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.


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.