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.

Now why would you expect Israel to have a viable peace plan?

Israeli writer Etgar Keret – who I interviewed in Indonesia last year and found him engaging, argumentative, passionate and funny – travels to Italy and asks Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu about the Zionist state’s plans for peace with the Palestinians. Suffice to say, there is no plan:

The briefing is already drawing to a close and I half push in and stutter a question. I travel a lot in the world, I say, and hear a lot of people who talk about Israel. Some love it and some hate it. But they all describe Israel as bogged down and passive. The Palestinians can initiate a flotilla one day and a declaration to the United Nations on another, while Israel, it seems, has no plan and can only react.

The prime minister objects and says these are the kind of statements that appear in the newspaper I’m writing for, but that does not yet mean it is true and that Israel actually has a great many friends, although we like to say it’s isolated. I nod and say that without reference to the issue of our friends, it is important for me to know what the government’s peace initiative is and what the plan is that we are promoting to end the conflict with the Palestinians.

The reporters around the table convey to me mixed feelings of empathy and impatience. They look at me the way I looked at my wife 14 hours before when she asked me to give Netanyahu a note from her. I feel as if they like this strange attempt of mine to get a pertinent answer from Netanyahu to my question, but for some of them at least, it’s a shame to waste valuable time on this empty move, especially when the clock is ticking and the Piazza Navona awaits.

The only person who treats the whole thing with patience and seriously is Netanyahu. “This is an insoluble conflict because it is not about territory,” he says. “It is not that you can give up a kilometer more and solve it. The root of the conflict is in an entirely different place. Until Abu Mazen recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, there will be no way to reach an agreement.”

The reporters around the table convey to me mixed feelings of empathy and impatience. They look at me the way I looked at my wife 14 hours before when she asked me to give Netanyahu a note from her. I feel as if they like this strange attempt of mine to get a pertinent answer from Netanyahu to my question, but for some of them at least, it’s a shame to waste valuable time on this empty move, especially when the clock is ticking and the Piazza Navona awaits.

The only person who treats the whole thing with patience and seriously is Netanyahu. “This is an insoluble conflict because it is not about territory,” he says. “It is not that you can give up a kilometer more and solve it. The root of the conflict is in an entirely different place. Until Abu Mazen recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, there will be no way to reach an agreement.”

Netanyahu made similar comments at a press conference a few hours earlier, but then it sounded like lusterless, recycled spin. Now that he was sitting across from me, looking me in the eye and explaining the same thing with endless patience, it suddenly sounded like the truth. Well, not my truth, but his truth.

I continued to nudge him, saying that even if all that was right, I still didn’t understand what pragmatic plan would come out of that conclusion. Netanyahu told me right away that the practical plan for advancing the peace process is to reiterate this at every opportunity.

“You have to see the effect it has on people,” he said, smiling. “You say it and they just remain slack-jawed.”

one comment ↪
  • Kevin Herbert

    Netanyahu's monumental arrogance is a sight to behold.
    Basically, he's gauche enough to now formally tell the world that Israel will do whatever it wants 'cos it has the unqulaified backing of the far right dominated US Congress. While we all knew that was the case, to publicly state it is unbelievable, and slap in ther face for Obama & the EU's attempts to broker a solution.
    When the next 11/9 type terrorist attack occurs in the US (I'm tipping by year's end folowing Benny's announcement), the already hystreical anti-Muslim rhetoric in the lapdog US media, will have nowhere to go.
    And of course our dearly beloved Aussie Zionist stooges will remain silent……what a bunch of gutless losers. Why don't they emigrate to Israel…Australia would be a better place for their departure.