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.

Listen hard to the voice of an Israeli who embraces true democracy

Earlier this week I met and spent time with the remarkable Miko Peled, an Israeli/American whose positions on the Middle East place him in that rare Jewish space; seeing Jews and Palestinians equally.

From yesterday‘s Canberra Times:

His father was an Israeli general in the 1967 war and his niece was killed by Palestinian suicide bombers in 1997, but Miko Peled – a peace activist in Australia for a national speaking tour – is fighting to end what he calls the apartheid state of Israel.

In Canberra last week, he said if Palestine succeeded at the United Nations at gaining statehood, the ability to negotiate with Israel and to have greater international support would be much greater.

”I argue for a secular democracy in Israel,” he said. Currently, different law applies to different people.

A secular democracy would give each person one vote so everyone could travel and work freely, he said.

His comments were slammed yesterday as appalling by a spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in Canberra.

She said it was easy for Mr Peled, who lives in the US, to make such comments. He did not face missiles being shot from Gaza.

”This is our reality,” she said.

She said Israel was not an apartheid state and that 20per cent of its population were Arabs who had full rights. ”My neighbour is a Muslim.”

Mr Peled said the 5.5million Palestinians could not continue to be ignored by the 5.5million Israelis.

”I think it is inevitable that the transformation from an apartheid state to a democracy will come.” Within the next five to 10 years there would have to be a change.

The embassy’s spokeswoman said Israel’s official policy for peace was a two-state solution. ”We know we will have to give up land.”

It was possible up to 300,000 people would have to be moved from the West Bank, she said. But first, the Palestinians must have a sincere willingness to negotiate, she said. ”This is a huge thing. Most of the pain will come from our side.”

Mr Peled said Israel had almost 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners, most of whom had never thrown a rock or touched a gun.

He said a new generation of Palestinian leadership was committed to non-violent resistance. It was this – not the apartheid wall – that had brought most violence to an end.

But non-violent protests were met with brutal violence by Israel’s army, he said.

On the death of his sister’s daughter by suicide bombers, Mr Peled said, ”It was very clear the culprits were not the Palestinians.”

The two young men who had chosen to kill themselves had come from a place of despair in which they had been placed by Israel, he said.

When asked if she had wanted retaliation, his sister responded that no mother would want the same thing to happen to another mother.

Given his family’s background, why was he now supporting the Palestinians? ”Supporting the Palestinian cause is the right thing to do,” Mr Peled said.

The Palestinians had been the victims of ethnic cleansing and had been waiting for some kind of recognition for more than 60 years.

”I think for people of conscience and people who love peace, there is no question here that supporting the Palestinians is the right thing to do,” he said.

From being a very patriotic Zionist, he had learned through a very painful process of the Palestinian plight. That process had begun in the US when he participated in Jewish-Palestinian dialogue groups.

”I started hearing stories I could not believe. Stories of displacements, stories of massacres … [which] prompted me to make a choice.”

3 comments ↪
  • kevinherbert1

    All power to Miko Peled, a truly decent & brave human being.

    He certiainly shows the ' Israel at any cost' apartheid Aussie Jews for the moral cowards they are.

  • R.Ross

    He is right. At this point in time one secular state is the only outcome and the actions of Israel and its supporters have made it so. The sad thing is that at this point in time there is still a small window of opportunity which would allow Israel to survive….as most would like. But it seems unlikely Israelis will use it and that means one state with equal rights for all, which, given more than half a century under the Israeli boot and a Palestinian majority, it will be called Palestine. Perhaps it is as it should be given that Jews, Christians and Muslims lived peacefully together in Palestine before the country was colonised by the Zionists. Although perhaps Canaan would be a compromise and poetic justice given that before Palestine there was Canaan and both suffered because of followers of Judaism.

  • ¿Why do more Zionists turn into anti-Zionists than vice versa?