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.

What I said last night in Marrickville backing BDS and Palestine

Here’s an audio recording of my speech. The quality ain’t great (and I know it was recorded by many people so hopefully other audio and video coming soon):

Here’s the ABC Radio AM story this morning on last night’s proceedings. The journalist interviewed me (but this wasn’t included in the final story…oh the shame!) but one of my comments made it into the piece:

TONY EASTLEY: It’s unusual that a local council should get involved with world affairs, especially something as fraught as the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

But the inner-city Marrickville Council in Sydney created a storm of controversy when, last December, it adopted a proposal to boycott Israeli goods and services.

But now the council has had a change of heart and last night voted against supporting the boycott.

Michael Edwards has this report.

COUNCIL LEADER: Order please, order please!

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Planning approvals and petitions for park benches are usually debated at Marrickville Council meetings, but last night world peace was on the agenda.

COUNCIL MEMBER: This is the example of decent people taking a stand for justice, human rights and international law.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: After months of controversy, the council’s decision to place a ban on Israeli products was up for debate.

The meeting dragged on for four hours and 30 people spoke on the issue.

Some powerful emotions surfaced.

COUNCIL MEMBER 3: I support the Palestinians, I support their right in everything, and I went…

COUNCIL LEADER: Order please, order!

COUNCIL MEMBER 4: There is no one in here, I’m sure, that does not want peace in the Middle East or everywhere else in the world, but if we continue to separate and carry that baggage to separate, they will never be appeased.

COUNCIL MEMBER 5 [This is me!]: There are not two equal sides in this conflict, there is an occupier and an occupied.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Eventually after much vitriol and name calling from the public gallery, the majority of councillors voted to end the council’s support for the ban.

There are claims the Labor Party pressured its members on the Marrickville Council to withdraw their support for the boycott.

Marrickville’s Mayor, Fiona Byrne staked a lot of political capital on supporting it. It may have cost her the seat of Marrickville in last month’s state election. It also made her the focus of a lot of media attention, not all of it favourable.

FIONA BYRNE: We have created a little egg which is support for the plight of the Palestinian people and a sledgehammer is being used to break that.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Even though she lost the vote, Fiona Byrne says she doesn’t regret supporting the boycott.

FIONA BYRNE: Certainly we have put BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) on the national agenda, whatever that means.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Many opposed to the boycott say it’s just not the place of a local council to weigh into international politics.

But there were many Palestinians among those watching the debate. They say the boycott would be an effective method of protest.

Samah Sabawi is a Palestinian human rights activist.

SAMAH SABAWI: There is a lot of support and there is a lot of interest in the boycott, divestments and sanctions campaign and it is a growing campaign and this is just the beginning in Australia. I don’t think that this is a loss, in fact I think it really has put BDS on the agenda and it’s put it in newspapers and people are talking about it and we’re getting lots of questions about what it is, so it’s an educational opportunity.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: But many among Marrickville’s Jewish community say they’re relieved the boycott isn’t proceeding.

Uri Windt is a spokesman for the Inner-west Jewish community.

URI WINDT: The nature of the global boycott is universal and has no end point or political demand that can possibly met. That leads you to the conclusion that it is so broad and so universal as to be distinctly hostile to Israel or the Jewish people per se.

That is not a way in which to advance the cause of the Palestinian people.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies was unavailable for comment due to the festival of Passover.

In a statement, it says it’s against the boycott and a reversal of it would be a welcome victory for commonsense.

TONY EASTLEY: Michael Edwards with that report.

one comment ↪
  • Brilliant short talk, well done. I'd be proud to be jewish if I was jewish.