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.

Loewenstein: Looking for God in a West Bank colony, Jews shoot me death stares

My following article was recently published on Mondoweiss:

Antony Loewenstein writes from East Jerusalem:

The occupation hits you from the very beginning. Arriving at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, I caught a shared shuttle to East Jerusalem. I noticed an advertisement mentioning service to a number of settlements. It’s simply a normal part of life. No shame, no hiding, not even brazen.

Welcome to Israel.

The growing and visible religiosity of the city is apparent. I rode in the car with mostly religious American Jews, their conversation shifting from clipped English to Hebrew. Garbed in traditional black hat, black suit, black shoes and white shirt, they spoke mainly about everything other than Judaism. They were dropped off in various neighbourhoods, but everybody walking the streets there was ultra-Orthodox, from young boys and girls to women all seemingly pushing prams. They’re giving the Palestinians a run for their money over the birth-rate.

More significantly, however, like any other religious society, diversity of views aren’t welcomed; conformity is. Anti-Arab racism is on the rise, including the defacing of Arabic street signs. Orthodox Jews attacked a female Australian journalist here last week for simply observing a protest. As a journalist friend of mine asked me today, where are the news stories in the Western media of incendiary comments by Rabbis and Jewish figures during Friday night Sabbath services? We both agreed that it was far easier to attack loopy Muslim clerics.

Despite Israel’s claims, it’s clear that East Jerusalem is part of the West Bank itself. Few Jews are sighted, and the ones I’ve seen look lost. The Muslim call to prayer echoes across the roof-tops. The beating sun ricochets off the Damascus Gate as aimless men stand and stare. Women hurry. Children play. Jews and Muslims rarely interact, except between Palestinian and IDF officer.

I met an English man in my hotel this morning who told me about his years working as a water consultant. He asked if I’d read the recent World Bank report on the issue. I’d skimmed it, but the message was clear: Palestinians only get a quarter of the water Israelis have access to. “Fuck the Israelis”, was his succinct response. He lost me, though, when he said that, “Jews historically have made two great mistakes. One, to be money-lenders in ancient times and two, allowing themselves to be used as pawns in the region by both the Brits and Americans.” I replied that the Israelis and many Jews didn’t see it that way, as Israel was a relatively thriving state supported by the major powers.

I spent the afternoon with a foreign correspondent colleague traveling through the West Bank. We visited an illegal outpost near Jerusalem, a motley collection of caravans, shipping containers, barbed-wire fence, green scrubs and electricity. It was hard to tell how many people lived there, but probably no more than 100. I received death stares from the Jews who saw me.

It all seemed peaceful enough, just Jews making a home in God’s land. But, of course, the tranquility is deeply deceiving. Such outposts would have to be removed if the Palestinians were ever to establish a viable state. Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit asked a few days ago whether President Obama would accept existing settlements if the outposts were evacuated. We have to hope not, though this is probably the most likely short-term reality.

Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz wrote this week that the settler movement was just like any other, expanding the vision of Zionism, but clearly the world didn’t like this vision. He couldn’t really understand why.

I last visited the West Bank in 2005 and remember then being struck by the desolate beauty of the landscape. Much of the land remained unoccupied then, and still today, but the strategic hilltops are largely captured by colonies. It’s a harsh beauty, desert-like and unforgiving. The sun is punishing.

During a lunch in Ramallah over various plates of cooked meat, the foreign correspondent and I discussed reporting of the conflict. He was pessimistic about any prospects for peace, not least because the settlement movement was so pervasive. He said that the Gaza war was a defining moment for him, an “indiscriminate” battle that achieved nothing other than destruction. He was critical of Zionism and Israeli security policies.

Visiting Arafat’s grave, something I had done in 2005 when rubble surrounded the Muqata compound, was surreal. The Palestinian Authority has clearly received international funding to erect a shrine to their dead former leader. A calming water feature surrounds his grave, as PA soldiers guard the area. Peace and security may not have fully broken out in the West Bank, but Ramallah is Ground Zero for the Israeli and American plan for the territories: “charity, checkpoints and client rulers” ). Updated colonialism for the modern age.

After lunch we drove to the Ofra settlement, described by Wikipedia as the “flagship of the Israeli settlement project”, containing around 3000 residents. It’s a quasi-legal entity under Israeli law, even if some of the buildings allegedly never received governmental permission. We both commented that it felt and looked like a beach town, something akin to Anaheim in California. Children played in the swimming pool. Palm trees swayed in the light, warm breeze. Streets were clean. Houses looked established. Fruit trees and vineyards were clearly visible; I wondered on whose tables such products ended up.

The landscape is mountainous and arid, but perfectly green grass sits outside many homes. The idea that such mini-cities would be removed in any peace settlement seems fanciful when you see how rooted the people appear to the town. Their existence is illegal and the Palestinians are paying an awfully high price for a handful of Jews to find God, but drawing a line between a Jewish and Palestinian state is next to impossible with these facts on the ground. Colonies such as Ma’ale Adumin tower on the horizon.

Perhaps the strangest sight of the day was watching a handful of IDF soldiers helping a Palestinian women change a tyre on a West Bank road. I wonder how much more she must respect the occupation after that kind deed.

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