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 obedient, little Zionist

Ted Lapkin is Director of Policy Analysis for AIJAC, Australia’s more virulent Zionist lobby. Lapkin’s worldview is best described as militarist and he’s a strong believer in Israel as a victim in the heart of a dangerous Middle East. He’s as useful to the Zionist cause as Daniel Pipes.

Dr Andrew Vincent is the director of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies, of which I am a board member. Lapkin sent the following email to Vincent last week (and similar emails to Deakin University’s Scott Burchill and Sydney University’s Evan Jones):

Dr. Vincent:

I am writing the chapter on Australia for a book dealing with anti-Zionism in academia, and I have mentioned you as a particularly harsh critic of Israel.

As you might expect, I adopt a rather critical stance towards your worldview. But out of fairness I thought I would offer you a right of response before I submitted my chapter to the editor.

I describe your views as inherently immoderate. In support of my contention that your outlook is extremist I present the following statements made by you:

In the April 2005 Macquarie University News you expressed support for the “pessimistic view” of Middle East politics, arguing that “Israel quite possibly murdered Yasser Arafat. You also characterised American foreign policy as under the thrall of a malign neo-conservative cabal that is labouring on behalf of the Jewish state.

During the crisis over Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, you wrote Saddam Hussein had a “case” for his expansionist territorial ambitions. You also maligned as an assault on Libya’s sovereignty, American efforts to extradite Libyan intelligence agents for trial in the Lockerbie bombing case. These are also views that I think can fairly be characterised as extreme.

I also criticise your decision to place a dilettante like Antony Loewenstein on the board of your Middle East studies centre. Loewenstein’s knowledge of the region is so superficial that he can’t even correctly cite the gender of Israel’s foreign minister. Would you take seriously a commentator on Australian politics who referred to Kim Beazley as “she?” Thus I argue that your appointment of Loewenstein is part tokenism (your quote from the Australian Jewish News) and combined with a desire to bring on to the board someone you found ideologically congenial. And, of course, both you and Loewenstein undeniably share a mutual distaste for Zionism.

I would appreciate an expeditious response given that the deadline for the submission of my chapter is looming large.

Sincerely,

Ted Lapkin

Lapkin believes that AIJAC has the right to monitor “extremist” academics, not unlike Campus Watch in the US. The failure of an individual such as Lapkin to openly engage with different viewpoints shows an intellectual weakness and ignorance best described as unfortunate. Lapkin should defend his beloved Jewish state by living and fighting there.

The Australian media’s reliance on a figure like Lapkin is a healthy development in the failure of contemporary Zionism. If Lapkin is the best they can do, long may he continue. He’s turning more people against the current Israeli state than he even imagines.

Lapkin’s recent Age article contained the usual platitudes against Hamas, a perfect facsimile from Israeli Foreign Affairs. It also contained predictable problems, as pointed out by a letter writer to the Age:

Ted Lapkin misleads your readers when he states that “an independent poll by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research in mid-March revealed a more than 60 per cent rejection rate of the Jewish state’s right to exist.” While 60 per cent of respondents stated that Hamas should not recognise the state of Israel immediately (question 10) or in response to demands from international donors (question 12), 66 per cent stated that there should be mutual recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the home of the Palestinian people once an independent Palestinian state is established and the refugee and Jerusalem dispute are resolved (question 41.)

The results show that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians surveyed are willing to recognise Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. We should all be asking ourselves why Mr Lapkin and the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council want us to think otherwise.

Gaston Arnolda,

Hanoi, Vietnam

The answer is clear. For individuals like Lapkin, the Palestinians are an inconvenience, best ignored, exterminated and occupied. The Jews are the chosen people and Israel has the right to do as it pleases. Lapkin should be aware that his wet dream might soon be coming to an end.

14 comments ↪
  • Leo Buddha

    Antony:

    You simply attack the messenger and not his message. Does that mean that his message is accurate and correct?

  • john ryan

    Dear Antony is the Ted lapkin you are talking about the same Ted Lapkin that cops a couple of mentions in the book by Thomas Friedman From Beirut to Jerusalem.
    When does the book come out looking foward to reading it

  • Antony Loewenstein

    I think so. Just checked my copy and there is little Teddy gunning for Arab blood.
    My book is out soon, August.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    No.
    I've responded numerous times to Lapkin and his merrry men. Franky, it becomes boring repeating the same reality over and over again.

