Israel Shamir

From Academic Kids

Israel Shamir is a writer and journalist who is opposed to Zionism and supports Palestinian rights. He is a citizen of Sweden, where his legal name is Jöran Jermas. Critics accuse Shamir of anti-Semitism and of misrepresenting his background and career. [1] ( [2] (



Many facts about Shamir's background are disputed. The following is his own account taken from his home page:

Shamir was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia, in 1950. 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 Hamish:mar, 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. His work was published and reprinted many times in both Israel and in Russia. His most popular work, The Pine and the Olive, the story of Palestine/Israel, was published in 1988. Its cover carried a painting by the Ramallah painter, Nabil Anani. It was republished in an updated version in 2004 by Ultraculture, Moscow.
As the First Intifada began, Shamir had left Israel for Russia, where he covered the eventful years 1989-1993. 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 formally announced his conversion to Greek Orthodox Christianity.[3] (

Roland Rance has written that Shamir "also writes under the names of Schmerlin, Robert David, Vassili Krasevsky and Jöran Jermas."

Shamir is apparently a right-wing Russian journalist, who pretends to be an Israeli Jewish leftist. He claims to live in Jaffa, and may well have a home there, but he also seems to live in Sweden. He uses a Swedish email address, and his website used to be hosted there. His son was deported from Israel to Sweden....[4] (

According to Swedish authorities, Shamir lived in Sweden from 1984-1993, when he emigrated to Russia.[5] ( [6] (

Shamir's controversial views

Jewish-Christian relations

Shamir is a strong believer that Jews must abandon Judaism and convert to Christianity. In his April 15, 2001 Take Two Easter greetings he writes "The Jewish supremacy forces and the greed worshippers united again to crucify Christ... Two thousand years ago, the spirit of brotherhood rose again, to give hope for the second joust. If he is defeated again, we all shall become forever slaves to our faceless masters. They will destroy the Mother Earth herself, turn her into waste lands of Mordor." In his 2003 Christmas Greetings to Hellenes he writes: "The Jews are forever fighting Christ and the Church; there is no chance for peace in the Holy Land unless the position of the Synagogue is undermined and the Jews saved by the Church... only the Orthodox Church can offer true salvation to the Jews escaping their supremacist creed".

Jewish/Zionist/Israeli conspiracies

Shamir has advanced a number of conspiracy theories regarding Jews and Israel; for example, in an article entitled The Shadow of Zog, he promotes the notion of a "Zionist Occupied Government" (or ZOG) ruling the United States. 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."

In an article titled Bloodcurdling Libel, Shamir advances the blood libel that Jews sacrificed Christian children for their blood, perhaps for use in Passover matzos or Purim hamantaschen. In a September 2004 article titled The Spider Web, he describes Sunday Times articles as "part of a Judaic conspiracy to besmirch Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims", and suggested 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 the "Judaic conspiracy". Another article titled Poisoning Wells recycles the medieval belief that Jews were responsible for causing outbreaks of bubonic plague by poisoning the wells .


Two prominent Palestinian activists, Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish have written an open letter regarding Shamir's Anti-semitism being unhelpful to the Palestinian cause. They cite a number of 'serious concerns' about Shamir's 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."[7] (

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."[8] (

Israel Shamir bibliography


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

Sosna I Oliva, (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 Sosna I Oliva 2d edition (in Russian) Contracultura, 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 fra Galilea. Essay fra kanten av avgrunnen, (in Norwegian) Det Norske Samlaget, Oslo, 2002 [omsetjing: Hans Olav Brendberg]

L’autre Visage D’israël, (in French) é d i t i o n s B a l l a n d- B l a n c h e, Paris 2003 L’autre Visage D’israël, (in French) é d i t i o n s Al Qalam, Paris 2004 Pardes (in French) Paris é d i t i o n s Al Qalam, 2005

Blommor i Galiléen, (in Swedish), Alhambra, Malmo 2004 (Övers. av Ingvar Rydberg).

La lluvia verde de Yassouf (in Spanish), Ojeda, Barcelona 2004

Rasszista Allam? (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 ISBN 45-85220-487-0 S.Y.Agnon, Collected Stories, Gesharim, Jerusalem 2004 ISBN 5-93273-148-6 J.Joyce “Sirens”, “Cyclops” (chapters from Ulysses ), “22” magazine Tel-Aviv, 1984 J.Joyce “Sirens”, “Cyclops” (chapters from Ulysses), «Vremja i my », New York J.Joyce “Sirens”, “Cyclops” (chapters from Ulysses), Anthology « The Blue Laguna” (Kuzminsky ed.) J.Joyce “Sirens”, “Cyclops” (chapters from Ulysses), “Raduga”, Moscow, 2000 ISBN 5-05-005113-4 H. Herzog, Arab-Israeli Wars, OPI publication, London, 1986 < > republished Moscow 2004 < > R. Chandler, Playback, Tel Aviv, 1986 G. Mocked, Metamorphoses, Leningrad, 1992 Homer, Odyssey, “Aletheia”, St. Petersburg, 2000 Zacuto, Sefer Yohassin – work in progress

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