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.

Lobby looking for love in all the wrong places

With My Israel Question moving into its 2nd printing after less than one week on the shelves – and the Zionist lobby failing spectacularly to smear the book, my publisher and me personally – the CEO of Melbourne University Publishing responds in Crikey to the self-appointed gate-keepers of militant Judaism:

Louise Adler, CEO & Publisher of Melbourne University Publishing, writes: Re. Ted Lapkin’s attack on Antony Loewenstein and MUP (yesterday, item 16). The lobbyist’s manual begins with the proposition: shape the facts to the cause. Happily reality, at least in this case, doesn’t tally with the Lapkin world view. Amateurs frequently misunderstand the economics of publishing. Bookscan is a weighted averaged system of tracking sales. Publishers and retailers agree that Bookscan figures account for 80% of the trade in any given period. Melbourne University Publishing (MUP) is delighted that Antony Loewenstein’s My Israel Question has sold out its first print run and that a reprint has been required. The book went on sale on Wednesday 2 August and the sales recorded by Bookscan and reported to Mr Lapkin were for a three day period. Unfortunately before the subtleties of Bookscan could be explained Mr. Lapkin hung up on our publicist. Bookscan’s Michael Webster’s view accords with MUP’s, “Given the subject matter, given the price, if I were MUP I would be delighted to have moved nearly 400 copies in the first three days: certainly not disappointed as Mr Lapkin seems to be suggesting”. Retailer feedback has been extremely enthusiastic.

David Gaunt of Gleebooks hosted the book’s launch this week and noted, “The launch was the largest attendance (350) in the history of Gleebooks events. Book sales were a record. Interest in the book has been very strong both in the lead up to and in the first week of publication. It has been our best selling book since it was published”. Antony Loewenstein has been described as a self-hating Jew, a cheerleader for Hezbollah, and according to one reviewer suffers from the Demindenko-Darville disorder. Name calling, vilification and accusations of systemic errors are predictable but poor replacements for civilised debate. My Israel Question is an important book because of the questions it raises about the relationship between diaspora Jewry and Israel, the Zionist lobby and its insistent repression of alternative views, and the media’s response to both. Attempts to discredit the author and MUP merely highlight the need for this book at this moment in history.

AIJAC have tried to bully and intimidate my publisher in the last days. The result, of course, is that the Zionist lobby looks insecure, aggressive and a little like a rat trapped in a cage. Lapkin deliberately misrepresents the facts about the book because he knows his organisation is on the back-foot and is now no longer the sole voice of Australian Jewry. Maybe one day they’ll learn that you can’t bomb your opponent into submission (and maybe even acquire some media management skills.) On second thought, they’ll probably remain as effective as the bumbling IDF.

It is significant that the Australian Jewish community has allowed AIJAC to become the de-facto face of local Jewry to the wider community. It’s a group run by lawyers, failed politicians and former Israeli soldiers. Do Jews really feel comfortable with a group speaking for them that advocates perpetual war in the Middle East and hatred towards Arabs?

The Zionist lobby regularly lie about history. One reader to Crikey today points out just one convenient omission in Lapkin’s latest rant:

Chris C writes: Ted Lapkin’s rather warm lettuce “flogging” of Antony Loewenstein’s new book drew attention to some rather ho-hum inaccuracies that do not detract one iota from the sledgehammer points made in My Israel Question. Except on one point – whether or not Israel has complied with UN Security Council Resolution 242, regarding the territories seized in the 1967 war (ie. the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and the Golan). Describing Loewenstein’s work as “sloppy thinking, shoddy writing”, Lapkin goes on to engage in far worse shoddiness himself, deliberately truncating the full quote of the British ambassador to the UN (Lord Caradon) to suggest that he deliberately worded his resolution to only require “Israel to withdraw from some, and not all, of territories captured in 1967.” However, the full quote reveals exactly what Lord Caradon meant in the wording of his resolution: “Knowing as I did the unsatisfactory nature of the 1967 line, I wasn’t prepared to use wording in the Resolution that would have made that line permanent. Nonetheless, it is necessary to say again that the overwhelming principle was the ‘inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war’ and that meant that there could be no justification for the annexation of territory on the Arab side of the 1967 line merely because it had been conquered in the 1967 war. The sensible way to decide permanent ‘secure and recognized’ boundaries would be to set up a Boundary Commission and hear both sides and then to make impartial recommendations for a new frontier line, bearing in mind, of course, the ‘inadmissibility’ principle.” So, Israel DOES remain in breach of Resolution 242, and has done for nearly 40 years – amusing when juxtaposed with Israel’s hectoring of Lebanon over lack of compliance with Resolution 1559 which was passed much more recently. I guess it is not on their urgent list of things to do. I expect Ted Lapkin to urgently raise this issue with the Israeli Government through AIJAC to ensure that his organization is unbiased and upholds the importance of ALL UN resolutions.

