Israel Shamir

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Israel Shamir

Israel Shamir (born June 11, 1947)[1]is a writer and journalist who is known as a controversial anti-Zionist. He is a citizen of Sweden, where his legal name is Adam Ermash[2] (previously Jöran Jermas). Critics have accused Shamir of anti-Semitism and of misrepresenting his background and career.[3][4]


Critics have disputed Shamir's account of his career and background.[3][4][5]

Shamir's own account

The following account comes from Shamir's home page:[6]

Shamir was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia. A grandson of a professor of mathematics and a descendant of a Rabbi from Tiberias, Palestine, he studied at the School of the Academy of Sciences, and read Math and Law at Novosibirsk University. In 1969, he moved to Israel, served as paratrooper in the army and fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. After his military service he resumed his study of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but abandoned the legal profession in pursuit of a career as a journalist and writer. He got his first taste of journalism with Israel Radio, and later went freelance. His varied assignments included covering Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the last stages of the war in South East Asia. In 1975, Shamir joined the BBC and moved to London. In 1977-79 he wrote for the Israeli daily Maariv and other papers from Japan. While in Tokyo, he wrote Travels with My Son, his first book, and translated a number of Japanese classics.

After returning to Israel in 1980, Shamir wrote for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz and the newspaper Al Hamishmar, and worked in the Knesset as the spokesman for Mapam (a Socialist Israeli political party). He translated the works of Shmuel Yosef Agnon, to Russian.

As the First Intifada began, Shamir had left Israel for Russia. While in Moscow, he reported for Haaretz, but was fired for publishing an article calling for the return the Palestinian refugees and the rebuilding of their ruined villages. He wrote for various Russian newspapers and magazines, including the daily Pravda and the weekly Zavtra. In 1993, he returned to Israel and settled in Jaffa. He wrote for Russian newspapers both in Israel and Russia and contributed to various literary magazines. During this period, he also worked on a new translation of the Odyssey, which was published in 2000 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In response to the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Shamir abandoned his literary occupation and resumed his work as a journalist.

In 2003 Shamir stated publicly that he had converted to Greek Orthodox Christianity.[7]


In the early 1990s Shamir appears to have been based in Moscow, where he wrote several articles for Russian publications under the name "Robert David".

In an article from 1991 in the Jerusalem Post, Mikhail Agursky[8] reflected on, what he saw as, Shamir's double identity. According to Agursky, Shamir was associated with far-left groups in Israel and denounced Russian right-wing nationalists for being anti-Jewish. At the same time he became associated with anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish right-wing groups in Russia. Agursky recounted how Shamir, under the name "Robert David", had written an article for a Russian right-wing magazine where Andrei Sakharov was denounced as a harmful Zionist agent. Agursky proceeded to give the following account of Shamir's background:

As Israel Shamir (Shmerling), he came to Israel in the late 1960s from Novosibirsk and soon became an extreme leftist.

He acquired an excellent command of Hebrew and published many articles in Ha'aretz, Al Hamishmar, and also The Jerusalem Post. He was also a Knesset spokesman for Mapam for some time. At the end of 1980 he published a violent article against Russian nationalism in Ha'aretz, accusing supporters of Solzhenitsyn of being the Jewish people's worst enemies. What was not known to Mapam and to other Israeli leftists and liberals was that Shamir also had close contacts with the Western and Israeli right.

Shamir now lives in Moscow under the name of Robert David; and, under his own name, he now loses no opportunity to claim that Zionists are the worst enemy of the Russian people, and to call Russian liberals Zionist agents.[9]

According to an IPS story from August 14, 1992, Shamir was at that time associated with the group around Alexander Prokhanov and contributed to his anti-liberal and allegedly anti-Semitic paper Dyen (spelled "Djim" in the IPS story). According to IPS, citing "Israeli sources", Shamir only "lived briefly in Israel", before returning to Russia.

