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.

Another day, another own goal by the Zionist community

Following the story in the Melbourne Age yesterday of news that Jewish Care had cancelled a fund-raising performance by actress Miriam Margolyes due to her involvement in the play Seven Jewish Children, the paper today publishes the following letters:

THOSE people who did not have a chance to hear Miriam Margolyes on Monday missed a wonderful experience (“Charity rejects Jewish actor over ‘anti-Semitic’ play”, The Age, 12/5). If she had commented about her belief in the right for Israel to exist in safety and security, but that Palestinians also have those rights, and that the tragedy must not go on, she would have voiced the feelings of a significant part, if not the majority, of Israeli society, and indeed of Jews.

I have read Seven Jewish Children, and participated in it as a play-reading. The problem is not the play, which reflects the pain and difficulty of the issues, but the context in which it is presented, in this case as the centrepiece of an event marking Israel’s independence. It is doubly disingenuous to quote the Palestinian organiser, who said that no Jewish organisation was prepared to argue Israel’s case. I was one of those approached to speak. I declined, not only because Jews and Israel are not synonymous and I am not a spokesman for Israel, but also because of the context.

I would be prepared to speak at a neutral reading — but in a fair and neutral reading, the play would speak for itself of the pain and anguish felt by Jews and by Israelis trying to find a just solution, so that Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace.

Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, East Kew

Our cause not served

WE, SURVIVORS of the Holocaust and children of survivors, are saddened by Jewish Care’s last-minute withdrawal of Jewish actor Miriam Margolyes’ performance for its elderly residents. The notion that her participation in a play critical of Israel would somehow automatically upset Holocaust survivors is simply untenable.

The play Seven Jewish Children is not anti-Semitic, as anyone who has bothered to read it or watch it can tell. The fight against anti-Semitism is important to us, but it gains nothing from trying to turn the play into an anti-Semitic incident.

Demonising the play’s author, director or actors does not serve the interests of the struggle against racism and anti-Semitism. Depriving elderly members of the Jewish community of entertainment where neither Israel nor the Holocaust is mentioned does not serve that fight either.

Dr Marietta Elliott-Kleerkoper, Sol Salbe, Dr Peter Slezak and Dr David Zyngier, Melbourne and Sydney

All children have rights

THE play Seven Jewish Children, which I have at least taken the trouble to read, is far from anti-Semitic. Anti-injustice, anti-ignorance, anti-insensitivity and anti-narrow-mindedness, certainly. Its underlying theme is that Arab children have as much right to a decent life as do Jewish children, no matter what their elders get up to. To see even a hint of anti-Semitism in this is unjust, ignorant, insensitive and narrow-minded.

Miriam Margolyes should be praised, not treated as though her support for the play were some kind of menace to all we hold dear.

Steve Brook, Elwood

Crafty anti-Semitism

JEWISH Care is to be congratulated for reversing its invitation to Miriam Margolyes to appear at its fund-raiser. Of course, Margolyes is entitled to her opinion and, of course, she is entitled to perform in whatever theatrical production she chooses to.

However, every community is also entitled to set its standards, and she should know that performing in an anti-Semitic play is deemed offensive by the mainstream Jewish community.

Seven Jewish Children is a play craftily written to advance the Palestinian aim of demonising and de-legitimising the state of Israel. It is just another example of the rising tide of anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism.

Alan Freedman, East St Kilda

Our own prejudices

ON HOLIDAY in London, I attended the opening night of Seven Jewish Children at the Royal Court Theatre. It is no more anti-Semitic than Rabbit-Proof Fence is anti-Australian.

Jennifer Killen, St Peters, NSW

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