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.

When tribalism meets a land grab, stand back

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald:

Thus, nuclear-armed Israel is bullied and victimized by starving Gazans with stones.   The Israel Navy is threatened by a flotilla filled with wheelchairs and medicine.  And the greatest superpower the Earth has ever known faces a grave and existential threat from a handful of religious fanatics hiding in caves.  An American condemnation of Israel, as welcomed as it would have been, would be an act of senseless insincerity, because the two countries (along with many others) operate with this same “we-are-the-victim” mindset.

A prime cause of this inversion is the distortion in perception brought about by rank tribalism.  Those whose worldview is shaped by their identification as members of a particular religious, nationalistic, or ethnic group invariably over-value the wrongs done to them and greatly under-value the wrongs their group perpetrates.

New York Forward editorial:

In their best-selling book “Start-Up Nation,” Dan Senor and Saul Singer detail how Israel’s “economic miracle” has been fueled by an informal, creative and entrepreneurial business culture backed by government policies focused on innovation. How is it, then, that a nation with the economic brainpower to lead the world in per-capita start-ups cannot apply that same clever intellect to defending itself and charting its future?

Israel doesn’t deserve all the condemnation it is receiving for the May 31 flotilla debacle. Although a full and legitimate investigation needs to take place, it seems so far that Israel had a legal right to board the ships attempting to break the blockade of Gaza, and that Israeli commandos fell into a horrifying ambush by so-called peace activists. The cry of self-defense here seems warranted.

But these technical justifications cannot obscure the deeper impression that the Netanyahu government continues to dangerously misread the challenges it faces. It used to be wryly noted that the Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Sadly, that now seems true of the current Israeli leadership — and just at the moment when it’s necessary to take bold steps, to try to solve problems rather than suppress them, to break the cycle of failure, to do what entrepreneurs do: innovate.

As long as there is an Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza, Israel alone will be blamed for the churning misery of Gaza’s citizens. It isn’t fair. It allows the terrorists of Hamas to escape responsibility and propagandists to exploit the issue. But even if the Israeli government is accurate in its claims that the three-year-long restrictions weakened Hamas internally, they harm Israel externally. (And that was before the Hamas’s latest PR coup.) It’s time to devise another way to prevent arms smuggling and secure Israel’s borders without depriving 1.5 million people of food, medical care, construction materials and commerce.

As long as there is no Palestinian state, Israel alone will be blamed for every ill in the Arab world. It isn’t fair. This exclusive focus on Israel absolves numerous governments of human rights abuses far worse than exist in the West Bank or Gaza, and it obscures the oppression of women and minorities elsewhere that ought to earn the condemnation of the United Nations, which is instead too busy heaping scorn upon Israel.

But this reality will only worsen if not addressed because, when all else is stripped away, the Palestinians deserve a homeland and the right to self-determination as much as the Jews did in 1948.

Despite the current, depressing mess, Israel can reclaim this hopeless narrative with boldness and creativity. It’s not a matter of more effective hasbara — when it comes to manipulating world opinion, the Palestinians (especially Hamas) seem far more competent at that right now. “To defeat an idea, you have to offer a better idea, a more attractive and acceptable one,” Amos Oz wrote in the June 2 New York Times. That’s what entrepreneurs do.

And here’s White House press reporter Helen Thomas with a novel idea for the Middle East (I presume she’s talking about the settlers living on Palestinian land, not all Israelis):

  • ej

    This is shit from the Forward. SHIT.

    and Forward is supposed to be, er, forward?

    no thank you.


    No wonder that they are despised by the Real McCoy.

  • Sam

    Helen Thomas, you could have not said more simpler. I LOVE YOU!

  • jay

    Of course Helen Thomas was referring to all Israelis, not just the settlers as you spuriously claim.   If the latter, she would have said "go back to Tel Aviv"