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.

Hating is acceptable

Bradley Burston asks in Haaretz, “what makes Islam so easy to hate“:

“There is a reason why Islam has become so easy to misinterpret, so easy to fear, so easy to hate: those who speak evil and do evil and order others to perform acts of evil in the name of its God and His Prophet.”

Let me clarify. A tiny handful of Muslims are fundamentalists who hate Jews, hate the West and want to inflict great damage on “us.” The vast majority of Muslims are law-abiding, compassionate, tolerant and understanding people.

A tiny handful of Jews are fundamentalists who hate Muslims, Palestinians and Arabs and want to inflict great damage of “them.” The vast majority of Jews are honest and decent people.

Perhaps Burston would like to extend his theory to other religions. In Israel, however, such racism is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.

7 comments ↪
  • RHRoss

    Hatred is a seductive addiction. When we hate we define an 'other' as evil and by extension, that means we are 'good' or at least dramatically better than they are.Burston conveniently overlooks the fact that if you took the most radical Jews, Christians, Hindus etc., you would get the same sort of 'licence to hate' if you were looking for it.As you say, he completely overlooks the fact that many Muslims, maybe most, are not like this. But never let the facts get in the way of a good hating.Understanding is a tool which can bring resolution. It doesn't always, but it can. Hatred never brings anything but more hatred, more violence, more death and more misery.One presumes that if he can make a case for 'hating' Islam, well, the fundamentalist version of it, he is therefore completely accepting of Palestinians who hate Israel and Israelis for their brutal occupation and colonisation.Or would that be another case of: One rule for me and another for everyone else?

  • Wombat

    What a miopic and blinkered diatribe! This guys is trying to whip his readers into a frenzy by opening his piece with a claim that for the firs time, he's made the bold move of taking the gloves off on religious and ehtnic sensibilities.It is such a tansparently hate filled article, which side tracks the fact that Hammas was Israeli sponsored during it's birth.To his credit, he at least aknowledges that Israel has done plenty of horrible things to the Palestinians. He somehow seems to think this makes it OK to continue to do so.

  • Wombat

    Here's an interesting poll:75% of Hamas voters oppose destruction of Israel'http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1138622512446&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFullPretty reassuring. I doubt a poll of Israeli attitudes to Paelistnians would be much better than that.

  • Aaron Lane

    As if Antony would have leapt to the defense of Christianity of Judaism if someone had made exactly the same statement, but had been referring to either of those two religions. In fact, he would probably have heartily agreed with it. For instance, if someone had said "there is a reason why people hate Christianity–its followers blow up abortion clinics,", or, there is a reason why people hate Americans–rabid right wing republicans," Antony would have been echoing there sentiments in an instant. The most rabid critics of religions traditionally associated with the West are usually the most forgiving of those from other cultures.

  • Wombat

    Aaron,I;m glad you brought up the example of blowing up abortion clinics. We in the West all know that this behavior is associated with the right wing right to lifer's in the US. So we are abel to make a distinction between intrepretations of Christianity, yet Bradley Burston makes no such dintinction. He chooses instead to use a broad brush to paint all of Islam with the same brush as the extremists.Western exceptionalism at it's very best (or worst). You can't see the difference?

  • Ros

    Antony would you be able to substantiate your claim that in Israel racism is encouraged. I assume that you are not referring to extremist groups, rather that it is commonplace. I read the article and I think you have chosen that quote to distort the message of the article. For those who can’t be bothered checking it is about the denial of the holocaust and it’s target is hate and Islamists. And Hamas“The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!" Burston then says”What's that you say? Why should you have to condemn this? What's that? The Jews justify their acts, too?Do we do bad things to Palestinians? Yes – often. Look where you're reading this. We pillory ourselves, expose our failings, castigate ourselves to the point of masochism, even, on occasion, do the right thing to correct it.”Do some Jews exploit the Holocaust for their own gain? Of course “If we want to look for racism as commonplace in societies then go look at MEMRI’s sitehttp://memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S5&P1=15which lists a range of revolting anti-jew TV in the ME. Like in Lebanon television for children that Jews turn into apes and pigs, or the same on Saudi television.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ros said… "substantiate your claim that in Israel racism is encouraged."Just a quick comment. I don't know whether it is encouraged – and it would depend on what one thinks "encouraged" means. E.g. if X says something racist and the media & politicians say, "Yeah! damn straight!" would that be "encouragement"? Or what if X says something racist and the media says nothing at all (i.e. don't publicly condemn it), would that be "encouragement"?Anyway, extracted from yesterday's (Feb 3, 2006) SMHerald:Headline: Israel denies torturing Palestinians, but pays alleged victims $710,000…"Right-wing Israelis and sections of the media are calling for an inquiry into alleged excessive use of force by police and troops called upon to demolish several buildings in an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank.Police used clubs and water-cannon against hundreds of Jewish fundamentalists trying to block the execution of a high court order."They are relating to human beings here like they wouldn't relate to Arabs," complained far-right MP Aryeh Eldad."Look at what is being said in that quote – look at the opposites clearly indicated: human beings vs Arabs. This is not an obscurely phrased slight. This is not an ambiguously implied statement. This is as plainly and as openly a racist statement as one will find. And look who is making the statement: an elected representative of the people! Can you even begin to imagine this being said by an Australian federal politician? Hanson and Lightfoot have made racist statements, yes – and they were roundly and justly condemned for making them – but they never came within a thousand miles of saying a race of people weren't human beings! How is this different from a Hitlerian statement? I wait with great hope for media outlets – including the Australian Jewish News – to unequivocally condemn the letter and the spirit of this quote. Otherwise, one could well take it to be giving tacit approval to such statements, thereby encouraging racism within the Australian Jewish community.