When Dyen (meaning "day") was closed down by the Russian authorities, Prokhanov reopened it under the name Zavtra (meaning "tomorrow"). In recent years, Shamir has been a regular contributor, using the name "Israel Shamir".[10][11]

Outside Russian right-wing circles, Shamir appears to have been little known until 2001, when he set up his website and changed his name to Jöran Jermas.[12][13][14][15]

According to the Swedish authorities,[16] Shamir lived in Sweden from 1984 to 1993, when he emigrated to Russia. In 1998 he again became a permanent resident of Sweden, which he still remains. He became a Swedish citizen in 1992.[3][4] According to the CV on Shamir's homepage, he lived in Israel from 1980 to 1989, in Russia from 1989 to 1993, and then again in Jaffa, Israel since 1993.

Shamir is a founding Director of the Lausanne Based One Democratic State in Israel/Palestine.[17] He is also on the current Board of Advisors of Deir Yassin Remembered,[18] an organization devoted to establishing a suitable memorial to the Victims of the Deir Yassin Massacre at the Village of Deir Yassin in 1948.

Shamir's views

Jewish-Christian relations

Shamir believes that Jews should abandon Judaism and convert to Christianity. In The Marxists and the Lobby - Part II he calls acceptance of Christ "the Final Solution of the Jewish Question."[19] He discusses the issue further in an essay of April 15, 2001 called "Take Two".[20]

Blood Libel

In Bloodcurdling Libel Shamir claims that the blood libels against Jews, accusations that Jews sacrifice Christians, especially children, and use their blood in religious rituals, are in fact true. According to Shamir, they are believed to be false mainly because Jews automatically assume that such accusations against other Jews are false. Shamir suggests that kidnappings and ritual murders of Christians are carried out by a small group of Jewish "deviants", "magicians and sorcerers who would use human blood to wash off sins or to hasten Salvation". He maintains that these deviants have been protected by other Jews who automatically assumed their innocence. At one point Shamir appears to go even further, arguing that the testimony in medieval blood libel cases by Jews who had converted to Christianity has been unduly discarded. On the other hand, Shamir never makes these claims explicitly in his text, and does concede that "it is possible that the connection of blood sacrifices and matzo of Passover or homentash of Purim is but a popular belief."[21]

Jewish conspiracy

In The Spiders Web, Shamir states that, as part of a "bigger and more dangerous Judaic conspiracy", Jews dominate the media, and that in the United Kingdom the media is controlled by "extreme Judeophiles." He describes Sunday Times articles as "part of a Judaic conspiracy to besmirch Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims", and posits that it is "quite possible" that the Beslan school massacre, genocide in Sudan, the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks, the terror attacks on Istanbul synagogues, and the August 31, 2004 suicide bombings on buses in Beersheba (for which Hamas claimed responsibility), were all False flag operations carried out by this conspiracy. He also claims that "powerful Jewish organisations" like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Southern Poverty Law Center, "are prominent tools for establishing the police state", and claims that "The ADL, a Judaic tool of ideological control, runs a network of informers, spies after activists and thinkers and supports every oppressive undertaking of the US Government". He also claims that "proof of Judaic conspiracy" is "the concerted Judaic drive to bomb Iran", and proposes "a new definition of a true member of Jewry (as opposed to an individual and reluctant Jew) - it's one who wants to bomb Iran."[22]

Jewish lobby

In The Marxists and The Lobby, Shamir characterizes the "Jewish Lobby" as a "hard fact", and claims that "the Jewish Lobby is not a 'small group of pro-Zionist Jews', but an extremely powerful group of billionaires, media lords, and their supporters in the left and the right, from The New York Times to The Nation, from Wolfowitz of the Pentagon to Rabbi Lerner of Tikkun.[23]


