The Accusations Against Alison Weir
and If Americans Knew: The Facts

May 20, 2015
Updated: September 13, 2016

If Americans Knew and Alison Weir receive endorsement, support, and positive feedback from diverse experts and newcomers to the Palestine-Israel issue from across the US and around the world (e.g., see here and here). Our media analyses and public education are used by numerous groups and individuals through the United States, reaching increasing numbers of Americans with thoroughly cited and compelling information on Palestine-Israel and the American connection to it.

Alison has addressed hundreds of audiences at universities, libraries, Capitol Hill briefings, National Press Club events, and other venues with a facts-based, thoroughly researched presentation. Listeners routinely report that her speeches are compelling, convincing, and eye opening, with many calling it the most effective they’ve seen. Some previous skeptics tell us that Alison’s talk completely turned them around. A group in Illinois gave Alison an award that cited her as a “courageous journalist-lecturer on behalf of human rights.”

As our effectiveness and reach have increased over our decade and a half of work, efforts to silence or discredit us have also increased. Critics have lobbed various accusations, some of them contradictory: Alison Weir is “anti-Semitic,” “a communist,” “a right-wing extremist,” etc. – even (perhaps most bizarre of all) “a white supremacist” – whatever epithet will be considered most negative to the target audience hearing the smear.

(She’s also received death threats and other intimidation, but the savviest opponents use more subtle means: attempting to discredit her and destroy If Americans Knew via whatever ad hominem character assassination seems most likely to succeed.)

Those who most often do this are Israel partisans and various Israel advocacy organizations such as the infamously pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Jewish Federations that publicly advocate on behalf of Israel, Israel advocacy outfit Stand with Us, extremist pro-Israel bloggers, etc.

The most recent and perhaps most insidious smear campaign, however, comes from a very different sector: some groups and affiliated individuals within what is often called the Palestine solidarity movement. While these smears have surely been repeated in good faith by some well-meaning individuals, they have been publicly rejected by more than 2,000 activists, plus many of the most prominent pro-justice figures.

These accusations are now routinely used by hard-core Israel partisans to try to block If Americans Knew events and outreach (relying, again, on false character assassination rather than refuting any of the facts we present). These extremists -- as well as some within the "solidarity movement" -- now twist the original accusations to make incredibly far-fetched claims. (Read, for example, about a campus activist group that made outlandish claims about Alison and demanded that a visiting Palestinian refugee not question Israel's "right to exist.")

This has gone on behind the scenes from the very beginning of If Americans Knew, but it drastically escalated following the publication of Alison’s book, which has sold 24,000 copies and received 375 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4.5 stars.

The JVP/USCEIO campaign against Alison Weir & IAK

In 2015, Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, both of which have accomplished important work but also have somewhat mixed records regarding critical points of justice for Palestinians, blacklisted Alison Weir and If Americans Knew—over the objections of thousands of activists and many of their own rank-and-file members.

The rationales they provided were based on misrepresentation and supposed guilt by association (details are below). They have been analyzed and discredited by numerous writers and commenters, including many extremely prominent humanitarians who joined more than 2,000 activists (and many JVP/USCEIO rank and file members) in signing a letter rejecting the JVP/USCEIO action.

Those who signed the letter supporting Alison include former UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; founding member of Birzeit University’s board of Trustees Samia Khoury; Palestine Rapprochement Center Director/ISM co-founder George Rishimawi; activist and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein; peace activists Ann Wright, Arun Gandhi, Ray McGovern and Cindy Sheehan; American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee founder James Abourezk; founder of Community and Public Health Institute at Birzeit University Professor Rita Giacaman; Al-Awda Vice Chair Abbas Hamideh; Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities professor and co-founder of Al-Awda-Palestine Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh; author Joel Kovel; activist/musician David Rovics; founder of Friends of Sabeel Rev. Richard Toll; Free Gaza Movement and Gaza flotilla founder Greta Berlin, and hundreds of others, including many members of JVP and the UCEIO.

Despite this overwhelming endorsement of Alison and If Americans Knew from across the spectrum of the movement for Palestinian justice, some groups and individuals continue to circulate, and hugely exaggerate, the discredited accusations.

Similarly, Israel advocacy groups and individuals drawing on the JVP/USCEIO statements routinely twist them to outrageously accuse Alison of supposed “white supremacism” and “racism.” (In point of fact, JVP/USCEIO’s accusations, while false, never went so far as to directly accuse Alison and If Americans Knew of any kind of racism or white supremacism.)

In reality, Alison has always advocated for universal equal rights and rejects all forms of bigotry, supremacism and separatism. She has a life history of supporting equal rights, beginning with involvement in the American civil rights movement in the 1960’s, during which she was arrested for civil disobedience.

