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 time has arrived

John Hilary, The Guardian, January 31:

You know that things are serious when a parliamentary select committee puts out a call for sanctions against another sovereign state. Doubly so when that state is supposed to be one of Britain’s key allies in the Middle East. Yet today the House of Commons international development committee is calling on the Labour government to press for sanctions against Israel over its treatment of the Palestinian people. Things must be pretty bad.

Things are indeed bad, says the committee’s new report. As a result of Israeli occupation and the accompanying restrictions on movement, the Palestinian economy is in freefall. Fully 70% of Palestinians are now living in poverty, according to UN calculations, a figure which rises to 80% in Gaza. Over half of all Palestinians are now unable to cover their families’ daily food needs without relying on external aid – a scandal in such a rich and fertile land.

As a first step in putting pressure on the Israeli government to end this oppression, the UK should now urge its fellow members in the EU to consider suspending the EU-Israel association agreement, the cross-party committee says. 

30 comments ↪
  • viva peace

    And yet all they care about is pushing the Jews into the sea? Very screwy people. And you want to give them their own state? ROFL.

  • Addamo

    That's right Viva,

    All "they" care about? I thought you would at least arm yourself with some evidence here, like the fact that the majority of Palestinians want peace with Israel. But here, they are just filthy Arabs right? They don;t have the bomb, so who cares about them anyway?

    As Ben Gurion once said about the plight of the Palestinians, the Jews have suffered enough – let it be someone else's turn right?

  • Suze

    Uri Avnery had an interesting piece in the Guardian on Wed. – apparently a new book by an advisor to Sharon claims he sought approval from Bush to assassinate Arafat and when asked if the plan was enacted Sharon said "it's better not to talk about that".
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,200228…

  • Addamo

    Here is another interesting piece:

    Another fine example of the celebration of free speech:
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=116746

    The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and Aish Hatorah have called this week to expel the Union of Progressive Zionists (UPZ) from the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) for supporting Breaking the Silence, an organization that is hyper-critical of the IDF's treatment of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    Actually Ben-Gurion would not have said that as the only "Palestinians" who existed in his time were Jews. Also, if you are looking for the planned misery of the Pals you need to look at the Muslims themselves.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    You are of course, terribly mistaken. At the time of Israel's creation, there were only 50 thousand Jews in Palestine and about 700 thousands Palestinians Ben Guiron, after all, was lauded for encouraging the Palestinians to stay during the 1948 ethnic cleansing, was he not? For such a stickler for scholarship, yours appears to be lacking.

    FYI. That quote was provided to me by a Zionist history buff I was debating.

    As for pushing Israelis into the sea, it's ironic that Zionists so often complain about how their enemies want to wipe Israel from the face of the map, when that is exactly what Israel has done to Palestine.

    The planned misery of the Palestinians is consequence of Israeli policy. That is beyond dispute. Just refer to Gideon Levy's article in Haaretz that Ant has linked to for just an example.

    Take away people's land, their source of income, their home, and treat them worst than animals and you get the planned misery of the Pals.

    How can you possibly deny it?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    The Arabs of British Mandate Palestine did not consider themselves "Palestinians" until the 1970s.

  • viva peace

    There is no such place as "Palestine." It ended with the end of the British Mandate, the creation of Israel and the illegal invasion and theft of land by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    Come on. "Palestinian" misery can be traced directly to the "Palestinians" themselves coupled with the cynical and cruel manipulations of the Arab states. As Nasser said in 1956

    The Palestinians are useful to the Arab states as they are.

  • Suze

    You are an extremist, racist nut but do go on spraying your incoherent fallacies around Viva – you are the embodiment of every point Addamo and AL make.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    Right out of the David Horowitz playbook. Complete garbage and very lame. That's like syaing that the Jews who were living in Palestine at the time didn't regard themselves as Israelis. What difference does it make? And who where the Arabs that were ethnically cleansed in 1948?

    The vast majority Israelis never came from Israel.

    The Arabs who inhabited Palestine regarded Palestine as their home and outnumbered the Jews by 14:1. Their land, their home.

    Are you forgetting Moshe Dayan's famous quote about how the Arab towns no longer existed on the map because they had been renamed and reclaimed?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    They considered themselves citizens of the Ottoman Empire and Muslims as well as attachment to their local towns, villages and such. During the British Mandate, the Arabs refused to identify with the British designation of the region as "Palestine." In fact, during that period when people anywhere in the world spoke of "Palestinians" they were referring to Jews.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    It is not like saying that at all.

    Between 1920 and 1948, Israel did not exist, but Palestine did.

  • viva peace

    Suze

    Oh FFS. Hun, I am merely teaching you about the facts of the history here. How the hell can that be "racist?" You really need to drop that crap you know. "Racism" is a very real and horrible phenomenon. When whackjob hateful left-wingers start flinging it around like confetti, it loses all impact.

  • Suze

    Oh sorry, 'hun' then how would you describe using semantics to try and define a people out of existence and see addamo's point about the years prior to 1948 above.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    I am not sure what to make of your sudden piety here. You have frequently gloated about the remoteness of the possibility of a Palestinian state, so her racist accusation is not without merit.

