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.

The games they play

As Australia’s most prominent and aggressive Zionist lobby, AIJAC feel that their important work is never done. Advocating war in Iraq, bombing Iran or praising the “great leader” Ariel Sharon, their loyalty is to Israel first and foremost and Australia’s national interests remain secondary at best.

Perhaps my favourite AIJAC article was published in August 2002 by Professor Efraim Karsh, head of Mediterranean Studies at King’s College at the University of London. He claimed that the Palestinians were mistaken for believing they were under occupation. Israel’s behaviour, he argued, was essentially benign in the West Bank and Gaza and the Palestinians should actually be grateful for their generosity and care.

Following my recent appointment to the board of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies – and complaints by Federal Labor MP Michael Danby – AIJAC are not happy:

“Antony Loewenstein is a left-wing and strongly anti-Zionist activist and ‘journalist’ who runs a weblog without, shall we say, a spectacular number of visitors. He was previously a cadet journalist at the website of the Sydney Morning Herald, and writes the odd published article mainly for various far-left international publications, such as Z magazine, Counterpunch and in Australia, The New Matilda. He wrote an undergraduate and factually challenged chapter on the Ashrawi affair for Margo Kingston’s anti-Howard book, Not Happy John!, and is supposedly publishing a book on Israeli-Palestinian affairs later this year. In the book chapter, Loewenstein, who was born Jewish but previously has not identified with the Jewish community, explained that he now seeks to realise his Judaism by devoting his life to fighting Zionism.

“Now, he’s got a new gig too. He [has] been appointed a member of the board of The Centre for Middle East and North African Studies at Macquarie University.

“This seems initially puzzling. Mr Loewenstein seems to have no formal academic qualifications or other relevant expertise to bring to the board. While he writes about the region on his website and in various far-left political magazines, what he writes are essentially polemics, and display no great knowledge about the Middle East. For instance, he recently misindentified [sic] the new Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as a man, betraying an ignorance of both Israeli politics and Israeli first names. Almost all other members of the board fall into three categories — academics, leading businessmen, and former or current public servants or politicians, but Antony is none of these. So what is it that Loewenstein can bring that a serious academic Middle East study centre needs?

“Antony himself has told us the answer. On his blog, he says the appointment was made because ‘board members… and staff’ wanted to express ‘support for my work.’ That’s right, he’s been appointed because people at the centre want to support his anti-Zionist activism and views. Unfortunately, this is less than surprising to anyone who knows anything about the situation of academic Middle East studies in this country. The field here is dominated by highly politicised post-modernist approaches to the region, which tend overwhelmingly to blame all regional problems on Western imperialism and racism, real or imagined. It is even less surprising if one know anything about the centre at Macquarie, which is led and dominated by Dr Andrew Vincent, whose own views on Israel are similar to Loewenstein’s.

“On the subject of Loewenstein’s views, he displayed them to good effect after debating the Jewish comedian Austin Tayshus on SBS-TV’s ‘Speaking in Tongues’ (Jan. 16). While complaining on his blog about Tayshus’s supposed bullying, Loewenstein wrote, ‘Jews are often their own worst enemies. It also might help if Tayshus didn’t look so much like those awful caricatures we know from the 1930s!'”

Little commentary is needed but a few words are required. AIJAC and Danby and a host of other Israel-first supporters seem to be under the illusion that dissenting views on the Israel/Palestine conflict are, by definition, biased, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and the like. It’s a predictable tactic and intentionally inaccurate. If I am so insignificant, as they constantly say, why are they always writing about me? It’s clear. Having an enemy, or ideological opponent, serves their political aims. How else can they justify their political careers or lobbying aggression if not to convince others that they are defending the good name of Israel and Zionism?

Like AIPAC in the US, AIJAC believes that hysterical over-reaction is the best way to serve the Israel cause. The number of supportive messages I am receiving suggests that an increasing number of individuals are openly questioning the West’s relationship with Israel and its cynical support for colonial aggression. Zionist groups are, therefore, prone to use whatever-it-takes tactics to stem this fundamental shift.

4 comments ↪
  • Progressive Atheist

    The field here is dominated by highly politicised post-modernist approaches to the region…There's that word again. Will someone please tell me what 'post-modernist' means, apart from something that the religious right don't like?

  • Aaron Lane

    Hey Antony, since when has the simple act of writing a criticism something, in thise case your appointment to a university board, been classified as a "whatever-it-takes tactic"? By this rationale, your ideological opponents could deride your blog in the same way, as it presents a view different to theirs.Also, don't you think they made some points which deserved to be addressed? Why did you think that Tzipi Livni was a man? Isn't this a pretty fundamental error for someone associated with a University? And why did you make that comment about Austen Tayshus? I think he is a pretty awful comedian, but imagine if someone had been debating a Black American and derided them by saying he or she conformed to the stereotypical and insulting image of the Negro. You would be up in arms about it. Next time, instead of just repeating glib phrases about the crushing of dissent, the conformist media, etc, maybe you could actually address the criticisms levelled against you.

  • Angela M

    Antony,Do you think that getting a reaction from Jews will have a positive impact on book sales when it's eventually published?How many people have written supportive messages to you, thereby demonstrating there has been a fundamental shift in the West's relationship with Israel?

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Why did the AIJAC come up with nothing but an ad hominem and then have the temerity to call a fact-based book chapter of yours (that admittedly washed some AIJAC dirty linen in public) "undergraduate"? If the Ashrawi chapter is "undergraduate", then AIJAC operating at the "sandpit" level. What an embarrassment. Whomever the donors to the AIJAC are, they should ask for their money back because they're getting ripped off.(Incidently, I hope you warned Dr Vincent that he would be reaping the whirlwind due to your appointment to Macquarie's CMENAS.)