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.

When “liberal Zionists” slam BDS, you know moral compass is lost

What a sad sight. After months and months of the Australian Murdoch press, major political parties and the Zionist establishment shamefully suggesting that activists who back BDS against Israel are akin to Nazis, a supposedly “liberal Zionist” group, The Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS), releases a statement today and makes exactly the same comparison.

If evidence was needed of the moral bankruptcy of liberal Zionism – desperately holding onto the racist dream of a Jewish state – and the collapse of understanding the difference between right and wrong and wishing to be still accepted by the Jewish mainstream, this is it.

No wonder liberal Zionists globally are (largely) so uncomfortable with BDS; it forces them to face the truth of having backed Israel for many years and believed the delusion of a two-state solution while apartheid bubbled away in the occupied territories.

Here’s the AJDS in its all dirty glory:

The AJDS deplores some of the recent Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) protests such as those targetting the Israeli-owned Max Brenner store in Melbourne and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra’s prom concert in London. The tactic of angry confrontation used by the protesters is antithetical to anyone concerned about finding a just solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

The protests are run by people from doctrinaire ultra-left organisations whose disruptive, angry and aggressive tactics give no dignity to the cause of justice for the people of Palestine. Their tactics also serve to interfere in good-faith efforts between people from the Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian communities to conduct their causes in a civil and respectful manner, given the difficulty of trying to build positive relationships.

Despite protestations to the contrary, the tactic of blockades and chanting is all too resonant with anti-Jewish activities in Europe during the 1930s. It can only be concluded from their actions that they deliberately wish to cause distress to Jews (in their parlance, Zionists).

They see this as a form of political retribution that is due because of the pain experienced by colonized or exiled Palestinians. We believe this to be a totally wrong tactic because Jews as much as Palestinians are key to change and conflict resolution. A supporter of Palestinian rights might better seek to engage Jews without stereotyping their affiliation or politics, rather than alienating them.

In addition, the use by local BDS protesters of slogans such as, “from the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free” – captured on video – also demonstrates that they have attached themselves to the most radical and uncompromising position possible, one that rejects UN resolutions adopted over the years. This is despite the fact that the BDS movement claims not to advocate a particular case for future political relations.

It is interesting that Australians for Palestine – which takes an uncompromising view on BDS – does not support these tactics and has said that “Actions aimed at disrupting businesses, aggravating customers or challenging police authority are detrimental to our aims”.

2 comments ↪
  • MikeInBrixton

    As someone who was part of the disruption at the IPO concert I deplore the mud-slinging of AJDS.

    1. Protests against Israeli institutions, like the IPO, promoting 'Brand Israel' are protests against the political actions of a state; Nazi boycotts were essentialist campaigns against Jews qua Jews. I am sad that AJDS are unable to see this simple distinction.

    2. The physical aggression and hysterical chanting came from audience members not from the protesters.

    3. The IPO is not neutral it proclaims its partnership with the IDF and performs to raise the morale of troops enforcing and illegal and dehumanising occupation.

    4. BDS is not an invention of 'people from doctrinaire ultra-left organisations' it is a response to a call from a broad range of Palestinian civil society organisations. They see it as the external counterpoint to the mass internal non-violent civil society action against the occupation. We have tried lobbying MPs, writing to embassies and newspapers and the occupation continues and intensifies. BDS is a tactic for announcing that this is not seen as acceptable in counties of the 'democratic west' that Israel aspires to be part of.

  • Aaron

    BDS and civil rights (remember the Victorian Police arrested 19 people at a previous rally for no good reason) rally tomorrow night in Melbourne: http://boycottisrael19.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/y

    AJDS can complain all they like. No doubt 10 years ago they were wringing their hands asking 'where is the Palestinian Ghandi?' Well, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions are tried and true non-violent tactics.

    Brenner's parent company provide direct support to the IDF – which the Murdoch press seem unable to honestly state in their coverage.

    But who cares? Hundreds of thousands of Australians (maybe millions) have read about the Palestinian BDS campaign for the first time ever, thanks to Murdoch's ridiculous coverage. These Australian will be aware of Israel's slaughter in Gaza 2008/2009, the siege on Gaza and Israel attacking the Free Gaza Flotilla in international waters in 2010, killing 9 human rights activists. I trust the majority will put 2 and 2 together and come up with 4, despite the dishonest hyperbole.

    It's much more than local BDS campaigners could have achieved on our own. It took the anti-apartheid campaign more than 30 years to achieve it's goals in South Africa. I predict much less for the anti-apartheid campaign for Palestine.