It's probably no surprise that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange believes in conspiracy theories. But now he reportedly believes he is the victim of one, at the hands of Jewish journalists in England.
Ian Hislop, the editor of a British magazine called Private Eye, said Assange called him last month to complain about a story in his magazine. That story claimed that an Assange associate in Russia was a Holocaust denier.
Hislop said that Assange went on to say that the article was part of a campaign by Jewish reporters in London to smear WikiLeaks.
The New York Times writes: The Private Eye article quoted Mr. Assange as saying the conspiracy was led by The Guardian and included the newspaper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, and investigations editor, David Leigh, as well as John Kampfner, a prominent London journalist who recently reviewed two books about WikiLeaks for The Sunday Times of London.
When Mr. Hislop pointed out that Mr. Rusbridger was not Jewish, Mr. Assange countered 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.
Assange took to Wikileaks' Twitter feed to refute the accusations. He said Hislop had “distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase.” He also said the idea that he believes in a “‘Jewish conspiracy’ is false, in spirit and in word. It is serious and upsetting. Rather than correct a smear, Mr. Hislop has tried to justify one smear with another.”
The statement went on:
“That he has a reputation for this, and is famed to have received more libel suits in the U.K. than any other journalist as a result, does not mean that it is right. WikiLeaks promotes the ideal of ‘scientific journalism’ — where the underlying evidence of all articles is available to the reader precisely in order to avoid these type of distortions. We treasure our strong Jewish support and staff, just as we treasure the support from pan-Arab democracy activists and others who share our hope for a just world.”
Assange has a habit of using the term “smear campaign.” He said he and WikiLeaks were the victims of another one after he was accused of raping two women in Sweden last year.