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.

Creating a faux firestorm when anybody speaks up for Palestinians

This was a story in Monday’s Murdoch Australian:

Incoming Greens MP James Parker yesterday stayed silent.

He refused to answer claims he had made inflammatory comments about Jewish people when discussing the NSW Greens’s proposed boycott of Israeli goods.

Mr Parker, who on Saturday claimed victory in the seat of Balmain in Sydney’s inner west, was quoted by online magazine New Matilda that the boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] policy supported by some Greens had made many Jewish people unreasonable, while even “progressive Jews” had failed to have a moderate response. “These Jews provide cover for extreme actions if they occur,” Mr Parker said.

“If there’s a sniff of you being critical of Israel, such Jews will attack you and cut you loose.”

Mr Parker said the BDS policy had provoked aggression among Jewish people and that during the election campaign he received hate mail, his car was vandalised and campaign signs were spray-painted with swastikas.

“One letter said I wanted to turn Balmain power station into a gas chamber and the light rail would take people there,” Mr Parker is claimed to have told New Matilda.

“Lefty Jews told me you can’t be surprised if extreme people do extreme things, but they wouldn’t come out in public and condemn it.”

The national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Paul Howes, writing in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, claimed Mr Parker denied making the statements to journalist Antony Loewenstein.

Loewenstein did not respond to The Australian’s request for comment yesterday.

The Australian has made repeated attempts to contact Mr Parker since Friday, but he has not returned calls, nor did either of the Greens’ key spokeswomen in NSW, Allison Orme and Susie Gemmell, persuade him to do so.

And a story in today’s Australian:

A second NSW Greens politician has been accused of dissembling over the party’s policy towards Israel. Influential union and ALP figure Paul Howes said newly elected state MP Jamie Parker may have misled him over inflammatory remarks about sections of the Jewish community.

Mr Parker, who narrowly won the Sydney seat of Balmain from Labor’s Verity Firth, yesterday did not deny claims he made sweeping remarks about Jews in an interview with online publication NewMatilda last week.

But Mr Howes, the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, yesterday reaffirmed to The Australian that Mr Parker had denied making the comments when the union leader confronted him about the original NewMatilda article.

Mr Howes had aimed to blast Mr Parker in an opinion piece published in the Sunday Telegraph over language he deemed “abhorrent”.

In the NewMatilda article, journalist Antony Loewenstein had quoted Mr Parker as saying the boycott, divestment and sanctions policy (BDS) against Israel supported by NSW Greens had made many Jewish people unreasonable, and even “progressive Jews” had failed to have a moderate response. “These Jews provide cover for extreme actions if they occur,” Mr Parker was reported saying in NewMatilda.

“If there’s a sniff of you being critical of Israel, such Jews will attack you and cut you loose.”

When Mr Howes called to check with Mr Parker about whether the quotes were accurate before publishing his column, Mr Parker told him they were not and he had been misquoted.

“He told me he never said it,” Mr Howes wrote in his Sunday Telegraph column.

When informed yesterday that Mr Parker had subsequently not denied making the statement, Mr Howes told The Australian: “Look, Jamie could be lying to me. I don’t know; I hope not”.

Yesterday, Loewenstein published an article in NewMatilda saying he stood by the accuracy of the quotes of Mr Parker.

“I stand by my original story 110 per cent,” he told The Australian.

Loewenstein added in his retort in NewMatilda that he had taken accurate notes of the interview and checked the quotes with the Greens MP before publishing.

“In the case of Parker, I read back his quotes to confirm what he said,” Loewenstein wrote.

“He was happy for me to publish them.”

Mr Parker refused repeated requests from The Australian to discuss the matter, but Greens spokeswoman Susie Gemmell forwarded a statement he had provided to NewMatilda.

In the statement, Mr Parker does not specifically deny the accuracy of the quotes as attributed to him by Loewenstein.

But he says: “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.”

It’s important to understand what’s happening here. This isn’t really about who said what and when. The agenda is clear; find a way to divide the Greens before they assume the balance of power in Canberra in July and try and intimidate anybody who dares speak up for Palestine.

BDS will continue. It’s growing globally and that’s the intent in Australia; crush it before it can strengthen here. But the worldwide trajectory is clear while Israel continues to grossly abuse human rights in Israel and Palestine.

  • ej

    Paul Howes is only 'influential' because the Murdoch media makes him so.

    The Murdoch media have created a self-perpetuating cult whose members reproduce loudly the designated mantras to each other, and create a foul-smelling wind that is taken for informed and honourable opinion.

  • Marilyn

    Agreed ej, Howes is right on some things but on Israel he has entirely lost the plot.

  • Peter D

    This is mostly all your fault, Antony. You should have known you were throwing James Parker under a bus by publishing those remarks of his verbatim!

    Take note for the future: A non-Jewish critic of Zionism isn't allowed to say the word "Jew" out loud in public life in the West, as a general rule. "Jewish" is okay; "Israeli" is okay; "Jew" is not okay.  


  • Kevin Charles Herber

    I bumped into Piggy Howes at an airport recently and asked him if he'd finalised his  

    ' famous top 10 hit list for the Middle East ' & also when would his ' Australian hit list be coming out, so I can check that noen of my family are on it.

    Not happy Jan was Rupert's latest columnist 'star' as he strode off muttering something which sounded a lot like 'smart runt'. I couldn't figure it out 'cos at 180cm, I'm not that small, but at least he thought I had a few brains.

  • Andrew Davies

    I wouldn't worry so much Peter, Australia is numb to real racism so I doubt the pretend racism the Zionists peddle is going to gain much traction in the community.