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.

J’Accuse: open letter to Kevin Rudd Prime Minister of Australia

The following statement is released today by the recently-formed Committee for the Dismantling of Zionism:

Dear Prime Minister,

We are part of an increasing number of people around the world of Jewish descent who are sickened by the coldly calculated massacre of the Palestinians of Gaza and who utterly repudiate Israel’s claim that it acts in the name of Jews the world over. Like an increasing number of people around the world of Jewish and non-Jewish descent we are also sickened by the indifference of Western governments, including your government, to the death, maiming, terror and trauma, being inflicted on the Palestinians of Gaza, including on a disproportionate number of children, in what now resembles a   vast outdoor prison or policed ghetto. The apparent indifference of your government to the humanitarian plight of the Palestinians lends support to Israel’s crimes against humanity.

We know, as a scholar, you meditate on the long and troubled history of humanity. We trust you do not wish Israel/Palestine to be to your prime ministership what East Timor has  become to Gough Whitlam’s, a terrible blot on an otherwise positive record, an instance of putting realpolitik above morality in international affairs. If that is the case, then we urge you to take a stand now, on behalf of the Australian people, against the wanton destruction of the Palestinians and their way of life.

As believers in Gandhian non-violent protest, we call your attention to the Mahatma’s pleas on behalf of the Palestinians in the late 1930s and early 1940s, when the Zionist intention in British-Mandated Palestine to dispossess and drive out the Palestinians was becoming ever clearer. In a 1938 essay “Zionism and Anti-Semitism”, Gandhi passionately argues that Palestine “belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct…. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.”

Recall that the great Australian Sir Isaac Isaacs, the first Australian-born Governor General and a former Chief Justice of the High Court, predicted in essays in The Hebrew Standard in the early 1940s what now has occurred, that the Zionist plans to take over Palestine while dispossessing and marginalizing the Palestinians would be a disaster for international law. Isaacs pointed out that the Zionist campaign to make Palestine a Jewish State was contrary to the Balfour Declaration, which called for a National Home for Jews in Palestine. If Zionism succeeded in creating such a Jewish State, its injustice would, he felt, antagonize the Arab population in Palestine and would exasperate the whole Muslim world. To create a Jewish State, he noted, would necessarily mean the domination of a single nationality over the other nationalities; a Christian or Muslim could not become a full citizen of the new state. Why not, he suggested, make citizenship Palestinian, that is, neither Arab nor Jewish? Isaacs regarded the Zionist plan for a Jewish State as a giant historical step backwards, away from a modern democratic notion of a national unit formed by various nationalities. Instead, Isaacs proposed what, given the recent history of South Africa, we would recognise as a rainbow nation: a vision of Palestine where Jew, Muslim and Christian alike would have equal rights.

Against the Zionist insistence that Jewish identity was tied to political and military possession of a particular land, Isaacs argued that Judaism is “written in the hearts of the Jewish people and is independent of Palestine or any locality”. (One of us, John Docker, has written in his 2001 book 1492: The Poetics of Diaspora on Isaacs’s profound and moving reflections in The Hebrew Standard.) One of the great political theorists of the twentieth century, Hannah Arendt, a German Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, lamented in her 1944 essay “Zionism reconsidered” that the Zionist program of a state for Jews alone had replaced the possibility of a “binational Palestine state” which might have come about as the result of a working agreement with “Arabs and other Mediterranean peoples”. For surely only folly, she argued, “could dictate a policy which trusts a distant imperial power for protection, while alienating the goodwill of its neighbours”. That folly continues and we might well ask along with Hannah Arendt in that same essay, what program does an aggressively nationalistic movement such as Zionism “offer for a solution of the Arab-Jewish conflict?” None at all as the cycle of vicious aggression towards the Palestinians makes clear. New and imaginative solutions based on a non-racist state in Israel/Palestine need to be found urgently.

