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.

Chomsky supports BDS against Israeli illegality

Following 10 days of daily coverage in The Australian of Dr Jake Lynch from Sydney University supporting a boycott against Israeli universities, the last two days have seen more letters published.


On what basis does the University of Sydney lend institutional support to a group with a guiding objective of boycotting Jewish business and cultural institutions?

In case university leaders are interested, even that virulently pro-Palestinian, Noam Chomsky (cited by Jake Lynch to refute claims of anti-Jewish racism at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies), considers the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement with its boycott of Israeli universities as pure anti-Semitism, aimed at the destruction of Israel.

Chomsky further characterises the BDS movement as inimical to the interests of and lacking any genuine support from the Palestinian people. Perhaps, on this issue, the peace centre should heed the views of the winner of its own 2011 Sydney peace prize?

Whatever may occur within hearts and minds at the peace centre, the university must swiftly dissociate itself from anti-Semitic activists in its midst. Their conduct damages the reputation of a great institution.

James Miller, Woolloomooloo, NSW


I was surprised to read a letter to the editor of The Australian claiming that I regard the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement’s tactics targeting Israel as “pure anti-Semitism, aimed at the destruction of Israel” and that I said BDS efforts are “inimical to the interests of and lacking any genuine support from the Palestinian people” (Letters, 14/12).

These tactics have enormous support among Palestinians, and the charge of anti-Semitism should be dismissed with disdain.

When Human Rights Watch “calls on the US and European Union member states and on businesses with operations in settlement areas to avoid supporting Israeli settlement policies that are inherently discriminatory and that violate international law”, it is advocating BDS tactics, rightly, and there is no hint of anti-Semitism.

I have personally been involved in such forms of opposition to the Israeli occupation for years, long before there was a BDS movement.

Any tactics, however legitimate, can of course be misused. But they can also be used quite properly and effectively against state crimes, and in this case regularly have been.

Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

Jake Lynch must take us all for imbeciles. His letter (11/12) boasts of all the wonderful Jewish or Israeli people who have been invited to his Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

He asks if his and the centre’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement had anything to do with the nationality of Dan Avnon, “how come we have hosted recent talks by professors Ilan Pappe and Jeff Halper — two prominent Israelis who appeared in a personal capacity?”.

He also asks how come the centre awarded last year’s Sydney peace prize to Noam Chomsky, a prominent Jewish intellectual?

How come is simply answered by saying that these three speakers have been and are among the leading anti-Israel intellectuals anywhere in the world. Criticism of Pappe and Chomsky is international. I wrote to Sydney University to protest at Lynch’s anti-academic, anti-free speech, and anti-Israel stance. I am not an imbecile. I have been an academic for most of my life, and I have long ago learned how to read between the lines.

Lynch’s letter to The Australian is profoundly dishonest, in its pretence of open-mindedness, something for which he has no time. An honest letter would have revealed the interests and political leanings of his invitees.

It’s clear he has never invited and does not want to invite anyone with pro-Israel and pro-Jewish attitudes. His mind is set in concrete, and people with fixed ideas do not deserve to teach or research in any university. The sooner the university fires him, the sooner there will be fresh academic air to breathe.

Denis MacEoin, editor, Middle East Quarterly, Newcastle, England

The following letter was sent to the paper but not published in today’s edition:

The University of Sydney’s Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies and Assoc Prof Jake Lynch should be applauded for their commitment to support peace and justice to the people of Israel and the people of Palestine.

I call on the Jewish community to come out against labeling people who support boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) as automatically anti-Semitic.

If we are to declare anti-Semitic those who engage in nonviolent strategies, even strategies we disagree with, about trying to change Israel, then the whole term anti-Semitism loses its meaning.

While I personally do not support a general boycott of Israel (as tactically it may be counter-productive because it is likely to reenforce the notion “that the whole world is against us” mentality of many Israelis still sufferingfrom Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder which is the untreated result of 2 thousand years of oppression) we at Tikkun (a progressive Jewish and interfaith magazine of which I am founding editor) are aware that the various movements and people (including within the Jewish community and in Israel), engaged in the struggle for peace in the Middle East are divided over the issue of BDS. Some of us do believe that a more narrow boycott only of products from the West Bank settlements would not necessarily stimulate this PTSD reaction. Others who support BDS do so out of a genuine commitment to the moral values that are deep in the Jewish tradition (and the Christian and other spiritual and religious traditions), and labeling them as anti-Semites is a huge distortion. There are, of course, some who use BDS as a cover for their desire to eliminate the State of Israel, but that is not the case for most of those in the peace movement who support BDS, even the BDS version with which I and Tikkun do not agree.

Tikkun has taken the view that Jewish morality and prophetic tradition require a challenge to all governments, including that of Israel, to live by the highest ethical standards. The more Israel rejects Jewish morality and the Torah’s injunction to “love the stranger” in its treatment of the Palestinians, the more it loses the support of the most ethically sensitive people in the world and of many younger Jews in the diaspora.

Rabbi Michael Lerner