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.

Kill them all (but make sure they’re Arabs first)

Following my recent article in Crikey – discussing Australia’s parliamentary motion celebrating Israel’s 60th anniversary as well as the local Zionist lobby’s shenanigans – a number of letter writers responded yesterday:

Bren Carlill, analyst at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, writes: “Re. “Our “passionately pro Israel” PM throws compassion out the window” (13 March, item 10).” In Thursday’s Crikey, Antony Loewenstein slammed Wednesday’s bipartisan Parliamentary motion celebrating 60 years of Israeli independence. Allow me to retort. He opened with a statistic; 50% of Israelis wouldn’t want to live in the same building as an Arab. Such a statistic is worrying, though perhaps partially explained (but not justified) by the parallel statistic that 70-80% of Palestinian children aspire to be suicide bombers, that Israeli Arab politicians (yes – Israeli Arabs have the same civil rights as Israeli Jews) have cheered on terrorist organisations, and actively resist attempts to better integrate Arabs into Israeli society so as not to “Israelise” Arab youth. Loewenstein decried Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s “absence” of compassion for Palestinians. I can’t claim to speak for Mr. Rudd, but I’m sure the man has gone on record saying he wants Palestinians to be secure, safe, democratic, prosperous and independent. I heartily agree, which is probably why in tomorrow’s Crikey, Loewenstein will probably likewise curse my lack of compassion. Apart from wild allegations about yet another supposed Jewish conspiracy solely designed to harm him, the main thing in Loewenstein’s spray needing a response is something he’s been tossing round in recent days – that a majority of Israelis would be willing to negotiate with Hamas. Loewenstein is making the leap that since some Israelis are willing to talk to Hamas, therefore “the democratically-elected Hamas” must be alright.

I quote from his letter to the Sydney Morning Herald on 13 March: “[Robert Goot and David Knoll] portray the Palestinians as bloodthirsty terrorists out to obliterate all Jews. Many Israelis do not agree, a majority recently telling a Haaretz-sponsored poll that they believed in talks between Hamas and the Israeli government.” He’s right in one thing; Israelis don’t believe all Palestinians are bloodthirsty terrorists, but they do believe Hamas-niks are. But that doesn’t stop Israelis being willing to negotiate with Hamas if it would bring about a true ceasefire. The problem is, during its last “ceasefire,” Hamas never truly ceased firing. It spent the time passing on rockets and assistance to groups like Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who never stopped indiscriminately shelling Israeli towns. If Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, stops rockets being fired into Israel, Israel would immediately stop attacking Hamas positions. If Hamas were to recognise Israel’s existence (as per international demands), Israel would begin trading with Gaza again. After all, Syria doesn’t recognise Israel’s existence, and Israel doesn’t trade with it, either. Ultimately, Loewenstein’s true position wasn’t revealed in Crikey or the SMH, but in an ad on page 7 of Wednesday’s Australian. The ad made clear by focusing on 1948, not 1967, that its backers — including Loewenstein — don’t think Israel is wrong because of the occupation, or settlements or its choices in defending itself against Palestinian violence, but rather because of its existence. Charming.

James Harper writes: Les Heimann’s response (Friday, comments) to Antony Loewenstein’s piece has all the hallmarks of the Zionist lobby. While he makes it abundantly clear that he regards Loewenstein as at worst a liar and at best a misrepresenter of the facts, he at no time tries to clarify which part of Antony’s piece is incorrect or how. This is an age old tactic of smearing the man rather than challenging the facts. Keep up the good work Antony. I have long given up hope of any facts from the pro Israel side of the fence.

Duncan Beard writes: Les Heimann writes that Anthony Lowenstein “has [the] right in the privacy of his own home to believe what he likes”. Bullsh-t. Loewenstein can believe – in public – whatever the hell he likes, whether you or I like it or not. Public criticism of the occupation of Palestine is not illegal, nor is it “misrepresentation” or “squirting fantasies”, as you seem to think. We’re not a police state yet, mate.

Frank Birchall writes: Les Heimann’s piece is long on attacking Antony Loewenstein, ad hominem, but extremely short on argument and evidence. According to Les, what Antony said in Crikey is “misrepresentation” and “fantasy”, but Les conveniently omits to specify just what these “fantasies” etc. consist of. Don’t keep us in suspense, Les, let’s have some facts in rebuttal instead of a cheap personal shot.

A few comments are in order. The first statement, by a hack from the country’s belligerent Zionist lobby, seems desperate to prove that Palestinians are as racist as Israelis. The idea that a majority of Israelis support engagement with Hamas is something his organisation and virtually all similar Zionist lobbies in the West conveniently ignore, preferring to advocate a never-ending military campaign against “terrorists.”

After 60 years, those kind of policies have been really successful in bringing peace to the Jewish state.

UPDATE: AIJAC are about as popular in Australia as a Chinese soldier massacring Tibetan monks in Lhasa.

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