“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

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

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”. “


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,

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 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:


    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]


    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 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

    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.

    BBC’s Panorama, Julian Assange And Israel Shamir.

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    There was a recent Panorama programme on BBC 1, WikiLeaks: The Secret Story and towards the end of it is an interesting bit about Julian Assange and his association with Israel Shamir.

    This shorten clip on Youtube is the last 6:40 minutes of the programme, and from 01:40 you will hear about specific deals which Julian Assange was making on his own, without telling others at Wikileaks.

    One such deal was with Israel Shamir, well-known Far Rightist and active antisemite, 02:10 into the clip.

    Assange had been warned about Shamir, but didn’t seem too troubled when dealing with this renowned Holocaust denier.

    Later on in the clip you will hear the contents of an email between Assange and Shamir, where he says:

    “Dear Israel/Adam,

    Someone wrote saying they refuse to associate with an organisation that would work with an antisemite like Israel Shamir.

    From a brief sampling of your writing I did not find the allegation born out. ”

    [Assange then makes the suggestion that Shamir write under an alias.]

    Watch it, listen to Shamir’s weird and racist views and then wonder why Julian Assange couldn’t find much wrong with him.

    Read Seachlight’s article from 2004 on Shamir.

    (H/T: Rosie)

    Update 1: Some previous posts on Shamir, etc:

    Conspiracies, The CIA And The Racist, Israel Shamir.

    Shamir, Stupidity And Julian Assange.

    Assange And Tales of Jewish Conspiracies?

    The Antisemite Israel Shamir and Wikileaks, Telling Lies.

    Update 2: Martin Bright asks some good questions:

    “Ian Hislop did not have to write an editorial in Private Eye. He clearly felt that he needed to place his conversation in the public domain.

    He was right to do so for one reason in particular. Julian Assange has yet to explain his relationship with the Holocaust denier and antisemite Israel Shamir. The statement issued by WikiLeaks that said it dealt with Mr Shamir as it would have done with any other journalist does not wash. WikiLeaks should not have dealt with him at all. Mr Shamir is not like any other journalist. Index on Censorship, which has been a consistent supporter of WikiLeaks on freedom of speech principles, has failed to secure the reassurances it has asked for on the Israel Shamir issue. This is especially worrying for dissidents in Belarus, where Mr Shamir is alleged to have passed cables to the authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko.

    The Shamir issue is becoming increasingly difficult to explain away. Until he does, Julian Assange cannot ask to be taken seriously as a campaigner for freedom. If you choose to tolerate or defend a nasty antisemite, it is only a matter of time before people begin to wonder whether you are a nasty antisemite yourself. “

    Update 3:John Kampfner add his voice to things:

    “Index’s association with Assange goes back some time. In 2008 WikiLeaks won the new media prize at our annual awards. We were pleased to host him in a debate in London last September, but his combative demeanour that evening was a surprise. Throughout the past few months we have been at the heart of the tussle. Two of Index’s trustees are Assange’s lawyer, Mark Stephens and his agent, Caroline Michel. Whenever asked, particularly in the US, about reconciling Stephens’s two roles, I have pointed out that Index is a broad church, and that Stephens has been a longstanding battler for free speech.

    It has often felt like treading on egg shells. We were asked in December to channel Assange’s defence fund through our bank account. Our chairman, the broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby, and I thought it inappropriate for a charity to become involved in the personal allegations against Assange. So we declined.

    When urged at the start of January by Assange’s publisher to help him write his memoirs I said I was ready to assist, but only if I had strong editorial input and that no subject was off-limits. This, I was told, was not acceptable. Roughly at the same time our organisation started asking questions about Israel Shamir, a man accused of Holocaust denial and of being a close associate of Belarus’s autocratic leader Alexander Lukashenko. Index is one of the founders of the Belarus Committee. Despite repeated but polite requests to WikiLeaks, our team was stonewalled, so we went public with our concerns. “

    Update 4: Index on Censorship asks questions about Wikileaks, Belarus And Israel Shamir:

    “It has been reported that an “accredited” journalist for Wikileaks, Israel Shamir, met with Uladzimri Makei, the Head of the Presidential administration in Belarus. Subsequently, it was reported in the Belarus Telegraf that a state newspaper would be publishing documents about the Belarusian opposition.

    Wikileaks has always maintained it takes care to ensure that names of political activists are redacted from cables before publication on its website. Index on Censorship is concerned that some of the Wikileaks cables relating to Belarus that have not appeared on the main Wikileaks website are now in the public domain.

