Shamir Answers the Jewish Question
- A Review of "PaRDeS: an etude in Cabbala" by Israel Shamir
by Tom White in Culture Wars Magazine
Israel Shamir, PaRDeS: an etude in Cabbala (BookSurge,
www.israelshamir.net, 2004-2005) 192 pp. $11.99 ISBN 1-4196-0601-8
My coming upon the Internet writings, a couple of years ago, of Israel
Adam Shamir of Jaffa, Israel, a Jew and a Christian, yielded the same
sort of intellectual shock I got when I discovered the American poet
Ezra Pound back in 1950.
Reading Poundpoetry and proseI suddenly realized that here was
someone who knew all the questions nagging away at the back of my
mindand often enough sitting right up front in itand he was
supplying answers that were so good that they seemed like a drink of
cool water on a broiling hot day.
Pound answered for me the question, What was wrong with the world
economic system that seemed to almost break my father's spirit in the
1930s? And perhaps did kill his body; he died at 57 in 1941.
Shamir answers for me the question: What is wrong in the world that
our nation is collapsingor at least getting ready to collapsein a
welter of monstrous, unpayable debt, illegal and unwinnable wars,
pornographic "entertainment," grossly corrupt government, ruinous
taxation, and totalitarian-style police-state encroachments on the
activities of everyday people, all the while no one seems to be able
to do anything to stop any of it?
Pound's political and economic writings, which were a career sideline
for a man who was a superb if sometimes difficult poet, are still
politically incorrect, because he thought the chief architects of the
extreme folly of the two great European World Wars, which wrecked
Christendom and murdered millions of human beings, were the money men
and munitions men, the giant usurers in their role as warmongers.
Pound made plain that he thoughtnay, he knewthat a lot of the
biggest of them were Jews.
Shamir comes now with even more serious accusations, and reporting, if
you will, from the inside, to contend that "the Jews" (defined below)
are engaged in a monstrous scheme of world control and world
government that is within an ace of carrying the day.
Shamir's sensibility, if I am any judge, is a deeply poetic one, like
Pound's (whom he cites in Pardes). A man without some appreciation of
the poetic, a man who cannot credit, for example, the fact that
religion is the supreme poetry of the human racepoetry risen to the
level of the living Truthis unlikely to credit either Pound or Shamir.
Both writers are cordially hated by what Shamir calls the Mammonites,
who, insofar as they pay any notice to either man, about equally
detest, in each of them, both the poet and the brilliant observer and
critic of contemporary madness, an observer who is uncannily right
about what is wrong.
Shamir is himself a fairly recent convert to (Orthodox) Christianity.
I find everything that he writes (that I have so far read) illuminated
by a fine intelligence, a good heart, massive knowledge of world
history, a truly Christian humility, tremendous sophistication,
considerable humor, and a determination to speak his piece no matter what.
Shamir's primary focus is on the injustice to Palestine, but he sees
the situation there as a microcosm of what is ahead for the whole world:
Israel/Palestine is the model of the world the Americans want to
achieve. It has peasants and their flocks dying of thirst, and on the
hilltop there are villas and swimming pools for the chosen folk, It
has a huge army and it has many labourers without any rights. In order
to turn all the world into Palestine they began now Word War 3 against
the Third World.
Notice that Shamir says "what the Americans want." The sad fact is
that what Israel wants is what America wants. We have long since
hooked our national wagon to the Israeli engine, a coupling insisted
upon by the wealthiest and most powerful élite group in the nation,
"the Jews," a term which does not mean all Jews, only certain of them,
those who fully identify with and foster what Shamir calls the "Judaic
spirit." By this term Shamir means that same materialistic,
this-world-centered spirit of upheaval and revolution that E. Michael
Jones has been tracing through the history of the last 2,000 years in
Culture Wars Magazine, most recently in the May issue in his article,
"John Huss and the Jews."
Shamir makes a vital distinction early on in Pardes between a Jew or
Jews and "the Jews" or Jewry. Plain Jews are like thee and me, people
of an ethnicity but not defined by it. Plain Jews, like plain people
everywhere, are willing to go about expecting no special favors and
quite willing to identify themselves with their host country rather
than the one they or they forbears left some years ago, or, in the
case of the Jews, Israel.
The oddity of Israel is that it is not really an ancestral homeland
for any modern Jew but got started only in 1948. Ever since, Zionist
Israel has issued a call to all Jews to come to it, or at the very
least to adopt its cause as their cause, and to work mightily to
advance the Zionist program. All this under the blanket claim that God
gave "Greater Israel" to the Jews (and only the Jews) in what the
Christians call the Old Testament, a claim hotly disputed by about a
billion Muslims, among others.
