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Shahaks writings continuously exposed and denounced Israel as an expansionist, chauvinist and racist state bent on the domination of the surrounding Arab peoples, especially the Palestinians.His recent books, including Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies (Pluto Press, 1997), Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (Pluto Press, 1997) and Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Pluto Press, 1999), provide an invaluable insight into Israeli discourse and policy.Shahak explained, After 1967, when I ceased being just a scientist and became a political being, my first reason was that after 1967 the Israeli aim was to dominate is the Middle East, which every rational human being knows is impossible.
Edward Said observed As someone who spoke and wrote about Palestine, I could not have done what I did without Shahak's papers and of course his example as a seeker after truth, knowledge, and justice.
It is as simple as that, and I therefore owe him a gigantic debt of gratitude.
AS EXPLAINED in Chapter 3, the Halakhah, that is the legal system of classical Judaism - as practiced by virtually all Jews from the 9th century to the end of the 18th and as maintained to this very day in the form of Orthodox Judaism - is based primarily on the Babylonian Talmud.
Israel Shahak was born on April 28, 1933 in Warsaw, Poland.
In 1943-5, the Nazis in the Poniatowo and Bergen Belsen concentration camps imprisoned Shahak and his parents.
The 12yearold Shahak and his mother immigrated to Palestine after the liberation of the camps in 1945.
In the 1960s, while working as Professor of Chemistry at Hebrew University, Shahak became one of Israels leading voices of dissent.
In 1970 he was elected chairman of the Israeli Human and Civil Rights League, and spent the next three decades strongly advocating equality and civil rights.
In the 1990s, Shahak emerged as one of the strongest critics of the Oslo peace process, which he denounced as a fraud and a vehicle for making the Israeli occupation more efficient.
Shahak gained a wide international audience through his regular Translations from the Hebrew Press, which gave the non-Hebrew speaking world a unique glimpse into the extreme and racist rhetoric about Arabs, Palestinians and Jewish supremacy that characterizes much of mainstream discourse in Israel.
The translations also clarified Israeli strategic thinking and policy goals in a manner that directly contradicted official hasbara (propaganda), which presented Israel as a besieged state struggling only for peace and survival.