    There are various “commercial crimes” in Belarus that make it a criminal offence to run an unregistered organisation. In turn, many NGOs are prohibited from registering their organisations. This places a lot of civil society in Belarus in a legal grey area which can mean political activists, who cannot register, are placed in breach of the law for accepting foreign funding. It is rumoured in Belarus that many of the Wikileaks cables outline foreign support for opposition groups. Our worry is that this information could be used to prosecute some of the political prisoners currently held by the KGB.

    In the immediate aftermath of the discredited Belarusian elections, Index on Censorship made repeated attempts to contact Wikileaks in order for them to clarify its relationship with Shamir. “

    The Antisemite Israel Shamir and Wikileaks, Telling Lies.

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    For some inexplicable reason Wikileaks has decided to release a statement on Israel Shamir:

    “On Tuesday 1st March 2011, @wikileaks said:

    WikiLeaks statement that was given to, but not used by, the UK satirical current-affairs magazine, Private Eye:

    Israel Shamir has never worked or volunteered for WikiLeaks, in any manner, whatsoever. He has never written for WikiLeaks or any associated organization, under any name and we have no plan that he do so. He is not an ‘agent’ of WikiLeaks. He has never been an employee of WikiLeaks and has never received monies from WikiLeaks or given monies to WikiLeaks or any related organization or individual. However, he has worked for the BBC, Haaretz, and many other reputable organizations.

    It is false that Shamir is ‘an Assange intimate’. He interviewed Assange (on behalf of Russian media), as have many journalists. He took a photo at that time and has only met with WikiLeaks staff (including Asssange) twice. It is false that ‘he was trusted with selecting the 250,000 US State Department cables for the Russian media’ or that he has had access to such at any time.

    Shamir was able to search through a limited portion of the cables with a view to writing articles for a range of Russian media. The media that subsequently employed him did so of their own accord and with no intervention or instruction by WikiLeaks.

    We do not have editorial control over the of hundreds of journalists and publications based on our materials and it would be wrong for us to seek to do so. We do not approve or endorse the the writings of the world’s media. We disagree with many of the approaches taken in analyzing our material.

    Index did contact WikiLeaks as have many people and organisations do for a variety of reasons. The quote used here is not complete. WikiLeaks also asked Index for further information on this subject. Most of these rumors had not, and have not, been properly corroborated. WikiLeaks therefore asked Index to let us know if they had received any further information on the subject. This would have helped WikiLeaks conduct further inquiries. We did not at the time, and never have, received any response.


    There’s a large piece on WLCentral, Who is Israel Shamir?

    Probably written by him or one of his supporters. I quickly skimmed it, not too clear, seemed written in some postmodernist speak, this is the concluding paragraph:

    His material, at any rate, does not evince a hatred of people to whom the cultural label “Jews” attaches in normal parlance, but appears to demonstrate an aversion to a specific religious cultural programme. It is certainly, to my mind, a problematic body of work. While there is quite a lot of historical precedent for writers performing collective psychoanalysis of this sort, it isn’t an enterprise that can be afforded much scientific respect. Attempts to impute collective ideological traits to vast groups of people, as a method of explanatory history, has been employed with various levels of fruitfulness, by thinkers like Hegel and Marx, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Voegelin, Arendt and Strauss, Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer and Ricouer.

    It is possible that Shamir’s example appears particularly objectionable because it purports to study a “Jewish Weltanschauung.” But as a parting comment on this, without wishing to diminish the sense in which this way of thinking is flawed and undesirable, it would be fortunate if we could take this opportunity to consider how tacitly acceptable this manner of thinking is when applied on cable news networks, for instance, to “Arabs,” or “Muslims.” Where Shamir’s material is rightly, and uncontroversially, considered problematic, a close relative of it enjoys endorsement in mainstream media such as FOX news, but is no less tacitly racist. It embarks on the same enterprise of cultural generalization, attributing to “Arabs” or “Muslims” (considered interchangeable) a hatred of the West, its freedoms and peoples, religious conquest of the West for Islam, and all of the flawed and hateful discourse that flows from that. It is not limited to commercially viable circus-acts like Ann Coulter, but is instead pervasive and widely accepted.

    In whatever form we find it when it it rears its head, whether in the writings of fringe anti-semites, or the observations of news anchors, this sort of thinking should be repudiated in detail, and everyone should be given the appropriate intellectual resources to see its flaws for themselves.”

