Mike Jones – Received December 16, 2008
In September, Mike Jones, the editor of the Culture Wars and Israel Shamir appeared together in London and Tallinn (in a Good Cop - Bad Cop routine, Mike said). Here are excepts from Jones' personal report of the events, while the full version is available on www.culturewars.com/2008/Mammon.htm
...Which brings us back to our day and age and me sitting on a train bound for London with the gnawing sense of trepidation I usually feel these days whenever a talk is approaching. It’s not that I’m nervous about speaking. It’s not that I fear Jews particularly. What I fear is fellow Catholics. I’m wondering if I’m going to be stabbed in the back by a fellow Catholic who has just received an intimidating phone call. Will the Catholics who invited me to speak stand by their word when the inevitable counterattack from the thought police occurs?
The situation this time was compounded by the fact that I was not the only speaker. In fact, it was debatable whether I was even the most controversial speaker since I shared the bill with the redoubtable Israel Shamir.
Shamir was born in Novosibirsk in the Soviet Union in 1947. In 1968 he converted to Zionism and emigrated to Israel, where he joined the IDF and fought in the 1973 war. Stationed in Sinai during a fierce battle whose point he failed to understand, Shamir used that war as a symbol of what it meant to be a Jew. Being a Jew provided no help in understanding what Jews want from themselves and from bewildered mankind, “just as belonging to the elite troops does not help you with an understanding of the general staff” (Cabbala of Power
, p. 12). When it comes to understanding the principle of unity among Jews, we are confronted with the opposite problem from the one we encountered with Catholics. Catholics have the prinicple of unity in Christ but no practical unity. Jews, on the other hand, have no principle of unity but, as Shamir says, like the locusts mentioned in the book of Proverbs, they “‘have no king, but they attack in formation’ and devastate whole countries as if by plan.”
In 1975, after studying law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Shamir moved to London where he worked for the BBC. From 1977 to 1979 he worked in radio in Japan. By this point, some ten years after he had left Russia, Shamir had become disillusioned with Zionism because of the way the Israeli government discriminated against non-Jews. From 1989 to 1993 Shamir returned to Russia where he worked as the Moscow correspondent for Ha’aretz
. In 1993 he returned to Israel and settled in Jaffa, where he lives today.
At some point during the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, Shamir became a presence on the Internet and at around the same time he became a Christian. The connection between the two events was more than coincidence because, as Shamir himself put it, getting baptized by the Palestinian priest, Archbishop Theodosius Attalla Hanna “helped me sort out the question of identity.”
If there were ever a sign of contradiction for the age of irenic interreligious dialogue inaugurated by the Second Vatican Council, it is Israel Shamir. Shamir’s conversion to Christianity was a sign that the repressed had returned just in time to save the Church from total apostasy on the Jewish question. Shamir, the Jewish convert, saw Jews not as our “elder brothers” but as St. Paul saw them, which is to say, as “the enemy of mankind.” In accepting baptism, Shamir joined a long line of “Jews by birth who denounced the Judaic cult of Death and accepted the Living Christ.” For Shamir, the crucial “sieve” which separated good from evil in the great struggle of his day was the “relationship to the Palestinian suffering”; “whoever disregarded it followed Antichrist; whoever denounced it began his way to Christ.”
Like St. Paul, Shamir has become a latter day apostle to the Gentiles and a reproach to all those who would ignore the warning of the Gospels and urge upon Christians a quasi-Masonic brotherhood with their enemies which leads to their mental evisceration and moral ruin. “The point,” as Shamir says, is not pointless dialogue of the sort that is in reality nothing more that a covert form of cultural warfare, “The point is to liberate Jews from Jewishness, which is the enemy of mankind.”