Indeed, the idea of attacking someone who has long dedicated herself to supporting the rights of Palestinian Arabs and Muslims (among the world’s most marginalized non-European indigenous populations) via smears of racism and white supremacism ought to be ludicrous enough on its face to give many impartial readers pause.

Indeed, many people are, apparently, aware of the absurdity, judging by the petition cited above and the many, many supportive messages we’ve received (see here and here), commentaries (e.g., see this and this and comments online.

We invite everyone who would like to hear Alison represent herself, rather than critics represent her, to view a recent video of her here and an earlier one here. You can also see videos of her 2003 debate on the UC Berkeley campus.

Alison and If Americans Knew are hardly alone in undergoing smear campaigns. A British journalist recently stated: Any writer who steps into the debate over this long and bitter struggle is almost certain to be subjected to an onslaught from detractors,” and will often be accused of being “anti-Semitic.”

One former Israeli lawmaker explained on Democracy Now that calling critics of Israeli policy “anti-Semitic” is “a trick – we always use it.”

And a long line of journalists and public figures — including the once incredibly famous Dorothy Thompson and former Time bureau chief Donald Neff — have been virtually erased from history by organized campaigns against them once they began writing and speaking out about Palestine-Israel. Ever since our organization’s website, media studies, materials, and facts-based approach proved to be particularly effective at reaching American voters new to the topic, we have expected the onslaught against us to increase in similar measure.

  • So what are the claims, specifically?

The JVP/USCEIO allegations center on claims that Alison is “associated” with anyone who interviewed her or posted her articles online.

In reality, she has been interviewed hundreds and hundreds of time by people across the political spectrum and for outlets around the world and has never vetted the interviewers or outlets, preferring to get her message out far and wide—just as a liberal such as the USCEIO executive director would jump (and did) at a chance to be heard on Fox News. She’s appeared most often on progressive media, but her interviewers run the gamut, including an extremist right-wing Israeli show.

JVP/USCEIO and associated individuals condemn Alison for being interviewed on shows or by interviewers they disapprove of. However, we disagree. Our goal is to give the facts on Palestine and the Middle East to every single American. In fact, we feel it is especially important to give factual information on Palestinians and Muslims to conservative and right-wing audiences, the sector most targeted by the kind of misinformation about these groups that has led to many physical and verbal assaults on Arab and Muslim Americans, particularly women in hijab.

Meanwhile, Alison’s articles are reposted widely, generally without her permission, as are articles by every other writer. Her detractors point out that one of her articles was posted on David Duke’s website and use that to claim that she is supposedly “associated” with him (some recently even going so absurdly far as to claim she “endorsed” him), but don’t mention that they were posted without permission and that his site also includes articles by Robert Fisk, Philip Weiss, Chris Hedges, JJ Goldberg, Juan Cole, Stephen Lendman, James Petras, the Times of Israel, JTA,The Forward, Ha’aretz, etc.

Her appearance on a show, or granting an interview doesn’t indicate endorsement of the outlet or interviewer, nor does the reposting of her work.

In fact, the websites and shows that JVP/USCEIO criticize Alison for have featured interviews or commentaries by numerous highly respected individuals – and even JVP and USCEIO leaders – including: USCEIO President Phyllis Bennis, USCEIO co-founder Josh Ruebner, Peace activist Ray McGovern, Writer Stephen Lendman, Israeli academic Dr. Avner Cohen, Code Pink directors Medea Benjamin and Rae Abileah, CAIR director Zahra Billoo, Rachel Corrie’s parents, Peace activist Brian Terrell, CAIR director Zahra Billoo, Independent Jewish Voices Canada member Marty Roth, Author Jennifer Dixon, Gaza reporter Harry Fear, Israeli co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions Meir Margalit, Civil Rights Coordinator for Northern California for the Council on American Islamic Relations Rachel Roberts, President of Muslim Public Affairs Council Salam Al-Marayati, leader of the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign Ed Mast, Project Censored director Mickey Huff, Author and Founding Director of the American Jewish Congress Feminist Center Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, UK Guardian columnist Suzanne McGee, and numerous others.

USCEIO produced an incredibly long, detailed and, on the surface, well-crafted dossier on Alison and If Americans Knew. It lists numerous accusations, but, perhaps because most are so quickly refuted, our accusers have since backed off most of them and have focused primarily on one issue.

After apparently sifting through Alison’s many hundreds of interviews, the authors honed in on one interviewer with an obscure internet radio program, who interviewed Alison a few times by phone a number of years ago, named Clay Douglas.

