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Jews can be trouble, but so are weapons, so are horses, so are women. A horse obediently carries a skillful rider to battle, but will kick and bite an inept one. The sword is a mortal danger to an enemy in hands of a fighter, but its feeble bearer will regret unsheathing it. The woman is a helpmate to man she loves and respects, but she will destroy a lesser man who could not make her love and respect him. Likewise, Jews could be useful, if one knows their strong and weak points, their agenda.

Jews Can Be Trouble

An interview of Israel Shamir to a French-Egyptian site editor Cherif Ismail

Dear Mr Adam Israel Shamir ,

I ' m happy to meet with you via the internet to present you to the Arab reader in the Arab world and in Europe

1 - How should I present you to an Arab reader ?

First of all, I am on your side, on the side of the people. Secondly, I am your neighbour. I live in an Arab town, in Jaffa, next to an Arab high school, my neighbours are Palestinian Arabs, I eat your yellow hummus with greenish olive oil and drink your milky arak. On Sundays I go to an Arab Palestinian Orthodox Church and take communion together with you. My elder boys, now grown up, studied in the church school together with Arab children, and my little Anton plays with your children at the seashore.

I write a lot about Palestine, because I live here, and I am familiar with it, and because I believe it is a very important place. But I also write about other places in the world and in time, because Palestine is not an island far away in the sea. We are interconnected, and our future depends on our actions today. I travel a lot, from Malaysia to California, and I write about what I see, encouraging friends and enraging foes.

2 - We Arabs know the Jews - for thousands of years - and we see them as every reason of absolute evil in this world and they were the causes of the collapse of some Islamic countries of old , do you agree with me on this ?

If we accept this view uncritically, wed think that Jews are the only source of danger and will be taken in by a non- Jewish cheat. That is why one should always look at the bottom line first.

In Madame Bovary by Flaubert, a French usurer cheats Emma, telling her not to worry for he is not a Jew. He indeed is not a Jew by blood and faith, but every usurer is as bad as the worst Jew, and eventually she learns this the hard way.

Nowadays there are so many non- Jews, pureblood Arabs, who have betrayed their brethren and joined with imperialism and with Israel. Jews would not be able to cause so much suffering to the people of Gaza without the support of the Egyptian regime. In France, Fadela Amara crossed the lines completely: she is for Israel, and for her, the Nazi persecutions of Jews are more important than the suffering of non- Jews, even of her own Algerian people. Alas, many Palestinians have also joined with the enemy of their people, and they work for the CIA and Mossad and Shabak. So the key question, the bottom line is-- submission to or rebellion against the Empire. An Arab who supports Israel and the US is as bad as the worst Jew.

One should make a clear- cut distinction between organized Jewry, a community with its specific preferences, and individual Jews who can be loyal to Jewry or loyal to the people they live amongst. No one born a Jew has to remain a Jew. Many great visiers and advisers to the kings were ex- Jews who crossed the lines and joined the people. Rashid ad- Din was one of them. In One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, a defeated warlock Jew is often made to accept Islam. In our days, many men and women who were born in Jewish families, joined the people- some within the Communist party, and some without.

After all these corrections, we have to admit that Jewry is not a neutral or just religious body. A great part of organized world Jewry is committed to support of imperialism. This part is closely connected with the US Jews and with Israel. They keep with a certain Jewish tradition of supporting the strong against the weak, supporting the Empire and imperialism against the people. In the North Africa of the 19th century, their predecessors betrayed their neighbours and supported France, the colonial power. In British Iraq, they supported the Brits.

But this is not the only possible line. In Iran, the Jews are obedient and loyal to the Islamic state, they support Ahmadinejad, they support Palestine, they are good neighbours to Iranian Muslims. In Russia, there are Jews loyal to Russia. They respect power. Ahmadinejad does not pussy- foot around them, Putin and Medvedev do what is good for Russia without thinking twice of the Jewish lobby, and they have obedience of their Jews.

Jews can be trouble, but so are weapons, so are horses, so are women. A horse obediently carries a skillful rider to battle, but will kick and bite an inept one. The sword is a mortal danger to an enemy in hands of a fighter, but its feeble bearer will regret unsheathing it. The woman is a helpmate to man she loves and respects, but she will destroy a lesser man who could not make her love and respect him. Likewise, Jews could be useful, if one knows their strong and weak points, their agenda.

3 - Some Egyptian intellectuals said that there is no explicit clause in the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel referring to the cultural normalization between the two countries , and thank God for that - but I think that it is very important to know each other - do you agree with me on this matter ?

Yes, it is important to learn, but one should be aware that such learning can be a weapon of indoctrination, too. Jews are quite skilled in this game. For instance, Christian scholars were interested to learn from Jews about the Bible. The Jews taught them to such an extent that the scholars lapsed in their faith. Eventually they lapsed in their learning, too, for they accepted doctored- by- Jews doctrines for real thing. That is why the Prophet called us to be cautious in relation to Jews and learning.

There should be critical learning, so the Egyptians would not only know what is going on in Israel but that they would also understand these developments through a modicum of learned commentary. I would not advise open direct unhindered import of culture and propaganda- this is more risky that direct import of drugs.

Cultural exchange should be used to ones advantage, as the means of influencing people. In the present situation, I do not know whether Egypt is strong enough to manage it. Sometimes, it is better to refuse exchange and interaction until better times come along. Likewise, Ulysses sealed his ears with wax so he would not hear the sirens singing.

