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.

Get Up! takes on Israel/Palestine

Get Up! is Australia’s biggest progressive organisation, modelled on US

Get Up! has shied away from tackling the Israel/Palestine issue, preferring to focus on more domestic concerns. Its success in Australia is undeniable, though I know a number of members have been frustrated with its silence over the Middle East.

But maybe that is about to change. I was contacted last week by Get Up! to begin an online debate about this subject, as a way for the group to dip its toe into the problem. If, or when, the organisation decides to pressure the Labor government over this, the Prime Minister should be worried.

Here’s my piece:

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

Israel’s latest offensive against the Gazan people has left the occupied territory devastated.

Dr. Marie-Pierre Allié, President of the French section of Médecins Sans Frontières, writes that, “it is difficult to recall a comparable slaughter of civilians in so little time.”

With thousands of dead and injured Palestinians, one of Israel’s leading writers, Gideon Levy, argues in Haaretz that, “this war ended in utter failure for Israel.”

Despite the futility of this conflict, there is a perverse logic to the adventure. Since the Jewish state’s birth in 1948, successive leaders have never accepted the concept of an equal Palestinian partner; they must be humiliated, killed, intimidated or isolated instead of engaged.

Despite these unpleasant realities, the vast majority of the international community, except the US, Australia and a handful of others, accept the vast majority view, namely that Israel must cease illegal settlement building in the occupied territories, split Jerusalem and resolve the refugee issue.

Henry Siegman, former national director of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America, puts it succinctly: “When Jews target and kill innocent civilians to advance their national struggle, they are patriots. When their adversaries do so, they are terrorists.”

Hamas is merely the latest organization classified as a terrorist organization in the West. Its democratic legitimacy is undeniable (as is its willingness to negotiate with Israel) but its refusal to collude with Israel, like Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, deems it an “enemy” to be destroyed.

Australia could play a constructive role but Kevin Rudd has chosen to meekly back Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinians. There is bi-partisan support for this position but it may change soon.

As the Muslim population grows in political power and organization, the influence of the Zionist lobby will inevitably decrease. A more balanced approach to the conflict is both morally and legally required.

One way forward is following the ideas expressed by the initiative I founded, Independent Australian Jewish Voices, including our recent Gaza statement, supported by hundreds of concerned Jews.

Justice and history is not on the side of Israeli expansionism.

  • sky

    Let’s hope they pick it up. When the offensive started, and Gillard and Rudd remained silent, I went to getup to see if I would find any information, a petition, or so on, or an existing policy/campaign, and was disappointed to find there was nothing.

  • AJay

    I emailed both Rudd and our esteemed FM with zero response. Clearly like the US Congress our Australian politicians are bought and paid for.
    That is bloody disgusting that any foreign power can exercise such open control of our government, we as Australians should be doubly outraged.Maybe its our colonial heritage showing through?
    First by the Gaza atrocity and
    Secondly that our government (it would have been even more blatant if Howard was still there)- is so craven and unprincipled –
    so much for Rudd’s Bonhoffer lecture in The Monthly, that preceded his elevation to office.

    Patrick Cockburn has a very telling piece in the Independent

  • Tony Nadin

    It is comforting to see “Get Up” becoming involved. I sense a lot of outrage, among my anglo-saxon friends, (once staunch supporters of Israel) about the latest incursion into Gaza, which seems to have been carefully planned and maniulated by the IDF ie get in a big one before Bush leaves office.

    I fume, write blogs to “Haaretz” and the occasional (unpublished) letter to the SMH. I tried to e-mail the IDF spokesman, Captain Rutland, to find out more about the IDF’s investigation into a deliberate targeting and killing of 2 young children – aged 2 and 7.

    Get Up, at least provides an outlet to vent one’s anger and sorrow.

  • Glenn Condell

    Great stuff Antony.

    ‘I emailed both Rudd and our esteemed FM with zero response.’

    Me too, with Gillard included. Got a nice reply from Julia Irwin however. Hope she runs for higher office one day – we need people like her.

  • sky

    I got a reply on behalf of FM from Rachel Mosley. Also Senator Fifield, and the Greens. Nothing from the PM and other various members of parliament contacted, though in the case of Julia Irwin, I don’t mind, as she definitely spoke out!