In an article entitled The Shadow of Zog, Shamir promotes the notion that the American government acts at the behest of Zionists, using the terminology of the "Zionist Occupation Government" (ZOG) conspiracy theory. In his view, ZOG is a "slave of Mammon, a servant of the Shadow, he is helping the Dark force fulfill its metaphysical task, to blot out the Light of Christ and to turn our world into Godless desert. That is why he sends bulldozers to wipe out flowers in Palestine, sends troops to sack Baghdad and Damascus, threatens Paris and Moscow, perverts Christianity."[24]

On Holocaust revisionism

In a 2001 response to a group who intended to hold an international Holocaust revisionist conference in Beirut, Shamir stated:

The "revisionists" risked their lives and fortunes trying to undermine what they call "the Myth of the Holocaust." One can understand their interest. Nowadays, one may openly doubt the Immaculate Conception or (maybe) challenge the founding myths of Israel. Yet the cult of the Holocaust retains a unique, court-enforced prohibition against any investigation that might cast a doubt on its sacred dogma.[25]

In December 2005, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth fabricated by the West and Europe. An Iranian news agency asked Shamir and some well-known Holocaust revisionists to comment.[26] Shamir wrote an ambiguous reply that was interpreted as support of the Iranian president's stance.[27]

Opposition to migration

In a discussion with US Marxist historian Noel Ignatiev, Shamir declared himself opposed to migration between "organic units," by which he means not nations but much smaller territorial units: "For instance, in the US I would envisage New England, Dixie or the Mid-West – as organic bodies."[28] In a 2003 essay on the subject, "On the Move", Shamir denounces large-scale immigration to Europe as part of the "Mammonite" strategy to undermine society, claiming that "Immigration destroys cohesiveness of the host society."[29]


Shamir is an active supporter of coalition and interaction of the left and the right towards common goals. He maintains links with, and is supported by activists and in many countries,[30] including Horst Mahler[31] in Germany, Martin Webster[32] in the UK, and David Duke[33] in the USA.

He has berated Arab-Americans for demonstrating against the National Alliance who demonstrated against Zionists saying; "I would bless whoever supports the cause of Palestine without checking their ideological credentials. I bless all supporters of Palestine full stop." This attitude was based on Shamir's concept of balance: "The world is full of bad guys, and things are good only if and when the bad guys balance each other. Saddam would balance Sharon, while the White supremacists would balance the Jewish supremacists."[34]

In Poisoning Wells, Shamir repeats: "The Jews and non-Jews would be able to live together happily, after the Jewish supremacy trend will be vanquished. However, until it is achieved, we, the friends of Palestine, should seek understanding and cooperation with all possible allies, black, white, red, green or rainbow, as blessed are the seekers of peace."

In an email exchange with BNP legal advisor Lee Barnes following Shamir's comments on the execution of Saddam Hussein, Shamir accused Barnes and other leaders of the BNP of "betraying the Britons and joining with the Jews".[35]

Accusations of anti-Semitism

Two Arab activists, Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish, have written an open letter regarding Shamir's alleged anti-Semitism being unhelpful to the Palestinian cause. They cite a number of 'serious concerns' about Shamir's alleged anti-Semitism, including this passage:

The Jewish supremacy forces and the greed worshippers united again to crucify Christ. The US, this New Rome, again gives hand and agrees to become the executioner. Now it is our turn to decide.[36]

They conclude by stating:

We do not have any need for some of what Israel Shamir is introducing into the discourse on behalf of Palestinian rights, which increasingly includes elements of traditional European anti-Semitic rhetoric. Such sentiments will harm, not help, the cause. We urge all our friends in the movement for Palestinian rights to seriously consider the long-term effects this rhetoric will have on the cause, and act accordingly.[37]

In November 2005, the French publisher of Shamir's book L’autre Visage D’israël (The Other Face of Israel), Abdelila Cherifi Alaoui, was sentenced to 3 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of €10000 as well as €12000 in damages. He must also pay €1500 to the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism. Alaoui was found guilty of "incitement to discrimination, exhortation to hate and violence" by the regional court of Nanterre. The court found that Shamir was attached to the standard kind of ancient anti-Semitism, where the "Jews", always in plural, were portrayed as dominators of the world in line with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.



