- Connected to neo-Nazi groups
- An anti-Semite and Holocaust denier
Israel Shamir is the author of many books and translations, and he uses his website, www.israelshamir.net, to disseminate his racist, anti-Semitic views. Shamir claims to be “an internationally acclaimed radical spiritual and political thinker” and to have worked in a number of prestigious positions as a translator and journalist, including the BBC and Haaretz. He also claims to have served as the Knesset spokesman for the Israel Socialist Party (Mapam). However, the London Times and the socialist Searchlight Magazine have both investigated this history and concluded that it is largely fabricated.
Shamir depicts himself, moreover, as a Jewish-born international traveler who emigrated from the Soviet Union to Israel in 1967, then to England in 1975, and to Japan in 1977, finally returning to Israel to live in Jaffa. In fact, Shamir has been a longtime resident of Sweden (upon gaining Swedish citizenship he changed his name to Jöran Jermas and then to Adam Ermash), where he currently lives and associates with a host of extreme left-wing and right-wing anti-Semites.
Shamir’s real associations are much more radical than he is willing to admit. He worked for Zavtra, Russia’s most anti-Semitic publication, and is connected to the Vanguard News Network, which was created by Alex Linder, a figure so radical that even the neo-Nazi American group National Alliance has excommunicated him.
In 2001, Shamir’s anti-Israel writings began to appear on the Internet, and he was initially embraced by a number of radical activists like Nigel Parry of Electronic Intifada. Even Ali Abunimah, Vice President of the Arab American Action Network, and Hussein Ibish, former President of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, were concerned. While they praised Shamir’s initial activist writings, they viewed his terminology of Jews as “Christ-killers” and “Jews-as-viruses” as damaging to the pro-Palestinian movement. They also condemned his use of the blood libel (“Jews only exist to drip the blood of Palestinian children into their matzas”). Gradually, many of Shamir’s more “mainstream” allies began to doubt his identity and disassociate themselves from him.
In February 2005, despite Shamir’s troubles, Lord Nazir Ahmed, the first Muslim peer in the English House of Lords, invited Shamir to stage a book launch there. In a speech entitled “Jews and the Empire,” Shamir made a host of anti-Semitic claims about Jewish infiltration and conspiracy. He also blamed global terror and conflict in the Middle East on Israel: “In the Middle East we have just one reason for wars, terror and trouble — and that is Jewish supremacy drive … in Iraq, the US and its British dependency continue the same old fight for ensuring Jewish supremacy in the Middle East.”
In 2005 as well, Shamir became a board member of the radical website Deir Yassin Remembered, causing longtime activists Jeff Halper, Lea Tsemel, and Michael Warshawski to resign in indignation that a “racist” had joined their institution.
Shamir has since become an anti-Semite on the fringes, associating with extreme Holocaust deniers like Gilad Atzmon and disseminating his views on his website. According to a 2005 posting, the view of Auschwitz as an “`industrial extermination factory’ was formed only well after the war.” To believe that Jews were murdered there is just “Zionist propaganda.” In another post, Shamir argues that as long as there are Jews in power, neo-Nazis and far-right racists deserve an equal place in international discourse:
“For as long as Richard Perle sits in the Pentagon, Elie Wiesel brandishes his Nobel Prize, Mort Zuckerman owns the USA Today, Gusinsky bosses over Russian TV, [George] Soros commands multi-billions of funds, and [Alan] Dershowitz teaches at Harvard, we need the voices of Duke, Sobran, Raimondo, Buchanan, Mahler, Griffin and of other anti-bourgeois nationalists. If we accept their exclusion from discourse, Jewish bigotry will be tolerated while anti-Jewish bigotry is removed.”
On other occasions, Shamir has condemned Israel’s “Jewish superiority complex” and its “apartheid structure.” Forecasting the destruction of the Jewish state, he has said: “Demise of Israel is inevitable; the only question is whether it will be forcibly removed and the land destroyed, or it will be peacefully absorbed in the region.” “Israeli cruelty, vengefulness and inability to respect others [has] called hundreds of Palestinians to the horrible martyrdom,” writes Shamir. “If, or rather when, a potential martyr will be equipped with a miniaturized nuclear device instead of home-made dynamite, the sad story of the Jewish state will be over.”
Shamir once told a Swedish journalist (and fellow Holocaust denier) that “it’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.” He has called the Jews a “virus in human form.” And he contends that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — the infamous forgery claiming that Jews were plotting to take over the world — was genuine.
When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — who has openly called for Israel’s destruction — was re-elected to a second term as President of Iran in 2009, Shamir wrote:
“This is a highly deserved choice: President Ahmadinejad proved his devotion to God, to people of Iran, to freedom of man. He is a brave and charismatic leader: at his visit to the UN, Ahmadinejad reminded us of a young Fidel Castro in 1960 and of Yasser Arafat in 1974…. We call upon Arab nations to reject Zionist intrigues and preserve peace and friendship with Iran.”
In January 2010, Shamir addressed the Conference on Occupied Palestine, hosted in Ankara, Turkey, lamenting the “horrors of Zionist rule in Palestine.” Shamir was subsequently lauded by former Democratic congresswoman Cynthia McKinney — who spoke alongside him at the conference — as someone who “dared give voice to the truth.”
Also in 2010, it was learned that Shamir worked for Julian Assange‘s website WikiLeaks, serving as its content aggregator in Russia. In this role, Shamir was responsible for selecting and distributing secret cables to Russian news organizations.