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.

Imam Husain Islamic Centre talk on Israel/Palestine

I spoke last night to a packed room of around 170 people at Sydney’s Imam Husain Islamic Centre (all photos here):

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I was honoured to engage with a large Muslim audience (as I was told that the idea of a Jew speaking to such a group happened rarely, if ever, due to the fear of Jewish leaders discussing Israel/Palestine with a non-Zionist crowd.) Before I started, a couple of kids looked at me directly and asked, “Are you really Jewish?”

A number of prayers from the Quran were sung and then Father Dave introduced me. I spoke about my own personal journey to anti-Zionism, the differences between Judaism and Zionism, the reasons behind Israeli settlement building (a just-released report in Haaretz reveals the criminality of the entire enterprise), how Muslims could have their voices better heard in the Australian media and the role of Independent Australian Jewish Voices. I thought it was important to gently chastise the Muslim community for their often-disorganised attitude towards public debate and journalists. The media had to be directly pressured, I said, rather than criticised amongst friends. The Zionist lobby knows all about this.

The centre was gender-separated, with men sitting on the left hand side of the room and women on the right, all wearing hijabs. It was a respectful event, as evidenced by the long question and answer session (I spoke for over two hours). The questions varied from “whether anti-Semitism really existed?” (yes, I said, and Israeli aggression undoubtedly increases hate crimes against Jews), the real significance of the Gaza war, the possible shift in focus by President Obama and reducing the tensions between Muslims and Jews over the Middle East question. A volunteer told me after the event that he would love to invite a Rabbi who thought like me to address the centre.

My general sense of the evening was that people were angry, frustrated and feeling impotent. How much longer can Israel get away with its crimes? And what can we do about it? I explained that I believed the Gaza war had cost the Jewish state many friends and a campaign of boycott, sanctions and divestment was worth investigating.

I heard no anti-Semitic comments or anything disrespectful towards Jews. At the end of the night, the Sheik said he was pleased that I had constantly revealed the differences between Judaism and Zionism. After all, if many Jews deliberately conflate the two, who can blame others for doing likewise?

I was literally mobbed after the event, by both men and women, keen to continue the discussion, asking how to better approach the media, journalists and politicians. A question I heard over and over was why most of the Western media seemed to unconditionally support Israel. Holocaust guilt, the arms industry, a perceived connection to the Jews and other reasons are all key issues, but global pressure could shift this unhealthy relationship. Israel is a country like any other, and should be treated as such.

Speaking at such events is highly instructive. Profound ignorance certainly exists in the Muslim community towards Jews and Israel, and I believe it’s important that such confusions are discussed and resolved. Hearing a Jew speak to these kinds of gatherings puts a human face to a conflict that fires the Islamic world like no other.

8 comments ↪
  • sky

    Antony, your Ha’aretz link isn’t working at present. I too find myself asking the same question over and over – what investment does Australia have in Israel that it can just sit back and not condemn slaughter and ongoing abuse? SBS’s online reporting of Erdogan’s comments yesterday left out Peres’ statements, such as Gaza not being under siege and never having suffered a day of starvation. Our mainstream media is so controlled, even more so than overseas mainstream media, it seems. I am so glad that you are putting a human and rational face out there.

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  • Glenn Condell

    Goodonyou Antony – keep building those bridges

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  • Michael

    Dear All,

    to show how involved and how much interest Australia has in Israel is to see how Australia has setup an institution call AICC (Australian Israel Chamber of Commerce)
    http://www.brr.com.au/aug/5AIC/australia-israel-c

    another sign of how Australia and Israel's trade has grown exponentially is:
    http://www.israeltrade.org.au/trade.html

    Atleast 40 Israeli companies have bases in Australia. for this list visit:
    http://www.israeltrade.org.au/localoffice/local.h

    below are a list of israeli products and which companies stock them:
    http://www.zcv.org.au/site/index.php?view=article

    official zionist website in australia:
    http://www.zcv.org.au/site/index.php?option=com_c

    THESE ARE SOME OF THE REASONS WHY AUSTRALIA IS QUITE ABOUT THE GAZA MASSACRE.

  • Ali

    Peace be upon those who seek truth and justice,

    I was present at the Palestine forum held at the Imam Husain Islamic and truly think that it was a crucial and important forum to have. The speaker, was fantastic and opened the minds of people, a population of whom many have directly been subject to the atrocities that have occurred in the occupied lands of Palestine and in Lebanon, hence i would disagree that "Profound ignorance certainly exists in the Muslim community towards Jews and Israel", as it would not be characterised as ignorance, however when one is suppressed and subjugated in such a treacherous fashion certain thoughts are imprinted in ones mind. It would be fairly difficult to convince an Iraq boy, of the 'justice' of the United States, when he had just witnessed the death of his family at their hands. A lot of the time, unfortunately, Israel is seen as the 'jewish state', of course which it claims to be, hence the natural impression for one who is the victim is to attribute this to a jewish school of thought and populace. Nevertheless, this is not the correct analysis and work must be done to stop this, an example of this was Antony Loewenstein's visit to the Imam Husain Islamic Centre.

    One particular aspect of the talk which was significant was the humiliating yet true reminder mentioned by Antony, and this was the fact that the Muslim community here in Sydney is simply not enough and there must be more organisation.

    Thank you for your visit!

  • Samah Eid

    Many thanks Antony for your contributions last Friday night, it certainly was an enlightening and highly informative presentation.

    Your ideas are refreshing and I think that it is great that you have, to a certain extent, prevented default human bias and the risk of a potential shunning from your community from hiding your opinion on the Palestinian issue from the masses.

    Palestine is a sensitive topic amongst those who have some sort of attachment or connection to it, both direct and indirect and it is very brave of you to take on the extremist views that exist in both the Islamic, Arab, Jewish and Israeli communities of all sects.

    Your agreement to the concept of now boycotting Israel is admirable and I am sure that with your influence, many others will follow suit from all communities.

    It is also important to remind each other that Arabs, Muslims and other communities who have been battered by the military arm of Israel since it's illegitimate conception will always have a stigma associated with the Zionist state, come one-state solution or 10. My mother was medically involved in the Egypt & Israel war of the 70’s and bears emotional scars until this very day.

    What she witnessed can only be described on Israel's part as butchery, and acts of derangement and brain-washing to be able to commit such devastatingly inhumane acts against the innocent civilians of Egypt. Even as a first generation Australian, born and raised here in Sydney I too feel that pain when I visit Egypt realising it has never ever recovered and never really will with the head of the government being a proud Zionist himself. A country which flourished amongst the Arab world as its theatrical and historical centre, is now reduced to a poverty-stricken inescapable smudge of what it used to be. And that is to name one of a plethora of countries/people who've come to know Israel as their nemesis. The world really is tired of the roid-raging tendencies of Israel.

    Several wars that crippled my parent’s homeland will never be forgotten and I am sure that the Palestinian suffering will be remembered by the wise and humane as well.

    Please keep doing what you are doing and hopefully we can continue to benefit from your vast knowledge and your ability to educate the world.

    Thank you for speaking out – the Abrahamic faiths depend on the sharing of truth.

  • Issraa Hammoud

    Hi Antony

    I just wanted to add my voice to those who have thanked you for your presentation at the Imam Hussein Islamic Centre. I was not able to attend but all who I have asked have had only positive things to say. I myself made the distinction between Judaism, Jews and Zionism many years back, but much needs to be done to make this distinction clearer to other Muslims, so that bridges can be built between those who want peace for all.

    I have seen you Antony on a few occassions when the media has had some decency of presenting your views, and I admire your eloquence, bravery and determination to speak the truth. Keep up the good work.