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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Galilee Flowers

Galilee Flowers (new updated edition) is out! If you haven't got the book yet, now you can buy this new updated edition on and soon via Amazon. The French publisher of this book is under trial, while the first print (in French) was burned on the instigation of LICRA, a French Jewish organisation. This is the original English-language version. The new edition is of pocket-size, costs less ($17.99) and includes some new essays as well as the original ones. The book has also a new subtitle: if the book of Dershowitz is called "The Case for Israel", and a new book of our good friend Michael Neumann is called The Case against Israel, this book is called The Case for Palestine and Israel united in love to the Holy Land. One of the latest attacks on Galilee Flowers comes from a German Back Cover: This extremely controversial bestselling book about an Israeli’s love to Palestine and Palestinians acquired its cult following when it was published in the Web under the title Galilee Flowers, while its first printed edition was called Flowers of Galilee. This second updated and corrected edition reverts to the original title. “I am deeply in love with the Holy Land,” writes Israel Shamir. “but it is not a dead object. It is a living country. Palestinians are her soul . . . To love a country and wish away her inhabitants is a kind of necrophiliac’s romance.” The war in the Holy Land is presented as the centre-stage of the world-wide struggle of ideas, against a backdrop of such momentous modern developments as the growing influence of American Jewry, the decline of the Left, the ascent of Globalisation, the first steps of the anti-Globalisation movement, and the outbreak of World War Three with America and Israel against the World.” While seeking the Liberation of Palestine, the author pursues another broader goal as well: the Liberation of Public Discourse. A great intellectual and spiritual adventure into uncharted waters by the “Khalil Gibran of our time”, “a wonderful Hebrew Prophet”, Israel Shamir. It was only through the accidental access to the writings of the prophetic and eloquent Jewish dissident Israel Shamir that I learned the deep, true and historically connected story of Palestine. And why in the words of John Pilger: Palestine Is Still the Issue. Why that is so may be summed up in this quote from Shamir: “Israel/Palestine is the model of the world the American elites want to create. Its peasants and their flocks die of thirst, while the chosen folk lounge by swimming pools on the hilltop. It has a huge army and it has many imported labourers without any rights. In order to turn all the world into Palestine, they began now their World War Three against the Third World.” Influenced by John Ruskin, Simone Weil, Franz Fanon, T. S. Eliot and Edward Said, Israel Shamir rejects the “twin temptation of Mammon and Zionism” in the name of compassion with “the sturdy peasants” of his adoptive homeland. Owen Owens. Also by Israel Shamir: Pardes, Surge Books 2005, ISBN 1-4196-0601-8 Our Lady of Sorrow, Surge Books 2005 ISBN 1-4196-0835-5 Israel Adam Shamir is a leading Israeli writer and intellectual turned dissident. A native of Novosibirsk, Siberia, Israel Shamir came to Israel in 1969, served as paratrooper in the army and fought in the 1973 war, but later became disenchanted with Zionism and its Jewish State project. Shamir’s literary œvres include The Pine and the Olive, the story of Palestine/Israel in space and time, and bestselling Galilee Flowers (2004). He also translated a medieval treatise on the Talmud into English, and the works of Israeli Nobel Prize winner, S.Y. Agnon, the Odyssey of Homer and James Joyce’s Ulysses, into Russian. As a journalist, Shamir has reported for Israel Radio, the BBC, and for major newspapers and media services in Israel, Russia, Japan and elsewhere. He was a parliamentary spokesman for Israeli Socialist Party Mapam. In response to the second Palestinian Intifada, Shamir has become a leading champion of the “One Man, One Vote, One State” solution in all of Palestine/Israel. Shamir’s Internet essays are widely circulated and he is hailed as one of the great humanists of our time. Shamir’s website is He lives in the mixed Jewish-Arab town of Jaffa on the Mediterranean shore described in his stories. In his 50s, Shamir is father of two sons. Cover art by Pauline Adamova, Tel Aviv, the painting by Suleiman Mansur, Jerusalem. A brilliant storyteller with a vast knowledge of history, Shamir discusses current events and their global implications with brutal honesty and tenderness. Israel Shamir’s clarity of insight and lyrical use of language to illustrate social, religious and political complexities make him the Khalil Gibran of our time. His essays portray the peaceful, pastoral landscape of the Holy Land and the humanity of its inhabitants, juxtaposed against the ugliness and inhumanity of state racism. Shamir strives to free readers from both fear and adoration of Jews. He demystifies the threat of “anti-Semitism” as a control mechanism to keep good Jews from confronting the Jewish leaders responsible for promoting war and policies of economic inequality. He dreams of a world where the descendants of Jews and Palestinians will be able to live as equals, intermarry, and create a new race of people. Israel Shamir’s proposal is the only viable option for a lasting peace in the Middle East. Karin M. Friedemann, World View News Service The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences Shamir, who does not get much mention in the "respectable" press, seems to me a noble spirit and a penetrating analyst of the world scene today. His love of the Holy Land, of the Palestinians, and indeed of his fellow Jews, shines in his writing. I shall be interested to see if my notion of him as a giant of world literature and as a paradigm of virtuous political protest, holds up in the years ahead. My guess is it will. Tom White, Culture Wars Magazine

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