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.

Author calls for economic sanctions against Israel

The following article appears in this week’s Australian Jewish News (AJN):

Speaking to a crowd of almost 200 people at Gleebooks in Glebe recently, outspoken Israel critic Antony Loewenstein spoke with Palestinian-American author Ali Abunimah about his perceived need for a shift in understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the necessity of moving towards a one-state solution.

Abunimah, author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to end the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, said “the Zionists” would have to come to terms with relinquishing their “power and privilege.” He argued that the best method would be to push for international economic sanctions against Israel, and said the policy had been successful in South Africa. Abunimah made the comparison to the South African situation by referring to the Palestinian lands as “Bantustans.”

The Palestinian-American author told the crowd that Israel would not voluntarily relinquish its power and said, “If we don’t provide a stick – boycott, divestment and sanctions – the void will be filled by violence, as the Palestinians will feel they have been abandoned and have no alternative.”

He did not mention the ongoing violence between Israel and the Palestinians, which has claimed multiple lives on both sides.

Abunimah compared the mood in the Palestinian population today to the atmosphere prior to the outbreak of the second Intifada. “There is intense despair, the situation is very volatile, we could see another uprising change the landscape in ways that are difficult to predict.”

A fellow of the Palestine Centre, based in Washington DC, Abunimah said there had been an “intellectual equivalent of Holocaust denial in relation to Palestinian history”, and added, “people see the two-state solution is nonsense” and are waking up to the effects of “60 years of denial.”

Abunimah said he was confident the one-state solution was gaining credence during this “moment of transition.”

Loewenstein, author of My Israel Question, is due to publish his second book, The Blogging Revolution, with Melbourne University Publishing this year [September.] He was described throughout the evening as “an Australian Jewish dissident.”

Abunimah is speaking at various events for the duration of his Australian tour.

A few added words are in order. It’s an encouraging sign that the AJN covers this event, as such debates – the reality that the two-state “solution” is dead on arrival, Israel’s colonial project making it impossible – can no longer be ignored. During my recent interview with Abunimah (his blog is here), he further explained these themes. As a former believer in the two-state solution myself, it’s important that alternative voices, about anti-Zionism and one-state ideas, are pushed into the mainstream. Things are certainly changing on that front.

I’ve also been encouraged recently by the ever-growing interest in publicly debating the Israel/Palestinian conflict. After speaking last week in Sydney to a group of around 150 Muslim school children about my views on the conflict and the importance of seeing Jews as multi-faceted and anti-Zionist (thanks to the Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations for inviting me), it still astounds me how important it is to rationally debunk prejudices on all sides.

I was similarly impressed with a forum I led on Saturday night in Sydney for the Al-Ghazzali Centre. Around 100 people, mainly Muslims, came to hear my thoughts on the future of the Mid-East – the lessening of Israeli and American power, something most of us welcomed – and highlighted the moderate tone of the participants. Nobody expressed hatred for Jews or even Israel, but welcomed the opportunity to articulate their hopes for a more just Middle East. For this to happen, both the Jewish state and Arab world will have to change.

Sadly, the organiser of the event told me that once it had been made public, the leading Zionist lobby in the state, the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, called him a few times to encourage him to cancel my invitation, because I was supposedly “not representative” of the Jewish community. I’ve never claimed that I am. It’s typical of the lobby’s insecurity that open debate is so problematic for them. Thankfully, its pressure failed.

The public appetite to hear different views about the Middle East is only rising. The tired, old ways of seeing things – Zionist belligerence, denial of the Palestinian narrative and defence of the occupation – is increasingly ignored across the community.

Somebody should tell the Zionist lobby.

2 comments ↪
  • It takes great courage to call for sanctions against what is perceived as "your own" people. But you are speaking out against inhumanity as a human, and the Palestinian people are "your" people too.
    Let's all take a lesson from Antony and begin the real objective path to peace with justice.
    An international boycott on Israel although unlikely would really hurt it wear it really counts, economically.
    In the meantime, let's also call for more funds to be injected into Palestine, to balance the iniquity.
    There is little debate on this matter in both top level and at the grassroots level. The youth of today must take on this initiative and start the debate,
    what are the thoughts and attitudes of the youth of today (both Palestinian and Jewish) to the Israeli-Palestinian issue?

  • Austin

    Isn't it wonderful! The AJN seemed to be making a real effort to actually report what was said.. not just how it was wrong.. i mean.. that read very neautrally….