For One Democratic State in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote



Professor Patrick McNally"

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 pale.

The book can be purchased at <>. Don't read this book for an abstract cause, but for yourself!