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.

Overland Journal tackles “After Zionism”

The following review of After Zionism by Jeff Sparrow appears in Overland Journal:

After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine
Antony Loewenstein and Ahmed Moor (eds)

In the media, particularly in Australia, the ‘two-state solution’ to the Palestine/Israel crisis – that is to say, the proposition that peace depends upon the creation of a new Palestinian state alongside Israel – serves as an identifier more than an actual idea. If you pay lip service to ‘two states’, you are a responsible, serious person. If you don’t, well, you aren’t.

Julia Gillard supports two states, as does Tony Abbott. Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, David Cameron and just about every other Western leader: all agree this is the only realistic and reasonable basis on which the crisis might be resolved.

Yet if a two-state solution were ever realistic or reasonable, it’s almost certainly not now, because Israeli settlers have relentlessly continued their colonisation of the land out of which this putative Palestinian state might be carved: half a million of them, along with a huge network of roads and housing complexes and other infrastructure, are now ensconced in the Occupied Territories. Without the removal of the settlements, any new state would necessarily be a Bantustan more grotesque than those established under Apartheid – and there’s no prospect whatsoever of an Israeli government carrying out mass evictions.

In practice the two-state solution functions increasingly as a rhetorical gesture, an irritable reflex response by defenders of the status quo. The ritualised commitment to two states works like Augustine’s famous prayer: ‘Make me chaste – but not yet’. The very implausibility of the proposal is in fact its point. One can buttress one’s liberal credentials by bloviating about the necessity for a Palestinian state – and then, because that’s not on the agenda, dutifully join the chorus defending Tel Aviv’s latest atrocity.

The importance of After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine, a new collection of essays edited by Antony Loewenstein and Ahmed Moor, is that it reorients a topsy-turvy discussion.

The mainstream consensus about Palestine makes the acceptance of ethnically defined states – nations that consciously privilege some citizens over others on the basis of their ethnicity or religious beliefs – the political default.

Now, of course, ethnic chauvinism was the basis for most nationalisms in the early modern period but few people today would accept its premises in other contexts today. Australia and the US were also colonial settler states but no-one – at least, no-one of any moral integrity – looks at the dispossession of the native Americans or Indigenous Australians as policies to be defended, let alone continued.

Yet, as Jonathan Cook notes, ‘since Israel’s creation more than six decades ago, members of the Palestinian minority have been forced to live in a self-declared Jewish state that systematically discriminates against them – a fact that even Israel leaders are increasingly prepared to concede, though they have failed to take any meaningful action to correct such injustice. Poverty among the Palestinian minority exists at a rate four times higher than among Jewish citizens, proper up by a system of segregation in education.’

Even more tellingly, Loewenstein quotes Peter Beinart’s explanation of what his defence of Israel entails.

‘I’m not asking [Israel] to allow Palestinians who were forced out (or fled) in 1948 to return to their homes,’ Beinart says. ‘I’m not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I’m actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state.’

Because Beinart, the leading representative of liberal Zionism in the US, has been grappling honestly with these issues, he spells out what most commentators are afraid to say: the fundamental illiberalism upon which the two-state consensus rests. In no mainstream debate other than Israel/Palestine has the notion of equal rights been so systemically redefined as bad thing.

The Zionist colonial project was based on expectations from a different age, taking for granted that homicidal anti-Semitism lurked ineradicably in the West, so that Jewish people would be relentlessly persecuted unless they lived under a Jewish state.

Those assumptions were wrong.

In the developed world, anti-Semitism has become an ideology of a crackpot fringe. And has Israel become a place of safety, a magnet for Jews the world over? On the contrary. Most Jews in the West have no intention of moving. Why would they? Omar Barghouti quotes former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, about Israel: ‘Few of us know any other existential reality apart from our unrelenting war with everyone, all the time and over all issues.’

By contrast, the underlying assumptions of the one-state solution are much more compatible with contemporary democratic sensibilities. Barghouti puts it like this: the argument for ‘a secular, democratic unitary state in historic Palestine … is the most just and morally coherent solution to this century-old colonial conflict, primarily because it offers the greatest hope for reconciling the ostensibly irreconcilable – the inalienable rights of the indigenous Palestinian people, particularly the right to self determination, and the acquired rights of the colonial settlers to live in peace and security, individually and collectively, after ridding them of their colonial privileges.’

In other words, the one-state argument is not, as some Zionist apologists suggest, about driving Jews into the sea. It’s a position – or, rather, a range of positions, since there are different versions of the argument – predicated on the notion that people with different ethnic and religious identities can, in fact, live together, even after the process of decolonisation.

The obvious example is South Africa. For years, defenders of apartheid told the world that majority rule meant that whites would be massacred by blacks. They’d lose their culture, their identity, their very lives. Apartheid might have been ugly but it was necessary in pre-emptive self-defence – or so the argument went.

South Africa today might not be perfect but apartheid nonetheless came to an end without a hint of the reprisals and massacres that white racists prophesised. So why not in Israel?

The various essayists in After Zionism don’t put forward a consensus. Their differing positions as to how a one-state solution might be achieved and what it would look like hint at the difficulties ahead. But they offer at least glimpses of a way forward.

Two states, by contrast, seems less and less like a solution and more and more like a roadblock.

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