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.

Hatred and fear of Islam in Switzerland is connected to previous hatreds

Swiss-based journalist Shraga Elam comments on the growing problems inside Switzerland, in a speech he gave in Geneva on 19h March:

The huge wave of Islamophobia rolling over Switzerland should be compared to other forms of racism prevailing in this country especially with Judeophobia, with its long history.

It would be wrong to speak in this context about an equation, although there are crucial similarities and common roots and traits.

Xenophobia in Switzerland was and still is an essential part of the dominating rural sub-cultures according to which even the inhabitants of the next village were and sometimes still are considered to be foreigners. Not to speak about recent strong animosities between the various language regions and between Protestants and Catholics. On the other hand, there were and are strong cosmopolitain tendencies even in the countryside. Accordingly, many students in Zurich at the beginning of the last century were Jewish Russian women, and radical leftist Russian politicians like Vladimir Lenin and Mikhail Bakunin found refuge in the Helvetic Confederation. And my catholic spouse comes from a village and not only she but all her 7 siblings married foreigners.

Jews as citizens were anything but welcomed in the Alps confederation. In its editorial from 12.3.2010 the Jewish weekly Tachles reminds that the Swiss authorities did not want to naturalize or even to allow poor Jews from Eastern Europe to stay. After the Nazi racial laws were ratified in Nuremberg in 1937 hardly any Jew was allowed to be naturalized here. Tachles writes accordingly that this dark chapter in the Swiss history should sharpen the Jewish understanding for fellow sufferers. (Gisela Blau, The Red Pass and its Dark Past , Tachles 12 March 2010).

The president of the anti-racism commission, Prof. Georg Kreis, a non-Jew, went in the same direction after declaring in a TV debate on 8.12.2009 that the Swiss People’s Party (SVP or UDC) that had pushed the anti-minaret vote and actually supported an anti-Islamization initiative would have supported an anti-Judaization (Anti-Judaisierung) initiative in the 1930’s. This statement ignited a fierce debate and Swiss conservatives requested Kreis’ resignation for this comparison. This historian was wrong only in one point. There was no need for such an anti-Jewish initiative in the ’30s for the simple reason that once “threatened” with a wave of Jewish refugees as of 1938 the Swiss government decided to close its borders for Jews precisely in order to prevent the alleged danger of “judaization”. And there was no initiative to cancel that anti-human decision.

It is important to note that on the one hand some leaders of the Jewish community also supported the governmental decision, mainly because they had internalized the prevailing anti-Jewish sentiments, especially against Eastern European Jews (Ostjuden). On the other hand many Swiss Christians opposed the border closure. Some of them, like the courageous president of the socialist party, Werner Stocker, were humanists and anti-racists and even acted illegally against the official inhumanity. But some of them, like the journalist, Johann Baptist Rusch, were Judeophobes. For them the Nazi anti-Jewish measures went far too far and they pleaded therefore for a liberal asylum policy towards the threatened Jews. Among them were those who argued either that the rescued Jews would convert to Christianity (the so called “refugees mother” Gertrud Kurz) or that they would proceed to other countries with the next possible opportunity.

Just like today with the anti minaret initiative, it is impossible to say that all those who opposed the anti-Jewish asylum policy were not racists. Similarly many present-day Swiss who are against the minaret ban maintain that position because they believe that the measure is an ineffective way to deal with the alleged Islamic “threat”.

It is also important to note in this connection that some of those who support the ban do not consider themselves to be racist but just anti-clerical or atheists.

Judeophobia was mainly religiously-motivated as part of a primitive and racist understanding of Christianity and like today with Islamophobia was often maintained by persons who never met a Jew in their life or had just one bad experience with a single Jew and then generalized.

Insofar as Islamophobia and Judeophobia express prejudices against “strangers” on cultural and religious bases there are strong similarities between the two and therefore parts of the Swiss Jewish community demonstrates its solidarity in the struggle against the Islamophobia.

But there is a very different and even opposing political background for the two forms of racism which sometimes renders Islamo-Jewish cooperation difficult if not impossible.

The trigger if not the main reason for the present Islamophobia and Arabophobia is a political campaign launched in the mid-1980’s as a coproduction of the US and Israeli military industrial complexes (MIC) which needed a new enemy as it was becoming clear that the “cold war” was going to end and the Communist enemy would soon disappear.

One cannot overlook the large presence of Jews among the so called neo-conservatives in the US, playing the spearhead of the Islamophobia campaign on behalf of the MIC. And they have their representatives in Europe like the philosophers Andre Glucksmann or Bernard Henri-Lévy in France and the journalist Henryk M. Broder in the German speaking countries.

These Jews, like many Zionists, are not looking for conciliation with the Arab and Muslim world but for an ever escalating conflict. They believe they have found the necessary justification for their belligerent attitude in the militant Muslim factions as a kind of a self fulfilling prophecy.

Another hurdle for Muslim-Jewish cooperation is the Islamo-Judeophobia, the counterpart of the Judeo-Islamophobia. Many Arabs and Muslims find it difficult to distinguish between Jews and militant Zionists. So one can hear often on demonstrations against Israeli war crimes slogans like “Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud”, meaning figuratively “death to the Jews”.

It is obvious that the Middle East conflict burdens the Jewish-Muslim relationship in Switzerland too, and the necessary common struggle here against racism and for freedom of religion must include the Middle East as well.

3 comments ↪
  • fdvf

    Every time someone in the West cries about Islamic people they should take a look at their petrol bowzer next time they fill-up and realize that they should be paying double.

  • What a pity the Arab world didn't develope more

    'selbst-bewusstsin' , lets say after the oil shortages in the 1970's, when surely they must have realised they could have the entire industrial world by the 'short and curlies', simply by increasing the price of oil.

    I wish they would do it now, so the western world would seriously have to begin considering other sources of energy.

    If the generally educated western population of the world were sufficiently educated (this requires leisure time to think about things, to reflect on the state of the world) which could could happen if they converted as quickly as poss to natural 'free' forms of energy, then they might develope the required 'emotional intelligence' required to 'live and let live' and embrace pluralism.

    I lived in Switzeralnd for almost 25 years, and it is impossible to find 'ordinary' people who are not ignorant and bigotted. The so-called intellectuals are mostly too materially comfortable to 'speak out' or have gone abroad, where they can live with their consciences better.

    I still think that total focus on 'natural energy sources, and a 3-day working week

    globally would solve most problems.

  • jilli roberts

    As a woman I am entitled to be fearful of islam.  This is not racist. Islam is the religion of many races as well as a political movement bent on expansion.   I do not want to be a woman in a Europe where Islam has the higher head count.  Western women have fought hard for equality and we have so much to lose if Islam is allowed to roll over us.