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.

I’m just doing my job as a Zionist apologist

The following lead letter appears in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

Your editorial “With friends like these” (March 13) refers to the decision of the Australian Jewish News to refuse an advertisement promoting the speaking tour of an Israeli academic, Jeff Halper.

It says I pulled the ad because I didn’t like the promoters. This suggests an impulsive decision, which was not the case – and not the way it was presented to your correspondent during a long interview.

Do publishers have the right to pull an advertisement they find objectionable? This is easily answered. Would the Herald advertise a symposium of racists, a homophobic convention or a lecture promoting female genital mutilation? How about apologists for the Bali bombing?

So what was so offensive about the ad in question? A leading promoter of Halper’s tour, Antony Loewenstein, spoke at a demonstration in Sydney on January 18. The audience included people carrying Israeli flags with swastikas replacing the star of David. Anyone willing to speak before a crowd that is carrying swastikas is, as far as I’m concerned, beyond the pale. That this person is Jewish is unforgivable.

Some in the crowd carried the flags of terrorist organisations. Others chanted: “Look out Jews, the armies of Muhammad will seek their revenge.” We are no longer talking about Israel or Palestine; we are talking about threatening violence against Jews. Should a Jewish paper offer its pages to someone welcomed by such a crowd?

I am unaware whether terrorist-supporting crowds have favourably received Professor Halper, but I know he has repeatedly called for Israel to be dissolved as a Jewish state. Why the Australian Jewish News is considered obliged to promote such a speaker is beyond me, especially since Australian Jews solidly support the maintenance of Israel’s Jewish nature.

This has nothing to do with suppressing debate. Professor Halper is speaking in Australian universities, town halls and even Parliament. The AJN is not trying to stop him, but nor does it feel compelled to promote him.

As you state, Israel “contains many political parties with a wide spectrum of views”. The Australian Jewish community is equally healthy and those interested in rational, honest reports and opinions of every hue will find them in the Australian Jewish News.

Robert Magid publisher, Australian Jewish News, Surry Hills

So, dear readers, is that clear? I spoke at a rally, a handful of anti-Israel slogans were shouted, I’m therefore a Jew hater, Jeff Halper is obviously equally disgusting and the Jewish News could hardly be expected to advertise his visit. Like at any rally, some racist slogans at an event with 6000 people were hardly representative. It’s the typical way to smear all by the actions of a few. Anti-Semitic rantings are as unacceptable as anti-Arab ones, as seen at pro-Israel rallies during the recent Gaza war. But I don’t see Magid complaining about that.

And what does any of this have to do with Halper’s visit?

By the way, I wasn’t the main organiser of Halper’s tour, so why I’m mentioned in this letter is hilarious. What this Zionist publisher doesn’t understand is that he’s happy to keep his head buried in the sand as the actions of Israel are increasingly demonised across the world. And for good reason. For him, the Jewish state is a beautiful example of humanity. For millions of Palestinians, it’s apartheid. Magid’s letter totally ignores anything about the occupation, Gaza, the West Bank or Israeli racism.

And readers of the Sydney Morning Herald know it.

11 comments ↪
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  • sky

    I hope they know it. He's drawing some pretty wide comparisons there. I know if the swastika was used with an equals sign against any other flag in the world, it would mean that the holder felt that the people who that flag represented were acting in ways similar to Nazis. I know the terrible history of the Holocaust means that maybe this comparison should not be such an easy shortcut when talking about Israel, as it is all too easy for intention to spill into anti-Semitism, but then again, maybe the comparison is all that it means. Israel's actions are comparable to some of the worst regimes in the world, currently and in history – so what is the shortcut imagery that is used to signify that? The swastika. Sad as that is.

  • ej

    'The Australian Jewish community is equally healthy and those interested in rational, honest reports and opinions of every hue will find them in the Australian Jewish News.' Hello?

    Unfortunately, the Australian Jewish community is not healthy. this is the nub of the matter.

    All official Jewish organisations devote the bulk of their energies to supporting the apartheid state that is Isrsael, condoning, indeed, cheering the ongoing ethnic cleansing of a population on the basis of racial difference.

    Worse, those members of the Australia Jewish community who beg to mouth dissent over this grotesque state of affairs are treated as pariahs.

    sicko.

  • ej

    ' … those interested in rational, honest reports and opinions of every hue will find them in the Australian Jewish News.'

    Magid has a short memory.

    When the principled father/son team of Docker/Curthoys publicised that they had had enough of being dragged in as Jews to the criminality that is Israel and the slime that surrounds its defense, The AJN did not represent opinions of every hue, it was not rational, and it certainly wasn't honest.

    Here is the AJN's editorial of January 30 (as reported earlier by AL):

    'Despite the group’s claim that they speak for “a number of Jewish voices”, it is hard to imagine that they represent anything more than an odious and tiresome fringe that has swallowed wholeheartedly the most virulent anti-Israel propaganda.'

    An odious and tiresome fringe indeed. Squalid.

    The AJN also unleashed the attack dogs Robert Goot (Executive Council of Australian Jewry) and Philip Chester (the innately racist Zionist Federation of Australia) on the Docker/Curthoys duo.

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  • Marilyn

    Do they understand yet that it is mostly Anglo Australian's who attend these gigs as a means of supporting our Palestinian friends here in Australia?

    Friends who became friends because of our disgusting detention policy and law that under Al Kateb, still allows for permanent detention of innocent people?

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  • “Look out Jews, the armies of Muhammad will seek their revenge.”

    Hi Antony. Not to be too distrustful, but what is the evidence for this ? Can a witness, who is not a Zionist, confirm this actually happened outside of that guy's head ? I can certainly expect anti-Jewish slogans in any rally. But that doesn't mean I'm going to believe any Zionist on his word.

  • miri

    As a member of the Australian Jewish community I can assure people that there is healthy and constructive debate within the Jewish community. Like all debate, there are acceptable boundaries. Advocating the destruction of the Jewish people falls outside these boundaries. The destruction of the State of Israel would mean the annihilation of the 6 million Jews who reside there. This, understandably, is generally not favoured by the Jewish community of Australia. Many (I would go as far as to say most) anti-Israel rallies today are attended by sign wielding demonstrators advocating the mass murder of Jews and comparing the actions of the moral and ethical Israeli army to that of the Nazis. Anyone with a slight knowledge of history would be offended by this spurious comparison. Israel is a democracy. Just and fair and NOT APARTHEID. Get your facts right before you take a stand.