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.

Reading is unnecessary

After my recent article in Crikey about the Zionist lobby (and the response), today’s edition of the newsletter features the following letters (including, yet again, our old friend Federal Labor MP Michael Danby, who doesn’t seem too fond of reading):

Michael Danby writes: Two can play Loewenstein’s game of selective quotations. The saying “Oh, that mine enemy would write a book!” is traditionally, but not very accurately, attributed to Job. If I might update the saying – “Oh, that mine enemy would write for Crikey!” I must thank Mr Antony Loewenstein’s for his article (31 July, item 13), since they have put on the public record a comment I made in an email to the ABC’s Tony Jones: Melbourne University Press commissioning Mr Loewenstein to write a book about the Australian Jewish community was “like commissioning Pauline Hanson to write a book about multicultural Australia.” Mr Loewenstein’s response is: “So much for an elected parliamentarian’s respect for the concept of democratic dialogue. Never mind the profound philistinism of condemning a book one hasn’t read.” It’s a pity Mr Loewenstein chose not to quote the rest of my email, in which I said: “I didn’t need to read Mr Loewenstein’s book to know what it would contain. Mr Loewenstein’s views and prejudices were well known to me before he was commissioned to write his book. They are stated clearly at his own website, where he describes himself as “a Jew who doesn’t believe in the concept of a Jewish state.” He calls Israel “a fundamentally undemocratic and colonialist idea from a bygone era.” He describes the Australian Jewish community as “vitriolic, bigoted, racist and downright pathetic,” and as “incapable of hearing the true reality of their beloved homeland and its barbaric actions.” My comments last year have been entirely vindicated since the appearance of Mr Loewenstein’s book. Since Mr Loewenstein doesn’t care for my opinions, let me quote Dr Philip Mendes of Monash University, author of Jews and Australian Politics, who says: “The majority of the text [of Mr Loewenstein’s book] is overwhelmingly simplistic and one-sided. This could have been a serious and objective examination of the role of local lobby groups in influencing Australia’s Middle East policies. Unfortunately, that book still waits to be written.”

Michael Brougham writes: Whatever anyone thought of Antony Loewenstein’s article on Israel-US relations, it’s hard to see how a Jew openly proclaiming pride in their faith can be labelled an anti-Semite simply for challenging the policies of Israel and the role of US Zionist lobby (yesterday, comments). It’s analogous to otherwise patriotic Australians challenging Australian Government policy, or to the many Christians who have over many centuries challenged the policies of their church without giving up their steadfast belief in the Christian religion. Similar to the anti-American tag frequently levelled at anyone challenging Australia’s relationship with the US, it seems that the term “anti-Semite” increasingly serves as a crude bludgeon on anyone seeking to debate Israel’s internal machinations in an open forum.

Justin Templer writes: In his bagging of Antony Loewenstein (yesterday, comments), Yosi Tal uses every weapon in the Jewish armoury of self-victimisation. Crikey is “attempting to strip the Jewish community of its democratic right to be heard”, Loewenstein has “no serious academic qualifications”, his portrayal of the Jewish lobby is “outright anti-Semitic”, Loewenstein is a “self-hating Jew” and the Jewish community is “not afraid of debate and welcome it”. Ho hum – the “dark and sinister cabal” would be proud. More debate, please.

Daniel Lewis writes: Antony Loewenstein insists he is stifled, censored and oppressed. In one month he has had an article in Crikey, a half-page op-ed and book review in The Australian, appearances on Lateline and ABC radio (to name but a few) and a fawning review from Fairfax, notwithstanding numerous factual errors in his book which he refuses to acknowledge. Other publicity seeking first-time authors could only dream of being so “silenced”. When caught out and quoted for things that might have been wrong (eg Ted Lapkin noting in his Preface, Loewenstein placed Lebanon in between Tel Aviv and Haifa), Loewenstein denies it, simply convinced the criticism is a dirty Zionist tactic, before continuing to repeat such untruths later. For one who feels his views are squashed however, Loewenstein has no problem at all censoring civil comments on his blog (such as mine) with which he disagrees or to which he cannot respond. His (now published) canard about “Jewish only roads” in Israel is but one example of many. In other words, he stifles dissent while simultaneously moaning that he is the victim of censorship, a point contradicted every single time he says it in public.