It's as if Ireland had a thing called Erinism, which required all the
diaspora Irish (60 millions?recall that Anglo-Irish poet W.B. Yeats
called the Irish the "Jews of Northern Europe") to support it in its
intention to reduce England to rubble, as Israel is reducing Palestine
to rubble. To be a true Erinist one would have to put Erin's interests
above those of the United States or whatever nation one happened to
live in, send all kinds of money to the Irish government, and be
prepared to blindly defend Ireland whenever anyone pointed out that
the limitation of citizenship in the Erinist state to those of the
"Celtic race" is a retrograde tribal politics of the ugliest kind.
Shamir on distinguishing a Jew from "the Jews":
. . . a Jew rarely knows or understands what the Jews want from
themselves and from bewildered mankind. This lack of understanding
causes many fine men and women to proclaim their support (or
opposition) to the body politic called `the Jews.' Being born and
raised a Jew does not help at all, just as belonging to the elite
troops does not provide you with an understanding of the General Staff
plans. . . .
Our goal is to understand and explain what `the Jews' want. This task
is a hard one, for the Jews have no obvious central command. It is
hard to swallow that the Jews can have a strategy but no strategist;
and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are popular precisely because
they posit such a supreme (if obscure) strategist. However, `the
locusts have no king, yet they attack in formation' (Proverbs 30:27)
and devastate whole countries as if by plan.
It is possible there are no (or almost no) Jews who fully understand
what the Jews want. The term `The Jews,' as used in this article, is
meant to denote a spiritual persona of higher rank, relating to
individual Jews like the Catholic Church is related to an individual
Catholic, or a beehive to a bee. Thus, there is no subjective personal
guilt associated with individual Jews, unless their specific actions
or inaction are criminal per se. Thus, this discourse should help an
individual to decide whether he wants to be a Jew or not, in the same
way one may choose whether one wants to be a communist or a Quaker.
In a sense this book, although offered to the world at large (and
available on Amazon), is a book by a Jew for Jews, having as a chief
goal to persuade them to drop their "Jewishness"their determined
separatenessand rejoin the human race. Shamir, like Simone Weil,
contends that the idea that Jews are today still the specially "chosen
of God" (in exactly the same way Jews and Christians hold them to have
been in Moses' time) is a truly mistaken idea, a truly poisonous idea,
especially poisonous for Jews, but poisonous for the whole world, too.
A lethal archaism of racial politics.
Shamir's political position on the Israel-Palestine contest is that
the Zionistsin his eyes clearly the aggressors, the invadersshould
dismantle their racist state, end their murderous hatred of their
Palestinian neighbors (who it must be admitted return the favor), and
proceed to melt into the population of Palestine, becoming the friends
and neighbors of Palestinians.
The Jews should agree with the Palestinians to devise a single state
with all on both sides of the present impasse equal and welcomeone
person, one voteand end all talk of any group's being the chosen of
God with special claims on "The Holy Land."
The two-state plan the U.S. has favored will please no one in the end;
it will move inexorably toward an apartheid state, of which the symbol
is the new and hideous wall through Palestine that the Israelis are
now building, and I suppose the U.S. is paying for. (Our contributions
to Israel since 1948 are over $100 billion. That's $100,000,000,000,
in case you were wondering, a sum which all by itself proves the U.S.
subservience to Israel.)
As you can well imagine, Shamir's contentions are calculated to make
American Jewish and Christian Zionists, the chief supporters of
Israel, foam at the mouth. Perhaps it is for this reason that Shamir
has never come (as far as I know) to the U.S., although he has been
all over Eurasia from England to Malaysia and Japan. He seems to move
about Israel with freedom and ease. It seems plain that Israel's
intellectuals are less constrained by government and political
correctness than Americans and Europeans.
In the May issue of Culture Wars, Paul Eisen, director of Deir Yassin
Remembered, in his article "Speaking the Truth to Jews," sets out the
case against Israel's treatment of Palestine over the entire period of
Zionist invasion of the Holy Land as coolly and accurately as I have
ever seen it done in any publication. All praise to Culture Wars for
carrying this article, first published in a 2004 book, Speaking the
Truth About Zionism and Israel. The book is available from Amazon.
My purpose in mentioning this here is to highlight one problem Eisen
suggests we all have in the West in trying to make sense of things
Jewish: we have mostly felt we need to speak in codes, or in
circumlocutions, or simply keep silent on matters Jewish, to avoid
"being cursed as an antisemite," as Eisen puts it.
(Here's a curious fact: Microsoft Word tells me I have just misspelled
that word antisemite. It's supposed to be anti-Semite. Yet that is the
way Eisen and CW spell it. So I am adopting it: one less keystroke,
one less capital letter.)
