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.

The end of Israel as a Jewish state?

My following article appears in today’s ABC Unleashed:

The vast majority of Israeli citizens oppose the settler movement. Despite this, the colonialists recently launched a campaign to lure Israelis to visit the West Bank, the Jewish Forward newspaper reported. “Some 1,000 billboards have gone up across the country, showing photographs of cherubic settler children dressed in biblical costumes and carrying the slogan ‘Judea and Samaria – the story of every Jew’.”

The gulf between a sizable, vocal and often violent minority and the vast bulk of the population is growing by the day. Just last month a handful of Jewish radicals rioted near the West Bank town of Kiryat Arba and desecrated a Muslim graveyard after the Israel Defence Forces removed an illegal outpost.

Such actions are now occurring many times every week and the Israeli government seems powerless or unwilling to act decisively against it. Fundamentalist Zionists no longer recognise the authority of the Jewish state and demand the establishment of a Taliban-style, rabbinical entity in its place. Arabs will either be forcibly removed or live under authoritarianism.

How did Israel get to this point? Decades of funding and indulging the settler movement have resulted in the current crisis. As Gideon Levy writes in Haaretz: “Every class and institution of Israeli society defends the settlements, finances them from its own pockets, and is a full partner in the [land] theft, even if some of them are disgusted by it.”

The West Bank has become a Hobbesian land. Barely a day goes by without yet another report of settlers and the IDF impeding the daily lives of Palestinians on the “disputed” land.

In the 15 years since the Oslo peace talks, the colonies have multiplied in size and the settlers have more than doubled in number. A two-state solution is now impossible due to the presence of over 400,000 Jewish settlers on Palestinian land. A World Bank report recently revealed that property prices in the West Bank have rocketed out of the reach of most local businesses.

The September pipe bombing by Jewish radicals of Israeli historian Ze’ev Sternhell’s home in Jerusalem – a long-time critic of the settler movement – signalled a profound shift in the struggle against Israel’s internal enemies, a point powerfully made by leading peace activist Uri Avnery. “Israeli fascism is alive and kicking”, Avnery warned. “It is growing in the flowerbed that produced the various religious-nationalist underground groups of the past.” And yet the vast majority of the international Jewish Diaspora is tellingly silent on these issues, preferring to protest against Hamas “terrorism” and Iranian “provocation”. Thankfully Haaretz is unafraid to editorialise on the failure of Israel to uphold its own laws when broken.

Sternhell, even more determined to warn the world against the Jewish state’s threats, has argued since the attack against him and his family that “If Israeli society is unable to muster the courage necessary to put an end to the settlements, the settlements will put an end to the state of the Jews and will turn it into a bi-national state”.

As a believer in this solution, I don’t fear Sternhell’s thesis, but settler violence undoubtedly threatens the (long-discredited) claim that Israel is a Jewish democracy.

The challenge for the international community is to pressure Israel to decide what kind of state it wants to be and enforce its borders. Only a nation where all citizens are treated equally should be acceptable and the ever-growing tensions in cities where Jews and Arabs uncomfortably co-exist is worsening.

Ironically, before Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recently resigned, he told a leading Israeli newspaper that the country must withdraw from the vast majority of occupied territory. They were fighting words from a disgraced leader and unlikely to be heeded any time soon.

The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied territories reported last month that Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and, until 2005, the Gaza Strip represented elements of colonialism and apartheid. Despite the current truce between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights found that 68 children had been killed in Gaza in the 12 months to June this year because of “disproportionate and excessive lethal force” by the IDF.

The settler militants are one of the leading impediments to peace in the region yet much of the mainstream media and Zionist leadership remain in denial. The Jerusalem Post editorialised last month that “radical” settlers were “undermining the case for Jewish rights in the West Bank… and harden hearts to Israel’s legitimate security concerns and historic civilisational ties to the land.” International law is clear: every settlement beyond the 1967 Green Line is illegal and must be removed. There can be no lasting peace and justice without this.

It was a point equally ignored by one of America’s leading Zionist leaders, Morton Klein, who wrote recently that, “it is simply a flat-earth statement to describe Judea, Samaria and Gaza as occupied”.

His statement is categorically incorrect though represents the official position of the vocal international Zionist Diaspora: the rampaging settlers, land annexation and anti-Palestinian discrimination is a merely defensive position by Israel. The forthcoming election may set back prospects for peace even further.

The time is approaching soon when the world will recognise what has been clear for decades: the Jewish state has neither the interest nor desire to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. The alternative is now inevitable: the end of Israel as a Jewish entity.

2 comments ↪
  • frank

    this bias against settlers really sucks. You say violent minority, and ass u me that just b/c you say it that it's so.

  • "The time is approaching soon when the world will recognise what has been clear for decades: the Jewish state has neither the interest nor desire to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. The alternative is now inevitable: the end of Israel as a Jewish entity."

    Are you serious? I just don't follow the logic of your argument.

    According to you "The vast majority of Israeli citizens oppose the settler movement" and "The gulf between a sizable, vocal and often violent minority and the vast bulk of the population is growing by the day."

    Yet your solution is that we, the vast majority must abandon our dream of 2000 years.

    By this logic, Islam should be abandoned to Al Quaeda and the Mullahs of Iran. Spain should give in to the Basques and Ireland should have surrendered to the IRA.

    After 55 years of involvement in this adventure called Zionism I realize one fact. We cannot resolve the battle for the soul of the Arab people.

    They have been betrayed by a corrupt leadership that continues to use Israel as a whipping horse for their own failures. Even today official Palestinian TV amd school textbooks demonize Jews and Israel in the most obscene way. See "Why is the West funding Mahmoud Abbas' hate TV?" in the Jerusalem Post last week.

    Living in Israel, I vote for Meretz and will do all I can to support Palestinian rights. But I will not accept the guilt others place on us. Read "they were never asked" in my blog at http://www.ourparadox.com.