Masters of Discourse
is a collection of insightful, delightful and often brilliant
short essays written over a number of years by Israel Shamir.
Like a growing number of people around the world who are furious
at the mistreatment of Palestinians by the government of
Israel, I have been reading these essays of Shamir as they have
arrived in my email inbox for years. They have forced me to
re-think my own views: Jews who swear they are for "equality"
but who defend the opposite when it comes to Palestinians seemed
to me to be a paradox; Shamir's explanation was an
eye-opener--that words like "equality" for such Jews really just
mean "what's good for the Jews." Shamir's essays develop his
"all humans are equal" philosophy with an unrelenting,
take-no-prisoners attack on Jewish tribal thinking, which I
find wonderfully inspiring and clarifying. Whether the essays
are about topical events or diverse historical events about
which Shamir seems to have encyclopaedic knowledge, it is always
a refreshingly jolting experience to read them because they
clash so violently with the unprincipled Newspeak garbage that
rains down on us 24/7 from our mass media. And yet, for all the
aggressiveness and logic of his message, Shamir's language is
sometimes close to poetry. Even when I disagree with his
message, as I sometimes do, I feel enriched just from my delight
at the manner of his expressing it. Here, for example, is how
Shamir recently explained his negative attitude towards the
"9-11 was an inside job" view: "Thus a man who has spent a
passionate night with a mysterious blonde, may be reluctant to
admit that she was sent by the CIA."
Masters of Discourse is a great read.