Holocaust-denying creep works for WITH Wikileaks, originated CIA-rape-honeypot rumor

Update: Despite earlier remarks from both Shamir and Wikileaks spokespeople in the Swedish media, now both Shamir and Wikileaks disclaim any formal association between Shamir and WL. ("Israel Shamir is NOR a member, NEITHER an employee of Wikileaks: he is a free lance writer accredited with Wikileaks.")

A Swedish-domiciled Russian guy who calls himself "Israel Shamir," apparently serves as the official Wikileaks "content aggregator" for Russia (see update, above) -- he's also apparently a Holocaust-denying creepy nutjob who told a journalist that Auschwitz was merely an internment camp, Jews are a "virus in human form," the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are real and "it's every Muslim and Christian's duty to deny the Holocaust" (according to his own site).

What's more, he's the author of the article that asserted that one of Assange's rape-accusers was working for the CIA.

According to reports in the Swedish and Russian media, the broad strokes of which have been confirmed by a WikiLeaks spokesman, Shamir serves as the group's content aggregator in Russia, the man who "selects and distributes" the cables to Russian news organizations, according to an investigation by Swedish public radio. In the newspaper Expressen, Magnus Ljunggren, an emeritus professor of Russian literature at Gothenburg University, outlined Shamir's close ties to WikiLeaks and his position "spreading the documents in Russia." (The article is illustrated with a picture of Assange and Shamir in an unidentified office.)
Assange's Extremist Employees (Thanks, James, via Submitterator)


  1. Of course, the CIA/US govt is going to do everything they can to discredit anyone and everyone involved with Wikileaks. And y’all just fell for it.

    1. So, you believe that the CIA, what, got this guy to generate a multi-decade history of virulent anti-Semitism, wormed him into a position of trust in Wikileaks, convinced him to publish his defense of the Protocols of hte Elders of Zion on his own website, all as a pre-emptive strike against Wikileaks? So the CIA employs time-lords?

      1. Cory, it’s OBVIOUS the CIA uses Time Lords. How else could they have planted those fake Obama birth certificates and newspaper notices in 1961? Hunh?

  2. This is false. Israel Shamir does not work for Wikileaks, according to both Julian Assange and Israel Shamir. He is one of the many journalists who have been granted access to Wikileaks materials, but that hardly makes him “Wikileaks staff” as the mistaken Reason article (which went around the ‘net when it came out over a week ago) claims.

    News from yesterday, with a quote from Assange addressing this:

    Of Shamir, Assange said: “WikiLeaks works with hundreds of journalists from different regions of the world. All are required to sign non-disclosure agreements and are generally only given limited review access to material relating to their region.

    Note on Shamir’s website from a few days ago:

    As Israel Shamir became a source of much controversy in connection with Wikileaks, please read this statement. Israel Shamir supports Wikileaks, agrees with its ideas and admires its head, Julian Assange. However, Israel Shamir is NOR a member, NEITHER an employee of Wikileaks: he is a free lance writer accredited with Wikileaks.

    Please correct this article.

    1. I have to say, I find Assange’s remarks pretty nonconclusive in respect of the issue. He doesn’t say that Shamir is one of these “hundreds of journalists,” nor does he say, “Shamir doesn’t work for Wikileaks.” Given how simple it would be to to make a definitive statement (“This guy doesn’t work for us”) this reads to me like a rather shifty dodge of the question. Moreover, he appears to be addressing the question of whether Shamir leaked WL cables to the Belarusian dictator, not whether Shamir works or worked for WL.

      Shamir’s disclaimer is a lot more definitive — but it doesn’t explain why he appears in photographs with Assange, why Wikileaks spokespeople called him their “content aggregator” for Russia, etc.

      1. From reading The Guardian article it appears the response given by Julian Assange is, indeed, specific to the Belarus situation. Not sure why the writer or editor makes it more broad seeming, by leading as if Assange is defending Israel Shamir – a man who is not defendable for anti-Semitic writings.

        Without an actual transcript to know the back-and-forth, the construction of the article doesn’t lend itself to more definitive analyses in such regard. Though, a reasonable reading of the piece suggests that the Guardian did not put to Assange a direct question that could be answered by what folks here would like to know re Shamir.

      2. I’ve worked with hundreds of people at once, and in the same building too. I only learned a couple dozen of their names. If someone with an agenda asked me a tricky question about one of them a couple days after I got out of jail, I’d give a dodgy non-answer as well. I have no idea what is wrong about this that offends you so much?