4 - Did you visit any Arab state , for example Egypt ? It is the largest Arab country in the Arab world and has a long history of war and peace with Israel .

Yes, I visited Egypt quite a few times, I was also invited some five or six years ago by the American University in Cairo, but not since then, though Id love to come and to listen to you.

5 - Israel Shamir , the soldier , took part in a war in ‘73 under the command of Ariel Sharon , the butcher . Now , after 36 years , do you regret your participation in that war ?

Non, je ne regrette rien. I was a citizen and a soldier, so naturally I went to war to defend my country. Moreover, I was a young man, and young men like wars.

6 - Arab Jews are still oppressed in Israeli society , as well as some Russian Jews . Do you feel racism toward Sephardim ?

The Oriental Jews in Israel did suffer a lot- they were de- culturalised, despised and oppressed. Alas, they found comfort in insisting on their superiority over Arabs and Russians. Though by no means all of them, a huge majority of Oriental Jews is strongly Zionist, strongly Jewish, and preaches hatred towards Arabs. I would like to see a bloc of Russians, Oriental Jews and Palestinians as these three communities together form majority of voters and all of them are oppressed. But in such a bloc, the native Palestinian Arabs should assume a leading role. The Palestinians should make friends with the Oriental Jews and separately with Russians- as these two communities have a strong mutual dislike. The Palestinians are not ready for it yet. Instead, they try to improve their ties with the more privileged communities of Israel, with the “Jewish Left“. It is probably more pleasant but leads nowhere.

7 - Olmert ? What does he mean for you ?

Well, he is out. I doubt he will be remembered or lamented much.

9 - I ' m sorry to say , but most of Israel ' s writers are unknown in the Arab street . Is this weakness of Arab media or what ?

Israeli writers have not yet produced anything of universal importance, so it probably does not matter much.

10 - You wrote a lot about Israeli society ; what can undo Israel from inside ?

Israel should be abolished, like slavery and apartheid were abolished- by equality and democracy. Instead of calling for Two States, the world including Arab nations should call for equality and democracy in Israel. This would abolish Israel, and usher in a new state of Palestine based on equality.

11 - No war , no peace between Israel and the Arabs . Will the international conventions or the establishment of an independent Palestinian state usher peace ?

Peace is neither good nor bad per se. We want victory for equality, victory for the native people of Palestine, victory for the Land, victory for Spirit. Our foes also want victory for their elitism, for the Jewish People, for their right to destroy the land and expurgate its Spirit. Peace will come after victory, theirs or ours, peace of Brotherhood in case of our victory, and peace of Iron Heel in case of theirs.

And in my view, establishment of an independent Palestinian state in Ramallah and Gaza is too little, too late. The Jewish state should be abolished, and then peace will come.

12 - Some moderate Jews were exposed to attacks by the Zionists . Did you suffer as well ?

No. I receive threats, but no violent attacks alhamdulillah!

14 - Do you agree with the views of late Dr . Abdul Wahab Al Missiri ?

It is sad that he left us; a great man whose views were very positive- he said( and I agree) that “the Arab- Israeli conflict could be settled in a peaceful manner if the Zionist state were to shed its identity as a functional state and became a state for all its citizens, integrating into the Middle Eastern cultural formation. ” He urged Palestinians to draw lessons from the South African experience, and so do I.

15 - What would you say to the readers of the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish ?

I greatly admire Darwish; he was the soul of Palestine, together with Edward Said. His departure is a great loss, but his poems will last forever.

16 - “The Little Monkey” , thats the name that the Israelis used to call Ahmadinejad in Israel , what is the purpose of such attack against him ?

I have not heard this expression, but Ahmadinejad is so demonized in Israel, he is called “the new Hitler” and what not. This is because he is a brave and noble man who never bends his neck or his knee in his struggle against Zionism and American imperialism. Such a man will surely be vilified. Let us put it straight: if a person is glorified in Israel, hes got to be enemy of the people. If he is vilified, he probably is a good guy.

18 - In the near future , do you see any hope for the establishment of the Palestinian State or this is just a big illusion for the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah specially after refusing the partition of Palestine into two States in 1948 ?

I doubt it will happen; but I have no hope for it, au contraire, I rather feel apprehension. A few bits of land surrounded by the Jewish state may become a string of reservations, an archipelago of labour camps, but not a real state. I do not wish this sort of “independence” on the Palestinians.

As for “refusing the partition”, who asked them? Palestinians and Arabs are, and were, much weaker than Jewry. Whatever Palestinians would have said, the Jews would have found a reason to object. If they would have recognised Israel, theyd have said: recognise it as a Jewish state etc.

19 - Naomi Ragen , the most famous novelist in Israel , had lived in Jerusalem for more than 38 years ; longer than she stayed in the United States . She is against the Arab presence in Israel and believes that Israel will continue to grow day after day , what do you think about this ?

Naomi Ragen is absolutely nobody; nobody as a novelist, as a thinker, as a politician. She is a third- rate lady- writer of trash, and her opinion is of no value.

20 - M . Shamir , what is the name of your last book ?

My last book is called Masters of Discourse, and it was translated into French as La Bataille du Discours.

At the end … If I wanted to translate one of your books from French to Arabic

Galilee Flowers was already translated and published

Any books you want that the Arab reader read specifically except Galilee Flowers ?

Yes, that is Le Pin et Olivier, which is my favourite book anyway! You can order it from Mme Poumier, my friend and translator in Paris, at maria . poumier @ vanadoo . fr

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