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.

Rudd government reignites campaign against Iranian president

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

Antony Loewenstein, author of My Israel Question, writes:

In late 2006, hardline Zionists in Israel and the United States raised the possibility of indicting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for “direct and public incitement to commit genocide” against the Jewish state.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, “Iran is a danger to the entire world, because it envisions a 1,000-year Islamic Reich based on nuclear weapons.” A key problem for the case, casually slipped into the Jerusalem Post, was that, “the court is problematic for Israel — it has stipulated that settlements are tantamount to war crimes — and Israel is not a signatory to the Rome Statue upon which it is based.”

Before last year’s Australian election, the then Labor opposition advocated chasing Ahmadinejad in a shameless ploy for the paranoid, Jewish vote. The fact that the case had zero chance of success and was being pursued by leading, discredited neo-conservatives – including former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, who again recently advocated “responsible” bombing of Iran — appeared not to bother Kevin Rudd.

Perhaps most concerning was his acceptance of the widely mistranslated Ahmadinejad comment about wanting to “wipe Israel off the map”. In fact, he said nothing of the sort. The Iranian leader is certainly prone to making outlandish comments about Israel and denying the Holocaust, but that’s no more offensive than a host of Israeli leaders advocating the elimination or ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

It appears that the Rudd government is still on the case. Yesterday’s front-page story in The Australian breathlessly reported that Attorney-General Robert McClelland is “currently taking advice” on the possibility of pursuing Ahmadinejad. McClelland told the paper that this course of action was preferable to “wholesale invasion of countries”. Well, yes, but what about direct engagement?

Iran’s regional challenge to the American and Israeli-imposed status-quo is the great untold story of the last eight years.

Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan backed the move and Rudd told Sky News that Ahmadinejad’s comments had a “roll-on effect across the Islamic world, particularly those who listen to Iran for their guidance”.

Crikey asked the Attorney-General’s office to clarify the latest developments and a spokesman from his office said that, “the Government strongly supports maintaining pressure on Iran to act as a responsible member of the international community.” Furthermore, “like many in the community, Labor has long expressed abhorrence at the remarks of Iranian President Ahmadinejad. We believe the international community should do all it reasonably can to pressure Iran to be a more responsible global citizen.”

Questions about the pressure from the local Zionist leadership on the government went unanswered.

A Sydney-based ALP source told Crikey that pursuing Ahmadinejad was a pet project for Rudd, not unlike his slavish motion in parliament in March celebrating Israel’s 60th anniversary. The source said that, despite the opposition of many in the ALP, the motion was written with the involvement of the country’s leading Zionist lobby, AIJAC, and was initially far more congratulatory before being tempered.

Regular, public displays of affection for the Jewish state are an article of faith across the political divide. Zionism has become a religion. As we’ve seen with Barack Obama, support for the Palestinian cause virtually guarantees political oblivion.

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  • Thanks heaps, Antony, for writing this. I'm extremely concerned with the level of "overt christian conservatism", clearly peddled with joy, by Kevin Rudd.


  • He claims to have been 'mistranslated' on several occassions. Admittedly my Arabic is poor but what is he actually saying because from the translated speeches it sounds quite terrifying.

  • Peter

    Ahem Raffe … It's not just your Arabic that is poor. Ahmadinejad, like other Iranians, does not speak Arabic but the Persian language Farsi!

  • Does the seperate language mean that translation is more difficult?

  • ej


    for Zionists the translation is whatever they want it to mean. The truth is not merely irrelevant but dangerous, which is why it has to be suppressed.

  • The truth being….

  • ej

    For those short of time, analytical capacity and/or moral integrity, the Truth is effectively anything currently denied by the Israeli lobby. Vide Mondoweiss (
    "Commentary's piece denying the Nakba … shows how fealty to Israel is eroding Jewish intelligence, as it has forced some of the smartest people on the planet to devote themselves to coming up with elaborate proofs that black is white."

    A good local Exhibit A of the phenomenon was ex government Cabinet Minister Barry Cohen's piece in the SMH, 12 May.

  • So being pro-Israel or a Zionist means that you're an idiot?

  • richard

    Ignorant more like it..

  • ej


    You're a bit thick, which is understandable. Turning black into white is hard and demeaning work. On the contrary, being pro-Israel or Zionist means subordinating one's intelligence and ethics to a greater cause, Lebensraum. This pathology would be inconsequential if it didn't have such calamitous consequences for other parties. But then, of course, they aren't Jews so they don't matter.

  • mallee

    So McClelland is taking advcse concerning the prosecution of Iran's President. While he is hot to trot would he also take advice on the articles of impeachment laid in Congress by Senator Kunicich in April 2007. Particularly article 'three' which refers to allegations that Cheney has offended by pushing for war against Iran by means of threats which is contrary to international law.
    Rudd/McClelland: I suggest that your Government starts being a little more even handed, remember what happened to that war supporter, Howard and his Government.
    (911 was an inside job and more are realising it every week due to the scientific evidence of people like Prof Jones, Dr Leifer (Syd Uni) Dr Frank Legge(Perth) and all at and all at the website.)
    Ant; great to see your readers coming out of the wood work!! We might start getting some debate here in Australia at last, it will not be balanced in the usual media outlets. May I suggest that you read Steve Alten's doc/novel; The Shell Game.

  • Firstly, Ahmadinejad is hopeless at clearing the misconception that surrounds him in the mainstream press of the west. I know he was mistranslated – this page has a good explanation regarding that. Why has Ahmadinejad never said overtly, on the many chances that he has had with western media, that the mistranslation occurred? It's almost like he wants to look bad.

    This really confuses me. I read his letter to Bush – it was very touching really, and gave some faith in this guy.

    Can Anyone help me out here?

    Alistair, Brisbane, Australia

  • m

    In October 2005 President Ahmadinejad said these EXACT WORDS in farsi: "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e Qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."

    Here is a literal word-for-word translation:

    Imam (Khomeini)
    ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime)
    ishghalgar-e (occupying) Qods (Jerusalem )
    bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (the page of time)
    mahv shavad (vanish from).

    The full quote properly translated into English:

    "The Imam [Khomeini] said that this regime [now] occupying Jerusalem must vanish [one day] from the page of time".

    Note that (1) the word "map" ("nagsheh" in farsi) is never used.
    (2) The farsi verb "wipe out" or "destroy" or "eliminate" is never used. (3) The word "Israel" is never used.

    The sentence is no more than a prediction that the Zionist entity would one day die a natural death; it expressed no desire whatever for the violent obliteration of that entity.
    Xanadu | 09.19.08 – 5:45 pm | #