ModernityBlog

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Posts Tagged ‘CounterPunch

A Question For Julian Assange At Hay on Wye.

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Julian Assange will be appearing at the Hay on Wye festival on Saturday 4 June 2011, 2.30pm, Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage.

Apparently, Assange is taking questions at hay@telegraph.co.uk.

Rosie has submitted a good one, it deserves an answer. Not sure if Assange will have the guts to reply on this particular topic:

“[To Julian Assange] What is your relationship with Israel Shamir? In a statement to Private Eye Wikileaks said that Israel Shamir has never been an “agent” of Wikileaks, and generally minimises your relationship.

Could you please explain then the recent article on the Swedish anti-fascist site Expo which stated that you had been in contact with him to recommend potential associates in Sweden for analysing the Wikileaks data.

In an interview with Agora Vox you have echoed his own view of himself that he is persecuted like Salman Rushdie and according to a Panorama programme you emailed him, going along with one of his aliases “Adam” and describing his work as “strong and compassionate”.

Do you still hold that view of Shamir and his writing?

An Antisemite Helped Build WikiLeaks’ Network In Sweden.

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I covered this a few days ago, but thankfully Jonathan Leman has released a good quality English translation:

The cooperation between Julian Assange and the Swedish antisemite Israel Shamir is closer than has previously been reported. Expo revieved e-mail correspondence revealing that Shamir was actively involved in shaping Wikileaks’ Swedish network.

According to WikiLeak’s spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson, the role of Israel Shamir has been that of a freelance writer working with a “a project that came and went”.

– We have not been scanning all the thousands of journalists that we have been associated with in some way, he tells Expo.

However, e-mails between Shamir and Assange that Expo have gotten hold of reveal that the two have cooperated for several years. In 2008 Shamir was asked to recommend potential associates in Sweden.

Shamir answered by recommending his son, Johannes Wahlström, without mentioning anything about their kinship:

”He is Swedish citizen, and lives in Sweden. Probably he’ll be able to give advice about press freedom”

In an e-mail dated June 2010 shows that Shamir at that point still played a part in the Swedish WikiLeaks-network. Shamir wrote:

”I have a lot of good guys who can help to analyse the treasure, and it would be good to start spreading the news. I am now in Paris, and people want to know more! Tuesday I go to Sweden, and there is a whole operation for your benefit!”

Assange replied:
”There certainly is! Tell the team to get ready; Give them my best; We have a lot of work to do.”

Israel Shamir and his son Johannes Wahlström have both been criticized for antisemitic writings. Shamir has said that ”every person who adheres to God should deny the Holocaust”. Wahlström wrote an article in 2005 with claims that ”Israel’s regime controls Swedish media”. Wahlström has repeatedly defended his father and he is presented on Shamir’s website as a ”distinguished contributor”. “

JONATHAN LEMAN

Closer Links: Julian Assange And The Far Rightist, Israel Shamir.

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Rosie has provided an invaluable link to the Swedish ant-fascist site, Expose.se.

They have information showing that Julian Assange’s links to the Far Rightist, Israel Shamir, are much closer and more extensive than had been first thought.

Readers will remember how the BBC had a confidential email exchange between the two, which indicated a friendly relationship, with Assange suggesting Shamir might use an alias to hide his connection to Wikileaks.

Wikileaks’ subsequent statement on Israel Shamir was decidedly unsatisfactory. Basically, they said he was just another journalist and they treated him as such.

However, it is clear from the Expose.se article that Wikileaks’ response was very far from the truth.

Below is an extract taken from the Expo magazine and a Google translation from the original Swedish, which is not perfect but sufficient to explain the issues:

“Cooperation between Julian Assange and the Swedish anti-Semite Israel Shamir is denser than previously stated. Expo has taken note of several emails that show that Assange Shamir asked for help to build Wikileaks Swedish network.

According to Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson traded contacts between Julian Assange and Israel Shamir on a project.

– We have not checked the political and personal views of the thousands of journalists we worked with, “he told the Expo.

