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.

‘Anti-Zionist’ Jew: author of ‘My Israel Question’ heads for Bali

The following article by Katrin Figge is published today in one of Indonesia’s largest English newspapers, The Jakarta Globe:

For a person who gets hate mail and death threats on a regular basis, Antony Loewenstein remains surprisingly cheerful.

The Jewish-Australian journalist, activist, blogger and author, who is based in Sydney, has stirred up plenty of controversy with his book “My Israel Question.” First published in 2006 and reprinted in a third edition several weeks ago, the book takes a critical look at the conflict between Israel and Palestine. As a self-proclaimed anti-Zionist and a supporter of the Palestinian cause, Loewenstein has been accused of anti-Semitism by many fellow Jews.

Ben Cubby of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote in a July review of “My Israel Question”: “To his critics, he is a ‘pro-Hezbollah cheerleader’ and ‘smouldering teen idol’ who is ‘working for the destruction of Israel’ through his ‘rabidly anti-Zionist agenda.’ ” He continued, “For a young writer whose first book has barely hit the shelves, Antony Loewenstein is quickly honing a reputation for getting under people’s skin.”

“I don’t want to suggest that I feel that my life is in jeopardy, I don’t want to exaggerate, but unfortunately, yes, I get a lot of attacks from Jewish people,” Loewenstein said during a phone interview last week, shortly before he set off for Bali and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, which kicks off on Wednesday. It is his second visit to Bali. Loewenstein’s first time on the island was for a vacation.

“I was in Bali in March for a couple of weeks, but it was for a holiday,” Loewenstein said. “I loved it, and I am glad I am coming back and have the chance to see a bit more of the country.”

After the festival, he will visit several other cities, including Yogyakarta and Aceh, as part of a book tour. He plans to talk about the Middle East, the role of the United States in the region, Jewish identity and Palestinian nationalism.

“One of the interesting things for me about coming to the Ubud festival is to try to bridge the profound gap that exists between the English-speaking and the non-English speaking world,” he said.

He said he didn’t have much knowledge of Indonesian writers, not because he wasn’t interested, but mainly because of the language barrier.

“In the Western world, the literature of the non-English speaking countries is maybe not ignored, but certainly not highlighted as much as it should be,” he said. “I hope that in time this will change, especially with the help of a multilingual Internet.”

Loewenstein also published “The Blogging Revolution” in 2008.

“The main reason behind the book was a dissatisfaction with how the Western media reported on the rest of the world,” he said. “It started during and right after the Iraq war in 2003. It seemed to me extraordinary that in Australia and many parts of the West, there were very few Iraqi voices talking about the war.”

Internet blogs were one way for Loewenstein to get inside Iraq. He then decided to visit Cuba, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and China — countries that he said are repressive but still have a vibrant and diverse Internet culture.

“There’s a great deal of online dissent in these countries,” Loewenstein said. “One of the things I wanted to talk about in the book was that the Internet on its own does not bring democracy, but what it does do in many countries, for example in Egypt, Iraq and China, is to bring issues to public attention.”

He talked to a number of people about why and how they were blogging, and especially about how they dealt with the censorship that exists in some of those countries.

“In places like China, for example, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo actually help the government to censor the Internet,” Loewenstein said. “To me, that is something profoundly disturbing that needed to be examined, while overall, I was trying to show how in the West we are willfully ignoring many voices that we could be listening to.”

He recently traveled to Israel and Palestine.

“I am very critical of the way Israel treats Palestinians, and I guess I just wanted to go there again and see it with my own eyes,” he said.

“It was despairing. The situation in Israel itself [is that] the country has moved very much to the right. In Palestine there is not much optimism despite Barack Obama coming in and talking about peace. Nothing has changed, nothing has been rebuilt.”

As someone who is Jewish, Loewenstein said, he felt profound shame about what his people were doing. This is one of the things he wants to speak about at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

“For many people, especially in the Muslim world, there is a need to hear Jews speaking critically of Israel,” Loewenstein said. “What Israel does in Palestine is unconscionable and has to be condemned.”

Antony Loewenstein will be speaking at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival this week.

Antony Loewenstein at the festival

October 9 2:15 – 3:30 p.m. Writing in the New World: Obama and Dissent, with Fatima Bhutto, Antony Loewenstein and Jamal Mahjoub Chair: Michael Vatikiotis
October 11 9 – 10 a.m. In Conversation: Antony Loewenstein Chair: Dominique Schwartz 4 – 5:30 p.m. A New Frontier: Blogging, Dissent and Solidarity, with Doel CP Allisah, Dian Hartati, Antony Loewenstein and Ng Yi-Sheng Chair: Angela Meyer

2 comments ↪
  • Marilyn

    Ant, you are an Australian atheist, you cannot be a jew as that means you are religious.

  • Wow, I think you should buy my book and it will help to clarify the lashouts! Lets all get along and help each other out, we are all good by nature.

    Mike Keller

    author

    <a href="http://www.lifeinaweek.com” target=”_blank”>www.lifeinaweek.com