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.

Free speech demands open debate on ‘Israel lobby’

Following my article in yesterday’s Australian newspaper discussing the negative influence of the Israel lobby on US and Australian foreign policy, letter writers have responded today:

Antony Loewenstein’s excellent piece (“Don’t let any lobby shut down debate“, Opinion, 18/4) on the political storm triggered in the US by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s study of the “Israel lobby” will no doubt cop the same kind of hysterical abuse from Australia’s own version of the lobby.

Sadly, given past orchestrated attacks on people as diverse as Sydney Peace Prize recipient Hanan Ashrawi, the ALP’s Julia Irwin and The Age cartoonist Michael Leunig, all of whom were brave enough to speak up in their own way in defence of Palestinian rights, we can expect Loewenstein, and indeed The Australian itself, to come under fire from those used to exercising a virtual media monopoly on the subject of Israel/Palestine.

The extent to which such voices as Loewenstein’s are heard in the Australian media is in fact the extent to which we enjoy freedom of speech in this country.
Colin Andersen
Lapstone, NSW

Antony Loewenstein likes to claim that the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council – AIJAC – does not represent the views of the Jewish community. Now, in his article, he contradicts himself by complaining that when some ALP backbenchers dissented from the AIJAC view, they were slammed by “a raft of Jewish leaders”.

Loewenstein seems as confused about AIJAC’s role as he is about the true insidious nature of the piece by Mearsheimer and Walt. He also takes comfort from the fact that 347 British Jews wrote to the Board of Deputies of British Jews asking it to distinguish itself from Israel. That’s 347 out of about 300,000 British Jews. Those figures reflect the support Loewenstein would find for his anti-Zionist views among Australia’s Jewish population.

Contrary to Loewenstein’s claims, the vast majority of Jews want peace and accept the need for Palestinian self-determination, but understand that Israel has no partner for peace, and must act accordingly.
Danny Samuels
Armadale, Vic

Antony Loewenstein argues that the unfavourable response to Mearsheimer and Walt’s paper represents an attempt to muzzle anti-Israel opinion.

Really? Aren’t the respondents engaging in debate – the very position Loewenstein purportedly endorses – by their critiques? Or does Loewenstein believe only anti-Israel views can legitimately be aired?
Geoffrey Zygier
Executive director,
Council of Australian Jewry,
Caulfield South, Vic

I had despaired of ever seeing anything like Mearsheimer and Walt’s study, let alone an airing of it in Australia. But the fresh air I felt had a touch of chilliness as I read of the predictable response of the same lobby in the US and the threat to freedom of speech in academic institutions. How can my 16-year-old son make an honest appraisal of the situation in the Middle East, which he is trying to do, without hearing this discussion?

I’m hoping the Australian response will be more measured.
John Macdonald
Winmalee, NSW

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