The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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-Will he sign, or won't he? – Moscow's John Bull pub customers tried to second-guess the US President. The pub on the Nikitsky Boulevard in the centre of Moscow is a good watering hole that is frequented by the Foreign Office minor officials and sundry intelligentsia. – He won't sign his own surrender, fervently said... Read More
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The highly anticipated encounter of the two presidents went better, much better than anybody predicted. There was a lot of anxiety, and expectations were low as heavy rain clouds, especially after Trump’s visit to Warsaw where he obediently repeated the Cold War platitudes dictated by his minders. Trump had been sent off to Hamburg by... Read More
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The first date is a decisive one, as we learned in college, while courting Nancy or Alice. The coming first date of two Presidents, the two superheroes of our generation is likely to set the trend for coming years. How will it go? What will they say? The consequences can be joyous – or fatal.... Read More
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Life is not boring with President Trump. Perhaps he hasn't yet fulfilled many wishes of his voters, but he definitely has made their news much more entertaining. Standing a few inches from impeachment, surviving lynch by media, hunted down by rogue Republican senators, the US President broke three taboos established by his predecessors: he removed... Read More
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(A Light-headed discussion of grave affairs)
What’s wrong with gassing your own people? After all, California does it and Oklahoma plans it, and these are fine advanced states. I would not like the Russians to send their howling missiles to Sacramento: they gas their own people. While gassing someone’s else people may be considered a sort of interference in their affairs,... Read More
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The Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is the friendly calf of the Russian proverb who sucks two cows. After his rather successful meeting with President Trump, he went to the enemy No.1 of the United States, and to his good friend, President Putin, in chilly Moscow, where he always gets a warm reception. This time... Read More
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Full disclosure: I’ve met with Russians. I met with a Russian this morning. She brought me coffee. Such crazy and dangerous things can occur in Moscow. I am afraid the CIA and NSA could take notice of this meeting, and then it can be used – even against you. “You have perused an article by... Read More
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Mike Moore’s flabby mug always looks indecently exposed, like middle-aged female genitalia. The fat slob could lead the old hags’ march without the pink pussyhat. Just his own visage would suffice. He is actually similar to George Soros: the same obscene pussyface. For me, his appearance would doom him: like Oscar Wilde, I believe that... Read More
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President Trump had paid a hefty advance to the Jews. He did (almost) all they wanted for their Jewish state: he promised to move the US embassy to the occupied Jerusalem thus legalising their annexation of the holy city; he condoned their illegal settlements, he gave them starred positions in his administration; he told the... Read More
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I promised you Christmas wouldn’t be dull! In a surprising move, for the first time in 40 years, the US voted in the UN Security Council against official Tel Aviv’s wishes. The miracle friends of Palestine and progressive Israelis prayed for - occurred, after all. This is one of the first benefits of Donald Trump’s... Read More
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I learned of Trump’s choice for his ambassador in Tel Aviv ten days before it was announced (and published that
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It is so dark now in the North. The Sun rises at 10 am to go down at 3 pm. White and plentiful snow and glorious stars outside and Christmas trees indoors make this darkness bearable – just. Here one understands why the people of the North had viewed Yuletide with great anxiety: they never... Read More
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Donald Trump’s electoral victory unleashed pent-up tectonic energies on the unprecedented scale. The world has been changed, much more than could be expected from any election of a US president. Just a short time has passed since election day, but it appears that the New World Order has received a shattering blow. There is a... Read More
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Turkey is restless. President Erdogan is consolidating his power, trying to get rid of Parliament's bothersome interference. He intends to reformat Turkey into a presidential republic, assuming the powers of an American president. He wants to be a Caliph, the people in Istanbul jest, and call him “Sultan Erdogan”. And the failed July coup has... Read More
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If the greatest poker game of all times will end by nuclear grand slam, and the survivors will review the causes of WWIII, they will die laughing. The Third World War had been fought to save al Qaeda. Yes, my dear readers! Uncle Sam invaded Afghanistan in order to punish al Qaeda, and now he... Read More
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The recent Syria agreement signed in Geneva by Kerry and Lavrov (probably it will be remembered as “Pizza and Vodka deal”, as the journalists have been served these delicacies by the negotiating teams during the time they had to wait for the results) beside the points disclosed by the foreign ministers included five documents. The... Read More
Putin as Caesar
He's getting blamed for all of Hillary's problems
A lousy dancer blames the uneven floor, and Mme Clinton had proven to be an unexpectedly lousy dancer in the competition for the presidency against the blundering New York tycoon. We would expect her to win or lose graciously, as befits a former First Lady, but gosh, she is clumsy – and blames her lack... Read More
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The DNC 2016 reminded me
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The most striking feature of the failed Turkish coup has been the people’s response. The plotters did their routine right: they seized the broadcasting station, they sent a sortie to kill the president, they stationed troops in the vital points, they rolled out the tanks. They calculated everything but the people’s response. As the president... Read More
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Few people expected the positive outcome of Brexit referendum. Among other doubters, I expected the UK government will borrow a trick from the Clinton collection, and proclaim the Bremain hath it. We witnessed so many dirty tricks in the Dem primary this year: the votes were not counted, but the newspapers called Hillary the winner;... Read More
William F. Browder, Chief Executive Officer Hermitage Capital Management. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Michael Wuertenberg. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
The Browder affair is a heady upper-class Jewish cocktail of money, spies, politicians and international crime.