On the Douglas shows Alison informed listeners in detail about Palestine, spoke against racism, reminded Douglas that many Jewish Americans and Israelis oppose Zionism, conveyed her belief that all people should be treated with compassion and respect, and opposed violence, eliciting his agreement with many of these views. Nevertheless, JVP-USCEIO condemn Allison because she didn’t use her airtime to address every single one of the somewhat long, rambling statements that Clay occasionally strung together over the somewhat fuzzy phone line before getting to his question, and instead focused on her message.

Further down this page is a chronological listing of all If Americans Knew statements about the JVP/USCEIO accusations, along with commentaries by other writers and supporters. Click here to open a point-by-point response to the USCEIO dossier, including deconstructions of all the dossier’s inaccurate representations of Alison’s statements during those obscure interviews.

That point-by-point response has numerous hyperlinks with additional information and sources, including links to the original interviews for readers who’d like to hear them directly (this attack on Alison surely must have exponentially increased the number of listeners of these obscure shows).

  • What led to these accusations?

Perhaps some younger activists do not recall the climate in this country when Alison first became active on the Palestine-Israel issue at the beginning of this century. Very few progressives were yet talking about Palestine, and many left-wing organizations were dominated by people who supported Israel and its oppressive policies. The few who did discuss Palestine disdained Palestinian refugees’ right of return and supported a two-state “solution” in which Palestinians would be robbed of 80 percent of their land. Alison was one of the few who fully supported Palestinian rights.

Because she thus allied herself with Palestinians rather than with white liberal Zionists on the right of return and two-state solution, some JVP leaders began whispering that she was “anti-Semitic” (years before the Clay Douglas interviews or anything else cited in the USCEIO dossier). This was a decade and a half ago, when both JVP and Alison were located in the San Francisco Bay Area. (The claim of general “racism” only suddenly cropped up around the time of the JVP/USCEIO action.)

The popular media of the time consistently portrayed Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular as cartoon villains (“see Reel Bad Arabs” by Jack Shaheen) and truly racist stereotypes about them were accepted and repeated without question across our country.

Then came the 9/11 attacks and soon an all-out war against Arabs and Muslims, with its attendant propaganda, began. Afghans and Iraqis began being mowed down: men, women, children, the elderly (and more and more young American men and women serving in our armed forces in our disastrous wars abroad).

Our government vastly curtailed civil liberties; freedoms that had persisted in our country for generations were slashed with hardly a backward glance. The foreign-born were rounded up, shut out, deported, even disappeared and tortured. Anti-Arab hatred was a violent and looming reality in this country.

This is the climate in which Alison spoke out at every opportunity about Palestine, explaining the core injustice at the heart of the worldwide “War on Terror,” and about which so many Americans knew so very little that they actually believed reality to be reversed—believing the attackers to be the attacked, the oppressors the oppressed.

Antiwar activists in the San Francisco area began mobilizing against an attack on Afghanistan (and eventually against an attack on Iraq), but were unwilling to mobilize against the already massive attacks on Palestinians (this was at the height of the second Intifada). Alison distributed information about Palestine at leftist events to encourage activists to also oppose this other violent oppression, inspired by a minority of brave activists who’d been standing up for Palestinian rights when it was taboo.

When Alison began working on Palestine —and when those brave writers and researchers before her began—it was widely termed anti-Semitic even to explore facts that are now generally accepted, or to espouse positions that are now more widespread. For example, exploring facts about the Israel lobby and supporting the Palestinian right of return or a one-state solution were written off as anti-Semitic; earlier, even believing 1948 refugees’ tales of massacres was smeared as anti-Semitic—now, they’ve been fully proven. Saying the word “Palestinian” itself (rather than simply “Arab”) was even considered controversial.

Fundamentally, the USCEIO dossier consists of misrepresenting the facts using filtered, misleading statements, spin, negative innuendo, and outright falsehoods. It relies on attempting to create an impression of ferreting out what Alison “really” thinks underneath her unwavering championing and espousing of universally equal rights. Whoever crafted it assumed readers would just take the Campaign leaders’ word for it, allowing them to interpret her actions, without skeptically examining the original sources and the full multitude of her interviews and writings.

Happily, this didn’t prove to be the case, as evidenced by numerous criticisms of the dossier published by a wide variety of writers and online commenters, many of which are reproduced below.

Below is the powerful letter signed by luminaries of the pro-justice movement and over 2,000 activists. Following that is the chronological listing of our statements and some supporter commentaries.

An open letter to the U.S. Campaign and other Activists for Justice in Palestine

(A petition circulated by supporters of If Americans Knew)

As active participants in the struggle for justice for Palestinians, coming from a variety of ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds, we call for an end to internal attacks on fellow activists and organizations. These only impede the work for justice.

