An interview to Israel Adam Shamir on
ISRAEL/PALESTINE DISPUTE: ONE STATE FOR TWO
NATIONS AS A SOLUTION?
GPL: In France your book about the history of Palestine
has recently been released by belgian publisher Oser Dire. When
you published The Pine and the Olive at first, in russian, in
1987, 20 years after the annexations of 1967, did you think Jews
were still able to "palestinize" themselves? What were your
reasons of hope then? Wasn't it already too late, or too
Israel Adam Shamir - The book was completed in 1986, and
that is an important difference. It was before the Intifada, the
times were still rather soft, integration at maximum. Then
jewish youth wore kaffieh and used a lot of Arab words;
interaction was daily thing, Palestinians were working
everywhere: building, doing hard work, getting decent money by
their standards. There were no checkpoints, a palestinian boy
could go to swim in the Med, work in Tel Aviv, date a Jewish
girl. A Jewish boy could go and visit villages as I did. Before
intifada, there were chances for things to move towards
integration. It was not even that clearly cut "Jews on top,
Arabs on bottom" situation. Indeed Ashkenazi local born were on
top, but Palestinians with land and education could be above
Oriental Jews and above or on a par with new immigrants
(Russians, Americans, etc).
So the solution was not only possible but probable! Now when I
speak to Palestinians all agree that the time before intifada
was the best they ever had. Why intifada occurred? Israeli legal
machine (led by the present Supreme Justices) invented a device:
they claimed that all non-privatised land of Palestine (and that
was the lion share of lands, as privatisation was far from
complete) belongs to the Jewish state and can be given to Jews.
That was the signal for takeover of their lands, and it led to
Speaking of the book, I made now a new Russian edition and it
goes very well in Russia. For this edition I checked hundreds of
references and corrected hundreds of mistakes. I hope if and
when Le Pin et l’Olivier will be reprinted in French, they will
correct the text according to the latest edition.
GPL - In 2000, when the Intifada re-started, all the pro-palestinian
activists interpretated your project of One State as One State
under palestinian rule. Was it possible then, or at least
Shamir - Well, not exactly "under palestinian rule". I am
not for such a thing: for certain Palestinian leadership - yes,
for some advantages to the native Palestinians - yes; but not
for creating a state where I'd find myself limited in my rights.
I am not that much of a masochist, and I believe in equality.
One state is the idea of equality so the Jews in Palestine would
be equal to Palestinians just as Jews in France are equal to
native sons of Gallia. And such a solution was not only
possible, it was realistic, and it remains so. The problem is
that Jews do not tend to compromise. They tend to double their
stakes in hope to win all. More force, even more force is their
modus operandi. They thought they should never give one inch.
Eventually checkpoints were built; and the wall, and things fell
GPL - During these last 10 years, you have been doing a
very big work in order to de-legitimate the jewish domination in
historical Palestine. What is your balance now?
Shamir - Well, the change is great: ten years ago the One
State idea was virtually forgotten, now it is on the
foreground. The story of Palestine was not forgotten, was not
assigned to oblivion. People learned not to be afraid of Jewish
anger. Pro-palestinian and pro-peace movement began to free
itself from the grip of Jewish-nationalist activists - thanks to
Gilad Atzmon, Jeff Blankfort, Maria Poumier, Marcel Charbonnier,
Claudio Moffa, Watt and Mearsheimer, Jeff Petras and other guys
and girls who rejected Jewish supremacy and spoke openly about
the Lobby, about Jewish soft power. There is much work to be
done, but it is already done by so many other people!
GPL - You have been giving a vivid young-liking image of
christianity, with your conversion to orthodoxy. Do you feel
your christian fellows in Middle East and elsewhere did
understand and value your step?
