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 state of the peace process in 2009

Overland is one of Australia’s finest literary journals. Punchy, provocative, topical, relevant and interesting, the magazine re-launched its website this week and is currently running a Subscriberthon. Do it for yourself and the country. Get into it!

I was asked to write an original piece for the festivities:

Antony Loewenstein is a prominent blogger, and the author of the oft-reprinted My Israel Question and the more recent Blogging Revolution. He also delivered, not so long ago, an Overland lecture on oil and the Middle East. Here, offers a provocative guest post on the state of the peace process under Rudd and Obama.

There are some who argue that the Middle East is a constantly evolving train-wreck. In fact, with notable exceptions, the last decades have been remarkably consistent in going in the wrong direction.

One year after the election of US President Barack Obama provides us with a perfect opportunity to assess his progress. The reality on the ground in Palestine has never been so grim. South Africa said in late November that the expansion of settlements near Jerusalem was comparable to the ‘forced removals’ of the apartheid era. Settlers in the West Bank have filed a petition with Israel’s High Court to demolish a nearly completed stadium near Ramallah. Some colonists are almost begging for the right to live on occupied land. ‘In short, we are looking for a hill-top’, one writes, seemingly hoping for sympathy.

America’s leading newspaper, The New York Times, continues to minimise the deleterious effects of Israel’s occupation. Times columnist Thomas Friedman even wrote this week that the Muslim world should be grateful for a ‘US foreign policy that has been largely dedicated to rescuing Muslims or trying to help free them from tyranny.’ Tell that to the millions killed with US missiles in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

Prominent Zionists claim that Israel is the eternal victim of hatred by Europe and the Arab world. Jews in Israel are desperate for peace, we’re told, if only Palestinians would give up their wish to extinguish the flames of hope.

It is a narrative that has sustained Israel for decades. Frame your enemies as irrational, milk global sympathy for the Holocaust and hold the ‘anti-Semitic’ tag over friend and foe. Western elites regularly talk about an Israel that doesn’t exist; a country conjured in their minds. And yet, as even Obama’s National Security Advisor Jim Jones acknowledged during the recent J Street conference in Washington DC, resolution of the Israel/Palestine would ripple across the world. Acknowledging the importance of Hamas to the process would be a positive start.

It’s a travesty, therefore, that Washington is reverting to typical postures that only allow the occupation to deepen and make a two-state solution even more impossible. I personally back a one-state equation, but Western governments claim to believe in viable Jewish and Palestinian states living side by side. Australia’s Rudd government simply operates like business as usual, oblivious to the reality of Israel driving itself off a cliff. Public opinion in Australia is slowly turning against Israel and yet this position is barely acknowledged in public discussion.

Israelis are undoubtedly feeling under attack from America and the international community but it’s hard to have sympathy for a people continually voting for political parties that enrich the settlement movement.

Political inaction has forced the hand of global activists to pressure Israel non-violently in other ways. The boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) is gaining traction (even ABC Radio’s PM featured a story last week about protests against products from the West Bank).

A major conference took place recently at America’s Hampshire College that focused on increasing the co-ordinated movement against apartheid in the occupied territories. Blogger and writer Phil Weiss attended and wrote the following:

“There were remarkably few older people around. Yes it is a campus-organizing event, but it strikes me that on Israel/Palestine, these young people don’t trust us at all. They have lost faith in their elders as oppressive hypocrites on this issue. You have given us 62 years of Palestinian statelessness and war against Muslims; meanwhile you cheer a black man for president here and Jim Crow and the charade of the “peace process” there. These young people have great faith in the possibility of change. They were almost every one impressive, thoughtful serious leaders with a purity of belief that I can’t match (and don’t wish to; I’m not young). They are leading themselves, without the need for a lot of older guides.”

Established “liberals” in the US such as Rabbi Michael Lerner oppose such stringent measures as unfairly pressuring the Israel, but surely we are long past worrying about offending sensibilities. Currently visiting Australia, Lerner told us at an inter-faith dinner in Sydney this week that BDS would only be successful if enough Americans believed in the wrongness of Israeli behaviour and they currently do not. Fair enough, but the campaign is growing and inaction seems like a morally weak position.

The alternative is indefinite occupation, supported by America, Australia, and far too many countries that should know better.

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