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Wikipedia founder Wales appears to side with Israel against Gaza, suggests Corbyn is ‘antisemite’

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Jimmy Wales the founder of Wikipedia has disappointed a lot of folks in the last day by appearing to side with Israel over the latest exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza, and by essentially accusing British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of anti-semitism. Here’s the Wales’s tweet that began it all yesterday:

150 rockets fired at Israel by Hamas. @jeremycorbyn silent.

Wales was promptly called to account and defended his tweet:

I think it is fairly obvious what it has to do with Jeremy Corbyn but happy to explain. He feels unfairly portrayed as one who doesn’t think Israel has a right to exist or engage in self-defense against “friends in Hamas” then he may wish to speak clearly against this attack.

Wales made no mention of the Israeli attacks on the Strip, which killed three including a 23-year-old mother and her infant child. Gazan rockets injured at least six Israelis “bodily”.

In twitter exchanges, Wales said that Corbyn should use the Gaza rockets as an opportunity to immunize himself from the anti-Semitism charge, whether or not it is reasonable!

I am not a politician being accused of antisemitism so it seems less relevant that I condemn every atrocity in the world. For Corbyn this was a moment to show that he isn’t what people are reasonably or not thinking that he is.

He elaborated by suggesting that it is “realistic” to conclude that Corbyn is an anti-Semite:

He had a chance to show he isn’t an antisemite. He didn’t. As a BEST case scenario it shows he is tone deaf. As a realistic scenario…

Wales cites a recent controversy:

But given the current environment when he has caught on film questioning the right of Israel to exist on Iranian new channel… He had an opportunity to show he really is a man of peace.

This is a reference to a recently-publicized clip of Corbyn on Iranian television in 2011 saying that because of “pressure” campaigns from Israel and its friends, the BBC demonstrates a bias toward Israel’s right to exist.

“I think there is a bias towards saying that Israel is a democracy in the Middle East, Israel has a right to exist, Israel has its security concerns,” [Corbyn said]

The Labour Party responded to the resulting controversy:

“Jeremy was arguing that despite the occupation of Palestinian territory and the lack of a Palestinian state, Israeli concerns and perspectives are more likely to appear prominently in news reporting than Palestinian ones.

​”Jeremy is committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution – a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine.

Wales, 52, was born in the U.S. and built his career here and moved to London in 2012. He founded Wikipedia in 2001 and has said he’s the sole founder, though Wikipedia says he is the co-founder, having done so with “Larry Sanger and others.”

Wales has a long association with Israel. Three years ago he accepted a $1 million prize from an Israeli foundation and defended the country, which he said he’d visited more than ten times.

While Wikipedia strives for objectivity on Israel, Wales is unabashedly pro. The annual Wikimania conference, hosted by the nonprofit that runs Wikipedia, was held in the northern Israeli city of Haifa in 2011, and Wales appeared at the Israeli Presidential Conference that year.

Ahead of the Haifa conference, Wales defended Israel in a Facebook exchange with a pro-Palestinian activist, Joey Ayoub, that Ayoub subsequently published. Responding to Ayoub’s accusations of Israeli apartheid, Wales wrote, “How about those rockets? Complaining any about those?” …

“I’m a strong supporter of Israel, so I don’t listen to those critics,” Wales told JTA.

Wales said he backs Israel for “all of the standard reasons — the support for freedom of speech is very important to me, the rights of women, proper democracy. You can support all those things while still having criticism of actions and policies that aren’t good.”

Ofer Neiman has responded to the latest rockets tweet:

Jimmy Wales, I’m an Israeli citizen. You are consistently silent (no, make that supportive of) an Israeli regime which has killed thousands of Palestinian children. Oh, your hypocrisy.

…the root problem is a murderous Israeli siege on an impoverished open-air prison inhabited mostly by Palestinian refugees of Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing.

