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.

Jewish dissent gets a louder voice

The following book review of the Verso release, A Time to Speak Out (in which I have a chapter), appears in the leading Jewish publication in Britain, the Jewish Chronicle:

Michael Pinto-Duschinsky
September 19, 2008

Edited by Anne Karpf, Brian Klug, Jacqueline Rose, Barbara Rosenbaum
Verso, £9.99

In February 2007, more than 100 “Independent Jewish Voices” issued in The Times and the JC a manifesto critical of Israeli policies. Verso, an imprint of New Left Books, has now published a collection of 27 essays, mostly by signatories to that manifesto. They are varied in content, highly personal, fascinating and controversial.

The authors include seven professors, as well as journalists, writers, activists and professionals. They range from human-rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman to Antony Lerman, director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, and Gillian Slovo, loving daughter of the late South African Communist leader, Joe. A few contributors have been active in Jewish communal life; most have a strong Jewish identity, which they express in different ways.

Among the most intriguing chapters are Emma Clyne’s recent experiences as chair of a university Jewish Society, Anthony Rudolf’s description of his changing attitudes to Israel over 40-plus years, and Anne Karpf’s distaste, as a second-generation Holocaust survivor, for the misuse of Holocaust analogies by Arabs and Jews alike.

Especially noteworthy are Richard Silverstein’s account of the “blogging wars” about Israel; DD Guttenplan’s recollection of IF Stone’s and Sir Isaiah Berlin’s correspondence over whether Jews should express criticism of Israel in front of gentiles; Eyal Weizman’s review of decisions by the Israeli high court over the route of the separation wall; Lerman’s observations on Anglo-Jewish communal bodies’ reactions to the issues of antisemitism and of Israel; and Jeremy Montagu’s dignified statement of dissent.

Fairly common themes are dissatisfaction with such established institutions as the Board of Deputies for being overly prescriptive, and an assertion of the right of British Jews to disagree publicly with Israeli actions.

These significant points need to be addressed. There is great energy among British Jews for engagement in Jewish affairs. But no single religious or non-religious institution or political viewpoint is capable of catering for all tastes. Alongside synagogues, congregations, and communal bodies, other Jewish gathering points are needed. The idea that Jews should criticise Israel only in private settings is outdated and counterproductive. Shtetl traditions of carrying on political arguments by rudeness and sarcasm need to be forgotten.

A heartening chapter contains an exchange of emails between Gillian Slovo and Paul Gross of the Israeli embassy in London. Far from dismissing Slovo’s accusations of Israeli “apartheid” with disrespect, the diplomat takes the trouble to give considered responses. The two parties develop at least some understanding of each other.

But dialogue requires IJV to listen as well as speak. Though they are wholly justified in condemning settlements in occupied territories as barriers to peace and as a major cause of Israeli human-rights abuses, the authors tend to over-generalise. They underestimate the difficulty of maintaining the rule of law amid suicide bombings. Too many criticisms of Israeli actions are well founded but, in my recent experience, international organisations and media regularly publish false, irresponsible allegations which they refuse to correct when disproved.

Moreover, the reasonable argument of Independent Jewish Voices that criticism of Israel is not always antisemitic does not address the evidence that sometimes it is.

These essays deserve to be read carefully and debated courteously. At the same time, it is to be hoped that, in the name of the “open forum” which the authors advocate, New Left Books will publish another volume by Jewish authors of other persuasions.

Michael Pinto-Duschinsky is senior research fellow in politics at Brunel University

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