May 1, 2006
Shamir is a prominent and controversial Russian-Israeli thinker,
writer, and translator who lives in Jaffa. Shamir brings to his
political writing a refreshing candor, sharp insight, and inspiring
humanity. His principled stand supporting the Palestinian refugees
right of return and the rebuilding of their destroyed villages led to
his firing from the progressive Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Following Israeli attacks on Palestinians in January 2001, Shamir
became dedicated to political writings in English.
intellectual Karl Marx, the Jewish
question was an unreal
subject. Marx was baptized a Lutheran and married to a gentile.
renounced Judaism and embraced Christianity.
He is a
strong proponent of the One Man, One Vote, One State solution for a
interviewed the unflinching maverick writer Israel Shamir.
Petersen: You wrote recently that the historian David Irving, who
the corporate media reports as being sentenced for holocaust denial,
was sentenced for denial of Jewish superiority. Could you elaborate
on this and what holocaust denial means for you?
Shamir: I wrote about it, in For Whom The
Bell Tolls, and in the Vampire
Killers, at length. No free man can agree with the proposition
that Jewish death (and life) is more important than that of a goy. But
the ban of Holocaust revisionism is the only legally enforced
prohibition in our society. The Armenians were envious of this elevated
status of Jews, and actually succeeded to protect their tragedy of 1915
by a similar law in France. The result was tragicomic. They brought an
important Jewish historian (and warmonger of first degree) Bernard
Lewis to the court of Paris, and he was found guilty of denying their
tragedy, just like David Irving. But David Irving has got three years
in jail, and now his name is always preceded with the title
discredited (see an interview with him in the Observer), while Bernard
Lewis was fined one franc and he still appears everywhere, and his
name graces various petitions. He was not discredited, but the
Armenians were. Apparently, Jewish blood is redder than Armenian, not
to mention lesser species. I quoted an article by a Jewish American
historian denying the genocide of the native Americans. He was not
discredited, either. The scourge of Irving, Debora Lipstadt, denied the
fiery holocaust of Dresden, and was not discredited, either. Face it,
Kim: the very concept of H is a concept of Jewish superiority.
an important religious meaning: Christianity is the denial of Jewish
superiority. Whoever believes or accepts Jewish superiority, denies
Christ for He made us equal. The French Jewish filmmaker Claude
Lanzman, the creator of Shoah, said: if you believe in holocaust, you
cant believe in Christ. I am ready to take his challenge: I believe in
Christ. We can rephrase the words of Lanzman: belief in a special
historical meaning of death of Jews is a sign of apostasy. Indeed, the
creed of holocaust competes with the Church: we believe that Christ
suffered for us and came back to life. The H believers believe that the
Jewish people suffered and came back by creating the Jewish state. In
this competition, the Jews win: as opposed to H, you can deny
Crucifixion and Resurrection and your career wont suffer a bit.
question of H denial is the question of apostasy: will our society
stand on the rock planted by Christ, or will it worship the Jewish
state. This is an important discovery of eternal religiosity of human
spirit: the attempt to create a secular society did not work out. After
an illusionary short break, the gods came back.
KP: Is it
appropriate to use such loaded terms as "goy"?
IS: Well, I
am not aware this is a loaded term. I translated some Hebrew books,
from Samuel Yosef Agnon, the only Hebrew Nobel Prize winner, to the
Book of Lineage by Rabbi Zacuto, a 15th century Judaeo-Iberian sage, my
most recent translation into English. They all used goy and so do
Israeli newspapers. The word "goy" has a meaning: this is a non-Jew as
seen by Jews. If you think it is not a complimentary term, you mean
that in your view Jews look with distaste at a goy. Maybe. But we
should deal with problems, not with words. Dealing with words is
easier, but brings no relief. If we were to use 'gentile', would it
change the Jewish attitude to one? This is also a sign of weakness.
When (in 19th century) Jews felt weak, they liked to be called
Israelites, or Hebrews. Now they do not mind being called "Jews."
KP: You have
described the US as a greater Jewish state. You laud Jeffrey
Blankfort as having taken an important next step in rejecting
the views of Noam Chomsky and others. Is the influence of the
Jewish lobby preponderant over US corporate imperialism?
IS: I wrote
about it in A
Yiddishe Medina. The US corporate imperialism is not a bodiless
spirit; it is the sum of desires and actions by the US elites. And the
US elites are Jewish, to great extent, and they have accepted Jewish
values and ideas, to even greater extent. A few years ago, an American
Jewish writer Philip Weiss wrote in the New York Observer: I dont claim to know
how Jewish the membership of the establishment is. Twenty percent, 50
percent? Im guessing 30. Jews
compose at least 30% of Harvard students, reported The Forward, a
Jewish American newspaper. The Hillel Society gives such numbers: Total
Undergraduate Population: 6658; Jewish Undergraduate Population: 2000
(approx.); Total Graduate Population: 10351 Jewish Graduate Population:
2500 (approx.). Thus the US elites are Jewish to a great extent, in the
ordinary meaning of the word. As for spirit, Karl Marx spoke of Jewish
spirit of the Yankees. A less known Marxist, Sombart,
wrote about it at length. Thus in my view it is a mistake to speak of
Jewish Lobby -- we may refer to a takeover, a displacement of the old
WASP elites. The Jews constitute some three percent of the US
population. The Brits took over India with much less percentage; so did
the ruling minority in Syria. Normans ruled over Britain for centuries
with less than that. All Russian nobility in the Tsars days was 2-3%
of the population, while upper castes of Hindu societies constitute
some 5% at most. Now, the Jews are well integrated in the US corporate
imperialism on many levels, and they do not have to fight it, they use
it. The Jewish Lobby is an additional mechanism, consisting of
hard-core Jewish nationalists. The problem is that the rest, the
non-Jewish-Lobby part of the US establishment consists, as I have said,
of not-so-nationalistic Jews to great extent. They reach compromise,
and this compromise is the middle ground of mild-Jewish-nationalism.