Like Nicholas Donin and Joseph Pfefferkorn before him, Shamir is Lazarus returned from the realm of the dead. In addition to being reborn out of the Judaic culture of death, Shamir rose from the realm of what everyone had presumed was a dead idea, namely, that Jews need to accept Christ as their savior. Shamir was “granted the grace of Christ” and therefore “reborn in His glory.” He has come back to life to tell us all that he is “daily grateful to Christ who saved me from the Judaic paranoia of hating and being hated and brought me into the world of loving and being loved” and that “every Jew who has come to Christ by the way of rejecting the Judaic ideas, by upholding love for the nations, is a portent of Salvation” (Cabbala, p. 310). Like Nicholas Donin and Joseph Pfefferkorn before him, Shamir did not come back from the dead to become Eugene Fisher’s successor at the USCC. Shamir came back from the dead on fire with zeal to liberate Jews from the bondage of Judaism.
To do that, Shamir must first explain what it means to be a Jew:
a Jew must first understand himself and war against himself. Only steady resolution, united to the highest self-respect, can free the Jew from Jewishness. Therefore the Jewish question can only be solved individually; every Jew must try to solve it in his proper person”—by discovering God’s presence in the world, that is Christ (p. 19).
Like Joseph Pfefferkorn, Shamir has had to deal with the polite racism of the Left which associates Jews with some ineradicable racial destiny. Like Joseph Pfefferkorn, whom the humanist elite, including Erasmus, referred to as a “tauf Jud,” a baptized Jew, Shamir has been described as “an ethnic Jew who defines himself as a Christian.” Liberal Swedish journalists are a lot like Adolf Hitler in Shamir’s mind because they think “‘once a Jew, always a Jew’; baptism notwithstanding, Shamir can only ‘define himself as’ a Christian.”
Jews collaborate in the promotion of this sort of racism because it keeps Jews in line. Instead of distinguishing between racism, which is bad, and anti-Judaic principles, which are required of every Christian, Jews try to portray the anti-Judaism that is part and parcel of Christianity as a form of racism. Jews, in other words, manipulate the term “anti-Semitism” for their own political advantage:
Anti-Judaic thought is part of the foundation of Christianity and Communism, to mention just two of the most important ideologies. Jews try to present the anti-Judaic line as racism. Though anti-Judaic thought has existed for hundreds of years, Jews insist on using the name of “anti-Semitism,” a rather short lived racial theory of the 19th century. For the anti-Semite, a Jew has inherent and unchangeable inborn qualities, while anti-Jewish thought analyses and fights Judaic tendency.
Instead of admitting that there is something wrong with being Jewish because the Jewish rejection of Logos disposes Jews to act in a way that antagonizes everyone they come in contact with, the Jews fall back on outdated theories of racism as a way of exculpating bad behavior. “It is because of what we are, not of what we do,” a slogan recently appropriated by President Bush, has become the mantra that excuses bad behavior and hides from Jews the core of their essentially negative identity and why they have faced antagonism among every group they have lived with throughout history.
There has never been a “paradisus Iudeorum”
that has not ended in catastrophe for the Jews, and there has never been a catastrophe that has not been rationalized into one more link in a long chain of anti-Semitism by Jewish apologists determined to ignore the toxic effect of Jewish behavior on native populations and the inevitable reaction which it brings forth from them. Shamir cites the Jewish delight in using terms like “hook-nosed” as “a clear sign of the Jewish effort to turn anti-Zionist or anti-Judaic polemics into racist ones.” Racism is the simplest way to deflect attention from the source of the problem. Hence, the Jewish delight in discovering racism even where none exists. “Anti-Semitism,” Shamir points out, “was a short-lived racial theory of late 19th century claiming that . . . Jews are what they are; that they possess some racial qualities making them an inherent enemy of the Nordic race, like a wolf is an enemy of a rabbit.” This was never the position of the Church, which always maintained that the problem between Jews and Gentiles was religious in nature and solved by conversion. If there were ever a time when “hatred of Jews for what they are” was an issue, Shamir claims “such a phenomenon vanished completely. There are people who object to policies of Jews, but none to Jews per se.” The fact that Jews insist on obscuring the issue means that only Christians can frame the issue properly, and yet this is precisely what the Church has refused to do for the past 40 some years. Making the proper distinctions would pave the way for the solution to the problem, but this is precisely what Jews want to avoid, because it would mean the end of their hegemony over discourse. If Mel Gibson had had the benefit of understanding the distinctions which Shamir made, he could have shrugged off the charges of anti-Semitism by claiming what every Christian should be able to claim, namely, “I am anti-Judaic, just like Christ.”
