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.

Israel, the try-hard state

Following my article on Israel/Palestine in last Friday’s Age newspaper, two letter writers respond in today’s edition:

Going in to bat for the terrorists
ANTONY Loewenstein loses all credibility when he says that recent events in Beit Hanoun constitute a “massacre” and that the result has been “Hamas calling for revenge” with a “justified militancy” (“A country lost in its own region”, Opinion, 10/11).

Obviously, Loewenstein is unaware that Hamas has been calling for Israel’s destruction since 1988, while seeing suicide bombers who indiscriminately and intentionally target civilians as somehow “justified militancy” is absolutely hypocritical and appalling.

Loewenstein should look at the hideous nature of a Palestinian culture that promotes death and destruction before deciding to criticise Israel, which is doing its best to fight terrorists while protecting civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian.

Philip Ioannou, Sydney

Speaking plainly
THANK goodness The Age allows Antony Loewenstein to speak plainly about the entrenched brutality, hypocrisy and corruption of Israeli politics and governance, and the regrettable double standards Western leaders and media apply to the opposed adversaries of the Middle East’s most enduring conflict

At least Loewenstein will only be called a “self-loathing Jew”. Anyone else (from a non-Jewish background) would potentially face accusations of being “anti-Semitic racists”.

Peter Kartsounis, Footscray

I lose credibility because I dare claim that what happened at Beit Hanoun was a “massacre”? I suppose it was simply an unavoidable accident and the sleeping Palestinians should have been elsewhere at the time. Furthermore, they should have expected that a stray shell would destroy their homes. I hope Mr. Ioannou is getting a hefty salary from the Israeli Foreign Ministry to pen such nonsense.

The paper’s opinion page also featured a response to my piece, written by Daniel Mandel, director of the Zionist Organisation of America’s Centre for Middle East Policy. In a previous life, Mandel worked for Australia’s most virulent Zionist lobby, AIJAC. Here is Daniel in 1999 defending former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet – “If not a liberal state, Pinochet at least bequeathed a secure and prosperous one” – and supporting Jewish terrorism at Israel’s birth.

It’s almost redundant to even rebut Mandel’s simplistic analysis, but a few points. He understandably dismisses the elevation of fascist politician Avigdor Lieberman to a senior position in the Israel government. After all, other Western nations that have been led by far-right figures – think Jorg Haider in Austria – are soon internationally isolated. Israel may well soon face similar moves. Lieberman advocates what many Zionists truly want, but can’t express in public; ethnic cleansing of all Arabs from both Israel and Palestine.

Mandel claims that Israel is constantly searching for peace – how an expanding occupation proves this is beyond me – and blames the Palestinian leadership for hating Jews and Israelis so much that they simply can’t ever negotiate honesty.

We’ve heard the same rhetoric for decades, and it was believed for much of that time. Not anymore. Perhaps such blindness is still accepted in the halls of London, Canberra and Washington, but world power is shifting away from the West. Israel is unprepared.

Mandel can rave on about Israeli sacrifice and commitment to finding common ground with the Palestinians, but virtually nobody believes this version anymore (and the debate has truly moved on.)

Time for a new telegram from the Israeli embassy, Daniel.

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