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.

How many times does a corporate reporter need to visit Israel to repeat its talking points?

Here we go again.

A little game; how many Western “journalists” and politicians continually visit Israel on a propaganda tour?

Answer; most of them.

In 2009 I wrote about the Sydney Morning Herald’s international editor Peter Hartcher visiting the Zionist state and being more than happy to speak to a very select collection of people, all offering a very similar message; we are under threat, we fear the Iranians, nothing about the occupation and all about repeating Israeli talking points.

Now Hartcher is back.

His paper’s front page story today:

Israel is troubled by the perception the US is an “empire of the past” and wants a resurgent America to lead a decisive confrontation with Iran, a top official has said.

“America is tested” at a pivotal moment in the history of the Middle East, said Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dan Meridor, who is also the Minister for Intelligence and Nuclear Energy.

The Arab world was watching the US closely: “They look to America. If America does not seem to be able to contain the Iranian threat, will they go with Iran?”

“This is of world-order magnitude,” he told the Herald in an interview. Israel, which depends on the US as its security guarantor, itself appears to have new doubts about US judgment.

Mr Meridor said he was “surprised” at the Obama administration’s treatment of a longstanding US ally, Egypt’s former president: “Was it necessary to immediately empower the demonstrators against him and let [Hosni] Mubarak go? It’s seen by all the allies of America in the Arab world. I don’t know where the tide of history will go and I’m not sure they know.”

“The perception, that I hope is wrong, that America is weakening is not good, but I hope that America will find a way, and I believe they can, to restore itself as the leading country and not allow those impressions spread by the Iraq war that America is an empire of the past. All this is here on the table.

“America has started wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Is it a success story or not? What happens in Pakistan? … It may be the use of power showed the limits of power.”

Mr Meridor, a senior member of the Likud party of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said the confrontation with Iran was “a decisive conflict”.

“The end of it is very important.

If the end of it is that Iran has nuclear power, it will have grave effects on world order, on balance of power, and on the Middle East.

“It may spell the end of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty regime, not only because Iran will be nuclear, but because other countries say they will need to be nuclear, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and others may do it.

“No more the responsible adults tell the kids what to do. When everybody has the bomb you can’t contain or control or interfere as America could do.”

And the lead op-ed:

Israel’s Mossad enjoys a reputation as the world’s most fearsomely effective intelligence agency, but it didn’t see the Arab uprisings coming.

“The first lesson I draw [from the uprisings] is that we should all be very humble,” says Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister responsible for intelligence and nuclear energy, Dan Meridor.

“We didn’t know,” he told the Herald. “Had you asked me the day before it happened in Egypt, I would have told you ‘no way’. Or Tunisia for that matter . . . Nobody predicted this happening in any specific way.”

Israel’s President, Shimon Peres, the ceremonial head of state, puts an optimistic face on the tumult. During a visit to Washington last week he imagined that “the moment that the Arab world will become free and open and peaceful it will be a major change in the world experience and in the annals of the Middle East”.

Surely an Israel surrounded by democracies would be a much more secure nation? One of the most striking features of the Arab ferment to date has been the fact that Israel has been irrelevant.

As Meridor points out: “What we saw in Cairo that was quite heartwarming, hopeful, promising, was that the slogans we heard were not taken from the Muslim vocabulary, they were taken from the Western vocabulary.

“You didn’t see the usual – ‘Down with America, Kill the Jews, Allahhu Akhbar [God is great]’ and all the rest. You heard words like liberty, freedom, equality, justice, an end to corruption.”

The people of the Arab world are more interested in improving their daily lives than demonising Israel, it seems.

Both pieces end with this:

Peter Hartcher is the international editor. He travelled to Israel as a guest of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce.

Well, that’s alright then. It’s clearly too much to expect that a senior journalist from a major Australian paper would actually speak to people his guests haven’t arranged him to interview. Any Palestinians? Arabs? Gazans? Those under occupation? Discussion about Israel’s growing racism problem?

This isn’t journalism; it’s akin to stenography.

4 comments ↪
  • Jarvis

    Just sent this letter to the Herald in reply. Probably too late for it to be published in tomorrow's edition, but I'll send it to the feedback section to ask for an editorial response too. Am I the only one who sees a problem with the Herald allowing Peter Hartcher and other senior writers such as Lenore Taylor  to embark on journalistic tours to Israel paid for by pro-Israel lobby groups? It is surely no coincidence that Arab and Palestinian voices are almost completely missing from both of Hartcher's pieces in today's paper ("Israel worried by 'weakening' US" and "Israeli inertia on peace may saddle state with old regrets", April 12). Prove me wrong by giving these perspectives equal weight in your next article, Peter.

  • ej

    In the old old days, Hartcher displayed a modicum of independence. To the time when he was correspondent in Japan. That's long since gone.

    How the Zio lobby thinks that Fairfax is anti-zio is difficult to fathom. Fairfax is merely less heavy-handed than Murdoch's bulldozer for the zio cause (every day at the moment, relentless, today including head gauleiter for the antipodes, Rubinstein, still banging on about support for a two-state solution which of course his organisation doesn't support).

    The rot started with Hartcher when he was sucked into the Australian American Leadership Dialogue. His role from then on was to reinforce the colonial cringe.

    Then he was sucked deeper, into association with the Lowy INstitute. Game over.

    Hartcher as unofficial Fairfax spokesperson for the US-Israeli line, recent examples:

    * 17 November 2009 putting the boot into the Goldstone report (and just back from a sponsored trip to Israel, on which AL wrote an entry here)

    * 4 May 2010 anti Turkey, given that TUrkey had now pulled the plug on its US-Israel subjection.

    * 25 May 2010 highlighting North Korea as the errant monster state over a certain clash, whereas all the inside money was on an inside job by the Yanks and the now crackpot South Korean leader, with sterling results, in that the Japanese PRime Minister was subsequently deposed and the Yanks got to keep their much reviled Okinawa military base.

    * 2 June 2010 – Iran is the problem. straight from the Israeli mouth via Hartcher

    * 22 June 2010  – PH writes glowingly of Rudd being called to account by the Zio lobby after Rudd was deemed to have wavered ever so slightly over the official Australian position regarding Israel.

    And so on, and so on.

    And this shit on the front page no less.

  • Yosi Tal

    good one Ant

  • Marilyn

    When Tom Allard went as a paid up shill he reported that the naughty arabs kept demanding things he felt they are not entitled to.

    Like food and water.