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.

So many Jewish voices

The following letter appears in today’s Australian newspaper:

The letter from Grahame Leonard and other leaders of Australian Jewry (Letters, 7/3) misses the point as to why hundreds of Australian Jews have signed an open letter calling for more open and reasoned debate on the Middle East within and beyond the Jewish community.

We are not disputing the fact that these leaders are, as their letter states, opposed to vilification and intimidation on racial or religious grounds. But what we do dispute is the McCarthy-like vilification of those who do not toe the “Israel right or wrong” position of powerful individuals and organisations in the community. Saying that we should stand for election to Jewish community bodies if we are not happy is not a solution to the much broader problem of the manipulation of historical insecurities in the Jewish community in Australia and in many other countries. Nor does this solution help with the boots-and-all approach of some leaders to the publication of reasoned criticism of the Israeli government from outside the Jewish community.

Critical views of Israel held by many Australian Jews do not threaten Israeli security. Our views are, by and large, based on the criticism of Israeli policies and actions which appear in the free Israeli press itself. We are told that those who are critical of Israel are supporters of Palestinian terror or duplicitous anti-Semites and that, as the British journalist and author Melanie Phillips, a recent guest of the neo-con (and unelected) Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council has put it, we set in place the foundations for a second Holocaust.

This is the sort of intimidation that offends so many people today and why people are speaking out.
Larry Stillman
Elwood, Vic

The following letter appears in today’s Age newspaper:

If Age readers are still in any doubt about how the Jewish establishment treats dissenting voices, they might like to read the following.

Last week, before the letter to which I was a signatory had been published, the Australian Jewish News ran a news story whose first paragraph ran as follows: “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.”

Later in the news item, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein was quoted as saying: “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.”

Both the news lead and Dr Rubenstein’s comments were classic examples of why the letter was written and the group was formed. Note that signatories are not Jews: they are “Jewish-born individuals”. They are not unhappy with specific Israeli government policies and their uncritical promulgation by local Jewish leaders: they are dissenters “against the Jewish State” and they believe that “Israel has no right to exist”.

I would not have signed the letter or joined its sponsoring group, Independent Australian Jewish Voices, if I thought it was arguing for this position.

What is most galling, however, is that the moderate sentiments in the letter have been treated with such appalling heavy-handedness.

Both the AJN and Dr Rubenstein demonstrated, by these pre-emptive smears and vicious distortions, the truth of a central statement in the letter: “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.”
Henry Rosenbloom, Carlton North

The following letter appears in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

The Australian Jewish community is one of robust debate and open democracy. Consequently, one reads the announcement of the launch of Independent Australian Jewish Voices with a sense of intrigue and apprehension.

Antony Loewenstein and his group call for “a just peace that recognises the legitimate national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians with a solution that protects the human rights of all”. That is, of course, entirely consistent with the reasoned and sensible policy positions articulated by the elected leadership of the Australian Jewish community.

Next, they call for “reasoned argument rather than vilification and intimidation”. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has been at the forefront of fighting vilification and intimidation, not only of Jews but of all who face unlawful vilification.

The leadership of the Australian Jewish community is a credible voice in public forums precisely because we use reasoned argument to pursue sensible policies and we base our positions on sound research. We are more than prepared to expose the factually flawed, poorly reasoned material that Loewenstein applauds, such as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s attempt to smear the organised American Jewish community.

The group then says that it seeks “debate to further the prospects of peace, security and human rights in the Middle East”. Anyone who has witnessed debate at established open forums such as the monthly public meetings of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies will tell you that debate and airing of diverse views is the norm within the Jewish community.

Members of Independent Australian Jewish Voices could take advantage of the democratic processes which elect the leadership of our Jewish community and nominate for election to these bodies. That they choose not to, but instead imply the Jewish community leadership acts in ways it does not, speaks volumes as to their concern for democratic ideals.

David D. Knoll NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, and Grahame Leonard, Executive Council of Australian Jewry

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