Israel Shamir is an internationally acclaimed radical spiritual and political thinker, Internet columnist and writer. His comments about current affairs and their deeper meaning are published on his site www.israelshamir.net and elsewhere. They are also collected in three books, Galilee Flowers, Cabbala of Power and recently published Masters of Discourse available in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Norwegian, Swedish, Italian, Hungarian etc.
A native of Novosibirsk , Siberia, he moved to Israel in 1969, served as paratrooper in the army and fought in the 1973 war. After the war, he turned to journalism and writing. In 1975, Shamir joined the BBC and moved to London . In 1977-79 he lived in Japan . After returning to Israel in 1980, Shamir wrote for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, and was the Knesset spokesman for the Israel Socialist Party (Mapam). He translated and annotated the cryptic works of S.Y. Agnon, the only Hebrew Nobel Prize winning writer, from the original Hebrew into Russian. In 2006 his mammoth annotated translation of a medieval Hebrew classic Sefer Yohassin (The Book of Lineage) was published by Zacuto Books. Shamir also translated the Odyssey, and selected chapters of Joyce’sUlysses.
But Palestine , its sad history and enchanting landscape remained his most important subject. His views were summed up in The Pine and the Olive, the story of Palestine/Israel, published in 1988 and republished in 2004, and became a cult book among the readers. The second Palestinian Intifada turned Shamir to his highly political and poetic pieces centred on Palestine . As the battle for Palestine spilled over into Iraq , Shamir wrote more about the deeper, philosophical and theological meaning of the war. In 2004 he was received in the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and Holy Land , being baptised Adam by Archbishop Theodosius Attalla Hanna. Shamir (60) lives in Jaffa and spends much time in Moscow and Stockholm ; he is father of three sons.