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.

Take me to a place where Jews can roam free

Shock, horror!

A group of prominent Australian Jews, including the NSW Minister for Roads, Eric Roozendaal, the federal Labor MP Michael Danby and the former Victorian Supreme Court judge Howard Nathan have reacted angrily to calls for a more diverse debate on Israel made by a rival Jewish group this week.

The counter petition, organised by Mr Danby, is a public objection to what it called the “unreasoning attack on Israel and the Australian Jewish community” by Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV).

Other signatories include the union leader Michael Borowick and Rabbi John Levi, the deputy president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

The IAJV’s campaign was launched on Monday on the basis that “the Jewish establishment does not represent the full range of Jewish opinion”. By Wednesday afternoon more than 330 people had signed the group’s petition, The Jewish News reported.

It stated that signatories were committed to a just peace in the Middle East that recognised the national aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians. It condemned violence on both sides of the conflict “whether state-sanctioned or not”.

“We feel there is an urgent need to hear alternative voices that should not be silenced by being labelled “disloyal” or “self-hating”, the petition read.

The IAJV’s members, who include the Melbourne University Press publisher Louise Adler, Professor Peter Singer and the author Antony Loewenstein, say they have been vilified by other Jews for their criticisms of Israel. The academic Eva Cox, also an IAJV member, told ABC radio on Tuesday that the group wanted to show that those held up as “spokespeople” for the Jewish community are not necessarily representative.

Yesterday’s dissenting statement from Mr Danby denied that Jews critical of Israel were vilified or silenced. It said its signatories “all support compromise, but this tiny group confuses our well-informed criticism with censorship”.

The academics Dr Doug Kirsner and Dr Philip Mendes helped draft the dissenting statement, along with Mr Danby. “They say people are muzzled or the debate about Israel is stymied,” Dr Kirsner said. “That’s a myth, completely untrue. I feel very proud at the Jewish community because we are very good at having vibrant, robust debates.”

I’m so glad Kirsner feels “proud” of the Jewish community’s spirit of openness. It’s enough to make one all warm and fuzzy inside. What was that, you said? No criticism of Israel is warranted? The Israeli government is the most humane in the world and its army only sometimes uses Palestinian human shields to fight “terror?” No country is perfect, after all, and what’s a few murdered Palestinians anyway? Aren’t we glad that Kirsner has cleared all that up?

Elsewhere, IAJV signatory Dennis Altman explains the necessity for the new movement, then unelected Zionist figure Colin Rubenstein chides previously uninvolved Jews who dare to speak up:

Finally, there were some people who signed the statement who have little or no engagement with the Jewish community, but identify themselves as Jewish to deflect criticism when they malign the organised Jewish community and Israel. It is hardly surprising that other members of the Jewish community are annoyed when individuals who have made no effort to contribute to our communal life and institutions complain those institutions do not represent them. 

Dear Colin had better get used to it, because they are many such Jews out there, and they’re starting to stand up.

3 comments ↪
  • ej

    I hate to resort to reactionary patriorism, 'American love it or leave it' stuff, but if Israel is the bee's knees why aren't these signatories, to a person, living in Israel?

    As it is, their fifth column activities from within Australia is proving a hazard to my domestic security.

    Are our INtelligence forces tapping their phones and attending under cover the synagogue activities?

  • Harmlessbuff

    Re the touchy subject of Israel.
    I am not a Jew but I do consider myself to be a person of the Book.
    And I try to seek out the welfare of the city to which i have been exiled.
    I think that Jews are an asset to any community and I welcome them.
    Communities that welcome them generally do well.
    Conversely, those that will not tolerate them don't.
    Look what happened to Spain when they chucked them out.
    The spiritually and intellectually based culture that the Jews give us is a great gift.
    It enables us to survive the ravages of nature and the state.
    It frees us from the spirit of the land, as it were.
    That the Israeli Jews should want to turn back the clock and tie themselves once again to the land surprises and disappoints me.
    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that Israel in its current state is doomed.
    Israel started barking up the wrong tree when it accepted the two state idea selected for them by UN jury of their peers in 1948 or whenever it was.
    If I was a Jew the last place i would be is in Israel.
    I believe we say next year in Jerusalem -not this year.
    So make peace with your brothers, the children of Ishmael, and join with them.
    It's never too late.

    Thank you Antony for inviting debate on this issue which impinges on us all.

  • Suze

    How anyone with a conscience can call that petition an attack on Israel is beyond me. It is intellectual dishonesty of the worst kind for them to do so.