For some information on the hugely successful Sydney launch on August 8, see here. The two launch speeches are below:

Sydney launch speech – David Marr (here)

Sydney launch speech – Loewenstein (here)

UPDATE: Lapkin continues to assist sales of My Israel Question (in a shoddy reworking of his own article for the monthly AIJAC rag.) I wonder if the op-ed editor of the Courier Mail is aware that AIJAC is now forced to regurgitate its own propaganda.

35 comments ↪
  • Captain

    Ah, the RoP strikes the UK. Let the clock start ticking until the paranoid Jew haters conclude that somehow Israel is behind it.

  • Suze

    The only paranoid hater here is you, Captain. Sad.

  • Captain

    I don't hate anyone at all. It wasn't me, but the RoP that you keep going into bat for who tried to blow up 20 planes. I would say that is pretty hateful. I also think that it is pretty hateful for palestinian gunmen to fire at Israelis when they are surrounded by children. I also think it is hateful that Hezbollah would use human shields the way they do.

    Hamas and Hezbollah say they want to wipe out all of the Jews. I take them at their word. One thing is for sure is that they tend to say what they mean. I, on the other hand, have never sought the destruction of any people at any time. I would like to see Israel live in peace with its neighbours.

    Further, your chivalrous sycophants seem to have forgotten what the resolution actually says. It does not say a return to the 1967 boundaries. It talks of land for peace. He has not made his case at all.

    Your editor can stand up for herself, she has a stable of haters. This seems to be her modis operandis.

  • Suze

    I guess you want to ignore Israels use of Human shields– as identified by Israel's high court?

    There is not a single member of the international community who believes the BS about the resolution not calling for Israel's withdrawal.

  • Roonaldo

    Captain – why not go and see Lapkin, tell him you think he is coming across as a person of great sincerity and then ask him if he would be happy to sponsor you to take a course in Latin. Modis operandis is jibberish and simply reveals your pretentiousness and your ignorance. For future reference, the phrase is modus operandi.

  • Hmmn.

    Looking at the Crikey.com.au homepage, the Lapkin opinion piece "Antony Loewenstein's reign of error" still looms large, but I cannot see the rebuttal from Louise Adler which you publish above.

    Do I need to be a Crikey subscriber to see the latest pieces? I have asked the Crikey "boss" to provide a more "Fair and balanced" coverage…

  • Suze

    I think I see a pattern emerging- Lapkin relies on the fact that people have not read the book yet and "paraphrases" AL's message and then rebuts it. Only thing is his "paraphrase" bears no resemblance to the actual contents of the book.

    In other words a preemptive strike at a straw man.

    I think the truth will out.

  • Addamo_01

    Catain

    Why do you persist with the complete bullshit that Hezbollah want to wipe out all Jews? Hezbollah is a nationalist movement that was formed after Israel invaded Lebanon. They have not conducted raids or terrorist acts inside Israel. They are not even an inslamist movement for crying out loud.

    Do you not realise that you undermine yourself when you repeat this boggotry?

  • Addamo_01

    Way to go Antony,

    It's ironic that Israel's barbarism was times perfectly to coincide with your book launch.

