Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Name Changes

Israel Shamir is locked up in a little controversy discussed here

His reponse has some interesting information:

De Haas makes a lot of mileage out of old hat, that I supposedly do not live in the Holy Land but in Sweden, and that my name is something else. This silly stuff was first published by the ADL-financed Expo website, whose ties with Israeli intelligence were made public. Then it was republished by its sister publication of Searchlight, which proudly describes itself as a `Jewish antifascist magazine'. Somehow this nonsense never made it to Israel. There, the right-wing, extremely nationalist daily Maariv recently published a five-full-pages-long expose of my modest self, which included interviews with my elderly mother, a prominent member of an Israeli nationalist party, and everybody who had ever met me. But even this hostile article did not lower itself to publish such obvious nonsense. In my home in Israel, I receive visitors daily, including those from the Netherlands; I feel comfortable enough, and if I am to be tried for my betrayal of the Jewish cause, for my belief in equality of Jew and goy, I'd rather be tried in Israel than in once-Christian Europe.

As for the names I supposedly use, I shall quote the Talmud, which I know better than de Haas: "R. Joseph b. Judah was known as Joseph of Huzal and as Issi b. Gur Aryeh and as Issi b. Gamaliel and as Issi b. Mehalalel. What was his real name? Issi b. Akabia" (Pesachim 113b) Likewise, I may be known as Samir in Jordan, or Irmas in Sweden, or Mirosami in Japan, or Smirnov in Russia, and even as Jersma in the Netherlands, while my real name is Israel Adam Shamir; it is quite irrelevant; as irrelevant as the `real name' of Leon Trotsky (Bernstein) or of Ariel Sharon (Schneidman) or of Andre Maurois (Wilhelm Herzog) or of Salman Rushdie when he was in hiding in Bienfait, Saskatchewan, living under an assumed name. Usually such a discussion is not considered comme il faut, especially referring to Israel, where even an ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps an American passport on another name. But apparently this game is crooked, and what is forbidden to one side, is permitted to the opponent.



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