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.

The mainstream media should not take free trips to Israel, repeat after me

Following Peter Hartcher’s article in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald that allowed Zionist spokespeople yet more opportunities to white-wash their crimes in Gaza, the following letter is published in today’s paper:

Peter Hartcher’s reflection on the Goldstone report fails on a number of counts (”Israel feels tarnished as critics apply apartheid tag”, November 17).

Hartcher repeats the spin of the Israeli Government that vilifies the United Nations, calling it an “international resolution factory”. Second, he fails to give any context for why the rockets were fired. He does not mention the decades-long struggle of the Palestinian people; the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails or who have lost loved ones due to 60 years of war; or the lack of resolution for the refugees of the 1948 and 1967 wars.

Hartcher fails to acknowledge Richard Goldstone’s personal journey of discovery during his fact-finding mission. Goldstone cannot be faulted for his unquestioning support for Israel’s security and legitimate right (and moral obligation) to self-defence.

But by visiting Gaza and interviewing Israelis by phone and in Geneva (he was denied permission to enter Israel) he concluded each of the 36 incidents they identified demanded formal investigation by Israel and Hamas.

They included an attack on a mosque that killed 21 people, the demolition of the American School in Gaza (a centre of anti-Hamas teaching) and the attack on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency with white phosphorus. He concluded that the collective punishment of Palestinians by bulldozing greenhouses, farms and destroying sewage treatment works had no military advantage – it was purely punitive.

Hartcher also misrepresents Izzat Abdulhadi, the head of the Palestinian delegation to Australia. Such was my disbelief at what Hartcher said that I called the Palestinian delegation to find out for myself. Mr Abdulhadi told me the Palestinian delegation was disappointed with Australia’s stance on Israel and its rejection of the Goldstone report (not satisfied, as Hartcher says).

Let’s hope Herald journalists can go on trips to Gaza and the West Bank as well as Israel in future, to help present a balanced perspective of this conflict.

Stewart Mills Balmain

The following letter was not published today:

It is a shame that Peter Hartcher, in demonising the UN Goldstone report over Gaza, didn’t actually visit the Strip and speak to the victims of Israel’s bombardment. I did in July and found thousands of displaced persons, mass destruction and devastated neighbourhoods, all in the name of Israeli “defence.”
It’s called curiosity and journalism.

Antony Loewenstein

3 comments ↪
  • ej

    Finessed.

    decades of hard slog thrown away for a few lousy shekels.

    Reduced to an empty vessel, a hired gun for ethnic cleansing.

    (The rot probably set in when he was induced to sign up to the Lowy Institute years ago.)

    What is the magic of the Israel lobby that can reduce brains to mush?

  • mallee

    Antony,

    Thanks for that information, no we now why Gillard and her team did not go into Gaza when they were on their free lunch tour. You might repost those articles when they were on this site at the time?

  • weaver

    The thing I loved about that Hartcher article was how he repeated (twice!) that ludicrous meme that Operation Cast Lead was a "response" to Hamas rocket attacks, completely ignoring the three month cessation of those attacks during the truce. The rocket attacks only recommenced (despite Israel's failure to lift the siege) after the IDF broke the truce with a bombardment on the date of the US election. If the Israelis had wanted to stop the rockets they could have simply respected the truce.

    Despite his junket to Israel, Hartcher also apparently failed to notice widespread Israeli press coverage of the fact that the invasion had been planned months before, also giving the lie to the claims it was a response to the rockets.