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.

No, anti-Semitism isn’t (mostly) behind the current campaign

Radio Farda is the Iranian branch of Radio Free Europe and receives millions of hits monthly by discussing issues the Islamic Republic would rather keep hidden.

I was interviewed last week about the Gaza flotilla (though I should note, for the record, that I think real anti-Semitism is a tiny reason behind the current campaign against Israel):

The international condemnation of Israel’s raid on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla has been immediate and intense.

The raid, in which at least nine aid workers died, has sparked international controversy, from the United Nations to the streets of Istanbul.

Yet some experts suggest that the response to the raid has been disproportionate. Charles Asher Small is the Director of the Yale University Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism.

“What I find troubling about the response – particularly the media response – is the lack of clear analysis, the lack of setting the context of what has taken place. Who runs the flotilla? Who sent the flotilla out? What was the agenda of those operating the flotilla? Which countries aided and assisted in sending this flotilla towards Israel, towards Gaza? [This] is not just a story of a few ships going to Gaza.”

Anthony Loewenstein is a freelance journalist who has written extensively on Israel and the Middle East. Loewenstein says the international response to the raid both has and has not been disproportionate.

“There’s no doubt there are many, many conflicts around the world with far more death and destruction than the Israel-Palestine conflict. I mean the Congo, Burma, other countries like North Korea. I think the difference with Israel-Palestine is that Israel is obviously a close ally of the US… So I think there’s probably a lot more scrutiny on Israel than say on repressive regimes. I mean if a country claims to be a democracy – and Israel obviously does – than it has to behave in a much better way than North Korea, Burma, or Iran.”

Many of those who condemned the Israeli raid have done so on humanitarian grounds.

Yet Yale University’s Small doubts that humanitarian concerns can explain all of the criticism. He is concerned that those behind the flotilla, as well as those who have supported it in recent days, have been motivated by anti-semitism.

“There’s now video surfacing of people on the ships singing about killing Jews as they were floating to bring this so-called Peace Initiative,” Small told Radio Farda.

Loewenstein also believes humanitarian concerns do not fully explain the intense international criticism of the Israeli operation. He says that the concern expressed for the plight of the Palestinians has not always been sincere.

“If you’re asking me is all the concern for what’s happened [since the raid on the flotilla] because people solely care about the Palestinians the answer is no. Some of it is [a] convenient excuses to mask other problems. When it comes to the Arab world, they’ve often used the Palestinians as an excuse to mask dealing with their own problems… And that’s of course being used even more effectively by other countries in recent years including Iran.”

5 comments ↪
  • Howard Marosi

    Those who claim we should not worry so much about what Israel does because there are worse conflicts are trying to have it both ways.

    <!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> <!–[endif]–>

    They want Western Governments to support Israel diplomatically, financially and militarily, then for the citizens of the West to ignore the consequences of that.

    <!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> <!–[endif]–>

    However, I do think that Western Governments are at least as culpable in their foreign military interventions and invasions, and deserve far more scrutiny and criticism than they get.

  • ej

    Charles Asher Small is the Director of the Yale University Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism.

    Who funds this mountebank's operations? What a load of crap. the usual bullshit.

    And a top flight university gives this rank flunkeyism legitimacy.

  • "…though I should note, for the record, that I think real anti-Semitism is a tiny reason behind the current campaign against Israel"…

    Antony, I am surprised that you feel the need to note this. Regular readers would certainly understand such things.

    I would be interested to read your thought about how Israel today uses anti-Semitism as a weapon, and even encourages it when useful. For example:
    http://maxblumenthal.com/2010/06/idf-admits-it-do
    The parallels with USA's regular denunciations of terrorism are also worth considering.

     

  • iResistDe4iAm

    Regular readers aren't the only readers of this site. 

     

    There are undoubtedly a lot of new readers drawn to the site by the recent Israeli act of piracy and kidnapping of a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters. 

     

    There are also a lot of apologists for Israel lurking and reporting back to Hasbara HQ, and probing for any 'evidence' of anti-Semitism, jihadism, terrorism and/or cultural terrorism, delegitimizing, treason and self-hating Judaism. 

     

    There are also a lot of Zionists who are looking to answer their own "My Israel Question".

  • JohD

    “There’s no doubt there are many, many conflicts around the world with far more death and destruction than the Israel-Palestine conflict. I mean the Congo, Burma, other countries like North Korea."

    The problem is that this assertion is extreme dissimulation. All the conflicts you mention: Congo, Burma and North Korea are exactly that conflicts. Nobody, and I mean that Israel is the EXTREME exception, as a matter of course routinely wages war and murders their inhabitants. None of them have done so consistently for more than 7 decades.

    None of them routinely drops bombs and fires missiles at their inhabitants. Israel does so on a consistently and constantly. Yes, millions of people have been murdered in the Congo, and almost certainly for the benefit of Western Consumers and war profiteers, but even this ghastly horror pales into insignificance in the light of the absolute evil that decrees the methodical  murder of people in the name of enlightened cultural values.

    Our problem is that we have become so grateful for the errant Jewish dissident to provide a kosher certificate for Criticism of Israel, that we put up with this type of supercilious garbage.

    The truth is that if we apply a religious metaphor, and use scales to measure the sinfulness of Israel versus Iranian public policy Depreciation,  Iran is light years ahead of Israel by any measure. That sticks in the craw of Jewish Supremacist. The utility of Lowenstein to the Palestinian cause is weighed down by all his lachrymose sentimentality. Time for him to give this kind of shit a rest.