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.

Israel entitled to attack Hamas

Following my article in last week’s Australian Financial Review on Israel’s war crimes in Gaza, the following letter appears today in the paper:

It is ironic that Antony Loewenstein’s piece “Israel must pay for crimes” (January 30) is in the Legal Affairs section, as it shows a complete lack of understanding of international law.

It is undeniable that Hamas was committing war crimes in firing rockets at Israeli civilians, and that Israel was entitled to stop them. Israel was then, under international law, entitled to do what was necessary and reasonable to achieve this, including targeting those firing the rockets, the rockets and launchers themselves and the tunnels used to smuggle them in.

Even if the fighters and rockets were hidden among civilians, or in public buildings such as schools and mosques, Israel was still entitled to target them. Israel did try to minimise civilian casualties by warning civilians to leave houses that were about to be bombed, even though that also warned the terrorists. Also, the use of white phosphorus of itself is not illegal, and Israel denies having used it against civilians.

There were war crimes committed against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, but they were committed by Hamas. Under international law, hiding fighters and weapons among civilians is known as perfidy, and the party committing the offence is the one responsible for all ensuing damage and casualties.

Sadly Loewenstein’s concern is limited to Israel’s supposed crimes rather than Hamas’s actual offences.

Jamie Hyams
Australia-Israel and Jewish Affairs Council
South Melbourne Vic

  • AJay

    Professor Francis Boyle provides a complete response to this nonsense:-

  • ej

    Israel's supposed crimes?

    the use of white phosphorous of itself is not illegal? Etc.

    Israel has of course redefined legality. words are what we want them to mean.

    The letter is computer-generated.

    Lies from start to finish.

    The man has his head totally up the Hasbara machine's arse.

    All humanity sucked out of him; criminally complicit in the latest outrage, and in the ongoing ethnic cleansing.

    That these low-lifes can actually generate this shit leads one to inquire of the nature of the socialisation process that has led to this revolting moral self-debasement.

    Some of the anti-Semitic outlets before and during WWII would make salutary reading for parallels.

  • AJay

    I have to ask, in the light of Professor Boyle's opinion, how is it possible for the Australian government to remain apart and merely wring its hands over Israels criminal action? We are required by International laws that we are signatories to, to act. Failure to act is to be party to the crime, as in accessory to murder.

    It is repeatedly said that Israel has a right to respond to the rocket attacks, yet when the IRA fired mortars from Ireland onto police, Army and civilians in Northern Ireland, the British did not invoke "hot pursuit" nor did they return fire across the border, nor did they bomb Dublin or invade Ireland. In many ways the Northern Ireland troubles were as vicious as the Israel /Palestine conflict, yet the civil governments involved managed largely to conduct themselves in a legal an proper manner – but then they did not have another agenda (the reconquest of Ireland). Maybe that is the real and underlying difference.

    The fact remains that whatever provocations, there are no legal justifications for the way the State of Israel acts.

  • sky

    Well, your article is backed up by the United Nations, Human Rights Bodies and International Law. Where are Hymam's sources, and how does his letter get so uncritically published? AJay's points are pertinent, and I think it's time to start cranking out the letters again.

    By the way, if you have any American friends, there is this letter/petition by Jewish voice for peace, addressing Obama

    and there is background on it here:

    Sorry if you've already posted it somewhere, Antony.

  • ej

    let's make one thing clear.

    all this stuff about disproportionality, provocation, etc., accepts the Israeli narrative.

    All responses from Palestinians, however innately morally repugnant, are forms of resistance to Occupation, dispossession, dehumanisation, assassination, mass murder.

    As such, they are all legitimate.

    As the Israeli Shlomo Sand notes in this month's (French) Le Monde Diplomatique:

    'In fact, Israel denies any notion of equality, even imaginary, between themselves and the Palestinians: they deny them any right to defend themselves. The right to defend oneself must remain a privilege exclusively Israeli. … It is thus recognised and admitted that the right of Israel "to defend itself" implies the total neutralisation of any Palestinian armed resistance.'

    The lebensraum project must have no impediments. But if the subject Palestinians refuse to go to their graves quietly and offer resistance, we are happy to sacrifice Israeli Jewish lives in the interim until resistance is extinguished.

  • margaret cassar

    Our local paper in Adelaide, The Advertiser, reported yesterday that Livni and Barack are vying to claim responsibility for the success of the recent Gaza offensive. Could their disgraceful boasting about the atrocities in Gaza ever be considered as evidence of their war crimes against the Palestinians?

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  • Marilyn

    I always wonder in amazement about this idiot notion that the Palestinians are allowed on defences at all and must lie down and be repeatedly raped and brutalised by this vile place called Israel.