Shamir’s conversion is clearly a scandal and a reproach to the entire era of post-Vatican II inter-religious dialogue. Shamir became a Christian during the period when the Catholic Church had all but officially called for a moratorium on Jewish conversion. One of the most painful events in the time of his life surrounding his conversion came in 2002, when the bishops of the United States issued their document “Reflections on Covenant,” which in effect said that Jews did not have to accept Christ in order to be saved. Shamir described “Reflections” as “an act of cruelty to the Jews” which came perilously close to the denial of Christ and apostasy of the Church that the faithful would experience in the last days. According to Shamir,
The Catholic Church after Vatican II accepted the unacceptable demands of the Jews and agreed to the conditions once rejected by St. Paul. They agreed to the idea of two covenants, as if the Old Covenant is not the same as the New Covenant. Thus they came to the weird idea of two Chosen Peoples—Israel of the flesh and the Church. The Orthodox Church is still safe from this dangerous heresy. Only the Orthodox Church can offer true salvation to the Jews escaping their supremacist creed. And now, when thousands of Jews try to come to Christ, the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem does not make a sufficient effort to bring them in.
Shamir has similarly frank things to say about the doctrine of two covenants, which he mistakenly ascribes to the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate, which affirms the fact that the Church is the New Israel. The notion that the Jewish covenant is still valid “undermines the very meaning of Christ’s sacrifice. ... Since Christ had opened the Covenant for all, the Christian Church became the True Israel, and the Jews that rejected Christ do not belong to the True Israel anymore, nor do divine prophecies pertain to them anymore…. The Church should attract and baptize Jews, but without giving them special status. Otherwise, the church, the most powerful defense against the ongoing Jewish offensive, will be subjugated.”
Unlike most Catholics, who were mesmerized by the pronouncements of Jewish-appointed leaders like Richard John Neuhaus at the time, Shamir was perceptive enough to see that the Iraq invasion of 2003 was preceded by a media barrage aimed at the Catholic Church, designed to take the Bush Administration’s most formidable foreign policy enemy out of action. Shamir sees parallels between what Rod Dreher was writing for National Review and what Alfred Rosenberg was writing in the Voelkische Beobachter and Der Stuermer:
Whenever the forces of darkness prepare a new attack on mankind, they use their considerable artillery to shut up the potential resistance forces, starting with their new enemy, the Church. . . . This was the practice of the Third Reich as well: before starting the war, they began their campaign of “priests as sex fiends” to force the church’s silence. Now this is the turn of the Fourth Reich: the Church was against the war in Iraq; the Church was steadfast in her defense of Palestine, the Church is certainly against the impending attack on Iran, so she has to be put on defense. The same people who control the US media call for war with Iran, and they are behind this campaign against the Church.
The Jewish-American empire sees the Church as its main adversary, according to Shamir, because it is in reality a competing church, “the church of darkness.”
We can’t remain indifferent to the travail of the church for she has a potential to change the US from the predatory neo-Judaic state it is today into a peace-loving Christian one. Her bishops went too far trying to accommodate their enemy, but they have discovered now that his way leads to perdition. Next time they may be braver, if there ever is a next time.
Another word for the same enemy is “Masters of Discourse,” the title of Shamir’s most recent book. The Masters of Discourse “are trying to create a pseudo-Judaic universe on a planetary scale.” They want “to destroy Iran and cripple Russian for these lands did not forget God.”
