The Writings of Israel Shamir

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Truth conquers all

Special to Saudi Gazette
May 26, 2001

Persecution by any other name is just as evil -- more so when yesterday's persecuted become today's persecutors. As Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's F-16 jetfighters, Apache helicopter gunships, tanks, destroyers and missiles pound defenseless Palestinian cities, towns and villages, and as his bulldozers demolish homes, fields, orchards and olive trees, words like "state-terrorism", "apartheid" and "Nazism" barely suffice to describe the notorious Butcher of Qibya, Sabra and Shatila's arrogance of power. Nevertheless, those who have dared to use such labels have been strongly condemned by the Zionist-controlled media in Israel and the West as "anti-Semitic." This is why it takes great men of courage to speak out and vent their rage at the genocide being perpetrated against innocent Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories particularly against the heroic young Palestinian kids who daily confront Israeli tanks and armor with their stones.

One such man of courage recently wrote: "Just yesterday, we hardly dared to call the Israeli policy of official discrimination against Palestinians by the harsh word "apartheid". Today, as Sharon's tanks and missiles pound defenseless cities and villages, the word barely suffices. It has become an unjustified insult to the white supremacists of South Africa. They, after all, did not use gunships and tanks against the natives, they did not lay siege to Soweto. They did not deny the humanity of their Kaffirs. The Jewish supremacists made it one better." These words were not uttered by an Arab, but rather by a courageous and conscientious Jew: Israel Shamir, an Israeli writer and journalist, who has refused to remain silent in the face of the atrocities being committed against the Palestinians. Because of his outspokenness, he has been vilified and branded by the Zionists as an "anti-Semite" a ridiculous charge against an honest man, whose Judaism is more pristine than that of many Jews.

In his writings, Shamir condemns Jews who once were the object of Nazi persecution, but have now become the persecutors. He also denounces the awful silence of the long-suffering persecuted Jews vis-ŕ-vis Sharon's crimes against humanity in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He raps Israelis for electing Sharon a warmonger with many massacres to his name as their prime minister: "The Israeli government commits war crimes on a day-to-day basis. It is run by a certified mass murderer. The unprecedented siege, mass starvation and summary executions are now routine. Bombing, strafing and shelling civilians are no longer anything to get worked up about."

Moreover, like Edward Said, he is a leading champion of the "One-Man, One-Vote, One-State solution to the Palestinian problem," as well as the return of all Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora: "Palestine is not a dead object; it is a living country. Palestinians are her soul…Without the Palestinians, Palestine dies. Her rivers run poisoned water; the sources dry out; the hills and valleys are disfigured."
Rejecting claims that the events now taking place in Palestine constitute a "civil war", Shamir asserts that what is going on is a one-sided genocidal war. As he put it: "If this is civil war, the slaughter of a lamb is a bullfight. The disparity of forces is just too great. No, Virginia, it is not 'civil war', it is creeping genocide."

In short, his message is anti-persecution, anti-racism, anti-oppression, anti-ethnic-cleansing, anti-crimes-against-humanity, anti-Jewish-supremacy and anti-Zionism. He speaks out for the downtrodden and persecuted Palestinians. Like the hero of Eugene Ionesco's play Rhinoceros, he is struggling against blind conformity refusing to be counted among Sharon's rhinos. 

For Israel Shamir, truth is liberating: Vincit omnia veritas -- truth conquers all.




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 Last modified: November 23, 2002