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.

And we are growing in strength

Antony Lerman, The Guardian, February 6:

Each and every Jew who protested as a Jew against the Gaza war had a personal Jewish imperative for doing so. Some simply expressed dismay; most demanded action to end the carnage. To say that we failed is neither an expression of despair nor a statement that dissent wasn’t worthwhile. Realism suggests that it was inevitable.

Let’s be clear: diaspora and Israeli Jewish support for the war was extensive – and extremely dispiriting. It raises the question: critical Jewish voices may have increased, but can we ever trigger decisive change in mainstream Jewish opinion? An unsentimental look at developments may give reason for hope.

First, there’s been activity in many countries and support for Jewish peace groups has increased. European Jews for a Just Peace, a 10-country federation of such organisations, reports numerous initiatives in Europe. Independent Jewish Voices, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and other UK groups demonstrated, lobbied, placed newspaper ads and joined demonstrations. IJV groups in Canada and Australia issued statements. Jewish and Israeli protesters in Toronto, Montreal and Boston occupied Israeli consulates. US peace groups have been increasingly active. Together with activity by Israeli groups, this amounts to an undercurrent of protest that is rattling establishment Jewish leadership.

3 comments ↪
  • ej

    How did the individuals who constitute the cabals of wretched reactionary racists rise to hold office of self-proclaimed representative Jewish organisations across the Western world, especially wtihin the English speaking countries?

    What have been and are the mechanisms? And prior to that, how were such individuals psychologically fashioned into an evident pathology?

    And how have these cabals of wrethced reactionary racists exercised their pernicious infuence for so long?

  • AJay

    Within the Jewish community this is the end point of Zionist tribalism. There are and have been similar "influential" groups within the "Christian" Anglo world, though many appear to have been discredited or maybe just gone underground.

    There are two problems:-
    1. within the Jewish community, that they have initially supported but now apparently tolerate or ignore these groups. Only the community itself can correct this distortion. The Zionist project, like its German original, may have had worthy intent, but it has now either shown its true and malicious reality or has become a distorted monstrosity. In either case, only the community can deal with this. To not do so, is to risk the wrath of the larger community, sooner or later.This is a reality for many minority group, not just the Jewish community. That is shown by the 11 million victims of the Holocaust, not all were Jews.

    2. within the larger community, amongst our political class in particular, there is a willingness to bend to the demands of these groups, an acceptance that they represent the Jewish community at large. This is particularly notable in the US, where the Congress and the Administration(s), are clearly under the sway of these groups – it may not be the Elders of Zion project, but it can begin to look that way to a careful observer. The same situation appears to be true in Australia, although it is less obvious because Australia is less important – our colonial mentality "protects" us?

    The problem here is clearly that our non Jewish politicians are either incapable of making up their own mind or forming independent opinions based on the facts. Have they been bought and paid for? Do they feel under threat. Certainly US politicians who cross the Lobby have been targeted and lost their seat.

    It seems inconceivable that any minority group can wield such pervasive power over national policy and those who make and implement it, but that appears to be the reality and there is no clear or justifiable reason – so it is very easy to look for dark and sinister manipulation.

    To say the policy is there because the facts justify it, is to insult an ordinary persons intelligence and the (even) limited facts that our media make available. So influence and manipulation would appear to be the only rational explanation. This of course condemns our political leaders as dupes and stooges as much as it condemns those who do the manipulating.

  • sky

    I think the Aussie pollies feel under threat, or are just blatant opportunists, maybe bought. I keep going back to this article.

    There was talk in my family that part of the reason that Gough Whitlam only served one term, and not even that, was due to adopting a more even-handed approach to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Whether that pissed off the Americans, or the lobby, or that the two are so intermingled that it is the same thing, I don't know. This was just mentioned in passing. It wasn't a huge dinner discussion topic, though his dismissal certainly was.

    I ask myself about this all the time:

    The problem here is clearly that our non Jewish politicians are either incapable of making up their own mind or forming independent opinions based on the facts. And in any letters I write I remind the politicians that they surely know the facts. It should be part of their jobs, after all.

    I guess another alternative is that they are cynical. Australia has culpability in East Timor and Bouganville, and I am sure many other places all over the world. Maybe they figure they can just ride this one out, assuming (wrongly, I hope)that not enough of their local population will think the conflict has anything to do with them, and they only lose a few voters, but keep the support of the media and other backers? However, I found it telling that Downer made sure evacuation of Australians in Lebanon was possible in the 2006 assault, even if there was little outcry about the actual attacks themselves, and even if it was not perceived as timely or quick enough. In relation to Gaza, the non-reaction of the federal government, and the opposition has made me feel very cynical about Australian politics, and I doubt that the general public really, ultimately, has much say in the decisions it makes.

    I think Ajay's first point is spot on. When I read of the rise of anti-Semitism that has come about with the Gaza assault, a news story carried pictures of desecrated Jewish graves which had been graffitied with the swastika. It was the first time in my life (I'm in my forties) that I actually thought, were they smeared by idiotic neo-Nazi fascists (my automatic reaction), or were they smeared because people associated Israeli actions, and therefore the Jewish community that Israel purportedly globally represents, as idiotic Nazi fascists? Due to the ongoing habit of Israel to counter every criticism with allegations of anti-Semitism, it seems that the wider Jewish community definitely gets dragged into the conflict, and the wider general community, of which I am part, must keep reminding readers and people I talk to that it is the actions of the country which I strongly oppose, and not the Jewish religion or people. Egypt should have opened its borders, and still should have them open. By making that remark, I do not feel that I am anti-Islam or Muslim, and neither does it seem that I have to defend my viewpoint from that aspect. However, if our government makes no stand against a country that is committing atrocities, a country to which we overtly have no very strong ties in population make-up, historically, or even economically, whilst making stands against other countries that commit atrocities, people will try to figure out the reasons why, and can come to simplistic conclusions.

    So, as Obama is probably unlikely to do anything, protest from the inside is one of the strongest forms of protest that there is.

    Sorry for the ramble and I hope it made some sense.