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.

Only one future is assured

Writing about Israel/Palestine can be a hazardous business. Many militant Zionists believe that only one interpretation of the conflict is acceptable, and critics, especially Jewish ones, are traitors. This news is therefore very troubling:

The Zurich-based research journalist Shraga Elam received threats on his life in telephone calls. On November 16 and 17 he was repeatedly called by a man unknown to him. The stranger, who speaks German with a Russian accent, finally left a message on Elam’s mobile mailbox. The audio file with the content of the 25 seconds long message was sent by the journalist to some networkers who forwarded it to the German press and to other networkers. The translation of the message is: “Hello Shraga, why don’t you pick up your mobile phone? Henryk M. Broder Brigades have sentenced you to death. In the entrance of your house (address) you will be shot dead, like Politkowskaja, swear word, traitor”. The Russian journalist and critic of the government Anna Politkowskaja became a victim in a hired killing in October. Shraga Elam’s audio source is here with the editorial office. As the threatened reported there was a frontdoor bell ring later on, but he did not answer.

Shraga Elam, author of “Hitler’s Forgers” and co-author of “Switzerland at the pillory. Banks, bosses and the Nazis”, is an advocate of the one-state solution in Palestine/Israel. He is active in the peace movement and a critic of the Zionist policy. Without exaggeration, one can say that he is dedicating his life to work for a time without violence in international politics. Journalist Henryk Broder, who lives in Berlin, has several times polemically dealt with Shraga Elam on the internet. It is true that Broder is not responsible for people who claim to speak in or with his name, and yet Broder’s aggressive utterances fuel a climate in which incidents like the one documented above almost appear like a consequence, for Broder uses to justify the targeted killings of human beings in Palestine, in Lebanon and elsewhere in public. In this way, the frameworks of Middle Eastern conflicts are being transferred to us in Europe.

Alarmed networkers have been warning of the overzeal of self-declared anti-Semitism hunters for years, but the public has not yet approached this phenomenon, probably in fear of getting into a conflict of values. When there are similar threats from violent Islamist bigots the newspaper report about it, maybe even with background information about the aims and plans of the underlying ideology. Our freedom of press is in danger! people will say, and: our journalists are threatened, because the other side does not comply with the democratic rules according to which one has to bear criticism and not react with violence. – It is time to talk about limits. Intimidations are beyond the democratic limits, even if they are carried out in the name of “battling anti-Semitism”. Here the public is required to keep the policy of collateral damages and liquidations from entering our culture. Here a broad front is necessary.

Elam is a Walkley award winner and a colleague. I spent time with him in Sydney in late 2004. He is a fierce critic of current Israeli policy and strongly believes in the concept of a one-state solution.

There is an undoubtedly ever-increasing campaign to intimidate outspoken critics of Israel (I regularly receive vicious hate-mail and even worse earlier in the year.) As the world starts to realise that the present Jewish state is unsustainable, undemocratic and based on racially divisive lines, militant Zionists feel the need to ramp up the rhetoric.

Sadly, very few Jews speak out against such practices.

In the occupied territories, thuggish behaviour by Jewish extremists occurs daily:

A 19-year old Swedish human rights worker had her cheekbone broken by an Israeli settler in Hebron today. Tove Johansson from Stockholm walked through the Tel Rumeida checkpoint with a small group of human rights workers to accompany Palestinian schoolchildren to their homes. They were confronted by about 100 settlers in small groups, who started chanting in Hebrew “We killed Jesus, we’ll kill you too!”, a refrain the settlers had been repeating to internationals in Tel Rumeida all day.

After about thirty seconds of waiting, a small group of very aggressive settler men surrounded the international volunteers and began spitting at them, so much so that the internationals described it like “rain.” Then settler men from the back of the crowd began jumping up and spitting, while others kicked the volunteers from the back of the crowd and from the side.

The soldiers who were standing just a few feet behind the internationals at the checkpoint just looked on as the internationals were being attacked.

One settler then hit Tove on the left side of her face with an empty bottle, breaking it on her face and leaving her with a broken cheekbone. She immediately fell to the ground and the group of settlers who were watching began to clap, cheer, and chant. The soldiers, who had only watched until this point, then came forward and motioned at the settlers, in a way which the internationals described as “ok… that’s enough guys….”

The settlers, however, were allowed to stay in the area and continued watching and clapping as internationals tried to stop the flow of blood from the woman’s face. Some settlers who were coming down the hill even tried to take photos of themselves next to her bleeding face, giving the camera a “thumbs-up” sign.

2 comments ↪
  • Heh. I have been running an anti-Bush blog for over three years and my family often express mis-placed but understandable concerns for my safety.

    What Antony is doing is far more dangerous, unfortunately, but the same principle applies: the only thing necessary for the triumph of Evil is for good people to do nothing.

    Chin up, Mr Loewenstein. You are not alone. Indeed, the wave of support for your agenda is growing – as you know full well.

    Of course, your opponent's ire is growing proportionately too, but hopefully this foolioshness will mirror the Bush popularity crisis: when the wave crashes, nobody wants to be associated with the old ideas any more.

  • NIce thoughts Gandhi.

    When Blair and a few others start to mouth platitudes about solving the problems in the Middle East and, horror of horrors, mention Palestine, they would do well to start by condemning the mistreatment of those who speak out on this issue and encourage the free flow of information. They could mention the disgraceful treatment of those "internationals" whose crime is to help Palestinian kids get to school without harassment, bashed by ultra religious Jews who populate the illegal settlements throughout the West Bank. (You won't read about that episode in any newspaper in Australia, but if a bunch of Palestinians had done that to an Israeli Jew, boy would you know about it!). They could condemn the behaviour of the US who support the settlements and block any resolution of this issue. Jeez, I could go on all day.