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.

The greatest irony of Western policy

My following article appears today on the wonderful literary journal Overland’s website during its Subscriberthon:

After the US mid-term elections, President Barack Obama is severely weakened by the rise of the Republicans. His unwillingness or inability to pursue true justice and peace in the Middle East will only be worsened.

Indeed, GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has already announced that he sees his job as protecting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from any pressure from the Democrats. A former Israeli Defence Minister is also buoyed by the result.

Obama has made countless avoidable mistakes in his attempts at success in the Middle East. Iraq remains mired in violence with Tehran gaining the upper hand after recent elections. Afghanistan is worsening by the day, explained by Afghan human rights activist and politician Malalai Joya in Sydney last week. There is growing unrest in the Egyptian client state and repression in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The chance of confrontation with Iran increases.

Tragically, despite the soaring rhetoric including the recent speech to the Muslim world in Indonesia, Obama’s presidency has been notable for its continuation of previous administration policies. Relations with the Muslim world remain dire because occupation has only deepened in places such as Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan. For example, drone attacks have killed more civilians in Pakistan since Obama assumed office.

The Israel–Palestine conflict is merely one of the obvious examples of Washington’s failure. The recent American incentive for Israel to continue the non-existent settlement ‘freeze’ is symptomatic of the rot. Colonies have been expanding steadily for years, as anybody who visits the West Bank can see. The US-backed Palestinian Authority, reliant on Israeli permission to act throughout the occupied territories, has little power of its own and behaves like a reliable client state, repressing legitimate forms of dissent, such as democratically elected Hamas leaders.

But something is stirring around this debate. Growing calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel are appearing, including inside Israel.

Extreme Israeli police brutality is under scrutiny like never before. Britain has established a Task Force on Issues Facing Arab Citizens of Israel. There are growing revelations that the US taxpayer is funding the illegal West Bank occupation. The one-state solution is becoming less a fantasy and more a legitimate outcome.

The greatest irony of Western policy towards the Middle East is its shortsightedness. The endgame is a two-state solution, equally backed by the Gillard government, and yet ongoing colonisation makes this impossible. The great silence over daily Israeli abuses in the West Bank must be exposed by bloggers and online writers; the insulated bubbles of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem don’t provide Western journalists accurate insights into life for Palestinians, Arabs and Bedouins.

While the Australian Jewish News still publishes Zionist myths – last week editorialising that Israel in 1948 was a ‘country that was started from absolutely nothing – dirt and rock – and was built by sheer hard work…’ – the global Jewish Diaspora has a choice: embrace human rights for all in the Middle East or find itself on the wrong side of history. Apartheid-backing whites in South Africa could offer some advice.

Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist, author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution and contributor to Overland.

4 comments ↪
  • Dear Antony,

    You have written well-done write up. Again you are shaking big walls through your writings!! Oh..you are soldier with pen for voice less people! Thanks

  • "a ‘country that was started from absolutely nothing – dirt and rock – and was built by sheer hard work…"- whoever wrote that has either never been to Jerusalem or never opened there eyes when they were there… olive groves, cathederals, mosques all over the place… all demonstrably older than 62 years….

     

    how can they publish such junk?

     

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    Nice work as usual Antony

  • iResistDe4iAm

    "It is a country that was started from absolutely nothing – dirt and rock – and was built by sheer hard work into a state that is today a member of the prestigious Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development" – The Australian Jewish News 

     

    If Israel was "started from absolutely nothing – dirt and rock – and was built by sheer hard work", then why was a majority (approximately 725,000) of its indigenous Palestinian population ethnically cleansed in 1947-1949?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Palestinian_exo
     

    If Israel was "started from absolutely nothing – dirt and rock – and was built by sheer hard work", then why were a further 280,000 to 325,000 Palestinians (including approximately 145,000 refugees from 1947-1949) ethnically cleansed in 1967?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Palestinian_exo
     

    If Israel was "started from absolutely nothing – dirt and rock – and was built by sheer hard work", then why were thousands of Palestinian villages, towns and neighbourhoods destroyed and wiped from the map, or repopulated by Jewish immigrants and renamed? 

     

    If Israel was "started from absolutely nothing – dirt and rock", then where did the 4 million Palestinians in the 22% remnants of Palestine come from, and how much "sheer hard work" does it take to occupy, besiege and wall them in so that their land and resources can continue to be colonised? 

     

    If Palestine was a such barren desert waiting for colonists to make it bloom, then why has it been fought over and occupied by military empires including the Romans, Crusaders, Mongols, Ottoman Turks, British and Israeli, to name a few?