The great wizard and magician Rabbi Eliezer knew all about sorcery, as Sanhedrin members, the original Elders of Zion, were supposed to (Talmud, Tosefta Sanhedrin 11:5). He taught Rabbi Akiba all he knew about it, what is permitted and what is forbidden. But after long studies, Akiba said: Rabbi Eliezer explained everything, but I learned... Read More
On November 12, 2005, the leading Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf published an article Op kruistocht met de duivel by a Jewish writer Joost De Haas attacking me, in the good company of the Dutch PM Dries van Agt and the wonderful Dutch lady, a friend of Palestine Gretta Duisenberg. The last two were condemned for... Read More
On October 29, 2005, in the prestigious Hotel de l’Industrie in Saint Germain des Pres in Paris, there was a meeting of Israel Shamir with his French readers. The meeting room was full, but nobody was refused. The audience consisted of an improbable mixture -- from Communists to Front National to the Black and Caribbean... Read More
In the North of the Holy Land, in a deep valley, there is a shining white stone pierced by a perennial spring. One may swim in its lucid waters into the depth of the rock, until the tunnel abruptly ends. But a brave soul can inhale, dive under the stony roof for a few meters... Read More
On Mt Carmel, there is a pleasant townlet, slightly more than a village, called Zichron Yaakov. Now known for its robust wine and Frenchy restaurants, in the days of World War One it was a home for the Zionist pro-British espionage ring, NILI. Its members, prominent Zionist settlers and citizens of Turkey, communicated with the... Read More
An Englishman leaves without bidding farewell, a Jew says his farewells but does not leave, says a Jewish joke. This is the case with Israeli withdrawals from Bethlehem, Ramallah and now the grand slam, Gaza disengagement. A fortnight ago, Israeli army left Tul Karem amid fanfares. Newspapers described it a “trust-building measure” the Palestinians have... Read More
Tony Greenstein (Blind eye to anti-semitism) is obsessed with Jewishness. He views the world through the prism of a Jewish Nationalist. He judges people by one criterion which he shares with my late grandmother: “Is he/she good for Jews?” He and his friends "Jews Against Zionism” claim to be antizionists, but Zionism is just a... Read More
A man accused of witchcraft at the Inquisition Court had two ways to defend oneself. One, he could laugh it off, and declare: there is no such thing as witchcraft. The problem is, the inquisition wont approve of such a defence, and the daring Witchcraft Denier may yet end at the stake, if not for... Read More
This May was a time of great disillusionment for Russians. Years have passed since they parted with Communism, broke up the Soviet Union, granted independence to (or gave away to the US) every land they ever controlled, allowed Western companies to buy and sell their heirlooms and livelihood, closed down their military bases, let their... Read More
IIn the early autumn, when the pomegranates ripen, I embark for the ruins of the destroyed Palestinian village of Saffurie. The native city of Mary’s mother, it still guards the Crusader church of St Anne. This old village was an important city some two thousand years ago, when, under name of Sepphoris, it refused to... Read More
Muslims can’t be respected if a simple come-on like wasting of the Koran works them up into a frenzy, exclaims Jeff Jacoby , and they go around murdering innocent folk; while “decent people”, Catholics, Jews and Buddhists take it easy if “someone has offended their religious sensibilities”. If that were the case, we still may... Read More
Easter has no fixed abode; this most important movable feast of the Orthodox Christian year flies like a shuttle between March and May and weaves the diverse important dates into a single metaphysical narrative. In the memorable year 2000, it coincided with the Western Easter proclaiming Christendom’s underlying bedrock unity. Last year, Good Friday fell... Read More
(A Talk given in the House of Lords, Westminster, on February 23, 2005) Ladies and Lords, Gentlemen, Friends, It is a great honour for this small writer from far-away Jaffa to speak to you in this ancient abode of democracy and aristocracy intertwined, and I wish to thank my host tonight, my dear brother, his... Read More
While the world was treated to another sham performance of peace process in Palestine, and just before the next stage of Middle East war, I paid a visit to the Ethiopians, much loved by Poseidon, the Sea God – probably because these landlocked people do not disturb the seas but inhabit high plateau which also... Read More
We shall win the war if and when we win the argument. This has been my conviction since 1991, when I witnessed how the mighty nuclear superpower collapsed because they had lost a philosophical dispute. In the battle for Palestine the same rule may apply. Our adversary is protected by mighty Stealth technology made out... Read More
While the whole world had sent aid to the tsunami-hit South East Asia, Israel forwarded a team entrusted with unique task. Not many Israeli tourists were swept away by the giant waves – official death toll stands at three, with some twenty missing; not many comparing with hundred thousand Indonesians or even with three thousand... Read More
Israel is a good place to watch the giant wave of gentile penitence, the Auschwitz Remembrance Day that lasts for a week, rolling around the globe. Sure, you can observe it everywhere like lunar eclipse, this colossal Canossa: the entire world from Alaska to Antarctica, Inuit and Zulu, Cuban and Mongol stand still listening to... Read More
Israel Shamir has written extensively on public affairs, primarily relating to the Israel/Palestine conflict and Russia, including three books, Galilee Flowers, Cabbala of Power and Masters of Discourse available in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Norwegian, Swedish, Italian, and Hungarian.
He describes himself as a native of Novosibirsk, Siberia, who he moved to Israel in 1969, served as paratrooper in the army and fought in the 1973 war, afterwards turning to journalism and writing. During the late 1970s, he joined the BBC in London later living in Japan. After returning to Israel in 1980, Shamir wrote for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, and was the Knesset spokesman for the Israel Socialist Party (Mapam), also translating and annotating the cryptic works of S.Y. Agnon, the only Hebrew Nobel Prize winning writer, from the original Hebrew into Russian.
His perspective on the Israel/Palestine conflict was summed up in The Pine and the Olive, published in 1988 and republished in 2004. That same year, he was received in the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and Holy Land, being baptised Adam by Archbishop Theodosius Attalla Hanna. He now lives in Jaffa and spends much time in Moscow and Stockholm; he is father of three sons.