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 “terrorists” speak

The Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Saturday his government was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

  • I posted the same news item on my blog today ( However I also added that Haniyeh offered ".. Israel a long-term hudna, or truce, if Israel recognized the Palestinians' national rights."

    My comment on this offer is "Sounds great except for one problem. Israel wants a Palestinian State that will sign a real peace treaty, not a long term "truce". A truce implies that there is still a state of war, that Hamas still does not recognize Israel's right to exist and reserves the right to continue its efforts to destroy us.

    Why should any sane person agree to such a proposition?"

    As always, the story is in the details, not the headlines or 10 second sound bite.

  • TheInvader

    Frank history shows that Israel wants to dictate the terms of any agreement, which is not how a negotiation is supposed to be conducted. Israel is the invader not the victim. Any agreement should be contingent upon the recognition of Palestinian hardship and misplacement and not the victim status of an illegal occupation.

  • Keith

    Israel doens't have to agree to anything that will jeopordize its securty such as a hudna – a temporary truce where Hamas can finish once it feels strong enough to take on Israel and win. Besides Israel is not the invader. The occupied terriroties are a consequence of Arab agression against the Jewish state. Israel just wasn't anhialiated as planned.

  • frank

    I read this article in the New Republic. It's a well written piece and merits thought.

    It was Thursday, barely 36 hours since Barack Obama was recognized to have won the American presidency, that some editorialist at the London Financial Times sat down to do his Friday leader. It was the paper's first instructions to Obama. The previous day's commentary was a cliche: a reminder, as if neither he nor his party grasped the truism, that Obama needed to be president of the "whole" country.

    So on what subject did the editors of the FT choose to exhort the president-elect? It was not on the international economic calamity about which, we may presume, the newspaper possesses some special authority. It was not directed to other domestic issues–race, health care, the environment, infrastructure, education–about which Great Britain is, if anything, far more in trouble (though less in panic) than we are. Yes, it was about foreign policy, though not about Russia and NATO or the Korean bomb or, for that matter, Iran's much more ambitious nuclear designs. Not about the corroded moral authority of the United Nations either. Or even about the confrontation between democratic political interests and moral ideals and the new Islamic militancy sweeping across West Asia to the gates of China and planting itself west, north, and south of Vienna where a Muslim siege had been rebuffed in 1683. In all of these matters, London still retains some authority as a European power and also as the seedbed of democracy itself.

    But on none of these urgent matters does the FT offer any counsel to Obama. Its first counseling is about the long and tortuous dispute between Israel and the political sects and clannish tribes which aspire to (isn't it really all of?) Palestine. And what does the Financial Times advise? It is really a gimmick: Appoint Bill Clinton as "special envoy for the Middle East with plenipotentiary powers." Yes, with plenipotentiary powers, no less. How could he function without them?

    A special envoy for the Middle East is an old hat idea. In fact, it is not exactly an idea and certainly not a new idea. By my count, there have been perhaps a dozen special envoys to the region in the last dozen years, perhaps more, and many of them appointed by the president of the United States as his personal representative to the disputants. Here are a few of the designees of the White House: Philip Habib, William Burns, Anthony Zinni, James Jones, Curtis Wilson. Didn't George Tenet also play this role for President Bush? And wasn't James Wolfensohn a special rep of someone or other, as well? Then, of course, there is the present special envoy of the Quartet, come straight out of 10 Downing Street to the Middle East bazaar, Tony Blair. Very important person, accomplished nothing. Someone once suggested that George Bush Sr. be appointed to this prestigious office. And someone else suggested that James Baker be the one to do the miracle of Middle East peace. The problem with the last two men is that they don't much like Jews. This might be called a disqualification.

    There have also been U.N. special representatives to the conflict and the region: Count Folke Bernadotte and Ralph Bunche 60 years ago, up to Terje Roed-Larsen ten minutes ago. The E.U. has its own emissary: Marc Otte. Russia, China, Japan, and the two most sanctimonious meddlers in the region, Sweden and Norway, are always appointing special thises and thats to the neighborhood. Right now the Philippines has also sent a new person to collect frequent flyer points in Israel and the Arab capitals.

    Actually, the idea that Bill Clinton become SEME (you like that? an acronym) was originally broached in the Huffington Post, which gives you some sense of how serious it is. (Irony!)

    There are several reasons why the very notion should not appeal to Barack Obama. First of all, Bill Clinton is by now a very frivolous man. He is full of self-love and, thus, can no longer be trusted with an important public chore, as Obama must have noticed during the campaign. It is true that Clinton is invested in the historic struggle between Israel and the fissiparous Palestinians. It is hard to imagine that he is not still committed to the Camp David principles to which Ehud Barak committed but Yassir Arafat would not even discuss. Much blood has been shed since the fall of 2000 and Gaza was given over five years later, to also an unhappy consequence. The Israelis cannot be expected to start a negotiation with its old concessions carved in stone. Which is what the Palestinians expect for starters, and only for starters. Clinton would do anything to get the Palestinians to sign on. But that would happen–and the "would happen" is remote–if the Israelis were to sign away not only more territory but not insist on realistic conditions without which free Palestinian Gaza immediately became a base for rockets and missiles into Israel, as it has become in the last days again. Clinton once told a Jewish audience that, if Israel were endangered, he would pick up a gun in its defense. Israel would be in peril only if it yielded the concessions it gave to Clinton in 2000.

    A bit more than a year ago a "special envoy" was again being widely touted. Aluf Benn and Shmuel Rosner wrote a piece in Ha'aretz calling "a special envoy for Middle East peace … a diplomatic tool that has become a cliche, an envoy in the guise of a messiah." Which is apparently just what the FT wants. This begins with the "parameters" drawn up by Mr. Clinton in December 2000 after the collapse after the Camp David summit. Here in the FT's own words: "the creation of a

    viable Palestinian state on nearly all the occupied West Bank with Arab east Jerusalem as its capital, with agreed and equal land swaps, and fair treatment for 4.4 million Palestinian refugees, largely through compensation."

    Of course, this is such a skewed view of the conflict. Four and a half million refugees, indeed. Wait another few years and it will be five million and then six and seven. And, really, what about the physical security of Israel and Israelis wedged in between the hills and the sea? This is not an abstract matter. Will Tobias Buck, the FT news correspondent in Israel and perhaps the most obsessively anti-Zionist newsman for any western journalistic enterprise, at least admit that the lives and limbs of Israelis and the very peace of its society are endangered? No, he and the lead writers of the FT have not and will not.

    The first prerequisite for any solution to this conflict and for the acceptance of a real Palestinian entity is that the Palestinians demonstrate concretely that they do not still yearn to vitiate a Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.