        Sure he could give a straight answer, but what’s the benefit of admitting a 3rd degree association to a press that will make it a first degree best friendship? I don’t see openness suffering from the given answer.

  3. He was an observer during this year’s president elections in Belarus and he fully supports the results. His interview was disturbing.

  4. He is actually Jewish which makes him probably the only existing Jewish antisemite – which is a lot more an oxymoron than, say, anti-Muslim Arab (see Phalangists).

      1. My tribe specializes in self-immolation via homophobic legislation. Until they come out and leave the Party. Self-hatred is the strongest hatred.

  5. Here’s the passage from the Reason article linked above that stood out to me most — a Wikileaks’ spokesman acknowledging the association with Shamir, then refusing to walk that back after being confronted with his anti-Semitism. Now even more disturbing, pretending that this was never done:


    Swedish Radio put the question directly to WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson.

    Swedish Radio: Israel Shamir… Are you aware of him? Do you know him?

    Kristinn Hrafnsson, Wikileaks spokesman: Yes. Yes, he is associated with us.

    SR: So what is his role?

    Hrafnsson: Well, I mean, we have a lot of journalists that are working with us all around the world. And they have different roles in working on this project. I won’t go into specifics into what each and everybody’s role is.

    SR: Are you aware of how controversial Israel Shamir is in an international context?

    Hrafnsson: There are a lot of controversial people around the world that are associated with us. I don’t really see the point of the question.

    SR: Are you aware of the allegations that he is an anti-Semite?

    Hrafnsson: I have heard those allegations…yes, yes. [Pause] What is the question really there?

    SR: The question is, do you that that would [sic] be a problem?

    Hrafnsson: No, I’m not going to comment on that.

    Strip away the caginess and the obfuscation—remember, no one is allowed secrets but WikiLeaks — and Hrafnsson, who took over spokesman duties when Assange was jailed last week, confirms that WikiLeaks chose Shamir to work with their Russian media partners. After its investigation, the Swedish Radio program Medierna concluded flatly that “Israel Shamir represents WikiLeaks in Russia.”

  6. This deserves a close read.

    Remember, “works with” does not mean “employed by”. When one works with horses, for example, one is not employed by horses.

    There are hundreds of journalists “working with”, i.e. handling, the Wikileaks material. By contrast, there are a handful of people “working at” Wikileaks.

    This article’s headline makes out that this highly undesirable person is one of the core people at Wikileaks and that he is on wages there. My reading of the content in the article itself is that he is one of the hundreds who are handling the cables.

    True, he probably shouldn’t be. To me, this says Wikileaks is overwhelmed and has failed to vet its associates, not that Wikileaks is evil.

    1. Except:

      1) He appears in a photo with WL founder Julian Assange

      2) He appears to have been the major point of contact between the Russian press and WL

      3) His son (a discredited journalist who endorses his father’s ideology) is a WL spokesman

      Are all the other “hundreds of journalists” similarly situated?

  7. Grammar Nazis be damned — I’m enjoying the “nor neither” construction, mostly because it twists into “norther nei” in my head.

  8. So, according to Reason, all the journalists from Stern, the Guardian and the New York Times, and Philip Dorling of the Sydney Morning Herald, and others, who have worked with Wikileaks to publicise the cables and earlier released material, are all employees of Wikileaks.

    Not that there’s anything shoddy about styling it that way.

    1. I don’t think that’s a fair characterization at all. I’m a journalist for the Guardian. I haven’t appeared in any photos with Julian, I wasn’t the main point of contact between WL and a nation, etc. Shamir appears to have a much more direct association with WL than me — and when directly questioned about this, WL spokespeople have not definitively said, “No, he doesn’t work for us.”

      I’d like it if they did, for the record.

  9. Please, stop seeing CIA everywhere. The world is more complex than that and Assange has more ennemies than the US.

    Shamir’s no more CIA than Ardin.

    It smells more like a russian plot to :
    – get the original cables,
    – fake some and publish them to create some F.U.D. in Russia (take a look at Shamir’s paper in Kremlin’s newspaper Russian Reporters and the associated controversy in Moscow Times)
    – destabilize Wikileaks.

    The last known move may be to give/sell the cables to Aftenposten which is owned by the same media group as the newspaper of Shamir’s son.

    That’s said this shows that Assange has no more the control of the cables which is a very bad news for the sources named in the cables. Shamir’s trip in Belarus is a public reminder of that.