Because of the essentially theological basis of his political critique, Shamir finds himself cut off from his natural allies. He can’t talk politics to Catholics because so many Catholics identify with the regime that oppresses them, and he can’t talk theology to the Left, the de facto
basis of the antiwar movement, because the Left has no use for God. “In Counterpunch
,” he writes at one point, “one can’t say a good word about the Church.”
As a result of this schism, the Church finds herself defenseless against her enemies, largely because Church leaders have convinced themselves that they don’t have any enemies anymore in the age of interreligious dialogue. The enemies of all mankind whom St. Paul talks about in his epistle to the Thesselonians have been miraculously turned into “elder brothers” in a act of wishful thinking that becomes more determined in the face of every Jewish-led assault on the Church. The most recent example of this came in October when the synod of bishops invited a rabbi to address that august body for the first time in history. The rabbi promptly took this historical moment as an opportunity to harangue the bishops for being insufficiently zealous in their support of Israel. At a press conference after his speech, the same rabbi used the forum which the bishops had provided him to attack the memory of Pope Pius XII. By now this sort of “dialogue” has become depressingly familiar. So familiar that one has to wonder just what the bishops were thinking when they extended the invitation. Weren’t they paying attention during the “celebrations” of the 40th anniversary of Nostra Aetate
a few years back when the chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, laid the responsibility for the Holocaust at the feet of the Catholic Church and its “2000-year history of anti-Semitism?”
Shamir is the man of his age precisely because, as a Jew who has liberated himself from the bondage of Judaism, he can name the evil of this age without hesitation or circumlocution, at a time when the Church, which should be the enemy of Jewish pretension and subversion, is silent, impotent, and bound hand and foot with chains forged under the false presuppositions of another age. This paralysis of mind and will on the part of the Church has led to dire consequences for all of mankind, because as Shamir puts it, “When the Church is subjugated, Jews triumph and when Jews triumph mankind suffers.” What was true of Europe under Communism is true of America under the hegemony of the neoconservatives. “The Jewish universe,” Shamir continues,
is good for the Jews. It is a curse for the others. . . . In Eastern Europe, times of Jewish dominance were the worst experienced by the ordinary people. . . . The Jews lost their high position in the Communist Church by 1934, and the life of ordinary Russians improved greatly. After 1991, the Judeo-Mammonites enforced their paradigm upon Russia, and the life of ordinary Russians was degraded while the new elites prospered. . . . In Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, the years of Jewish dominance (1945-1956) were the most harsh and unpleasant. In Germany, Jewish pre-eminence in 1920s coincided with terrible inflation and unemployment for Germans, and the growth of Jewish wealth and influence. . . . In the US, as Jewish influence has grown steadily since 1968, the lives of ordinary people has [sic] worsened. . . . A good time for the Jews is not a good time for mankind. . . . The blessing of the Jews is a curse for others. . . . The regimes that are “good for Jews” are rarely good for anybody else.
If Shamir is a prophet, his main prophecy in the political sphere is that the war of left and right belongs to the past. “The struggle of Left and Right has become obsolete in the face of the new dichotomy,” which is the Jewish American Empire vs. the rest of the world. Because this is an essentially theological struggle between the Church and the Synagogue of Satan, the secular categories which have dominated political life in Europe since the French Revolution are no longer relevant. Fighting the current war with the weapons forged by the Enlightenment is like trying to bring down an F-16 with a musket. As a result of their residual Enlightenment-based suspicion (if not hatred) of religion, countries like England and Germany (and now France) have become curious political backwaters, locked in irrelevant battles over race and sexuality but all the while incapable of effectively saying no to supporting American imperialism because of the implicit blackmail threat which Jews exert over them. “Germans,” Shamir notes, “go into collective toxic shock whenever the word ‘Jew’ is pronounced.” The Germans have not only handed billions of dollars over to the world’s major Jewish organizations (money which will be used to mold public opinion against them and extort still more money), they have also provided Israel with two nuclear-capable Dolphin class submarines which can now target German cities and, therefore, enhance the threat and, thereby, extort still more money.
