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.

Denying reality is what they’re good at

The following letters appear in this week’s Australian Jewish News:

Jeff Halper in The Sydney Morning Herald (10/04) wrote, “Diaspora Jews need to revalidate Diaspora Jewish culture (that Zionism dismissed as superficial and ephemeral) and find genuine, compelling reasons why their children should remain Jewish.

Blindly supporting Israel’s extreme right-wing and militaristic policies is not the way to do that.

Such uncritical support contradicts the very liberal values that define Diaspora Jewry, driving away the younger generation of thinking Jews.”

Whatever one might think of his views about Israel, he is absolutely correct in his statement about Diaspora Jews in Australia.

I and others have raised this issue before and the Australian Jewish community leaders have imitated ostriches.

No-one has ever replied to any letter on the subject in The AJN, nor has there ever been a response at the plenum of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

The situation requires a response to show that the elected leaders of the community have the slightest concern for the 60 per cent who have not affiliated with the community and to show that they have some concern for the future of a community that is more than 200 years old.

Based on past performance, the so-called leaders will stay silent and hope that the problem will go away. It won’t. They will demonstrate by their inaction that they should not call themselves leaders of the whole community.

Roseville, NSW


Professor Jeff Halper just blew the opportunity of a lifetime (AJN 03/04).

Given a chance to have a letter published in this newspaper, he failed to explain to readers why he led boat trips in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza, even while rocket attacks against Israeli civilians continued why his visit was sponsored by an array of anti-Zionists who openly show sympathy for Hamas (which calls for genocide against Jews and opposes meaningful initiatives for peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians) and why he has publicly called for the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish State.

Many Australian Jews would have been interested to hear why this self-styled “peace activist” opposes the peaceful, two-state solution supported by the international community and instead favours the establishment of what would inevitably become the 23rd Arab state in the region (and that, only after a prolonged period of bloodshed).

Many of us were puzzled to know why Prof Halper feels Israel must not be defended at any price against an enemy that teaches children of kindergarten age on public television to kill Jews and, in so doing, to become martyrs for the cause.

But instead of enlightening us and giving readers a “critical presentation” of his views on such matters, Prof Halper treated us as idiots and wasted the space available to him by playing the victim and resorting the familiar complaint that the Jewish community didn’t show him respect when he was here and that it had muzzled his voice.

The facts are that Prof Halper’s tour received its fair share of publicity (much of it free) but in the end, he not only failed to make out his case or win any respect rather he showed himself to be a total hypocrite.

Caulfield, Vic

  • ej

    Jack Crackpot highlights once again that the walled ghetto which is Caulfield tolerates no news from the outside world.

    He, calculatedly, knows nothing.

    The two-state solution? Israel does not support the two state solution; neither does the 'international community'. The idea is merely a canard to allow the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine of non-Jews.

    He also reproduces the lies about the socialisation of Palestinian children.

    Have these schmucks no self-respect? Doesn't he understand that the tangible experience of Palestinian children doesn't indear them to their oppressors?

  • John Miate

    "the establishment of what would inevitably become the 23rd Arab state in the region (and that, only after a prolonged period of bloodshed)"

    "the establishment of what would inevitably become the 53rd African state in the region (and that, only after a prolonged period of bloodshed)"

    The religious supremacists (aka Zionists) of Israel have a lot in common with the white supremacists of South Africa, including doomsday predictions of genocide against one side (theirs), while they continue/continued to massacre the other side.