    So stop talking about CIA each time someone seems to kick Assange and stop seeing him as a perfect spy. He’s not. At this stage all the special services of the world got their hand on the cables.

    Assange is a great guy but he’s still a human with vulnerabilites and there are specialists who know how to exploit these.

    So welcome to the real world where conspiracies are indeed everywhere but a little more complex than those you can think at the first match.
    And if you believe in God, pray for the sources.


  10. “To me, this says Wikileaks is overwhelmed and has failed to vet its associates, not that Wikileaks is evil.”

    That’s a plausible explanation. But here is the crucial thing: Wikileaks is still not being transparent about its relationship with Shamir (whatever it is), saying one thing about it on one occasion, and then saying something different about it later on. Worse — as you can judge by a lot of the reader comments above — many of Wikileaks’ most avid online *supporters* are not confronting these reports directly, preferring to split hairs, or take Shamir’s post-facto denial at face value, and so on. A similar thing happened when Assange’s rape accusers emerged: Denial, then misdirection (Assange saying the charges were “dirty tricks”), then outright fabrication. (Whatever his relationship with Wikileaks, Shamir did indeed co-write the story insinuating that Assange’s rape accusers were CIA honey traps.) If Wikileaks is to exist in some form (and I personally think it should), the group needs to clear the air and hold themselves to the same standards of transparency they’re now forcing on other powerful institutions. But if its online supporters just help with the obfuscation, that’s likely not to happen.

    1. I criticized the coverage of Assange’s “posh” UK lodgings as irrelevant the other day, but I think the coverage of Shamir and his possible association with WL is entirely appropriate.

  11. The first thought that came to my mind upon hearing of the “rape” charges was a CIA honeypot scheme. Not something I needed Israel Shamir to help me with.

    For a website that glorifies the odd, you seem to have developed a Great Hate for the hero Assange.

    The link you offer titled “his own site” doesn’t seem to be a personal web site, rather an interview:

    a telling line: (I’m translating)

    Interviewer: Are you a Jew?

    Israel Shamir: No, I am an ex-Jew.

    As I’ve said before, Boing Boing has died. What we are witnessing now is Zombie Boing Boing.

    1. Shamir’s own site mirrors the interview — that is to say, he presumably stands by its content and does not dispute it or claim to have been misquoted.

      As to “the hero Assange,” I sure hope you’re joking. Julian and I have corresponded, have lots of mutual acquaintances, etc, but the to treat him as the figurehead of a personality cult is to trivialize Wikileaks (and sound damned crazy while you’re at it).

    2. For a website that glorifies the odd, you seem to have developed a Great Hate for the hero Assange.

      Whoa… whoa… whoa..!!!

      Hero Assange? Look, we don’t need to start acting like the other side and start with the demagoguery bullshit. Ok, Palin?

      People that support Wikileaks have critical thinking skills. Unlike the other side, we supporters of Wikileaks are able to turn a critical eye upon ourselves and Wikileaks without assploding.

      If you have an issue with the facts and evidence presented, then have at it. God only knows I’ve become beyond annoyed with all the character assassination and name-called against Assange based on nothing more than hearsay, jealously, ignorance, fear and all kinds of other deadly sins… but to refer to Assange as a “hero” while referring to Boing Boing as the “great hate”… seems like your idea of supporting Wikileaks is becoming just like the mental weaklings that hate what Wikileaks is doing/represents.

  12. I’m sure that now they know about this guy that they’ll get rid of him. Perhaps there wasn’t anyone else on the Wikileaks staff who could read Russian well enough to figure out where this guy stands on the holocaust?
    There was a fellow at my daughters school who seemed like a nice guy. We’d talk all the time after we had dropped off our kids or were waiting to pick them up. One day he starts going on about Jews and how they fuck everything up, high taxes are a conspiracy that they are behind. Really messed up stuff. Anyway, there’s a picture of us together at a school function, smiling away like idiots at the camera. I just nod politely at him now (I’m Canadian).
    These nut jobs slip through the cracks sometimes. The picture shows this guy standing behind Assange looking directly at the camera while Assange is busy at a computer terminal. Not exactly smiling and shaking hands. If anything, it just highlights the way big media is willing to dig up the least little thing to try and bring this guy down. There is nothing in Assange’s past that suggests he’s an anti-semite, nor is there anything about Wikileaks to suggest that its an anti-jewish organization. One bad association shouldn’t be allowed to overshadow what the organization is doing.