Shamir - I am less sure about it. In the Middle East,
Christians are ethnic-religious communities just like Jews; they
are born into their faith-oriented community. It is like colour
of skin for them. They treated me very well; I have nothing to
complain. In the West, the Catholic church is trying to
accommodate Jews; and my message was too much for them. Still,
my relations with them are good. And as for the Russian church,
I enjoy their worship very much. There are problems - the world
is not used to religiously oriented discourse. Many people just
push delete when they see a reference to Divine.
GPL - In 2010, you seem to accept -without any joy
indeed- to carry on the project of One State under israeli
leadership; you explain that the palestinian minority will be
able to abolish little by little the discriminatory and
apartheid laws, and get material compensations for expulsions
and confiscations of the "absents'" properties? Is it so?
Shamir : It is possible; such a solution would be
acceptable to majority of Palestinians living in Palestine
provided the time would be not too long. I am sure that some
people in Palestinian diaspora would reject any solution, any
solution at all – that is the thing with diasporas, whether
Jewish, Armenian or Irish, they do not understand the need for
compromise. But I am not sure the ruling elites of Israel would
agree to go this way, or any way at all. As for me, I would
support any decision that will reunite the native people and the
GPL - What about the nuclear israeli threat, how can it
Shamir - It could be neutralized at once with all other
Israeli threats, together with apartheid. But I think it is
waste of time to speak of nuclear disarmament in present
situation. So there is another way, nuclear armament of Iran. It
will create MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) and thus Israeli
nuclear threat will be neutralized.
GPL - You wish a kind of resurrection of the ottoman
empire, where the new israeli palestinian state would find its
place naturally. What are the geopolitical parameters that lead
you to think it may be doable in a short space of time?
Shamir - We are coming into the time of great changes;
the area I call ‘post-Byzantine big space’ seeks to redefine
itself. This area includes Russia, Balkans, Middle East, Turkey.
It is in the process of freeing itself from West European and
American ascendancy. Palestine is also a part of the area; with
completion of decolonization the Zionist project will expire.
GPL - Do you still stake on the spiritual factor, on
conversion of israeli Jews to loyalty with the land of Palestine
instead of loyalty to blood logic (with its mytholoy about
racial superiority, chosen people above any international law,
claiming for rights without any limitation, etc)?
Shamir - Yes, absolutely. When one myth dies, another
one should take its place. Myth of blood will go, myth of land
will come instead.
GPL - In the Pine and the Olive, you identify yourself
with the Russian immigration in Israel. Why do israeli Russians
do not support you more, why do they let fanatic Lieberman
Shamir - Russian Israelis (or Israeli Russians) do have
a warm spot for me. After all, I lived among them for many
years. They always remember me whenever they speak of the actual
Holy Land, of its villages. Even today as I write it I see in
the Google search as some Russian Israeli internet communities
quote texts from the Pine and the Olive and call it ‘supreme’,
‘divine’ and what not. As for Lieberman, he has a lot of
financial support. I had none; when my adversaries called me
‘antisemite’ many of my erstwhile friends went into hiding.
Still, « je ne regrette rien » !
GPL - It is easy to imagine how much of hidden support
there is, even from very different points, for the warmonger
Lieberman, so desperatly wishing to bomb Iran. In 2008, in your
book Masters of Discourse, you showed how in America the pro-israeli
lobby is able to unite both leftists and right wing people of
the West, to raise propaganda operations, in order to prepare
military attacks, at the psychological level; it works for
present wars and for the coming ones. What new propaganda
campaigns are you dismantling now? What is your new battlefield?
Shamir - Now I try to use the Wikileaks documents in
order to achieve our goals. They
show so much about the plans of the US and Israel! I think this
should be used to its utmost! It appears that American power
peaked in 1990s, and now it has begun to slowly decay. Megaleaks
is not so much a cause as a symptom of decline. With any luck,
people of good will around the world can work together to
gracefully degrade the machinery of foreign domination.
Americans have benefited least of all from the violent and
intrusive politics of globalism. Heroic figures like Julian
Assange lead us toward genuine local control and away from a
Matrix-like network of conspiracies.
London Moscow, November 30th, 2010