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.

Speech against the war in Gaza

I gave the following speech at the rally against the war in Gaza in Sydney today in front of roughly 5000 people:

Stop the War on Gaza Rally
18/1/09

I stand before you as a human being first and a Jew second.

The war against the Palestinian people in Gaza has shown Israel’s true face to the world. Over 1000 dead, including hundreds of children and thousands of injured, masks a deeper agenda; the need to crush Palestinian political rights and their hopes of statehood.

It will never succeed. We stand in solidarity today with the Palestinians in the occupied territories and throughout the world who loudly say; “you will never extinguish our right to be free”.

Gideon Levy, one of Israel’s finest journalists and moral beacon in troubled times, wrote last week in Haaretz:

“This is how Israel now looks to the outside world – its tanks in the burning streets of Gaza; more and more people being killed for nothing; tens of thousands of new refugees; an appallingly haughty foreign minister, and a growing clamour of condemnation and disgust from all over the globe.”

He expressed what many Jews are currently thinking. Israel does not speak in our name. Its action deeply shames us. We will cry out publicly against her crimes. We will work to isolate her from the list of civilised nations.

I agree with famed Jewish writer and activist Naomi Klein who argued in early January: “It’s time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.”

Millions around the world are newly emboldened after the war against Gaza to make Israel pay a price for its barbarity. I join them in this struggle.

I am often disheartened as an anti-Zionist Jew by the number of Jews able to defend and justify Israeli behaviour as “self-defence” or fighting an “existential” threat.

A senior Israeli military official explicitly outlined in October 2008 his country’s plans to commit war crimes. He said:

“We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases. This isn’t a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorized.”

Such words are reminiscent of rogue states that should be shunned by the international community.

Leading American Jewish playwright Tony Kushner, speaking in front of the Israeli consulate in New York last week, reminded the assembled crowd that Jews should be the last people to support Israel’s indiscriminate onslaught against Gaza:

“Jews, with our millennial history of surviving oppression, really should have a deep sympathy and understanding…We should do better.”

And yet so many of us don’t. Israel’s Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter happily compared Israel’s war in Gaza to previous Western military war crimes:

“Europe and NATO did it in Kosovo, the Americans did it in Fallujah, and we are fighting to defend our citizens’ safety. Golda Meir once said that we can forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but we cannot forgive them for making us kill their children.”

Is a senior Israeli politician seriously praising America’s massacres in Fallujah as a model for counter-insurgency?

Another leading Israeli politician, Avigdor Lieberman, last week demanded that Israel nuke the people of Gaza. “We must continue to fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II.”

Who can continue to unconditionally support such a nation that last week disqualified two leading Arab parties from next month’s election?

Gaza is equally America’s war; funded, politically backed, armed and defended by the vast majority of the Washington elite. President-elect Barack Obama’s silence has been highly revealing and suggests he will likely continue America’s tradition of supporting Israel’s expansionist policies.

Our media is filled with Zionist spokespeople and their reliable political courtiers – Labor’s Kevin Rudd is equally subservient to the Zionist lobby as his predecessor Liberal Prime Minister John Howard – explaining why the Jewish state has to crush Hamas to “bring peace.”

Peace will only come when Israel treats the Palestinians as an equal partner, a people who deserve statehood and equal rights in the whole of Palestine.

We should be heartened, however, by the growing number of Jews globally who refuse to endorse the Zionist doctrine. Rabbis for Human Rights issued a letter condemning the violence. A veteran British Jewish MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman, said in parliament last week, “The current Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.” The Association for Civil Rights in Israel took out a full-page advertisement in Haaretz “grieving” for Palestinian children killed in Gaza.

Independent Australia Jewish Voices, a initiative I co-founded in 2007, released a strong statement against the war and has received hundreds of signatures, wide media coverage and solidarity with groups across the world.

As one of the founders of Independent Jewish Voices in Britain said last week, after being spat on by fellow Jews for daring to condemn the war against Gaza; there is a profound crisis in modern Judaism:

The moral blindness that leads decent, humane, sensitive people to look the other way when Israeli planes strike, or to reduce the gargantuan suffering of a people to the size of a single teardrop”.

Judaism is not Zionism. Not all Jews support Israel. We are a diverse people that can handle vigorous debate and dissent.

Until Israel understands that its actions are utterly unacceptable to the civilised world, its criminality will come at a high cost.

Many Jews around the world now share this view.

11 comments ↪
  • sky

    Thank you for speaking and writing and blogging and writing and…probably annoying the shit out of a lot of people(!), but for also giving a lot of people hope, solace and a voice. Well done

  • peri avdi

    Bravo ! I was @ the rally in Sydney (shame about the p a system though) and was heartened by the many who came together to protest against the war crimes that are being perpetrated by the Israeli government in Gaza. Your book My Israel question was very informative and l have recommended it to many. Once again Bravo and all strength by with you in your good works.

  • I am such a proud friend… I loved the speech … thank you for being such a nice human being .. what the world needs today is the sound of hope and love .. no matter where and how … we just need love .. Love is when people condemn Israel and stand in solidarity for Palestinian people AND people in Israel … love is when you don't forget PEOPLE everywhere … thank you for being Antony Lowenstein.

  • Marilyn

    Antony, good for you.

  • Tasnim

    I was at the brilliant rally today and Antony your speech was just awesome! I think it takes alot of courage to stand infront of such a crowd and say what you said not fearing the backlash from the Jewish community!

    As a hijab-clad muslim girl, i carried a banner with 'Zionism has hijacked Judaism' and although i got many dirty looks, i think that message is what everyone needs to appreciate. With diverse speakers like we had today, people can turn the intellectual tide against the politically funded propaganda machine and realise the true nature of the atrocities and the fact that they are a humanitarian issue.

    Keep up the great work and the world must realise that 'From Iraq to Palestine, occupation is a CRIME!'

    ps. would anyone know the name of that very passionate Aboriginal lady that spoke towards the end? She was AWESOME!

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  • Barbara Goddard

    Que viva our Antony Lowenstein!!
    This was a splendid speech (as was the speech of Peter Slezak in Melbourne, which friends of mine heard and then recommended.) I really hope that you guys are right in anticipating that more progressive Jews will swell our ranks. They are such precious people.
    By the way, I just finished reading Eduardo Galeano’s piece from Brecha, on Gaza ; in his last sentence he reminds us of the complicity that Israel had in assisting the Latin American dictatorships way back when. I remember that too. They even supplied Somoza in Nicaragua. Sometimes it is worth reminding people that regardless of who wins their elections, the Israelis domestic and foreign policies continue to be utterly execrable.
    Yours most respectfully with hopes not yet extinguished.

  • Stephen Langford

    Bravo on what you said. Missed it at the rally, but very glad to catch it on-line, and Peter’s address in Melbourne. Again, well done and all the best…

    Stephen Langford

  • Glenn Condell

    I missed it too – the sound problems meant lots of us behind the van weren’t aware the speeches had started. Good to read it here. Ice-breakers like yourself are vitally important in preparing the ground for a change.

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  • Margaret

    Dear Antony,

    You speak for me more than the Israelis speak for me. As a Jewish child of Holocaust survivors I was brought up to forgive those who harmed us, to withhold from racism towards anyone regardless of their past or associations. It was a tough lesson – it was a lesson of love. Thank you for speaking for us who despise the Zionism, the war and the hatred. Thank you for speaking for us who believe in a state of Palestine. Thank you for speaking for us who believe in humanity, who beleive in hope.