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Alan Dershowitz: Above the Assange Fray

Another day, another Jewish conspiracy.

And another smear campaign against Julian Assange?

Here’s what happened. According to the New York Times, Julian Assange called Ian Hislop, the editor of British magazine Private Eye on Feb. 16 and rambled on and on about a Jewish conspiracy spearheaded by the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The Times reports:

He was especially angry about a Private Eye report that Israel Shamir, an Assange associate in Russia, was a Holocaust denier. Mr. Assange complained that the article was part of a campaign by Jewish reporters in London to smear WikiLeaks.

And when Hislop noted that the Guardian’s editor Alan Rusbridger is not Jewish, Assange shot back:

that The Guardian’s editor was “sort of Jewish” because he and Mr. Leigh, who is Jewish, were brothers-in-law. Later, the article recounted, Mr. Assange asked Mr. Hislop to “forget the Jewish thing,” but he continued to insist there was a conspiracy against WikiLeaks based on the friendship among Mr. Rusbridger, Mr. Leigh and Mr. Kampfner.

(Could Assange be taking a stab at the perpetual question about who is a Jew?)

And since Private Eye published Assange’s remarks, the WikiLeaks Twitter feed rebutted that the writer of the magazine’s account “distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase” and that Hislop “has tried to justify one smear with another.”

The Times couldn’t reach a WikiLeaks lawyer, but the Forward was able to get a hold of the newest member of his legal team: Harvard law professor and staunch Israel defender Alan Dershowitz, who recently signed on as WikiLeaks’ U.S. legal consultant. What does he think?

After reading the Times article, Dershowitz said by email: “I doubt that The Guardian is part of any ‘Jewish conspiracy’ or that I am part of any ‘anti-Jewish conspiracy.’ The WikiLeaks case raises the most profound and important issues of freedom of speech and association, and that is the focus of my consultative role.”

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