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 Australian government is on notice

The initiator of the petition against Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her impending trip to Israel, Ned Curthoys, sent the following letter to her today:

Dear Julia Gillard,

The following is a petition that I’m presenting to you on behalf of some 180 concerned Australians, many of them eminent names in their chosen fields, who would prefer it if you refrained from leading the Australia-Israel exchange delegation this month. They see this trip as a poorly timed public-relations exercise for the Israeli government that can only reaffirm your internationally anomalous disregard for the Palestinians during the Gaza crisis of December-January, when you refused to call for a cease-fire or acknowledge the disproportionate nature of Israel’s response, its initial breach of the cease-fire with Hamas on November 4 2008, or the devastating nature of Israel’s (with Egypt’s complicity) economic blockade of the Gaza Strip which constitutes collective punishment, continuing to deprive Palestinians of basic medicines, hospital equipment, adequate electricity supplies, food stuff, and gas for cooking.

I note that your latest comments in defence of the trip stress Israel’s diversity, but does Israel’s continual demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, denial of Palestinian building permits in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and zoning of ‘Jewish only’ residential eras in East Jerusalem, speak well of this diversity and inclusivity? How inclusive can a nation be, that, unlike Australia, restricts its right of return to Jews and their spouses while ignoring the plight of Palestinian refugees expelled from their homes in 1948 and 1967? What is the relevance of this diversity if the grand narrative of Israel since 1948 is the uninterrupted theft of Palestinian land, a process that actually intensified during the Oslo Peace process of the 1990s and has been guaranteed by the present government? Will you be talking to Israel Jewish anthropologist Jeff Halper of the Committee against House Demolitions about the true purpose of the almost daily demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank? Will you visit Hebron where some 180. 000 Palestinians face constant violence and disruptive military curfews because of the presence of hundreds of Jewish religious settlers protected by the Israeli Defence Force? Are you thinking of visiting the Gaza Strip to see how Palestinians are rebuilding their lives or to listen to their traumatic testimony?

If you speak with Netanyahu and government officials will you solemnly nod and sympathize with the generosity of an offer for a ‘Palestinian state’ that is demilitarized and cannot control its own airspace or external trading relationships, that cannot have East Jerusalem as its capital, and that must recognize and affirm the Jewish character of Israel despite some 20 percent of the population being Palestinian and Bedouin and despite the Jewish character of Israel being the very rationale for refusing Palestinians the right to return to their ancestral lands? Will you be asking discerning questions of Netanyahu’s offer? Please keep me informed of your travels and transform it into something worthwhile, a fact-finding mission, a conversation with Israelis and Palestinians of all political persuasions as conducted by brave journalists such as Antony Loewenstein, a tour of the some 500 military checkpoints that disrupt and degrade the lives of West Bank Palestinians, perhaps then you’ll have your mind opened to the devastating nature of the apartheid system governing the lives of Palestinians like Desmond Tutu, and Jimmy Carter before you. It’s still my hope that you will be mentioned in the same breath as statespeople like these.

On behalf of supporters of Palestinian human-rights everywhere,

Yours sincerely,

Ned Curthoys

  • Melissa

    That’s a fantastic letter. I doubt they will take any notice though. After all the hype surrounding their election, Rudd and co. have acted (or not) so disappointingly on this issue. Bah.

  • Marilyn

    Locking up refugees on Christmas Island is Gillards' plan and she coldly laughed like a banshee when talking to the former most racist commentator in Australia, Jeremy Cordeaux, about turning boats back into the sea as ALP policy.

    Too bad if they drowned again hey? Senator Collins rang me in hysterics when Gillard did that and nothing about Gillard has changed.

    When she was pleaded with as shadow immigration person to help Iranian homosexuals locked in Woomera she did and said nothing, when confronted by an Iraqi doctor locked up for almost a year and made ill in the process her hair didn't move.

    Anyone who thinks Julia Gillard cares about anyone but Julia Gillard is day dreaming.

    To quote Leonard Cohen in one of his songs "she's the coldest bitch I know".