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.

On Murdoch smearing, the Greens and truth in the Middle East

My following story appears in New Matilda today:

News Ltd has had a field day over an NM story about the Greens, including claiming that we misquoted newly elected NSW Greens MP Jamie Parker. Antony Loewenstein responds

Last week, New Matilda published a story by me about the Greens and the NSW election campaign. The loud response it attracted from the corporate media was marked by misrepresentations and outright falsehoods. My story has been quoted extensively in Murdoch outlets across the country, usually without attribution. The context about which I was writing has been deliberately skewed.

The NSW election produced a stunning Labor defeat, a massive Liberal victory and an impressive Greens vote. After 26 March, the mainstream media focused largely on the decimation of Labor and supposedly poor Greens showing, reportedly due to the NSW Greens and Sydney’s Marrickville Council backing the global justice movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel to force it to abide by international law.

My piece analysed the failures and successes of the Greens campaign and the complex political realities of BDS both within the party and the wider community. Since the piece was published, the inner city seat of Balmain has been claimed by the Greens, the first lower house seat in NSW ever won by the party.

For my story I interviewed NSW Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon, Galaxy Polling head David Briggs, NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge, just retired Greens MLC Ian Cohen and now Balmain Greens MP Jamie Parker. I took detailed, accurate notes of all the interviews. In the case of Parker, I read back his quotes to confirm what he said. He was happy for me to publish them.

You can therefore imagine my surprise when I read in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph a piece by union leader Paul Howes that claimed Parker had denied making this quote, which I had attributed to him in my original piece:

“These Jews provide cover for extreme actions if they occur. If there’s a sniff of you being critical of Israel, such Jews will attack you and cut you loose.”

Again, context is important (and Howes doesn’t provide any). When Parker said this, he was referring to the silence among the local Jewish community when the Greens suffered death threats, hate calls and Nazi swastikas on their signage during the campaign because of BDS.

I stand by my article and Parker’s quotes and I have the notes to back this up.

In the days after my New Matilda piece on the Greens ran, Parker called me a few times to discuss the Middle East and BDS and did not dispute the accuracy of my article. In fact, he said he liked it and wanted it to be widely read.

In a statement to New Matilda today, Parker says:

“An article published in New Matilda last week by independent journalist Antony Loewenstein outlined my experience during the recent NSW election campaign. Certain quotes are attributed to me which do not reflect the language that I have always used in relation to the conflict in the Middle East.”

Parker does not deny the quotes. He is, however, clearly keen to distance himself from the issue. And who can blame him? News Ltd is now using it as ammunition in its stated mission to “destroy” the Greens. Again today the Australian mentions my article and the Parker quotes and tries to undermine the credibility of both the new Greens MP and me.

Parker further explained his position that was articulated in my story:

“The [New Matilda] article does reflect my belief that there is no place for bullying or intimidation in Australia’s political process, encouraged by either interested players or certain sections of the Murdoch press. The level of rhetoric and vitriol directed against the Greens — such as swastikas on our posters, hate calls and death threats — needs to be addressed and I have raised my disappointment with a range of people including members of the local Jewish community.

“I have the utmost respect for all of the groups with which I have been working but I strongly believe that there should have been a very clear condemnation of the hate-filled language which included the Daily Telegraph comparing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) motion by Sydney’s Marrickville Council with the murderous rampage of Kristallnacht across Austria and Germany in 1938. We have seen this inflammatory and extremist language continue yesterday with comments by Murdoch columnist Andrew Bolt on ABC’s Insiders which compared my election in Balmain to the rise of the Nazis in 1933. It is time to end the extremist language and focus on peaceful initiatives that will promote justice for all.”

Witness the lack of corporate media outrage when a senior Murdoch columnist suggests that the Greens are akin to Nazis. And then consider the manufactured debate over Parker’s claims that some Jews are happy to let Nazi-analogies go to the keeper because BDS and the Greens are the bigger enemy. Far too often Jews give supposed Israel-backers a pass despite their often dubious alliances with racist elements.

It is not anti-Semitic to talk about Jewish power, the Zionist lobby and overwhelming pressure from the political and media elites to not discuss Palestinian rights or Israeli racism. Do so, though, and you will be smeared and defamed.

The last few days has seen an avalanche of stories in Murdoch’s Australian attacking the Greens and Lee Rhiannon and the supposed “extremism” of the party. These have all been opinion pieces dressed up as news. They are an attempt to send a message to anybody thinking of speaking critically of Israel to expect intense bullying. I have experienced this for years myself but the attacks have only made me stronger. I don’t envy Jamie Parker’s new job as the state’s first and only Greens MP.

4 comments ↪
  • Kevin Charles Herber

     

     

    Go Jamie Parker…you have the support of hundred of thousands of your fellow Aussies who support the BDS.

  • Kevin Charles Herber

    So if Fiona Byrne lost the Marrickville seat becuase of her support for the BDS, as the far right Aussie Zionists claim, the the voters of Balmain must obviously support the BDS, as Jamie Parker's views on Israel are well-known.

  • ej

    Remember the closing down of the Al-Nakba exhibition at the local Leichhardt  library in May 2008.

    This is the shit that Parker has to deal with in his bailiwick.

    The global inevitably has a local presence.

  • SnakeOil Salesman

    Don't be silly Leftards

    Jamie Parker only got elected because he promised Horny Goat Weed and Cholestaguard at a special once in a life time discount sale price of $9.99!!! to anyone who'd vote for him.