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.

Defending a charlatan

David Klinghoffer is a Zionist writer, neo-conservative radical and defender of Jack Abramoff. His reasons for forgiving the fraudster are intriguing and typical of the arrogance associated with Zionist exceptionalism. Klinghoffer thinks that Abramoff did good things for the Jews – “supporting causes like Toward Tradition, two Orthodox schools, two kosher restaurants, and through private gifts to the needy” – and has apologised for his crimes, so critics should stop condemning him.

It is a deluded perspective. Because Jews assist other Jews – including funding Zionist extremists in the occupied territories – it doesn’t mean they are above the law, nor better human being. Jews exist with other people, non-Jews, and must abide by the laws of the land. Abramoff did not and should be punished. His deeds were not good simply because he was a Jew. Society should not treat somebody different because they are a Jew and have issued “regret.”

Klinghoffer seemingly believes that individuals like Abramoff are essentially good people – and wholesome Jews – and the law should take this into account. Perhaps they should move to a religious state like Israel, where such behaviour is both celebrated and encouraged.

17 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    Klinghoffer seems to believe that it is the respnsibility of humanity to look after Jews adn Israel. Pretty warped reality. What makes the other members of humanity any less deserving? The holocaust?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    He doesn't say it, but rest assured, he probably believes it.

  • Chris

    Abramoff was convicted of fraud? Seems he does the same thing that Hamas does minus sending off suicide bombers and vowing to destroy Israel and praying in mosques where they preach that Jews descend from Apes and Pigs and that they should all die.

    Did Abramoff fund extremists or every day Israelis living in the disputed territories? Or are you calling every Israeli living in the disputed territories an extremist? And if so, isn't that sort of bigoted?

    Seems we should not treat Hamas as anything other than the terroristic extremist group it is, regardless of their latest ridiculous offer.

  • Addamo

    You seem to be out of the loop Chris. A few details for you to consider.

    Hamas does not have half of Congress in it's pocket. Slight detail I know.

    Second, Abramoff has not been convicted of fraud because he has confessed to it. Another detail that seems to have slipped you.

    What's going in Chris? You see to be typing these posts from an environment of rarified air. What exactly is the relevance of the questions you are posing in the context of this thread? Yes Abrhamoff funded Israeli extremists. It was revealed that recently that he armed American Israeli settlers so that they could keep pesky Palestinians out of their neighborhoods. It was pointed out that if an American was caught funding Hamas is such a way, he would surely be on charges of aiding and abetting terrorists. Not so when the extremists are Jews.

    So rather than address the fact that Abramoff has indeed confessed to the charges against him, you are trying to stir up and much dust and smoke as possible. You seem to have this knee jerk reaction to any revelation of Israel or it’s enablers that it’s all part of some anti-Jewish conspiracy, and so rather than being sensible, you go looking for ways to justify such behavior.

    It makes you look like a mind controlled fool Chris.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    Abramoff has not only rendered services to Judaism, he has also rendered services to Islamic extremism. After September 11, 2001, Abramoff quit his job as owner of the Sun Cruz lines, which was used by the Al Qaeda terrorists to launder money for use in the September 11 attacks, to work for the General Islamic Bank, which was suspected by the US govt of supplying funds to Al Qaeda. Very strange. This tends to support the idea that Al Qaeda is a false flag Mossad operation, Abramoff being one of its chief operatives.

  • Addamo

    Yes apperntly Mohammad Atta took a trip on one of his gambling casinos.

    This week it wa revealed that he also did deals with Russian leaders. Fingers in a lot of pies.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    I noticed that the Wikipedia entry on Abramoff linking him to Mohammed Atta, one of the Al Qaeda operatives, and the relevant links to that piece of information, has been removed. I don't think Wikipedia is as unbiased on these matters as most people think it is. Wikipedia was started by two Jews, and according to this site, Wikipedia moderators openly admit to a pro-Jewish bias.

  • Chris

    Keep your petty insults at home. I was asking Antony his definition, not yours. I know what yours is.

    What fraud did Abramoff confess to? As for stirring things up, I merely alleged that his charitible endeavors were no different from Hamas. But Israel should deal with this group of suicide bombers but not with Abramoff?

    There is something wrong with allowing Israeli citizens to protect themselves from terrorists? Good thing they do not rely on your opinions.

  • Addamo

    Keep your hissy attitude at home.

    If you ar too laszy to do read abotu Abramoff confessino to fraud that is your choice. He did. that is a matter fo public record. Teh question of chritable endeavours is whther they are ground for leniency. Klinghoffer is arguing that charitiabel endeavours for Jews carries a higher value than any other. Clearly they are not.

    Israel has a IDF and a police force. Taking matters ionto ones own hands in vigilantiism. Especialyl aginst unarmed people.

    But then again, a the only good Palestinian is a dead one right?

  • Chris

    Keep your petty insults at home. By I am flattered at your attempt at imitation. I merely asked what fraud he admitted to, it is important to how Antony Identified abramoff, seemingly the most important of his crimes, so what was it?

    For Jews, righteous endeavors are important. It seems that Justice is to be tempered by mercy. Hamas gets no mercy, despite its charities, because their goal is the destruction of Israel with the inevitible genocide.

    Your not allowed to defend yourself against one who has come to harm you because he is unarmed? Sounds very strange.

