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.

Zionist, anti-Zionist and the confused

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

Messrs Knoll and Leonard (Letters, March 8) say that they represent the voice of reasoned debate and open democracy, free of vilification and intimidation. Do they really expect us to believe that their response to the award of the Sydney Peace Prize to a Palestinian, Hanan Ashrawi, was reasonable and non-intimidatory?

The constant harassing of media outlets and political parties is not simply to guarantee that anti-Semitism is countered. It is to control the debate so that important and reasonable alternative views on the Middle East are not heard. This is why the launch of Independent Australian Jewish Voices is so important.

Mike Clear Penrith

The following letters appear in today’s Age newspaper:

In its letter on this page yesterday the Executive Council of Australlian Jewry says it uses “reasoned argument and sound research to pursue sensible policies that reflect majority views”.

However, the authors of the letter strongly suggest that to do otherwise is to act counter to democratic ideals. This viewpoint neglects to account for the fact that healthy democratic discourse is also about openness to reasoned argument and policies that reflect minority views, even if these seriously challenge fundamental assumptions and values held by the majority.

Not to mention the fact that anyone who knows anything about Jewish scholarship and the Israeli media knows that both celebrate a healthier debate than the ECAJ is inclined to permit.

Jeremy Kenner, Parkdale

Keep it up!

At last a Jewish voice that does not iterate the Israeli Government pap or a pro-Zionist/anti-Palestinian view. Keep up the good work. You will do more to defeat anti-Semitism than most of the Jewish organisations “speaking for the Jews”.

P. Stephens, Yamba

Obstacle to peace

I find it extraordinary that Antony Loewenstein and his friends not only claim they want a two-state solution to the Arab-Israel conflict, but intimate that the Jewish community does not. The community is nearly wall-to-wall in its support for a peaceful and democratic Palestine side by side with Israel in secure borders. Loewenstein and some of the other signatories have frequently called for a one-state solution — which means the dismantling of Israel.

It is the Jewish community that is for peace, and Loewenstein and his supporters making peace more difficult.

Nathalie Samia, Randwick, NSW

Why this Jew signed

I am a former citizen of Israel and a signatory of the Independent Australian Jewish Voices petition. I have been an activist for Palestinian rights and an outspoken supporter of a one-state solution. The mainstream Australian Jewish community has been working hard to silence such anti-Zionist views. I signed the petition as an expression of protest against this attitude — not because I am a supporter of a two-state solution.

Avigail Abarbanel, Canberra

Trembling Israelites

The Israeli Government must be trembling in its boots, now that some eminent Australians have revealed the closely kept secret that not all Australian Jews have identical views about the state of Israel. Will Jerusalem now cease to worry about Iran and declare a state of emergency?

G. Silver, Kew

Jewish wars

No wonder they can’t sustain peace in the Middle East. Judging by the recent letters pages, Australian Jews spend most of their time fighting each other!

Kel Joaquin-Byrne, Randwick, NSW

The following letters appear in today’s Australian newspaper:

Antony Loewenstein, founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, does not accept Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution and admits IAJV’s petition singles out Israel as solely responsible for its impasse with the Palestinians.

One must question the IAJV’s supposed even-handedness when its founder ignores, for example, the Camp David summit in 2000 when Yassar Arafat rejected then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak’s offer of the creation of a Palestinian state (following Israeli withdrawal from all of the Gaza Strip and some 95 per cent of the West Bank) and Palestinian control over East Jerusalem.

Similarly, IAJV’s bona fides are suspect if its signatories disregard any Palestinian responsibility. The Palestinian government’s position is unequivocal: “Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Muslim generations until Judgement Day (Hamas Covenant, Article 11)” and “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad (Article 13)”.

Neither Australian Jews nor Israelis need convincing of a two-state solution. Rather, it’s intractable Islamists whom IAJV should be targeting.
Geoffrey Zygier
Executive director,
Executive Council of Australian Jewry Inc,
South Caulfield, Vic

IAJV’s proclaimed manifesto appears almost identical to Israeli government policy and mainstream Jewish thought, except that the blanket condemnation of “violence by all parties, whether state-sanctioned or not” seems to imply a completely fallacious equivalence between Israel’s use of military force and Hamas’s terrorist aggressions. If this is IAJV’s intention, then surely “self-hating” is an exact description. What else can you call someone who supports and applauds those who wish to kill him? Hamas and other Palestinian militias rejoice at shedding Jewish blood and IAJV’s signatories are just as much on their hit-list as I am.
Judith Rona
Bondi, NSW

one comment ↪
  • Addamo

    Holy crap,

    There's some major activity going on down there. What have you started Ant? This is amazing.

    Let's hope and pray the momentum continues,