  • Flowers of Galilee (in English), Dandelion 2004, ISBN 1-893302-78-4.
  • Pardes, Surge Books 2005 ISBN 1-4196-0601-8.
  • Our Lady of Sorrows, Surge Books 2005 ISBN 1-4196-0835-5.
  • Сосна и Олива, (Pine and Olive, in Russian), Wahlstrom Publications, 1987.
  • Путешествие в Египет, (Travel to Egypt, in Russian) Tel-Aviv, 1981.
  • Потаенные Прелести Планеты Земля, (Obscure sites of Planet Earth, in Russian) “Glagol”, Moscow, 1996.
  • Xozyaeva Diskursa, (Masters of Discourse, in Russian) Gilea, Moscow 2003.
  • Сосна и Олива 2d edition (in Russian) Ultracultura, Moscow 2004.
  • Carri armati e ulivi della Palestina – Il fragore del silenzio (Tanks and olives in Palestine, in Italian) – Editrice C.T.R. Pistoia 2002.
  • Blomar frå Galilea. Essay frå kanten av avgrunnen, (in Neo-Norwegian) Det Norske Samlaget, Oslo, 2002 [translated by Hans Olav Brendberg].
  • L’autre Visage d’Israël, (in French) éditions Balland-Blanche, Paris 2003.
  • L’autre Visage d’Israël, (in French) éditions Al Qalam, Paris 2004.
  • Pardes (in French) Paris éditions Al Qalam, 2005.
  • Blommor i Galiléen, (in Swedish), Alhambra, Malmo 2004 (Övers. av Ingvar Rydberg).[38]
  • La lluvia verde de Yassouf (in Spanish), Ojeda, Barcelona 2004.
  • Rasszista Állam? (Racist State, in Hungarian) Kairosz, Budapest 2004 ISBN 963-9484-90-3.
  • Blumen aus Galiläa, (in German), Promedia, Wien 2005 ISBN 3-85371-231-2.



  • S.Y.Agnon, In the Heart of the Seas, Wahlstrom Publication, Jerusalem-Stockholm,1981 S.Y.Agnon, In the Heart of the *Seas, “Raduga”, Moscow, 1991.
  • S.Y.Agnon, In the prime of her life, “Panorama”, Moscow, 1996
  • S.Y.Agnon, Collected Stories, Gesharim, Jerusalem 2004 ISBN 5-93273-148-6.
  • James Joyce “Sirens”, “Cyclops” (chapters from Ulysses ), “22” magazine Tel-Aviv, 1984.
  • James Joyce “Sirens”, “Cyclops” (chapters from Ulysses), «Vremja i my », New York.
  • James Joyce “Sirens”, “Cyclops” (chapters from Ulysses), Anthology The Blue Laguna (Kuzminsky ed.).
  • James Joyce “Sirens”, “Cyclops” (chapters from Ulysses), “Raduga”, Moscow, 2000 ISBN 5-05-005113-4.
  • H. Herzog, Arab-Israeli Wars, OPI publication, London, 1986[39] republished Moscow 2004.[40]
  • R. Chandler, Playback, Tel Aviv, 1986.
  • G. Mocked, Metamorphoses, Leningrad, 1992.
  • Homer, Odyssey, “Aletheia”, St. Petersburg, 2000.
  • Abraham Zacuto, The Book of Lineage, 608 pages, Zacuto Foundation 2006

ISBN 1-4196-1893-8 English annotated translation of medieval Hebrew chronicles.


  1. Passport as on Monitor magazine website.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Israel Shamir writes about his background (in Swedish)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2
  8. Jewish-Christian Relations Biography of Mikhail Agursky
  9. Jerusalem Post archive We mustn't shun the Russian right
  11. Google search "Исраэль Шамир"
  12. Media Monitors Network Israel Shamir
  15. RV member to be expelled?

See also

External links