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.

The Zionist land grabs go on

Following my joint op-ed in yesterday’s Age newspaper, the following letters appear in today’s edition:

IT IS refreshing to see the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Opinion, 31/03) discussed in such a dispassionate manner. No emotive rhetoric denouncing the other side’s horrors but conveniently ignoring their side’s horrors, but simply the facts as they really are. Here is some more startling truth: the Israeli Government does not want peace with the Palestinians, at least not yet. By previously playing Hamas against Fatah, and now playing Fatah against Hamas, the Government has been able to proceed with the unfettered building of more settlements in the West Bank.

I dread to wonder when this process of claiming Palestinian land will finally stop. It might seem unpalatable for some people that this could be the case, but you need to separate rhetoric from action. The fact is that Israel has been taking Arab land since the declaration of Israel as a state. It would be naive to imagine that this was never the intended outcome.

Paul Gosling, Langwarrin

Nothing but more prejudice
WHAT we have to strive for amid the plethora of opinions on Israel is tolerance, moderation and open-mindedness. The last things we need in this raging debate are articles that are extreme and inflammatory.

Peter Slezak and Antony Loewenstein have written such an article. They accuse Israel of “ethnic-cleansing” and of killing innocent civilians. They accuse past leaders and heroes of being bigoted and ruthless, and half the population of being inherently racist. These accusations portray Israel as a bloodthirsty, inhumane and racist nation. This is not only unbelievably false, but it is dangerous and irresponsible.

Israel’s problems and mistakes, although undeniable and regrettable, do not define Israel as a whole, just as suicide bombers do not define Palestinians as a whole.

Primarily, Israel is a vibrant democratic state that upholds concepts of pluralism and freedom, and that is what Slezac and Loewenstein omit from their article. Have they helped us take a step towards tolerance, moderation and balanced dialogue, or have they incited more hatred, created more polarised views and instigated more extremism in a context in which extremism is the root of all evil? The irony of their final plea for “balanced dialogue” is almost palpable.

Oscar Schwartz, Toorak

All have things in common
THE articles by Peter Slezak and Antony Loewenstein and that of Dvir Abramovich, although different in content, both indicate a way forward in the Palestinian region: a single, democratic, and secular state that can be a religious homeland for all who want such, without being a religious state for any. Whether Muslim, Christian or Jew, whether indigenous Semite or more recent migrants — all have common interests that far outweigh their differences. All are deserving of equal treatment under the law without ethnic or religious distinction, all are deserving of security of home and all are deserving of a just resolution to past conflicts.

The problems of the Palestinian region will not be solved while there are some who seek dominance for their religion or nationality over the rights of others.

Lev Lafayette, Ripponlea

Prescription for conflict
PETER Slezak and Antony Loewenstein claim that speaking honestly about Israelis and Palestinians is fraught, which is probably why they have chosen not to do so. Israeli Arabs have the same rights as Israel’s other citizens, and far more than Arabs in any other Middle East state, yet Slezak and Loewenstein accuse Israel of discrimination and “ethnic cleansing”. They also blame the conflict and occupation on Israel, rather than the constant Palestinian refusal to accept land in return for acceptance of Israel’s right to exist in peace.

Similarly, despite their token condemnation of Hamas and Hezbollah rocket fire, they are far more critical of Israel’s efforts to defend its citizens. To ignore the facts that every aspect of Israel’s conduct they object to is the direct result of Palestinian or Arab terrorism or intransigence belies their claim to be true friends of Israel. It is a prescription for continued conflict, not for peace.

Justin Lipton, Melbourne

no comments – be the first ↪