    WikiLeaks Central has various links to Shamir’s articles.

    This is an extract from Andrew Brown’s piece from December 2010:

    “He also denied that he had any special connection with WikiLeaks, though the group’s spokesman, Kristinn Hrafnsson, confirmed that he was their representative in Russia, just as his son is in Scandinavia. Expressen also published a photograph of him standing behind Julian Assange at a computer, published in the Russian paper, which has been reprinting the WikiLeaks cables he passed to them.”

    Another key bit:

    “Shamir claims to be a renegade Russian Jew, born in Novosibirsk, but currently adhering to the Greek Orthodox church. He is notorious for Holocaust denial and publishing a string of antisemitic articles. He caused controversy in the UK in 2005, at a parliamentary book launch hosted by Lord Ahmed, by claiming: “Jews … own, control and edit a big share of mass media.” Internal WikiLeaks documents, seen by the Guardian, show Shamir was not only given cables, but he also invoiced WikiLeaks for €2,000 (£1,700), to be deposited in a Tallinn bank account, in thanks for “services rendered – journalism”. What services? He says: “What I did for WikiLeaks was to read and analyse the cables from Moscow.”

    I feel we should be told what’s what, Wikileaks should open their books for external scrutiny!

    Michael C. Moynihan summarises Shamir’s views:

    “So let us quickly recap the foulness of Shamir’s political views.

    As I noted last week, he has called the Auschwitz concentration camp “an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo),” not a place of extermination.

    He told a Swedish journalist (and fellow Holocaust denier) that “it’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.”

    The Jews, he says, are a “virus in human form” and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is real. “

    [My emphasis.]

    And this was the foul racist, Israel Shamir, that Wikileaks chose to associate with.

    Update 1: Please can I remind any posters who wish to take up Israel Shamir’s cause and are now stuck in my moderation queue that:

    1) No one is restricting his freedom of speech, quite the opposite he has access to numerous web sites and the journal Counterpunch for his views.

    2) That Shamir is a Far Rightist and pusher of Holocaust denial and he needs no encouragement particularly from any posters. Also they should see my comments policy.

    Assange And Tales of Jewish Conspiracies?

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    First, on twitter there was a suggestion that Assange had told Private Eye that his woes were caused by a Jewish conspiracy.

    Soon after Liberal Conspiracy posted a scan of the article, confirming it.

    I can’t say I’m surprised. That was his trajectory.

    Once Assange was found in the company of Israel Shamir, a Far Rightist and active anti-Semite, you had to wonder.

    Conspiracy theories and racist lies about Jews go hand-in-hand, so where you find one the other is often found.

    That’s not to say that all conspiracy theorists are anti-Jewish racists, but most anti-Jewish racists tend to believe in conspiracy theories, even if they don’t realise it.

    I am sure this is probably just the start of Assange’s racist outbursts.

    Written by modernityblog

    01/03/2011 at 19:50

    Shamir, Stupidity And Julian Assange.

    with 11 comments

    The debate on Wikileaks has shifted somewhat, and I think that is not useful, as from my cursory reading there is plenty of excellent material.

    Michael C. Moynihan has a story on Israel Shamir, the well-known Far Rightist and hardcore antisemite, and his association with Wikileaks in Russia.

    I can well imagine that the photo with Julian Assange is staged, but that does not excuse his association with this well-known racist.

    I would assume that Shamir wanted to engineer himself into a position of power, disseminating Wikileaks material as he chose and probably pulled the wool over a slightly naive Assange. However, that is no excuse.

    Wikileaks should release a statement disassociating themselves from Israel Shamir and his associates.

    Update 1: Snoopy has done a far superior post on this topic:

    “Whatever you can say about Assange, he certainly captured the attention of the world lately, dividing the audience into haters and admirers. No one remained indifferent, for a wide variety of reasons. It could be said – and I tend to accept the view expressed by Francis Sedgemore – that Assange and his team started something that is far beyond the related scandals and dirt and is of extreme importance to the journalism and politics of this century.

    Assange methods and Assange personal habits, though, may undermine the possible good that could come out of the whole endeavor. Enough is said and written about the way Assange published hundreds of documents that endangered people. A lot is written about his persona, so there is no need to repeat all this stuff. WikiLeaks could certainly do with a more sensible leader.”

    Update 2: The JC has more on Israel Shamir/Jöran Jermas/Adam Ermash.

