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 peace activist the Jewish News rejects

My following piece appears on Crikey today:

Dr Jeff Halper is an American born, Israeli-based professor of anthropology, author and co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). This 2006 Nobel Peace Prize nominated group resists the Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian homes in the illegally occupied West Bank. It uses non-violence and civil obedience.

In 2008 Halper sailed as the only Jew on a protest boat from Cyprus to Gaza to highlight Israel’s collective punishment of the Strip. He told an audience in Canada in January that, “The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is not because there was a hurricane. There are [Western] countries that are creating starvation in Gaza”.

Halper has just arrived in Australia for a two-week national tour, appeared on yesterday’s Radio National Breakfast and ABC Radio PM, with much more media to come, and will be speaking at universities and public meetings across the country.

But you won’t be reading about his Sydney events in the Australian Jewish News (AJN). The publisher has refused to run ads by Jews Against the Occupation (JAO) that simply inform people of Halper’s schedule. The group was given no reason for the decision except that the publisher had instructed the paper not to allow the ads to appear. Crikey has seen the ad and it only contains titles and locations of the lectures and contact phone numbers.

Today’s Sydney Morning Herald also confirms that a planned talk at a leading Sydney liberal synagogue was cancelled due to pressure from the Zionist lobby.

I contacted the AJN’s National Editor, Ashley Browne, to shed more light on the decision to block the ad. He said that the paper was not obliged to run the ads and refused ads all the time.

When pushed, he acknowledged that he supported the publisher, Polaris Media’s Robert Magid — who recently claimed in the paper that the late English playwright Harold Pinter was a “political extremist” for daring to criticise Israel — to cut ads that would “offend significant members of the community, especially subscribers”. I asked him how an ad that simply listed a handful of events would be “offensive”, but he gave no further information.

Magid told the Herald that he rejected the ad because he didn’t “like the crowd who are bringing him out.” He went on: “I am familiar with them. They use their Judaism to bash other Jews and issues associated with the Jewish community.”

I queried Browne why the paper seemed happy to run irregular ads from the fundamentalist, West Bank settler movement. “Nobody has ever complained about those ads,” he replied. Clearly the message of the colonial project in the West Bank — a recent EU report found yet more evidence of illegal development around East Jerusalem — is less “offensive” than a mild-mannered Jewish peace activist.

This latest example of censorship follows a long history of the mainstream Jewish establishment being fearful over honestly debating Israel/Palestine (something we’ve seen over the last days in the US over the forced resignation of Israel critic Charles W Freeman from the post of Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Read more here.)

It’s hard to disagree with leading British Jewish thinker, Antony Lerman, who wrote in last week’s London Independent that until Jews stop always seeing themselves as victims, peace in the Middle East is impossible. It’s a shame the AJN doesn’t take its democratic responsibility seriously. Debate over the Middle East is raging overseas and new, more moderate voices, are emerging. Such perspectives are largely absent from the country’s only national, Jewish paper.

Instead, the AJN ran a piece last week by novelist Alan Gold, arguing against the UN’s upcoming anti-racism conference, Durban II: “And now that the storm clouds are gathering over Geneva, we can only look on in horror, and feel as our parents or grandparents must have felt in 1933.”

Memo to the AJN: Hitler died in 1945.

11 comments ↪
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  • Austin

    Thanks A-lo.

    Another wonderfully clearheaded piece of journalism.

    Peace.

  • Marilyn

    Durban !! does not even mention Israel. It does condemn all forms of religious intolerance though.

    I guess a nut job could claim that only means anti-jew but the resolution says it condemns jewphobia, christianphobia, islamophobia and all other forms of religious intolerance.

    Wow. And in the last round of anti-racism discussion Israel got mentioned precisely twice.

    Yep. Twice.

    63. We are concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign

    occupation. We recognize the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

    and to the establishment of an independent State and we recognize the right to security for all

    States in the region, including Israel, and call upon all States to support the peace process and

    bring it to an early conclusion;

    64. We call for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region in which all

    peoples shall co-exist and enjoy equality, justice and internationally recognized human rights,

    and security;

    65. We recognize the right of refugees to return voluntarily to their homes and

    properties in dignity and safety, and urge all States to facilitate such return;

    and

    150. Calls upon States, in opposing all forms of racism, to recognize the need to

    counter anti-Semitism, anti-Arabism and Islamophobia world-wide, and urges all States to take

    effective measures to prevent the emergence of movements based on racism and discriminatory

    ideas concerning these communities;

    151. As for the situation in the Middle East, calls for the end of violence and the swift

    resumption of negotiations, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law, respect

    for the principle of self-determination and the end of all suffering, thus allowing Israel and the

    Palestinians to resume the peace process, and to develop and prosper in security and freedom;

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  • robert

    Its quite amazing that we live in a so called country of free speech but the zionizt lobby and its counterparts are quick to hinder talks on what they view as sensitive topics. Rather these topics expose falsehood and only threaten the zionist establishment which is built on deception, instilling fear in others and the blood of innocent men and women.

  • Gerry Hetherington

    Anthony, another worthy contribution to the debate.
    I went to see Jeff Halper in Melbourne last week and I would recommend attending one of his lectures highly.
    He mentioned that he gave a similar lecture in a university in Canada recently and someone in the audience said that the lecture totally lacked balance. Someone else in the audience piped up and said that there should have been a Palestinian on the stage as well.
    Regards,
    Gerry

  • Mohammed Loubani

    Thank you very much Mr. Loewenstein for a very well written unbiased article. You are a very brave man for standing up for the truth and actually sharing it with the world, keep up the good work and god bless you. I hope that a day will come when people distinguish between zionisim and Jeudiasim, and that we can live in peace side by side.

    Salam (Shalom)

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  • I was always proud that in my country, everyone has a fair go, we listen to all views, respect each others differences. I just watched a documentary on Jeff Halper & would be proud to have him as a mate or to talk at my uni…