    As for Arab identity, whether they called themselves Palestinians or otherwise, the point remains that Palestine was their land and their home.

    As Moshe Dayan's infamous remark points out, there was a vibrant and prosperous society in Palestine prior to 1948.

    Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu'a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    Their was a civil war. Then there was foreign invasion. There were winners, there were losers. Along the way, their have been attempts at negotiation and reconciliation. The Pals never miss an opportuntiy to miss an opportunity.

  • viva peace

    Nothing in that quote suggests vibrancy and prosperity. But to be sure, Zionism lifted considerably the living stabdards of what were basically serfs

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    How is it "racist" to have an opinion on the likelihood of a future political event? If I were to say "Hillary Clinton has next to no chance of winning the presidency," is THAT "racist" or perhaps "sexist?" Or perhaps both!

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    You have portrayed the failures to secure an agreement on the Palestinians, when in fact, Israel has never agreed to anything acceptable to the Palestinians.

    A number of Israeli leaders are on the record as admitting they would never have accepted these offers if they were Palestinians. Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Shlomo Ben Ami, who was involved in the Oslo and Camp David talks has also admitted that the Arafat was right to reject the offers.

    It's easy to pretend that the failures have been the fault of the Palestinians. Simply offer them something unacceptable and then claim that they will not negotiate.

    Need we also be reminded of the revelations from Dov Weisglass, who said that Sharon would put the roadmap into formaldehyde?

    As for prosperity, Palestine was not wanting for anything. It was self sustaining.

    As for racism, your statements have been been noticeably tinged with the suggestion that the plight of the Arabs was endemic to their race/religion.

  • viva peace

    Are you suggesting that Sunni Arab culture is irrelevant???

  • viva peace

    Well unfortunately for the Pals, what they deem "acceptable" Israel does not.

  • Addamo

    Well unfortunately for the Pals, what they deem “acceptable” Israel does not.

    Obviously, but to insist that it's the fault of the Palestinians is disingenuous don't you agree?

    Are you suggesting that Sunni Arab culture is irrelevant???

    What have I said that would suggest that?

  • Suze

    Israel however does deem it acceptable to place people under a curfew to cut off their electricity and water, to restrict their movement to shoot their children and pardon the soldiers who do so. You are an apologist for a racist and apartheid regime. Are You suggesting that placing themselves in the power of an oppressive regime is a sunni arab trait? The sum totalof your arguments seems to be that Palestine does not exist therefore there is no such thing as Palestinians and the people who are starving in Gaza, dying at checkpoints and being abused in every conceivable way have only themselves to blame. Excuse me but yes I think you are a racist.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    No I do not think it is disingenuous. The only resolution that has ever been acceptable to the Pals is the destruction of Israel.

  • viva peace

    Suze

    Are you trying to argue that "Palestine" does exist? Yes, "Palestinians" exist. This is the name the Arab refugees decided upon following advice from the KGB after the 1967 War.

  • Addamo

    The only resolution that has ever been acceptable to the Pals is the destruction of Israel.

    That's just and ad-hominem and is just a lazy way to sidestep the debate.

    Hamas are a relatively recent invention and only surfaced thanks to Israel, who gave birth to it after the 1967 war. Even so, Hamas have already offered Israel a 40 year truce.

    Most Palestinians are past accepting and recognising Israel, so it's a non-sequetir.

    Kalid Mishail, who lives in exile in Damascus, who Israel tried to poison when he was in Jordan, made is clear a few weeks back that the defacto recognition of Israel by Hamas had already been accepted.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    It was always the PLO's and Arafat's goal for Israel's destruction and it has been Hamas' core platform since the 1980s. A 40 year truce offered by Hamas? ROFL. Who on earth would ever believe Islamist nutters? Besides who the hell do they think they are to offer such "concessions?" They do not have that luxury, and while they continue with that hateful, bizarre, and vile antismemictic Charter, they can lie in the bed they themselves made.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    Arafat was the first PA leader to officially recognize Israel, and in return, Israel continued to expand it's settlements for the following 7 years.

    Like is or not, but Hamas were democratically elected, so in spite of efforts by Israel and the West to crush them, you cannot deny their legitimacy.

    Your bent is typical of the stubborned refusal to pursue diplomacy and negotiations. After all, the Israeli leadership is notorious for lying, yet you hold their word to be self evident, do you not? This Hamas platform you cling to serves the interests of the extreme element of Israel's leadership that flourishes in the presence of an enemy it can identify and exploit to frighten the Israeli population.

    Case in point, the Israeli fence. Olmert wants to now move it 5 km into Gaza – no doubt he will argue for the reasons of security.

    Meanwhile Israel are starving the Palestinians, killing them by the dozens and stifling dissent within their own ranks, and you have the gall to call Hams hateful, bizarre and vile?

  • silkworm

    One of the tactics used against the apartheid regime was the boycott against sportspeople and teams from Souith Africa. A similar boycott could be organized against Israeli sportspeople and teams. The most likely taget of this boycott would be Israeli tennis players such as Anna Smashnova. Israel could also be banned from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.