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 old canard recycled. Again.

The Jewish establishment is clearly unprepared or unwilling to engage honestly with the Zionist cause and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. After last Sunday’s sold-out debate at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival – and the Australian Jewish News’ blatantly dishonest interpretation of the same event – today’s Melbourne Age features a letter from one of the usual suspects:

Robert Richter, Antony Loewenstein and Julian Burnside advise the Jewish community to promote freedom of thought and speech, find its collective voice, and be prepared to criticise Israel if it disagreed with its policies ( The Age, 28/8). However, their advice is gratuitous, unfounded and based on a nonsensical premise.

The Jewish community is about as democratic as it’s possible for a religious-ethnic community to be. The Jewish Community Council of Victoria consists of representatives of more than 50 organisations, encompassing a wide range of religious outlooks and political opinions.

The principal reason why there are no loud voices against Israel is that the community sympathises with Israel and understands the nature of the threat against it. If Loewenstein, or anyone else in the Jewish community, doesn’t share those sympathies and considers the threat not worth worrying about, they are free to hold and express those opinions.

As for the premise that Israeli policies and actions are responsible for promoting anti-Semitism, this is ludicrous. Actually, anti-Semitism is caused by anti-Semites. Tough Israeli policies — sometimes necessary in Israel’s fight for survival — merely provide an excuse for anti-Semites to feel free to spout their hatred.

Paul Gardner, executive member, Jewish Community Council of Victoria

Let me get this straight. People are anti-Semitic simply for no reason, a sickness borne out of a malignant hatred of Jews. Israeli actions are totally unrelated. To believe this is as deluded as believing that anti-Americanism is unrelated to US foreign policy in the Middle East. Furthermore, the wide variety of viewpoints in the Jewish community leadership is remarkably well hidden. When it comes to Israel, the default setting is switched on 100% of the time. Such intellectual laziness is dangerous for both Israel and the Jews.

As for Israel’s “tough policies”, I suppose the illegal occupation of Palestine and deliberate targeting of civilians is something the world just has to get used to. Thankfully, Gardner knows the global community is slowing turning against a nation that somehow believes Jewish history insulates it from criticism or censure.

3 comments ↪
  • Addamo_01

    Paul Gardner seems to have been in a self induced coma these pst two months, where in the space fo a few weeks, world opinion against Israeli foreign policy has been at an all time high.

    Even here in Canada, the public is turning against the government for being so blindly pro Israel.

    Same thing in the UK.

    Gardner is right about anti-Semitism, though. The idea that Israeli policies and actions are responsible for promoting anti-Semitism is indeed ludicrous. What they do promote are criticism of Israel and digust at Israel's actions, but not anti-Semitism.

    Anti-Semitism is just another form of rascism.

  • Glenn Condell

    Gardner's motivations and rationale for this sort of 'black is whitism' are similar to those of Donald Rumsfeld tarring those who oppose the fascism of he and his mates, by calling them appeasers. It's tactical, and with the media on side, it works. Less so than before, a trend we hope continues. They're increasingly being called on it for a change (a situation Ant can take pride in having helped create), hence the increasingly shrill tone.

    I wonder if those 'tough policies' would still be called 'tough' if they were able to be employed by the Lebanese or the Palestinians rather than just the Israelis. No, they'd be called 'terror' then.

    I don't want opponents of Israel to be overwhelmingly superior as Israel has always been; no, just parity would do. Tit would come back for tat in the same weight division for once and that might concentrate minds in Israel.

    Or perhaps it wouldn't. The Israelis appeared to think the Lebanese would be so cowed by Israeli Shock and Awe that they'd down tools, cack their dacks and submit willingly. I guess the rationale wouldn't work on Israelis either, but the exercise would have the merit of allowing the Israelis to experience what they visit upon others. It would be Holocaust II or Son of Holocaust, while the damage to the Others would be 'regrettable'.

    Given the evidence that Israeli generals wanted to ensure not all Katyushas were destroyed so that the world could see that Israel was suffering too, there might be high level approval of an approach that used up expendables in the quest for Greater Israel, the waters of the Litani, oil and gas pipelines, lebensraum, whatever the hell it is they want.

  • I sent this letter to The Age, and of course it was not published, so I am putting it in this post:

    Mannie De Saxe,

    2/12 Murphy Grove,

    Preston,

    Vic 3072

    Phone:(03) 9471 4878

    Email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au

    The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) purports to speak for the majority of Victoria's Jews, but has no mandate.

    How many Jewish groups in Victoria have applied to join the JCCV and been rejected? Aleph, the gay Jewish group was one such. So, one must ask, how representative is this body?

    Paul Gardner, executive member, JCCV, (letters 30/8/06) takes to task those who spoke at the Melbourne Writers Festival launch of Antony Loewenstein's book "My Israel Question", specifically Loewenstein, Burnside and Richter and refers to anti-semitism in their discussions. He suggests that the actions of the Israeli government are not the ongoing reason for increased anti-semitism around the world, anti-semites are!

    The suggestion of the JCCV is, to quote its executive member, "gratuitous, unfounded and based on a nonsensical premise".

    Jews who oppose the actions of the Israeli government are not anti-semites, they are people who care deeply about the human rights of their fellow human beings, a lesson which the JCCV might well learn from.

    The attempts of such bodies as The Australian Jewish News, JCCV, and Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council to silence the "loud voices against Israel" in the Victorian Jewish community have been unsuccessful, as the attendance at the launch of Loewenstein's book proved. So much for Michael Danby MP's telephone booth of supporters of Loewenstein!

    Mannie De Saxe, Jews Against Oppression and Occupation.