The "antisemitic" thing is like a thrall thrown down by some magician
to make us speechless and stupid. I know I have felt its power, and
even though I have been trying to work my way out of it for years, I
still approach an article like this with a certain nervousness. And
you have to ask why, because I am old and (relatively) poor and beyond
the reach of any presumed Jewish malevolence. Still, the power of the
magician's tricks is there, and one looks over one's shoulder. I know
I am not "antisemitic"; I have any number of Jewish culture heroes,
starting with the Lord Jesus Christ; but . . . but . . .
Jews have never been so secure or so empowered [as now], yet many Jews
feel and act as if they are a hair's breadth away from Auschwitz. . .
. Jews, individually and collectively, use their political, economic,
social, and moral power in support of Israel and Zionism. In their
defense of Israel and Zionism Jews brandish their suffering at the
world, accusing it of reverting to its old antisemitic ways. They
claim that criticism of Israel and Zionism is in fact criticism of
Jews. Just as the Jews were, in the past, objects of classic
antisemitism, so Israel, the state of the Jews, is the object of a
new, modern anti-Semitism. They will concede that Israel like any
other state in the world, is not exempt from criticism, but they do
claim that Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state is so exempt. In
effect, we may criticize Israel for what Israel does, but not for what
However, Eisen's whole article destroys the claim of Israel to exist
as it now does, because it is a religiously (that is, racially or
tribally) exclusive state, a clear instance of apartheid, a cruel,
genocidal oppressor of the Palestinians, whom it has killed, shoved
out, or shut in, and an illegitimate rogue state if there ever was
one. (With ourselves, the U.S., in hot pursuit of the same
rogue-nation status, it must be admitted).
Shamir, detested and hounded by Israel fans everywhere, pulls no
punches in agreeing with Eisen. Shamir, too, is on the Deir Yassin
Remembered board, and he is an opponent of Israel's current and past
ways. And yet he loves the Holy Land, where he immigrated from Russia,
and he wants to stay there. This love shines unmistakably in Pardes as
it did in Galilee Flowers, an earlier book. (Both books are available
on Amazon.) He has written recently (although not in Pardes but in an
Internet essay, "The New Bund at Old Tricks," to be found at
www.israelshamir.net/Left/Left1.htm , a remark that will do nothing to
lessen the distaste for him among Jews: ". . . [A]cceptance of Christ
is the Final Solution of the Jewish question, while assimilation and
intermarriage is the way to undo the vestiges of Jewish separatism."
That, when you reflect on it, is a most astonishing statement to come
from anyone, Jew or Christian, after what the world has been through
in the last century. It is however, what a Christian is bound to
believe if he is an honest Christian. What other fate can one want, in
charity, for a "disaffected one"? But let there be no coercion. God
does not coerce; man should not coerce. "There are no righteous wars."
Speaking of political correctness, I recognize that this article
violates the prevailing politically correct canon most grievously. I
am writing favorably about a writer who has been generously smeared by
his fellow Jews, which is supposed to put the kibosh on him good and
well. Also I, a goy, am talking about the Jews. That is not supposed
to happen. I am free to talk about Patagonians, Samoans, Germans,
Amerindians, and residents of the Falkland Islands, but nobody is
supposed to talk about the Jews as if they were a "thing" the way
"Italians" are a thing.
The big bugaboo that has to get shatteredmaybe has already been
shattered or is in the way of being presently shatteredis the cold
pox of fear that settles around the possibility that one could be
called"Oh my God, my heart! my heart! I'm fainting!"an ANTISEMITE.
This is presently a far worse social sin than being called an
anti-Christian. In fact, that might get you some plaudits; it
certainly would not get you much active criticism. What's to like
about Christ for right-thinking modern people? But to be called an
antisemite is to crumble into a nothing, become an unman, prove
oneself a worthless troll, commit a bummer, remove oneself from the
ranks of civilized people, etc., etc., etc. At least it's that kind of
disappearing act that the people slinging the smears really want to
help you achieve more or less permanently.
The term antisemite is flung around by the smear artists despite the
fact that it doesn't really mean anything. (Arabs are semites, for
heaven's sake.) And biological antisemitism, that is, objection to
Jews because of real racial prejudice, is virtually non-existent, and
everybody knows it. The objection is to the manifestations of that
"Judaic tendency" that Shamir (and Jones) are chronicling and which is
a real threat to all peaceful life on this globe.
Any non-Jew who makes this point can expect to be vilified, precisely
by other non-Jews. Shamir quotes Otto Weininger: "The Aryan of good
social standing always feels the need to respect the Jew; he is
displeased when Jews [like Shamir] make revelations about the Jews,
and he who does so may expect as few thanks from that quarter as from
Shamir continues (page15): "His [Weininger's] words are even more
relevant now; with the Rise of the Jews, it is the burden of people
with Jewish roots to undo Jewry."