    1. No, but this bad association highlights a problem with Wikileaks: who watches those who watch the watchmen? We don’t know if he is amongst those who have unrestricted access to the diplomatic cables (I doubt it, and hope he doesn’t), but we do know that he has represented Wikileaks in several countries. Wikileaks needs to be more transparent on who works for them and who doesn’t. I doubt they will be, since transparency will lead to these people being targeted by governmental officials in most countries, which might hinder them in their work.

  13. Years ago, Shamir, who apparently has Israeli citizenship or has claimed to have it, posed as a “critical Israeli” and attempted to forge alliances in pro-Palestinian circles in the US.

    Nigel Parry and Ali Abunimah as well as Hussain Ibish sent out a vehement warning against him in 2001:


    There’s more, google it. His name on the Counterpunch piece about a supposed CIA setup renders that article completely worthless. Shamir’s credibility is zip.

  14. If Assange and Wikileaks weren’t aware of this man’s blatant anti-semitism, or even worse if they were, how many others work for/with them that have even worse political and social tendencies? These kinds of people are the ones revealing the “truth”? The thought makes me want to vomit.

      1. What guilt by association? These are the people that actually have access to classified information. They also distribute and edit it. It’s not reasonable to think they will be objective, fair, or that they wouldn’t use it to further their own agendas.

        1. Hmm…just thinking about the US Government’s officials and agents…after all, “these are the people that actually have access to classified information. They also distribute and edit it. It’s not reasonable to think they will be objective, fair, or that they wouldn’t use it to further their own agendas.”

          More than just “access”, though: they also actually create the stuff to begin with, and the classifications they choose to affix to that stuff.

          And the US taxpayer pays for it, every word of it.

          1. That doesn’t even make sense. By Wikileak’s stated requirements the material they leak has to be something that hasn’t been released. The US writes the material Wikileaks is publishing for internal use only. They don’t publish it. The people that work for/with Wikileaks are the ones choosing which of these documents gets released to the public as well as when, where, how, and to what extent it’s edited prior to release.

  15. Apart from that, I’m with johnlancia. If Shamir is associated with Wikileaks, that’s an example of really bad vetting. People should stay clear of this guy. But I have seen absolutely no evidence that Assange or other people associated with WL share his views. If anyone has such evidence, I’d like to see it. For now, I think their association with him is more likely due to lack of due diligence in the heat of the moment (in a small organisation in need of extra hands) than with any “dodginess” in their own agenda.

    1. They really should be putting ads in the paper to find that perfect candidate.

      “Wanted: Applicants willing to risk life & liberty to expose secret dealings of world powers. Applications confidential for fear of assassination. Please, no holocaust deniers. EOE.”

  16. I don’t understand what some guy’s awful philosophical and ethical leanings have to do with the content of cables and memos that have already been written.

    I used to work with bunches of people who hate Arabs (read:Ay-rabs) and thought welfare was reparations for slavery. I don’t remember questioning the work we produced because of some idiots employed there.

    They should fire this dude for being a jackass, yes. I’m not sure why it needs to be some exposé. But while we’re at it, let me go ahead and write next week’s headline for the MSM and web-aggregators of the world:

    Front Page: “Serial Rapist and Holocaust Denier Assange Eats Kittens; New Leaks On Page 11

  17. These planted stories are interesting in the way they help discredit Wikileaks. Truth tellers do not need accountability.

    How do we know that the real Julian is actually killed and replaced with a CIA stooge and that’s why he’s acting like a misogynistic, arrogant, media whoring douchebag?

  18. I think one of the most interresting things about the internet is that it constantly reminds us how far removed from one another we still are.
    All this is news to you?

    In Scandinavia, the Shamir affair has been discussed for quite some time now. I´ts been speculated that the main reason for Aftenposten to go and and steal their own copy of the full, unfiltered cables was because everyone was fed up about having to deal with Shamir sr and jr and their “non-disclosure agreements”.
    I have mentinoned this a couple of times before in Boing Bong’s comment sections.

    It is also amusing that so many people still think that the cables are actally beeing “leaked” to the public in some sense. Apart from the Aftonposten incident, Wikileaks have been handling the cables as a tradable commodity every step of the way.

