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.

News flash; some Australian politicians see Palestinians as humans

The following statement was just released by the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Palestine at the conclusion of the delegation’s Middle East visit:

The Parliamentary Friends of Palestine study tour arrived in Palestine on 17 April and has been here for eight days, visiting the West Bank, Gaza and Israel. It has been an informative and rewarding experience.

We were given a very warm welcome by the people of Palestine and we are grateful for the hospitality and friendship that has been shown to us.

We have met with Palestinian leaders, religious representatives, NGOs, academics, United Nations representatives and we visited Australian development projects.

In addition, the members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group met with current and previous Israeli Knesset Members and Israeli civil society organizations.

We appreciate Australia’s long-standing and bipartisan foreign policy commitment to a secure and independent Palestinian state existing side-by-side with a secure and independent Israel.

Australia is delivering support for Palestine through 4 main pathways:

1. A 5 Year Funding Agreement between Australia and the Palestinian Authority via the World Bank Palestinian Reform and Development Program Trust Fund for the building of transparent, accountable government institutions.

2.    Direct aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinian refugees.

3.    Long-term funding for Australian aid agencies working with Palestinian civil society on a range of projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

4.    Education funding through the Australian Leadership Award Fellowships and Australian Post-Graduate Scholarships

The Delegation learned first-hand about the importance of resolving the Final Status Issues of Borders, Security, Settlements, Jerusalem, Water and Refugees.

Our group has visited both the West Bank and Gaza and has seen first-hand the difficulties experienced by Palestinians in their daily lives under occupation; from checkpoints, closures, home demolitions; settlements; the separation wall; and the permit system; as well as the crippling effect of the blockade on Gaza.

It has been instructive to hear first hand from Palestinian farmers about the severe economic and social effects on families and communities, of losing significant farming land to settlements and the Wall, and to then have access to their remaining land severely restricted through the system of permits.

We were told of the lack of access to water, severely impacting Palestinian communities.

Young Palestinian students explained to us the difficulty of crossing multiple checkpoints in order to attend university.

At Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem and the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, the group met with Palestinian women with breast cancer who are experiencing difficulty accessing treatment.

Statistics show that the death rate for breast cancer within Gaza and the West Bank, stands at 70%, some 30% higher than in the rest of the world.

We will return to Australia with energy and determination to inform our parliamentary colleagues and our communities about the situation as we experienced it on the ground. We look forward to further developing the relationship between our parliaments and peoples.

Palestinians and their President Mahmoud Abbas with whom we met yesterday, have reaffirmed their commitment to peace and their readiness for statehood. We know that ordinary people in Israel also want peace and security.

We sincerely appreciate the support provided by the Palestinian Authority, the Australian Representative Office in Ramallah, the Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv, and the General Delegation of Palestine in Australia.

4 comments ↪
  • Thanks for posting this Antony.

    It certainly is a welcome change of fresh air.

    I would be interested to know which MPs are members of the Australian Parlimentary Friends Of Palestine, and who participated in this trip.

    It seems like the political landscape in the Middle East is shifting very rapidly.

    The news today that Egypt is going to permanently re-open the Rafah crossing into Gaza (pretty much closed since mid 2006) has enormous knock on effects.

    Especially coming on the back of the agreement between Fatah & Hamas also announced this week.

    We have published a good analysis of this here:

    Palestinian unity: dividends and discontents

    http://muslimvillage.com/2011/04/30/palestinian-u

    We are certainly living in interesting times.

    Regards

    Ahmed

  • Marilyn

    Ah yes, maybe some of the more racist zionists in our parliament who maunder on and on about the great Aussies spirit forged in two world wars could go to the war memorial and visit the site for Palestine.

    My grandfather was there for 3 years and was almost murdered by some lunatic zionist farmer and saved by a Palestinian man.

    He loved Palestine and the Palestinians until the day he died.  He hated zionists with a great passion, he did make friends with some jewish farmers he rather liked.

    My grandfather was a farmer, that is why they got on well.

    Then the zionist shills could go and visit the war memorial for Israel.

    Oops, we don't have one.

  • Aaron

    I'd also be interested to know which politician are members of the Australian Parlimentary Friends Of Palestine.

  • Marilyn

    I think Sussan Ley and Joe Hockey are and Albanese used to be.