To repeat: ". . . it is the burden of people with Jewish roots to undo
Jewry." The thing is quite hopeless if the Jews won't do it
themselves. Remember the dominical statement that "salvation is of the
Jews." And keep in mind, too, that "Jewry" for Shamir is synonymous
with "the Jews," not all Jews, but those possessed of the Pharisaic,
that is, the "Judaic" spirit, that was evident at the trial of Christ
2,000 years ago. For Shamir it is the spirit of Mammon, the evil
spirit that Christ said was "the other choice." One may serve God or
Mammon, not both.
Without Shamir and the great cohort of Jews and non-Jews (in which
group I include the editor/publisher of this magazine) battling so
steadfastly against the overwhelming spirit of Mammon that rules this
age in these ruins of Christendom where we dwell, I should feel
discouraged indeed. But I do not feel discouraged. There is clarity
emerging at last. I do think the Mammonites (Shamir's term for
allJews and gentileswho advance the "Judaic tendency") will fail
ultimately despite the present seeming.
For long years I have been in the same case as Omar, as reported by
Fitzgerald in The Rubayat:
There was a Door to which I found no Key;
There was a Veil past which I could not see.
I do not pretend even now to great wisdom and certainly not to great
learning, but I do think the Key has presented itself, and the Veil is
I have been rereading the first few chapters of the Gospel of John in
recent days and it has, newly for me, the air of a dispatch from the
front lines. The issue was joined back then; it is apparently to be
settled fairly soon.
Pardes is a short, deep book. I think anyone interested enough to have
read this article or to have received this magazine should own the
book and read and reread it. It is cheap enough to mark up. I have
only skimmed over a few of the points it makes. It, like good poetry,
requires frequent rereading and meditation. The first section, PaRDeS
proper, the "study in Cabbala," is described (page 16) thusly:
"But what is the Judaic tendency and why should it be undone? Jewish
exegesis offers four escalating levels of penetrating into the deep
meaning of Biblical verses. The four levels are abbreviated as PaRDeS
(Paradise or orchard), for `peshat', or plain reading, and `raz,'
`derash,' and `sod,'the deepest mystic content. We shall follow this
scheme to expound the designs of the Jews: while peshat deals with
money, raz attends to discourse, derash is the political level and sod
is the theological plane."
The 101 pages devoted to "the designs of the Jews," follow this schema
and are packed with facts and theses of astonishing range and
noveltyand one might add, potential for outrage among the
close-minded. The rest of the book consists of six essays of great
brilliance and intense moral and social insight. For example, the
essay, "A Study of Art," that Shamir wrote with his wife Alice, will
tell you more about the world of international High Art than I have
ever seen set down on paper before, and I assert, from some knowledge
of the field, that every word of it is true. It is the complete
explanation of why, in the words of poet Edwin Arlington Robinson,
"art's a vagrant, now on the town."
Let me close with an extended quotation from Pardes as an example of
Shamir's scope and penetration. It was hard to make a selection, so
many passages offered unique insights. The passage I chose is the
close of the essay, "Zeno's Arrow (Or How to Argue Your Case with Jews)":
The friends of Palestine have no problem with individual Jewsthey
could be good or bad, our supporters or our antagonists. But the
friends of Palestine have a problem with "Jewry"the organized
structure of Jewish communities. A few weeks ago, Haaretz published a
huge page-long ad signed by all prominent Rabbis of the landthree
hundred of themcalling for "Vengeance to the Evil Folk"
[Palestinians] and enforcing religious obligation "never to surrender
a single inch of sacred land to them." It is a call to holy war.
A call for war usually is met by war. When the Germans declared war on
France (in 1939) or on Russia (in 1941) all Germans suffered the
consequences, though the decision was taken by a few persons in
Berlin. Now the vast majority of organized Jewish communities carry
out their war on Palestine, but our friends (ostrich-like) try to see
The position of individual Jews is much better than that of any other
national collective. Individual Jews can opt out of the conflict by
opting out of organized Jewry. Nobody has to be a Jewevery person
calling himself "Jew" has another identity as well. He is an American,
or an Israeli, or a Frenchman. Thus the friends of Palestine have to
confrontnot people of Jewish origin, but Jewry consisting of people
who choose their "Jewishness" as the most important identifier.
Conclusion: In the present war, Jewry is a belligerent party; this
polity decided to wage war on too many enemies at once. Individuals of
Jewish origin could be good or bad; but the organization is hostile to
us. The victory over it is possible, but we have to pierce its Stealth
shield manufactured by many skilled hands in many arguments.
Shamir's Pardes is a whole quiver full of arrows designed to pierce
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