    Conspiracies, The CIA And The Racist, Israel Shamir.

    with 7 comments

    There are conflicting events, overlapping narratives and some downright strange articles being posted concerning Wikileaks and the charges against Julian Assange.

    The Raw Story has an accusation, which I find pretty disgusting and slightly improbable, that one of the defendants in the case against Julian Assange is a CIA agent.

    It is only when you look into the story that alarm bells start ringing, and if the name Israel Shamir doesn’t mean anything to you, then you are lucky.

    Shamir is a Far Rightist and a mean antisemite, as Michael C. Moynihan demonstrates:

    “So who is Israel Shamir, Counterpunch’s resident intelligence correspondent? Alternately known as Jöran Jermas and Adam Ermash, Shamir is a fringe writer who has devoted his professional life to exposing the supposed criminality of “Jewish power,” a paranoid anti-Semite who curates a website full of links to Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi sites, defenses of blood libel myths, and references to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Ali Abunimah, Hussein Ibish, and Nigel Parry have warned their fellow Palestinian activists to avoid contact with Shamir, citing his frequent forays into the sewers of Jew-hatred. The British anti-fascist magazine Searchlight (along with its Swedish sister magazine Expo) showed that Shamir is a “Swedish anti-Semite” who has repeatedly lied about his past, not a truth-telling Israeli dissident.

    Spend a few minutes on Shamir’s website and here’s some of what you’ll learn: Imprisoned neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel is a “German political prisoner of Zion”; Maria Poumier, a French Holocaust denier whose work Shamir publishes, claims that the “Nazi-jewish H[olocaust] was just a civil war between European brothers”; Shamir himself believes that the Holocaust “narrative is Jewish, it belongs to Jews, and it has no meaning but as manifestation of Jewish supremacy.” Shamir also asserts that the pro-Nazi historian David Irving “was sentenced [to prison] for denial of Jewish superiority,” warning his readers of “Jewish mind-control on a world scale.” On the Auschwitz death camp, Shamir says that “The camp was an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo).””

    I think we know what he’s up to, best disregard this nonsense until there is solid evidence.

    Weir, Shamir And Naked Anti-Jewish Racism at CounterPunch.

    with 3 comments

    Just when you thought that the Offal libel was largely confined to a greedy and unprincipled journalist in Sweden, it got worse.

    Counterpunch, that valiant “anti-imperialist” magazine is pushing it too.

    Alison Weir has decided to regurgitate the Offal libel with the aid of the notorious racist Israel Shamir, read more at Adam Holland.

    One of Weir’s references refuted.

    Written by modernityblog

    12/09/2009 at 21:48

    Ben White, Stop Digging.

    with 12 comments

    I feel a bit sorry for Ben White, not for his privileged upbringing or quality Oxbridge education, but rather for the fact that he is a bit of a political masochist and hasn’t learnt the expression, when in a hole stop digging.

    White has an article on the Liberal Conspiracy blog, seemingly explaining his views and trying to put some distance between him and the Iranian President.

    That is quite understandable and if Omar Khayyam could be persuaded otherwise I am sure that Ben White would like to erase his 2006 article on Ahmadinejad.

    Readers will no doubt remember Ahmadinejad’s inflammatory speeches in 2006? And how it was fairly obvious that Ahmadinejad was indulging in populist racism.

    Still, there were people who wished to see Ahmadinejad in a charitable light and explain away his views. Any number of quibbles were raised concerning his exact words and their translation into English, but what couldn’t be translated away was his sentiment.

    Ahmadinejad’s excusers became less numerous as he invited the creme de la creme of holocaust deniers to Teheran for a denier’s get-together and hosted such notables as Faurisson, Duke and Renouf.

    The excuse that Ahmadinejad was merely articulating “anti-Zionism” sounded pretty hollow when he received the applause of so many assorted and deranged neo-Nazis. Eventually, it became an untenable argument except for the most entrenched ideologue or bigot.

    Now in 2009, belatedly, White admits Ahmadinejad’s racism, but plays a game with it. White accuses his critics of being “Israel’s apologists” and using “the cry of anti-semitism”. Many of these criticisms relate to White’s new book, and the pasting that it received at the end of Jonathan Hoffman’s pen.

    White is clearly on the defensive and, conspicuously, does not acknowledge the numerous errors contained in the book, as highlighted by Jonathan Hoffman’s various critiques.

    Nor does White admit, in the Liberal Conspiracy article his use of doctored quotes to bolster his arguments.

    Instead White tries to play the victim, the honest author caught by the intrigues of the dastardly “Zionists”.