  • Addamo

    It's to be commended that "For Jews, righteous endeavors are important" but this is entirely irrelvant to the charges Abramoff confessed to. What is particularly distasteful is Klinghoffers assertion the charity towards Jews carries greater weight then any other charitable efforts.

    Your comment about Hams is typical hate filled diatribe, riddled with bias and inaccuracies. Once again, you ignore the fact that Hamas would never have risen to promise were it not for Israel, so we should credit them with creating a monster.

    It's not for wing nuts like you to decide whether they get mercy or not, but delusions of grandeur usually go hand in hand with fanaticism.

    While Hamas speak of genocide, Israel actually perpetrates it in silence. Like Captain, your pretzel logic dictates that words are more relevant than actions.

    Michael Isikoff reported this about Abramoff:

    "More than $140,000 of foundation funds were actually sent to the Israeli West Bank where they were used by a Jewish settler to mobilize against the Palestinian uprising. Among the expenditures: purchases of camouflage suits, sniper scopes, night-vision binoculars, a thermal imager, and other material described in foundation records as 'security' equipment. The FBI, sources tell Newsweek, is now examining these payments as part of a larger investigation to determine if Abramoff defrauded his Indian tribe clients."

    The fraudulently obtained money funded a paramilitary outfit based in the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Beitar Illit, a large community annexed after the '67 war and the site of renewed building in open violation of the American-sponsored "road map." The conduit for the money was one Schmuel Ben-Zvi, an old buddy of Abramoff's who, like so many Americans, was recruited into the rabidly expansionist Israeli "settler" movement. A series of e-mails between Ben-Zvi and Abramoff illustrate the agenda that energized and inspired the Abramoff crime family. While Newsweek reports Ben-Zvi "heatedly denied" that he had any connection to Abramoff, other than being a high school bud from Abramoff's Hollywood days, the e-mails, featured as exhibits in a Senate Indian Affairs committee hearing, tell a different story. In a missive of thanks from Ben-Zvi to Abramoff, the former writes:

    "I feel like the tank commanders in the Yom Kippur war, who when hearing over the radio that reinforcements were coming, felt so great that they raised their seats higher out of the tank hatch and went forward."

    Abramoff replied: "If only there were another dozen of you the dirty rats would be finished."

    So Chris, you can your fellow travellers can salivate at the thought of teh repate ofthe Yom Kippur war. The only good Palstinian is a dead Palestinian isn't that right?

    Yes, charity indeed.

  • Chris

    Keep your petty insults at home.

    For Jews, such acts of righteousness for other Jews, is to be performed before such acts for those not Jewish. Sorry that you find it distasteful but I believe most would think it appropriate to fix your family before you fix someone elses family.

    My comment about Hamas is fairly accurate. What foundation funds? How were the Indians defrauded? Was this not payment to Abramoff for services rendered? Seems they loved the work he did for them. In fact, the wording in the article suggests that the Indians were not defrauded.

    Jews were aided in defending themselves during a Palestinian uprising. Doesn't sound like those palestinians were some unarmed peacible people just going about their business.

  • Addamo

    You are misquoting me. I as stating that Klinghoffer is assering that in a western socirty that purports to treat all mean equally, acts of kindness to jews whoudl be viewed as more worthy than acts of kindness to nn jews. That is nothign more that racial superiority.

    Indians were defruded becauise they gave mpney to abramoff, believing it woudl be towards campaign donation. Instead, Abramoff took the money and gave it to the Israeli settlers. It was not money for services rendered. And contrary to your assumption, they have expressed outrage at his actions.

    They were defraude and Abramoff has confessed ot eh charges, so perhaps you should give up making a case for Abramoff that does not exist.

  • Chris

    I did not quote you. I made statements reguarding the Jewish concept of righteous behavior aiding one's family before anothers.

    So the nature of the fraud was over supposed campaign contributions. This was not like people donating money to charities in the disputed territories to feed the hungry, and the money, in turn, was sent to Hamas to recruit suicide bombers.

    Your quoted article "The FBI, sources tell Newsweek, is now examining these payments as part of a larger investigation to determine if Abramoff defrauded his Indian tribe clients.” made it sound like it was uncertain that this campaign money story was the actual one.

    I certainly would be outraged that the money I gave to bribe politicians in order to enrich my pockets was used to help protect innocent women and childeren from potential arab terrorists.

    Forgive me for being a little incredulous at your description of the emotional state of his Indian clients.

    But Abramoff's actions in this regard were wrong. I'm sure there is a moral to this story somewhere.

  • Addamo

    The Indian tribes have been exploited and what they choose to do with their money is theiur business not yours. They have no allegiance to Israel's cause and in fact, probably have greater empathy for the paelsitnain cause, which like their own, onvolves the disposession and theft of land and murder of it'e people.

    What made the Indians further incensed was that Abramoff was also accepting money from competing groups who's aims were in direct conflict with the first group. How very Zionist of him.

  • Chris

    Never said my concerns over what they do with their money overides theirs. Just seems rather funny what you term to be outrage. It seems to me, from the lack of news, that there isn't much outrage at all.

    As for Indians having any empathy for Palestinians, there seems to be little of that also. I'm not saying that there isn't any, it's that there is little.

  • orang

    The guy's a big time crook. The fact that he helps zionist causes makes him an endearing big time crook – to zionists.