Simultaneously with the Jewish Chronicle (All this wild conspiracy talk…) The Times of London published a poisonous piece by Stephen Pollard on Shamir’s talk at the House of Lords, attacking Lord Ahmed: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1072-1557932,00.html
Here are some responses:
Coin of Henry the VIII
From Israel Shamir to the Times editor
Re: Lord Ahmed’s unwelcome guest
I was the “Lord Ahmed’s unwelcome guest”, according to Stephen Pollard (April 07, 2005). I was not unduly impressed by the appellation of ‘a notorious antisemite’ for this term has been thoroughly debased like Henry the VIII’s coin. The Jewish Week (April, 1 2005) condemned the Good Samaritan parable as ‘an antisemitic slur’; the Webster dictionary describes ‘antisemitism’ as ‘adverse attitude to Israel’s policies’; while Bar-Ilan University’s Rabbi Dr. Pinchas Hayman told his listeners that “as long as Christians keep Jesus as God, they will be antisemitic”. Mr Pollard’s worldview was made clear by his reference to Ken Livingstone’s affair. If a person who considers a Jewish hack being above reproach because of his Jewishness were to fail to consider me ‘an antisemite’ I would be worried for I am adverse to Israel’s policies, venerate Jesus Christ and admire the Good Samaritan. Moreover, I stand for full equality of Jew and non-Jew, in Palestine and elsewhere, and this is clearly an ‘antisemitic’ position for Pollard and his kin.
I was even less impressed by Pollard’s reference to my assumed Swedish name. Next time he may call Salman Rushdie “actually a Mr Wiggins, a resident of Bienfait, Saskatchewan”. Writers’ lot is not always an easy sailing. I walk under a fatwa not less scaring than that of Rushdie, for my name is on the hit list of Jewish Defense League, and I do not intend to be as accommodating to them as Mr Pollard perhaps would like. (This comparison goes a long way, for I am not less critical to Judaism than Mr Rushdie to Islam; but Jewish assassins are more successful than their Muslim competitors, and the British readers may remember Lord Moyne and many others.) Israeli newspapers are quite critical of me, but they never published such rubbish (“actually, a Swede…”) for I am quite well known locally.
Pollard’s attempts to establish my guilt by association are equally futile. I wrote not only for “Zavtra, Russia’s most anti-Semitic publication” (on a par with Ken Livingstone and Prince Harry, I presume), but also for Haaretz, the leading Israeli newspaper that published an advertisement calling for ‘vengeance to the evil nation’ of Palestinians; but somehow nobody mentions this moral fault of mine.
But I was thoroughly annoyed by Pollard’s references to Lord Ahmed of Rotherham. Pollard presents elevation of Lord Ahmed, ‘the first Muslim peer’ as an action connected to his faith, not to his personal achievement; he implies that Ahmed is under an obligation ‘to behave’. This is quite shocking racist remark. There were and are dozens of Jewish peers, though Jewish community of Britain is many times smaller than the Jewish one. None of the Jewish peers considers himself admitted ‘on condition’, and there is no reason to impose such a condition on a Muslim peer. That is, unless you have two different measures, one for Jews, another for ordinary mortals, as Mr Pollard apparently has.
The full text of my talk, The Jews and Empire, can be read on my site www.israelshamir.netand it will be soon published in a book. And by the way, none of many Jews present at the talk considered it as ‘antisemitic’.
From Ian Buckley, England:
Pollard says that your views and background should be apparent from doing a Google search on you.
Well, I did a single page Google search on him, finding out that :
1) He is associated with the Adam Smith Institute – one of those bizarre think tanks that issues research papers complaining that ‘Lady’ Thatcher didn’t dismantle enough of Britain’s industry.
2) A sensible fellow at Oxford thinks that ‘Stephen Pollard is an ignorant git’.
3) One of Pollard’s own articles begins : ‘I am a warmonger. I am bloodthirsty. I am rabid.’
The Times has gone downhill a lot under Murdoch, becoming the paper for people who are too ignorant to read the Sun…
From Kristoffer Larsson, Sweden
I noted that You too have adopted the myth that Israel Shamir is in fact a Swedish anti-Semite named Jöran Jermas. As a Swede, I happen to know a little about the organization behind this “revelation”. I’m talking about Expo, who has existed since 1995 with the outspoken purpose of fighting racism in any form. However, their devotion to Zionism has remained unknown to many.
In their magazine they used to send a “Thanks to” different organizations, with which they cooperate. Among those organizations Expo was so eager to openly promote, we find the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). That ADL has a habit of always defending Israeli war crimes is in no way differential to other of Expo’s friend (for instance, they openly cooperate with the German anarchy-communist AntiFa, who every year arrange demonstration in memory of the bombing of Dresden – not to condemn the bombing of civilians, but to support it! “Bomber Harris, do it again!” they yell with Israeli flags in their hands. However, Expo also cooperates with British Searchlight, led by the Zionist Gerry Gable).