Jimmy Wales, how can you be so oblivious to the underlying reality of occupation and siege? Here’s some useful information from an Israeli woman living near Gaza:

Dave Berkeley, an eco socialist responds:

That is the most depressing tweet I’ve seen for a long time. Wikipedia is one of the great achievements of our age. I didn’t realise Wales was like this. Time to fork wikipedia.

Update: Wales responds to this story:

This story claims something false and deeply offensive to me. It claims in the headline “Wikipedia founder Wales sides with Israel against Gaza” which is completely false. It goes on to say “Jimmy Wales the founder of Wikipedia has disappointed a lot of folks in the last day by siding with Israel over the latest exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza” which is completely false.

I did not say anything at all about the Israeli airstrikes in response to the rockets, but for the record, I did not and do not support them.

I know it is very difficult for people to think clearly with all the noise of the world today, but it is entirely possible to be genuinely opposed to the terrorist organization and terrorist tacts of Hamas without endorsing everything that Israel does. Try to be more precise in the future.

I expect to see the story retracted and an apology issued.

There are other significant errors, such as saying that I accepted a $1 million prize “from Israel”. It was from a private foundation not associated in any way with the government of Israel.

[P.S. I’ve changed the characterization of Wales’s prize. As for Wales taking sides, we’ve changed our original to say that he “appears to side with Israel,” given his failure to mention any Israeli strikes in his tweets, just Hamas rockets.– Weiss].

Thanks to Ofer Neiman and Dave Reed.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

Other posts by .

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32 Responses

  1. amigo on August 10, 2018, 3:10 pm

    Sure am glad I kept putting off that donation to Wikipedia.If Wales is so selective with facts about Palestine/Apartheid Israel ,then i certainly would not help to fund a site run by a person of such dubious character.

    • JWalters on August 10, 2018, 8:02 pm

      The page on the USS Liberty being attacked by Israel has been drenched in Zionist obfuscation.

      • unverified__26c51237 on August 11, 2018, 9:39 am

        Fact is, we do NOT know what really happened with the Liberty! Both the US and ISR have refused to be open about the facts! It is a cover-up by BOTH the US and ISR. Nothing to do with Zionism, etc. It is just a fact of the ’67 war…
        TY, Neal NY NY and Medellin and Israel

      • CigarGod on August 11, 2018, 1:38 pm

        An attack by a zionist state has nothing to do with zionism.

      • Talkback on August 12, 2018, 4:39 am

        unverified__26c51237 : “Fact is, we do NOT know what really happened with the Liberty!”

        The people who deliberately jammed the US emergency channels do.

      • JWalters on August 12, 2018, 9:13 pm

        unverified, here’s a documentary with first-hand testimony from a great MANY people involved in the incident. Turns out it’s VERY clear what happened.
        “The Day Israel Attacked America”

    • Misterioso on August 11, 2018, 10:39 am

      @amigo, et al

      Anyone who uses Wikipedia as a source regarding matters of real concern, especially the “Israel”/Palestinian -Arab conflict, is a fool.

  2. Stephen Shenfield on August 10, 2018, 3:13 pm

    What this man says is devoid of logic and objectivity. Why then do so many people regard Wikipedia as an authoritative source of information?

    • John O on August 10, 2018, 3:37 pm

      He doesn’t write it. A few years ago a distinguished British academic (whose name escapes me) was asked what he thought of Wikipedia: “Well, the bits that I’ve written are highly accurate.”

      Political material on Wikipedia does always need to be taken with a pinch of salt . I hope most people who use it are sufficiently savvy to recognise this.

      That said, I am disturbed by Wales’s line on Israel.

  3. lysias on August 10, 2018, 4:27 pm

    Look at Craig Murray’s pieces on his site on Philip Cross.

    • Bumblebye on August 10, 2018, 6:10 pm

      MediaLens has also posted on the considerable problems they’ve had with “Philip Cross”. IMO the sheer volume of the output implies there is a professional team operating under that pseudonym.

