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May 14, 2001

By Genie Trone


Editor's Note: The following article is, by Genie Trone, is in response to "THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS: THE ISRAEL SHAMIR CASE " By Nigel Parry, which you will find on his website. As to those who would disparage Mr. Shamir for not writing his own articles, allow us, at NileMedia to blow away this nonsense. I have personally edited a few of his articles and have seen him go through the agony of writing and rewriting and deliberating about every last word.

Disagree with Shamir's views all you want, but at least acknowledge that they are his views. Confront him, if it brings peace to your mind, but allow that he is a provocative and challenging writer who has a most distinctive and authentic voice. I will wager that there is only one man on the planet who thinks and writes like Israel Shamir. You guessed it, Israel Shamir. Although I would gladly go mano-a-mano with Shamir on matters of history or politics, I have nowhere near his grasp of literature or his infatuation with Hollywood movies or his knowledge of the landscape of Palestine. Like few others, Israel Shamir's writings can take you to scene after scene of the crimes against the Palestinian people. Some old, some new, all told in his bold irreverent manner. Although he has many detractors, he has as many, if not more, avid fans. In acknowledging Mr. Shamir, we should also acknowledge the role of Ali Khan of MediaMonitors.net who has been instrumental in providing a platform to talented writers like Shamir.

by Eugenie Trone
Editor's Note: This article is in response to "THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS: THE ISRAEL SHAMIR CASE " By Nigel Parry,

As I look to the East and I see the army of Eretz Israel torment the native people of Palestine, I think that there are NO WORDS in this world too strong to condemn Israel's brutality and their years of arrogant self-righteous harassment and oppression, collective punishments, apartheid, ethnic cleansing,and finally, slaughtering of the Palestinians...not words from Israel Shamir, Dr. Israel Shahak, Benny Freedman,Gideon Levy, Benny Morris,Uri Avnery...none! It would be like saying that one could condemn the KKK too strongly.

And no words, "Nazi-like" , "Jewish supremacists", "apartheid masters", "rabid Zionists", "Butchers of Sabra and Shatilla", none of these terms are strong enough to condemn the outrageous and appalling excesses of Israeli military rule!!

One of the few Israeli writers who has had the guts to say anything even close to those terms, both loudly and clearly, has been the Russian Israeli writer, Israel Shamir, who is now being pilloried for his courage by those who are supposedly the champions of Palestinian rights.

It is a pity there were not more people like Israel Shamir during WII speaking out loudly, clearly, and courageously on the plight of the Jews when they were being slaughtered by the Nazis and much of the world remained silent. He would definitely not have been part of that silent crowd at whom we hurl the charge "J'accuse!" today. And if there had been an Israel Shamir sounding the warning, in those days long gone, as he sounds the warning on behalf of the Palestinians today, he would be honored and thanked today by the entire Holocaust generation as they see fit to honor Schindler. But instead, Israel Shamir speaks out on behalf of the Palestinians who are suffering terribly at the hands of the State of Israel and for this he receives no thanks but instead is criticized for being "anti-Semitic".

I object!! Israel Shamir is anti-censorship, anti-apartheid, anti-oppression, anti-ethnic-cleansing, anti-crimes-against-humanity, anti-Jewish-supremacy and anti-Zionism. If anyone can equate any of these things to being anti-Semitic then so be it. But it would be incorrect and it would be the same ridiculous logic of equating being "anti-NAZI" with being "anti-German". "Semantics, semantics". In this case "Semitic- semantics"!! If one wishes to split "semitic-semantic" hairs with me, I would point out that the last I had heard the Palestinians were Semitic too! The bottom line is that no one in this world today can accuse Israel Shamir of being silent while innocents are being slaughtered in Palestine. For this noble stand Israel Shamir deserves to be honored rather than silenced.

The charge of "J'accuse!" is instead placed at the feet of the silent Jews of today who ironically intone "Never Again, Never again!" but remain silent and do not protest the killing again and again of Palestinians by the State of Israel, and yet are still bitter about the awful silence during the Holocaust of 52 years ago.

