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.

When Israel becomes a normal country, let us know

The storm in a teacup over the upcoming Melbourne reading of Seven Jewish Children is challenged by one of the stars of the performance, Jewish actress Miriam Margolyes, in today’s Age:

SEVEN Jewish Children is a very moving piece by a writer I have worked with before, a very good writer. It encapsulates the problems of the Israelis and the Palestinians in a very clever way that agrees with my personal perspective.

When I was asked to do this by Australians for Palestine, I was glad of the chance.

I was in the original cast of Caryl Churchill’s play Cloud Nine in 1980, and we’ve remained friends, although not close friends-we’ve been in touch. She asked me to perform in the English production of Seven Jewish Children, but I was abroad at the time, and that’s why I wasn’t in the original production. But I was asked to be in it, so I was pleased when I was asked to do it here.

I think it’s a very good piece of writing. I wouldn’t do it if I thought it was crap. Even if I agreed with it, I wouldn’t do it if I thought it was crap, because you can’t ask people to come and watch crap.

I was first asked if I would do it as a one-woman show, but I’ve done one-woman shows and I don’t want to do it that way, I want to work with other people. So I asked Max Gillies, and I asked two members of the cast of the play I am in now, and one of them is the partner of the actor Alison Bell, and she is doing it.We all believe it is a good play.

The idea of Caryl Churchill being anti-Semitic in any way is ludicrous. It didn’t occur to me that it was anti-Semitic when I read the play, and I was astonished when the journalist interviewing me for The Age mentioned that it had been regarded as anti-Semitic.

My hope now is that the play stimulates dialogue on anti-Semitism, which is a very real thing, and that it focuses some attention on the situation in the Middle East, which fills me with despair at the moment.

Performing the play is really just a way to get people to sit down and talk and think about the issue.

The fact that we are finding it terribly, terribly difficult to get anybody from the Israeli perspective to come and debate it shows how hard it is to get dialogue going.

I don’t think anyone needs to be provocative, but this is a contentious issue. There are two sides to it, and I think the play shows that very clearly, which is why it is a terrific piece of theatre.

I’m not interested in agitprop, I’m interested in drama. I think it’s dramatic.

My opinions on Israel have certainly never rebounded on my career, although I was going to do a tour of the United States with Vanessa Redgrave in Lettuce and Lovage, and the invitation was withdrawn because of Vanessa’s stance on Palestine. She is, of course, far more famous than I am.

One of the things that I didn’t expect was that the Australian Jewish community would find it impossible to have a dialogue.

Is this play critical of Israel? Yes, it is, very critical of Israel. That doesn’t mean it is anti-Semitic.

Can theatre make a difference? I hope it can, because otherwise I have wasted my whole life in something irrelevant.

I don’t know that it can immediately change things, but it can make people think, stop and think for a minute. Our job as artists is to try to extend or widen the vision of an individual so they can see for a moment what it is like to be a Palestinian.

Jews sometimes see it only from the Jewish point of view.Maybe Palestinians see it only from the Palestinian point of view.Maybe this is a way of hopefully trying to make people see it through another’s eyes. I would gladly perform in it again.

Seven Jewish Children will be performed in a free reading at the State Library on Monday, followed by a discussion.

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  • Marilyn

    All this anti-semitic crap drives me crazy, it is as stupid as it is bogus.

    Jews hijacked the language a century ago and have not let up ever since but arabs are more semite that jews from Europe who are not semite at all.

    Stupid, pigshit ignorant fools.

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    I contend that the term anti semitism is the right wing Jewish fascists means of branding racism against Jews as being the worst kind of racism.

    What bullshit. All racism is to be condemned..none is necessarily worse than any other form. I refuse to accept the term anti semitism any more….call it racism or nothing.

    Just like the term 'the Holocaust', which the same group of opportunistic Jews make out to be the worst example of genocide in the history of mankind. How can one act of genocide be worse than another? On that basis, Stalin's genocide of 11 million of his countryman between 1928 & 1940 must outrank the Shoah. And what about the genocide of the Irish in the mid 19th century. One third of the Irish population were systematically starved to death…does that outrank the Holocaust?

    Being anti the murderous Israeli Governments of the past 60 years is not racism against Jews. It's opposition to right wing fascists.

    I'm with Norman Finkelstein on the cynical use of the Holocaust, in particular by those Nazis at the ADF & AIJAC in the US & Australia.

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