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.

Complicit in silence

My following article appeared in yesterday’s Guardian Comment is Free section:

During the current Israeli siege of Gaza – correctly described by Saree Makdisi as “strangulation”, Israel’s ambassador to Australia issued a plea for understanding the Jewish state’s position.

The ambassador, Yuval Rotem, argued that, “the people of Gaza are not the enemy”. He also wrote, “nor is there any benefit from Israel making them so” but the words of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert directly contradicted him. “As far as I am concerned”, he said, “all of Gaza’s residents can walk and have no fuel for their cars, as they live under a murderous regime”.

Israel’s supreme court last week ruled that the state could limit the supply of petrol, diesel and electricity. Collective punishment is illegal under international law. Leading neoconservatives now proudly encourage the west to push Egypt to take full responsibility for Gaza. The worldwide Jewish community leadership responds with a shrug or remains complicit in its silence.

The one-year anniversary of the launch of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) in Britain signals a similar milestone for a movement I co-founded: Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV). As I described on this site last March, many Jews in Australia believed that the official Jewish leadership could not claim to speak on behalf of all Jews.

We gathered close to 500 signatures and launched a campaign of public awareness that made clear that a growing number of Jews would no longer issue unconditional support for every action of the Jewish state. The response was overwhelming and continues to this day. Barely a week passes without a disparaging comment about IAJV in the national Jewish newspaper, Australian Jewish News. Like IJV, we plan a series of events and speakers to expand debate in the public domain.

Australian media coverage of the Middle East conflict is predominantly friendly to Israeli goals, ably assisted by a new Labor government. A recent glowing article in Rupert Murdoch’s national broadsheet articulated the mindset: “Deep inside the plucky country”. But groups such as IAJV and IJV are undoubtedly reflecting a global shift in Jewish sentiment, increasingly vocal in their concerns over ongoing Zionist dominance.

A leading Israeli professor has warned that the relationship between Israel and the diaspora is drifting apart. The Jewish state, he said, was “no longer viewed as a safe haven, a source of pride”. Thirty-four per cent of Israeli children are now living in poverty. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu continues to compare conditions in Palestine to apartheid South Africa.

The current American presidential election has proven that unwavering support for Israel is an article of faith for the leading candidates. Republican contender Mike Huckabee writes that Washington should ignore the Middle East’s “terrorist states” – any nation that refuses to bend to Israeli dictates – and “defeat Islamofascism”. However, a recent study by the American Jewish Committee proved that this neoconservative doctrine is fundamentally opposed by a majority of American Jews.

A far saner suggestion, offered by dedicated Zionist writer AB Yehoshua, is for America to recall its ambassador in Israel until all West Bank settlements are removed. Despite all the rhetoric about a two-state solution, the ever-expanding occupation makes this impossible. The number of settlers in the West Bank grew by five per cent in 2007.

Australians are a long way from the Middle East, but a blind man could see that Israeli and American actions are making the region a more volatile place. Perhaps Haaretz editor David Landau was right when he said that the Jewish state had to be “raped” by America to achieve peace.

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