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.