We appreciate the important contributions to that cause made over many years by If Americans Knew, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

In that light, we are dismayed by the recent unfounded attacks on one of the top organizations working on this issue, If Americans Knew, and its dedicated leader, Alison Weir, by the leadership of Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign.

Many of us are members of these groups and are unhappy at these significant actions made in our name but without consulting us.

We recognize that important differences among these organizations exist – each has its own constituencies, approach, and style, as is the case with the scores of other organizations that together make up the solidarity movement. Some may disapprove of taking the Palestinian case to people who don’t define themselves as “liberals” or “progressives.” Others may disapprove of working with Zionist groups and failure to state that Zionism is racism, etc. We have no problem with any group articulating such differences and even making principled criticisms of another’s work – that is part of the life of any healthy democratic movement.

But we believe strongly that secret dossiers, ideological inquisitions, double standards, misrepresentations, spreading innuendo, and attempting to excommunicate groups or individuals one disagrees with from the ranks of the movement sow unnecessary divisions and distract from what must remain our primary focus: building the broad united front that’s necessary to change United States policy in the Middle East and to help Palestinians obtain justice in their homeland.

We also believe that the vitriolic, ADL-like accusations that Alison Weir is “anti-Semitic” and/or racist are scurrilous and without foundation. They are based on guilt-by-association arguments through which numerous committed activists – including the leadership of the US Campaign and JVP – could equally, and also incorrectly, be called “anti-Semitic” and/or racist.

We are painfully aware that there are well funded opponents who spare no effort to undermine and divide this movement for justice and human rights in Palestine. We therefore expect those who sincerely share our goals to be mindful of the potential to fracture the movement and be judicious and principled in their critique of groups and individuals who make significant contributions to the movement.

We call for these attacks to cease and for those initiating them to return to their main task, working for justice in Palestine.

Sincerely,

[The Undersigned]

Table of Contents

1. Please help us overcome the accusations against If Americans Knew
2. My Reply to JVP Leaders’ McCarthy-like Attacks Against Me
3. Setting the Record Straight on some additional accusations
4. If Americans Knew Response to Latest Attack by JVP Leaders
5. Messages of support to Alison and If Americans Knew
6. Interrogation by U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
7. Additional messages of support
8. Petition in support of Alison Weir and IAK
9. Petition organizers' letter to signatories
10. On the US Campaign's Excommunication of If Americans Knew
11. Responses to U.S. Campaign's Excommunication
12. Response to claims circulated by a US Campaign steering committee member
13. "The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook"
14. Mondoweiss Roundtable on the Palestine Solidarity Movement and Alison Weir
15. Response to US Campaign's accusations against If Americans Knew
16. Responses to our statement about U.S. Campaign
17. Our response to statements made by Max Blumenthal
18. Response to statements made by Stanford SJP
19. "Ms. Weir Goes to Washington" (excerpt)

Please help us overcome the accusations against If Americans Knew

Since the founding of Israel, proponents of justice for Palestinians and critics of Israeli policy have experienced accusations of anti-Semitism. While some accusations may be made spontaneously and individually, this accusation is often made cynically in order to silence criticism of Israeli actions and policies. As one former Israeli lawmaker explained on Democracy Now, "It's a trick – we always use it..."

Usually pro-Israel groups and individuals make the accusations, generally publicly and often virulently. But in other cases, they arise within apparently pro-Palestinian groups and settings. In these cases, the charges are often whispered and then repeated by other activists who may not have examined them skeptically. These accusations sometimes even draw on misinformation perpetrated by Israel partisans, though this is usually unknown to those hearing such accusations, and to many of those repeating them.

Sadly, a diverse assortment of extremely committed people working for justice in Palestine have suffered such "insider" accusations, sometimes having their speaking events sabotaged by allegedly pro-Palestine organizations and individuals. Some of these attacks have been public; others remain in the realm of whispering campaigns.

I personally, and If Americans Knew as an organization, are among those who have been periodically targeted. The attacks against us have been whispering campaigns rather than public attacks.

I've been working for justice in Palestine ever since traveling as a freelance reporter to Gaza and the West Bank in early 2001. Shocked and moved by what I learned there, I founded If Americans Knew to give people the facts on this issue. I've been writing articles; creating media studies and videos; and speaking widely on this issue ever since. (You can see a 2006 video about me here.)

From the first, I have focused on reaching beyond the “choir” of people who already know about and sympathize with the Palestinian plight. I have sought ways to reach a broad audience, connect with Americans across the political spectrum and present the most factual, well-cited information possible – all with the goal of truly bringing an end to the ongoing Mideast tragedy, by affecting American policies that enable Israel's actions. Effectiveness has always been my watchword. The tragedy is far too great for anything less.

