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.

Dissidents set for Australia-wide media campaign

The following article appears in this week’s Australian Jewish News:

Jason Frenkel

A new coalition of Australian Jews critical of Israeli security policies is set to launch a nationwide campaign voicing its dissent against the Jewish State and its supporters.

The group, called Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV), is collecting signatures to back its cause and planning a major publicity blitz in the mainstream media in the coming weeks.

It is based on a similar campaign by the British group Independent Jewish Voices, which was this week accused of “paving the way for a second genocide” by visiting British journalist Melanie Phillips in a public lecture.

In its declaration, entitled “A call for an alternative view” and published on its website, the Australian group claims the “Jewish establishment does not represent the full range of Jewish opinion” and says there is “an urgent need to hear alternative voices”.

“Uncritical allegiance to Israeli Government policy does not necessarily serve Israel’s best interests,” the declaration states. “Our concern for justice and peace in the Middle East is a legitimate opinion and should be met by reasoned argument rather than vilification and intimidation. Contrary to widespread concerns, antisemitism is not fuelled by Jews who publicly disagree with actions of the Jewish State.”

The IAJV group is the brainchild of outspoken Israel critic Antony Loewenstein, author of My Israel Question, and is supported by University of NSW (UNSW) philosophy lecturer Peter Slezak and James Levy, another UNSW academic.

Loewenstein would not disclose the number of signatories to the declaration, but said the group included prominent names.

He said IAJV had been “inspired” by the British dissenters and the two groups had been in contact.

“I think the Jewish establishment will be quite surprised how many Jews who have not necessarily been involved in the past with an organisation, or spoken out on this issue, now feel that the time is right for them to speak out,” Loewenstein said.

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein described the new coalition as “destructive” and said it would help Israel’s enemies.

“Despite the wording of the declaration, it is clearly being used as a publicity stunt by a minuscule number of Jewish-born individuals who have adopted the ugly but increasingly common belief that alone among the world’s nations, Israel has no right to exist,” Dr Rubenstein said.

“The claim that they put forward that all Jewish voices critical of Israeli policies are being ‘silenced’ is not only inane and untrue, but clearly plays into the conspiratorial mindset of the growing number of people who are violently hostile to both Israel’s existence and the Jewish community.”

Phillips, a critic of the British media for its anti-Israel bias, told about 400 people in Melbourne last Sunday that she called the British dissenters “Jews for Genocide”.

The work of Independent Jewish Voices could have devastating results, she said.

“These people are paving the way for a second genocide,” she said.

Phillips declined to comment on Independent Australian Jewish Voices when contacted by the AJN this week.

In an article published in London’s Jewish Chronicle two weeks ago, she said the attitudes of the British group could have “potentially murderous consequences”.

“At a time when the West is being softened up for genocide by the demonisation of Israel, Jews who reinforce the Big Lie about the Jewish State are helping pave the way for a second potential holocaust,” Phillips wrote.

“The more we try to protect Israel from this lethal onslaught, the more these perpetrators claim that they are martyrs to those who would suppress free speech. The price they would force us to pay for not being thus vilified is to embrace our own people’s destruction.”

Loewenstein said Phillips’ claim was “immoral” and “outlandish” and the most serious charge one Jew could make against another.

“That’s the kind of hysterical response that the vast majority of Jews are resisting,” he said.

“That sort of world view seems to be that any sort of criticism of Israel is antisemitic and assisting genocide and it makes any sort of debate impossible.”

The British group, which includes comedian Stephen Fry, film-maker Mike Leigh, playwright Harold Pinter and historian Eric Hobsbawn, launched last month with a signed declaration criticising the British Jewish community for putting its support for Israel ahead of Palestinian human rights.

Loewenstein said IAJV would express similar sentiments, although it would not target a particular community organisation in the way the British group had focused on the British Jewish Board of Deputies.

But Dr Rubenstein said the campaign was not about alternative views on Israel.

“What they are really seeking is a privileged position for their own views, making them immune from any criticism by the Jewish majority who disagree.”

4 comments ↪
  • ej

    The Zionist establishment, here as in Britain, keeps claiming majority opinion in support of Isreal amongst the domestic Jewish community. As if that confers continuing legitimacy on Israel. And nobody else is relevant, particularly the long-suffering Palestinians.

    Majority opinion (as a concept, as opposed to whether it exists in practice), rather than conferring legitimacy on Israel, an impossible quest, serves to delegitimise the domestic Jewish community. Isn't anybody embarrassed?

    Quoting liberally from a would-be Messiah, 'For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?' Admittedly, this is the New Testament (and KJV to boot), but there's a moral here.

  • Suze

    Just heard Melanie Phillips on RN's counterpoint she peppered her talk on "londonistan" with such catch cries as "no stomach for the fight" and with bizaarely superficial analyses such as her comment on why Islamic fundamentalism has gained a toe hold in Britain;" there's no majority culture here for you to integrate into because we think Britain basically stinks and therefore we'll celebrate where you came from."

    Like her comment on jews "for genocide" this betrays the extremism of her views. Meanwhile she is claiming to be defending the principles of liberal democracy and freedom of speech. If labelling someone a supporter of genocide is not an attempt to restrain freedom of speech I don't know what is.

  • viva peace

    Suze

    If only Australia had more brave dissenting women such as Melanie Phillips, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and the much missed Oriana Fallaci. Alas, we are stuck with sad passe anti-Semitic Socialists.

  • Addamo

    Melanie Phillips is a pathological shill, who has become a freak show. Too bad really, because by her association, she is doing a huge disservice to the cause she it trying to serve. She is the female equivalent of David Horowitz.

    Hirsi Ali is a grandstander who had become the darling of right wing think tanks in the US after she was forced to leave Holland. Perhaps she is is sincere, but she strikes me as bitter.

    Ali seems to be perusing a path to fame and fortune in the USA . After all if she was happy to sing Holland's praises when they could do something for her why is she so keen to jump ship now? After she has reaped the rewards.

    Or is it because, having discovered her flexible approach to the truth, that the Dutch gravy train has suddenly come to an halt where as the US gravy train is all steamed up and ready to roll?

    There are no anti-Semitic Socialists Viva, just people who don't agree with you. Your gratuitous use of the accusation only dilutes it.