Julian Assange 'Jewish conspiracy' comments spark rowIan Hislop writes in Private Eye that Assange accused him, the Guardian and Index on Censorship, before withdrawing claim
Share408 Ben Quinn guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 1 March 2011 22.22 GMT Article history
Julian Assange has alleged conspiracy by journalists. Photograph: Rex Features
Julian Assange has blamed a number of journalists for a "Jewish" conspiracy against his whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks, according to the editor of Private Eye, Ian Hislop.
In the latest issue of the satirical magazine, Hislop writes that Assange called him on 16 February to complain about an article on Israel Shamir, a WikiLeaks associate in Russia who has denied the Holocaust and has published a string of antisemitic articles.
"He said that I and Private Eye should be ashamed of ourselves for joining in the international conspiracy to smear WikiLeaks," Hislop writes. "The piece was an obvious attempt to deprive him and his organisation of Jewish support and donations, he said angrily, and he knew perfectly well who had written it. He then named a Fleet Street hack who had nothing to do with it."
Hislop adds that Assange went on to claim that Private Eye was "part of a conspiracy led by the Guardian which included journalist David Leigh, editor Alan Rusbridger and John Kampfner from Index on Censorship – all of whom 'are Jewish'".
"I pointed out that Rusbridger is not actually Jewish, but Assange insisted that he was 'sort of Jewish' because he was related to David Leigh (they are brothers-in-law)," writes Hislop.