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.

How Israel’s weapons industry thrives on ever-greater conflict

Fascinating and depressing (via 972 magazine) about the radically different view of Israel in the general public globally (never been worse due to racism and occupation against Palestinians) and the elites who see endless financial opportunity. Vulture capitalism brought to you by Zionism:

In his new documentary, ‘The Lab,’ Yotam Feldman explores how Israel’s weapons industries interact with the country’s politics, economy and military decision-making. Israeli weapons, military technology and know-how become more valuable because they have been field-tested in its wars and combat against Palestinians and neighboring countries. A conversation with Yotam Feldman about his film, arms dealers and Israel’s war economy.

Perhaps we should start with the question of Israel’s international standing. In recent years it is often termed as “growing global isolation.” This isolation may diminish at times, but there is a wall-to-wall consensus about Israel becoming less popular with every war and military operation. You say that in fact the opposite is true. In your film, one can see officers from armies the world over coming to Israel to purchase arms – from Europe, India, Latin America, and of course – the U.S. So is this talk of criticism and isolation a show in which everyone partakes? Or is this criticism another force that we need to take into account?

I think that a view of Israel as an unrestrained savage that resides in a brutal neighborhood and therefore has to exercise excessive/immense albeit necessary force, has taken hold. It follows that this view is usually condescending-forgiving. More importantly, I believe that Israel’s security marketing succeeds where Israeli Hasbara [advocacy] is less fruitful. Many people fail to make the connection between Israel’s hi-tech weapons and the unrestrained military force about which one can read in reports by human rights NGOs. People think of these as two disparate phenomena merely existing in spatial and temporal proximity. If you read the Goldstone Report about the bombing of the ceremony at the police academy in Gaza on the first day of Cast Lead, and then read a marketing brochure of Rafael about the operational experiment involving “Spike 4″ (the missile used by Israel in that incident), some effort is required in order for you to realize that these are different accounts of one historical event. The same goes for the drones used for assassinations in Gaza. On the other hand, It is possible that the Europeans understand all this and simply don’t care.

In the previous decade, following operation Cast Lead, there was a feeling that this cannot go on, that in this constellation, Israel would have to go to a third, fourth, fifth and sixth Gaza war, and perhaps on other fronts as well – but also that it cannot really be involved in so many wars.

After the disengagement (from Gaza) a process noticed only by a few outside the army occurred. War has stopped being an extraordinary, unexpected and dramatic event in the life of the nation, and has become a periodic activity which is a part of that national life. Thus, at any given time, Israel is either in the midst of a Gaza war or awaiting the next one. Between the 2005 disengagement and “Cast Lead,” we had “Summer Rains”, “Hot Winter” and several other Israeli military operations in Gaza. Yoav Galant, the commander of the southern front between the disengagement and Cast Lead, who can be seen in the film, played a major role in the formulation of this doctrine. He employed the metaphor of a lawn mower to describe it: war as routine, periodic maintenance beyond the borders.

One of the contributing factors has been the massive use of shielded or automatic unmanned vehicles, which allows for wars in which there is no proportion between the risk taken by one side and the risk incurred by the other. This has reshuffled all the moral, political and legal categories which had been applied to warfare. In the past, all these campaigns were based on the assumption that this is a conflict in which two parties accept the possibility of killing or dying, but here, in almost all cases, one party kills and the other dies. The military industries, which develop products for conflicts of the Gazan type, and coax the Israeli army to purchase them, are playing a pivotal role here. The result is disturbing, because it seems to me that the war in Gaza has become inherent to the Israeli political system, possibly a part of our system of government. This was particularly noticeable during operation Pillar of Defense which took place during the election campaign, but support for it unified all the contenders for power.

Do you think that the testing of weapons systems played a part in, say, Ehud Barak’s calculations during the recent wars in Gaza?

It’s hard to rule this out. This connection is much more immediate than the one made by General Dan Halutz between the second Lebanon War and his personal portfolio. There are very close ties between the military industries, on one hand, and the army and the political system on the other. The most profitable military company is Elbit, owned by Mickey Federman, one of Ehud Barak’s confidants and a key player in his electoral campaigns. This company specializes in advanced means of asymmetric warfare, exactly the type of wars conducted by Barak in Gaza in recent years. There are other such personal ties. Furthermore, this is a national economic interest. The Defense Ministry plays a double role as the authority overseeing the military system and a sales promoter for the Israeli military industry abroad. I think it’s inhumane to demand that Barak separate the two issues. I am not saying that they embark on military campaigns in Gaza in order to test systems and make money, but it does play a part.

And in the lower echelons, Israeli military industries invest a great deal of effort in order to make IDF officers purchase their products, and use them to boost their export potential. They do so also by hiring retired senior officers en-masse, as sales promoters and project managers vis-a-vis their former colleagues in the IDF. A prominent case is Elbit and General (Ret.) Yiftach Ron-Tal.

This approach bears fruit. A key player in the military industries told me that the operational testing in Gaza of Elbit’s BMS (Battle Management System – a special internet-like system for ground forces), a huge project worth $1 billion, has allowed Elbit to raise its price in a deal signed a year later with Australia. The same goes for Rafael. The company stated openly that it would capitalize on the escalation that preceded operation Pillar of Defense – with the first operational use of Iron Dome – to raise around half a billion shekels (rougly $135 million) through the issuance of bonds. A salesman for the IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) told me that assassinations and operations in Gaza bring about an increase of tens of percentage points in company sales.