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Is Julian Assange an Anti Semite as Well as a Publisher?

By Eve Mykytyn | April 16, 2019

One might think that with all that Assange has to contend with, Jews pro or con, might not be a top priority for him. In fact, one might think that the controversy around Assange has to do with government secrecy and the rights of the press. But not so to The Forward, for whom Assange is guilty of a crime apparently worse than conspiracy to commit computer intrusion (I am not expressing an opinion here, that is the allegation) anti Semitism. Assange has been widely portrayed in the media as an anti Semite, see: for example, articles in The Guardian, Slate, Wired and The New York Times. Since Assange has denied that he is an anti Semite, it might be interesting to find the basis for such assertions.

Not surprisingly, The Forward gives breathless coverage to the accusations of anti Semitism without troubling itself to look into the circumstances of each allegation. It’s as if the Forward delights in finding an anti Semite, and a person’s denial of anti Semitism is not even evidence of his own state of mind. In fact, the Forward decries that Assange’s anti Semitism (the title of the article used ‘alleges’ although the article itself quickly drops the hedge) persists “despite the fact that some of his most loyal employees and public defenders are themselves Jewish,” an observation that should give weight to Assange’s claim that he is not an anti Semite.

The Forward’s first charge is that Assange employed “the anti Semitic holocaust denier who goes by the name Israel Shamir.”  Shamir seems to be one of the people whose name is simply followed by the shibboleth ‘anti Semite’ without further explanation. For instance, the Guardian accused Shamir as a holocaust denier and Shamir defended himself in the following paragraph. (quoted in Wiki and giving as a citation this now deleted article.) “As for the accusation of ‘Holocaust denial’, my family lost too many of its sons and daughters for me to deny the facts of Jewish tragedy, but I do deny its religious salvific significance implied in the very term ‘Holocaust’; I do deny its metaphysical uniqueness, I do deny the morbid cult of Holocaust.”

The bold accusations about Shamir and the deletion of his rebuttal calls into question Shamir’s alleged anti Semitism. But whatever Shamir is, does merely employing him transfer his beliefs to Assange? Is anti Semitism, like the measles, contagious?

The next charge is a ‘he said’ ‘he said’ story in which only one side is assumed to be truth telling. The British magazine Private Eye wrote an article (not on line, so comment is based on reports of the article) criticizing Israel Shamir and then Assange for employing him.

Private Eye’s editor, Ian Hislop , then published an article relying on “as much as I could remember” of a phone call Assange allegedly made to Hilsop.  According to Hislop, Assange claimed the Shamir article was “joining in the international conspiracy to smear Wikileaks. The piece was an obvious attempt to deprive him and his organisation of Jewish support and donations.” The alleged comment does not actually even seem anti Semitic.

Hislop continued, “But then Assange said that we [Private Eye] were part of a conspiracy led by the Guardian which included journalist David Leigh, editor Alan Rusbridger and John Kampfner— all of whom “are Jewish.”  Hislop’s proof that Assange is anti Semitic? Rusbridger is apparently not Jewish. But that might tend to make Assange less likely to be anti Semitic since the cabal he accuses is not all Jewish. Further, Assange absolutely denied that the phone call was as Hislop reported it.

In its response, WikiLeaks observed that its organization has “some Jewish staff and enjoys wide spread Jewish support” and has itself been accused of working on behalf of the Mossad and George Soros. Assange said of Hislop’s article:“Hislop has distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase. In particular, ‘Jewish conspiracy’ is completely false, in spirit and in word. … Rather than correct a smear, Mr. Hislop has attempted, … to justify one smear with another in the same direction… he has a reputation for this, and is famed to have received more libel suits in the UK than any other journalist… We treasure our strong Jewish support and staff, just as we treasure the support …. [of] others who share our hope for a just world.”

Wiki’s tweet goes on to explain that the problem stems from Guardian journalist  David Leigh, who used information in violation of an agreement not to utilize Wikileaks signed by The Guardian’s editor in chief. When Leigh was notified that the German paper Der Spiegel was writing a book that would expose his breach, “Leigh attempted to cover his actions, [by smearing wikileaks] 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.”

