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.

Not all Jews agree with Israel’s Gaza action

My following article is published in today’s Brisbane Courier Mail:

When one of the most powerful militaries in the world unleashes on the most densely populated area in the world, collateral carnage is inevitable.

The weeks into Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinians in Gaza, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Newsweek the Jewish state was “not going to show restraint”.

These were typically bellicose words from a leadership that has issued apocalyptic warnings about Hamas since it won free and fair elections in 2006.

The fact the Islamist organisation has consistently offered to negotiate a two-state solution on the 1967 borders is something much of the West has conveniently ignored, including the Australian Government.

As Israeli peace activist Reuven Kaminer wrote recently: “In the hearts and minds of the Palestinian and Arab masses, Hamas has come to represent the cause of Palestinian resistance.”

With illegal Israeli settlements expanding across the West Bank and a stifling blockade deepening against the “imprisoned” 1.5 million Gazan people, resistance is legally and morally defensible.

Israel’s war in Gaza has resulted in thousands of Palestinian dead and injured and 13 Israeli deaths. The claim, made by supporters of the war, that Israel has the right to respond to Hamas rockets in “self-defence” as recognised in the UN Charter, has been soundly rejected by some leading legal experts.

Writing in The Times in Britain last weekend, the group stated: “Israel has a right to take reasonable and proportionate means to protect its civilian population from (Hamas) attacks. However, the manner and scale of its operations in Gaza amount to an act of aggression and is contrary to international law.” In other words, Israel is committing war crimes.

The carnage in Gaza has been heartbreaking. Despite Israel’s pointless attempt to ban international media from the blockaded strip, images and words have been flooding out through Arab satellite channels, text messages, blogs and Twitter.

The International Red Cross issued an uncharacteristically harsh statement of Israel’s refusal to allow humanitarian access to the war zone.

The Western media has been bombarded with Israeli disinformation. Take the Jewish state’s bombing of a UN school in Gaza last week that killed 40 people: An Israeli PR spokesman told The Australian newspaper that there was an initial “sense of horror, but as information filtered in that Hamas fighters had been in there, that changed”. This was a blatant lie.

Israel’s excessive force caused the massacre.

When one of the most powerful militaries in the world unleashes on the most densely populated area in the world, collateral carnage is inevitable.

Imagine the global outcry if a Palestinian had threatened the Jews with another Holocaust. Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai said last year that: “The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.” Supporters of the current campaign are now witnessing the manifestation of this ideology.

Vilnai’s comment was just the latest example of the Jewish state’s attempt to convince the world that it is in an existential battle for its survival against an Iranian-backed proxy. In this twisted logic, overwhelming firepower is therefore justified, no matter the cost.

Friends are decreasing: “Israel is the biggest provoker of terror in the world,” Turkey’s Justice Minister said. Zvi Ba’rel, of Israeli daily Haaretz, wrote: “Who has gained so far from the situation? So far it is Hamas, which can claim to have undermined greatly Israel’s ties with Turkey, Jordan and Qatar. And it has only just begun.”

Some of America’s leading liberal Jewish bloggers opposed the war.

A new generation of Jews is increasingly sceptical of the Jewish state’s belligerence, threatening the country’s future diaspora support.

Israel has consistently failed to destroy the Palestinian spirit and refuses to end its colonial addiction to settlement expansion. The war against Gaza is simply another chapter in Israel’s futile attempt at redrawing the Middle East map.

Until the Jewish state acts like a responsible international citizen, it should be treated with appropriate sanction.

Antony Loewenstein is an author, journalist and co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices.

2 comments ↪
  • filosofee

    Dear Mr. Loewenstein:

    Thank you for this article. This conflict above all others polarises in such a way that, while you want Israelis to live peacefully, you abhor the succor their government receives from the US. It is the US which is the biggest hypocrite police-nation of the world, selectively intruding here and ignoring there (Kashmir, Darfur, etc.). If the US truly wanted peace for the Israelis and Palestinians they would not supply military equipment to one side, rather they would pressure both sides to talk.

    The only hope is that the economic mess in the world may focus away from military and expensive action to inexpensive and effective dialogical conflict resolution.

    Filosofee

  • Wendy Bacon

    I did send this to the Courier Mail at the time this article was published. However as far as I know, they did not use it.

    Congratulations for publishing this piece by Antony Loewenstein who persistently demonstrates that there is a debate in the Australian Jewish community about Israeli politics and that many Jewish people find the actions of Israeli intolerable. Recently, I visited the Jewish museum in Berlin which documents how centuries of institutionalised anti-semitism in Germany laid the groundwork for the 2nd World War ‘holocaust’. It is a tragic irony that Deputy Defence Minister Vilnai would speak of carrying out a ‘holocaust’ on another people who will not accept an historical injustice. This is the mindset that makes ‘war crimes’ permissible. Since this latest invasion began, many people wondered about the nature of burning white fire trails in the sky. According to recent TV reports, this same chemical is burning the flesh of innocent victims. This and other war crimes must stop and those responsible must be brought to account. Of course, we also must remember that at the other end of the political spectrum, young Israelis are being jailed for bravely refusing to be part of the military occupation of Palestine just as young Australians of my generation refused to serve in Vietnam.