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 world already knows this little secret

Seumas Milne, The Guardian, April 23:

What do the US, Canada, ­Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy and Israel have in common? They are all either European or European-settler states. And they all decided to boycott this week’s UN ­conference against racism in Geneva – even before Monday’s incendiary speech by the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which triggered a further white-flight walkout by representatives of another 23 European states…

Ahmadinejad’s grandstanding played straight into that agenda. The most poisonous phrases in the printed version of his speech circulated by embassy officials referred to the Nazi genocide as “ambiguous and dubious” and claimed Zionist “penetration” of western society was so deep that “nothing can be done against their will”. That a head of state of a country of nearly 70 million people is still toying with Holocaust denial and European antisemitic tropes straight out of the Tsarist antisemitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, is not only morally repugnant and factually absurd. It’s also damaging to the Palestinian cause by association, weakens the international support Iran needs to avert the threat of attack over its nuclear programme, and bolsters Israel’s claims that it faces an existential threat.

But, perhaps as a result of an appeal by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, Ahmadinejad dropped those provocations at the last minute. What in fact triggered the walkout of European Union ambassadors was his reference to Israel as a “totally racist regime”, established by the western powers who had made an “entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering” and “in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe”.

The rhetoric was certainly crude and inflammatory. Britain’s foreign secretary David Miliband called it “hate-filled”. But the truth is that throughout the Arab, Muslim and wider developing worlds, the idea that Israel is a racist state is largely uncontroversial. The day after Ahmadinejad’s appearance, the Palestinian Authority foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, echoed the charge in the conference hall, describing Israeli occupation as “the ugliest face of racism”. It’s really not good enough for Britain’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Peter Gooderham – who led the Ahmadinejad walkout – to say of the charge of Israel’s racism, “we all know it when we see it and it’s not that”.

This is a state, after all, created by European colonists, built on the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, whose founding legal principles guarantee the right of citizenship to any Jewish migrant from anywhere in the world, while denying that same right to Palestinians born there along with their descendants. Of course, Israel is much else besides, and the Jewish cultural and historical link with Palestine is a ­profound one.

3 comments ↪
  • ej

    'But the truth is that throughout the Arab, Muslim and wider developing worlds, the idea that Israel is a racist state is largely uncontroversial.'

    But since the 'Arab, Muslim and wider developing worlds' are of no account, where is the power of this statement? It is non-existent. and is representative of the bullshit that critics have to overlay their criticism with in order not to antagonise unduly precisely the people they are trying to criticise. Two steps forward, two steps back.

    The FACT is that 'the idea that Israel is a racist state is largely uncontoversial'. A Jewish state, loudly defended by the faithful, is a racist state. Period.

    And again, ‘Of course, Israel is much else besides, and the Jewish cultural and historical link with Palestine is a profound one’.

    More horseshit. For the bulk of modern Jewry, the cultural and historical link with Palestine is tenuous or non-existent. As opposed to the ethnically cleansed Palestinians whose cultural and historical links are transparent. More kowtowing to the enemy.

    When is the ‘dissident’ MSM going to go straight for the jugular?

  • Marilyn

    Hear, hear, jews were only ever in Palestine for 70 years over 2000 years ago.

    Why the hell do they think they have the right to the land now?

    It's time that myth was shown for the lie it is.

  • Pingback: Is Zionism really racism? | Antony Loewenstein()