Julian Assange in 'Jewish conspiracy' tangle

Attack: Assange

Attack: Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has claimed that there is a "Jewish conspiracy" against him, according to Private Eye editor Ian Hislop.

Mr Hislop said that Mr Assange had phoned him to complain about an article on WikiLeaks' Russian associate, Holocaust denier and infamous antisemite, Israel Shamir. Mr Hislop said that Mr Assange told him that the article was "an obvious attempt to deprive him and his organisation of Jewish support and donations". Mr Hislop said that Mr Assange went on to attack three non-Jewish journalists, including Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, for leading a "Jewish" conspiracy against him.

Mr Hislop wrote that when he told Mr Assange they were not Jewish, "Assange insisted that [Rusbridger] was 'sort of Jewish' because he was related to [Guardian journalist] David Leigh". Mr Leigh is not Jewish.

But in a statement published by WikiLeaks, Mr Assange said: "Hislop has distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase." The suggestion that he had referred to a "Jewish conspiracy" out to get him was "completely false".

WikiLeaks also denied that the site's Russian associate was Israel Shamir. Mr Assange added: "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."

Mr Assange also insisted that the conversation with Mr Hislop had been off the record.

Last updated: 2:20pm, March 3 2011