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.

What will it take for the love affair with Israel to cool?

With Israel under intense pressure to wind back its colonial project, the role of dissident Jews is vital, to make the wider community knows that we don’t support the actions of the Jewish state. Jews don’t speak with one voice.

It’s important, therefore, that the mainstream media is noticing. Take this piece in today’s Sydney Morning Herald by columnist Hamish McDonald:

The coolness didn’t last long. Along with standing firm on ”border security” and opposing higher taxes, our politicians find it hard to maintain any indignation, let alone anger or rage, against Israel.

This week the Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, was buttering up Israel and its local lobbyists again, by staging a special press conference and media opportunity at Parliament House to ”receive” a written report and set of recommendations on boosting relations.

This was handed over by Albert Dadon, the new mover and shaker in Australia’s Jewish community, on behalf of the Australia Israel Leadership Forum, a second-track diplomacy venture started two years ago on the model of businessman Phil Scanlan’s longer-running Australia America Leadership Dialogue.

Kevin Rudd was a regular at Scanlan’s annual talkfest. Julia Gillard was a founder-member of Dadon’s one, joined by the opposition’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, Julie Bishop, and various other political, academic, business and media figures.

The Israeli forum seems already to be well into the uncritical boosterism of which Scanlan’s group gets accused in some circles. It has chosen this time to suggest that along with more trade, agricultural and scientific exchanges and so on, Australia develops military-to-military ties with Israel.

Smith said he was ”very happy” to receive this report, which would get ”serious consideration” from the Prime Minister, adding: ”The friendship between Australia and Israel is longstanding and it is enduring, and that will continue. Despite recent events, which have been the cause of public commentary between Australia and Israel, that friendship will endure.”

The, ahem, recent events include the use of forged copies of Australian passports in the recent assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai, and the ”insulting” (US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s word) action of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in announcing more Jewish housing in disputed East Jerusalem as the US Vice-President, Joe Biden, arrived in Israel and US-brokered ”proximity talks” between Israel and the Palestinians were about to start.

Australian Federal Police agents have been sent to Israel to inquire about the passports, and ASIO has been put on the case too. But no-one is expecting the AFP to find a link to Mossad, unless the Israeli intelligence agency has been very careless indeed.

Some longer coolness about East Jerusalem would have been in order. Netanyahu, who included a smarmy letter in Dadon’s report, has been trying to weasel his way out of the row with Washington by blaming the timing, but not the substance, on his interior minister and the Jerusalem mayor.

Australia’s rebuke was mildly worded. ”I share the view that this is a bad decision at the wrong time and it’s not a helpful contribution to the peace process,” Smith said, adding that Israel was undoing the ”very hard work” of the US and others to get the two sides working towards a ”two-state” solution.

But the two-state solution that seemed a real prospect at the high water of the Oslo peace process in the 1990s has come to look more and more like a mirage, as power slips away from moderates on both sides.

Netanyahu has backed away from the offer made by his predecessor Ehud Olmert in the dying days of his leadership, when he was a caretaker prime minister under a corruption cloud. His right-wing-religious government pays only lip-service to the two-state goal.

Many of the Palestinians, as the Israeli commentator Ehud Yaari notes in the current issue of the journal Foreign Affairs, are starting to think of separate statehood and sovereignty as a new form of imprisonment. Instead, they turn to continued struggle and faith that demographics will eventually yield dominance over the entire former Palestine Mandate. The rocket attacks out of Gaza have started again.

Israel meanwhile is steadily losing the sympathy that it once had as a beleaguered underdog threatened with extinction by hostile neighbours. Now it rains destruction with high-tech American weaponry at little risk to its own personnel (many of its 13 deaths in the Gaza operation were friendly-fire accidents; some 1300 Palestinians died). Its population, swollen by Russian immigrants accustomed to talk of Muslims as ”chyornaya zhopa” (black-arses) is now losing its old interest in the Arabs, with whom older Israelis grew up. They’re now away behind a high wall.

Meanwhile groups like Peace Now in Israel itself, J-Street in Washington, and individuals like Antony Loewenstein try to revive Jewish liberalism, to much vilification as ”self-hating Jews”. But even a hard realist like Yaari is worried about the trend: he suggests a short-circuit to endless haggling over the ”final status” agreement by recognition of a Palestinian state now, to take up negotiations, a suggestion that will shock some of the Jewish diaspora organisations that have brought him out on tour.

Behind its profession of undying support for Israel, the Rudd government has put a bit more detachment into our policy, ending our previous lining up with a bunch of tiny American client states in United Nations votes on the Middle East. In November 2008, it supported UN resolutions calling for a halt to settlements in the occupied territories and for adherence to the Geneva Convention in those areas. Last year it switched our vote from abstain to favour on the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. In February it went from oppose to abstain on a resolution calling for both Israel and the Palestinians to investigate possible war crimes in the Gaza conflict.

It doesn’t seem to be having any impact on Netanyahu and has opened Rudd to opposition sniping that he’s selling out Israel to win Arab votes for the UN Security Council seat. Both sides of our politics could do well to adopt the Rudd-Confucian doctrine of the ”zhengyou”, the ”true friend” (in Chinese) who can point out shortcomings.

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