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Report: WikiLeaks Works With Holocaust Denier

Group confirms official association with Israel Shamir

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Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, in October.(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A WikiLeaks spokesperson has reportedly confirmed that the group, whose mission is to publish non-public documents and most recently made a splash by publishing U.S. diplomatic cables, some of them classified, works with an apparent Holocaust denier and anti-Semite as well as his son, who is sympathetic to his father’s beliefs.

Reason’s Michael C. Moynihan sifts through the reports. According to Swedish and Russian media—and with the “broad strokes” having been confirmed by WikiLeaks—the group’s official man in charge of deciding which cables get sent to Russian news organizations, is a man named Israel Shamir (or alternatively Adam Ermash or Jöran Jermas). Moynihan reports that Shamir has called Auschwitz “an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the U.S. internment center in Guantanamo);” said, “It’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust;” described the Jews as “virus in human form;” and endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Wikipedia says Shamir was born in Siberia in 1947, moved to Israel in 1969, fought in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and was baptized into the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem in 2004.

Moreover, his son, Johannes Wahlström, is a WikiLeaks spokesperson in Sweden (the country where the organization is generally based), and has been known to be sympathetic to his father’s views; he once argued in print that Swedish media was manipulated by Jewish interests to benefit Israel.

Shamir was the co-author of a recent, prominent essay alleging that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who recently turned himself in to British authorities after Sweden charged him with two sex crimes, was the victim of a “honey pot” scheme, that is, where someone is deliberately seduced in order to use the affair against him or her.

In brighter news, those who may find themsleves open to WikiLeaks’s raison d’être but turned off by the charges against Assange and now the group’s troubling association with Shamir may have a new champion: OpenLeaks, a splinter group “led by WikiLeaks veterans tired of Assange’s dictatorial style and obsession with being the organization’s public face” is soon to open up shop, Moynihan reports. He adds that the new group “claims to not be motivated by a particular set of political beliefs and promises to be transparent about its own operations and finances.”

Assange’s Extremist Employees [Reason]
Assange Besieged [Counterpunch]
Related: Rabbi OKs Spy Sex

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Marcia Almey says:

Leaving aside the charges of sexual assault, isn’t this guilt by association? These are tactics reminiscent of the McCarthy era, the years of the blacklist and the anticommunist witch-hunt. Not tactics that anyone would want to revive, I would think.

alex m. says:

The honey pot scheme!

Benjamin Entine says:

Leaving the ghost of McCarthy moldering in place,is it simply guilt by association–or is there a legitimate concern about extending anti-semites and Holocaust deniers any role in a legitimate or fair-minded organization? Are shades of McCarthy visible–or shades of Josef Goebbels?

Daniel Steinmetz says:

I am puzzled by the accusation antisemitism. I have not seen any of the leaks hurting Israel or Jews elsewhere.

Irv Mermelstein says:

What is the role of this man? I am not a fan of Mr. Assange, who is a loose cannon, and association with Holocaust deniers doesn’t endear him any further. But I agree that this story is a little short on necessary facts.

There are anti-Semites all over the world– that there happens to be one involved with this organization or that organization can’t be a surprise. Can anyone document how Shamir/Ermash/Jermas’ ideology has affected content on WikiLeaks?

I’m not saying one shouldn’t keep an eye on him– but I’d like to see an evidence-based argument.

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Report: WikiLeaks Works With Holocaust Denier

Group confirms official association with Israel Shamir

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