  19. I’m not entirely sure why it matters whether or not someone whose job it is to go around looking for people who want to leak documents is a bigot, except in terms of PR. In fact, it makes sense to send a bigot to get leaks from other bigots. It’s a very strong tactic to employ a wide variety of fringe characters, if you are trying to manage relatively delicate negotiations with likewise fringe characters. Even an accidental show of disgust, when romancing some paranoid anti-semite to give up (say) a photocopy of Prescott Bush’s fraternity records, and all is lost.

  20. Funny how these people dealing with top secrets are so in the public’s eye.

    Every body knows Top Secret Man!:)

    PS Note dancing Santas on dice at the 1:30 mark….Happy Holidays!

  21. A Holocaust denier is not the only person who has noticed a chain that may or may not be coincidence:

    Miss A has connections to Ladies In White, a rightwing organization that has connections to the National Endowment for Democracy and the CIA.

    How rightwing are the Ladies in White, you may ask? They have connections to the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles:


    But this may be a pure case of guilt by association. The CIA didn’t have to hire Miss A to exploit her anger at Assange’s refusal to be tested for STDs.

  22. I am bored beyond reckoning by commenters who claim they’re disappointed to discover that Boing Boing isn’t a newspaper.

    They may actually be more boring than commenters who jump in to comment on an entry seconds after it goes up, then explain in detail how uninteresting they find it.

    Both sorts are rivaled only by the “This [subject] isn’t a Wonderful Thing!” and “Haven’t we seen enough of [subject]?” factions.

    Stopping now before I literally fall asleep at the keyboard.

    1. “commenters who jump in to comment on an entry seconds after it goes up, then explain in detail how uninteresting they find it”

      I hope you weren’t referring to me there. That’s not at all what I ment. I think this is important, and people should be told. I was directing my comment here at some of the other commenters, who seemed to be totally oblivious to some of the harsher realities of WIkileaks, but still wanted to express an opinion for some reason.

    2. If Boing Boing didn’t bite the hand that rss feeds on occasion, I’d get bored with it, that’s for sure.

      All the whining about Boing Boing not behaving exactly like a mainstream media news outlet has been going on for years. I think I’m so used to ignoring these kind of blathering posts they’ve become transparent to me. I’ve learned to spot a few keyword warnings and skip right through to viewing better posts. A skill acquired over the years, I suppose.

      1. Also this via an old post of mine:

        Boing Boing needs rules? gawd, isn’t this the same type ppl that went off a long while ago because they found some “inaccuracies” in various posts? Those who shuddered at the thought of a site that requires critical thought and individual analysis to aid in proper digestion? Boing Boing is rock n’ roll mercury… the more you try to constrict it, the more it breaks up all around you into silvery beads, slips around and makes fluid escape (while lookin’ wicked cool and reflective at the same time). I, for one, welcome our new media overlords. [cow now lobs aqua teen LED bomb into thread and runs]

  23. @ travastic & enkiv2: The fact that Shamir is a bigot and a lunatic-fringe conspiracy theorist says nothing about the legitimacy of what Wikileaks is doing, or the value of the information it has made available to the public. But it does raise serious doubts about Shamir’s trustworthiness and reliability as a source of information. In particular, it calls into question his claims that one of the women who Julian Assange allegedly raped was an agent provocateur working for the CIA. Anyone delusional enough to be a Holocaust denier is delusional enough to dream up fantasies of CIA honey traps.

  24. Dig deep enough into the background of anyone, and you are liable to find something that is going to offend/disgust some group of others. Unfortunately, we live in a media-driven world where any bit of non-PC behavior or thought can and will be used to tarnish the individual, and organizations they may have relationships with, in-toto, whether or not said non-PC thought has any bearing or relationship with the work they do.

    Yeah, this guy is a bigot. A holocaust denier. I, personally, find deniers especially reprehensible, and his association with WL is unfortunate. However, I don’t think being a denier makes him incapable of performing the service he provides for WL. Yeah, it would have been nice if he was virginally pure, if just to avoid such media outrage. On the other hand, it may well be that his being an odious bottom-feeder makes him uniquely qualified to crawl the world’s gutters in order to find the materials WL seeks. Indeed, I would be highly surprised if this guy was an outlier among WL associates, when it comes to holding offensive ideas of one sort or another. I think it’s probably the nature of the business WL is in. As for his pic with Assange…So? It’s not hard to have a picture taken with a guy you do business with. Business leaders and politicians do it all the time, with no thought given to what opinions the person next to them may hold. That’s just doing business.

    That BoingBoing seems to be jumping on-board the US media WL-bashing train over this one guy is very concerning. Yes, BB should be offended by this guy. Fine. Be offended. Call for WL to sever all ties with the guy. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and jump in with the media sharks.