  • Addamo

    Lapkin might want to take note of this article, which I found a most interesting read:

    Israel at 58: A Failing Experiment
    http://english.ohmynews.com/ArticleView/article_view.asp?menu=A11100&no=292027&rel_no=1&back_url=

    The guy is obviously a dinosaur. Reading him, one can almost hear the laboured breathing, poor old coot.

  • Leo Buddha

    Addamo wrote:

    Lapkin might want to take note of this article … Israel at 58: A Failing Experiment

    I think that Lapkin is really just looking forward to a similar article from the same author Jews in Palestine after 2000 years: A people who seem unable to just disappear and go away

  • Jon

    I can’t tolerate reading Lapkin’s articles in Fairfax and the Australian. Why on earth do these organisations always get Lapkin to write for them on Middle East issues, who the public when they see he is from Austn Israel Jewish Affairs Council may assume that he represents mainstream views within the Austn jewish community. Even for the Australian newpaper, which is pretty right wing, Lapkin sounds extreme. As for Fairfax, his up there with the most extreme of the right wing columnists who gets an op-ed.

  • edward squire

    Leo Buddha May 16th, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    I think that Lapkin is really just looking forward to a similar article from the same author Jews in Palestine after 2000 years: A people who seem unable to just disappear and go away

    …not to mention its twin: Jews Living In Iran Without Persecution: A People Just Too Embarrassing For Zionists To Mention.

  • viva peace

    Antony Loewenstein

    Could you help me out a little here? You and a few others here use the word "Zionist" a lot. A REAL lot. But there does not appear to be any theme connecting all the different ways you use the word.

    I always thought that Zionism was a movement of European and Russian Jewry to establish a sovereign state for Jews. As this was achieved in 1949, why do so many of you still shriek about it in 2006?

  • Leo Buddha

    edward squire offered

    Jews Living In Iran Without Persecution: A People Just Too Embarrassing For Zionists To Mention.

    I don't know what you mean by Zionists. Jews and Isrealis, and many who are really concerned about human rights are very aware that the Jews of Iran are endangered species. See for example Iranian Jews barely hanging on under hard-liners

  • edward squire

    Leo Buddha May 19th, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t know what you mean by Zionists.

    A good point. There are many of them – some types of Zionism I am in near total agreement with.

  • Leo Buddha

    edward squire wrote:

    There are many of them – some types of Zionism I am in near total agreement with.

    Which types are you "in near total agreement with"?

    Which aspects of those your're "in near total agreement with" do you not agree with?

  • edward squire

    Leo Buddha May 21st, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    Which aspects of those your’re “in near total agreement with” do you not agree with?

    I don't agree with all aspects of the metaphysics (for want of a better term) that underlie Buber's Zionism.

  • Jaques Aliard

    The types of zionists which have seen numerous people, palestinians aside, see Israel as having proven itself unfit to exist are those involved with the takover of Palestine and the perpetration of terrorsim world wide. Other's might believe the "promised land" nonsense..I say nonsense as its presence in the Jewish culture doesn't make it a reality.

    Interestingly Mos' they say climbed mt Sion and then smashed the tablets given to him because he saw jews worshipping what they tradionally worshipped. I find that unbelievable. There is a credible train of science which says Mos' and Akenhaten were the same person and I think a wider view upholds that possibility.returning to the near present, the father of zionism was not Hertzl, nor was a it anything to do with the silly personal letter from Balfour which the ignorent cling to as flies to flypaper and having never read the letter, it was Mayer Amschel Bauer aka "deRothschild, the criminal and conspiratorial banker who's family owns most of the world's money and is the sureme power in our world. It is the creator of war and strife anf the profiteer of it. Once Hitler had created Israel and the British Government agreed with the US powerbrokers to hand Palestine over to "the Jews" the money supply to Germany was again interrupted and the President told to go to war.In the years before that the US was heavily invested in the german military industrial factors.

    .

    The "jewish"  invasion of Canaan and its success saw the jews settle in Canaan for between 500 and 600 years until defeated by Nebuchadnezzer. Later having allowed so many to stay he found them untrustworthy and exiled them.  

