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.

Dispatch from J Street

My following article is published in the Huffington Post:

The Obama administration’s National Security Adviser General James Jones told the “pro-Israel and pro-peace” Israel lobby J Street this week that America believes “Israeli security and peace are inseparable.” The comment received a wild cheer, although similar comments were made during the Bush years.

The over 1500 delegates to the first J Street national conference in Washington DC — a broad collection of Zionists, peace activists, students, anti-Zionists, pensioners and the curious — came from around the world to engage on issues related to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Although the organization’s establishment spreads a conservative agenda — the two state solution and pressure on Iran’s suspected nuclear program — the hard-line Zionist community attacked the group for not being sufficiently close to the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

J Street was smeared for being disloyal, anti-Israel, pro-terrorist and pro-Palestinian. The Israeli Ambassador to America Michael Oren expressed “concerns” about unspecified “policies” of the 18-month old institution. J Street was framed as an upstart daring to challenge Israeli policies, including opposition to the December/January Gaza onslaught.

The conference had a schizophrenic, identity crisis. On the one hand, Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami clearly outlined before the event the lines his group would not cross — a one-state solution was out of the question and withdrawing US military aid. Yet any number of sessions I attended featured concerned and dedicated Jews (with a handful of Palestinians and Arabs) challenging the tenets and morality of a Jewish state itself, the occupation of Palestinian land and the likelihood of Obama being able or willing to bring the warring parties together.

Post-Zionism was in the air, desperate to find a place in the acceptable boundaries of mainstream American Jewry. J Street may not be the space for this multi-cultural and multi-racial future to emerge. The concept of a “Jewish, democratic” state, with little discussion about the roughly 20 percent of Arabs citizens in Israel proper, permeated the official sessions across the three day event, but I heard nobody question how that outcome could satisfy non-Jews. Are they not welcome in this J Street vision and why would they want to live in a Zionist state when they are already profoundly discriminated against?

I sensed that many participants were keen to feel included in the debate, used to years of isolation in a Jewish establishment that only tolerates Zionist obedience. Stories of Gaza emerged (albeit on the sidelines), the occupation of Palestinian lands was acknowledged and the trauma of the ongoing settlement project in the West Bank was dissected. Details emerged here and there about placing faith in the Democratic Party but there seemed to be an almost unreal expectation that the Obama administration would be able to end the never-ending colonies growing like cancer across the Palestinian territories.

Virtually nothing has changed since Obama’s inauguration and Palestinian lives remain tortured by checkpoints and humiliation. I saw it with my own eyes in July. Many J Street Jews were able to acknowledge the presence of an occupation — an important step in the evolutionary process — but with little understanding of the practical ramifications of this oppression being committed in their name and with billions of tax dollars in annual aid.

I was told by a number of sources that J Street was keen to avoid substantive discussion about Gaza and the effect of America’s shunning of the democratically elected Hamas government. Democracy, claimed J Street officials, would emerge only when both Israelis and Palestinians felt comfortable trusting the other side. Such motherhood statements emerged in the 1990s during the Oslo peace process when both parties were placed on an equal playing field when, in fact, the Palestinians were under occupation.

The situation has only worsened since then. The occupation — and its effect on young American Jewry — is clear. Subjugating another people comes with a price but ending it requires more than tough speeches by Obama.

J Street is attempting to play the Washington game, a dangerous position to take when facts on the ground in Palestine don’t gel with the concept of a “Jewish, democratic state.” An unofficial bloggers’ event at this week’s conference, featuring writer Max Blumenthal and Mondoweiss founder Philip Weiss, allowed freer talk over the hot, Jewish issues. The small, crowded room buzzed with the opportunity to dissect the UN Goldstone report — the only time I heard the Jewish, South African judge praised for daring to investigate gross human rights abuses in Gaza — settlement activity on the West Bank and challenging conservative critics who only accept blind support of the Jewish state; insecurity masquerading as strength.

The J Street event was undoubtedly a watershed in the American, Jewish community. Political influence is the aim and Obama is the leader. If he fails, founder Ben-Ami couldn’t tell me what would happen. “Israelis will have to decide”, he said, implying that apartheid is the only alternative, a reality that exists today for millions in the West Bank and Gaza.

I arrived a cynic and left a skeptic. Social progress occurred this week and countless Jews met to respectfully engage the major issues of their lives. Even the growing boycott, divestment and boycott campaign against Israel was mentioned and analyzed. J Street must decide what it wants to be — a wide tent that allows virtually every Jewish opinion on Israel or an orthodoxy that pushes only conventional platitudes — but the Palestinians don’t have time to wait.

Jewish angst is ultimately not enough to bring peace with justice to both Israelis and Palestinians.

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