Early in 2008, on 13 February, in your historic and moving speech apologizing to the stolen generations of the Indigenous people of Australia, some of whom were present in the Australian parliament, you clasped hands and shared tears: please extend the same sympathy and empathy to the Indigenous people of Palestine. Since 1948 the Indigenous Palestinians of historic Palestine have faced having their lives, cities, villages, mosques, fields, olive groves, health, dignity, freedom of movement and rights under international law, unlawfully transgressed and stolen from them. Please reach out to them, please extend your sympathy to the beleaguered Palestinian people. Please listen to the groundswell of opinion that is occurring across the world in relation to Israeli brutality to the Palestinians, amongst Jews and non-Jews alike: enough is enough.

We urge you to bring to public attention, and to support, UN Resolution 194 which declares the unconditional right of the Palestinian refugees – some 700,000 – expelled from Palestine in 1948 to return to their homes. We ask you to reflect on the significance of a conjunction of dates: on 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was declared, Article 13/2 making it clear that, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.” Resolution 194 was declared on the following day, 11 December 1948. The right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes had been demanded by the assassinated UN mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte (see Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, pp.146, 188). Then as now, Israel disdainfully sneered at the United Nations, the Geneva Convention, and international law.

By publicly supporting the unconditional right of the Palestinians to return to their homeland, you would go a long way in restoring the human rights reputation of Australia in relation to refugees. By doing so, you will grant to Australia an independent foreign policy and our own political and ethical stance, rather than continuing the embarrassing, ludicrous and immoral subservience pursued by the previous government towards the United States of America.

Please, Prime Minister, do everything you can to avert the destruction of the Palestinians.

John Docker

Ned Curthoys

Committee for the Dismantling of Zionism

19 January 2009

4 comments ↪
  • Allen Jay

    The committee’s points are well made.
    While it is up to the members of the Jewish community to deal with Zionism, just as others in the past failed to deal with their totalitarian ideologues.
    It is clearly within the power of our government to give or withdraw its support for Israel, just as it gave and withdrew support for the Apartheid regime in South Africa, until certain clear goals are achieved.
    I would suggest that it is time for Australia to withdraw our Ambassador to Israel and also cancel cancel the Israeli Ambassadors credentials.
    This should be done while setting out clear terms for resumption of diplomatic relations, including the establishment of a viable 2 State arrangement based on the 1967 Green line.

  • paul walter

    No.
    Gillard/Smith/Rudd haven’t the gorm. Even sadder, the strong voices previously present whilst Labor was in opposition are now largely silent apart from Julia Irwin.
    Same in the US, where Hillary Clinton can add nothing constructive and her Democratic colleagues forming a new government can be said to be more mute than an army corps of autists.
    Similar else where, although a number of European leaders can be said to have opened their mouths.
    Now that we have had another human sacrifice event of Aztec proportions, and the contradictions have become so obvious as to discredit not only Israel but the entire “civilised ” West, of which Israel is only the current visible tip, maybe consciences will be pricked into belated action.
    But I doubt it.

  • Marilyn

    Rudd is still under the delusion that Israel was formed on the back of diplomacy as his speeches show.

    Diplomacy at the end of ethnic cleansing doesn’t do it for me.

  • paul walter

    Y’know, from a certain viewpoint, you can view “Israel” as only a symptom of a wider problem- Western Imperialism, of which Israel is merely culturally and politically a part. Hansonism showed how people of any ethnicity can be stirred up by a bit of well placed Goebellsian agit-prop/black propaganda.
    The Israelis are in a spot where they do the dirty work on behalf of the entire empire, including ourselves, in return for a bit of sly protection from Wall st and its puppets.
    Last time, West Virginian proddy fundy rednecks in Falluja, this time similarly ignorant, no doubt, young zionist blokes encouraged by similar types of cynics further up the food chain, to behave identically.
    It’s the old story. If the Empire decolonises the Levant it will shown it can be done and others will hope for it to be done elsewhere, particularly in resource-rich places.
    Zimbabwe, Darfur, Somali etc don’t count because they are just inconveniences of no strategic or resource value and therefore not in need of “saving for democracy”, just “robust self effort” to avoid “dependency”. This Western elitist attitude is, of course a response to unpalatable notions of duty of care, compensation and rebuilding for millions of ordinary people, but it might not turn a buck, so it’s cast aside.