I received a letter from the Arts Editor of the Morning Star asking for my permission to re-publish my popular essay on the Pussy Riot:
Dear Mr Shamir
I’m the arts editor of the Morning Star newspaper (see
www.morningstaronline.co.uk) and we’d like to reprint an edited version of
your Pussy Riot article.
Would you please grant permission? Unfortunately, we run on a shoestring so
we’re unable to pay a fee but I hope you will agree as it will bring your
challenging piece to a wider readership.
I’d be grateful for a swift response as we have a possible slot free in next
With very best wishes
Morning Star newspaper
I gave my permission immediately, and they published it – and took it down in a few hours under pressure of the Jewish Lobby.
The Lobby had a good reason to object. In this article, I wrote:
“For much milder anti-Jewish hate talk, European countries customarily sentence offenders to two-to-five years of prison for the first offence. The Russians applied hate crime laws to offenders against Christian faith, and this is probably a Russian novelty. The Russians proved that they care for Christ as much as the French care for Auschwitz, and this shocked the Europeans who apparently thought ‘hate laws’ may be applied only to protect Jews and gays. The Western governments call for more freedom for the anti-Christian Russians, while denying it for holocaust revisionists in their midst.”
Actually, the Jewish angle to the PR affair is more than that: though I did not find it necessary to mention in my article, the most outspoken PR supporters and enemies of the Church in Russia, such as Viktor Shenderovich, Igor Eidman, Marat Gelman, Xenia Sobchak, Alexey Venediktov happen to be of Jewish origin. None of them is a practicing Jew, but they apparently inherited their hatred to the Church from their forefathers.
Surely, there are many non-Jews who hate the Church, and there are many descendants of Jews who came to Christ and are saved, but still the correlation can’t be denied. The British Jewish ‘tribal or kosher’ Marxists provide their support, for, in words of Gilad Atzmon, “Jewish Marxism is very different from Marxism or socialism in general. While Marxism is a universal paradigm, Jewish Marxism is basically a crude utilisation of ‘Marxist-like’ terminology for the Jewish tribal cause.” Indeed they were on the watch; they applied pressure to the Morning Star, and the British Communists surrendered immediately.
They did not care that the attacks proceeded from Harry’s Place, the dirtiest Zionist leftist blog in Britain, viciously anti-Muslim, positioned against Iran and Syria, violently anti-Russian, and surely anti-Shamir. Harry’s Place described me as
“antisemite/Holocaust denier/Assange collaborator/Lukashenko enabler/all-around slimeball Israel Shamir”. I think of using it as my signature in future ☺.
They apologised to the readers in the following language:
A NUMBER of you have raised concerns over the decision to reprint an article by Israel Shamir on the Russian band Pussy Riot that appeared in the weekend’s Morning Star.
The paper would like to reassure readers that the piece was syndicated from Counterpunch in good faith without knowledge of the author’s background.
We would like to reiterate the paper’s commitment to publishing writers who reflect and remain steadfastly committed to the values of anti-racism, anti-fascism, international solidarity and social justice that the paper has campaigned for ever since its establishment.
It remains guided by those goals and will seek in future, wherever possible, to establish the full biography of writers before publishing their work.
In the meantime the Morning Star would like to distance itself from the opinions of the author of the piece, which do not reflect our position or those of the wider movement.
We apologise wholeheartedly for any distress caused.
So many code-words to mask their weak knees. If they can’t stand up to a few Jewish Marxists, how can they stand up to real big capitalist enemies?
But I do not want to end on such a determinist note, condemning the Reds and condemning the Jews. Despite all correlations, people are free to think and to act. We have free will. Some of the strongest voices against the PR outrage were Reds and Jews, or rather Russian leftists of www.left.ru, some of Jewish origin and some not, all strongly anti-Zionist (they even translated and published Israel Shahak). Here are excepts from one of their texts, by Valentin Zorin. It explains well the position of the Russian anti-imperialist Left which should eventually influence the Western anti-imperialist Left and Right.
Pussies Rioting against Independent Russia, by Valentin Zorin (excepts)
(in Russian http://left.ru/2012/4/zorin215.phtml )
“…Not only their name (Pussy Riot) is in English. They talk as if they translate from English. They use language of an Americanised native who thinks and speaks the colonisers’ language. Russia is definitely not a colony of the Anglo-American Empire, at least it is not a colony yet, but already we have colonised natives in droves, for colonisation is not a single event but a lasting process…
The PR belong to bourgeois radical left adapted for the colonised nations. Their roots are to be found in the early period of the Cold War, when the US decided to use leftist ideology to fight communism. Feminism, beatniks, sexual liberation, even civil rights movement were sponsored by American state agencies and by private interests. They developed gender studies, imported French post-structuralism of Foucault and Derrida, and eventually exported into colonised cultures.
For what reason? Just guess, which soldier would fight better for Russia, one who believes in “God, King and Motherland” or one who thinks that all these ideas (always excepting post-modernism and post-structuralism) are just deliberate illusions created by the authorities? Or make it easier: what would rather wear Russian marines under their battledress in face-to-face combat, a cross or a politically correct and gender-adjusted image?
