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.

Aslan says 2-state solution is dead, and Indyk calls him a liar

My following article is published today on US website Mondoweiss:

“The future of relations with the Muslim world” was the UN-sponsored event hosted at the New York Times building in central Manhattan on 21 July. Filled with journalists from Egypt, China and Turkey and the foreign policy establishment, roughly 150 people came to hear Roger Cohen, Joe Klein, Martin Indyk, Reza Aslan, Dalia Mogahed and Marc Lynch chew over issues related to Barack Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009 and efforts to re-engage the Muslim world. The general consensus was that Obama had failed, even if his intentions were noble.

The primary focus was Israel/Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan were mostly ignored, Iran was briefly mentioned and Muslim views of America were highlighted.

Foreign Policy blogger and participant Marc Lynch wrote that it was disappointing but unsurprising that Israel/Palestine was the key area of discussion as his “main concern was the dangerous resilience of ‘clash of civilizations’ narratives in American and global discourse about Islam.” Such views remain disturbingly common in the US.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the evening and there was an air of unreality about the event, a troubling distance from addressing the crux of Washington’s problems in the Muslim world. The presumption of the evening was that America could noticeably change its image while still occupying Iraq, Afghanistan and backing Israeli occupation in Palestine. Most Muslims would regard the premise as a joke.

As Rami Khouri wrote in this week’s New York Times: “One cannot take seriously the United States or any other Western government that funds political activism by young Arabs while it simultaneously provides funds and guns that help cement the power of the very same Arab governments the young social and political activists target for change.”

Pollster Mogahed revealed that a forthcoming Gallup study of the Arab world finds Iraq still topping even Israel/Palestine in issues of concern related to US foreign policy in the region. The open wound of the Iraq conflict, the millions of internal and external refugees – the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since 1948 –and daily brutality put paid to claims that America will soon be withdrawing. Just this week the Obama administration announced an expansion of paramilitary forces in Iraq to replace the forthcoming declining troop numbers.

Roger Cohen, a usually thoughtful writer who has sadly recently embraced Salam Fayyad’s economic “miracle” in the West Bank (essentially a police state with Western aid), was a considered moderator, probing the guests about the profound separation between rhetoric and reality. Time’s Klein was effusive in his praise for Fayyad, called for immediate engagement with Hamas, chastised Obama for not pressuring Israel far more and threatening to cut aid, vehemently opposed a “mad” attack on Iran, damned the colonies in the West Bank and the bullying Zionist lobby. Klein is a colourful and slightly arrogant speaker, proud of telling an audience he’s spent time in the Middle East and mixing with the people there.

The most revealing part of the evening was when Reza Aslan told the crowd, near the end of the event, that a two-state solution was dead due to ongoing Israeli colonisation. He urged consideration of a one-state solution. He wrote strongly months ago about the impossibility of a viable Palestinian state and this week urged more imaginative ways of framing a nation that “would be shared by both Palestinians and Jews.” Aslan also outlined the Likud charter, a racist document that does not allow an independent Palestinian entity in Palestine.

Former AIPAC employee, Vice President for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution and former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk shook his head and said these were “lies”. He argued that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said last year that he accepted a two-state solution and people should “wait until the end of Obama’s third year and you will see some major progress on Middle East peace.”

Indyk angrily rejected a one-state solution as “guaranteed to bring never-ending conflict” and said the two-state solution was the only game in town. Aslan didn’t give up, reiterating his request for Indyk to explain how two, viable states would develop.

This testy exchange was symptomatic of the anaemic state of establishment thinking on the Middle East in America. Indyk was asking to be rewarded for ongoing failure, a man and idea that had been tried for decades and brought increased settlement activity. Like J Street, Indyk and his ilk can only conceptualise a racially exclusionary state, partition in the name of “two states for two peoples”.

I remember thinking during the J Street conference in Washington last year about the blind faith in Barack Obama bringing peace to the Middle East. What happens if he doesn’t deliver? J Street and Indyk have nowhere to go, no intellectual or moral framework from which to offer alternative perspectives.

For them, a Jewish state must be maintained at any cost. Democratic values will always come second.

Loewenstein, who blogs here, will be speaking at Revolution Books in New York on Sunday at 1, along with Michael Otterman, about Palestine and Iraq, two occupations.

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