When I first began my work, I was immediately accused of anti-Semitism by Israel partisans, despite the fact that I have a life history of working against bigotry and racism of all kinds. I participated in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and was arrested for civil disobedience in that activism. One of my very first articles on Israel-Palestine was "Choosing to Act: Anti-Semitism is Wrong." We have made this into a handout and include it in virtually all the orders for materials that we send out.

Such unfounded attacks, I soon learned, were to be expected when one works on this issue. What surprised me more was that a few individuals who seemed to be working for peace in Palestine (though perhaps not necessarily justice) also took up this refrain. Their accusations, however, were never made publicly, nor did they address my actions or positions. Instead, they were whispered behind my back. (As If Americans Knew has become more effective, this campaign has escalated.)

Opposition by those who dislike our positions

The charges I heard about were leveled by a small number of activists and groups who disagreed with some of my positions:

Then, as now, I supported Palestinians' right of return and ending US money to Israel. I considered the Israel lobby significant, and I refused to focus only on "the occupation" that began in 1967, ignoring the one that began in 1948 (and before). When the U.S. invaded Iraq, I also observed that neocons with close ties to Israel had played a significant role in pushing the U.S. to attack Iraq.

Some of those working on this issue at that time did not share these positions. While some were no doubt willing to simply disagree, some called me anti-Semitic for talking about these aspects of the issue.

In some cases, no doubt, this was genuine human error; in other cases, I suspect, it was to prevent my views, and the information supporting them, from becoming more widely known and shared. (Today, of course, these views are most likely shared by the large majority of activists on this issue – even some of those who previously opposed them now, I hope, endorse them.)

Despite these behind-the-scenes attempts to impede our work, If Americans Knew began to make more and more of an impact. Increasing numbers of people began to use our website, and people all over the country began to use our informational materials, which we have always striven to make especially professional, accurate, well-sourced and effective.

Various individuals made attempts to curb our increasing impact, and the whispering campaigns escalated. These behind-the-scenes, secretive attacks have been both painful and extremely difficult to confront. Should I defend myself, and thus call attention to the accusations and cause destructive disruption and dissension in this movement? Or ignore them, thus allowing them to continue?

Through the years I've chosen to do the latter. Now, however, I find that attempts to block my talks and the dissemination of our materials continue and have possibly grown even greater. And so I feel compelled to speak out and give a few examples of what has been occurring, in the hope of curtailing these sometimes successful efforts to prevent people from learning our information, which I believe is the purpose of this stealth campaign.

I suspect that the publication of my book and its extremely positive reception (we’ve already sold over 17,000 copies) has played a role in these increased efforts to prevent my talks.

I travel all over the U.S. and abroad to speak about the Palestine-Israel issue and the U.S. connection, If Americans Knew ships hundreds of thousands of informational materials (written by excellent diverse authors and researchers) to events and individuals, and I give media interviews to anyone who’s willing to consider the information I address. My goal is to reach every single person possible with essential facts to counter the misinformation so often being disseminated to Americans. I go to great pains to be accurate, transparent, and respectful of all people. I do not filter or censor who may post or share our materials or interview me, expecting my words and our materials to speak for themselves.

You can see our statements on our guiding principles to the right (also published in our mission statement and a similar statement is in a sidebar on this page).

Among this multitude of events and materials dissemination, I periodically hear of cases where one, a few, or sometimes even a group of “Palestine solidarity” activists have attempted to get my talks canceled or our materials blocked.

These are not public censorship attempts by pro-Israel zealots (though there are plenty of those). These are quiet actions to discredit me and If Americans Knew and to prevent our information from getting out, by small groups of individuals who raise their accusations behind my back; I only hear about them, generally, through private acquaintances or after the fact and am rarely given an opportunity to respond.

Some of those who spread such defamatory accusations may simply confuse the dissemination of facts they dislike with anti-Semitism. At times we all may not like some facts, we may wish they weren’t so, we may wish for people not to know about them, but discussing them is not bigotry.

Examining the founding of Israel, researching history, discussing the details of pro-Israel efforts, critiquing Israeli policy, championing the Palestinian right of return, investigating Israel's victimization of others, opposing U.S. aid to Israel, and exposing Israeli war crimes are not anti-Semitic actions. Nor is exposing the Israel lobby in all its ramifications, examining Israel partisans' role in the invasion of Iraq, or divulging information known to Israelis but hidden to non-Israelis.

If someone disagrees with the facts, analysis or judgments, so be it – let’s talk. But discussing facts and examining information is not bigoted, but rather necessary. I believe that suppressing facts and debate is ultimately harmful for all. And I believe that truth and justice is the only way to achieve a secure peace for all people.

Happily, despite attempts to undermine IAK and spread misinformation about us, there are vastly more activists and individuals who share our mission and are extremely supportive of our work than there are people who attack us. We frequently hear from individuals all over the country that our website and materials have been central to their work to reach Americans with the facts.

