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.

Gaza is a man-made disaster, eyewitness account

During the recent Gaza Freedom March, I became good friends with Nitin Sawhney, a research affiliate at MIT.

He’s currently in Gaza and writing a fascinating blog about his experiences. There’s much to digest but here’s something from the latest post:

The devastating events of the recent earthquake in Haiti linger in my mind as I write this note today. My hopes and prayers are with the people of Haiti and all who are trying to assist with emergency relief work there… it feels odd being in the serenity of Gaza amidst all this.

Walking back home at midnight after a spicy falafel and creamy gelato from my favorite street vendors, I feel a strange sense of familiarity in the dim-lit streets of Gaza City. I’ve come to feel more comfortable walking alone at night exploring the neighborhoods and getting to know the city better, even though I lose my way home regularly, getting back on track only moments later (through the familiar sights and sounds); oddly it feels far safer than most North American cities I’ve lived in, perhaps due to the constant security presence and the warmth of everyday people here.

Even with my video camera in hand, I simply smile at onlookers making eye contact gracefully, and introduce myself during the shoot to make them comfortable around me. I try to disarm any suspicions with my hilarious command of broken Arabic and their imagined curiosity of my bollywood roots. Shopkeepers, cooks, waiters, and men smoking sheesha while watching Real Madrid vs. Barcelona playing football on TV, often invite me into their street side cafes urging me to come back and visit the next day… so is the spirit and hospitality of this place.

Mond and I visited Mustafa, the 9-year old in Bait Hanoun again to the delight of his grandmother and friends. We spoke to his father about his eye surgery and tried to arrange a meeting with his local doctor to gain more details on his possible treatment abroad. I remembered to bring my small digital video camera and proceeded to show Mustafa how to use it. We were immediately surrounded by all the kids and elders in his neighborhood; its not easy teaching with everyone else giving their own instructions on where to shoot. Mustafa gradually warmed upto the challenge and started mastering the complex controls on this little device, learning to frame his shots, zoom and capture photos and videos of children playing marbles along the roadside. I showed a few other kids how to use the camera, but asked Mustafa to be their trainer from here onwards. He took on that responsibility easily despite his shyness.

The next day I took Mustafa along with me to one of my meetings at the Al-Qattan Center for the Child in Gaza City. He was quite shy to come alone with me without his father, so we let him accompany us on this trip. I met with some of the directors of the center and arranged to have a workshop there the following day. They took us around on a tour of the gleaming new center, completed in late 2005 after many years of delays due to the blockade. The center provides a rich library, educational programs, and outreach services to kids and parents in Gaza. It’s a rare place for children to come in Gaza, a miracle that it even exists. As Mustafa and I walked along modern multi-colored spaces in the naturally-lit center full of curious kids engaged in play, Mustafa took my lead in capturing video as our guide showed us around. Mustafa would often get distracted with children watching cartoons or making paper montages, while I continued to interview staff at the center. In the end, I was trying to get Mustafa to learn video techniques simply by working along with me, choosing bright locations and angles and keeping up a good pace of recording crucial moments. I think Mustafa would make for a good co-producer and budding cameraman as he gets better after his surgery.

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