Israel Shamir lost in translation

Some of my readers may remember how Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad’s speech in October 2005 was mistranslated by Israeli Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri). When properly translated the Ahmadinejad actually called for the removal of the oppressive regimes in Washington and Tel Aviv. He never mentioned the elimination or annihiliation of state of Israel. He called for the greater governance of Palestine. The word ‘map’ did nor even appear in his speech. Ahmadinejad did not deny the Holocaust but questioned its exploitation by the western powers for their colonial ambition – and punishing the Palestinian who did not commit crimes against the Jews during the Nazi era.

Currently, a similar character assassination campaign is carried out against Jewish-born Israeli-Russian writer Israel Shamir based on a recent interview he gave to American Jewish journalist Will Yakowicz. Israel Shamir’s version of his interview can be read here. Will Yakowicz’ version of the interview is published by the Jewish Tablet magazine under explosive title ‘His Jewish Problem’, which could be read here. I will leave to readers to compare and find out who is pulling whose leg!

Before, I summarize some of the interesting ‘accusations’ made by the Israeli Hasbara against Israel Shamir (his both parents were Jewish but he himself converted to Christianity in 2004) – I like to quote Israel Shamir how he had been ‘mistranslated’ before.

“One time I told a Russian interviewer that, “It is possible to extinguish the Jew within”. I thought it was a poetic way to describe overcoming our inner fears and anti-social behaviours; hostile bloggers preferred to “translate” it as “Shamir calls for the killing of Jews”.

Shamir told Will that when he was living in Palestine, he felt daily that destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque would bring to the end of the world.

Shamir did not deny his comparing Israeli soldiers with Nazis.

In response to why so many people smear him – Shamir said: “I think they have practical reasons. I do not believe they do it out of hatred. We tend to judge people by our own measure; if one is mercantile, he believes that others are mercantile. That is what Talmud says: Posel bemumo posel.”

When asked to elaborate his claim that anti-Semitism is an article of Jewish faith, Shamir replied: “How do the Jews explain hatred of Gentiles? By their envy. They say that everybody is envious of Jews, and for this reason they hate. It is an article of Jewish faith that everybody should be envious of Jews because Jews are close to God. I hardly ever met a person who would be envious of Jews. That is why I do not believe in existence of anti-Semitism. I’ve met people who were described as anti-Semites; some of them would hate the concept, the idea of Jews but hardly anybody would hate Jews as persons”.

When asked “Why people label you as anti-Semite?” – Shamir replied: “If you are never called an anti-Semite it means you never spoke against some awful things, for instance against Bernie Madoff, because if you would, you would be called ‘antisemite’. Anyway this accusation does not mean much for Jews; you’ve been to Israel, you know people call each other ‘antisemite’ easily”.

Frankly, calling Israel Shamir an ‘anti-Semite’ is ridiculous. Born to Jewish parents, Shamir could be called ‘a self-hating Jew’, like Gilad Atzmon. Moreover, Israel Shamir is already listed among the 7000+ ‘Self-Hating Israel-Threatening (S.H.I.T)’.

Israel Shamir said that he is not much concerned if Auschwitz was a Red Cross internment camp or something else. He also said that the narrative of Auschwitz as a place for extermination of Jews came after the war. “As for the accusation of ‘Holocaust denial’, my family lost too many of its sons and daughters for me to deny the facts of Jewish tragedy, but I do deny its religious salvific significance implied in the very term ‘Holocaust’; I do deny its metaphysical uniqueness, I do deny the morbid cult of Holocaust and I think every God-fearing man, a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim should reject it as Abraham rejected and smashed idols. I deny that it is good to remember or immortalize such traumatic events, and I wrote many articles against modern obsession with massacres, be it Jewish holocaust of 1940s, Armenian massacre of 1915, Ukrainian “holodomor”, Polish Katyn, Khmer Rouge etc. Poles, Armenians, Ukrainians understood me, so did Jews – otherwise I would be charged with the crime of factual denial which is known to the Israeli law,” wrote Israel Shamir earlier.

Shamir clarified Dr. Finkelstein’s disappointment with him by saying: “Finkelstein used to say that the Intifada has made one good thing: it brought Israel Shamir forth. He was keen; he thought I am doing wonderful things. But when I did not stop where he would like me to stop, he did not like it. He did not want me to criticize Jewish culture, Jewish faith; that I’d embrace Christ – that was very foreign for him, being a secular man. I did not promise him to do what he wants. Anyway I am fond of him: he is doing a very good job”.

When asked if he believes Jews were behind the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – Israel Shamir replied: “No, not as the paramount force. Though some ideas of Jewish theology fit into it”. However, Canadian Jewish academic and author, Henry Makow PhD, wrote that most probably the author of The Protocols was Lionel Nathan Rothschild (1809-1879).

About Jews being ‘special’, Shamir said: “Jews are not special; they are like everybody else. They want to induce you with thought that everything about Jews is special; whether it is State of Israel, or Holocaust. In my view, it is not so”.

In response to the question whether state of Israel has the right to exist, Shamir replied: “The state of Israel should be transformed into a state where everybody (people who claim they are Jews and those who do not) has equal rights”.


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