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.

Australians are increasingly vocal about Israel

Today’s letters in the Sydney Morning Herald show a combination of anger, defensiveness (on the part of Zionists who dishonestly claim that they actually think independently from the Israeli government) and passion:

Immanuel Suttner and David Tester (Letters, June 4) ask if and when Bishop George Browning and others would express outrage about attacks by Islamic militants, rather than singling out Israel.

I can assure them that most, if not all, of us deplore such mindless acts. We know that is how fanatical groups operate.

But Israel prides itself on being a humanitarian, civilised state, and declares itself a vibrant, liberal democracy – the only one in the Middle East. It is expected to conduct itself accordingly.

The Taliban and al-Qaeda make no such claims. We cannot expect them to behave by standards they abhor, scorn or know nothing about. Israel’s friends expect better.

John Apostolakis Lockleys (SA)

Israel is held to a higher standard than Islamic terrorists because it repeatedly claims that standard for itself. How often have we heard about Israel’s democracy and freedoms, its respect for human rights and its professional army? If it wants to claim that status, it should act accordingly and expect to be called to account when it fails to do so.

Unless, of course, it is happy to be lumped together with terrorists and other nutcases.

Anura Samara Calwell (ACT)

Your editorial calls on diaspora Jews ”to question Israel’s actions” (”Candour is not Israel’s enemy”, June 4). Within Israel, public opinion and media coverage, usually hypercritical of the government, have shown unusually strong support for its actions in regard to the flotilla.

Most Israelis do not accept the image of the flotilla organisers as non-violent peace activists. They have been given far more information than readers of the Herald about the group that organised the flotilla, its alleged links to al-Qaeda, Hamas and other jihadist groups, and about the motives of the Turkish government in supporting it. The views of Australian Jews tend to reflect Israeli public opinion on this issue.

Diaspora Jews question Israel’s actions constantly. But we seek balance and context in media coverage, and are careful to do that questioning in ways that will not further the cause of those who have a long history of seeking Israel’s destruction.

Vic Alhadeff Chief executive, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Darlinghurst

Yesterday’s editorial is repugnant and offensive to me, an Australian Jew. The Herald is entitled to its views but so am I. So don’t tell me what my views should be, on Israel or any other topic. You have slandered me and the Jewish community with your slurs and innuendos. I demand an immediate apology.

Gaby Berger Point Piper

Eric Borecki (Letters, June 4) defends Israel’s blockade of Gaza ”to ensure [ships] are not carrying rockets to Hamas”. One wonders why Israel has the right to import high-tech weaponry, yet denies its neighbours the same right. As the primary aggressor, occupier and nuclear power in the region, Israel’s only defence appears to be that might is right.

Michael McGrath Manly Vale

Eric Borecki has a selective view of history. In 1948 the British and US air forces broke the Soviet blockade of Berlin, supplying it for nearly a year from the air. It seems blockade-breaking is acceptable if you are powerful enough.

Laurie Eyes Wyong Creek

”They hunted like hyenas”, says Paul McGeough (”Prayers, tear gas and terror”, June 4). Give us a break. McGeough should stick to reporting and leave out the emotive, dehumanising similes. ”They” were the young Israeli conscripted men sent to stop a supposedly peaceful protest. ”Hunted” suggests they went out to kill, when it seems the protesters were the ones preparing for that. ”Hyenas” is an attempt to turn Israeli people into animals in the eyes of readers. McGeough should report the full story and leave out the creative writing.

David Whitcombe Randwick

Am I the only one who finds it ironic Kate Geraghty’s ”photos they didn’t want seen” show the same thing as the footage the Israel Defence Forces released? All I see is an angry mob waiting to attack the commandos.

Danny Rod Rose Bay

  • ej

    Malheureusement, there doesn't appear to be a single Damascus moment amongst members of the previously pro Zionist (explicit or closet) Jewish community.

    So here we have one Gaby Berger writing expressing outrage from the concentration camp of privilege that is Point Piper.

    The Herald editorial was not merely spot on, but (as previously noted) I commend the Herald for having the courage to say the obvious.

    The official Israel lobby in Australia is a fifth column for a pariah state whose raison d'être is ethnic cleansing.

    That lobby has adversely affected my personal integrity and security, and the integrity and security of my country, fundamentally by buying off our governments, apart from the passport disgrace and the threat of blowback terrorism.

    So is Gaby Berger opposed to this use of Jewry's name for hte most depraved of behaviour. If so where is his/her name in the public domain?

    If s/he is a fellow traveller, then the HErald editorial applies to her/him, and s/he deserves condemnation for her/his perfidy.

    Out damned spot.

  • Marilyn

    They shot several of the people in cold blood in the back.

  • ej

    And there's our old mate Alhadeff once again.

    The inveterate unrepentant Chief Regional Gauleiter for ethnic cleansing.

    Pathologically incapable of grasping the facts.

    Alhadeff (and his organisation) are a party to murder.

    Yet they are given ample space to air their poison in the respectable media.

    If one wants to know how countries, some of them supposedly civilised, in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries, could tolerate pogroms, and how the world could let the holocaust happen, here is a current re-run of the process.