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
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
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
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
The heavy loaded cargo boats, passenger liners, cruise ships and plentiful ferries packed with tourists steam by the Maiden Tower rising from the black rock amid lucid waters; they gingerly make their way past the mountain-like mosques on the mainland into the Bosporus, this huge God-made river running between the Med and the Black Sea.... Read More
In the Middle Eastern corrida, the moment of truth is approaching fast. Assad’s Syria is running around the arena like a wounded bull, fraught and worn down by a year of cruel strife. Banderillas of mujaheeds stick out of his broken hide. The public, the Europeans, the Americans, the Gulf rulers call: Kill him! And... Read More
Bombs go off in Turkey -- a great spree of terrorist bombings and attacks. Practically every day Turkish soldiers and civilians are being killed. The killings are done ostensibly by the Kurd terrorists of the PKK, but in reality it is a new step in Israel’s warfare against Turkish independence. Encouraged by Israel, the PKK... 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
Heavy snowfall blocks the mountain passes of Anatolia, lays thick Persian carpets on the streets, paints white the mosque domes, churches and markets of your City, the eternal capital of great empires. I came from Jerusalem al-Quds via Moscow, two places intricately connected to the Second Rome. A few days ago I stood at the... 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.