I was deeply moved when a recent talk I gave before a large, mainstream audience received a standing ovation. Organizers who go forward with my events consistently tell us how happy they are with my presentation. They describe my work as accurate, fair, reasoned, and compelling, and many have even told us my talk was the best presentation on Palestine they have heard.

My view is that the movement for justice in Palestine benefits from the participation of as many diverse groups and individuals as possible. We will not agree on everything, and at times we will have heated disagreements. But we're all necessary, I believe, and important.

It is critical that we not allow internal (often, I suspect, initially planted) accusations to create destructive division, causing many people to focus on internal disputes, taking time away from the essential work we're all doing to oppose Israeli oppression.

A few examples of attempts to block our information:

Below are a few examples of the feeble evidence given for these accusations. In many cases, and when accusations often initially arise online, it is difficult or even impossible for me to ascertain whether the individuals planting them are real people, or whether they are false identities created by Israel propagandists, given that Israel partisans, soldiers, students, and various trolls are known to have infiltrated the Internet in order to counter and discredit pro-Palestinian activism.

  • One person was able to prevent a group from using any of our very popular, effective, and well-researched materials by claiming that one contained an author who was “anti-Semitic.” I have yet to learn who this supposedly "anti-Semitic" author was, though I'm guessing the reference was to an author named in a list of 21 suggested books on our particularly popular fact sheet called "The Catastrophe, How Palestine Became Israel." That author is Israel Shahak, an Israeli professor who was praised by Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, and numerous others. (If the group had asked us about this we could have clarified it for them.)
  • Another time an event was postponed indefinitely because one member of the group “didn’t feel comfortable” with the topic – the history of US-Israel relations. Working for justice is not always comfortable, and in fact it is often very uncomfortable. Learning facts about this history – particularly about the ways organizations claiming to represent all Jewish Americans helped create the US policy of unconditional support for Israel – can be upsetting. When we face them head on, however, we are able to see ways to start changing these policies. As my Jewish-American allies know, those organizations never really represented all American Jews and have actually pursued policies that endanger the very people they claim to represent.
  • Occasionally, self-identified “solidarity activists” object to telling information about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Some accused me (again, not to my face) of being a "militarist" and/or "anti-Semitic" for supporting the right of survivors and family members abandoned by the US government and attacked by Israel to a full, public investigation of Israel's ruthless assault, and for exposing the cover up on this incident by both the media, U.S. government, and the American Legion management. However, many people feel that informing the American public about the Liberty is one of the most effective ways to open newcomers’ eyes (particularly mainstream ones, who are, by definition, the majority of voters) to the truth about Israel and the U.S.
  • Sometimes a preposterous effort is made to connect me to David Duke, because ten years ago his website re-posted (without permission, as is frankly common online) an article of mine originally published by the very progressive website CounterPunch. What these accusers don’t tell people is that the Duke website also has reposted articles by Robert Fisk, Philip Weiss, Chris Hedges, JJ Goldberg, Juan Cole, Stephen Lendman, James Petras, the Times of Israel, JTA, The Forward, Ha’aretz, etc.
  • Some accuse me of racism, or right- or left-wing extremism, for accepting interview requests, as though I should only share my message with people who already agree with it. I give interviews whenever possible to whoever requests it, within my capabilities and availability. These accusers claim that me giving an interview indicates that I endorse the views of my interviewers. It certainly does not. In fact, I believe that the people who most need to hear my message are those who do not agree with me, whether because they support Israeli aggression, Islamophobia, or any other forms of supremacism or injustice. This bizarre line of reasoning holds that appearances or interviews constitute “associations” or “affiliations” with the interviewing groups or individuals. This would mean that Professor George Bisharat’s appearance on Fox News indicated his endorsement of Fox, that the Corries’ “exclusive interview” by the American Free Press demonstrated that they worked with AFP, and that Ray McGovern’s interview with the same publication meant that he, too, was associated with AFP. This is both absurd and harmful.

    To reiterate, because this is important: I have a policy of appearing, within time constraints, on any show that invites me (as, apparently, do many other committed individuals), because I believe the information I have to share should be heard by everyone. Similarly, I do not attempt to police who reposts my writings and am happy for my articles and our materials to be shared far and wide, in the belief that they speak for themselves. The posting of my work doesn’t indicate my endorsement, nor does it indicate that the poster speaks for me or IAK – only our statements do that. I have appeared on radio programs across the political spectrum from the far left to the far right, and some years ago even went on a right-wing Israeli talk show. I knew ahead of time that this show would be unpleasant, and, indeed the host frequently turned off my microphone while another individual attacked me on air with false claims that I was left unable to defend against. But I felt it was important to even try to reach Israeli listeners, including conservative ones.

