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.

Voices from Australia

My following article appears in today’s Guardian Comment is Free section:

The recent launch of Independent Jewish Voices – a British group dedicated to alternative Jewish perspectives on the Israel/Palestine conflict – caused robust debate around the world.

Prominent public figures such as Nobel prize winner Harold Pinter, comedian Stephen Fry, filmmaker Mike Leigh and historian Eric Hobsbawm, along with hundreds of others, rightly argued that uncritical support for the Jewish state and its brutal occupation policies was endangering the country’s future. They hoped “that individuals and groups within all communities should feel free to express their views on any issue of public concern without incurring accusations of disloyalty”.

This week Independent Australian Jewish Voices launched and I am one of its founding members. Our aims are similar to the British group, and we have attracted more than 370 signatories (and rising very fast), including ethicist Professor Peter Singer, prominent Melbourne barrister Robert Richter QC, Melbourne University Publishing CEO Louise Adler, Monash University’s law dean Professor Arie Freiberg and other Jews from a variety of backgrounds. Many have said they rarely, if ever, have spoken out as Jews before in public, but the situation in the Middle East is now so dire that they feel compelled to end their self-imposed silence.

Our group does not hold any specific position on the Israel/Palestine conflict and nor do we claim to represent all Jews. We came together to argue that alternative Jewish opinions should be heard and respected. A just peace for both Israelis and Palestinians will not be achieved through Israel’s colonial mindset. The result of this consistent belligerence is that Israel has never been more internationally isolated.

The response by the Zionist establishment has been predictable and counter-productive. Local Zionist mouthpiece Colin Rubenstein falsely claimed that we are against Israel’s right to exist, when in fact our statement clearly says “that Israel’s right to exist must be recognised and that Palestinians’ right to a homeland must also be acknowledged.”

Similar untruths have been alleged in the Jerusalem Post and the implication is clear. Jews who don’t subscribe to the Israel “right or wrong” brigade should not express such thoughts in public, as they will assist Israel’s “enemies”. So much for the Australian Jewish community’s often stated claim that open and free debate is common and encouraged. In fact, many Jews and non-Jews have written to us and told their own stories of being accused of anti-semitism and disloyalty and receiving hatemail and death threats for simply stating dissatisfaction with Israeli policies. One of the group’s co-founders, Peter Slezak, received a death threat last week, a few days ahead of the launch.

Encouragingly, the mainstream media has welcomed the chance to hear Jewish voices that do not demonise the Palestinians and defend the 40-year illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. After all, a great number of Jews in Australia have neither association with Jewish organisations nor lobby groups and have never felt comfortable with the bellicose pronouncements by the Zionist hierarchy. As one letter writer expressed in this week’s Australian Jewish News, “I have a sneaking suspicion that many Jews have left the Jewish community because they are not prepared to submit to the unelected ‘mainstream’.”

An increasing number of vocal Jews around the world are no longer prepared to allow self-important Jewish leaders speak on behalf of them on issues that affect us all, including peace in the Middle East.

When innocent Palestinians are murdered by the IDF, we’re always told it was an accident. When the Israeli government continually expands settlements in the West Bank, we’re informed it’s merely “natural growth”. When the entire Gazan population are collectively punished, we’re expected to believe that their election of Hamas warrants such retribution. When Jimmy Carter writes a book that accurately describes the Israeli occupation of Palestine as reminiscent of apartheid South Africa, he is accused of anti-Semitism, evil and enabling genocide.

Independent Australian Jewish Voices has already shown to the wider community that many Jews, who want Israelis and Palestinians to live together in peace, are determined to articulate a more humane vision for the Middle East. Historian Tony Judt has expressed it well: “Israel no longer has any special claim upon international sympathy or indulgence”, and must therefore act accordingly.

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