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.

The one state myth?

Following Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s recent call in the New York Times for Israelis and Palestinians to share a state, Isratine, Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery responds in the International Herald Tribune:

It is always pleasing to hear Muammar Qaddafi coming forward with a new idea. He is the joker in the pack of Middle Eastern leaders, appearing in the most unexpected places. He looks at things with fresh eyes. Unfortunately, his ideas are not always the most practical.

Now he is putting forward the idea that Jews and Arabs in our country should live together in one joint state, to be called Isratine.

That is a fetching, if not altogether original idea. Qaddafi has always been a great unifier. In 1972, early in his 40-year rule, he initiated the idea of the union of Libya, Egypt and Syria into one state. In 1974, he started work toward a union of Libya and Tunisia. He also proposed the creation of a big Saharan Islamic State.

After these failures, one would have to be a very determined optimist to believe in the union of Israel and Palestine. After all, the peoples of Libya, Egypt and Tunisia are very closely related, profess the same religion, speak the same language and share the same social mores, while Israelis and Palestinians are not related, speak different languages, have different beliefs and are both fiercely nationalistic.

It takes quite a stretch of the imagination to believe that Israelis and Palestinians will come together tomorrow, serve in the same army, enact the same laws and pay the same taxes. One wonders how such a state would function.

Israelis might misunderstand the intentions of our Libyan friend and think that he is asking them to dismantle their state, take in six million Palestinian refugees and resign themselves to live as a minority in an Arab-majority Isratine. They will be tempted to answer: Thanks, but no thanks. If there is one point on which 99 percent of Israelis are in agreement, it is their desire to live in a Hebrew-speaking state of their own.

Palestinians might react quite similarly. After enduring the Zionist onslaught for so long, they also want to be masters of their fate, in a state of their own, under their own flag. They might not take kindly to Qaddafi’s contention that their brutal oppression and exploitation by fanatical Jewish settlers in the West Bank constitutes a “successful assimilation” and that in 1948 “Jews did not forcibly expel Palestinians.” (As a soldier in that war, this comes as quite a surprise to me, too.)

At the end of that terrible war, my friends and I proposed the Two-State Solution. Not a hundred people around the globe accepted that. Now there is a world-wide consensus. The great majority of both Israelis and Palestinian, as well as the members of the Arab League and all the great powers, are convinced that this is the only viable way to achieve a lasting peace.

Qaddafi is quite right about the shortcomings of this solution and the difficulties in achieving it, including those created by successive Israeli governments which have paid lip-service to it while doing everything in their power to obstruct it. But all these obstacles are nothing compared to those lying on the road to a One-State Illusion, which is no solution at all.

The Two-State Solution is achievable right now, in 2009, if President Barack Obama is determined to implement it “aggressively,” as he says. He will find many allies in Israel.

Uri Avnery, Tel Aviv Former member of the Knesset, and a leader of the Israeli Peace Bloc

2 comments ↪
  • Daer old Uri. It's hard not to admire the man… yet his output of separatist dogmatism is clearly part of the problem and has been for decades.

    He utterly fails to explain the difference between South Africa c. 1985 and the Holy Land c. 2009. What is it?

    All the arguments used to claim a one state salution is impossible in Palestine were used then in South Africa. Ten years later, the debate was over and recovery – as a unified nation that voluntarily relinquished it nuclear weapons – was underway.

    The truth is, I think, that Uri wants a Jewish separatist State. He's always wanted it. He'd just like it to be nicer – and not preclude Bathustans for displaced Palestinians.

    His scenarios after a hypothetical re-unification show he's still utterly locked in dualistic thought. He can't seem to imagine that anyone might be loyal to the new State (as opposed to their tribal/ethnic origins). Perhaps he should try living in a normal country for a while to see how it works. Most people intermarry, mingle and don't create ghettoes.

  • ej

    I'm with Syd.

    There will never be a Palestinian state because no Israel faction with any influence on leadership wants it.

    (and of course the 'two-state solution' out of the mouths of the Israel lobby is a contemptible lie, as none of this lot wants it or is prepared to lift a finger to work towards it.)

    No external power will dictate an outcome that is anathema to the Israeli elite.

    In any case the facts on the ground now preclude a Palestinian state forever.

    As important as has been Avnery as an untiring internal critic of leadership insanity, his long term position on two states is but a farting in the wind.

    There will be one state (as there is now); it's a matter of what it looks like. Possibly mass expulsion of non-Jews. In the future, not out of the question that there might be a mass exodus of Jews.