    In the U.S., Israel partisans are working to inject fear and hatred of Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs, and Islam into every sector of U.S. society and are particularly targeting conservative portions of the U.S. with this poison. This makes it especial important that I and others work to give the real facts to every portion of our population – without exception. (There are a multitude of important facts that I try to remember to give all audiences, including the fact that Zionism does not represent all Jews and that there are many Israelis who oppose governmental policies. When I once forgot to include enough of this type of information, I went on the show again to clarify it.)
  • These behind-the-scenes accusers claim that I have “worked with racist groups.” In reality, I have given talks and workshops at events hosted by respected pro-justice organizations, including Sabeel, Al-Awda, Code Pink, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, American Muslims for Palestine, Tree of Life, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Birzeit Club, CAIR, Veterans for Peace, Fourteen Friends of Palestine, Rebuilding Alliance, Alternate Focus, Palestine American Bridge, the Jerusalem Fund, etc. (Ironically, some of the accusers who attempt to smear me with the “racism” slur, despite its falseness, have a history of working with Zionists, despite the fact that many people throughout the world find Zionism a racist, genocidal ideology.)

My speaking events have been in numerous respected and diverse venues: college campuses (throughout the word), libraries, community centers, World Affairs Councils, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, churches, mosques, peace and justice venues, Media Summits, retirement communities, high schools, bookstores, the National Press Club, etc. Speeches I’ve given have twice been broadcast by C-Span. None of my multitudes of talks and articles have ever been called racist, even by those who attempt to defame me through alleged guilt through association. Our published policy has always been: "We are happy to provide information and speakers on Israel-Palestine to individuals and groups of all religious, ethnic, racial, and political backgrounds. If Americans Knew supports justice, truth, equal rights and respect for all human beings; and we oppose racism, supremacism, and discrimination of any and all forms."

As I mentioned above, these strange insider attacks sometimes draw from attacks on me by the pro-Israel establishment.

As multitudes of others working on this issue have experienced, the standard method of attack by Israel apologists is to defame anyone speaking critically of Israel. The more public a person is, the more effort will go into defaming him or her. I receive death threats and offensive and obscene emails and phone calls. The Internet is also rife with venomous statements against me and If Americans Knew.

There are entire websites and blogs attacking me and If Americans Knew. I am sometimes called a Nazi, or a communist, or a right-winger, etc. – whichever conflicting claim is most negative to the target audience. Fourteen years’ worth of my writings, talks, comments, statements, interviews on obscure radio programs, videos by international media, etc. are scoured for the inevitable random error, poorly articulated response, stumbling statement, or careless mistake that anyone at some point will make, myself included.

My actions and philosophy are misrepresented, statements are invented or taken out of context, "transcripts" of some interviews are posted while related ones are left out, etc.

Judge me and our organization by our body of work, not by whatever else may have been posted on a site featuring my work, or said by a different interviewee on the same radio program, or shared by a person who’s disseminated our materials, nor by an imperfect response I may have given in the moment to my myriad interviewers, many of whom are difficult to hear via Internet phone connections. And please judge us as gently and fairly in any case of imperfection as you would like to be judged yourselves.

As we see the carnage in Palestine continue, children maimed and killed, the entire population of Gaza imprisoned, people continually rounded up by Israeli forces, individuals routinely detained, humiliated and oppressed, we feel an urgent need to disseminate the compelling facts about Palestine even more widely to the American public, whose tax dollars and government are enabling these intolerable actions.

Our small, hardworking staff of committed, principled individuals is doing everything possible to bring about the change that is so desperately needed, often at personal inconvenience and even personal pain. That is why it is so deeply troubling to continue to learn of false accusations used to impede our work and block our information – attacks that surely would spur many people to simply give up and stay silent.

If you hear negative things about me or If Americans Knew, we hope you'll contact us to discuss them. In some cases we may correct misinformation, clarify context, or explain our thinking. In other cases we may benefit from your constructive ideas and criticism and improve our work. In still other cases we may simply have to agree to disagree, but at least we can do this in a friendly, informed, and non-destructive way.

We have decided it is now time to speak about this publicly in order to stop these destructive whispering attacks. We hope others will help us.

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After we published the above statement, we learned that, apparently few days later, the national leaders of Jewish Voice for Peace sent a secret letter to 40 chapters around the country containing McCarthyist accusations against Alison Weir and ordering chapters not to sponsor events with Alison. Alison then published the following response on her Facebook page on May 26.

