For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote



Last Sunny Days

By Israel Shamir


(based on talk given in Trondheim, Norway)


On a better day, I would use an occasion and chat with you to my heart’s content, and what could be a better occasion than presentation of my book in the Norwegian translation. A talkative man from Jaffa, I would spin you endless yarns of ties that unite the Holy Land and the Nordic countries, from the Vikings to the Oslo negotiators. The Norsemen of old, your ancestors, Vikings or Varangs, as they were called in the Middle East, were hired by the Byzantine Emperors to serve the throne, and they would invariably make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Jorsala in their tongue, proceed to the River Jordan and afterwards sail to their new adventures. One of them, the Norse king Harald Hardrada, went to Jorsala-borg, but failed to take a dip in the waters of Jordan, and that is why he was slain at Stamford Bridge in an aborted attempt to take over England. St Olav, your king and national saint, who is buried a few hundred yards away in the cathedral of Nidaros, is still venerated in Palestine, and a week ago I saw a Palestinian peasant woman praying at the medieval wax colour wall painting of St Olav in the Bethlehem basilica. Maybe her prayers sustain Norway, while her home is saved by the efforts of Norse volunteers of ISM.

On a better day, I would tell you the full story of my saintly ancestor Rabbi Jacobson who left our family house in Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and sailed to Trondheim, this spiritual heart of the North, to lead the Jewish community of Norway, and of all my relations in Norway and Sweden, and of my pilgrimage to your land of wooden churches, fiery aquavit and deep fjords. But the days are not that good, and this yarn will have to wait.

Yesterday, I would tell you: the Holy Land suffers probably the worst times in centuries. It is being ruined, and its sons are being killed. Its villages are destroyed, while its peasants are languishing in the refugee camps of Jenin and Deheishe, or imprisoned in concentration camps of Ansar and Ketziyot. Hundreds of children have been shot by Israeli marksmen, thousands of trees uprooted, and springs ruined.

Maybe it would move you, and maybe not. Palestinians are being slain, you would say. What else is new? People kill each other everywhere, from Timor to Brazil to Bosnia to Rwanda. While feeling sorry and bla-bla-bla, why should we care about Palestine? And I shall be first to admit that until yesterday, this callous position made eminent sense. Only a small sect of dedicated men and women, members of pro-Palestinian groups, carried the torch in the desert. Now things changed, millions listen to the message, and as I speak to you today, my distinguished friend and teacher Noam Chomsky talks to multitudes in Gothenburg, just a few hundred miles to the south.

Why yesterday is so different from today? These beautiful days of autumn, when the leaves turn purple and gold over dark-blue waters of your lakes, and limpid air enhances white caps of your jagged peaks, could be last good days we know for many years. A world war is in the making, a war that begins in Palestine. It is August 1914 all over again, the eve of the Great War. The World War One began in Balkans, in Bosnia. If you would say to a Frenchman in August 1914, you and your friends will die because of Bosnia, he would laugh at you. But in a few months after Sarajevo assassination, the flower of French youth was slain at Verdun. It is 1914, it is 1939.

Now, as in 1939, again there is a strong will to re-shape the world, and speeches of George W Bush vividly remind us the speeches of the German chancellor. But who writes the speeches? Who pushes for the war? Is it monopolies, oil and weapon interests, as some people want us to think? The war-mongering speech of Axis of Evil, directly taken from Austin Powers (Dr Evil and his Axis) was composed by a Zionist speechwriter David Frum, previously a fighter against ‘anti-Semitism’. Another Zionist, Wolfowitz is the man actually in charge of the US military. A leading Zionist thinker, Norman Podhoretz, calls for war, while oh so liberal lawyer Alan Dershowitz promotes torture as the best way to learn the truth.

Let us examine the American plans carefully. Recently we’ve got a sneak preview of their campaign. The US plans to destroy Iraq, invade Syria, break Saudi Arabia into a few parts, separate the oil fields, pass them in the hands of Israel, and finish off with Egypt. The news was broken gently by a Jewish Lobby man, Laurent Murawiec, who works under aegis of the Defence Policy Board Chairman Richard N. Perle. This hawk, a friend of Sharon, a devoted Zionist and a suspected Israeli mole, calls for seizure of the Arabian oil fields, transfer of Mecca and Medina unto Hashemite rule and confiscation of Saudi assets. He represents a voice of many American Jews. In the prestigious Jewish World Review , a columnist Jonah Goldberg calls: “Baghdad must be destroyed… America should go to war with Iraq even if that risks innocent Iraqi – and American – lives”. Professor David D. Perlmutter in LA Times is even more explicit: “I daydream - if only! If in 1948, 1956, 1967 or 1973 Israel had acted just a bit like the Third Reich, then today Jews, not sheiks, would have that Gulf oil’. Endless abbreviations, think tanks, institutes connected to the powerful Jewish community in the US are interwoven into a dense spider-net around Pentagon and the White House. And they are the moving force behind the new Drang nach Osten of President Bush.

