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Anti-Israel backlash from WikiLeaks release

JTA

December 29, 2010 | 11:22 am

WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of classified diplomatic cables has caused a backlash of anti-Israel conspiracy theories, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Anti-Israel conspiracy theorists are claiming that Israel and the Israel lobby played a secret role in the documents’ release, the ADL said in a statement Wednesday. The claims originated on Arab and Islamic websites, according to the organization.

“Once again, as we saw with the 9/11 attacks and the financial meltdown, we are seeing yet another manifestation of the Big Lie against Jews and Israel,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director, in a statement. “The WikiLeaks affair has given new life to the old conspiracy theories of underhanded Jewish and Israeli involvement in an event with significant repercussions for the U.S. and many nations around the world. The news is being exploited by conspiracy theorists, some world leaders, and various websites across the ideological spectrum to spread false and malicious conspiracy theories against Israel.”

One claim alleges that WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, struck a deal with Israel to withhold any cables that were embarrassing to Israel. Another charges that Assange actually works for Israel as a spy and that Israel’s intelligence agencies orchestrated WikiLeaks as a public relations campaign, according to the ADL.

Hüseyin Celik, a deputy leader of AKP, Turkey’s ruling party, hinted in comments during a Dec. 1 press conference that Israel could be responsible for WikiLeaks. “Israel is very pleased [with the WikiLeaks controversy],” he said. “Israel has been making statements for days, even before the release of these documents.”

Similar claims have surfaced on anti-Zionist sites and on Al Manar, a Lebanon-based news service run by the terrorist group Hezbollah.

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