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.

Is Zionism really racism?

During last week’s Durban II conference, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a speech that some in the West regarded as outrageous and others as merely representing public opinion in much of the world (personally speaking, I think it harmed the Palestinian cause no end).

This clip from the BBC is startling for its honest questioning and would never be seen in the US or Australia:

BBC reporter for Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman grills the UK Ambassador at the UN in Geneva:

Jeremy Paxman: What is the difference between Zionism and racism?

Peter Gooderham: Well we see the two as being quite distinct…

Jeremy Paxman: Yeah what’s the difference?

Peter Gooderham: Well Zionism is a political movement related to the establishment of a homeland…

Jeremy Paxman [quietly]: So are some forms of racism.

Peter Gooderham:…a Jewish homeland, in the er…in what is now Israel and racism is something else. I mean racism is, I think we all know it when we see it and it’s not, it’s not that, and we have fought long and hard at the United Nations to keep that, to maintain that distinction.

7 comments ↪
  • Zionism is polysemous. One can't answer whether Zionism is racism. One can, however, speak of Zionist racism and Zionist racists.

    Zionists who aim and act towards eradicating the possibility of a Palestinian homeland in all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem (with all the associated human rights violations and atrocities that necessarily characterize such an aim) are racists. One might even wish to regard them as Zio-Fascists.

    Others, however, may be Zionists in a manner completely compatible with a two-state solution along the 1967 lines etc., including the complete dismantling of the settlements. You'd be hard pressed to convince me that that kind of Zionism is racist even if the idea of two-states itself belies an insistence on some kind of racial divide.

    So tell me. What kind of Zionism dominates Israeli politics these days? Is this Zionism racism? My answer would be yes it is.

  • Margaret

    Antony – Your posts have seemed particularly pertinent recently.

    Brad- The description of a particular perspective as Zio-Fascism is useful, but seems limited to use among others who understand what is meant by Fascism (regarding which I had to refresh my own understanding – which was very useful, but which others may not do, especially if turned off by associations with the word.) Do you have suggestions of another phrase that would distinguish this mindset without using 'Fascism'? I've been using pro-militant, with variations, but am not satisfied that doing so captures the extent of what I mean – and it's not catchy in the least.

  • JohD

    Dearest Anthony,

    During last week’s Durban II conference, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a speech that some in the West regarded as outrageous and others as merely representing public opinion in much of the world (personally speaking, I think it harmed the Palestinian cause no end).

    Can you seriously judge whether something hurts the Palestinian cause or not? I mean really?

    We do know that nothing helps the Palestinian cause, so why bother confirming the ridiculous notions of Zionist agitators? It is almost as if nobody else matters except the opinions of racist westerners and Zionist.

    The entire world agreed with Ahmadinejad except for White neo-liberal colonialist. Be gratefull that he is one of the few international politicians who gives unqualified support to the Palestinians.

    Perhaps it is your support that hurts the Palestinians more.

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  • Richard Wicks

    If a demographic of people decided to have a cause – to make a country exclusively for that particular demographic, and this demographic actively encouraged or even forced removal of people that didn't belong to that demographic, and gave superior rights to their demographic – would that be racism?
    What if this demographic were white anglo saxon protestants in the US that wore white sheets, and didn't want to live alongside "persons of color"?
    Would that be racism?
    What if this demographic were white settlers in S. Africa?
    Would that be racism?
    Why isn't racism when Jewish people do it?
    Asking if Zionism is racism, is a bit like asking if water is wet.  Only through very convoluted thinking can it be denied that Zionism is obviously racism.  Zionism is a movement to create a Jewish only state.  It wasn't long ago that the Kadan family had to sue to get the right to live in the exclusively Jewish town of Katzir.  Today, what are known as settlements are exclusively populated by Jews, no Israeli Muslims or Christians live in settlements.  It's not uncommon to see Israeli politicians actively and openly call for the forcible removal of Israel Arabs for Israel.  Israeli Christians have seen their churches vandalized with the Star of David painted on them.  The first Baptist Church in Jerusalem was burned to the ground in the early 1980s
    Try to imagine the United States being this backward and openly xenophobic today or even 50 years ago during the civil rights movement.
     
    Of course Zionism is racism and if it's adopted permanently by the majority of the Jewish people today, it will do what Hitler and the Inquisition wasn't able to do – it will destroy the identity of the Jewish people.  Zionism is already a crime that Jewish people will be identified with for a very long time already, how much worse will it get?  Time will tell.