A Tale of Two Wikis: “Israel Shamir” Gives Interview to Russian Neo-Nazi Newspaper about Wikileaks

by Joseph W

Today the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyether covers the story of Israel Shamir in Belarus, whilst the Atlantic comments on the political fallout of Wikileaks cables in Zimbabwe.

Let’s just recap what we know about Israel Shamir in Russia so far. We know that Israel Shamir has been working for Wikileaks in their liaisons with mainstream newspapers in the Russian-speaking world, in a similar role to Julian Assange’s work for Wikileaks in the English-speaking world.

Assange has been praised by world leaders, celebrated by Italy’s Rolling Stone magazine and France’s Le Monde newspaper,  and eulogised by liberal-left thinkers. Shamir has been welcomed in Belarus by the Lukashenko regime, and given the privilege to observe recent elections in Minsk alongside officials from the CIS.

Politically, Assange is interested in bringing down the ‘conspiracy’ of global power structures. Assange mainly concentrates on the United States of America. Shamir, meanwhile, wants to put an end to the Jewish conspiracy which enslaved the world through money and corruption, and made the world feel guilty by inventing the Holocaust.

Recently, Shamir has defended Assange from rape allegations, and written articles dissuading fellow conspiracy theorists from associating Assange with Mossad or the CIA, which made their way around the internet. In turn, Assange has defended Shamir from accusations over his conduct in Belarus, when questioned by journalists from the Guardian.

Whilst Assange has been trying to weaken America’s hand in global affairs, Shamir has been attempting to strengthen Russia’s hand.

How did Shamir’s role in Wikileaks come to the world’s attention?

In the English-speaking media, Michael Moynihan wrote an article for Reason about Shamir, and Andrew Brown followed suit in the Guardian. In Moynihan’s article, we read:

During an appearance on Echo Moskvy radio, Yulia Latynina, a reporter at the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, wondered “What does it mean that Assange is allowing himself to be represented by an extremist?” Latynina also found that the Kremlin-friendly paper working with Shamir to promote the WikiLeaks material had already published “outright lies” Shamir claimed were supported by leaks.

The “Kremlin-friendly paper” Latynina refers to is Expert, part-owned by Oleg Deripaska, a key ally to Vladimir Putin. One part of Expert is the publication Russkiy ReporterThe Economist observed in early December about new Wikileaks cables concerning Slovakia:

A selection of cables from Bratislava were published by Oleg Deripaska’s journal Russkiy Reporter (a WikiLeaks affiliate in Russia), although not on the WikiLeaks site itself, nor in any of the five newspapers publishing the cables.

Israel Shamir wrote for Expert about Wikileaks. Yet his Wikileaks article was not the first time that Shamir has appeared in Expert. In April 2009, Shamir was quoted in an article entitled Kill a Jew, Everyone Can as saying:

Generally the reason is that Jews see themselves as victims. This is the basis of national identity. And finding themselves with new neighbors, they immediately reproduce the usual relationship – just as torturers. This place is not the right place. A victim of anything can be that neither will do – all the protection. But you know, because you can [find it within yourself], to abandon petty tribal egoism. I call it: “kill a Jew.” I think everyone should do it.

In December 2010, Shamir co-wrote an article with Vitali Leibin and Dmitri Velikovsky for Expert, in which they claimed that the Wikileaks cables proved many things, including that:

The State Department even communicates with its European allies in the form of direct directives.Thus, in the dispatch, sent to European embassies, EU representatives in detail, as students, have been interpreted in exactly where speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the 65 th UN General Assembly, the Europeans should leave the hall. However, such a bureaucracy in the management of allies has its disadvantages: the Swedish delegate had instructions to leave the hall when Ahmadinejad mentions the Holocaust. But Ahmadinejad about this so do not say. As a result, representatives of other European countries came to his signals, and the Swede remained in the room in disbelief.

When Latynina challenged Shamir on this point, Shamir responded by revealing a cable about the EU walk-out, which did not prove at all that the US had planned the walk-out. Judge for yourself in any case.

Just as with the Estonia story, so too with the EU/UN/Iran story: once again Shamir presents American commentary on European politics as if it were proof that the US had caused the political agitation in the first place.

It is worrying that such a dangerous person should be promoted by Putin’s ally and the pro-Kremlin media, but not particularly surprising. It casts serious doubts on Wikileaks as a competent, credible and professional organisation.

Also today, you can read an interview with Israel Shamir by Moscow newspaper Zavtra about Wikileaks. The editor of Zavtra is Alexander Prokhanov, a Russian ultra-nationalist and political ally of former KKK leader David Duke.

Some quotes:

But we must understand that all the leading newspapers of the West are working closely with the Israeli lobby. Therefore, there is no need to make a special selection of documents – because their interpretation would be more than gentle towards Israel. But the facts must be susceptible to our interpretation. If we are able to reinterpret them, then all will turn out very differently.

I, for instance, now sit and deal with Estonian documents. They are very interesting, and I interpret them in a certain way. I see that the Dispatch fully confirms Russia’s position in Estonia. There you’ll find that even within the conversations between Estonian ministers and American diplomats that the riots after the dismantling of the Bronze Soldier is not specially prepared, and emerged spontaneously after the violent dispersal of protesters by police. I believe that this could be the headline of the day. But we have with you is not New-York Times, have you no Guardian – so the headlines of the day are quite different. But we must understand that when using a machine interpretation and based on the materials WikiLeaks we could already begin dismantling the global U.S. empire.

Nevertheless, Russia – Russia as a country, not as a “power vertical” – the full benefit from the publications WikiLeaks.

Shamir on his correspondence with Assange:

In my opinion, Julian Assange – all unique and wonderful man, with a minimum of some personal needs and requirements. Sleeps anywhere, eat that give … indifferent to money. And with his understanding of justice. But he has a bright idea that he is as far as possible trying to implement. And not for the fame, power or money. He wants, rather, something to give to the world than to take something from the world. And these people now, in our severe time not so very much …

And our collaboration began with what he sent me an email, in which he proposed to consult the WikiLeaks. Of course I said yes. Then, in the course of our correspondence, received an offer to represent WikiLeaks in CIS countries. I thought this offer very interesting, and I accepted it. Now every day becomes more interesting and fun …

And on media reporting after 1945:

There is another important point – the years after World War II were the age of triumph and omnipotence of the various secret services, the knights of cloak and dagger, which completed the fate of the economy, politics and history in general. Their main weapon was just exclusive information, secrecy, mystery. And the appearance of this long-standing monopoly WikiLeaks intelligence on “classified” information destroys. As mentioned in the Gospel, “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay.” Assange opposes restrictions on creative freedom and restrictions on freedom of information.