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.

Australian Jewish leaders blast new NGO as anti-Zionist

The following article appeared in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post:

Haviv Rettig

The group Independent Australian Jewish Voices represents a fringe, anti-Zionist minority in Australian Jewry, according to communal leaders down under.

The NGO misrepresents both its own agenda and the diversity of opinion among Australian Jews, the leaders said Wednesday of the group formed this week.

While its Declaration of Principles calls for a peace “that recognizes the national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians,” its “prime movers are not just critical of Israeli policies but of its right to exist as a Jewish state,” according to Dr. Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC).

Furthermore, said Rubenstein, the group’s claim that it faces intimidation from Australian Jewish institutions “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 to the Jewish community. What they are really seeking is a privileged position for their own views, making them immune from any criticism by the Jewish majority who strongly disagree with their ill-informed pronouncements.”

The organization caught the public eye this week with a petition saying there is an “urgent need to hear alternative voices that should not be silenced by being labeled disloyal or ‘self-hating.'”

According to the group, “uncritical allegiance to Israeli government policy does not necessarily serve Israel’s best interests. 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.”

But, Australian Jewish leaders protest, the community has long been conducting such discussions in an open atmosphere that is open to anyone who isn’t overtly anti-Zionist.

The implication that those critical of Israeli policies face intimidation, says Grahame Leonard, head of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the umbrella organization of the Australian Jewish community, is simply untrue.

“In Australian Jewry, there is constant vigorous debate on what’s happening in Israel, and there’s no automatic rubber-stamping of the actions of the Israeli government, irrespective of its political complexion,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

“Many Jews here aren’t happy with settlement policy,” he added, pointing to a group that protested Israeli government actions during a communal plenum in Melbourne on Tuesday. A majority of Australian Jews and Jewish institutions, he said, support a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

However, Leonard said, Independent Australian Jewish Voices “crosses the line,” since its founding members “imply Israel’s right to exist is problematic.”

As an example of the “deceptive” nature of the petition, Australian Jewish leaders point to one of the central organizers of the petition, writer Antony Loewenstein, who has “called Israel fundamentally anti-democratic and wants a binational state,” Rubenstein said. “Despite the apparent wording of the declaration, this has been put together by organizers who essentially believe Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state and have been calling for its dissolution.”

According to Independent Australian Jewish Voices, its petition has been signed by “prominent Australians” including philosopher professor Peter Singer of Princeton University, Melbourne University Publishing CEO Louise Adler, Monash University’s Dean of Law Prof. Arie Freiberg, author Antony Loewenstein. Perhaps most surprisingly, the Zionist Hashomer Hatza’ir youth movement signed on to the petition, according to IAJV.

This doesn’t surprise Leonard. The text of the petition is not very different from the views of most Australian Jews and Jewish institutions – “the very things we all would ascribe to,” he said. But “a lot of well-meaning, naive Australians don’t understand the motives and agenda behind the core group that established it,” leading them to sign alongside anti-Zionists, Leonard said.

And, emphasized Rubenstein, “their claim that they’re censured doesn’t [take away] their critics’ right to point out their flaws.”

2 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    Apparently, receiving death threats does not qualify as intimation according to AIJAC.

    And of course, what would a Zionist propaganda screed be without blatant lies?

    However, Leonard said, Independent Australian Jewish Voices “crosses the line,” since its founding members “imply Israel’s right to exist is problematic.”

  • Roslyn Ross

    Israel is, in essence, 'hoist on its own petard,' and can only maintain its position through using any means, including lies.

    Israel has been founded as a Jewish State. In a modern, civilized and democratic world this is racist. To this degree Israel has more in common with other racist Islamic states, but that is a digression.

    To maintain a Jewish State Israel must bring in more Jews and for that it needs more land, hence the continued colonisation of Palestine. Israel also needs to get rid of its Arabs, non-Jewish citizens, who are fast outbreeding them.

    Now, a two-state solution means giving back to the Palestinians all land currently held illegally by Israel and dismantling all illegal settlements…. that means, if you cannot get rid of Non-Jewish citizens you have nowhere to put more Jewish citizens so it is not possible to maintain a Jewish state.

    If Israel, like other colonising nations, were to lay claim to all of Palestine and create One State, again, it would signal the end of a Jewish State.

    So, the insane policy position has been ….. don't mention the war ….. which is don't mention the fact that we are occupying the Palestinians and continuing to colonise their land by force… because the only way Israel can maintain a Jewish State, for a few decades at least, is to hold on to all of Palestine and colonise it and find a way of getting rid of the Palestinians who live there. Such tactics have been long under discussion by the Israeli right-wingers.

    The mere fact that over the past half century Israel has embarked upon a massive colonisation programme, which the world regards as illegal, is a sure sign that Israel plans to take all of Palestine. It just leaves them with the Palestinian problem …. and how ironic, for it echoes the position the Germans believed themselves to be in.

    The truly sad thing of course is that it is all ultimately doomed. At some point, no doubt when more blood and tears have been shed, the world will be forced to act and Israel will be forced into either a Two State or One State solution. What a pity sanity cannot prevail to bring one or the other about sooner so less lives are lost.