But e-mails as part of the Expo has shown that cooperation lasted for years. Back in 2008, Shamir was asked to provide proposals to potential partners in Sweden.

Shamir responds by proposing his son, John Wahl, without mentioning anything about their relationship:

“He is a Swedish citizen, living in Sweden. Probably he will be able to advise you on press freedom – in the journal [tornado / red.anm.] Is startling revelations about the media assaults.”

In an email dated June 2010 shows that Shamir and Assange still had a role in Wikileaks Swedish network .. “Tell the team to be prepared; Health them from me: We have much work to do,” writes Assange in response to Shamir. “

Again, the points are:

  • There was an email exchange between Israel Shamir and Wikileaks.
  • That exchange dates back three years, to 2008.
  • Shamir was asked by Wikileaks to suggest potential partners in Sweden.
  • Assange was communicating with Shamir as late as June 2010 concerning Wikileaks in Sweden.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

    “Anti-Zionists” And The Whiff Of Racism.

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    Non-Jewish “anti-Zionists” will frequently tell you that they have nothing against Jews. Indeed, some of their best friends are…

    Or that they hold no prejudices against Jews.

    Some of them even seem sincere when they say that, but the problem is when you follow the goings-on of these “non-Jewish anti-Zionists” you often come across the whiff of racism.

    The Smell.

    It’s not the strong poignant smell that you get from the Far Right. It is not that choking stench that you find on the Extreme Right, but it’s there all the same. For the most part, it is not vulgar or in your face, but you can detect it if you’re sensitive to the ebbs and flows of racism.

    I suspect that part of the reason that it is not such an astringent smell, is that it comes from supposedly highly educated people. It is, more often than not, a product of the metropolitan elites, not vulgar thugs in the street, so is seen in a different light. Nevertheless, you can detect the racism, if you try. It leaves a bitter taste on the back of the throat.

    Racist Websites.

    So imagine my surprise when reading a left-wing blog, Bob from Brockley, that two racist websites were recommended by a “anti-Zionist”.

    Firstly, this “anti-Zionist” suggests the Occupied Palestine blog, which I previously demonstrated had a love of neo-Nazi material.

    Next, the “anti-Zionist” rates Alison Weir’s not too subtle racism, I dealt with it here.

    It is an exceedingly discomforting sensation to think that you will be discussing politics with reasoned anti-racists, then to be confronted with repulsive anti-Jewish racism from one of the participants.

    I think the worst part is, that this particular “anti-Zionist” is an adult, a political activist with over a decade’s experience and an Oxbridge graduate.

    What Are They Thinking?

    It does make you wonder what goes through the minds of “anti-Zionists” that they can read this racist material and it does not ring alarm bells with them.

    None of this pricks their conscience, nothing seems to get through, their supposed opposition to racism is shown to be non-existent, their understanding of racism merely a set of words. All is a sham.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Alison Weir’s Racism.

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    I had the misfortune to have to read Alison Weir’s stuff again. Then I wondered how could anyone be fooled by her racism?

    Clearly, Alison Weir’s approach is a bit different and it does seem to fool some people. Not for her the nakedly offensive racism of the Far Right.

    No, she’s far too subtle for that, but you have to wonder when an individual is so focused on one particular, er, ethnic group or nation, why do they do it?

    For example, if someone in Britain constantly went on about the French. If they were incessantly negative and pejorative about them, dug up the most salacious stories about them and consistently tried to paint them in a bad light, then it would not be unreasonable to assume that that person has animosity towards the French? Or be suffering from xenophobia? If they did it, non-stop, then you would probably say that they are an anti-French bigot.

    So, in a similar fashion when Ms. Weir trawls the Web for salacious stories about one nation, one nationality then you might, not unreasonably, ask why does she do it?

    Ms. Weir is the purveyor of all things anti-Israeli, and she crosses so many red-lines. However, if someone shares Ms. Weir’s particular hang-ups with Israelis then they might not see the direction in which her racism goes. We should not forget that racists tend to be insensitive to their own racism.