    All in all, its a bit of a feeble ploy to distract attention from his faulty use of history, his propensity for political exaggeration and his lamentable research skills.

    I do wish White would stop digging, as the hole he’s in is getting deeper and deeper.

    Update: I had forgotten about White’s article in CounterPunch.

    White explains how he understands antisemitism, which is not a promising start for someone who tried to explain away Ahmadinejad’s outbursts, then writes a book attacking Israel, containing doctored quotes which portray Israeli and Jewish leaders in the worst possible light.

    Update 2: James Mendelsohn has a lovely post at Z-blog, I was struck by this:

    “Of course, all of this begs the question: why does White treat all these sources as authoritative? After all, if you are aiming to write a ‘highly readable introduction’ for ‘beginners’, surely you owe it to them to use the most reliable sources possible; or, at the very very least, to give some sort of acknowledgement that the sources you do use have been (vigorously) contested.

    White does neither, for which there can surely be only two possible explanations.

    Either he knew that many of his sources are discredited but decided to cite them anyway – which would suggest a lack of integrity on his part.

    Alternatively, it’s because he didn’t know that they were discredited, which would suggest he is not quite the specialist his own website suggests.

    Either way, his use of these sources, without any qualifications or caveats, is a damning indictment of his work.”[my emphasis]

    Update 3: Seismic covers White’s twists and turns in detail and shows where White gets his facts from, Roger Garaudy, a well known Holocaust denier.

    Update 4:
    Sourcing your material from a known Holocaust denier is not a sensible approach for someone claiming a degree of expertise in the Middle East, as Ben White does.

    Still, less is it a shrewd idea after you’ve made a case about how it might be possible to “understand antisemitism”.

    Certainly anyone with a modicum of knowledge would not touch Roger Garaudy with a bargepole, unless it was to explain what a thoroughly nasty piece of work he was.

    Readers may remember Roger Garaudy, one time Marxist and PCF intellectual, who seemed to have flipped out years ago (I am grasping for a better explanation) and then became a leading Holocaust denier and fixture on the neo-Nazi circuit

    Garaudy publishes his racist filth via IHR’s journal.

    This is a selection of Garaudy’s revisionist view of history:

    “Following are excerpts from an interview with French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, which was broadcast on Iranian TV Channel 1 on December 13, 2005.

    Roger Garoudy: None of the well-known people who defeated Hitler and exposed his barbaric deeds said even a single word about gas chambers.

    In Churchill’s Memoirs of the Second World War, in Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe, and in General de Gaulle’s memoirs there is no mention of this killing device.


    The only film presented to the judges in the Nuremberg trials showed the Dachau gas chamber. The construction of the Dachau gas chamber was never completed, and it was never used. Since this gas chamber was never completed, yet the film presented at Nuremberg portrayed it as if it were completed, this film must have been a means of deception by American agencies stationed at Dachau.

    This film is always shown to tourists, since the eye-witness testimony has already been accepted as fact, and the existence of gas chambers during the Third Reich is considered an indisputable fact. One must therefore conclude that no Jews or other prisoners were killed by poisonous gas – not in Dachau, Bergen, or Buchenwald.

    [Archived at MEMRI, requires registration.]

    This is the type of source that Ben White would quote.

    Update 5: There’s a bit of a silly slanging match going on at Liberal Conspiracy, none of which addresses the issue of White’s doctored quotes and decidedly questionable sourcing methodology .

    Update 6: Garaudy got worse, if that’s possible, according to Amir Taheri, he’s now a 9/11 truther:

    “Garaudy asserts that the 9/11 attacks against New York and Washington were organized by the Bu(sic) administration. He also reasserts his belief that the genocide of Jews by the Nazis during the Second World War never happened and was “invented as a myth by Churchill, Eisenhower an De Gaulle” to justify the destruction and occupation of Germany.

    Update 7: Liberal Conspiracy seems to be down for the moment, another link to White’s article is here.

    Update 8:
    There is still a debate going on at Mondoweiss, I rather liked this comment:

    “Bennet · 3 days ago
    Philip. there’s certainly a case of double standards by antizionists going on.

    Firstly Mearsheimer and Walt refused to debate with anybody when they first published.

    Ben White deleted a comment linking to Hoffman’s piece in White’s facebook page on his book and then threw the member out of the group.

    War On Want refused to let Hoffman into the meeting.

    The Jewish Socialist Group in the UK refused to circulate a discussion paper from a long-standing member because it was critical of Hizbolla.