The problem, according to Shamir, is theological not political. The Germans accepted their “second class status” as “children of a lesser god” when they “elevated Auschwitz” over Golgotha as the center of human history. As the Jesuits wrote in Civilta Cattolica
on the centenary celebration of the French Revolution in 1890, any country which turns away from God will find itself ruled by Jews. In siding with Caiaphas against Christ, the Germans allowed themselves to become entangled in the tentacles of the “voracious Octopus of Judaism,” and as long as they continue to structure their lives according to the outdated categories of Left and Right, they will continue to languish in that embrace, debilitated by sexual licence, anomie and guilt, lashing out at Americans without understanding who is grinding ordinary Americans under its heel as well. Countries with no strong theological foundation will end up, like the Soviet Union, in the dustbin of history because “The ‘struggle against anti-Semitism’ is a theological concept which entails the adoption of a new religion.” For Shamir, becoming a Christian meant rejecting the current conventional narrative which sees the Holocaust as anti-Christianity. Conversely, countries like Germany become absorbed into the Jewish-American empire the more they demote Christianity and raise up the Holocaust as an idol in its place. According to Shamir, the very concept of Holocaust is a concept of Jewish superiority (as opposed to the historical event in which Jews and Gentiles were killed).
Christianity is the denial of Jewish superiority. Whoever believes or accepts Jewish superiority denies Christ for He made us equal. The French Jewish filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, the creator of “Shoah,” said: if you believe in holocaust you can’t believe in Christ. We can rephrase the words of Lanzmann: belief in a special historical meaning of death of Jews is a sign of apostasy. . . . We believe that Christ suffered for us and came back to life. The Holocaust believers believe that the Jewish people suffered and came back by creating the Jewish state. In this competition, the Jews win: as opposed to Holocaust, you can deny Crucifixion and Resurrection, and your career won’t suffer a bit.
Belief in Jewish superiority, according to Shamir, is the official faith of the Pax Americana
. Similarly, the Soviet Union eventually collapsed because it lacked an adequate theological foundation. This fatal flaw is echoed in the “neo-Jewish” American empire. “The Judaic paradigm has replaced apostolic Christianity, and now America is suffering “in the grip of a New World Order—featuring a dwindling middle class, a vast security apparatus, a growing social gap, and a general impoverishment of spirit. It is not the first time the Judaic paradigm has risen in this world; but, like its predecessors, it will inevitably collapse—this type of society lacks broad social support. This time the adepts have decided to ensure its survival by making their project global . . .this is the logic and pressure behind their reckless and desperate expansion.”
Now that the war of Left and Right belongs to the past, the only real issue is how to deal with Jewish supremacy and the Pax Americana which is its practical implementation. Another way of framing the same question is to ask, “Will our society stand on the rock planted by Christ, or will it worship the Jewish state?” Those who affirm the former proposition will also have to affirm its theological ramifications, the most important of which is that the only solution to the current world crisis is the conversion of the Jews, a step which Shamir has taken and one which he urges on the rest of the world, either directly, by asking the world’s Jews to convert as well or indirectly, by asking the rest of us to pray for their conversion: “Let us pray for perfidious Jews that our God and Lord will remove the veil from their hearts so that they too may acknowledge the light of the truth which is our Lord Jesus Christ and be delivered from their darkness.” As for the rest of us—Catholics, Americans, non-Jews: “The Palestinians have no chance, unless we free our souls form Jewish control. And here we may turn to the second J-word, more mighty than the first: Jesus. The present subservience of the West began with one small step: in the 1960s, Western Churches removed from their liturgy the prayer “Oremus et pro perfidis Judaeis.”
Shamir writes that “I believe Lenny Brenner when he argues that young Jews are deserting Judaism and Zionism in droves,” Shamir writes, articulating what may be the fundamental sign of our age. “More and more Israelis,” he continues, “are coming to their senses.” The main danger to this movement toward conversion “comes from the extreme American Zionists who are ready to fight from their recliners until the last Israeli falls.”
