Israel Shamir: Today's Christian Nietzsche!
I want to promote interest in Israel Shamir's
fantastic book, "Flowers of Galilee."
First, some personal to explain the unusual
claim, "Today's Christian Nietzsche." I did an MA
in German and Russian Lit [1965-68] and no prof
mentioned Nietzsche. I did a PhD in philosophy
[1970-75] and no prof talked about Nietzsche.
Luckily, I could not get a job teaching philosophy
so I studied accounting, management, and
economics. In the middle 1990s, I was looking for
something to keep up my German and sort of
stumbled on Nietzsche. Since then, two times every
year I relisten to a 12-hour set of audio-tapes of
"Thus Spoke Zarathustra" and reread his other
works. The fantastic thing about Nietzsche is the
way he reverses values and makes us see things in
a completely opposed way. He writes like a
rapierist and regularly shocks us with his cogent
insights, but unfortunately many of Nietzsche's
targets have been defeated or become irrelevant.
So much for Nietzsche! Now on to Shamir!
Shamir takes on the big evils of today:
globalization, mammonization, Judeo-Naziification,
zionization of Christianity, etc. And he is great
at making fun of those who use pseudo-issues to
distract attention from the biggies. Even after
reading the Israel Shahak and Norman Finkelstein,
I am often jolted by many of Shamir's insights. I
feel that cataracts are being removed from my
eyes. These insights can involve shocking
reformulations of conventional wisdom, obscure
historical knowledge, current statistics,
interesting travel anecdotes, quotes from old
texts, or almost anything.
It is amazing and disappointing that so many
Palestinian advocacy groups consider Shamir too
strong a medicine. For a time, I belonged to a
Palestinian-run "Academics for Justice," which
would not allow the distribution of Shamir's
articles. Just mentioning Shamir's name is a good
way to sort out the phoney opposition and save
oneself a lot of useless discussion time.
Nietzsche said that 100 more years of books and
the spirit itself will stink. Very true, but
Shamir gives the spirit a good airing out.
Unfortunately, one bad effect of reading Shamir
is that Nietzsche now seems somehow irrelevant and
The book can be purchased at
<http://www.dandelionbooks.net>. Don't read this
book for an abstract cause, but for yourself!