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.

“After Zionism” reviewed in The Jordan Times

The following book review by Sally Bland of After Zionism appears in The Jordan Times:

Writing in the face of Israel’s ravenous colonisation that has negated the option of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, 14 esteemed writers, academicians and activists explore alternative solutions in this very timely and readable book. The authors are Palestinians, Israeli or American Jews, and international journalists specialising in the subject. They don’t agree on everything, but all are convinced that new thinking is needed to climb out of the stultifying box erected by years of meaningless “peace” negotiations. According to the editors, “We are connected by a desire to see peace with justice for our peoples.” (p. 10)

Ahmed Moor sets the tone: “The unacknowledged truth is that Palestine/Israel is already one country… but Apartheid’s ugly scrawl mars its surface.” (p. 17)

This reality threatens to permanently shelve Palestinian rights, while many contend that it poses a long-term danger to Israel. American Jews, who play such a pivotal role in insuring massive US support to Israel, will find it increasingly difficult to square Israeli Apartheid with their own, mainly liberal, values. As pointed out by several contributors, the Internet’s widespread exposure of Israeli crimes intensifies their dilemma. In the words of Antony Loewenstein: “The reach of the Internet strikes fear into the hearts of Zionist defenders of the Israeli state, because they’re no longer able to pressure editors or journalists to push a certain friendly angle.” (p. 191)

In the most upbeat chapter of the book, Phil Weiss tells of the awakening of Jewish progressive activists, such as Media Benjamin and Naomi Klein, upon visiting Palestine. He urges American Jews to break the unwritten “contract” with the Israeli lobby to automatically defend Israel: “We can brag of an unrivalled tradition of learning and achievement and political liberalism. Yet, we held the bag for Israeli crimes, forever. How did that happen?” (p. 173)

The challenge addressed by most of the contributors is how Palestine/Israel can be turned into a democratic state for all its citizens. Here the contributors diverge in their respective emphasis and proposals. Omar Barghouti musters a coherent argument for a secular, democratic, unitary state in historic Palestine to create “a truly promising land” (p. 209), while Ghada Karmi discusses feasibility and strategies. Jeff Halper presents several possible models, including a bi-national state that might eventually merge into a regional economic confederation. While most fault the racist exclusivity inherent in the Zionist project, Jeremiah Haber argues that this quality stems not from Zionism’s ideology but from its being embodied in a state; he argues for maintaining cultural Zionism post-Israel.

All agree that there are formidable obstacles to a just solution, but point to promising modes of action that promote an equal rights-based approach. These include non-violent popular resistance, joint Palestinian-Israeli struggle and BDS — not with the illusion that it can undermine the occupation economically, but as “a tool with which the Palestinians can highlight their moral claims to a receptive international audience”. (p. 20)

Recalling the civil rights movement, a struggle for equality will resonate with the US public far more than the struggle for a state.

Ilan Pappe revisits the Nakba to explain how its institutionalised denial in Israel is a major obstacle to justice, not least because ethnic cleansing is ongoing. In a very systematic chapter, Sara Roy points to new dynamics that are emerging as it becomes apparent that the Oslo process will never end the occupation, and the US will never pressure Israel to do so. This has pushed the Palestinian leadership to seek international legal legitimacy for the Palestinian cause. On the other hand, Saree Makdisi dismisses the seriousness of the leadership’s bid for statehood at the UN, and argues that the Palestinian people have “far more power than Mr. Abbas felt comfortable wielding at the UN… Switch the terrain”, he argues, to give the Palestinians the moral high ground. (p. 98)

Chronicling the severe difficulties facing Palestinians seeking decent housing in Israel, Jonathan Cook takes a hard look at what lies ahead if the Palestinians are to pursue a struggle for equal rights in the framework of a unitary state. His survey of land control and usage in Israel shows the need for dismantling Zionist structures. “Only a much more substantial and drastic reform — ending Israel’s Jewish character — can hope to provide Palestinian citizens with the equality they demand.” (p. 169)

These are only some of the interesting chapters in this book which will hopefully spark a broader debate, bringing in more activists in the field.

3 comments ↪
  • If Israel wants a two-state solution (or any other NEGOTIATED solution), then why does it use Jewish settler families as human shields by subsidising settlements deep inside enemy territory? (~600,000 settlers in West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/31/israe

  • Pingback: HaShoah vs Al Nakba « toolwielder()

  • Tell me anywhere in the book where there is a well thought out strategy for effecting the transition to a one state solution. Aims and objectives are always easy…it's the means that are critical, tactical and strategy. The book is almost entirely aspirational.