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.

Sydney Morning Herald editorial endorses fence-sitting on UN Palestine vote

Perhaps we should be thankful for small mercies but such thoughts are written in a bubble, utterly removed from the fact that a two-state solution will never happen. Occupation is Israel’s only reality:

The United Nations General Assembly vote next month for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state is designed to put pressure on Israel, in a direction Israel itself says is the best solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. This is the creation of a separate state for them in the territories outside the 1967 border of Israel (with some minor land swaps). An affirmative UN vote would not produce a Palestinian state. It would signal a world impatient with the stubborn reluctance of the Israeli political right to accept this compromise in its quest for complete control of Jerusalem and more of the West Bank lands.

The vote calls on the heads and hearts of Israel’s friends, such as Australia. As the Herald reported yesterday, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd, and his department are advising that Australia should abstain from the vote. The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, may be inclined towards a vote against it. Whether this is the case, we believe Rudd’s advice is the sound course – and hardly radical – even though the various supporters of Israel in Australia seem to have lobbied intensively against it.

The decision should not be obscured by two side issues. One is Rudd’s quest for election by the UN membership to one of the rotating seats on the Security Council. A win would not be worth having if it meant casting aside the values and interests on which our foreign policy rests, which include support for a secure Israel. Nor should it be seen in the light of leadership issues between Gillard and Rudd, as something on which Gillard should assert pre-eminence. It must be a decision calculated to help advance security for Israel and to gain a place in the sun for the Palestinians.

The Labor government has already brought Australian policy back to a better balance, from which we are in an improved position to join international efforts to achieve faster progress towards peace. On returning to power under Rudd, it reverted to support for UN resolutions calling on Israel to stop expanding Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories and calling for the Geneva Conventions to apply in those occupied lands. For several years previously, the Howard government had voted against or abstained in these votes, putting Australia in the company of mini-American dependencies such as Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands. The switch put us back in better company, and we should stay there – where we are more likely to help Israel and its main backer, the United States, grasp the two-state nettle.

one comment ↪
  • mlw

    I had difficult putting my finger on why the SMH views Rudd's advice that Australia abstain as the 'sound course'. It seems the prime concern of the SMH is that a slightly less sycophantic approach puts Australia in 'better company' internationally. Apart from the implication that not slumming it with 'mini-American dependencies is just a better look, it asserts the benefit of that is to 'help Israel… grasp the two-state nettle'. This is a disingenuous claim that ignores that it is Israel, through its chosen path of international law-breaking, intransigence and bad faith in negotiations, which is the prime hindrance to the realisation of the two-state solution. The editorial does not convincingly explain how an Australian abstention will change that, nor make the argument that an abstention would be more effective than a 'yes' vote in changing Israel's position.

    The SMH doesn't bother analysing the option of supporting the resolution. The only possible reference to this option I can identify is warning that Rudd's attempt to get Security Council seat should not result in 'casting aside the values and interests on which our foreign policy rests'. I.e. the primacy of support for the U.S.

    Finally, the SMH does not consider the issue in a moral or justice context; it fails to consider broadly the legitimacy of Palestinian statehood claims. The flippancy of its reference to Palestine – that a two-state solution would: 'gain a place in the sun for the Palestinians' – is insulting.