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.

Palestine matters, but not alone

Why, asks Geoffrey Alderman in the Guardian, isn’t the carnage in Sri Lanka receiving blanket coverage in the UK and internationally?

I’ll tell you why. Because Sri Lanka is not Israel. Because the Tamils are not Arabs. And because here, in the UK, the Tamil vote is negligible whereas the Muslim vote is not.

Yes, I know there have been some violent scenes in Parliament Square, which is even now occupied by Tamil protesters. But that’s the point. The protesters and the hunger strikers are all Tamils. Where are the homegrown cheerleaders that spearheaded protests in London during the recent military action by Israel in Gaza? Tony Benn, for example? George Galloway? Jenny Tonge? Come to that, where is the saturation media coverage of the Sri Lankan assault on the remaining Tamil strongholds?

Whenever I complain about the British media’s obsession with Israel and its problems with some of its Arab neighbours, I can count on someone to tell me that I’m paranoid. But I’m not, am I? The human tragedy unfolding in Sri Lanka, and its totally peripheral treatment by the media, the British government and the British political elite – not to mention the international community – does, I am very sorry to say, prove my point.

It’s an interesting question, though Palestine remains central to world concerns because it’s utterly supported in its crimes by the Western powers; funded, armed and defended.

This doesn’t mean that the Tamil issue should be ignored.

3 comments ↪
  • Colin Andersen

    Alderman's being disingenuous when he asks, first up, about Arab League silence on Sri Lanka. Notice he doesn't ask why Israel and its allies aren't calling for a ceasefire. The answer's obvious, of course: Israeli Kfir jets, drones, and God knows what else (white phosphorus/cluster bombs) are being used in the SL Army's genocidal onslaught against the Tamil community. The fact that he admits to complaining about what he calls the "British media's obsession with Israel" tells us where he's really coming from. Another aspect to this issue is that Sri Lanka doesn't hypocritically dress up its murderous behaviour, Israel-style, as a war of self-defence. There's no yawning abyss between its pronouncements and its actions. Having said that, imagine if Rudd was as ready to speak out against the Rajapaksa regime as he has about Ahmadinejad.

  • ej

    Alderman is a mountebank, in the same class as Howard Jacobson at the INdependent.

    Alderman doesn't care about the carnage in Sri Lanka.

    Alderman cares only about stopping all criticism of Israel, because any criticism is unjustified.

    'Whenever I complain about the British media’s obsession with Israel and its problems with some of its Arab neighbours' – Israel's problems with 'some' of its Arab neighbours? i.e. The problem is really some of Israel's ARab neighbours (Alderman wrongly lumping in Iran under this label).

    The problem, Geoffrey, is Israel, not Israel's neighbours.

    AS for the notion that the British media 'obsession' is driven by the Muslim vote – too proposterous for words.

    The British media and the British political class cares nothing for the 'Muslim vote'.

    Israel's light unto the nations has been extinguished. Alderman, to mix metaphors, is yesterday's flunkey, flogging a dead horse.

  • I’ll tell you why. Because Sri Lanka is not Israel. Because the Tamils are not Arabs. And because here, in the UK, the Tamil vote is negligible whereas the Muslim vote is not.

    No. Because there are massacres and injustices everywhere, and no one can keep track of every single thing. This man wants Israel to be condemned along with everyone else, but that's not how it works. If we did that, we could never get to the heart of any matter. Hence, it's already pretty much the case.

    As for Sri Lanka, I don't know the details, but I believe I have seen a report on the situation there, and a demonstration on TV just an hour ago, with a cardboard saying something about Kosovo.

    In other words, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about.

    (Note: on French TV)