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.

Independent Jewish Voices, stage two

Last night I attended the second only public meeting of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) in central London. Around 300 people attended from across the country, including famed peace activist Walter Wolfgang, activist John Rose, leading anti-Zionist academic Jacqueline Rose and founding IJV members Brian Klug and Lynne Segal. The aim of the get-together was to plan future directions for the group and continue the wonderful momentum created by the launch in February.

It was made clear that the group was not a membership organisation, but an experiment aimed to promote public debate on Israel and Palestine.

Rose said that the public response to IJV was far greater than she expected and was encouraged by the many Jews who joined the group, many of whom had never spoken in public before as Jews (this was very similar to the experience in Australia, where some told us that remaining silent in the face of ever-increasing Israeli brutality was no longer an option.)

The public debate between Jonathan Freedland and Melanie Phillips in the Jewish Chronicle was cited as an example that verbal extremism – such as Phillips’ obscene labelling of IJV as “Jews for Genocide” – showed that the Jewish establishment was frightened of these previously unheard Jews. Very few citizens are attracted to commentators who use such inflammatory language. In fact, it turns them off the message and the cause.

In a recent table in the Chronicle, IJV founder Brian Klug was said to be the 87th most influential Jew in Britain, principally due to the launching of the group. In other words, they’re having a growing effect.

Rose said that one of the major challenges was to push the message further onto campuses and into synagogues, and progress was already being made on both fronts. Furthermore, influencing government policy was cited as a key IJV aim. Simply put, Rose said, if somebody like Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert comes to Britain, a minister will think twice before saying to him that “the Jewish community is behind you.”

Lynne Segal explained the responses from IJV came from across the world. She said that although there was general understanding within Israel how to achieve peace – an end to the occupation and full rights to all citizens, not just Jews – successive governments were able to continue the oppression. Segal said, rightly I think, that the Israeli left needed international support to fulfill their mission.

A number of speakers also stated that IJV wasn’t just about voicing Jewish concerns over the Middle East, but supporting the demonised Muslim population during a time when mis-representation was running rampant.

Brian Klug said that one of the aims of IJV was to support Jews with their own activities and help promote them. Such moves were in the spirit of the declaration, he argued.

I was then asked to speak about Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV), its successes and future challenges. The fact that we’ve already claimed roughly the same number of signatories than in the UK proved there was an appetite in Australia for a more open debate on the Middle East. And, like in the UK, the mainstream media provided invaluable coverage of our cause, aware that a hard-line Zionist position is but one in the community.

In the coming months and years, IAJV needs to harness the initial interest and provide space for various debates on the key issues (one or two states, ending the occupation, international pressure on the Jewish state etc.) This is what we are currently working on.

For the remainder of the meeting, many IJV signatories talked about their hopes for the group, their concerns and the ways in which the group could grow. One speaker summed up the feelings of many when he said that, “Diaspora Jewish life isn’t just about Israel”.

It was a revelatory evening and provided invaluable international connections for this global struggle. We may have a long way to go, but the last months have proven that the Israel right-or-wrong crowd are being challenged like never before. They had better get used to it.

3 comments ↪
  • BenZ

    I was then asked to speak about Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV), its successes and future challenges. The fact that we’ve already claimed roughly the same number of signatories than in the UK proved there was an appetite in Australia for a more open debate on the Middle East.

    No, it proves you aren't very good at maths.

    Of course we know your true feelings on "open debate" don't we Antony?

    Last night I attended the second only public meeting of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) in central London. …The aim of the get-together was to plan future directions for the group and continue the wonderful momentum created by the launch in February.

    Second meeting? A few hundred people (out of a population in the six figures?). Wow. Love that momentum!

    Of course you only attained 4-500 signatures locally (including the anonymous ones) and you too were hoping for 1000. Is it possible, in your narrow mind, that your opinions aren't actually as popular as you think? Of course not.

  • Any group that can pull several hundred people into a physical space for something as boring as a meeting is a group that is doing well.
    Most such groups would struggle to get 50.

    I wasn't there so i can't comment beyond that but if you think this effort is so piddling BenZ, then I challenge you to pick a cause and match the feat. I will bring the towel to help you wipe the egg off your face when it doesn't work out as easy as you planned.

  • Perhaps it's sour grapes as Benz and gottcha (is that JFBeck in drag?) were the only folk who turned up at the Australians Against Independent Jewish Voices meeting.