    More recently, Ms. Weir has indulged in pushing organ libel, embellished accounts of collaboration with the Nazis and her writings are favoured by the infamous David Duke, ex-KKK Grand Wizard.

    Organ Libel.

    Ms. Weir is an occasional writer for the racist publication, CounterPunch, and believes that there should be an investigation into salacious lies around organ harvesting and Israelis. She does it in the best possible taste, but astute readers will see what she is getting at [cached link]:

    “If Israel is innocent of organ plundering accusations, or if its culpability is considerably less than Bostrom and others suggest, it should welcome honest investigations that would clear it of wrongdoing. Instead, the government and its advocates are working to suppress all debate and crush those whose questions and conclusions they find threatening.”

    [My emphasis.]

    In politics, it is called a dog whistle.

    Adam Holland covers this in much more detail, first and second parts.

    Clearly, if this were merely one sojourn into this toxic arena, then you might, if you were a charitable person or shared her views on Israelis, ignore this, but there’s more.

    Ahistorical tales from WW2.

    Older antifascist readers will remember how the Extreme Right love to paint parallels between Jews and Nazis.

    Still worse, how they bastardise the history of WW2 to prove that ‘Jews collaborated with the Nazis, therefore are as bad as them’, etc.

    It is obvious where this argument is coming from, not an interest in history, but a conscious, visceral desire to malign all Jews. Therefore, its no surprise that the racist periodical, CounterPunch, publishes Ms. Weir on that very topic [cached link].

    Her infamous admirer.

    Elsewhere Ms. Weir received applause from the well known professional neo-fascist, David Duke:

    “Commentary by David Duke: The following article shows once more how our government is securely in the hands of the Jewish supremacists and how their press supremacy works hand-in-glove to maintain that supremacy. As the article shows, the President of the United States hosted international criminals, gangsters really, who robbed the Russian people of hundreds of billions of dollars — at the the White House Prayer Breakfast! Not only was this fact not reported to the American people, but almost every time the press mentions the Russian crackdown on the Jewish oligarchs it is described as “politically motivated.” A tiny group of gangsters steal most of the wealth of a nation in two or three years and attempts to bring them to justice are called politically motivated!”

    [Cached link.]

    This topic had interest for Ms. Weir, not because of a latent attraction to all things Russian, rather the supposed ethnicity of these aforementioned oligarchs. Yes, you guessed!

    Ms. Weir could have stopped David Duke from using her material, America has fairly stringent laws on that, but she doesn’t. I suspect she feels no difficulties with having David Duke congratulating her.

    Her line of thinking can be seen from a similar article at Stormfront, the neo-Nazi forum, [cached link.]

    Readers may wish to peruse her web site, If America Knew (sorry no link), for many more examples of her twisted thinking and cultivated racism.

    Obviously, if some readers happen to share Ms. Weir’s particular prejudices then they won’t find any of her views offensive, questionable or beyond the pale, but that’s where we came in.

    Anti-racists might want to view this site, If Americans Knew Alison Weir.

    Update 1: Once you start looking around at Alison Weir and her associates, their veneer of respectability loses its polish.

    Ms. Weir seems very popular amongst the terrain of 9/11 truthers, anti-Jewish racists and the fringes of American society.

    You can listen to her being interviewed by Kevin Barrett, a very strange individual who, apparently, has sympathy for David Irving and Ernest Zundel’s views.

    You can read Barrett’s offensive opinions on his blog and this entry, Am I “Unfair to Hitler” ? [Cached link.]

    Last year, Barrett helped the racist Gordon Duff get an airing for his obnoxious ideas. I covered Duff before, but I hadn’t realised that he is a big fan of Irving:

    “Irving, famous of late for taking on the holocaust, is the “go to guy” on World War II and Germany in particular. His research is, hands down, the best out there and he loves humiliating others for being duped by writing academic garbage based on secondary sources, too often proven, not just unreliable, but utter fiction. “

    Barrett’s work is hosted on American Freedom Radio, they in turn go on about the Federal Reserve, the New World Order and the “Illuminati”.