    Predictably "west focussed" that terroism of Israel is examined by both ben Menashe and Ostrovsky. Both texta have been edited and ben Menashe's particularly in it's closing. The zionist lobby and its :jumelle" the masonic Lodge is immensely powerful in Autralia. It was intrinsic in the dismissing of Rudd for example.

    We are indoctrinated from birth pretty well with the jews being special and are made to revere them for the second war and the gratuitous violence some millions suffered, many slughtered in death factories.We are told nothing of the 5 million gypsies and others who's execuitons started well before the jews. We are told nothing of the zionist collaborators giving over thousands of jews to the gestapo, to quote Stern "we have no interest in the fate of the old order" (old order jews…not wanting to move to Palestine) but clearly he and his associates did, as they and their brothers in USA for example, created what was in fat the holocaust…the scrificing of jews for personal gain..The German pogrom was not "an holocaust"..theirs was outright murder, no sense of the sacrificial. Others died in work camps and the Russian prisoners of war were starved to death, some 2 million of them.

    Alongside the 60 million soviet citizens who were murdered of starved to death under zionist criminals the "holocaust " is a sideshow…not for the victims of course, but in quatum and that becomes even less significant numerically when we look at Russians and the "non jews" who were also victims…they do not feature in "the holocaust" as the "holcuast" was to empower zionism and it has done so, to the point that it sits in judgement and power in Australia and elsewhere. Lapkin is entitles as much to an opinion as anyone else of course, however to try to crucify Lowenstein is merely to continue the work of one of the worlds great liars..the ADL (and B'nai Brith).

    For me, a goy,even one killing of a jewish person as was done is unacceptable, whatever the cause…I don't agree with Lapkin's zionist views that killing innocent people for furthering a zionist  end is acceptable.He has the zionist/Mossad intel pea rolling around in his skull. I also am disgusted with the preposterous posturing of the zionists in Australia, slagging Julia Irwin, inciting the demise of Rudd who went crawling to them for salvation while Gillard partied with them. I despise her putspoken support of their atrocities and I wonder how anyone so ignorant of their history can be PM…unless the reality is that people like her are the ones they want as tintookies for their cause.

    In closing, Lowenstein correctly argued that Israel had created roads for Jews whilst Lapkin argues they were for Israelis but as the arabs in the Knesset are disempowered and arabs are unable to use these roads, they were built for jews,but in fact  the violence prone fanatical zionists which are imported to fill stolen Palestine whilst forming a zoo in Gaza which periodically is opened up for sports hunting. Lapkin argues that the UN disctum was obeyed as "Israel returned 90%…Golan Heights"…Lapkin, we are not all as stupid and pacified as your zionists controlling the government here and elsewhere think. We know that you are cog in the New Order and your interest in Australia is to parasite in a safe place along with your bretheren parasites whilst you work at dictating how Australia will be.Hopefully some in the generations following mine will break free of the "holocaust mesmirising" and have you make a choice about where you live. Australians are forced to be tolerant under the globalisation schemes inficted on them and many are more than tolerant . to use a rather pathetic word "embracing it"..as people are imported by the hundreds from Asian countries where they were paid pittances to take their jobs at bottom rates. There will not be many zionists found at the bottom of the worker pile though their leaders often are, like Howes and Dadon. 

    Were Lapkin an observant jew more than a doctrinaire zionist he could well ponder this:

    1) the Arab population of present day Palestine, who have lived there since at least the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in February 638 AD (for more than 1,370 years), have certainly a right of occupancy as much as any other community has to their land of residence anywhere.

    2 The British Empire, in driving Ottoman rule from Palestine (1917), in its Balfour Declaration promises support for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" on condition that –

    "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine".

    I add that this promise was critical to US entering the war to assist the British against the virtually victorious Germans.

    3)Israel did not fulfil the UN requirement it return the lands and to its own boundaries in 1967

    4)Right-wing politician Ariel Sharon asserts (2000) Jewish rights on East Jerusalem's Temple Mount by violating the Islamic sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque; triggering widespread rioting by Palestinian Muslims and a violent reaction by Israeli military forces, which ends the negotiation process on Palestinian autonomy from Israel.  Attacks and counter-attacks continue to escalate.

    In other words Israeli has lost its rights to exist in Palestine.

    Voila

    (i) 

    Withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict,

    (ii) 

    Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force".

    (i) 

    Withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict,

    (ii) 

    Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force".