Shamir is the revenant in our day of famous Jewish converts like Joseph Pfefferkorn, Jews who woke up one day and realized that by being Jews they were working for the evil empire. Then as now there were Christians who hated the idea of Jewish conversion and were more comfortable with racial explanations that cut off the Jews from Christian society. The Dominicans of Cologne were not part of that group. The great question for Christians in our day is whether we are as acute as Shamir in discerning the signs of the times. In this respect, his conversion story is especially relevant for American Catholics, who are still asleep at the switch, drugged by bad politics, bad theology, and what seems like a congenital desire to appease their oppressors.
The Talk in London
As some indication that Shamir was right when he saw the current political scene dominated by unacknowledged religious categories, it was the English Catholics who ended up sponsoring our talks in London, not the pro-Palestinian left. In fact, I ended up back addressing the same organization I had spoken to 12 years ago when I had spoken on Medjugorje and the sexual revolution.
The Jews, of course, tried to stop the talks, but in a half-hearted way, at least in comparison to how their counterparts work in America. The job of stopping the talks was assigned to a freelance journalist with connections to a national Jewish newspaper. Under the guise of reporting on the talk, he called up everyone he could think of--the archdiocese, the Catholic information centre, the nuns who owned the building, as well as Pro Fide, the sponsoring organization, to panic them into shutting down the talk. Did you know, he asked David Foster, who served as moderator of the talks, that Shamir thinks the “final solution” to the Jewish problem was conversion? That a Jew feels that a Catholic should be shocked by this kind of statement gives some indication of the theological chasm separating the two groups. In spite of the deliberately inflammatory rhetoric, Foster agreed with Shamir’s point; Catholic solidarity prevailed, and the talks went on.
There was an attempt to disrupt the talk after it began. A crazy Russian Jew who calls himself a performance artist showed up with his black leather-clad Austrian girlfriend and, after shouting a few comments, stood up and turned the lights out in the room. When the lights came back on, he stood up on a chair and encouraged everyone to take their clothes off and engage in an orgy, at which point he was ejected from the room. Whether this attempt to derail the talk was demonic or moronic, it failed, when stood up to. On his way out, he shouted that he wanted to hear his friend Shamir. It turns out that Shamir did, in fact, know the guy, who used to show up at salons in Israel, where he would defecate on the floor of art exhibits. He found more fertile ground for his art in Europe, until he was caught defacing a work of art in a Dutch museum and was sentenced to six months in prison. At one point he told Shamir that he had come to England because he felt that the English were more indulgent in dealing with things like this.
The topic of the conference, “Israel, the Church, and Antisemitism,” guaranteed a more diverse audience than at my last venue in England. Paul Eisen, an English Jew who was one of the organizers of Deir Yassin Remembered, was there, as was Martin Webster who had been involved with the British National Party, and Lady Michele Renouf, who had been prevented from speaking to the party for her radicalism. Eisen felt that my talk was “painful, but it was all true.” Eisen seemed half convinced by the talk. It was not difficult to persuade him that the great struggle of his day was “Palestinian suffering.” According to Shamir’s theological calculus--”whoever disregarded Palestinian suffering followed Antichrist; whoever denounced it began his way to Christ”--Eisen had already taken the first step toward Christ by founding Deir Yassin Remembered. In terms of the trajectory that Shamir’s life had described, Eisen had no trouble condemning the Judaic cult of death, but he was having difficulty accepting the “Living Christ” as its alternative.
