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.

How dare Jews speak out of turn?

Following my piece in Crikey yesterday on the bellicose statements by John Howard and Kevin Rudd over Iraq, Iran and a host of other issues, the inevitable fascimile responses today in Crikey:

Bren Carlill, Policy Analyst with the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, writes: Re. “Howard and Rudd show their love for Israel” (yesterday, item 11). Antony Loewenstein’s spray about the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) in yesterday’s Crikey was fairly typical. Reacting to questions answered by John Howard and Kevin Rudd for AIJAC’s monthly magazine, Loewenstein slams both for wanting Hamas to remain isolated as long as it refuses to recognise Israel. He claims this position is lifted from George Bush’s manual, but declines to reveal it’s also the position of the European Union and the United Nations. He then asks “which Israel” Hamas is supposed to recognise, given Israel’s changing borders over the years. How about any Israel? Hamas’ charter maintains that Israel shouldn’t exist in any borders. I’m all for talking to my enemies, but only when those enemies no longer want to kill me. And Antony, one talks of the 1949, not 1948, borders. Excuse me for being pedantic, but I think if one wants to be accepted as a serious commentator, it’s important to have the basic facts correct. It astounds me that Loewenstein is invited to make comment on anything to do with the Middle East. His bias isn’t the problem. It’s his lack of knowledge. Dozens of factual errors in his book My Israel Question remain in the second edition, despite a year passing since the first was published. At least he managed to correct a map placing Haifa in Lebanon – but that wasn’t the only mistake on the map, sunshine!

In yesterday’s rant, Loewenstein was troubled by Rudd’s call for legal proceedings against Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for inciting genocide. Loewenstein seems indifferent to the fact Ahmadinejad regularly calls for Israel to be wiped off the map, in blatant disregard of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. But Loewenstein is right in pointing out Iran is more than just Ahmadinejad. The Iranian nuclear project began before Ahmadinejad was on the scene. Likewise Iranian military parades featuring missiles with signs declaring their desire to be fired at the Zionist Entity. Iran’s Supreme Leader said last year, “There is only one solution to the Middle East problem, namely the annihilation and destruction of the Jewish state.” Howard and Rudd’s answers represent the vast majority of Australians – that Israel has the right to exist in peace; that a two-state resolution is desirable; that Iran shouldn’t have nuclear weapons; and that Australia should be tough on terrorism. And Loewenstein thinks there’s something wrong with that!

Daniel Lewis writes: Antony Loewenstein is spewing, that a Zionist organisation dares to circulate a list of questions for Howard/Rudd and their respective responses. Further proof he feels, of some grand Zionist conspiracy. One can only assume he has no similar problem with the Muslim community, Union movement, churches, nurses organisations or any other lobby circulating “how to vote” guides to their members, or political parties attempting to attract them. Heaven forbid however, that Jews… Sorry, make that “Zionists” dare get involved in politics. Particularly, when you consider how (according to some anyway) they must be so busy poisoning wells, running world banks and controlling the media! On the other hand, it was nice to see Loewenstein flogging someone else’s “best selling” book about the “Israel Lobby” for a change, rather then continuing to flog his own, err… best-seller yet again.

It’s clearly not worth wasting time responding to the vast majority of these “complaints” (Lewis is little better than a dependable Zionist hatchet man, comfortable in the knowledge that he’ll support pretty much anything Israel does in the hope of getting patted by the Rabbi on the Jewish holidays.)

As for the AIJAC “policy analyst” – I wonder, does this involve spending days and nights working on cunning ways to invade Arab countries and converting all Muslims to Judaism? – it seems that after the predictable criticisms of my analysis, book, hair and choice of shoes, there’s little left.

Let’s talk about credibility. AIJAC strongly supported the Iraq war, praising the “liberation” within weeks of the 2003 invasion. The same mob are now trying to push Australia and the US into a conflict against Iran. Unspoken in all this, of course, is that Zionist lobbyists are dying for a fight in the name of Israel. It may be dressed up in a host of ways, but at least they should be honest about their manoeuvres.

Besides, AIJAC and their merry band of militarists rather dislike the idea of Jews speaking out of turn, daring to challenge their hardline (and failed) reading of the Middle East. As Jimmy Carter said late last year, Zionist lobbyists aren’t interested in peace, they’re interested in solely supporting the Israeli government. Not that they ever say this, of course.

Yes, AIJAC are highly credible.

one comment ↪
  • Leo Buddha

    The Ant wrote

    Lewis is little better than a dependable Zionist hatchet man, comfortable in the knowledge that he’ll support pretty much anything Israel does in the hope of getting patted by the Rabbi on the Jewish holidays.

    What does the above say really about you Ant? Whose approval are you seeking so avidly?

    Thank about that..

    With love..

    Your Uncle Leo