    The trade union Unison refused to let Trade Union Friends of Israel have a stall at conference even though they had previously always had a stall.

    Mona Baker a UK boycott leader sacked the ex head of Amnesty Israel from the board of her translation journal because she was an israeli.

    And the list goes on. So antizionists like to dish it out but as soon as people act in the same way or even just stand up for themselves then it’s an antizionist trait to claim they’re being silenced by the “zionist lobby.

    So Philip – with the greatest of respect kindly stop wingeing and moaning like a spoilt brat who can’t stand other people having views. And if anti-zionists can’t take it then they shouldn’t be so hypocritical.

    The claim of being silenced is an old antisemitic trait thatahas been used by far right opponents of Jewish communities for many years.”

    Update 9:
    JfJfP must be having a problem updating their web site, as they missed off the most recent critiques: More Damn Lies About Israeli “Apartheid” and More White Lies About Israeli “Apartheid”.

    Update 10: I have a guest post on Engage relating to this topic.

    Update 11: Petra Marquardt-Bigman’s contribution is worth reading in full, here’s a snippet:

    “It is all too obvious that the term “apartheid” makes sense only if Israel, Gaza and the West Bank are assumed to be one legal unit, i.e. one state. Indeed, Ben White is an ardent advocate of the so-called “one-state solution” and he enthusiastically relies on writers who claim that this is an “ethical imperative.” As Ben White himself puts it: “To say that the ‘one-state solution’ is impractical or equals the ‘destruction’ of Israel is poorly concealed code for defending the indefensible and a recipe for continual conflict in a land it is impossible to partition.”

    That’s plain enough: for Ben White, insisting on Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is “defending the indefensible.”

    It is interesting to note in this context that among Ben White’s first published articles there is a piece from 2002 that tackles the question if it is acceptable to “understand” why some people are antisemitic.

    White’s stance involves some sophistry, because he pretends that there is no ambiguity to “understanding,” even though the term can obviously refer to a purely intellectual process that results in a rational explanation, or to an emotional process that results in sympathy.

    In any case, White proceeds to list “a number of reasons” for antisemitism – which of course means that racism against other groups, like blacks or Muslims, could also be understood as having “reasons”… So would White accept the notion that the attacks of 9/11 provide a “reason” for anti-Muslim sentiments?

    Would White accept the ultimately racist notion that the actions of some members of a group somehow provide “reasons” for prejudice and discrimination against the group as a whole?

    What is sure is that when it comes to antisemitism, White thinks that “reason” number one is, unsurprisingly, “the state of Israel, its ideology of racial supremacy and its subsequent crimes committed against the Palestinians. It is because Zionists have always sought to equate their colonial project with Judaism that some misguidedly respond to what they see on their televisions with attacks on Jews or Jewish property.”

    These few lines illustrate why White has been repeatedly suspected of antisemitism, and they also illustrate why he apparently doesn’t quite understand the reason for such accusations. To begin with, White seems to believe that if he says Israel has an “ideology of racial supremacy,” he is stating an obvious fact, and this of course implies that he believes that Jews define themselves as a “race”… Indeed, White also relies on this notion in order to justify his claim that Israel is guilty of practicing “apartheid.” “

    Read more here.

    Update 12: Seismic Shock again looks into Ben White and his theological underpinning in The Theology Behind the ‘Israeli Apartheid’ Gospel.

    Update 13: Seismic points us to something White wrote previously and there is a curious usage of words:

    “Popular struggle, like violent resistance, is not an end in and of itself; it is a method, a strategy. It is the end goal, decolonization and liberation from occupation and Zionist apartheid, that is ferociously opposed by the self-declared international guardians of the “peace process” and their friends in the Palestinian elite. The rest is just smoke and mirrors.”

    “It is the end goal, decolonization and liberation from occupation and Zionist apartheid,”

    If it were almost anyone else I might feel charitable, but is White talking about the “liberation” of existing Israel? Is that a euphemism, for something else?

    If it were almost anyone else I might feel charitable, but is White talking about the “liberation” of existing Israel? Is that a euphemism, for something else?

    And how does “decolonization” work an existing Israeli state, full of Israelis? Is he proposing to send them somewhere else?

    I don’t know.

    I suspect White doesn’t know either, my impression is that he writes half of this stuff without thinking it through. Perhaps I am being too charitable?

    [Not sure that happened there with the funny characters, all fixed.]

    Written by modernityblog

    17/07/2009 at 23:07