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.

Gaza counterclaim

The debate over Israel and Gaza continues today in the Australian Financial Review:

Antony Loewenstein (“NGOs challenge Gaza blame“, Letters, February 9) persists in the error that non-government organisation assertions about Israel are beyond challenge.

He omits to mention that last Thursday the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs retracted an earlier claim that an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza city of Jabaliya last month hit a school run by a UN agency. The UN has now confirmed that the school was not struck and that no one taking shelter inside the school was killed or injured. Heavy fighting had taken place outside the school, as Israel had contended.

As for claims on phosphorous, Peter Herby, head of the mines-arms unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross, confirmed to Associated Press on January 13 that Israel was using phosphorus only as an illuminant or smokescreen, which is not illegal. “We have no evidence to suggest it’s being used in any other way,” Herby said.

Robert M Goot
Executive Council of Australian Jewry
Sydney NSW

  • nina

    This is confusing. I read the report released by Members of legal delegation from National Lawyers Guild in the United States and it said that Israel used white phosphorus in extensively throughout its three-week offensive in a manner that led to numerous deaths and injuries.

    It also said that John Ging, the Director of Gaza Operations for UNRWA reported that Israeli forces fired missiles at UNRWA schools in Gaza City, Jabalyia and Bet Lahiya.

    So, which one is the truth?

  • ej

    All you need to know is that Rachel Corrie threw herself under the bulldozer. Once you confront that truth, everything else falls into place.

  • sky

    And Goot obviously omitted to mention this statement by Peter Herby on the 17 January, 2009:

    If ICRC delegates in the field gather credible and precise evidence of violations, or if ICRC medical personnel corroborate reports by others, the ICRC would begin by discussing this with the party concerned – rather than speaking publicly – in keeping with our standard practices. We have not commented publicly on the legality of the current use of phosphorous weapons by Israel, contrary to what has been attributed to us in recent media reports.

  • sky

    Nina, Antony posted this the other day:… un reversal over gaza school should be treated with caution/2924657

    It's got lots of information on the United Nations statements on the shelling of the school(yard) under question.

  • Marilyn

    This is a letter I just posted to the AFR.… un reversal over gaza school should be treated with caution/2924657

    From the safety of Australia Robert Goot dares to claim that the UN 'lied' about a school strike that massacred 43 innocent people yet Jonathon Miller from Channel 4 in Britain studied the facts and concluded that Ging told the truth from the beginning.

    "At the time of the "missile" strike, the school was sheltering nearly 2,000 refugees. The IDF had the school's co-ordinates.

    What is not contested is that 43 people died. What is also absolutely clear is that no one inside the school was killed – a fact the UN is accused of twisting.

    From the very outset, the UN said that the bombing took place outside the school. UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency which administers refugee assistance in Gaza, stuck to that.

    John Ging, Director of UNRWA operations in Gaza was quoted by The Guardian as saying that three shells had landed "at the perimeter of the school". This is accurate.

    Another branch of the UN, its humanitarian affairs agency (OCHA) also reported in its daily output of 6 January that the missile strikes had been outside the school. In its report of the following day, however, it mistakenly said the school itself had been shelled. This error was corrected earlier this month."

    As Miller points out 43 innocent people were massacred as they tried to find shelter.

    In another report in Haaretz it is reported that the massacre of the young policemen on the first day was planned months in advance with international law twisted by the IDF legal team to make the mass murder of civilians legal.

    Goot and his cronies need to spare us his rantings – with the internet we can find details and facts out for ourselves.

    For the record I sent the Channel 4 report to senior members of AIPAC and the AJN, not one of them responded but they continue to lie to justify murder.

  • Tony Nadin

    Mr Goot – is that the same Jabaliya refugee camp referred to by Jason Koutsoukis (the SMH's correspondent in Gaza) as the place where an alleged deliberate, cold blooded killing of 2 children (aged 2 & 7) by an IDF soldier occured.

    As for the use of phosphorpous, you may wish to view this evening's "Foreign Correspondent" (ABC1)which features a UN official explaining how phosphorous shells poured into a UN position despite repeated calls to the IDF to cese fire. A similar thing occured in Lebanon when Fijian UN troops were killed by Israeli fire – once again the IDF had the co-ordinates but continued to fire.

    If it weren't for the meddling, anti-Israeli media we would have to rely on IDF's spokesman and the uncritical commentators within the Diaspora to tell us the 'real story'.

  • Thanks, I got your point. I know about Rachel Corrie, James Miller and Fadel Shana. So, I guess Israel just won't stop using lies for justify their actions, yes?

    I'm an Indonesian muslim whose trying to learn the fact and the truth about middle east, from every side. This blog gives me a lot of useful informations. Thanks again.