Eisen was reluctant to give up his identity as a Jew because a Jew, in his view, was by nature an iconoclast, someone who smashed idols. Since the biggest idol of our day, according to both Eisen and Shamir, was the false religion known as the Holocaust (as distinguished from the massacres committed by the Nazis), Eisen felt called as a Jew to smash that idol, something which he attempted when he wrote an article in support of Ernst Zundel, then languishing in a German jail, where he faced criminal charges of Holocaust denial. The article was pure dynamite; unfortunately, one of the first things that went up in smoke when he detonated this bomb was Deir Yassin Remembered. Angry letters of resignation followed the publication of his article, and he was left to ponder the paradoxes which his Jewish iconoclasm had wrought, but unable to take the final step toward embracing Logos as Shamir and Gilad Atzmon, the Israeli saxophonist, Christian, and “proud self-hating Jew” had done.
“I enjoy exercising Jewish power,” Eisen said to me at one point. “The only reason you’re talking to me is because I’m a Jew,” he said at another.
There was an element of irony too powerful for the goyishe kop
(or at least this goyishe kop
) in Eisen’s discourse. Did he say this out of fear that I wouldn’t talk to him if he embraced Logos as Shamir and Gilad Atzmon had done? If so, wasn’t the fact that I shared the bill with Shamir evidence to the contrary? Or was his statement subtly derogatory of me and my intentions? Did he view me as some sort of spiritual opportunist? Did this imply that I viewed Jewish conversion as a sort of one-night stand, after which I wouldn’t talk to him in the morning? Perhaps I wasn’t demanding enough. Perhaps, in imitation of St. Paul, Eisen’s namesake, who claimed he would become all things to all people to save souls, I should have adopted the persona of the Jew hater to make conversion seem more attractive to him. “Think of it, Paul,” I might have said, “If you convert, there will be one less Jew in the world. Conversion is the final solution.”
Dealing with Lady Michele Renouf, who was gracious enough to invite me and Shamir to her posh Kensington flat after the talk, was relatively straightforward by comparison. Lady Michele, former ballet dancer, and photo model, actress, academic, author, and purveyor, via television commercials, of everything from Tokalon Beauty care products in Portugal to Three Castles cigarettes in Pakistan, is a public defender of David Irving and free speech, as well as a devotee of Wagner and Nietzsche, as well as a Hellenist who feels that Christianity is too Jewish.
“Hellenism,” Lady Renouf announced after she had served Shamir and me a cup of tea, “is what makes our discussion possible.” We didn’t need anything else, certainly not Jewish fairy tales about a vindictive God who should be dragged to the Hague and charged with crimes against humanity and genocide.
I replied by reminding Lady Michele that that the most famous convert to Hellenism was Julian the Apostate, who thought he could wash the effect of baptism from his person with the blood of bulls and ended up conniving with the Jews in their attempt to rebuild the Temple. Hellenism was another word for magic and mumbo jumbo. Greek philosophy, even in its pure state, as when it came from the lips of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle was incapable of saving itself from decadence. The only thing that had saved Logos as discovered by Greeks like Plato and Aristotle was Christianity and its fusion with the Hebrew scriptures by thinkers like St. Augustine.
Thinking that this was a bit too impersonal, I gestured toward Shamir, who was sitting next to me on the sofa. “If it weren’t for Christianity and the waters of baptism, Shamir would still be a Jew. Would you prefer that?”
By this point I was fairly wound up in spite of the late hour. Perhaps it was the tea. Feeling that I was already coming across as one more American enthusiast frothing at the mouth about religion, I decided to embrace my role as the American evangelist and jumped up in the middle of Lady Renouf’s drawing room and said, “Come to Jesus, Michele!”
Shamir is no fan of American Protestant preachers, a group he regards as lackeys to American Jews, but no matter how coarsely they were expressed, he couldn’t disagree with my sentiments. If Christ was good for the Jews, then he was equally good for Wagnerian proponents of Hellenism.
The source of our differences lay elsewhere, and they came out in the lobby of Shamir’s hotel where we met the day after our evening at Lady Renouf’s flat.
“You’re a revolutionary,” Shamir said to me as we shared a pot of tea in the lobby of his hotel in London. I could tell by the way he said it that Shamir intended the term as a compliment.