Chapeau, Mr Browder! Hats off for this incredible man. Last month, he succeeded in stopping
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I came to Japan for the preview of Obama’s visit, when the G7 foreign ministers assembled at Hiroshima, led by the US State Secretary John Kerry. He should apologise, people said. You do not think Kerry apologised for nuking the city, did you? Neither did Obama. The Americans never apologise, banish the thought. Love means... Read More
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Will the men voting for Mrs Clinton end up in Hell? I am not sure. We know that women who vote for a male candidate have a special place in hell, as
Children of North Korea
A colossal mass demonstration, well choreographed to the level of ballet but with tens of thousands of participants in the centre of Pyongyang completed and sealed an important and unusual political event in this remote and isolated land of North Korea – the Party Congress. The demo has been followed by a show, so big... Read More
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You have to pay obeisance to Israel if you want to become the US President. You have to swear your full compliance with Israel’s demands. You have to run to AIPAC and declare your eternal love of the Jewish state. This is a truism, like “Monsieur de la Palisse was alive fifteen minutes before his... Read More
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The massive terrorist attack in Brussels came as a Not So Fast answer to Vladimir Putin’s Mission Accomplished. It appears the world needs more of Russian intervention in the Middle East if the black killers from the desert are to be stopped. Luckily, Russia is not in a rush to leave completely. From what I... Read More
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Only a dumb fish would complain if a man were to say: “I never eat fish, and I do not intend to eat fish”. Only the dumbest fish would condemn the man as a bigot: “What! He does not like us!” And yet, our Muslim American friends apparently emulate the stupid fish when speaking of... Read More
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The area around the Central Moscow tube stations looks like Aleppo after an air raid. Ruins, destroyed buildings, bulldozers gathering the shambles. No, Moscow was not hit by terrorists: this is a planned demolition of hundreds of small and not-too-small shacks erected (in defiance of planning law) in the vicinity of tube stations in the... Read More
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The Russians and their Syrian allies have cut the main supply line of the rebels to the north of Aleppo, the Azaz corridor. In our
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TOP NEWS: Feeling Pinch of Oil Collapse, Some Russians Take to Streets, reported The New York Times. Indeed, at that time thousands of Russians were queuing in Central Moscow. The enormous line snaked around in the park, despite frost and snow. People stood three and four hours, braving winter weather: old ladies in furs and... Read More
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Once in a blue moon, this writer’s view coincides with that of the New York Times
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Heavy darkness befalls the North; the sun rarely emerges from between the clouds. This year, Russia has noticeably less street illumination, and the spirits are anything but festive. Only the whiteness of the snow and Christmas trees break the gloom and remind us of the forthcoming low point of the cosmic wheel, Yuletide, when days... Read More
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Three important events influenced the course of the Syrian war in the course of last month: the Metrojet flight 9268 crash in Sinai October 31, the Paris attacks on Friday November 13 and the downing of a Sukhoi 24 on November 24, 2015. The Metrojet The Metrojet crash was not deemed an act of terror... Read More
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Autumn is beautiful in Palestine: overripe blue-green figs, unpicked pomegranates pecked by birds, heavy grapes turn red. Now is the olive harvest time, and the burghers of Bethlehem and its twin city Beth Jala (everyone owns a plot with olive trees) bring heavy sacks full of green and black olives to the local oil press... Read More
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Russians are enjoying their Syrian adventure. Twenty days after its start, their entry into the Syrian war has paid off and brought some dividends. They displayed their military toys and duly impressed other boys in the sandbox. After a long period of despondency the Russians have now been cheered up, thank you, they feel much... Read More
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President Putin is a pirate, no less. In his declaration at the UN, he stole President Bush Jr’s copyrighted 2001 call to fight Terror. That’s why the Americans were taken aback: the Russian President played back at them the best tropes of their own presidents. This was a clever subterfuge: instead of pointing out the... Read More