    Regarding resolutino 1559, Scott Ritter points out a very important point. This must srive the Zionazi's crazy:

    The United States and Israel continue to quote U.N. Security Council resolution 1559, which calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon, as well as the disarming of Lebanese militias. However, resolution 1559 does not mention Hezbollah by name, and the Lebanese government itself refuses to categorize Hezbollah as an illegal militia, but rather as a legitimate defender of Lebanese interests. As a result, there is a huge disconnect between the United States and Israel on the one hand, and Lebanon and Hezbollah on the other, in regard to the basic foundational element of any diplomatic resolution to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Lebanon. The fact of the matter is, Hezbollah is a reality that neither the United States nor Israel can negotiate away. To attempt to bomb Lebanon into submission as a proxy for its inability to militarily defeat Hezbollah is not only criminal, but counterproductive.

  • Pingback: Macquarie launch » | Antony Loewenstein()

  • viva peace

    Does anybody know what has happened to poor old Hanan Ashrawi? I fear it's the burqha for the old girl!! I hope she hasn't been stoned to death!!!

  • Ant, nice work. Good speech from yourself, and a balanced one from Marr. Good on you.

  • viva peace

    The irony of two upper middle class GPS WASPs playing dress-ups as "radicals."

  • M.Mayes

    calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon, as well as the disarming of Lebanese militias. However, resolution 1559 does not mention Hezbollah by name, and the Lebanese government itself refuses to categorize Hezbollah as an illegal militia

    Israel isnt the only nation who can play coy with UN resolutions.

  • Addamo

    I hope she hasn’t been stoned to death!!!

    Yes let's just pray that she's resting peacefull underneath some rubble in South Lebanno care of the loving Israelis – sans the burqha of course.

  • viva peace

    Antony L

    I hope you spend my $32.95 well! Idon't like Ted Lapkin one bit. What a lightweight! But I will debate you anytime.

  • Addamo

    Ah, the Viva of old.

    Welcome back. You're other persona was doing a really bad job of netertaining us whiel you were away.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    I am glad you approve. Lapkin is a bore. If the ABC were not so anti-Israel they would get far snappier talent to argue the toss. Comme moi!

  • Addamo

    You know Viva,

    I coudl nto agreee more. It woudl make the debate som much more intersting if the Israeli coner didn't produce such drones.

    Ever thoght of getting on the tube yourself?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    What really pisses me off about all this is that it is Jews and fair-weather Jews a la AL, who only get published and given airtime. These geopolitical issues affect ALL of us. Why the hell should AL or Lapkin be given all the space.

    Mind you, I don't mean to attack AL here. After all, he IS putting in all the work and has actually got off his bum and written a book. But why doesn't Lateline get me or you or Natasha Stat Despoyer or ANYBODY. Why is it always freaking Jews?

  • Suze

    Oh dear, Viva- what are you on now?

  • viva peace

    Suze

    Nothing unfortunately as my dealer doesn't get out of bed until lunchtime. ;))

  • johnfaber

    Viva Peace,

    Perhaps, it is comments such as this that are holding Lateline back:

    Mannie de Saxe

    Are you that tragic queen who wrote letters to the gay press trying to get western, white, liberal gays to boycott Gay Pride in Jerusalem in the hope of returning “when Jerusalem is free?”

    If so, you are a filthy gay-Holocaust conspirator

    It seems to me that you must be a really angry, lonely person to spend so much time commenting under a pseudonym with people whose views you plainly despise. The thing is, not everybody here agrees with eachother. I don't agree with everything Antony says.

    I'm sure you're not happy about the situation in the ME either, and we've all got different perspectives on this. So why are you so bitter about all of this?

    jf

  • Addamo_01

    After all, he IS putting in all the work and has actually got off his bum and written a book.

    Viva,

    I think you kind of answered your own question. Beyons puttin gin the time to write his book, he has this blog – not to mention that he has also stuck his neck out and even you woudl have to agree that it wouldn't have been an easy ride for him either.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    As I said I was not having a go at AL specifically. I also said he deserves the coverage. I just think that non-Jewish voices have as much to contribute to this debate in Australia.

