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 Jakarta Post: Changing people’s perceptions about Jews

The following feature by Desy Nurhayati appears in yesterday’s Jakarta Post:

His recent visit to Aceh made Antony Loewenstein the first Jew that most people in the country’s devoutly Muslim province had ever met or engaged with.

Some Acehnese he met were surprised to learn that the Jewish-Australian journalist, author of the controversial and best-selling book My Israel Question, was a harsh critic of Israel’s policy on Palestine, and was in fact a supporter of the latter.

“Are there many of you?” asked a man from a group that had pledged to travel to Gaza to fight the Israeli army during its conflict with Hamas.

Another said, “We don’t hate Jews, but we oppose Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”

A Sydney-based writer and blogger, Loewenstein spent two weeks in Indonesia last month as a guest at the major literary event the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, in Bali, as well as visiting the ancient Buddhist monument of Borobudur (also part of the festival) and going to Aceh to take part in discussion forums.

On his speaking tours elsewhere, he says, the most common reactions he gets are: “You’re Jewish and you don’t like Israel? What do you mean? That’s impossible.”

And he guessed Indonesians would have a similar view.

“In a Muslim-majority country like Indonesia, it might come as a surprise to learn that Jews are critical of Israel,” Loewenstein tells The Jakarta Post.

“It’s a perception in the Arab world as well that all Jews support Israel.”

As he said at a recent event in Australia, “In Aceh, Jews are seen as little more than occupiers and brutes in Palestine. The concept of anti-Zionism never enters their thinking or media.”

He also expresses surprise that more and more Jews are now in opposition to Israel and in support of the Palestinian people, and that is something he is trying to tell the Muslim world about.

“I’m trying to challenge people’s perceptions that I’m Jewish, and I’m proud to be Jewish, but I’m pro-Palestine,” he says.

“Israel is still occupying Palestine, and it’s my moral responsibility to fight against it in my own ways.”

On a visit last July to the devastated Gaza Strip, he found the occupation had never been worse.

He met many of the 1.5 million Palestinians desperate for a normal life, something denied to them for decades due to Israel’s occupation and frequent bombings.

“The war continues, settlements expand, nothing’s changed. The change is only in Obama’s rhetoric. What he said is obviously different from Bush, but it doesn’t solve problems,” Loewenstein says.

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama last month was premature, he adds.

“I think the award was more about what Obama is expected to do rather than what he has actually done,” he points out.

“Israel keeps arguing that it is a democratic state fighting terrorism for all of us. It becomes much easier to make that argument, but it is wrong.

“I think Israel’s behavior is outrageous, and it will not change unless the funding it receives from the United States is reduced.

“The Western powers, including the US, the UK and Australia, back Israel’s battle and share its belief that the destruction of the Islamist group benefits their interests.”

Israel should be treated like any other country calling itself a democracy, and not be excused especially given its bellicose tactics in the global arena, he goes on.

“In a Muslim-majority country like Indonesia, it might come as a surprise to learn that Jews are critical of Israel.”

“There are a growing number of Jewish groups joining this call. They are not afraid of being labeled anti-Semitic or self-hating, and simply believe in justice,” Loewenstein says.

He believes that in the Muslim world, there is a need for people to hear more about Jews taking a critical stance against Israel. He even speaks up against his own government for supporting Israel. He has also cofounded an initiative, Independent Australian Jewish Voices, which works with Palestinians on their shared concerns.

His time in Aceh was spent discussing a broad range of issues with journalists, local writers and high school students: the Middle East conflict – comparing his perspective as a Jew and that of the devout Muslim Acehnese, posttsunami development as well as freedom of expression.

Loewenstein also admits he was surprised to find four Jewish tombstones, with Hebrew epitaphs, near the Aceh tsunami memorial museum.

The four Jews, he recounts from what he was told, died in the 1800s and 1900s, and have since lain in peace in the heart of a devoutly Islamic society.

“A writer, Fozan Santa, told me that many Acehnese know about it, yet there was no hatred toward these monuments,” Loewenstein says.

“Generations of Acehnese protected them. Holland sends funds to maintain the cemetery.

“This was not something I expected in a province ruled under sharia law. Although Jews are almost solely defined through brutal Israeli actions, I found no outright hatred of Judaism.”

He also found that people there liked Obama’s rhetoric and his apparent change in US policy toward the Muslim world.

“But their patience has a limit. The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Palestine continue and show no signs of closure,” he says.

Despite growing support for Palestinians, even among Jews, Loewenstein doubts the situation will change anytime soon.

“I’m not very optimistic because I don’t see much movement on the ground by the international community,” he says.

“There needs to be a drastic action, where civil society gets together in a targeted boycott campaign to convince Israel that it can’t behave this way.”

He adds public support for Palestine and dissatisfaction of the US continue to grow, “But how we take that opinion and translate it into political action, that’s the question.”

As a Muslim-majority country and emerging democracy, he says, Indonesia should take a stronger lead in this issue.

“I know Yudhoyono said Indonesia would be more involved in the process. I would like him and other leaders to put pressure on different parties to stop Israel’s unacceptable behavior,” he says.

Loewenstein also criticizes Obama, who pledged to create better relations with the Muslim world but continued to support Israel’s occupation of Palestine and did nothing to address this major grievance to Muslims.

The author of The Blogging Revolution also encouraged other writers the world over to be more provocative and less afraid to be critical of the issue.

Several days after Loewenstein left Aceh, an 18-year-old Acehnese girl – one of his translators during the public events – sent him a message, saying, “People here can love Jews now because of you.”

4 comments ↪
  • Imad

    I agree with what you're saying, pretty much 100%, Mr. Lowenstein. It's not that there isn't anti-semitism in Muslim communities (there are some elements of it), but it is generally caused by the polarization of the statements that the israeli gov't gives concerning itself to the jewish people worldwide i.e. Because the government  claims to be for all the Jews in the world. But obviously the truth is that it can't speak for all the Jews. There needs to be more people, Muslim or otherwise, to realize that not all Jews identify with the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

  • Pingback: A.LOWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER | SHOAH()

  • A ne pas manquer

  • I think its not the surprising fact that more and more Jews are now in opposition to Israel and in support of the Palestinian people. Because Israel is continuing their rolling over the Palestinian people.