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 Obama, AIPAC, occupation, revolutions and the status-quo

So much discussion about the latest elaborate dance between the US under Barack Obama and Israel. In many ways, little has changed over the years, as Washington occasionally talks tough with Israel but then never does anything more. Words are cheap in the Middle East, especially as the occupation deepens every day. And, as if most Muslims see America being on the side of the democratic angels in the Arab Spring.

Akiva Eldar in Haaretz:

Appearing before the annual conference of AIPAC, the American pro-Israel lobby, is what all candidates for president of the United States dream about. It’s their big chance to attract the Jewish vote and Jewish contributions. It’s the setting where they can reap the benefits of declarations of loyalty to Israel, elegantly bypassing anything that might rile supporters. That’s where, 16 years ago, Republican candidate Bob Dole announced a legislative initiative, at an inopportune moment, to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in one of the low points in the peace process.

No American president or presidential candidate has ever told this large Jewish audience of supporters of Israel the truth. Until yesterday, that is. Obama did not go to the AIPAC conference to iron out differences between him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He went there to settle misunderstandings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon used to liken Israel’s participation in negotiations on the future of the territories to cattle being led through the corral to the slaughterhouse. When Netanyahu returns home, he will have to decide once and for all if he is ready to lose the support of an American president who yesterday went into the lion’s den or enter the corral of negotiations that in the end, and perhaps even from the beginning, will threaten him with political slaughter. Netanyahu’s choice not to attend yesterday’s convention session may indicate which direction he will choose.

Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic:

For decades, Israel has been a bipartisan cause on Capitol Hill. It will remain so for a while, but Netanyahu is, through his pedantic and pinched behavior, helping to weaken Israel’s standing among Democrats. Why is this so important? Because Israel has no friends left in the world except for the United States (and in fairer weather, Canada, Australia and Germany). As it moves toward a confrontation with Iran, it needs wall-to-wall support in America. You would think that Netanyahu, who is sincere in his oft-stated belief that Iran poses quite possibly the greatest danger Israel has ever faced, would be working harder than he is to ensure Democratic, and presidential, support, for this cause.

Ahdaf Soueif in the Guardian:

This wasn’t slipping poison into the honey; it was smearing chemical sweeteners on to toxic pellets. Barack Obama listed what he sees as his country’s “core interests” in my country Egypt and my region; his country’s “core principles” governing how it will act towards us, and his policies to promote US interests within the frame of US principles. Let’s translate the US president’s description of his “core interests in the region” into effects on the ground:

“Countering terrorism” has implicated (at least) Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the US’s extraordinary rendition programme, turning our governments into torturers for hire and consolidating a culture of security services supremacy and brutality that is killing Syrian protesters today and manifests itself in Egypt as a serious counter-revolution.

“Stopping the spread of nuclear weapons” highlights consistent US double standards as Arab nuclear scientists are murdered, the US threatens Iran, and Israel happily develops its illicit arsenal.

“Securing the free flow of commerce” has meant shoving crony capitalism down our throats, bribing governments to sell our national assets and blackmailing us into partnerships bad for us.

“Supporting Israel” has led to land, resources and hope being stolen from Palestinians while Egypt becomes their jailer and dishonest broker, losing its credibility and self-respect.

Obama has all the information above; he knows that Hosni Mubarak’s dedication to delivering US “core interests” is why the Egyptian millions demanded his departure, why Tahrir proclaimed him an “agent of America and Israel”, and why he is now under arrest.

The blame is not all with America. We had a regime that was susceptible, that became actively complicit; assiduously finding ways to serve US and Israeli interests – and ruin us. But: we got rid of it. Peaceably, with grace and within the law. We Got Rid of It.

So when Obama says, “We will continue to do” the things described above, it’s a challenge. When he adds, “with the firm belief that America’s interests are not hostile to people’s hopes; they are essential to them” – it’s obfuscation and an insult to every citizen across the world – including Americans – who followed our revolutions with empathy and with hope.

Joseph Massad in Al-Jazeera English:

The problem with US policy in the Arab world is not only its insistence on broadcasting credulous US propaganda – easily fed to Americans, yet with few takers elsewhere in the world – but also that it continues to show a complete lack of familiarity with Arab political culture and insists on insulting the intelligence of most Arabs, whom it claims to address directly with speeches such as Mr Obama’s.

Opposition to the United States and Israel in fact is something espoused by the peoples of the Arab world, not by their leaders, who have been insisting for decades that the US and Israel are the friends of Arabs. Indeed the people of the region have been the only party that insisted that US policies and domination in the region and constant Israeli aggressions are what make these two countries enemies of the Arab peoples, while Arab rulers and their propaganda machines insisted on diverting people’s anger toward other imagined enemies, which the US conjured up for the region, while making peace with Israel.

Obama’s attempt to deny the hatred that Arabs feel towards the United States and Israel because of the actions of these two countries is nothing short of the continued refusal of the United States and Israel (not of Arabs) to take responsibility for their own actions by shifting the blame for the horrendous violence they have inflicted on the region onto their very victims. When Obama and Israel call on Arabs to take responsibility for the state of the region and not blame the US and Israel for it, what they are essentially doing is to refuse to take responsibility for what they have inflicted on Arabs.

Arabs have clearly taken responsibility and have been trying to remove the dictators that the US and Israel have supported for decades – and which they continue to support. The only parties refusing to take responsibility here are the United States and Israel. Obama’s speech, sadly, continues this intransigent tradition.

5 comments ↪
  • It's a shame that a politician who I look up to would ignore the obvious human rights violations by Israel. It's really a shame that apartheid still exists in this world and I sincerely hope that U.S. policies to diplomacy in the Middle East developing into something more peaceful.

    It is true that Hamas is terrible. But in my mind, Obama needs to bring the situation between these two states into perspective and see the tracks of trot committed.

  • We all want peace. But we have no ONE to make peace with! We want peace so bad we have allowed terrorists to replace yiddin in Gaza knowing that it would be a thorn.unfortunately our drive to make peace is so strong we can't bear to be honest with ourselves, and we are prepared to commit suicide rather than admit peace is unattainable. Its a reality even I wish changes.

  • Kevin Herbert

    Employment Experts:

    Hamas consists mainly of Palestinians radicalised by more than 60 years of violent oppression by Israel & the US. I would be a member of a Hamas-style group if my society had been brutalised for so long.

    Remember, Hamas will only recognise Israel if its returns to the 1967 borders. The Zionist disinformation on this fact appears every other day in Australian media.

  • Reality Check

    Hamas has said almost daily they will never recognize Israel

    Antisemites who need to always blame Israel are the only ones who deny this

  • Hmm

    Kevin Herbert, you are proven wrong by Hamas itself. Today Mahmoud Zahar said that not only should Israel go back to its (indefensible) 1949-1967 armistace lines with Jordon, but that Israel should go back further to its 1948 lines which were even more utterly indefensible.
    The link is http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=2…. Hamas has no intention of ever recognising Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

    Hamas and the Palestinians are not radicalised by Israel. Hamas and the Palestinians are radicalised by extremist theological preachers, who preach hate and pray for the end of the Jews. They are radicalised by hate filled school textbooks that teach that Israel should be erased from the map.