A war is coming – I was forewarned some weeks ago by a most unlikely expert on the subject, an old fisherman called “Charlie”. We sat at a small café by the Sea of Galilee and looked at the dry mud where the sweet waters of the lake used to rollick, at its waterline, which... Read More
They went out, risked their lives, rushed the army, overturned the fence, strode the barbed wire, wiped out the border between two states, committed so many heroic acts, worthy of great warriors, suffering casualties -- and when they were through, they went to shop and bought bread for their children. This gave a lie to... Read More
A cat called to the mouse holed up under the floor: “Come out, you have nothing to worry about! I have become a pious vegetarian, preparing for my Hajj, you may play freely”. “Oh wonderful news”, cried the mouse and ran out of the hole; a moment of the eternity clock passed, and the mouse... 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
Nobody is allowed to enter or leave the Gaza Strip. It is surrounded by barbed wire, its gates are locked, and even with the proper documents, one cannot visit the largest high security prison on earth, home to over one million Palestinians. The Israeli army, once a fabled fighting force, has become mere prison guard.... 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.