Let us face the unpleasant reality: the Jewish elites of the US are pushing for the Armageddon, or in your Norse tradition, for Ragnarok, the Doomsday war, in order to establish the Jewish state at the top of the world. It is a plan of megalomaniac, but these megalomaniacs are in control of the only superpower, as well as of their nuclear-powered Middle-Eastern bridgehead.

“Oh no, you say. We know Jews, a wonderful clever peaceful and pleasant folk. It should be some mistake”. Let me remind you a short story by the American writer and poet of 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe about Germany of his days. He depicts Germans as placid and peaceful folk, much given to growing cabbage, playing piano, constructing clocks, smoking pipe and talking philosophy. It is exactly the picture of Germans presented by Mark Twain in his travelogues. This image apparently corresponded to reality, and a German officer was a witness at my grandparents’ wedding in the days of German occupation of Minsk in 1916. Some 25 years later, my grandparents decided to flee the advancing German army, while their Jewish neighbours laughed at them: “you fell for the Bolshevik propaganda, there is no reason to run away, the Germans are wonderful peaceful folk and the best friends of Jews”. Still, my grandparents took flight and were saved from the cruel Einsatzcommando, from the Germans who did not care much about pipes and cabbage.

People can change, and if peaceful Germans could become for a while a walking horror of the world, so can Jews. I do sincerely hope that as the Germans came back to their normal selves, so will the Jews, but I do not think it will happen by itself. There is an infection and it is spreading fast. It is caused by the inherent racism of the Jewish state. On my way to Ben Gurion airport, I bought Haaretz, our main liberal newspaper. It contained a dispute between our chief of staff, Buki Ayalon and our previous Labour Prime Minister, Ehud Barak. Ayalon compared the Palestinians with cancer growth, while the vice-chairman of Socialist International, Barak completely disagreed: they are rather a virus, he said. This racism spread over the Jewish communities like a forest fire. Provided the Jews are the prominent part of the American and to lesser degree European elites, they communicate the disease to the rest. Their newspapers and their film studios preach racism, hatred to Muslims, Germans, French and to everybody else, including the ordinary white working folk and the blacks of the United States.

In your Norse tradition, an evil cunning Loki cheated the gentle but blind Hoed and caused him to kill his brother, shining Balder, this Nordic pre-figuration of Christ. Now, Loki again tries to cause the war between the brothers. It is our duty and our right to refuse Loki’s advices and to stop the Ragnarok.

It can’t be done without attending to Palestine. For years, I would say: Palestine/Israel must be transformed into a democratic state, where Jews and Palestinians will live happily ever after, as equals. But the Democratic State wouldn’t be a Jewish state, people would object. That is the best part of it, I would say. The Jewish state is as bad as the Aryan state, and whoever rejects the Aryan state, should reject the Jewish state, as well. Without the Jewish state, the Jews of the US and other lands will return to their normal life, will forget the wet dreams of the world domination and become law-abiding citizens of their respective countries.

Until now, only our wonderful comrades, friends of Palestine, had supported this idea. But now it becomes necessary – not only for the sake of the Palestinians, these noble courageous and hard-working people, but for the sake of all of us, for the sake of the world peace. There are Israelis who would like to live in peace with their Palestinian neighbours, in peace with churches and mosques, but we can not counteract the external forces supporting Sharon the Evil and Peres the Cunning. Good Israelis and their Palestinian allies can’t win, unless their adversary’s supply lines are cut, as in the Thor story.

The tale hath it, Thor the Mighty came to Utgard to boast his prowess. The gods of Utgard challenged him to drink up the Golden horn. He drunk and drunk, but the horn had remained forever full. It was no miracle: the horn was connected to the sea. Only by severing the umbilical tie, he could meet the challenge and drink up the horn. If you, people of Europe, would block the sea of external support, we, Israelis and Palestinians, will be able to change the things on the ground and bring equality to Palestine and Israel.

The deconstruction of the Jewish state, its conversion into a state for all its citizens would become an important cardinal point in human development. Instead of being the pilot project of globalization, the Holy Land can become an ideal of integration. The invaders and the local folk will merge, as your ancestors the Normans did in East Anglia, Sicily and Normandy, as the children of Provencal Crusaders became Palestinians in the hilly villages of Sinjil and Gifna, while the Jews overseas will become again the blessing of their communities, like my sainted ancestor in your marvellous cathedral city.