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.

Engaging Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish

Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish is a disarming figure. Born in Gaza and living for years in Israel – he’s now in Canada with his children – his recent tour to United States unleashed a tirade of abuse by The Angry Arab (“he is not very bright” etc).

After spending time with the Dr yesterday here in Jaipur, India at the international literature festival as well as conducting a formal in-conversation with him, it’s hard not to be impressed with his determination and passion. And he’s no apologist for the Zionist state.

He regularly speaks in platitudes, against hatred and violence and in support of peace. During our public talk, I pushed him on some key points. He appeared ambivalent about boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as a way for Israelis to recognise they had to “change” their behaviour (he neither supported it nor directly opposed it). He seemed to have no problem with a one-state solution though his ideal would be a two-state equation. He didn’t believe in talking about “them” and “us” but “we”, a joint existence between Israelis and Palestinians. Such thinking makes a two-state solution hard to imagine. He talked strongly about the reality of occupation in Gaza and the West Bank. He dislikes the major Palestinian parties though says both the PA and Hamas are from the people.

In his book, I Shall Not Hate, he includes a photo with himself and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak over a decade ago. These days, he can’t even get the Israelis to apologise for killing his kids. “They sent me a letter saying my children were ‘collateral damage’. They were not objects but human beings. This is not acceptable.” He is now suing Israel “because I have no choice, what else can I do?”

Abuelaish cried throughout our session when talking about his children, their loss and how he avoids hating those who murdered them. His Muslim faith helps him. The audience – hundreds of people, mainly Indians and foreigners – were visibly moved and many sobbed with him. I had to hold back tears.

But the Dr is clearly seen as a threat to the Israeli image. Once welcomed into the Zionist state, allowed to work there and move amongst Jews, these days he seems to feel more pity for them. “Even when I was working in Israel, I met very few people who really wanted to understand what us Palestinians were going through.”

I spoke to an Israeli here last night about the session and she said she had felt almost frustration with his performance. But when we discussed why, she revealed that it was simply because she found it hard to understand how he didn’t have more anger towards Israel than he appeared to have. We wondered if he was almost exploiting his children by constantly travelling the world and speaking about their deaths. But we agreed not; for him, it seems to a message that Israelis and Palestinians can live together, if only the politicians left the equation.

I asked the Dr what happens if Israel continues on its current fascist path and increases the pressure on civil society and Palestinians. What happens if more Israeli Jews just don’t care about their Arab brothers and sisters. Surely then, I argued, BDS is really the only way forward. He agreed.

He welcomed the warm response he is receiving across the US during his current book tour. He said that the Jewish Diaspora had to stop the “blindness” towards Israel and “open their hearts”. He believed that many American Jews were doing just that.

Although Elie Wiesel endorses his book – a curious choice of a man who has spent a lifetime caring about many human rights abuses except Israeli oppression – Abuelaish sends a powerful message. Not because I completely agree with everything he says – personally, I don’t see how Israel will ever shift unless it feels serious economic and psychological pain – but hearing an intelligent and articulate Palestinian remains all too rare in the Zionist defending Western media.

4 comments ↪
  • MERC

    Maybe for accuracy's sake his book should be called 'I Shall Not Hate the Israelis, but I Loathe the PA & Hamas'. I'm afraid I agree with the Angry Arab.

  • Ramtin

    A Dr. who says that his responsiblity is towards the whole humanity and not to a territory (by which he means Gaza strip). But then he has a 5 year contract to work in Canada!!!

    He signs a contract to work in a specific territory (Canada) with specific borders for five full years and considers his audience fools who believe his foolish argument. 

    Let's make it clear Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish will work for any "territory" "City" "Country" that pays him better be it US, Canada, Saudi…

  • Shari Delisle

    Dr. Abuelaish has given us a powerful testament to the enduring triumph of love over hate.  The comments we see here are a testament to fear over faith — faith in the goodness that can prevail if we honor one another.  Dr. A. is using his unthinkable loss to create and stands as a wonderful role model to Hamas and the Israelis leadership.  We are all waking up by fits and starts to the futility and ignorance of violence and hatred.  Bless you Dr. Abuelaish and all of us, most especially the haters.

  • DianneAM

    Thank you Antony for your article, which I have just come across.

    Reading a few of the above comments, how sad is it that we are wary and cannot begin to understand a person's love for humanity and a rejection of the fear and insanity that prevails in our world. Dr Abuelaish's plea for mutual human respect needs to be heard and his belief that giving women a voice is the best basis for optimism in the Middle East is worth considering – what have we to lose?

    I was moved to hear his story at the Sydney Writer's Festival. I was also taken by your powerful interaction with the doctor; I can only hope that discussions such as these and the doctor's powerful and moving book I Shall Not Hate, begin to let the light through the crack.

    Many thanks Antony for all your work.

    Dianne