I know, after asking this question, I’ll be forever banned from entering the Kingdom of the Leftist Heaven. A French maître of post-something would sarcastically smirk, and ultra-conservatives would applaud, to my chagrin. But this question allows to divine the meaning of the PR affair, for the meaning is not in our hands, nor it is in hands of Putin, neither of the Church. The Imperial Masters of Discourse rule what is the meaning, while we can only understand it – or not. All Western newspapers made it clear: “Putin versus PR; Putin persecutes the PR, PR against Putin”. It was repeated by the colonial media in Russia, by practically everybody of importance excepting such dyed-in-the-wool fogies as yours truly.
Who made the PR so successful and famous, who secured their place in history? Putin did. Putin is our alpha and omega. Please do not beat me! It is not my doing, it is them, the Pussies! They did not ask the Virgin to banish private property, dope traders, human traffickers, oligarchs, bankers, police, Sixth fleet, me or anything else. They asked her to remove a small unseemly guy named Putin from the Kremlin. Even if the Pussies were mistaken, the State Department, Madonna, Mme Clinton and Mme Merkel, the NY Times and the Guardian could not be wrong. They all know that behind Putin there is a force that sets limit to Imperial omnipotence and to the Masters’ monopoly on the meaning of things.
Without Putin, i.e. without independent Russia blocking the road of the Western Empire to full spectrum dominance, nobody would notice the Pussies, or us, or even our biggest oligarchs. It is unpleasant to hear, but we would become a remote and irrelevant province of the Empire, fit for business or pleasure but of no political importance. We would become eating and TV-watching nothingness. A small garrison of imperial troopers would suffice to control us. But despite all Imperial efforts, Putin still sits in the Kremlin.
What is the secret of his political longevity? Cruel repressions? But if so, where are the martyrs? The only possibly political prisoner is the oligarch Khodorkovsky. The second best, Udaltsov, never rated for more than 15 days of detention. So perhaps the secret is – the silent support of the masses that do not agree to sink in Nothingness?
There are many reasons to be disgusted by the Church, as she consecrates capitalist violence. But if masses need it as “the heart of heartless world” in order to survive, let it be. It is good. And if masses silently support Putin, because there is no other force able to withstand the assault of the Empire and of Nothingness, let it be. It is good.
And here a letter of an English reader reacting on the Morning Star decision:
From Elisha Traven:
I don’t agree with everything you write as I’m not always sure where you are coming from. But writers like you need to be read over a period of time and not continually picked up and criticised. If you don’t like what the cook has prepared then don’t shout at him. There is no point. Just leave the restaurant and find a place where the food and wine and beer and clientele suit you. Let each writer be himself is my motto. There are some who could do with being shot but where would this all end?
I was amazed to read in today’s Morning Star that an article by you which they had published on Saturday was not to their reader’s liking. They apologised to their readers and distanced themselves from the views you expressed. Apparently they had lifted the article from Counterpunch and had no idea who you were. Who do they think they’re kidding? They are either truly ignorant in regard to you which beggars belief. It is just not a creditable defence. This newspaper is heavily involved in the campaign for Palestinian rights. They would know the names of every single child in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank such is their knowledge of the situation out there.
You know what I mean. I have read extremely detailed news articles published by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in their magazine. If I am reading such a magazine then so are they. We get continued reports from Palestine delivered to packed meetings here which are held all over the country. Organised by every tom, dick, and harry socialist party. They know you alright. They couldn’t fail to know you because of your strong support for the Palestinians. I’m not sure what is going on at the Morning Star. They don’t normally listen to their readers. They preach the gospel according to Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. You take it as it comes. Delivered to the readers from on high.
I didn’t realise you were living in Moscow. I know what you are saying about the Russian press is true since I have read it over a period of time through various sources. Translated or already available in English. Like Moscow Times. They are running an orchestrated campaign against the Russian state. It is not like the so called liberal newspapers in Britain and America. They are connected up to the street protest gangs and were delighted when large numbers of people demonstrated last December and in March. Not only were the people being egged on to cause a breakdown of social order by well known Russian newspapers but radio stations such as Echo Moscow were part of that criminal conspiracy too. I call it a criminal conspiracy because that’s what it looks like to me. I found the article you wrote about the PR hooligan girls. The Morning Star has removed Saturday’s digital edition of the paper from its site altogether. Even though that breaks the subscription agreement which is that they allow you to read the Morning Star’s previous digital editions of the paper. I think this is every edition for the past two weeks or it might even be for a month. I agree with you about PR.
East Riding of Yorkshire
PS George Galloway of the Respect Party is MP for Bradford West which is in south Yorkshire. He is well known for his strong support of the Palestinian people. I’m sure you know of him. I salute you, Israel Shamir, for your love of Russia and defence of their elected president. You are a true and loyal servant of social democracy and the rule of law.