The same charge is also placed at the feet of those who wish to silence or tame the voices of Israeli citizens like Shamir for telling the terrible truth of the vicious actions of their Eretz Israel. To them I say "Vincit Omnia Veritas!" You will not succeed in silencing men like Israel Shamir from delivering the gruesome pro-patria truth while vociferously defending the Palestinians,for eventually "truth conquers all"! As Emile Zola wrote in "J'Accuse!", his famous defense of Dreyfus, "The truth is on the march and nothing will stop it!"

Meanwhile, as Mr. Shamir continues on his honorable path, there are some folks who are bitterly attacking Mr. Shamir in a thoroughly unbecoming fashion by resorting to rumor-mongering, snide gossip, innuendo and speculation, and finally, pure heartless slander.

This is not the appropriate way for intellectuals to behave; this is more typical of the ill-willed journalism of personal destruction that is used by the vindictive detractors of Edward Said, Noam Chomsky,and Norman Finkelstein. These critics of Mr. Shamir are elevating him into the good company of other intellectual greats who are attacked unreasonably because there is no other reasonable way to attack them.

For example, one of the most ill-willed, insulting and slanderous of the charges against Israel Shamir is that he does not write his own articles, that "there must be a ghost writer somewhere in Russia or Israel" writing Mr. Shamir's pieces for him. Bill Friend, while conceding that he "has no proof whatsoever", has speculated publicly about this saying that Israel Shamir's spoken English is not good enough to write such beautiful pieces as The Rape of Dulcinea, Galillee Flowers, Kid Sister....pieces more beautiful and powerful than anything most professional writers will ever produce. These slanderous charges I personally and adamantly refute, because I have not only seen Israel Shamir write his pieces with my own eyes while he was a guest in my house, but I also personally know a few caring people like Ahmed Amr of NileMedia.com, and myself, who serve as Mr. Shamir's editors because we are so anxious to help him polish and publish his views. Does Bill Friend not know that most good writers have good editors?

And how does Bill Friend explain the fact that Mr. Shamir's "broken English" is good enough to draw and captivate large audiences of people whom he addresses and fields tough questions from without notes and from whom he receives raves reviews for his brilliant analogies and irreverent insights? Ventriloquism perhaps?

The fact is, Mr. Shamir is a prodigious reader and a prolific writer of English which he finds easier than the spoken tongue as he still carries the heavy accent and syntax of his native Russian language. I can testify that going to a book store with Mr. Shamir, which is a favorite pastime of his, is truly an astonishing experience as his vast knowledge of authors and literature is flabbergasting. Israel Shamir is a scholar, Mr. Friend, in Russian, English, Hebrew, Talmudic script, and no doubt more.

On top of the insult of those baseless charges, Israel Shamir has also been told to "tone down his writing" by certain friends of Mr. Friend. Oh really? Oy vey! Do we really need more censorship in America on the Israeli/Palestinian dispute? Must Shamir's writings be phrased in more polite and diplomatic language? Would the mother of a Palestinian child murdered by the Israeli occupation troops consider Shamir too loud? Why this vendetta against Shamir? Is his work somehow diminished on the grounds that he speaks English with an accent? Those who have defamed Mr. Shamir on the basis of "gut-feeling" and serious doubts" and "without any proof" need to reconsider their misspent efforts. As Israel Shamir says "With Friends (and friends of Friend's) like these, who needs... the Israeli lobby"!!

When I showed Israel Shamir some of the criticism from Nigel Parry, Bill Friend, Ali AbuNimah, and Hussein Ibish, he answered me with a poem by the modern Greek poet, Cavafy.

"Che Fece.....Il Gran Refiuto" by Cavafy
"To certain people there comes a day when they must say the great Yes or the great No.
He who has the Yes within him reveals himself at once, and saying it.............. he crosses over to the path of honor and his own conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Should he be asked again, he would say No again. And yet that No ---the right No----crushes him for the rest of his life."

Israel Shamir has crossed over that line and said a loud and resounding "Yes".....yes to the rights of the Palestinians, yes to ending apartheid and bringing democracy to Israel, yes to railing against wholesale collective punishments, yes to badgering the Israeli politicians who show no compassion for the Palestinians, yes to criticizing the election of a war criminal as the head of state in Israel, yes to condemning state endorsed political assassinations, yes to criticizing Elie Weisel for ignoring and distorting the facts on Jerusalem, yes to pointing out the Zionist bias in the US press and the danger it poses to our American democracy, yes to fuming against the corrupting influence the Zionist lobby and their PAC money has in the US, especially on our politicians, yes to the objection to using US taxpayers money to arm Israel and thereby facilitating the killing of unarmed Palestinians, and finally, yes to condemning in the absolutely, very strongest words possible, all the terrible things that Zionism has perpetrated on the native people of Palestine for the last 52 years!!!