KP: On the
invasion of Iraq, you stated: Too many coincidences for a purely
American war. To what extent do you see a Zionist hand behind the
attack and occupation?
IS: Yes, I
partly agree with the Chicago-Harvard duo, the conquest of Iraq and
present threat to Iran are caused by the Zionist affiliates within the
Administration. The old canard of Oil Interests was debunked by
reality: oil costs more, oil companies leave Iraq, none of their
executives supported the war. Probably your readers do not even think
of Iraqi WMD or the silly stuff of bringing democracy to the Arabs.
Thus the Zionist plot is the first and obvious explanation.
Iraqi war, as a part of War on Terror, has a second leg: this is an
even more scary totalitarianism, the drive to create a caste-based
oligarchy of the Iron Heel, in Jack Londons terms. Fear is its
important tool; dismantling of civil freedoms and of cohesive natural
society is the first goal. Without War on Terror, the US rulers
wouldnt be able to read our emails, listen to our conversations, store
in their data banks every bit of information about our lives. This
totalitarianism was predicted by George Orwell, an avid reader of the
Protocols, and it was lauded by Leo Strauss, a guiding light of
Neo-Cons. Strauss endorsed a society with dictatorial powers of elites;
a follower of Hobbes, he distrusted the people. Though his views were
formed before the WWII, after the war he frequently referred to the
Holocaust as a phenomenon that is liable to come back unless the
society is firmly kept in check. I called the supporters of this
paradigm by the name Mammonites, mammon-worshippers. The Iraqi war,
and the War on Terror in general, is a joint product of Zionists and
Mammonites, while these two groups often coincide, as is the case with
the leading Neo-Cons.
why our struggle is with Zionists and Mammonites; this is not only a
laudable campaign of support of the peoples of the Middle East, but
first of all the decisive battle for preservation of democracy and
freedom in the US and Europe, for a chance of better life for our
children, for creation of a more egalitarian and more spiritual
society, against the Dark ages were are being led to.
president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has taken a lot of flak from the western
media for citing the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini about wiping
Israel off the map. Apparently, judging by the western medias silence,
it was okay to wipe Palestine off the map though. Is the state of Israel a
IS: No, it
is not. We cant consider legitimate a state that gives no rights to
its inhabitants and officially belongs to World Jewry. It is in our
interests to achieve full independence from the Jews, and to shift the
whole lot of rights and responsibilities to the population of the
country. The sovereignty should be ours, of the people of
Palestine/Israel, not of the Jewish People, the extra-territorial
worldwide body. I call upon my country-fellows to give up their
Jewishness and to become adoptive Palestinians, brothers and sisters
to the native folk. I hope eventually it will happen; we shall
integrate and forget the overseas connection. Meanwhile we follow the
colonial paradigm and exclude the natives in the name of Jewishness.
We should follow the example of Mexico, where immigrants from Spain and
Italy form one nation with the descendents of Montezuma.
does the election of Hamas mean for you? Should Hamas recognize the
state of Israel?
IS: I wrote about the
results. The Palestinians rejected the Fatah rule because they made
too many concessions to Israel, and received nothing in return. Hamas
should not recognise the state of Israel, at least until the Israeli
rulers recognise the Palestinian independence, remove their armed
forces and stop to interfere with the free traffic of Palestinians
within and without Palestine. This is reciprocity. I can imagine an
even better solution: Hamas may call for full integration of all
Palestine from the River to the Sea, and for general elections on the
basis of One Person-One Vote. But until it happens, Hamas should be
guided by reciprocity principle: mutual recognition, inter alia.
KP: You are
an ex-Jew, a convert to Christianity -- why is this? You have written
of many ex-Jews. Is this for the same reason as you? Do you think a
growing trend in Jewish apostasy would be effective in bringing about
justice for Palestinians?
Christianity and Judaism are strongly connected religions. A Christian,
Karl Marx said: Christianity is sublime Judaism, while Judaism is
sordid Christianity. A real Christian knows that a goy is not worse
than a Jew; so the idea of Jewish exclusivity is not acceptable to a
Christian. In our country we have many Russian Orthodox Christians
(some of Jewish origin, and some not), and they pray and celebrate
holidays together with our Palestinian Orthodox Christian brothers and
sisters. I was baptised by the Palestinian priest, Archbishop
Theodosius Attalla Hanna, and it helped me to sort out the question of
identity. The important point is not to create a separate Jewish
Christian set-up, for such an arrangement defeats its purpose. Thus I
am worried that there are Jewish Christian churches that are devoutly
Zionist. In short, yes, baptism is a solution, but only in connection
with rejection of Jewishness. If it is done as an addition to
Jewishness, it is void, and brings no benefit.
Petersen, Co-Editor of Dissident Voice, lives in the
traditional Mi'kmaq homeland colonially designated Nova Scotia, Canada.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shamir writings can be read at his website. His essays are
collected in three books, The
Flowers of Galilee, Our
Lady of Sorrow, and the Pardes.