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.

“We would never tolerate this from our enemies”

The letters in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Hear the rising anger about the pass Australia and the West in general have given Israel for decades. Public opinion is shifting. Feel it:

I am sick of the PR spin. I am sick of the tired justifications, I am sick of the diplomatic niceties and double standards. I am sick of the excuses. I am sick of this having no end in sight. I am sick of the inhumanity.

Israeli commandos boarded vessels in international waters and killed several people. Period. The Israeli government has, for decades, oppressed, terrorised and reduced to near starvation close to a million people. Collective punishment is a war crime. There are no excuses.

We would never tolerate this from our enemies. Why on earth is it tolerated from our friends?

Adrian Bain St Leonards

When did the act of repelling invaders from your vessel in international waters become an act of aggression? Mr Netanyahu tells us that his soldiers were ”attacked with sticks and iron bars” and that ”the invaders started it”. The soldiers rappelling in the dark from helicopters were coming to help, were they?

When will the Australian government have the courage to tell Israel to stop the blockade and the occupation?

Edward Poole Annandale

Far be it from me to leap to Israel’s defence. Having signed the Independent Australian Jewish Voices letter in support of the Palestinians, I nonetheless feel condemnation of the Israel Defence Forces is becoming too automatic.

There may be many reasons to condemn the Israeli military, but its actions on board the flotilla are not among them. Ask yourselves what you would expect any other nation to do if ships were sent, in violation of its military blockade, and if its soldiers were attacked when they rappelled on board.

The blockade may be unjust (it is), and Israel may have a long record of terrible PR-disasters (it does), but the blame for this event rests with the individuals who behaved as peace-loving idealists, but who came armed with knives, clubs and cans of Mace.

You do not need more than 600 activists to get supplies into Gaza, you only need the supplies. And unless your intention is simply to create a scene, you send them via the appropriate channels.

Simon Holloway Newtown

At what point is Israel not the victim?

Ted Keating Tallai (Qld)

For a letter so scathing about melodrama and hysteria, Gabriel Sassoon’s (June 2) has a good deal of both. The Turkish ships were in international waters, not Israeli waters, and no one disputes that. They were not ”storming”, but carrying cargo such as building materials, prohibited by Israel and badly needed for humanitarian reasons to repair the damage that Israel itself unlawfully perpetrated.

Scott Poynting Manchester (UK)

There were no ”armed terrorists entering Israeli controlled waters”, as Gabriel Sassoon says. The attack took place in international waters. The only small arms used were – as reported by the Israelis – taken from the Israeli forces. The ”calculated melodrama, the confected hysteria, the feigned shock and anger” he decries may be caused by the fact that unarmed civilians died and were injured in the attack.

The Israeli line that those on board started the violence holds no water. No violence would have happened had the Israelis not boarded the boats. He and the other apologists do their cause no good by refusing to believe Israel can do no wrong.

Pip Denton Guildford

There you have the whole, complex problem in a nutshell. The world is divided into ”the anti-Israel propaganda machine” and ”the rest of us”.

William Cattell Sydney

The Israeli ambassador, Yuval Rotem, says the Gaza flotilla was a media stunt. Of course it was. The organisers wanted to show what thugs the Israelis are. They wanted to show the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and how little the Israelis allow in for the state to survive. They wanted to show how Israel deals with other views and how little it cares.

We now know.

Paul Stephen Yamba

Susan Jewell (Letters, June 2) and her fellow defenders of outrageous political stunts gone wrong should watch the video evidence, which shows ”unarmed” civilians beating Israeli commandos with iron bars and throwing them from an upper deck – hardly the actions of a group of unarmed peace activists. If Israel’s intent had been anything other than to resolve this with the minimum of force, that would not have happened.

Yammering about these vessels being in international waters is an attempt to fool a public ignorant of what a navy is allowed to do. A navy may board another vessel in international waters for a whole host of reasons. Even if Israel was in the wrong to board them, you are never legally right to attempt to repel naval personnel with violence (just as you are always in the wrong to resist arrest by a police officer).

This incident was a publicity stunt, not an aid convoy. There were other methods to get the aid delivered; this one was taken only because of the publicity generated by the inevitable Israeli attempts to stop it, or because the real intent was to deliver munitions to Hamas.

Anyone with even a passing interest in the Israel-Palestine conflict has seen numerous incidents like this manufactured to get airtime in the Western media. Sometimes I think Hamas could paint a red cross on a tank and the media would call it an ambulance and criticise Israel for blowing it up.

James Ramsay Bexhill

”We came for peace,”’ said the commando, one of the first Israeli soldiers to board the Mavi Marmara. ”They [the activists] came for war” (”There was madness in their eyes – they were trying to kill us”, June 2).

So let me get this straight. Israeli commandos land on the deck of a boat, in international waters, at night, with weapons, and this is in peace. The people on board, armed with nothing more than would ordinarily be found on such vessels (and humanitarian supplies), come in war. This really is a parallel universe, isn’t it?

Gina Hay Bayview

”The organisers’ intent was violent, their method was violent and, unfortunately, the results were violent.” – Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister.

”The flotilla organisers’ intent was violent, the methods employed were violent and, regrettably, the result was violent.” – Yuval Rotem, Israeli ambassador to Australia.

At least one side has its story straight.

Cliff Jahnsen Bowral

The blockade of Gaza by Israel – and by Egypt – has the blessingof the United States. These nations would have us believe the blockade is not intended to hurt the Gazans, but to bring down Hamas.

One cannot help feeling that while the raid on the flotilla by Israel’s navy commandos may have deprived the Gazans of basic daily needs, it has served to strengthen the support for Hamas, not only within Gaza but throughout the region.

Sam Nona Burradoo

3 comments ↪
  • Palestinian

    I agree.

    There is unprecedented shift towards the Palestinian side or at least towards recognizing this issue as a social justice one.

    However,  there is also a growing neo-Christian-Zionist movement, at least in Europe, that is worrying as it is allying itself with anti-immigration and even some right-wing/New Right activists and parties.

    Never did I think I would see American-styled Evangelists in Germany (of all effing places) that is vehemently, unequivocally pro-Zionism.

  • ej

    What is this shit from Simon Holloway? Is this unrepentant tribalism representative of IAJV document signatories?

    Appropriate channels?