ModernityBlog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Shamir

Israel Shamir, Assange And Srebrenica.

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Marko Attila Hoare has written a superb post on Anti-Semitism, racism and Srebrenica genocide denial, here’s an extract:

“Srebrenica denial and anti-Semitism frequently go hand in hand. The anti-Semite, Holocaust denier and associate of Julian Assange who goes by the name of ‘Israel Shamir’ is a Srebrenica denier and has written ‘Many war atrocity stories are just stories – from Srebrenica to Kosovo “killing fields”, from Saddam Hussein’s WMD to Belgian babies on German bayonets of the WWI, from Kuwait’s incubator to anti-communist inventions of the Black Book.’ Shamir was one of a group of Srebrenica deniers, including Edward S. Herman and Diana Johnstone, who wrote an open letter to the Serbian parliament calling on them not to recognise the Srebrenica massacre.

This is the original open letter, Appeal To President Boris Tadić And The Serbian Parliament: Do Not Gamble With Your Country’s Future! No To The Srebrenica Resolution.

The letter is debunked here.

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.

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.

END”

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.

Wikileaks, Some Of Our Best Friends Are Jewish.

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Wikileaks has released a defence of Assange’s racist statements:

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

Because WikiLeaks has some Jewish staff and enjoys wide spread Jewish support, its staff have frequently been smeared by its opponents, political or competitive, as being agents of the Mossad or of George Soros. These smears are completely false. A good overview of some of the allegations can be here:

http://humanityinchaos.com/MediaSpam.html

A Washington intelligence firm was recently exposed as being behind a $2M plan to destroy WikiLeaks reputation and target supportive journalists:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/us/politics/12hackers.html

The intelligence firm was referred by the US Department of Justice.

But smears against WikiLeaks cross the geopolitical spectrum. Ian Hislop, editor of the weekly satirical current affairs magazine Private Eye, recently wrote an article “as much as he could remember”, about an off the record conversation with Julian Assange who complained that a previous article, appearing in Private Eye, was based on falsehoods spread by opponents and calculated to undermine WikiLeaks strong Jewish support. The problems stem from a November the 1st, 2010 legal dispute with the Guardian, which were trigged by the actions of one particular journalist, David Leigh. Leigh deliberately, and secretly, broke an agreement signed by the Guardian’s editor-in-chief stating that 1. the Guardian was not to publish WikiLeaks cables 2. the Guardian was to keep them confidential. 3. the Guardian was to not store them on an internet connected computer system. Leigh had previously shown himself to be a competent journalist, but secretly broke all elements of the contract. On being notified that the German news weekly Der Spiegel was writing a book (in German) that would expose this breach, Leigh attempted to cover his actions, first by laundering an distorted version of the events through a friend at Vanity Fair then by writing his own book, which he had published through the Guardian. WikiLeaks has not previously covered this or many other process and reputational issues, due to the opportunity cost of removing writers from our core mission which has never been more important.

Mr. Leigh has since continued to shore up his own power position by spreading malicious libels, targeted at WikiLeaks principle support bases. A brief look through the focus of Leigh’s Twitter account http://twitter.com/davidleigh3 shows the sort of game in play. Although the damage done to the Guardian’s reputation by these actions is an ongoing concern to many Guardian staff, Leigh is perceived, by them, wrongly or rightly, to be protected through his marriage to the sister of the editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger.

Julian Assange said “Hislop has distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase. In particular, ‘Jewish conspiracy’ is completely false, in spirit and in word. It is serious and upsetting. Rather than correct a smear, Mr. Hislop has attempted, perhaps not surprisingly, to justify one smear with another in the same direction. That he has a reputation for this, and is famed to have received more libel suits in the UK than any other journalist as a result, does not mean that it is right. WikiLeaks promotes the ideal of “scientific journalism” – where the underlaying evidence of all articles is available to the reader precisely inorder to avoid these type of distortions. We treasure our strong Jewish support and staff, just as we treasure the support from pan-Arab democracy activists and others who share our hope for a just world.”

END”

That “some of my best friends are Jewish” excuse is very weak.

But it still doesn’t explain Israel Shamir and Wikileaks’ connection.

Why is the organisation in league with a Far Right antisemite like Shamir?

Update 1:Not forgetting:

Assange And Tales of Jewish Conspiracies?

Shamir, Stupidity And Julian Assange.

Conspiracies, The CIA And The Racist, Israel Shamir.

Written by modernityblog

01/03/2011 at 22:05

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.

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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.