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.

Israel’s 60th birthday – what the media left out

My following article appears in today’s edition of Crikey:

Antony Loewenstein, author of My Israel Question and the co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, writes:

“I am not a Jew”, said an Arab radio journalist in Jerusalem to the New York Times.

“How can I belong to a Jewish state? If they define this as a Jewish state, they deny that I am here.”

Israel’s 60th anniversary has generated mountains of international news coverage that highlights the achievements of the state since 1948 and the many challenges facing the relatively new nation. The Australian echoed the general pessimism by predicting ongoing conflict with the Palestinians and the Arab world.

Absent, however, from a great deal of Western reporting is an honest appraisal of Israel’s ongoing strangulation of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. Neither major side of Australian politics dares speak out against this travesty and the director of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization at Monash University today in The Age completely ignores the occupation altogether.

The Washington Post this week repeated the usual mantra of blaming the victims for their predicament, perhaps only bettered by a former editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post who managed to celebrate Israel’s birthday in the Wall Street Journal without once mentioning that Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank is growing by the day. Haaretz reports that the world head of Likud is even demanding that the Palestinians be banned from commemorating their “Nakba Day”.

Acknowledging the birth of a nation, not unlike Australia, requires understanding the peoples who suffered from the outset. For hardline Zionists, the Palestinians are sore losers while a prominent Israeli intellectual tells The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that the Palestinians are dedicated to “bringing chaos” to the Jewish state. The Australian Jewish News strongly implied in their editorial last week that the mainstream media should only publish articles that praise the Jewish state. “Bias” is seen around every corner.

Ariel Sharon’s former advisor Dov Weisglass wrote this week in Israel’s biggest selling daily that Hamas must be destroyed, “in line with humanitarian limits” even as the international community begins to understand the futility of this policy.

9/11 has merely reinforced these racist stereotypes about Arabs, although former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said the attacks were “benefiting” the Zionist cause.

60 years after Israel’s birth, the two peoples have never been further apart. The Israeli press is barred from entering Gaza, so we rely on Gazans to explain their suffering at the hands of a Washington-led economic blockade. The Guardian is one of the few Western media outlets that regularly publish these accounts, including news about the allocation of building permits in the West Bank to only Jewish settlers.

The anniversary celebrations have revealed a growing number of Diaspora Jews speaking critically of their supposed homeland. Britain and America are witnessing growing media coverage of these dissident positions. Jewish voices are now some of the strongest advocates in challenging the “peace process” fraud.

Within Israel itself, the mainstream media is thriving with debate.

Haaretz, arguably the finest newspaper in the world, proves that a news outlet can honestly describe the truth about the Jewish state. This week has been no exception. Pro-Zionist, anti-Zionist, pro-Israel and pro-human rights all exist harmoniously. An eloquent essay in Haaretz, by Israeli human rights lawyer Daphna Golan, articulated the true message of Israel’s 60th anniversary:

We must speak out loudly and openly with everyone — about the past, present and future, about a life of fair, decent neighbourly relations. Without red and green lines and with no prior conditions. Only about how we will live here together and separately, Jews and Arabs, in reconciliation.

one comment ↪
  • Marilyn

    Yes. I find it very strange that the Israeli media is more open and more sensible about the facts than the west.

    How many more years must the Palestinians pay the price for our slaughters?