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 lobby row continues

Following my recent article in the Australian newspaper about the role of the Israel lobby, and the response by Zionist lobbyist Colin Rubenstein, the Australian Jewish News (AJN) last week featured a round-up of the debate (not available online.) This week, the AJN publishes a number of letters criticising my work:

UNACCEPTABLE

Before the Shoah, before the establishment of Israel, arguing that Zionism jeopardised assimilation and integration was respectable. Antony Loewenstein’s anti-Zionism (AJN 21/4) is out of date and invalid.

Professor Judea Pearl — the butchered Daniel’s father — contends that anti-Zionism is racism. Denying self-determination to Jews is racist. Supporting the demand of 3.5 million Palestinian Arabs to dismantle the democracy of 5.5 million Israeli Jews is undemocratic.

Natan Sharansky’s three “D”s of antisemitism are: demonisation, delegitimisation and double standards. None question the loyalty of Australians who participated in the Iraqi or Italian elections, yet Zionists are suspect.

It is unacceptable to accuse Israel of apartheid when Arabs don’t tolerate Jews in a future Palestine and of terror when it exercises self-defence against illegal combatants, or to accuse Jews of stifling debate when they point out hypocrisy and prejudice and of being an antidemocratic pressure group when they participate in the democratic process.

When Israel is demonised, so too are all supporters of that democracy. Loewenstein cannot use his Jewish birth to legitimate pressure groups that seek the reversal of Jewish rights in Israel or the exercise of democratic rights of Jews in Australia.

Paul Winter
Chatswood, NSW

ONLY AIJAC

Antony Loewenstein was given prominent editorial space in the Australian (18/4) to endorse the recent controversial academic study produced in America on the “Jewish lobby”.

Loewenstein also took advantage to have a go at his adversaries in Australia, the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), and in particular criticised AIJAC’s Rambam program, which sends journalists and politicians to Israel to see for themselves the problems Israelis are up against.

Having personally heard the feedback from some of these politicians on their return from Israel, the one thing they are all amazed is how small Israel is and how close her Palestinian and Arab neighbours are to Israeli towns and cities, facts which put into proper context how important the security fence and other security issues are.

With the majority of the Australian media against Israel, surely this program of allowing politicians and journalists to see for themselves can only be positive, and these politicians and journalists are mature enough to make up their own minds.

I am amused that Loewenstein is all for lobbying for Palestinian rights as are Julia Irwin, trade unions, Islamic organisations, humanitarian organisations, the Greens and the many Palestinian and Arab lobby groups, including his own anti-Zionist blog where he lobbies for Palestinian rights and continually criticises Murdoch’s media, including the Australian, but begrudges AIJAC, which is the only effective organisation that lobbies for Israel and her rights.

Michael Burd
Toorak, Vic

NOT EQUAL

I was greatly surprised by the article “AIJAC and Loewenstein lock horns, again” (AJN 21/4). Its author puts on equal footing Dr Colin Rubenstein, a luminary of our community, and Antony Loewenstein, a bitter enemy of our common heritage — the Jewish State.

I think that in today’s critical situation, with thousands of terrorists at the gates of Israel, people such as Loewenstein do not deserve the benefit of a tribune for the spread of their vitriolic stand.

Bela Meylikh
Elsternwick, Vic

The AJN also publishes a column by Dvir Abramovich, director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Jewish History and Culture. An extract is below:

In an op-ed published in the Australian last week, Antony Loewenstein criticised the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council while referring to the recently-published paper titled “The Israel lobby” as a “carefully-reasoned study”.

Written by professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer and published in the London Review of Books, the essay (an abridged version of a 15,000-word report) has been labelled as a latter-day Protocols of the Elders of Zion and International Jew.

White supremacist David Duke has applauded it; the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review has published it on its website; Hamas, the PLO, Iran’s press service, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Jazeera have all been giving the paper heavy airing.

This propagandist, polemical, blatantly one-sided screed argues that US support for the Jewish State has endangered American domestic security, leading to terrorism and hatred against the American nation. And why has the most powerful nation in the world been willing to neglect its own security for the sake of another state? You guessed it, because of the all-powerful, nefarious Israel lobby (referred to ominously as “The Lobby” — their capitalisation) comprised of American Jews who “make a significant effort… to bend US foreign policy so that it advances Israel’s interests”.

The report argues that the “unmatched power” of the Israel lobby has hijacked American foreign policy, noting that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) “is a de-facto agent of foreign government and has a stranglehold on the US congress”. They write that American lawmakers are so fearful of “The Lobby” they cannot vote according to their conscience. Other assertions are that the US invaded Iraq because of Israel and a cabal of mostly Jewish, neoconservative intellectuals who coerced the administration into the war: “Within the US, the main driving force behind the war was a small band of neoconservatives, many with ties to the Likud.” 

3 comments ↪
  • Glenn Condell

    Water off a duck's back Ant

    God what bores they are.

    M/W may well be remembered in future as the brave souls that set the thaw in motion.

    Or the slime machine may succeed and normal service will be reumed. Let's hope not.

  • Addamo

    The usual ad hominem arguments, bereft os any actual substance. What do you expect frolm pepoel who regard Dr Colin Rubenstein, a luminary of our community?

  • Comical_Ali

    Or the slime machine may succeed and normal service will be reumed.

    In other words, they will crucify Ant just like they once crucified Jayzus himself, right Condell?