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.

Provocative president points finger at Israel

My following book review appeared in yesterday’s Sydney Sun-Herald newspaper:

Palestine: Peace not Apartheid
Jimmy Carter
(Simon & Schuster, $45)

When US President Jimmy Carter delivered his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in 2002 – awarded for “advancing democracy and human rights” and bringing peace between Israel and Egypt in 1978 – he reiterated the importance of UN Resolution 242.

“It condemns the acquisition of territory by force, calls for withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories, and provides for Israelis to live securely and in harmony with their neighbours”, he said. “There is no other mandate whose implementation could more profoundly improve international relationships.”

Carter’s uncontroversial position is now under attack by the Zionist lobby after the publication of Palestine: Peace not Apartheid in which he states that Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine has created a system that is in many ways worse than apartheid South Africa.

The numerous checkpoints, confiscation of land, building of a separation wall and indiscriminate killing of civilians is causing yet another generation of Palestinians to only know the Israelis as brutal occupiers.

Carter has said that the majority of his Zionist critics haven’t actually spent time in the occupied territories and instead label his book “anti-Israel”, code for daring to question the ever-tightening restrictions on Palestinian civilians.

Carter told Newsweek that the leading US Zionist lobby, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, “is not designed to promote peace…They have a perfect right to lobby, but their purpose in life is to protect and defend the policies of the Israeli government and to make sure those policies are approved in the United States and in our Congress.”

It is virtually impossible to objectively assess the current state of Israeli policies in Palestine without being accused of treason, anti-Semitism or dishonesty. Carter navigates these waters with general aplomb, however, and spends some of the book discussing his own role in negotiating Middle East peace.

He unequivocally blames successive Israeli governments for refusing to give up their colonial addiction to land, building more settlements on occupied territory and indulging the extremist ideology of the settler movement.

Peace will never be achieved, he argues, until the occupation mindset is buried forever. Which US President will be brave enough to start? During the Oslo peace process years, settlements doubled in size and Palestinians soon realised that the agreements between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin were meaningless. Facts-on-the-ground spoke far more loudly than any deal struck with then US President Bill Clinton.

Carter has convincingly defended his book against various charges, though the work does contain a few errors, such as mistakenly claiming that Jews and Arabs have equal rights in Israel proper, when in fact, discrimination against non-Jews is both legalised and informal.

Israel’s new Deputy Prime Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has spoken of forcibly separating Israelis and Palestinians and creating a purely Jewish state. He is not a fringe player but a prominent member of the Israeli cabinet.

This book is far from the last word on the conflict but its singular achievement has been to alert a worldwide and mainstream audience that Israel is practicing apartheid-like policies in the occupied territories.

Although Carter is correct in condemning Palestinian suicide bombing, he acknowledges that extremists on both sides will only be marginalised when honest negotiations take place.

During the Bush administration, the role of the United States has been hopelessly one-sided and the Arab world rightly sees Israel as incapable of making any serious peace initiative unless receiving permission from Washington.

“The bottom line is this”, concludes Carter. “Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law.”

  • Marilyn

    Yep, it was a good book even though slightly deluded in all the religious stuff.

    None of the old testament crap has any basis in fact but the zionists and right wing nut jobs proclaim them as fact.

    I often ask Israeli's to try an experiment and look at their neighbours as simply human beings.

    It is beyond them.

  • E. Mariyani

    AL: Are we going to see a book review of Ali Abunimah's new book, ONE COUNTRY: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impassesometime soon?

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Good question. I have One Country, a fine book, but getting it reviewed in the mainstream press here, not so easy…

  • viva peace

    Jimmy Carter suffers from the same illiteracy as our very own Ant. A chronic inability to understand 242. But as anyone who has read his book knows, he DOES understand, but in cahoots with Louise Adler chooses to LIE about it. She should be sacked.

    I hope this helps.

  • Glenn Condell

    Philip Weiss wrote a nice piece on going to see Carter talk at Brandeis:

    And George Soros has fired one hell of a salvo at AIPAC in the New York Review of Books:

  • Andre

    Also of interest is that Mearsheimer and Walt will be releasing a book, which will expand on their ground breaking paper:

    Clearly there is an ever expanding audience for this topic.

  • al loomis

    israel is carrying on as it began: violent occupation followed by piecemeal acquisition, all the while complaining bitterly about the violence of their neighbors.

    the reluctance of palestinian moslems to march out into the desert and bury themselves has been an inconvenience to the zionist invaders, but the support of their american mentor has protected them from any un censure.

    this support is somewhat weakened now, as the western nations are no longer in debt to the usa. opposition voices are sometimes heard, although the zionists are well placed to claim "anti-semitism" since nearly every european nation participated in the nazi mass murder of jews (and many other inconvenient minorities).

    the zionist occupation of palestine was tolerated in the west in part out of sympathy for the holocaust, in part out of guilt for particpating in it, in part out of relief at a 'final solution' to their own problems with jews, and possibly out of a belief that israel would be a convenient staging ground for military activities in the center of the worlds oil supplies. consequently, there is a history of legitimization in the west which is founded on foreign policy convenience. it has nothing to do with justice, and people who have a sense of justice that recognizes moslems and arabs as human beings can easily see that the zionists have less right to palestine than the boer/apartheid regime had to south africa.

    israel has no 'right to exist,' they only have the 'best army' in the region. if successful thuggery is your standard of justice, at least say so, before beginning any discussion of the palestine question.

  • Pingback: Ripples upon ripples at Antony Loewenstein()