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.

Drop rose-coloured views to lift Gaza peace hopes

My following article appears in today’s Canberra Times newspaper:

Hussam Abuayish lives in Gaza’s Johrel-Deik district near the Israeli border. With yellow teeth and nervous demeanour, the 24-year-old told me in July of an Israeli missile that landed near his family home a month before. His sister died and he remains in pain because of the shrapnel in his spine. The Israeli and Egyptian-imposed siege on the Gaza Strip means he is unlikely to get permission to find better medical care in another country. He is trapped in his own land.

”I’m not against Jews,” he stressed. ”I’m against an occupying Israel.” The self-described Jewish state has maintained a land, sea and air blockade on the area since 2006; 1.5million Gazans are suffering because Israel and the West refuse to accept the election of Hamas when the favoured (and corrupt) party, Fatah, lost.

The threat of Hamas is not, as we are constantly told in the Western media, because they are militant, uncompromising and anti-Semitic, but because they are willing to negotiate with Israel, and have stated so constantly since 2006. Senior Hamas ministers told me in Gaza that they are keen to end the occupation and engage on equal terms with Israel. Pragmatism is on and terrorism is (mostly) out. As former United States president Jimmy Carter recently told Al-Jazeera, the democratically elected Islamist party must be included in any peace negotiations.

The facts on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza rampaging Jewish settlers, an Israeli army that protects them, expanding illegal colonies, Jewish-only roads and errant Israeli missiles on villages have led leading black South African leaders to suggest that it is an apartheid far worse than anything they ever experienced.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu told Israeli daily Haaretz in August that a global boycott movement against apartheid South Africa ”gave hope to our people that the world cared. That this was a form of identification.” He has urged similar action against Israel because of the failure of the political and media elites to resolve the conflict.

Amid this misery are US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The US has stressed that a two-state solution is their desired goal and much of the Western world, including Australia, has echoed this mission. But how? Israel refuses to completely cease settlement construction in the West Bank, Hamas is excluded and Netanyahu said again last week that Jerusalem would never be divided, precluding East Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital.

Furthermore, Abbas and Fatah are actively colluding with Israel to manage the occupation. Obama continues the training of Palestinian troops to ensure West Bank ”security”, men accused by human rights groups of killing and torturing political opponents. It is why a leading Jewish Israeli academic, Neve Gordon, called for a boycott of his own country recently, such was his despair at the status-quo. I heard constantly throughout my visit to the region that only massive outside pressure will lead to compromise on all sides but the occupying power, Israel, must be controlled.

The Australian Government has taken a typically hands-off approach to the region. A recent Roy Morgan poll found growing support for the Palestinians and opposition to the January Gaza war, positions simply ignored by the Rudd ministry. More Jews are starting to break ranks, unwilling to be associated with an occupying nation.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s recent visit to Israel (and a few meetings in Palestine) was systematic of the rot. She told The Australian Jewish News in August that her trip ”reinforced in me that the judgments we made [to back the Gaza war] were the right judgments. We, as a nation, have always been very strong on supporting Israel’s right to defend itself and to seek security in the region.”

In fact, as I saw with my own eyes, the Gaza war destroyed the civilian infrastructure, emboldened Hamas and further isolated Israel in the international community.

Australia under Kevin Rudd imagines a thriving Israeli democracy that simply doesn’t exist.

Millions of Arabs feel disenfranchised and excluded from the state. Rampant discrimination and occupation define the country’s relationship with its soon-to-be majority Palestinian brothers and sisters.

An independent foreign policy towards the conflict would involve removing the rose-coloured glasses towards Israeli actions, recognising the Palestinian right to exist and refusing to accept subsidised Zionist lobby trips to the region. What if politicians and corporate journalists initiated their own investigations in Palestine and saw Israeli occupation troops beating Palestinians on their own land, as I did recently? Another routine day in the occupied territories.

Peace between Israel and the Palestinians is our goal, but it must not proscribe to preconceived ideas of nationhood. The only way to ensure justice is not to normalise relations with a country that racially divides its indigenous population.

Occupation must come with a price.

Antony Loewenstein is a Sydney journalist and author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution.

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