But openly having ties with the Israeli spy organisation ADL must of course be taken serious. According to Jeff Blankfort, who was exposed to ADL’s spying, they still continue with paying of spies (read more on www.adlwatch.org)
When referring to ADL in a footnote in an article on Shamir, Expo wrote that “Anti-Defamation League, ADL, is an American Jewish organization that monitors and watch over right extremism and anti-Semitism.”
As far as I know Expo has never denounced ADL.
I’d also like to mention in particular of the people at Expo. I’m speaking about Fredrik Malm, chairperson of Liberal Youth and an enthusiastic defendant of Israel’s apartheid. And as a matter of fact, he’s a personal friend of Zvi Mazel, the fascist who destroyed Dror Feiler’s art work at a museum here in Stockholm.
I hope this will help You understand why Expo spends time making up stories about anti-Semitism. Expo exists in the interest of Israel.
From Richard Wilcox, Tokyo
To The Times of London,
The recent hack job done on the Lord Ahmed/Israel Shamir affair
regarding Shamir’s book Flowers of Galilee was unfair, hypocritical,
and arrogant. Shamir’s critique of the culture of Jewish supremicism is
extraordinarily nuanced and knowledgeable. Smearing him as a Swedish
Anti Semite is false and merely a cowardly way to avoid discussing the
substance of the issues Mr. Shamir so courageously raises. I call for
the Times to issue an apology to Shamir and to publish a more objective
review of the fine work, Flowers of Galilee.
From Gilad Atzmon to the Times
Re: Lord Ahmed’s Unwelcome Guest
I was present at Israel Shamir’s book launch at the House of Lords. Not only
that Lord Ahmed wasn’t mistaken in inviting Shamir, he should rather be
praised for hosting a politically balanced and ideologically enlightening
event. And yet the man who should be shamed is in fact Stephan Pollard who
fails in dismissing the long history of the extensive collaboration between
Zionist leaders and the British Empire. It is Pollard who managed somehow to
forget Balfour declaration and Weitzman role behind it. Does Suez War (1956)
ring a bell?
If this isn’t enough, Pollard proved to be pretty ignorant when Jewish
religious issues are concerned. Somehow he has managed to forget the clear
Jewish pray demanding ‘God’s vengeance upon goyim’. As it seems, the Jewish
religion, like many other religions, has its dark corners. And yet, to
insist that Shamir or anyone else should remain quiet about it is a clear
act against intellectual scholarship.
Being myself an Ex Israeli, I would argue that Shamir’s exposure of some
unacceptable Jewish religious perceptions is enormously important. I would
argue as well that Jewish people would be the first to benefit from
listening and reading Shamir. To conclude, Lord Ahmed willingness to invite
such a brave man is in itself a courageous act and a necessary step towards
a deeper realisation of the current cultural and political crisis.
From Rixon Stewart
Fiction as Journalism
Comments by Rixon Stewart – April 7, 2005
In the wake of a meeting he addressed at Britain’s House of Lords, yesterday’s Times launched a libellous attack on writer Israel Shamir. Penned by Stephen Pollard, it was fraught with untruths and is reprinted in part, below, along with this website’s comments in italic.
Lord Ahmed’s unwelcome guest
Stephen Pollard – The Times April 7, 2005
“A term has returned to the lexicon of political debate in recent months; a term for which, in a decent world, we should have no need. That term is “anti-Semitism”…
On February 23, Lord Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for a man going by the name of Israel Shamir. “Israel Shamir” is, in fact, a Swedish-domiciled anti-Semite also known as Joran Jermas.”
Here Pollard begins his work of character assassination using half-truths, careful omissions and downright lies. For example, far from living in Sweden, Israel Shamir usually resides in the Israeli town of Jaffa, as even the most cursory research would have revealed. As would the fact that Shamir is also descended from a long line of prominent Rabbis and Jewish intellectuals.
However Pollard does not mention any of this, nor does he mention that Shamir is a former Israeli paratrooper who fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War under the command of Ariel Sharon. Instead Pollard implies that Shamir, “also known as Jцran Jermas”, is an impostor and a “rabid anti-Semite”.
“The gist of Shamir/Jermas’s speech at the meeting (which Pollard did not attend but which this writer did) can be gleaned from its title, “Jews and the Empire”. It included observations such as: “All the [political] parties are Zionist-infiltrated.” “Your newspapers belong to Zionists . . .”
As indeed does the Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a known Zionist who is said to exertdictatorial control over his editors. Which is maybe why the Times published Pollard’s libellous article in the first place.