For all this, Yes! I am indeed grateful to Israel Shamir for being a man who follows his convictions and speaks his mind loudly, openly, and honestly and who has condemned Israel without fear or apology and called our attention to the Rape of Dulcinea. He is indeed a "prophet" who deserves great honor from all within his own country, and all those from without, who care about the Palestinian plight and the ultimate welfare of Israelis.

Israel Shamir is talking about apartheid, prejudice, oppression and body counts; he is talking about war in Palestine that is destroying his country and its future. For those who are too faint-hearted to stand up for the Palestinian kids resisting a humiliating occupation, I say "Get thee to a nunnery!" Or, as Israel Shamir has suggested, "Go rescue the whales". This is a desperate struggle for liberty against a vicious foe and unless you are willing to take aim and verbally fire with both barrels, as Mr. Shamir does, directly at the enemy, which is the Israeli occupation in case anyone is confused, well then I would suggest you get out of the way! To succeed in destroying the reputation of Mr. Shamir would be a Pyrrihic victory, and if that is your interest please depart the battlefields; we cannot afford your victory, too many Palestinian lives depend on our success and Israel Shamir is working on their behalf!

As far as Mr. Parry, and his article "The End Does Not Justify the Means" are concerned, I would like to say quite adamantly that the "end" has always justified the "means" as far as the State of Israel is concerned; as so obviously evidenced by their blatant "rewriting of history", "creating facts on the ground", breaking of international laws, shrugging off of any international censure, engaging in wholesale politcal assassinations, carrying out ethnic cleansing, slaughtering the unarmed Intifada kids with heavy weapons, bombing villages indiscriminately with missiles, confiscating land from poor Palestinian farmers, building illegal settlements, bulldozing refugee camps, civilian homes and orchards,diverting water away from Palestinian areas, digging ditches around whole villages as a means of limiting movement and ensuring economic disaster, tampering with the Haram El Shareef,refusing to allow any required inspection of their nuclear arsenal...., and so on ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

Is this not a long enough list of the ugly "means" that the Israelis are using to arrive at their unjust "ends", to convince Mr.Parry that he has no moral right whatsoever to lecture Mr. Shamir about the verbal means he uses to arrive at his ends, which is the morally correct, total, and furious censure of Israel?

The strongest possible words in the world are urgently needed to confront these abominations. As long as the State of Israel continues to so heartlessly oppress the Palestinians, I can't agree with Mr.Shamir enough!! He should confront his fellow Israelis with extreme verbal fury, as we all should. We all know the "ends" to which Israel is so obviously working and the "means" by which they are going about it, yet few people have the courage, as Israel Shamir does, to loudly and publicly condemn the Israelis for their methods or their motives. We should all be encouraging him to continue saying "the great Yes" to his fellow Jews and Israelis. If we do not, "the great No" will crush Palestine forever, and the good people of Israel along with her.

We must listen to Israel Shamir and not allow false accusations to silence him, for there is an ill wind blowing in the Levant and it threatens to fan the smoldering flames in Palestine into a huge conflagration. While Israel Shamir is calling for the emergency fire brigades, his diddling detractors are fiddling non-stop while they watch Palestine burn..and alas they are off-key and off-tune besides. So, as I deliberately turn my back on them in utter disgust and contempt for wasting our time and inadequate resources on criticizing Israel Shamir, and gaze intently instead at the creeping holocaust and slow genocide that is engulfing Palestine, I furiously fling in the faces of these little ignoble Neros, on behalf of Israel Shamir, and the beleaguered Palestinians who need our undivided attention and assistance, my final, ultimate, and wrathfully resounding J"Accuse!!!"

* Editor's note: "J'Accuse!" : (I Accuse!) The title of Emile Zola's open letter published in defense of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in the famous Dreyfus Affair treason/espionage case of 1894; Zola's letter of protest helped to reverse Dreyfus' guilty verdict

"Vincit Omnia Veritas" ~ "Truth conquers all"