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As a rule I try to see my glass half-full, leaving the half-empty one to other fellows. And now there are some good reasons for an eternal optimist to stick to his positive schedule. Though it tarried, the summer has come, after all, to the North. The skies are blue, the grass is green and... Read More
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Summer reigns all over Europe, from Greece to Sweden. Vacations have emptied the offices, and filled the beaches. Flowers bloom all over, and their fragrance flows like a river. Endless festivals, performances and art compositions embellish the quaint old cities. But things are not as ever before. The old continent is sick. Living is easy,... Read More
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Greece is the pearl of Mediterranean, the place generations of foreigners from Lord Byron to Graves to Fowles have fallen in love with. From philosophy to feta, from history to yoghurt, from poetry to honey they provided the example to follow. Their priests preserve the pristine faith; their fighters defeated Mussolini; their Helen is the... Read More
[A Talk given at the Madrid Conference, November 2009] The world is ill; it is running a high fever. Global warming is just a metaphor for this febrile life we lead. The first thing is to lower the temperature – to cool it. While Obama’s team and their peers all over the world try to... Read More
The thinking-man’s antisemite would be baffled what to make out of Madoff Affair. Should he rejoice or bewail? If you read Jewish newspapers, you’d think that “antisemites” - the vast majority of mankind, according to Jewish sources (“scratch a goy and you'll find an anti-Semite”) – should be bursting with joy. Bradley Burston enthused in... Read More
It is warm and sunny in Jaffa, a fishing harbour on the Eastern Mediterranean just south of Tel Aviv; the skies are blue and the sea rather calm, with the clientele of sidewalk cafés enjoying their milky arak and coriander-laced coffee. The economic crisis never arrived here; there are few lay-offs, prices have remained high,... Read More
Instead of spelling disaster, the financial collapse offers a unique opportunity to fix all of America’s ills.
Seven years after 9/11, we witness another, greater and even more enjoyable collapse, that of the American financial pyramid. It took some twenty years in building; its collapse took only a few weeks. Let us cut the hypocritical crap: this was a wonderful show, no ifs, ands or buts. The US stock markets boomed when... Read More
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Israel Shamir
About Israel Shamir

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.