“Why would Lord Ahmed have hosted such a man in the Lords? It is, of course, possible that Lord Ahmed had no idea that Shamir/Jermas was a rabid anti-Semite. Yet it takes only a quick Google to discover his views and background. He has worked for Zavtra, Russia’s most anti-Semitic publication, and is allied with the Vanguard News Network, set up by an American, Alex Linder — a man so extreme that he was even ostracised by the US neo-Nazi National Alliance.”
Here Pollard is very selective in his use of the Internet and in using Shamir’s employment record; making no mention of the fact that Shamir also worked for Israeli national radio, the BBC and the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. Pollard omits this, even though it is clear from a brief visit to his website, because mentioning it would undermine the fiction he is trying to create of “Shamir/Jermas” being neo-Nazi resident of Sweden.
“If, however, Lord Ahmed does feel that he made a mistake in inviting him, he has yet to demonstrate it. Shamir/Jermas’s speech was made nearly two months ago. On learning of its contents, I wrote to Lord Ahmed, asking him two questions. Did he consider the invitation to have been a mistake? Did he condemn the remarks? He did not reply.
Yesterday, I phoned him. When I told him that I planned to write a piece drawing attention to his actions in hosting Shamir/Jermas and that I wanted to give him every opportunity to respond, he replied: “I am not even going to speak with you.” He then put the phone down”.
And who can blame him? For Pollard displays all the traits that have caused journalists to be likened to“intellectual prostitutes”, ready to do the bidding of rich newspaper owners without any regard for the truth. Here he reports on a book presentation he did not attend, to a mixed crowd of Muslims, Jews and Christians all searching for peace in the Middle East. A book written by a man Pollard describes as a “rabid anti-Semite”, without mentioning his true origins or the fact that a former speaker from the Israeli Knesset also addressed the same book presentation. Nor does Pollard mention that Shamir also worked in the Knesset himeself as the spokesman for the Israel Socialist Party.
None of this is mentioned by Pollard because it would undermine the fiction he is trying spin: a story about “anti-Semitism” which masquerades as journalism. Like a growing number of Jews, Shamir is speaking out against the injustice perpetrated by Zionism, a political body that has effectively hijacked Judaism for its own purposes. Which is why Pollard never once refers to Shamir’s origins or background. To do so would completely undercut his arguement and expose him for the liar he is.
From Lynda Mortl to the Times
When is it going to end? This obsession with anti-Semitism. Again today we have Stephen Pollard telling us that Lord Ahmed must apologize for hosting an evening at the House of Lords to launch Israel Shamir’s book (Lord Ahmed’s unwelcome guest). Lord Ahmed has nothing to apologize for.
I was at that book launch and I heard nothing that I would call anti-Semitic although Lord Ahmed felt he had to make a point that he did not agree with everything Mr. Shamir says. I have since read the book, Flowers of Galilee. It is a courageous, timely and vitally important book written by a man whose greatest desire is to see peace between Palestinians and Jews. To rebuild a country where the two peoples can live side by side in harmony. And he knows that unless some unpleasant facts are addressed this can never happen. For too long Israel has been getting away with murder. It is a time for honesty.
The solution to the problem is with the US. With this powerful sponsor uncritical of its atrocities, billions of dollars in US aid and a gullible US electorate mislead by biased news coverage, Israel has been running roughshod over its Palestinian population for years. Unless this changes there will be no chance of peace, no chance for Jews and Palestinians to live together. In short, there will be no future. These nasty truths Stephen Pollard would like us to ignore and that to even think such things is anti-Semitic. But he is wrong and very shortsighted.
Lord Ahmed was correct to bring Israel Shamir to the House of Lords. To not have done would have been cowardly.
Thank you for reading my views.
From Paul Eisen to the Times:
Dear Sir or Madam
I was present at the Israel Shamir book launch at the House of Lords and I applaud Lord Ahmed for giving Shamir a place to speak and to be heard.
Is Shamir an anti-Semite? Well, it all depends what you mean by the term. If you mean hating all Jews simply because they are Jews, then that is just plain insane. But if you mean having serious criticisms of the way many Jews sometimes behave, both individually and collectively, or even considering the possibility of a mindset of “specialness” within many Jews which, when empowered and unbalanced, can lead to notions of supremacism, then that is another matter altogether.
Responses of leftist Jews:
from Colonel Maguire, Dixie:
Dear Friend, Anti-Semite, Internal Enemy Number 1 and Enemy of the State,
Congratulations, m’lord! You have certainly risen in the world, addressing
the House of Lords no less. And imagine that I, a humble son of a factory
worker knew you way back when. Where to next? The College of Cardinals to
advise on selecting the new Pope?
We were indeed fated to live in “Interesting Times”.