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.

We don’t need Israel to feel secure

American Jewish magazine Tikkun has turned 25. It’s covered matters related to the Middle East, from a left liberal perspective, for a long time, gradually becoming more alive to the impossibility of the two-state solution. Well, that’s my take anyway.

I was asked to write a short reflection on this important milestone and it was published this month. It’s titled, “We Don’t Need Israel to Feel Secure”:

As an atheist Jew, I’ve long believed that Judaism and Zionism must not be joined at the hip. I’ve spent time in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel and seen the effects of decades of an intolerant ideology determined to isolate and demonize the Palestinian people. Judaism should be a religion of tolerance, peace, and understanding, not nationalistic posturing. We can bring social change by telling rabbis, Jewish leaders, and teachers that Israel isn’t the Promised Land that needs blind support. If anything, it demands a stern hand and tough love to realize that diaspora Jewish support isn’t unconditional; many young Jews now share this view.

Future Jewish generations may have to imagine a world without a “strong” Israel, but they will feel safe. Anti-Semitism in the West is mostly nonexistent and post-Holocaust generations don’t need an imaginary homeland to feel secure.

When I was in Jewish Sunday school many years ago, I was taught that Jews arrived in Palestine in the late 1940s to an empty land. It was a lie. Just like being told at an Anglican school that in 1788 the British arrived in an Australia without Aborigines. I was ill-served by both myths.

Modern Jewish thinking should be alive to difference, open to dissent, and critical of authority. History has taught us the grave errors of avoiding such advice. Present-day Israel is a lesson in how not to marry democracy and decency.

one comment ↪
  • Elias

    "Judaism should be a religion of tolerance, peace, and understanding."

    "Anti-Semitism in the West is mostly nonexistent and post-Holocaust generations don’t need an imaginary homeland to feel secure/"

    You seem to think that ideals of tolerance, peace, and understanding are inherently incompatible with a Jewish state. And you seem to think that complacency about the lot of the Jewish people in the Diaspora is a good default position.

    So let me respond:

    Judaism can and should be a a religion of tolerance, peace, and understanding, but isn't always. Name me one religion that is. And the state of Israel can also be tolerant, peaceful and understanding. It's just hard to sometimes be that way, when you are surrounded by nations calling for your annihilation, when sometimes even people within your borders call for the same thing.

    As for being complacent about Anti-Semitism since it's "non-existent", I am sorry to say but the "world's longest hatred" is alive and well in virtually every corner of the world. Some times it lies dormant, but it is never to far from the surface. The same with racism in general. It will take us centuries of education, and maybe even that will not be sufficient, until we expunge this tendency from human interaction.

    Until then, I do feel secure with the existence of a Jewish state.

    As for the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it's obvious which side you are on.

    I find the issue far more complex than the "reductionist" overview so favoured by your position, i.e. Israel-Jews (the conventional type), & Zionists are bad – all their enemies are good. It's the flip side of all Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians are bad and all Israel-Jews (except for anti-Zionists), & Zionists bad.

    In order for peace to come to the Israel-Palestine (and their neighbours), both sides have to be willing to compromise, recognize each other's humanity, accept each other's right to the live in peace, and acknowledge their genuine connection to the land.

    Too many people on both sides do not – and, perhaps, sadly, may never.