    Readers can study Barrett’s web site at their leisure, a cached copy.

    The commonality between all of these disparate individuals, is that they loathed Jews. Yes, they hate Jews, so they find common cause and sadly, some people are taken in by them.

    We shouldn’t be surprised that we find Alison Weir in this company.

    Written by modernityblog

    08/05/2011 at 21:38

    CounterPunch, Wikipedia And Bob.

    with 3 comments

    Bob From Brockley has a superb post on CounterPunch, a well known ‘anti-imperialist’ rag with a propensity for publishing antisemites and their friends.

    Bob details how criticism of Counterpunch has vanished from its Wikipedia entry.

    It seems that CounterPunch can dish it out, but can’t take it.

    More likely they don’t like being reminded of their push of unsavoury types like the Far Rightist, Israel Shamir, or the racist, Gilad Atzmon.

    Their attempt at censorship is a bit silly, as all of it is kept on the Way Back machine, and can be read at your leisure.

    Below is a snapshot from the Beta version of 15th September 2011, for the record:

    Criticism

    Ben Cohen of the American Jewish Committee has described Counterpunch as “frequently anti-Semitic.”[2]

    A number of writers, such as Franklin Foer of The New Republic and political commentator Steven Plaut, have written articles charging CounterPunch of being biased against Israel and antisemitic. Plaut cites the controversial anti-Zionist Gilad Atzmon in particular, and alleges that, “Almost every self-hating Jew on the planet capable of banging on a keyboard is today either a columnist for the anti-American web magazine Counterpunch … or is an object of Counterpunch’s celebration.”[3][4]

    CounterPunch has also been criticised by anti-Zionist activists Tony Greenstein and Roland Rance of Jews Against Zionism, for its practice of publishing articles by writers such as Gilad Atzmon and Israel Shamir which they describe as “blurring the distinction” between Zionism and Judaism, and failing to publish responses to these articles. [5][6]

    In 2009, CounterPunch’s publication of articles by Alison Weir on organ transplant accusations were accused of disseminating the medieval antisemitic blood libel.[7]

    References

    Anyway enjoy Bob’s post, Counterpunch: for the record.

    Wikileaks Publishing Around The World.

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    Wikileaks has released a list of media outlets around the world publishing their material.

    I was interested to see if any publications in Belarus were covered, and not unsurprisingly they are missing.

    However, they still have:

    Russian Reporter, Russia
    Sov.Sekretno, Russia
    Koms Pravda, Russia

    I wonder if Israel Shamir is still filtering the Wikileaks material before providing it to news outlets in Russia and Belarus.

    Will Wikileaks ever let us know? I doubt it, after all the relationship between Assange and Shamir is a nasty secret 🙂

    Interfax’s piece on Shamir (Google translation):

    “MINSK. December 19. INTERFAX.RU – Head of Administration of the incumbent president of Belarus Vladimir MacKay met with the trustee creator of the site Wikileaks Israel Shamir.

    Photojournalist portal http://www.interfax.by managed to photograph on the steps of the presidential administration, the only accredited journalist at the Russian-language website Wikileaks Israel Shamir, who arrived in Belarus to observe the presidential elections in the country on December
    19.

    In the presidential administration refrained from comments on a matter of fact conversation Makey and attorney Assange. However, given that the Russian media have already begun to distribute information about posting on the site Wikileaks data secret correspondence, the U.S. State Department concerning the position of Alexander Lukashenko on the war in Georgia and the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline, we can assume that the conversation was about the Belarusian dossier Wikileaks.
    In an interview with Interfax-West “I. Shamir confirmed the existence of the Belarusian dossier. According to him, the website Wikileaks has several thousands of secret documents, which are more or less related to Belarus. He clarified that “the Belarusian dossier – that Americans write from Belarus, the Belarus. There may also be interesting stuff.” “

    Rather worrying.