    Life ain’t black and white.

  25. And as much as I try to avoid racism/homophobia/sexism in my own life, the truth is that the vast majority of people on this earth are openly racist, homophobic, and/or sexist. Chances are, the building you’re in was built by people who would just as soon have an entire group of people restricted or wiped off this Earth. Same thing with the vehicle you drive. When I was on construction sites, more than a few people openly advocated nuking the entire middle east, one of those rare act which would manage to match or exceed the Holocaust in its horror. And these were regular Americans, good old boys, people who loved their families and were damned fine carpenters/roofers/crane operators.

    I’m not trying to excuse their attitude – I openly tried to reason with many of them. I am saying that I wouldn’t tear down the buildings they built because of the views of those who built them.

    @EeyoreX: I thought I remember you writing about that. It doesn’t seem like a big surprise that in a dangerous and strange job like the dissemination of leaked cables, you’d end up with some screwed up personalities.

  26. Let’s face it Wikileaks is going to continue to attract a lot of weirdos and nutjobs and if you’ve ever known any real nutjobs you know they can seem pretty normal until you push one of their buttons. All Wikileaks can do is distance themselves from these people once they are found and try to make sure these side-shows don’t move attention away from the main show.

  27. I find things like holocaust denial one of those big whopper reality aversions that make me question literally everything a person says. If such a person tells me it’s raining, I find a window to check for myself. So to me it means that there’s one more hole in the “CIA trap” theory of the rape charges. I think the most influence the US has had here is maybe to convince people to make a bigger deal, since sex criminals (or not even criminals) are inherently untrustworthy in all respects to a great many people. Look at how many people wanted Clinton impeached for getting a blowjob. I’d say that an international arrest warrant for an accused rapist- something unprecedented- is where you see improper US influence, not a honeypot in the first place.

    1. I think the hole in the CIA rape theory is the fact that the alleged victims sent out tweets and acted in a way that wouldn’t make any sense in the context of a trap.

      Note: I have NO idea whether they were or were not raped, but there’s no way it was a special op from the way it went down.

  28. @Cory: Shamir is a fascinating character; I’ve met and spoken with him (over ten years ago) in Israel and the US. He does have (unless he went through the process of renouncing) Israeli citizenship. He used to work for or with a liberal Zionist political party, grew closer and closer to further left peace circles in Israel, and then sort of jumped off to points unknown.

    I think a BB post about this guy would be fascinating, if instead of only capturing his decade long history of looniness, also included the descent process. Much of what he has written on various lists and websites probably survives.

    Why would a Jewish Russian come to Israel, move to the pro-Palestinian left, leave Israel, become an ex-Jew and Holocaust denier, and dabble in the strangest fringes where far left and far right conspiracy theorists dwell?

    Just saying. Shamir doesn’t scare me – he fascinates me. Definitely newsworthy if he has any non-casual relationship with WL.

    1. As someone who has also met Shamir, I concur. He is a fascinating man. To dismiss him with a convenient perjorative is to miss an opportunity.

    2. Cory: Shamir is a fascinating character; I’ve met and spoken with him (over ten years ago) in Israel and the US. He does have (unless he went through the process of renouncing) Israeli citizenship. He used to work for or with a liberal Zionist political party, grew closer and closer to further left peace circles in Israel, and then sort of jumped off to points unknown.

      There is good reason to doubt whether Shamir really is a Jew. He came to Israel at a time when the easiest way to emigrate from Russia was to fake a Jewish identity (using Russian paperwork, natch), immigrate to Israel, and then head elsewhere. He has more aliases than I have socks. And self-hating Jews do tend to get crazy, but not as crazy as this guy.

      Israel Shamir is ebola. The Wikileaks staffers really neeed to distance themselves from him and find other reps for Russia and Scandinavia.

  29. What frightens me is the human tendency to dismiss everything a person says because of one loony belief, the “If X is wrong, then the entire alphabet is wrong” philosophy which must be a famous fallacy whose name I’m forgetting. Interesting articles could be done about nutcakes who were wacko, yet still found something true, and maybe even found it because they were looking where no one else bothered.

    1. I think there is at least one famous scientist that went on to take a serious interest in spiritism. As in actually believing it was dearly departed returning, not finding a scientific explanation for the claims.

  30. This is very odd. I met Israel Shamir 8 years ago, in West Bank. I had come across his writings previously, and was both pleased and surprised to meet him.