  • Addamo_01

    Agreed Viva,

    And I must say that I am impressed that you put your money where your mouth is and bought Ant's book. I expect you'll pick it apart but at least you'll be doing so from an informed perspective, which will make you one of the few qualified to do so.

  • Addamo_01

    Viva,

    I just think that non-Jewish voices have as much to contribute to this debate in Australia.

    I could not agree more, but until now, there is no doubt it's been a lob sided issue for non Jewish people to debate. Those supportive of Israel are typically accepted as reasonable and mainstream, while non Jewish who are critical have been readily dismissed as anti-Semites, Israeli haters or Al Qaeda sympathizers.

    In that regard, people like Ant have played an invaluable role in opening up the subject to the mainstream and for that, he has my deepest respect. One no longer needs to be an expert in the subject to offer an opinion. It's become acceptable to not know all there is to know on the matter. I see young people all around me being pro-active in becoming informed and that has to be a good thing, for both sides of the debate.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    no, I don't pick it apart. I think it is very good – for what it is. It is not a book about the Jewish Lobby or even the Middle east. It is a book about AL. And MUP did a painstaking job in fixing up his prose.

  • Glenn Condell

    Congratulations and thanks to Louise Adler, whose publishing of the book is almost as sigificant as Antony's writing of it. Thanks for opening the windoww guys, the fresh air is wonderful.

  • viva peace

    Glen

    But there is absolutely nothing "fresh" in the book apart from AL's very revealing extreme naivety about the world. There are hundreds of books like this and thousands of articles that have been published since 1990.

  • Addamo_01

    You raise an interesting Paradox Viva,

    You criticise AL for his naivity, yet what fascinates me is how naive Israel's amen corner when they espouse the comments highlighted in teh Haaretz article Ant linked to:

    It is this psychology that allows our spokespeople to say, with a straight face, that Israel is not a nation which kidnaps people, that in no way do we target civilian populations [though we are greatly pained at the deaths of civilians, the terrorists who operate in their midst bear the responsibility for their deaths], and that our army is the most moral fighting force in the world.

    This is either delusion or naivity. Israeli appolgists flip from being highly knowledgeable abotu the Middle East to making absrudly simplistic statements abtou their critics being anit-Srmitic, or biased against Israel. It reminds me of an adolescent child who get's caught cheating and blames the teacher for haivng it in for them.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    What claims of antisemitism?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    I do not "criticize" AL for his naivety. Naivety can be charming. It is hardly a character flaw.

  • orang

    She is not a relative is she?

    http://www.counterpunch.org/

    "Awakening the Resistance

    By JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN

    Thousands of Lebanese, Palestinians and others made a kind of pilgrimage to Fatima’s gate in the summer of 2000 to celebrate the end of Israel’s 22 -year occupation of south Lebanon. ‘Fatima’s gate’ denoted a stretch of land on the Lebanon-Israel border newly controlled by Hizbullah after it pursued the retreating Israeli forces back into Israel. Yellow Hizbullah flags flew everywhere. The atmosphere was festive and light. People set up souvenir stands selling Hizbullah memorabilia – flags, key-rings, postcards, pens – to commemorate the historic event. Families strolled up and back along the road pa! rallel to the border, pointing out the Israeli towns in the distance. Friends strode along together talking politics and stopping to stare at the last wreckages of the event, the burned out jeeps and cars, the bullet holes and shrapnel wounds in the facades of the walls and buildings left behind by the retreating Israelis. Parents and children alike gazed at these remains; some took pictures posed next to them. Others passed by more solemnly, wary of disturbing the near-sanctity of these symbols of struggle and of the years of adversity they recalled. "

  • M.Mayes

    Viva I have to say, you have earned ALOT of respect here today. Kudos to you. As you are now I think it would be wonderful to get you out there and debate for Israel. Its would be a pleasant change from Zionists coming out and slagging the opposition till debate end.