Assange’s next crime? The mysterious triple parentheses. ((())). In July 2016, Wikileaks published a tweet about Jews who put the parentheses around Jewish names.  (This is done on twitter supposedly in response to anti Semites who used the parens. So if parens are so offensive, why do it yourself?  The logic is a bit hard to follow.) “Tribalist symbol for establishment climbers? Most of our critics have 3 (((brackets around their names))) & have black-rim glasses.”  So it is ok for critics to use the parens but not ok for Wikileaks to make the observation that the parens were used. Again, the anti Semitism, if any, is hard to discern.

Assange’s next and related ‘transgression’ comes from an internal Wikileaks message in 2018 in which  Assange referred to a critic,  AP reporter, Raphael Satter, as “a rat. But he’s jewish and engaged with the ((()))) issue.” I guess they find it anti Semitic to privately refer to a  critic as a rat and separately refer to use of an absurd parens to show Jewish identity.

Assange’s last two supposed offenses of anti Semitism are that:1.The WikiLeaks website’s online shop had a t shirt with the words “first they came for Assange” misquoting the famous Niemoller poem about the Nazi Party. The Forward uses this incident to claim that Assange is comparing himself to a holocaust victim, apparently a comparison only allowed to the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of a holocaust victim. And, 2) Assange refused to deny that the 2016 death of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer, may have been connected to WikiLeaks’ dump of DNC emails. Police have blamed a botched robbery. The Forward notes that, “Rich was Jewish, and many of the conspiracy theories surrounding his death had anti semitic overtones.” This may be true, but how would Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London possibly know how Rich died? How was it anti Semitic to refuse to speculate?

Haaretz, the ‘liberal’ Israeli outlet uses the accusations of anti Semitism to join their Labour brethren in condemning Corbyn. How? Here’s the Haaretz  headline:  “Why Jeremy Corbyn Loves Julian Assange So Much; The UK Labour leader’s kneejerk support for the Wikileaks founder is entirely predictable, as is Corbyn’s lack of response to the scent of anti-Semitism Assange exudes.”

Jeremy Corbyn called Assange a twenty-first century folk hero for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan  and has opposed extradition. Haaretz expands on this to claim that Corbyn was willing to expose the failures of Western capitalism at all costs, ignoring all other injustices. “Not least, accusations of anti-Jewish racism.”  The comparison is a far fetched conclusion from the evidence. Haaretz (in a line of argument borrowed from Dershowitz) asks why  support Palestinian rights but not comment on healthcare  in Britain or hunger in Venezuela.  Actually, Here is Corbyn  on health and here is Corbyn on Venezuela.

Haaretz acknowledges that Assange attempted to ‘row back’ from anti-Jewish comments, or more properly, comments interpreted as anti Semitic. Haaretz believes that Corbyn embraced Assange  because he was instrumental in publishing files stolen from the CIA that included 2500 files relating to cables sent by the U.S. Embassy in Israel. Among them were the then head of the Supreme Court, Dorit Beinisch’s, writings on the rationale of legal rulings on Palestinian human rights issues. These files seem to contain what many in the public would like to see: that is, what is the legal justification for abrogating Palestinian rights?

Haaretz also points out that Wikileaks exposed a ‘secret’ back-channel to Tehran operated by a Lubavitcher and London activist Rabbi Herschel Gluck which was opened to mediate the release of an Israeli soldier held by Hamas in Gaza. Apparently, after the leak the effort was halted. Lastly, the paper bemoans that Corbyn was part of the British campaign to free Israeli nuclear whistleblower Vanunu from prison in Israel.

Then the paper that just relied solely on his relationship to Israel to criticize Corbyn claims that “It is this one-dimensional approach to politics that has allowed him to share a platform with Islamist reactionaries … to be silent when they mouth anti-Jewish (rather than anti-Israel) comments, … and to believe that Julian Assange is a hero for our time.”

“Needless to say, Corbyn’s positions bear no relation to the very essence of what it means to be a socialist.”

April 17, 2019 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Trying to change the subject, as usual.

    Comment by traducteur | April 17, 2019 | Reply

  2. If you have any opinions at all on what has gone on in the Middle East in the past 50+ years, it is highly likely you have been called an “Anti-Semite”. No one is allowed to find fault with, or criticise Israel’s actions without being called an Anti-Semite.
    Israel(and the USA) have not signed up for the International Criminal Court in the Hague, because they know they would be held to account for their own actions, and ditto the USA who seem to back Israel no matter what.
    So, if someone calls you an “Anti-Semite”, wear it as a badge of honour, because your opinion is probably very accurate.

    Comment by Brian Harry | April 18, 2019 | Reply


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