    He is clearly Jewish – Not just ethnically, but culturally, and I recall he had specialized knowledge of Hebrew linguistics. He is clever, *highly intelligent* and altogether a very engaging man.

    He was passionate about human rights, and seemed generally left-leaning.

    And he snores loudly.

    I havn’t read the links or the above article, but this in itself seems like some kind of smear. I would suggest the smears against Shamir be taken with a grain of salt.

  31. My comment, “I’m not angry Cory, I’m disappointed,” was removed, so I’ll try again: Cory, I’m disappointed that you would waste time adding to the crap being piled on Wikileaks as if you’re just another dude who’s got too much to lose if things change.

    There is a chance Julian Assange will disappear into the US legal system forever, then again, you seem more concerned Assange isn’t mistaken for a ‘hero’. Like that’s the craziest thing anyone has ever said.

    Your lack of support for people making a stand is terrifying.

  32. I’m afraid this whole media storm around Assange reminds me of the whole O.J. Simpson circus in a way. I recall it very distinctly because I was a single payer activist. The week of his arrest (1993) was the same week health care reform (after being headline news for a year) died a quiet death in Congress. So what is the corporate media trying to conceal by beating Assange’s sex life to death? Most of the information in the recent cables release is already widely available on the Internet. At the same time I find it surprising to find absolutely nothing about the “strategic” reasons the US is at war in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nothing about the Pentagon agenda to foster the secession of oil and mineral rich Balochistan from Pakistan as a US client state – just like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and other former Soviet republics. Nothing about CIA support for the Baloch separatist movement. Nothing about the CIA training young Baloch separatists in bomb making and other terrorist activities to disrupt operations at the Chinese-built Gwadar Port (intended to transport Iranian oil and natural gas via Pakistan to China). I blog about this at http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2010/11/28/afghanistan-and-the-road-runner/

  33. So let me get this straight:

    Cory Doctorow, a paragon of freedom, is asking an organization who is loathed and hated by practically every world power to make a definitive statement.

    It is a known fact that one, when facing legal authorities that have massive resources and power of law, should either REMAIN SILENT, or barring that, make no specific definitive statements, lest the powers that be find any verifiable point of contention and doubt in order to bring that person (or entity) down.

    Rule 1 when stopped by the police: DON’T SAY A WORD.

    In this position, “The Police” is played by “The entire world’s heads of state”.

    This isn’t journalism, Cory; this is saber rattling, and it’s coming out of nowhere. Many have long respected your integrity and passion for freedom against coercion. Why this, why now? You hide behind the statement that you want an organization to make a specific definitive statement. How could a court of any nation construe either answer? “He is not employed by us” can be quickly and effectively torn apart even if he was peripherally associated with WikiLeaks. You are letting some personal vendetta of dubious and curious origin cloud your normally reasonable judgement.

    Take a step back, breathe deeply, and objectively re-think what you are calling for.

    1. So let me get this straight: Cory Doctorow, a paragon of freedom

      Note to readers of this thread: I stopped reading there; and you should too.

  34. Everybody here seems to operate on one wrong assumption: Russian Reporter is not a ‘Kremlin newspaper’, it’s a weekly magazine and is, in fact, quite critical towards many of the government’s policies and major politicians. Which makes me even more amazed to see Shamir as their WL rep. They haven’t been ever known for their love of conspiracy nutjobs.

  35. (Anonymous from Above here)

    It appears my previous comment was not approved. Lets try again, with criticism of Corey diluted.

    It seems a bit disingenuous to suggest he fakes his Jewish identity from Russia, at a time when Israel was so desperate to accept anyone even remotely Jewish from Russia that even having a neurotic mother would suffice.

    That being said, I’ve met Israel Shamir. He’s Jewish. He’s very Jewish. If he’s had some sort of theological or political change of heart, and decided not practice the religion any more, so be it.

    To suggest that he’s an opportunist who has faked his identity is simply not in line with reality.

    It’s also a stretch to suggest that this Jew, who is criticizing his former religion, is an “anti-semite”. While his perspective may be unconventional, and even uncomfortable, he’s far from a Jew hater.

    Additionally, I’m quite surprised that someone as typically enlightened as Corey Doctorow is falling for the typical smears the Zionists levy against their foes (Anti-semite, Denier, self-hater).

