aboriginal people had been dispossessed, without compensation, and had little or no chance of succeeding in any native title claims. This aspect of the Mabo decision represents the greatest single act of dispossession in Australian history since 1788.In regards to Zionism:Israel is a sovereign state.Aboriginal people do not have a sovereign state.I hope this post helps the many disillusioned people who think that the Mabo finding was in any way good for Aboriginal people. It simply was not and was simply the opposite.I would suggest that to comment on this matter people should read the High Court decision on Mabo.In regards to Native Title:Native Title is the most inferior form of land tenure under British law.