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.

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.

Tell me it ain’t so, a fair piece in Murdoch’s outlet on Palestine

Following what feels like years of comical attacks on anybody who dares breath any criticism of the sanctioned Zionist state, today’s Murdoch’s Australian publishes a response to the endless lies and explains that BDS against Israel isn’t akin to Nazism. Well, who knew? The author, Stuart Rees, sent me his original article yesterday and I can happily report that the paper only makes minor changes:

“Anti-Semite!” “Racist!” “Despicable values!” “Should be sacked!”

I received these comments and accusations following an article by Christian Kerr in The Australian on May 14. He correctly quoted me saying Liberal MP Christopher Pyne’s support for the London Declaration against anti-Semitism was “populist”.

Kerr may not have expected the subsequent vendetta against me, let alone the demands last Friday by former Speaker of the federal parliament Peter Slipper that, as an anti-Semite on a public payroll, I should be sacked.

My point was that the London Declaration against anti-Semitism is a consensus document. Politicians are applauded and often applaud themselves for signing it and take no risk in doing so. Pyne’s press release was a “pat myself on the back eulogy” and a gratuitous attack on the Palestinian-initiated Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions supporters whose campaign is seldom explained in mainstream media and easily depicted as controversial.

You can support both the London Declaration and the BDS campaign. However, that distinction is easily lost when individuals are demonised and Israel’s constant flouting of international law is deliberately diverted by discussion of other countries’ human rights abuses.

If attitudes to Israel and the BDS campaign are distorted, it can have serious repercussions. For that reason I’ll detail the events that prompted Kerr’s article, the accompanying editorial in The Australian and the subsequent abusive emails.

First, a woman I’d never heard of asked me to comment on Pyne’s support for the London Declaration and his manifestly nonsensical claim that university activists who support BDS undermine the right of Jewish people to live in their Jewish homeland. I naively assumed that a quick response was the end of the matter. It wasn’t. She wrote back saying the Prime Minister had also signed the declaration and asked if I had the same sentiments about her as about Pyne.

Somewhat impulsively I replied “of course”, meaning that signing the London Declaration as a sign of moral virtue was an easy decision. By contrast, Stephen Hawking’s support for the BDS campaign is a much more politically and intellectually demanding decision.

My exchange with this lady finished up on Kerr’s desk and led to a heading next day saying I had lashed out at the Prime Minister. Really?

Kerr’s article was accompanied by an editorial headed “Strange way to promote peace” with the subheading, “Critics of Israel should turn their attention to Iran”. This implied that by criticising Israeli policies I was siding with Iran’s supreme leader, who was quoted as saying “any deal that accepted the Jewish state’s existence would leave a ‘cancerous tumour forever’ “.

This technique of deflecting attention from the cruel and illegal policies of Israel depends on misinformation. It is implied that if you support BDS you must be anti-Semitic and are therefore no different from Israel’s religious fanatic opponents. Guilty by association. Positions polarised.

Projects run by the Sydney Peace Foundation and the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies include support for the struggle of indigenous West Papuans, advocacy for the vulnerable Tamils in Sri Lanka and criticism of capital punishment in Iran and Saudi Arabia. The centre also provides English classes for refugees on temporary protection visas.

It is false to suggest, as in The Australian’s editorial subheading, that we pay attention only to Israel. I have just returned from Paris, where the Sydney Peace Foundation honoured the widow of the late Stephane Hessel, a Jew, a survivor of the Holocaust, an architect of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, author of the bestseller Time for Outrage, a hero of the French Republic and an enthusiastic supporter of the BDS campaign.

Hessel wrote: “When governments cannot be relied upon to defend humanity it is the role of us, the people, to lead the struggle for justice.”

The BDS campaign is grounded in international law and has nothing to do with anti-Semitism or delegitimising Israel. Israeli professor Ilan Pappe contends that it is a sacred duty to end Israel’s oppressive occupation as soon as we can and that the best means for this is a sustained BDS campaign.

There are other reasons for turning to BDS. Negotiation and diplomacy have produced nothing but the enlargement of settlements, the continued siege of Gaza and the absurd claim that a two-state solution is possible when the two sides are so imbalanced, economically, militarily and politically.

The peace process is a sham. Politicians play a cruel game if they do not recognise this but it requires vision and courage to say so.

As for Slipper’s demand that it was outrageous that I was paid public money to explain and support BDS and that I should therefore be sacked, for the past 13 years I have been a volunteer at the centre and foundation.

I have not been paid any salary, nor claimed any expenses. I have worked in diverse campaigns, often in dangerous places, and have been committed to raising funds for students from the poorest countries.

Such activities are fuelled by the values that The Australian said, albeit delicately, were strangely skewed but that Slipper described as despicable.

Stuart Rees is a professor emeritus at the University of Sydney and the chairman of the Sydney Peace Foundation.