    1. Hard to overstate the strenuous cognitive gymnastics necessary to read the words “It’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust” and “‘Protocols’ is effectively true” but have it come out in your mind as “I’m the innocent victim of Zionist smears.” The Palestine solidarity movement figured out Shamir a decade ago, and they showed him the door. And he took that door straight to places like David Duke’s site, where he’s more than welcome judging from the amount of his writing that appears there.

      So, nearly ten years after the Electronic Intifada blew the whistle on Shamir, his followers now are either excruciatingly, desperately naive, or else the sort of people who like wearing pointy robes. I won’t speculate about particulars in your case.

  36. Anon #57 demonstrates Lincoln’s maxim about fooling some of the people all of the time. No matter how low Shamir sinks, he’ll still have his defenders. And his defenders will think themselves proper progressives too.

    1. “Anon #57 demonstrates Lincoln’s maxim about fooling some of the people all of the time. No matter how low Shamir sinks, he’ll still have his defenders. And his defenders will think themselves proper progressives too.”

      Anon #57 here. You partronizingly assume I had the wool pulled over my credulous eyes by a nutjob. To the contrary, I met a man who stood out as having an exceptional intelligence, among a group of highly intelligent people. He was insightful, quick witted, and had a scholarly knowledge of the subtleties of Jewish linguistics. A slightly unconventional looking and man, perhaps reminiscent of a young Einstein. It was truly a memorable pleasure to have met him.

      You, of course, would prefer to think of him as some drooling, scheming lunatic, manipulating others while he promotes the unbelievable.

      It seems to have been casually overlooked that Mr. Shamir is an Israeli and fought for the IDF in 1973 war.

      Given the venom levied against Mr. Shamir here, I’ve looked into some of the claims against him. All I can find are a few controversial statements, which have been inflated to misrepresent him as some sort of Neo-Nazi nutter. These words make for a meager foundation for a case against him, particularly considering the decades he’s been churning out anti-war articles.

      In the end, it’s a familiar story. Dissident Jew or critic of Isreal gets painted as anti semite. Zionist supporters then spill out to support the smear.

      I’m a bit disappointed in some of the support these misrepresentations have received here.

      Do your due diligence, people.

      1. The story you apparently tell yourself, and are trying to sell here as well, is that anyone who finds Shamir antisemitic is either ‘a Zionist’ or fell for ‘a Zionist smear.’ That idea shatters to pieces when you see how strong the opposition to Shamir is in the Palestinian solidarity movement, after they did their ‘due diligence’ and responded by cutting Shamir loose. Or is e.g. Electronic Intifada, who first called out Shamir a decade ago, actually a secret Zionist front group?

        Here’s what The Nation – the US’s longest-running weekly, deeply progressive, and by no one’s most paranoid considerations a Zionist-controlled source – had to say after some ‘due diligence’ of their own: ‘I spent a few hours on http://www.israelshamir.net and learned that: “the Jews” foisted capitalism, advertising and consumerism on harmonious and modest Christian Europe; were behind Stalin’s famine in Ukraine; control the banks, the media and many governments; and that “Palestine is not the ultimate goal of the Jews; the world is.” There are numerous guest articles by Holocaust deniers, aka “historical revisionists.” ‘


        To be clear. Claiming that The Jews control the press and the banks is not, as you would euphemise it, ‘a controversial statement,’ any more than ‘fuck the Jews’ is a ‘controversial statement.’ It is a rancid belch of raw antisemitism. One hardly needs to be an agent of the Mossad to see that. Zionists and anti-Zionists alike have washed their hands of Shamir. It’s very telling that you can’t, and still perceive condemnations of Shamir’s antisemitism as being at root – look out! a Zionist plot!

        Here is Shamir: ‘Palestine is not the ultimate goal of the Jews; the world is. Palestine is just the place for world state headquarters.’

        Let me guess: an ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘controversial statement’ but of course utterly and absolutely without the lightest whiff of stench?

  37. Here’s Israel Shamir: “I think it is every Muslim’s and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust, to reject this belief, just as Abraham and Moses rejected the idols. Any person who confesses to God should deny the Holocaust.”

    Yeah, that Shamir sounds like a real progressive to me, Anon. His bleeding heart is bleeding all over his jackboots. I can’t imagine why anyone would call a Holocaust denier an antisemite, can you, Anon?

    Oh, I know! it’s the “typical smears the Zionists” wot dun it, that’s right. It couldn’t be that you were fooled eight years ago by someone who told you what you wanted to believe, could it?

Comments are closed.