“No, I’m a counter-revolutionary,” I replied. “The revolution has already taken place. I want to overthrow the revolution.”
I then launched into a discussion of Logos as the objective criterion of whether actions are revolutionary or not. Revolutionaries want to overturn the rule of Logos; counterrevolutionaries want to restore it.
Shamir shrugged by way of response. “That’s not what the word means. If you want to use words, you have to use them in the way that most people understand them.”
The unresolved theological question behind Shamir’s conversion is “What remains?” Shamir is of the opinion that nothing remains when the Jew converts. Since a Jew is a rejecter of Christ, rejection of the rejection obliterates the Jew. Shamir now considers himself a Palestinian orthodox Christian. In his epistle to the Romans (11:28-29), however, St. Paul claims that the same Jews who are “enemies of God, as regards the Gospel” are “beloved for the sake of the forefathers. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” This seems to indicate that something Jewish has perdured and will perdure, certainly until the Second Coming, but even in a certain sense after their conversion. What remains can be bad as well as good. The sad story of the converso crisis in Spain is some indication that something remained culturally from the time when the Spanish converts lived as Jews. In some instances it was preserved by bad will and insincere conversion, in others by the sheer weight of cultural inertia and insufficient catechesis in the wake of conversion. Joseph Pfefferkorn was aware of the pull his former life exerted on him and aware as well of the strenuous moral and spiritual effort that was needed to prevent a “return to the vomit of Judaism.” “If I continued to associate with Jews,” Pfefferkorn wrote after his conversion, “and continued to take usury, what would you say other than that I was in serious sin and that I never really became a Christian, and everyone would condemn me by saying that the blood and suffering of Christ had been lost on me. What help would the holy sacrament of baptism have been to me?” (cf., E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit
, p. 225 ff).
The waters of baptism redeem personal history, but they don’t obliterate it, and part of what Shamir brought into the Church from his previous existence as a Jew is a nostalgia for Stalin and the Soviet Union, which many of his new found brothers in Christ found repugnant. Shamir was six years old when Stalin died and nine years old when Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s crimes before the Politburo. Unlike Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was old enough to be his father, Shamir never did time in the Gulag. When he thinks about the Soviet Union what Shamir remembers is a life free from worry where “Everybody lived under more or less the same conditions: safe and assured employment, free accommodation, free electricity, free telephone, free heating, free public transport” (Cabbala
, p. 195). The Soviet Union of Shamir’s youth was “A society free from worry about life’s basic necessities,” something which Shamir considers “is a society well-prepared for spiritual pursuits.”
According to Shamir’s version of history, the fall came, not in 1917 when the Bolsheviks murdered the Czar, but during the 1980s when the “de-spiritualized Russian elites of the last decades began to lean West” and became “infected by the neo-liberal world-view” of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, which he describes as the worship of Mammon. The Soviet Union got hi-jacked by pro-Western elites who “embraced the Chicago school of Milton Friedman with fervor and despised their own people, their own history, and the traditions of their parents” and then handed the country over to an orgy of looting in which most of the oligarchs who ended up with Russia’s wealth were Jews. Former Premier and now Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Shamir’s view, has shown himself to be insufficiently daring in dealing with the Jewish oligarchs. As a result, “the Slav Orthodox world is without a rudder in boiling rapids.” If the Soviet Union had been left alone, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Communist Party would have united in a Hegelian synthesis based a mutual hatred of Mammon. As if conceding for a moment that life under Stalin was not, as Monk Seraphim might put it, “hunky-dory,” Shamir writes, “It’s not that the Russians miss the Gulag or industrialization, but Stalin and his rule are part and parcel of Russian history” (Cabbala
, p. 197). That caveat notwithstanding, Joseph Stalin is nonetheless, in Shamir’s view, “the great man who restored fortunes of Russia, beat off western attacks, and united the Ukraine” (Cabbala
, p. 208) (elsewhere Shamir does concede the mass graves filled by Stalin).
Last updated 20/12/2008