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.

Blaming the victim

The following editorial appears in today’s Australian newspaper:

Cheap “dissent” enables global anti-Semites

WHILE Winston Churchill will always be remembered for staring down the Nazis, a recent discovery by a Cambridge academic suggests the wartime prime minister’s attitudes towards Judaism were not perfect either. In a never-published 1937 essay entitled, “How the Jews Can Combat Persecution”, Churchill complained that cheap Jewish labour was “taking employment away from English people”, adding that despite terrible persecution “the Jew is different. He looks different. He thinks differently . . . He refuses to be absorbed”.

But while some will say Churchill’s comments were simply a reflection of his time – and in his defence he also urged Britons to fight “evil” Jewish persecution – the more disturbing thing is how such attitudes continue to reflect a contemporary European culture where anti-Semitism can sometimes lurk just under the surface of society. When in 2001 the French ambassador to the UK made an off-the-cuff remark calling Israel a “shitty little country”, he was articulating a feeling that is commonly seen and heard throughout Europe whether in immigrant ghettoes or at posh dinner parties. And while in Europe opposition to Israel is largely cloaked in strategic cowardice – Western support for a Jewish state only makes us a target for Islamic terrorism – across the Middle East all the demented ancient fantasies of anti-Semitism, from blood libel to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, are still given wide airing.

All of this is useful to bear in mind given news of the formation of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, which claims to “dissent” from the supposed uniformity of opinion among high-profile Australian Jews on the subject of Israel. Yet even as IAJV purports to take the moral high ground it promotes a dangerous moral equivalence between Israel, a legally sanctioned state created by the UN, and its neighbours who have since its birth repeatedly tried to push it into the sea. And we wonder what controversial Israeli actions they feel they are not allowed to disagree with. Yitzhak Rabin’s signing of the Oslo Accords, which enshrined the principle of land for peace only to be roundly violated by the Palestinians? The growth of the Kadima party, which was formed by no less a hawk than Ariel Sharon and is predicated on giving up territory for security, and which is now the largest party in Israel? Likewise their wilfully naive analysis of Israeli-Arab relations ignores the reality of Middle Eastern geopolitics and the bloody struggle between Sunni and Shia Islam. Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s antagonistic comments towards Israel have failed to provoke uproar in Europe. But Iran’s nuclear ambitions have lifted tensions throughout the Middle East and forged a new level of co-operation between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Certainly, Israel is not without sin. But it is a democracy that has voted repeatedly for peace and coexistence. This will not be possible until its enemies come to the same conclusion.

6 comments ↪
  • Waddy

    All of which goes to show that a lot of work will have to be done to get anything like a balanced reflection on Israel/Palestine from the editorial writers at The Oz. But I am encouraged by their felt need to disparage IAJV; they must be worried about the prospective emergence of a credible alternate view.

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  • Marilyn

    Precisely when did Israel vote for peace and co-existence pray tell?

    Was it in 1947 when they enacted David Gruen's ethnic cleansing plan and pushed over 750,000 Palestinians into the sea, bulldozed or blew up 531 towns and villages, destroyed 3 million acres of land and crops and then decided they had won a big war against the non-existent marauding arabs?

    What about 1956 when they joined in the bizarre plot over the Suez Canal with Britain and the French and wrote the plan of the spontaneous war on a cigarette packet the week before the spur of the moment attack?

    Or how about 1967 when a Palestinian academic and priest has written that Israel's IAF flew over all the arab nations on 5 June and blew up all their air capacity and then launched a land strike the next day among all the confusion?

    Or 1973 where Uri Avnery graphically outlines how Israel provoked the Syrians and then wondered why they actually fought back?

    How about that they have been told since 1948 that the Palestinians have an inviolable right to return so they build bigger walls around them?

    Lebanon invaded, people slaughtered in their thousands, the Khiam torture chambers, the phalangist collaborator killing machines in Sabra and Shatila.

    And the latest attack on Lebanon planned in January – March 2006 and just waiting for a pretext.

    Jesus, I would hate to know what Israel would do if they didn't just want peace.

  • JohD

    Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s antagonistic comments towards Israel have failed to provoke uproar in Europe

    I fail to understand why Ahmadinejad is a 'dictator'? Is it ignorance or do these people just lie reflexively?

  • Andre

    Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s antagonistic comments towards Israel have failed to provoke uproar in Europe

    Perhaps because the correct Farsi translation's has been reported there, rather than the debunked version about Israel being wiped off the face of the map.

  • al loomis

    my brief dip into middle east history suggests that israel started off by invasion. jews were less than 20% of the palestine population when clandestine armies called 'irgun' and 'stern gang' began adjusting this ratio with guns and bombs.

    since then, fatah and hamas have been trying to get their native land back. it suits the west to support israel so fatah and hamas are terrorist organizations rather than liberation fighters.

    the situation is bleak for palestinians, yet there is some cause for hope: the west supported the equally illegitimate regimes of apartheid in south africa and rhodesia for a long time, yet finally withdrew recognition. in any event, when the zionists have taken your land, your home, your family, resistance unto death comes easily.

    the zionists have no choice, for them too, it is win or die. so there can be no peace until israel is dissolved and a secular state of palestine is born.