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.

Why the web is breaking down Zionist tribalism

Following our recent video shot in Jerusalem on Americans, Jews, settlements and bigotry, one of the makers, David Jacobus, responds on Mondoweiss to some of the criticisms directed at us:

As a contributor to the film Cruel but Necessary: Israeli Opinions about the Settlements and Obama, I wanted to add some perspective on the debates that have developed on Mondoweiss.

With an afternoon of filming interviews, we had to exclude a higher percentage of those that had what most would identify as a “Zionist” perspective compared to perspectives critical of Zionism (but this should be obvious, no?). The two critical perspectives you see in this video come out of a total of three that we heard – and these were the only responses that lacked qualifications, i.e. usually pro-Zionist catches or exceptions. We had three responses by hippies, as one might call them, and they were excluded because they’re nonsensical and often contain qualifications. That being said, we have more Zionist responses sitting in the film bin – if a second video was made of unaired footage, it would be even more unevenly Zionist.

Those who find the interviews unfair seem to fit into two categories: the first disagree that the views shared in the video are representative of Israelis, and the second agree that they are, but think these perspectives should be kept private. I want to respond to both of these.

With respect to the first group, I think these people need a wider education, perhaps more experiential, or their arguments are just failing to win me. As someone who has worked with Americans in Israel who have been exposed to the reality and begun to change their minds, I’ve noticed the hermetic character of the information bubble most American Zionists hold. Barely anything else gets in besides self-supporting arguments and where there exist openings on fundamental issues of justice that force American Jews to ask questions about Zionism, there is a fudge-ton of “team sport” type propaganda, imagery, and mythology that fills in.

4 comments ↪
  • Ok, I'll bite – what do you mean by "Zionist Tribalism"? Zionism is a national movement and as such is as legitimate as being a patriotic American, French or Palestinian. I agree that nationalism in general is "tribal" in the sense that it appeals to our primordial instincts to gather together into tribes, but I don't think Zionism is essentially different than other national movements in that respect.

  • israelimom – in my mind Zionism IS essentially different from other national movements insofar as it is ethnically and religiously based. while American or French patriotism would claim America for the Americans or France for the French, Zionists claims Israel for the Jewish. along with few other contemporary examples such as Iranian Islamist nationalism, Zionism presents an archaic and racial version of nationalism reminiscent of 19th century Europe. and I am not saying that other types of nationalism today are not racist in their application.

  • ifhar, it all depends on how you define a nation, I guess. And yes, Zionism originates in the 19th century, but I would argue there certainly are many people in Western countries today with a very tribal perception of their nation. Just listen to American patriots. Israelis are entitled to the same self-perception, IMO.
    My Zionism is derived from the equal-rights socialistic early Zionism. It makes room for minorities and you don't even have to be Jewish to be Zionist. In fact, in Israel there are many Druze, Christian and even Muslim Arabs who are Zionists.
    You may want to read my latest blog post – http://israelimom.org/general/624/zionism.html

  • hi isralimom
    just read your post, thank you.
    many people the world over have a very tribal perception of their nation – that is why we still have wars. I guess I would go as far as calling this "natural" or "popular"  but I don't see how entitlement has anything to do with it. plus, Israel is one of the only countries in the world that from day one enshrined this tribalism at the core of its legislation, the Declaration of Independence, by reserving space for world Jewry. that Zionism sees Judaism as a nation as well as a religion should not go unchallenged just because it is the sentiment of so many. I could just as well decide that being gay is not in fact a sexual orientation but a national belonging, and constitute a state around this concept that would inevitably be racist and label any gays choosing to disown it as self-hating.
    I am well aware of what you describe as your type of Zionism. I too have deep respect to the socialist origins and collective well-wishing of the early Zionists (that existed alongside a deliberate ethnic cleansing of Palestinian non-Jews, admiration of "their ways" notwithstanding), though I am not ready to equate it with Zionism the way you seem to be doing. on an institutional level, I see this as exactly the kind of intellectual muddling that is used to protect Israel from a fair political scrutiny.
    how can we talk of "equal rights" at the same time as "making room for minorities"? Palestinians with Israeli citizenship have no equal rights – have you noticed? this is not some incidental derailing off the path of the socialist Zionist dream – it is its inevitable conclusion. simply because, since Israel sees itself as a Jewish state, it can only tolerate its minorities as long as they stay as minorities – without a national consciousness. many countries are multi-national, in law, demography and practise. Israel will not tolerate that, because it is obsessed with the idea of securing a "Jewish home". this is why Palestinians in this country are hugely discriminated against – and if some of them are "Zionists" as you say – it is probably because this mechanism of oppression convinced them that it is better to join the system than to fight it. why else would a non-Jew Israeli say "yeah, you know, this Jewish state thing, this law of return, great. keep it there. I love the Jews, I'll take second place to their children." because of all the progress and prosperity Jews have supposedly brought to Palestine? this is pure colonial arrogance. have you been to a Palestinian or Druze village in Israel lately? seen the sewage running down the streets?
    as Israelis, we have got to wake up to our own history and reclaim the freedom to redefine citizenship and nationality in this country. nothing short of this will save its future.