    • JohnSmith on August 10, 2018, 7:10 pm

      Seeing this mention of the Philip Cross affair, and then the Bumblebye response, I finally looked it up. Obviously, Wales’s response to the matter has been bizarre. But perhaps some sort of extreme narcissism on Wales’s part feeds into his apparently twisted “libertarian” views. The article I read had screen grabs from Wales’s twitter feed, and my goodness what a dated photo to use to portray oneself! I checked the Jimmy Wales twitter page and it’s still there: this ridiculous, ancient photograph! I’m not saying Wales has ever been some kind of Adonis: but to post some 20-years-old, at least somewhat-flattering photo as if it bore any resemblance to the man at the top of this article–just ludicrous! It’s sort of on a par with young people posting their pics online with the infamous “duck face.”

    • Bumblebye on August 11, 2018, 1:07 pm

      Team “Philip Cross” hasn’t had a day off in the five years it’s been operating. Given the timing of the start of the operation, the pages and profiles targeted for editing, I wonder if there’s any relation to this:

  4. marc b. on August 10, 2018, 4:55 pm

    Is the Jimmy Wales, the man who reinvented the encyclopedia, or Jimmy Wales the pornographer? I always confuse the two. Maybe the eco-socialist can straighten me out.

  5. echinococcus on August 10, 2018, 10:09 pm

    “Wikipedia founder Wales sides with Israel”
    Good morning. I hope we slept well.
    It was damn obvious from day 1 of the ludicrous create-a-reality show. The Zionist redaction of anything and everything that might interest them has always been blatant. Of course, the same can be said of any tinpot dictator, eg US or other “favored” governments.

    The more you tend to get ready MacFacts from Wikipedia instead of doing your own research, the more you help the general moronization. It’s a simple question of logic: if anyone and his brother can edit, the more the powerful and the War Party win.

  6. Jasonius Maximus on August 10, 2018, 11:09 pm

    Ah, yes! Wikipedia! The real home of Infowars…

  7. RoHa on August 11, 2018, 1:44 am

    The anti-Semitism charge against Corbyn isn’t just to defend Israel, it is also to protect May and her fake Brexit proposals.

    The Remainers are using the same tactic to nobble Brexiteer Boris Johnson, by smearing him with “Islamophobia” over his remarks on the burqa.

    However, he has already received the support of Imam Dr Taj Hargey, who wrote a letter to The Times.

    Boris can also point to Swiss Imam Mustafa Memeti, who approved Switzerland’s ban on the burqa, and Jamal Daoud in Australia.

    • John O on August 11, 2018, 9:12 am

      How many people in Britain know the difference between the burqa, the niqab and the hijab? precious few, I suspect.

      • RoHa on August 12, 2018, 7:10 pm

        Hardly matters for the smear campaign.

  8. Kay24 on August 11, 2018, 8:23 am

    The Hasbara brigade has poisoned the pages of Wikipedia, with a bias that is obvious. It must be hard work trying to make the victims look the aggressors, and the occupier look like the victim.

    • CigarGod on August 11, 2018, 9:53 am

      Yep. I am always amazed at how quickly wiki posts are “adjusted” by the pro-israel cadre.

      “What do you do at work, Daddy?”
      “I cover up the truth, honey…but it’s in support of a good cause.”

      • Kay24 on August 11, 2018, 10:32 pm

        They are a bunch of deceitful people, who are trying to rewrite history, and erase all things Palestinian. They are also trying to wipe them off the map.

  9. unverified__26c51237 on August 11, 2018, 9:41 am

    It is simple— the government of Israel has been hard-line right and the Pals have been ‘destroyed’ by Hamas… so all moderates have been marginalized and ignored.

    • CigarGod on August 11, 2018, 1:50 pm

      Hamas won the election.
      Israel arrested hundreds of Palestinians prior to the election trying to subvert the will of the people.

      • oldgeezer on August 11, 2018, 11:17 pm


        They did indeed. I think Israel played a major part in that win and intentionally so. I think it was the desired outcome to be honest.

