Israel's 60th anniversary naturally drew a witches sabbath of hateful articles from the BBC in every language, but one piece genuinely let the mask slip.
In a BBC Russian language article purporting to be about Orthodox Christians in Israel from Ksenia Svetlova, a left wing Arabist reporter closely supportive of Islamic terrorists, published for Israel's 60th anniversary, Ksenia Svetlova gave extensive space to Israel Shamir.
The word anti-semite gets thrown around a lot, so the best way to measure just how vile and repulsive "Israel Shamir" is that he's considered beyond the pale even by some of the most extreme figures who hate Israel and have very little use for Jews.
Sue Blackwell who heads up efforts to boycott Israel in the UK writes the following about Israel Shamir,
"His web pages are a veritable gold mine of anti-Semitic calumnies. You would have to plumb the depths of the worst neo-Nazi publications to find a defence of the Easter Blood Libel accusation (that Jews slaughtered non-Jewish children to make the Passover bread at Easter)".
Holocaust denier David Irving accused Israel Shamir of trying to sell him fraudulent Nazi papers. He has been expelled from Arab Anti-Israel groups such as Al Awda and blacklisted by figures such as Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish.
Ronald Rance, one of the more prominent British Anti-Israel figures wrote the following about Israel Shamir that Shamir is an impostor who claims to have worked for the BBC in the past, uses many names, defends the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a real narrative, claims that Jews run the world and has close ties to Neo Nazis and is currently a player in far right Russian anti-semitic groups.
These folks have condemned Israel Shamir not because they love Jews, but because they recognize that blatant anti-semitism of this kind will damage their own credibility. Something the BBC apparently thought would pass unnoticed in a Russian language edition.
With all this in mind here's how the BBC article by Kseniva Svetlanova, itself laced with a large number of fraudulent claims unrelated to Israel Shamir, described him.
The well-known translator and publicist Israel Shamir - one of the few who is not afraid to speak openly about their faith. In the past, political dissident, he arrived in Israel as a Zionist convinced, served in the elite parachute-landing troops, took part in the war in 1973.
Shamir, known in Israel for its radical views on Israeli policy, Zionism and its relationship with the Arab world, believes that the state is trying to deliberately reduced the number of Christians living there.
"Relations between Judaism and Christianity have been and remain problematic and complex - writes Shamir. - Many analysts believe that modern Judaism in general has emerged as a response to Christianity, and its raison d'etre - a fight with Christianity.
Not only does the article treat Israel Shamir's phony biography as real, it serves as a very blatant whitewashing of a man who has claimed that Jews drink Christian blood, that a Jewish conspiracy rules the world, described Jews as a "malignant virus" and wrote articles talking about another Jewish final solution and has ties to Neo-Nazis as "controversial" or "radical", and after this legitimization sinks to a new low by repeating Shamir's claims that Judaism is not a real religion and that it exists only to fight Christianity.
In doing so the BBC article goes beyond attacking Israel and to participating in an outright bigoted attack on Jews. And uses a man that even most on the far left and far right consider to be beyond the pale to do so.
What is significant about all this is the extent to which the BBC's attempt at separating their Anti-Zionism from Anti-Semitism is a mask, a mask they wear for Western audiences and that they feel freer to remove for Arabic and Russian audiences when they think no one is watching. Ksenia Svetlova's article promoting Israel Shamir and the idea that Judaism is not a religion anymore than Israel is a state is closer to the real ugly heart of the BBC and one of the ways they chose to commemorate Israel's 60th anniversary.