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.

Israel, you’ve gone too far

My latest article for New Matilda is about Israel’s lies in Gaza:

The international Jewish community is divided over the latest offensive in Gaza, writes Antony Loewenstein

When the fighting eventually ends between Israel and Hamas, what will remain of the Gaza Strip and its people?

One local Zionist leader will have us believe that Hamas is a Nazi-like organization that only understands the language of force. A moral and just war is therefore being waged against them.

A columnist in the Jerusalem Post worries that, “while the world is being fed dramatic pictures from Gaza, there are few dramatic pictures from Israel, and gaping holes in apartment buildings hit by Grad rockets can’t compete with footage from Gaza of crying children splattered in blood.”

Israeli Government sources told Haaretz this week that their ultimate goal after the current operation is to install “moderate, pragmatic officials” in Gaza. Major General Tal Russo, head of the General Staff’s Operations Directorate, acknowledged however that, “it’s doubtful if it is possible to bring about regime change in the Gaza Strip solely by force.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni recently commented that “there is no humanitarian crisis in the [Gaza] Strip and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian truce”.

Welcome to Israel’s surprisingly effective spin campaign. The reality on the ground sits in stark contrast to it.

A Norwegian volunteer doctor sent a desperate text message to his friends this week which revealed the chaos caused by Israel’s destruction: “We are wading in death, blood, and amputees. Many children. A pregnant woman. I have never experienced anything so terrible. Now we hear tanks. Pass it on, send it around, shout it out. Anything. DO SOMETHING! DO MORE! We are living in a history book now, all of us.”

Eyewitness accounts are flooding out of Gaza. With most foreign media banned from the area — because, in the words of Israel’s Government press office, Western journalists are “unprofessional” and take “questionable reports at face value without checking” — we are forced to rely on Palestinian bloggers, human rights workers, Twitter, text messages and al-Jazeera.

Documenting all Israeli atrocities is a necessary act at this time, although close to impossible in the circumstances. Equally important is challenging the widespread Zionist belief that Hamas poses an existential threat to Israel and even the US (a point soundly refuted by Salon‘s Glen Greenwald on one of America’s leading conservative talk-shows). Despite all its obvious failings, Hamas is a democratically elected party of the Palestinian people.

The Damascus leader of the group, Khalid Mish’al, wrote this week in the Guardian that it was absurd to expect his organisation to cease resistance to occupation. He was defiant: “Israel and its American and European sponsors want us to be killed in silence. But die in silence we will not.”

According to much of the media, Hamas is the aggressor. Israel remains in a never-ending defensive crouch, despite fighting an enemy without a state, air-force or fully-functioning civil institutions. Western journalistic and political parlance excuses all manner of Israeli attacks on Palestine but any challenge to the F-16s bombing Gazan refugee camps is denounced as terrorism.

A convincing thesis to explain the current onslaught is that Israel wants to kill dead in its tracks any prospects for even entering peace negotiations with the Palestinians — such as removal of settlements, reduction of checkpoints and restoring freedom of movement — and re-establish Fatah-led rule in Gaza. This is a classic colonial divide and rule mentality, supported by the vast majority of the Western powers, including Australia.

The deadly silence of President-elect Obama — and his recent appointment of arch Zionist and failed negotiator Dennis Ross as Middle East envoy — suggests that America will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel after his 20 January inauguration. It is wishful thinking to believe otherwise.

One of the more interesting elements of this conflict has been the response of the mainstream Jewish community. Aside from my own efforts — Independent Australian Jewish Voices continues to generate support and media coverage — moderate Zionist groups in America have been mercilessly attacked by hardline Jews for daring to question the validity of the Gaza war.

Cracks are appearing in the Jewish community and not just on the fringes. This is counter-insurgency on a major scale. The group J Street is the latest to argue against the onslaught.

One leading moderate Jew, Daniel Levy, claimed this week that the Zionist lobby is “driving Israel toward national suicide”. Such debates, at a time when the same lobby are baying for Palestinian blood and as much of it as possible, are essential. Many of us feel a deep shame over Israeli crimes.

I have long believed that the political realities in the Middle East will not change until there is a serious reckoning of the damage wrought by the fundamentalist Zionism movement on public policy and debate. From the Iraq war to threatening strikes against Iran, neo-conservative values have infected the body politic and too few Jews are speaking out against it. Neo-conservatism may have comprehensively failed as an ideology, but the loudest Jewish voices still represent the most extreme militant positions.

A rare exception, as expressed by Avi Shlaim, professor of international relations at the University of Oxford, is an alternative Judaism that is not bound by every Israeli military action as if it was deigned by God himself. “Israel’s real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination”, he writes. Nothing has changed since 1948.

It would be wise for Israelis and those cheering their destruction to read a recent essay by Avraham Burg, former speaker of the Israeli Knesset. He writes that, “It is no longer possible to annihilate nations or at least suppress their aspirations of independence”. Israel has fundamentally ignored this advice during its current futile war.

The only outcome of this war will be increased terrorism against Jews and the state of Israel.

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