        I haven’t researched it to the point I can document it here but nevertheless I do quite vividly recall at the time an enormous volume of press coming out of Sharon and the GoI lambasting the PA/PLO for being corrupt and stealing from the Palestinians. And I even more vividly recall at the time that the tenor and tone of the statements being issued caused me to think to myself, geeze it’s almost like they want Hamas to win.

        Hopefully someone with better access to data and more energy than will review that period in history.

  10. Maximus Decimus Meridius on August 12, 2018, 6:06 am

    ““I think there is a bias towards saying that Israel is a democracy in the Middle East, Israel has a right to exist, Israel has its security concerns,” [Corbyn said]”

    No it does not.

    No nation state has a ‘right to exist’. Nation states exist or they do not exist.

    Several nation states I remember from my youth no longer exist. Other nation states which did not exist during my lifetime now do exist. Did the ex Yugoslavia have a ‘right to exist’? If it did, the obvious implication is that the successor states such as Croatia or Slovenia do not enjoy the same ‘right’. Did the USSR have a ‘right to exist’? Does East Timor? And so on and so forth.

    Also, where exactly does this state whose ‘right to exist’we’re all supposed to acknowledge actually begin and end? Israel has never declared its borders.

  11. Ossinev on August 13, 2018, 3:03 pm

    Meanwhile it`s back to business as usual for the Zioland firsters here in the UK. All that fuss over what cuddly Boris said about Muslim women appears to have died a death so they can go back to full throttle Corbyn strangulation:
    Very interesting comments from Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger:
    “When I attend a memorial, my presence alone, whether I lay a wreath or not, demonstrates my association and support.

    “There can also never be a ‘fitting memorial’ for terrorists. Where is the apology?”

    So then Ms Berger I wonder if you have ever attended a memorial for the vile openly racist evil terrorists Shamir and or/Begin and any of their cohorts you know the ones who were responsible for all those terrorist murders of innocent British people in Mandate Palestine oh and they threw in the cold and calculated murder of a Swedish UN peace envoy for good measure. If you didn`t attend any perhaps then you would condemn any fellow MP`s (including Jewish Labour MPs) who have attended such memorials or have been photographed alongside any physical memorial plaques. Surely murdering innocent British people (as well as thousands of innocent Palestinians ) made them terrorists Ms Berger or is there something in Zioscipture which automatically exempts Jews from this categorisation?

    Somehow I doubt it.Cue:
    “Berger is parliamentary chairperson of the Jewish Labour Movement – a group which lobbies for Israel and has strong links with the Israeli embassy”

  12. Ossinev on August 14, 2018, 7:10 am

    Interesting article in Haaretz by Bradley Burston on the scum Yahoo`s and fellow Zionists` association with. ” terrorism “.

    BTW in my previous post I of course forgot to mention the cold blooded assassination of the British Middle East Minister Lord Moyne by the Lehi group.For information:
    ” In 1980, Israel instituted a military decoration, an “award for activity in the struggle for the establishment of Israel”, the Lehi ribbon.[25] Former Lehi leader Yitzhak Shamir became Prime Minister of Israel in 1983.”

    So there you have it Labour members,supporters and voters and the British public in general. A UK politician is being hounded by UK Jewish Labour MP`s and the entire Zionist bent MSM all orchestrated by a foreign state for alleged support of “terrorism” simply because he opposes the racist and genocidal policies of that state. The Ziorat in chief has now weighed in. Do a little research and you will uncover the real terrorists and the real supporters of terrorists in this scenario and you will find that it is Israeli Zionists – yes the ones who praise (murals medals the works) the murderers of Britons.

    The Zionist stench of hypocrisy is becoming overwhelming. I do hope that the British public is finally taking note of this and that Labour supporters in particular are starting to pose awkward questions to the dual loyalty Hodges,Bergers and Ellmans etc in the political establishment.

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