These autumn days are the most important in the Middle East calendar. The Muslims celebrate Eid al Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice; the Jews fast at Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; and the Eastern Orthodox Christians rejoice at Nativity of Our Lady Mary. It appears, surprisingly, the best place to be at this... Read More
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Despite doubts and denials, Russia is about to embark on an ambitious expansion of its Syrian presence, likely to change the game in the war-torn country. Russia’s small and dated naval repair facility in Tartous will be enlarged, while Jableh near Latakia (Laodicea of old) will become the Russian Air Force base and a full-blown... 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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People are not equal in death, either. Some deaths are more newsworthy than others. The media and politicians love spectacular acts of terror, fires, disaster, the death of the wealthy and privileged, a death conducive to a cause. Such is the death of 300 passengers and crew of the Malaysian airliner flight 17 in the... Read More
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These days, Sweden is all agog. In the midst of the coldest summer in living history that deprived the Swedes of their normal sun-accumulating July routine, the country plunged into an exciting search for a Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago, and (as opposed to the previous rounds of this venerable Swedish maritime saga) this... Read More
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I love Russia’s vetoes. Sparse, strong, hard hits, they mark the limits of the Empire’s power. They said “No”, and Zimbabwe remained at peace, its old maverick Robert Mugabe still alive and kicking and proposing Obama his hand in marriage. They said “No”, and Burma could grow at its own pace. They said “No”, and... Read More
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Greece is the pearl of Mediterranean, the place generations of foreigners from Lord Byron to Graves to
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Hail, fire and brimstone, new sanctions or the US tanks on its borders, Russia takes things in stride. President Putin could adopt the motto of William of Orange: saevis tranquillus in undis, calm amidst the tempest. The tempest is all around. American tanks moved into the Baltic states. American warships sail up the Black sea.... Read More
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I had to whip up my courage to go to the Ukraine. There was a recent spate of political killings in the unhappy and lovely land, and the perpetrators never apprehended; among those killed was Oles Buzina, a renowned writer and a dear friend. Two years ago, well before the troubles, we had a drink... Read More
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The alleged killers of Boris Nemtsov have been apprehended, and they are (a dramatic pause) some Muslims from Chechnya who allegedly desired to punish the politician for his Je suis Charlie position. There is no official report available yet, but this implausible version is being promoted in Moscow. What’s that, a poor man’s 9/11? Indeed,... Read More
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In February, it is a long way to the spring, lamented Joseph Brodsky. Indeed, snow still falls heavily in Moscow and Kiev as well as in the steppes that form Russian-Ukrainian borderlands, but there it is tinted with red. Soldiers are loth to fight in the winter, when life is difficult anyway in these latitudes,... Read More
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The edifice of the post-1991 world order is collapsing right before our eyes. President Putin’s decision to give a miss to the Auschwitz pilgrimage, right after his absence in Paris at Charlie festival, gave it the last shove. It was good clean fun to troll Russia, as long as she stayed the course. Not anymore.... Read More
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The Reasons Behind the Cease-Fire
The piping-hot stage of the Ukraine crisis was over with signing of Minsk cease-fire agreement. It is far from clear how long the cease-fire will last, and whether it will morph into stable peace; still this pause provides a chance to review policies and strategies of the sides. The first part of this essay dealt... Read More
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On the Pushkin square in central Moscow, McDonald’s, this symbol of Pax Americana, has been shut down this week. It was opened 23 years ago, as the USSR collapsed, and the unipolar world of One Superpower came into being. Soviet people queued for hours to get in and try this divine foreign food. They were... Read More
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.