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.

Israel’s hidden shame

Last week, President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies David Knoll wrote an article for New Matilda that defended Israel’s “security” measures and attempted to convince readers that the Jewish state was on the edge of destruction. He also implied I was anti-Semitic for daring to condemn Israel. My response has been published:

The elephant in the room, conveniently ignored by Knoll, is the ongoing, illegal and brutal Israeli occupation — one of the longest in modern history.

Millions of Palestinians are starved, trapped, killed and humiliated on a daily basis by the Israeli forces. Jewish-only roads criss-cross the West Bank, arrested Palestinians are treated more harshly than Israelis (this was recently admitted by an Israeli security chief), hundreds of Palestinians are imprisoned without trial for months and years, natural resources such as water are routinely stolen to supply Israeli settlements, and olive groves — the Palestinian life-blood — are regularly destroyed by rampaging Israeli settlers, without punishment.

Follow the discussions forum on New Matilda related to my article.

My New Matilda archive is here.

  • Addamo

    Excellent and very comprehensive rebuttal Ant. You made Knoll look liek a pre school amature. I can't wait to see if he comes back with any argument hat does not really on charges of anti-Semitism, hatred of Jews or calling you a self-hating Jew.

    Like Abraham Lincoln once said, you don't have to remember anything when you tell the truth.

  • Addamo

    BTW Ant,

    Looking at the reposnse sonthe forum to your column, I was most fascinated by this response from Rogerio.

    Nothing like a first hand account.

    Brigitte, I notice from an earlier contribution that you have lived in Israel. If so you might attest to the fact that by far the greatest majority of deaths are the result of Israeli defence force action against unarmed civilian Palestinians.

    During my visit it was very easy to notice how the deaths were almost never the result of defensive action by the Israelis. The primary cause of death was the result of “retaliatory strikes” or their “land policy”.

    I can recall that there were almost never occasions in which they met organised Palestinian resistance, they always seemed to be very soft targets in which innocent children or teenagers were almost always the victims.

    Did you also notice how many unreported incidents of Palestinian deaths and serious injuries there were? The horrific deaths of wounded Palestinians left to die after days and sometimes weeks without medical care really affected me very badly.

    My employers once sent me on a rest and recuperation holiday to Elat which I can barely recall due to the shock of witnessing an Israeli attack not far from Hebron.

    What I also found very obvious was that most Israeli soldiers whom I spoke with agreed that suicide bombers were their best propaganda weapon without which they would even tweak the frequency of Israeli raids in the hope of flushing out more of them.

    Based on the awful culture shock of being there in the midst of the war zone and based on what I learnt while I was there I must agree with Loewenstein, and I must add that it is a great show of courage for a fellow Jew to stand up bemidst our own extremist religious bigots in Australia and to tell it like it is.

    Well done Anthony, and since there has been so much said on the comparisons between Israel and South Africa I do hope that you might one day consider a take on those courageous modern day Jews who recently stood up and successfully fought their own wars against bigotry and tyrannical military dictatorships in their own countries such as the late Helen Suzman MP, Dr Uri Davis, the Hon. Ronny Kasrils MP et al. the list is long and growing.

  • smiths

    i lived in jerusalem and mostly tel aviv in 1994 for 6 months,
    i worked in construction, (actually repairing a building hit by a scud in gulf war 1) and gardening and painting,
    when i got there i knew nothing about israel and was neither positive or negative,
    i thought tel aviv was a shit hole except jaffa, and thought jerusalem to be incredible,
    i knew nothing about the arab israeli conflict, and was pretty much apolitical,
    the experience though, transformed me,
    i had never witnessed a system of living where one group was openly treated like shit by another controlling group, i had never witnessed curfews, i had never contemplated the fact that the israeli's could turn on and off the palestinians life support whenever they chose,
    i had also never been treated like a second class citizen myself which i absolutely was whilst working there, (a very insightful experience for a white anglo saxon male)

    it seemed self evident to me that the situation was unjustifiable morally,
    that it was probably the most hypocritical thing i had ever witnessed,
    and that it would resolve itself by an increase in assymetrical violence from the palestinians which was totally reasonable if not condonable,
    i also saw quite clearly that if i were a 21 year old palestinian i would be focussed on ways of inflicting onto the israelis the pain and humiliation they were inflicting on my people

  • Addamo

    Thanks for sharing your experience Smiths,

    It's fascinating that Captain claims to have also exprienced the same places yo uhave been and yet, he relays a completey different story.

    Makes you realise how much our indictrination colours our experience. I'm much more inclined to give credit to your Smiths seeing as by your own admission, you were apolotical prios to the experience.

  • Chris

    Observing the events of 1994 with no background information makes your opinion rather worthless. It was not self-evident because you did not see all of the evidence.

    If you see one man kill another, you might believe you've seen a murder, you might even have felt justified in killing the other man. But without the backround information, all you really saw was one man kill another.

  • John Ryan

    Israel is a bit like the Pope Chris it can do not wrong according it can steal murder bomb do what it likes to the Palestinians,O hang on according to Chris the Palestinians dont exist

  • Chris

    There went that thread.

  • Addamo

    You are the one who highjacked the thread Chris.

    Like a true Zionist lackey – you dismiss just about everything that is horribly wrong abtou Israel's conduct (pretend it's not happening). You continually refuse to live in a pragmatic world– and rather live in the world of where any chriticism of Israel is made by those who don't understand the complexity of the situation.

    No matter what kind of statistics or evidence is posted for you…you evade them all – claiming they were "it appears" or "it would seem" otherwise. You demand something concrete and empirical – and in all honesty you are telling us that you continually have your head up your ass and rarely take it out to see what's going on – so that leaves me with my own opinion of you which is that you kid are one blind biggot – you Chris live in a world of non reality where you reserve the right to dismiss incobenient reports as irrelevant or unreliable.

    Your arrogance and sense of entitlement is truly sickening. Smiths gave an account of his experience. Who the hell are you to jusge whther his experience is rellevant or not you idiot? Who ever sees all the evidenc of anything? By your standards, everythign you have ever stated abot the occupiaed teeriroties is compelte and utter BS in that case, seeing as you are not seeing all evidence either.

  • Chris

    Leave your petty insults at home. Seems there is no need to bother with the rest of your comments.

  • Addamo

    I agree. There is no need to bother with somethign that is so obviously true and to the point.

    obviously you have nothig of substance ot contribute other than to create as mcuh smoke as possible to create a distration from a topic you are an a loss to defend.

  • Chris

    I am glad you have agreed to leave your petty insults at home.

  • Addamo

    I wil so long as you leave your hatred, boiggotry and rascism at home.


  • Chris

    Since I haven't any, your terms are meaningless, but since you've agreed to leave your petty insults at home, I will have to count on your honesty.

    However, that seems to be something no one here can apparently count on, you being honest.

  • Addamo

    Of course you have exihibited all of the above. And I'm surprised you're even denying it.

    You are a lira and a shill who is prepared to make any stupid and biggoted comment in an effort to divert the attentino from the thread.

    What a coward.

  • Chris

    You're surprised that I deny what is not? How curious. Curious still is while you have been proven to invent your facts (one must assume for nefarious purposes) you wrongfully accuse me of the behavior you exhibit.

    Still, leave your petty insults at home.