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.

Don’t meet/speak/hang out with dissident Jews

The following article, headlined, “Uni students face heat over Loewenstein debate”, appears in this week’s Australian Jewish News:

A decision by Jewish university students to invite outspoken Israel critic Antony Loewenstein held at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has angered some community members.

Hillel director Gary Samowitz, 25, said he organised the April 22 forum, outside his duties with Hillel, after a number of students requested the meeting. He said the aim of the forum – which also included UNSW philosophy lecturer Peter Slezak – was “to engage” in academic dialogue” and “prepare students so they could counter anti-Israel propaganda” on campus.

But not everyone agreed. One outraged community member told the AJN: “What were these organisers thinking? [Loewenstein] is not on the other side of the Zionist debate. It is as valid as bringing neo-Nazis to debate. There just is no point.”

Loewenstein, author of My Israel Question, is co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, a coalition of Australian Jews critical of Israeli security policies. Most recently, he raised the ire of many in the community when he spearheaded a campaign against the Australian parliamentary motion for Israel’s 60th anniversary by taking out an advertisement in The Australian on March 12, calling it “improper.”

Samowitz argued, however, that it was important for students to hear a range of opinions and engage in a “civilised discussion.”

“Loewenstein is a dissenting voice on the fringe, but all voices should be heard”, he told the AJN. “If there is any place to engage in academic dialogue, then university is the perfect environment.”

UNSW student and Hillel member Mark Sheldon, 20, who attended, said, “I was grateful to meet with one of Israel’s biggest critics so, as students, we are better able to counter their arguments”, he said.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (BOD) CEO Vic Alhadeff said he met with the students after the forum for a debriefing, but emphasised that the BOD played no part in organising the meeting. “We categorically did not approve or organise any meeting with Loewenstein”, he said. “We met the students afterwards to hear from them what their experiences were. We were impressed with the students’ response and their ability, as they conveyed to us, to be able to drive holes through his arguments.”

This piece appeared as the lead article on page 6 of the Sydney edition of the AJN. This inane non-story barely requires comment, but a few thoughts.

Recent studies in the US finds that a growing number of young Jews feel less and less connected to Israel. The reasons for this are many, but include discomfort with Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank, intermarriage and moving away from an ethically-based lifestyle. It’s an almost inevitable sign of a successful minority group.

The fact that the AJN, a supposed paper of record, could only find an anonymous person to compare me to a neo-Nazi, shows the depths of their fears. The Jewish establishment, including the Zionist lobby and AJN, are petrified that Israel is spoken of in any way other than glowing (witness the paper’s editorial on Israel’s 60th, hyperbolic writing that displayed a level of patriotic fervour without any intellectualism or critical edge.)

Are they so threatened by IAJV and my writings that the Hillel students had to be “debriefed” after meeting us? Just in case decontamination was required, I suppose. A confident people believe in debate, challenging ideas and disagreement. The Zionist lobby and its minions crave the opposite, a Stalinist conformity of opinions. Thankfully, they’re not receiving it. Hillel head Samowitz should be congratulated for at least inviting us to speak (and UNSW Jewish author and academic Geoffrey Levey also attended.)

The article mistakenly claims that I “spearheaded” the campaign against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s pro-Israel motion in parliament in March. This is untrue. Australians for Palestine and other like-minded groups created the movement and around 70 IAJV signatories added their name to the petition. No more and no less. Some svengali role on my part.

Zionists in Australia believe that continuing to sell the same discredited myths to a young generation will ensure a life-long love for Israel. But a growing number of vocal Jews are publicly questioning Israel’s brutality and rejectionism. The Palestinians deserve an equal hearing in the mainstream press (and the recent tour of Palestinian-American Ali Abunimah proved that this is starting to happen, away from the censorious Jewish community.)

The ongoing success of my work – aimed, incidentally, at a non-Jewish readership, as well as Jews, an audience that the Zionist lobby has no clue how to reach, preferring to pressure editors to block opposing views – indicates that the space here and overseas for critical thoughts is expanding. The tone of this laughable article, that somehow the students and the Zionist lobby must prove their allegiance to the “official” line on Israel/Palestine, is really a sign of weakness.

Since when was open debate frowned upon? The two-state solution is dead. New ideas are required. A serious and informed Jewish establishment would welcome it. Instead, we’re treated to the sorry sight of leaders and newspapers trying to seal the cracks.

I never realised I was so dangerous.

5 comments ↪
  • Jono

    Did any of the students see sense and come around to your way of thinking?

  • Austin

    God these people are repetitive… don't they ever get tired of throwing thee same old sh*t at people?

    peace

  • Marilyn

    Perhaps they should have gone to the bible burning in Israel this week.

    I am reading a book I advise everyone to get hold of.

    After the Reich by Giles MacDonough proves that the jews who survived the camps had their revenge between 1945-49 when about 3 million innocent Germans were slaughtered by the "allies" and another 16 or so million were forced from their homes by the "allies".

    Australia was with the "allies" until 1949 and my outrage by the book is enough to make grown people vomit.

  • Dave

    Interesting read antony.

    and thanks Marilyn for your entirely irrelvant comments about antony's blog.

    I don't think its a coincidence that you seem to hold ill feelings towards Jews, and at the same time feel great sympathy for the Generation of Germans who brought us the 3rd Reich. I think any 'revenge/ harsh policies' committed against german citizens post ww2 had more to do with how they acted as a society during the war, than anything the Jews did.

  • moshe

    only 3 million darn its too bad that inferior german race could not received the same punishment that those murderers inflicted upon my people 1/3.