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.

Such selective outrage

Victoria is currently experiencing shocking bushfires that have claimed countless lives.

One fire-fighter told Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper that the scenes were like a “Holocaust”.

A leading Muslim leader recently said that the Holocaust was being used by Israel to justify Israeli violence against Palestinians, which is “just as ugly as the Holocaust”.

Jewish leaders condemned the Muslim leader for daring to use the term “Holocaust” and minimising the trauma of the Jewish Holocaust in World War II.

Personally speaking, I don’t apply the term “Holocaust” to describe Israel’s barbarity in Palestine, but I’m willing to bet that no Jewish leaders will complain about the fire-fighter’s use of the word.

God forbid somebody slam the Gaza war and imply that Jews should know better because of the Holocaust.

  • ej

    The Melbourne Age is doing its bit to ensure that everybody understands that the sensitivities of members of Jewish communities are more important than is the suffering of an oppressed population.

    Today it reproduces an article by Jonathan Freedland from the British Guardian newspaper of Wednesday 4th.

    Freedland raises the usual canard of anti-Semitism to head off growing outrage in Britain at the Gaza carnage.

    The lesson: The mass murder of Palestinians is a non-issue. What matters more than anything else is that mainstream British Jewry continues to enjoy a sense of its own wellbeing.

    The sense of wellbeing of mainstream British Jewry (for reasons yet to be explained) depends upon Israel having unconstrained domain in the Middle East.

    Ergo, Palestinians must continue to die so that British Jews can feel good about themselves. By this narrative, dissident British Jews don’t exist.

    The editors of the Age evidently think that this is a lesson that should be reproduced in the antipodes.

    Ah yes, the colonial cringe is alive and well.

  • ChristianBale

    Excuse my ignorance as a non-Jew, but its a bit confusing when people tell me its anti-Semitic to oppose the apartheid and human rights abuses performed by the state of Israel. I don't agree with protesters equating everything Israel does with the Holocaust -its not constructive or insightful and obviously Holocaust survivors and their relatives may oppose Israel's actions as much as anyone else. Likewise I don't think its well-considered to hold up a sign with (Star of David) = (Swastika). However, I find it disingenuous to claim that such a sign is meant as a slur against ethnic Jews or followers of Judaism, when the context is clearly oppositon to the specific actions of a regime, referenced by its national flag.

    I think its a two-edged sword to expect the public to distinguish between Jews and (Jonathan Freedland's definition of) Zionists or Israel supporters (while Israel is doing something offensive), but to also accept that its appropriate for local Jewish community leaders to provide the news media with justifications of Israel's military actions. (This has been happening with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies on the ABC). Doesn't Israel have an embassy for that kind of stuff? (unlike the Palestinians). When the Jewish community echoes Mark Regev, unfortunately they will be associated with Israel's actions.

    Of course I'm not condoning the threats and attacks Jonathan refered to, but its disengenuous to characterise that behaviour as primarilty racist when he admits it has increased rapidly since Israel started bombing civilians. Gee what a coincidence.

    Call me touchy-feely, but maybe its worth addressing what Israel actually did, why it did it, and why people feel so strongly about it.

    Jonathan seems to suggest its the liberal left's responsibility to diffuse misplaced anger resulting from Israels' vicious brutality. It might be easier for them to do this if local Jewish representatives could express regard for humanity, instead of just being propagandists for a militaristic government.

    Finally, Jonathan writes: "Even those with the scantest historical knowledge know that the Nazis are the embodiment of evil to which the only appropriate response is hate."

    So much for learning from history.