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 Iranian Holocaust Conference attracts the usual cranks

My following article appears in today’s edition of Crikey:

The Iranian Holocaust Conference currently being held in Tehran has attracted the usual collection of sceptics, deniers and cranks. The two-day event, initiated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, aims to discuss whether six millions Jews were killed by the Nazis in the 1930s and ‘40s and the existence of gas chambers in the death camps.

The Iranian foreign ministry has said that 67 foreign researchers from 30 countries were allowed to participate, and included notorious Holocaust denier and Adelaide resident, Frederick Tobin (who brought a model of Auschwitz that allegedly “proved” the absence of gas chambers there), Michele Renouf, an Australian socialite who supports “Holocaust sceptics” and David Irving, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and a host of other notorious figures. One Palestinian dissenter was refused entry.

Ahmadinejad told delegates that, “just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out.” International leaders have condemned his comments, though in many ways the vast media coverage has served to promote a radically fringe event and simply added to the already feverish pressure on the Islamic regime.

One of the strangest sights at the conference has been Orthodox Jews both attending and embracing Ahmadinejad. Rabbi Ahron Cohen, from Manchester’s Jews Against Zionism, said that he wasn’t denying the Holocaust – “I and many others lost countless friends and relatives who perished by industrial genocide” – but believed that the establishment of Israel had violated Jewish law and resulted in the persecution of the Palestinians.

So what do Iranians themselves think? One Iranian journalist outside the conference said to The Independent: “it makes me ashamed, so ashamed.”

Kamangir, an Iranian now living in Canada, has posted extensively on his blog about the conference. He is damning of the event: “Is anyone going to tell me how many Iranians have asked their tax to be used for this ‘scientific’ conference?” In another post, he muses on the embraces between Ahmadinejad and Orthodox Jews: “It seems that for a moment Ahmadinejad has forgot that according to many clerics these people are ‘filthy’.”

Ahmadinejad has made any number of inflammatory statements over the last year regarding Israel, the Jews and the Holocaust, though University of Michigan’s History Professor Juan Cole claims that many of his comments, such as wanting to “wipe Israel off the map” have been badly translated. Many hawks still want military action against Iran’s alleged (though unproven) nuclear capabilities, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today that military action is off the table.

Israeli commentator Neta Sela quotes Israel’s Holocaust Museum Director who claims the Iranian Holocaust Conference has the intent “of destroying the moral basis for the existence of the state of Israel as a home for the Jewish people.”

There is no question that Ahmadinejad is an uneducated Holocaust denier who loathes the Jewish state, but to suggest that military action is either appropriate or necessary requires a morality bypass that the Iraq debacle should have cured once and for all.

7 comments ↪
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  • Ian

    eta Sela quotes Israel’s Holocaust Museum Director who claims the Iranian Holocaust Conference has the intent “of destroying the moral basis for the existence of the state of Israel as a home for the Jewish people.”

    Israel's moral basis is built on the blood of Hitler's 6 million victims? Sigh! I can almost hear him cackling from the hottest recess of Hell, "They owe it all to me!, I'm the 'Father' of Israel"

    If Israel was located in a former part of Germany the Director's claim might have merit. But to believe that you may steal anothers' land because unrelated people in a far away country committed a monstrous evil against your kin is truly desperate.

    The truly sad part is that had the settlers been willing to share and work with the Palestinians instead of the aping the Nazis then Israel really would have had a "moral basis" And peace!

  • I understood that David Irving was locked up in an Austrian prison? If that is the case then he could NOT have been present at the Iranian denierfest.

    As for Israel in any event, it is busy committing genocide against the Palestinians in order to achieve its goal of permanently occupying Gaza and the west bank to secure permanently all the water resources of the region. Hence the attack on Lebanon which it didn't win, of course!

  • viva peace

    Actually, Israel was already formed by 1940. The UN resolution merely recognised what had already become a reality. The tragedy is that Muslims during the same period preferred to twiddle their thumbs and have sword fights. As they sowed, let them reap. Poor dears.

  • The present regime in Tehran's support for a conference on denying the Holocaust reflects its abject lack of clear goals or substantial vision for Iran.

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