My Reply to JVP Leaders’ McCarthy-like Attacks Against Me

I have long been hearing that some JVP leaders have initiated whispering campaigns against me. This began many years ago (and long before the latest accusations, which are in a letter from JVP, below). In fact, I first heard of the director of JVP accusing me of anti-Semitism, behind my back, during the first year of my public statements about Palestine. Such actions seemed related to my political positions on Palestine, which were different from JVP’s:

I endorsed Palestinian refugees’ right of return, favored ending US aid to Israel, was aware of pro-Israel neocons’ role in pushing the US into the Iraq war, and did not deny the significance of the Israel lobby.

The whispered attacks against me were troubling, but I tried to ignore them and continue my work.

Then, with the publication of my book last year, “Against our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the US was used to create Israel” (iakn.us/AOBJ-book), the attacks seemed to escalate. It appeared that some JVP leaders were attempting to thwart my talks and prevent people from learning the facts that my book and my talks contain.

(It is very important to note this is not representative of all JVP members – many of whom are colleagues and supporters. Some have put on excellent speaking events for me.)

I finally decided to write an article about this situation – “Please help us overcome the accusations against If Americans Knew,” (iakn.us/1FNsX80) but did not name JVP, in the hope of preventing damaging division and distraction in the movement for justice in Palestine.

Before publishing this piece, I tried to clarify the situation with JVP, and emailed the national leaders asking about their statements about me. I hoped that by communicating with JVP directly the situation could be resolved. In reply I received a letter from a law firm on JVP’s behalf (a partner in the firm is the JVP board chair and was the signatory on the letter).

I was surprised at the McCarthyist, guilt-through-association attacks this letter contained, and I was amazed at the great effort someone had made to monitor my every move over the past 14 years of hundreds of speeches, articles, and interviews.

JVP sent their accusatory dossier on me to about 50 chapters around the country, and has been disseminating this and other accusations widely. I’ve just finished an extremely busy three-week speaking tour. In several locations I learned that JVP had tried to block my talks. Fortunately, they failed in almost all locations and my presentations were received extremely well; one audience even gave me a standing ovation.

By the way, although JVP is a membership organization, there is no indication that the general JVP membership was informed or involved in these actions.

Below is JVP leaders’ dossier on me, with my rebuttals below each section.

It is interesting to note that despite what seems to be a long and surprisingly intent focus on ferreting out supposedly negative information about me or potential mistakes I may have made, none of their accusations include anything about my own articles or speeches.

Instead, all their charges are based on alleged “guilt by association.” Even this McCarthyist tactic, however, is based on falsehoods, as I am not even associated with those they try to claim. Please see below:

–> JVP: “Jewish Voice for Peace has chosen not to work with you because our central tenet is opposition to racism in all its forms,”

This is not true. Among other things, JVP works with Zionists, an ideology that people throughout the world feel is profoundly racist. Many people find JVP’s action objectionable and will not work with JVP for that reason. At If Americans Knew, however, we believe in a broad tent, and have published JVP articles on our website, posted a link to the organization from the very beginning, and have occasionally worked with JVP members and several JVP chapters.

–> JVP: “and you have chosen repeatedly to associate yourself with people who advocate for racism.”

We have not done so.

–> JVP: “You have been a repeat guest of white supremacist Clay Douglas on his hate radio show, the Free American. Clay Douglas is concerned primarily with the survival of the White race and sees malign Jewish influence everywhere. His racist, anti-Jewish, and anti-gay rhetoric can be found across the front pages of his multiple websites. In the course of your appearance with Clay Douglas on August 25, 2010, for example, you were silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews. Your repeated appearance on this show (April 23 and August 25, 2010; February 9 and May 18, 2011) show that you knew his extremist views and chose to continue the association.”

Over the past 14 years I have given probably hundreds of interviews to diverse people of all ages and backgrounds from across the political spectrum, as do most writers and analysts. I try to focus on the information I feel audiences need to hear, speak as intentionally as possible, and stay on target – surprisingly difficult during interviews, as others have no doubt also experienced.

I do not vet who may or may not listen to my information and have even gone on Israeli right-wing radio. We wish our important facts to reach every possible person, and I endeavor to be polite to all my hosts, even when they are hard-core Zionists.

I always use this airtime to the best of my ability to give important facts about Palestine to listeners of all backgrounds and beliefs in an effort to counter the media misinformation about the region and about Muslims.

Some sectors of US society are specifically being targeted by misinformation that is causing an alarming growth of Islamophobia in this country, some of it taking violent turns.

I feel it is critical that our facts, which counter this Islamophobia campaign, reach every portion of our diverse population, particularly those that are most vulnerable to this anti-Muslim propaganda.

As best I recall about this particular radio show from five years ago, Douglas was from Oklahoma or somewhere similar, seemed to have had a hard life and was, I suspected, a bit down and out.

In his somewhat wandering, occasionally conspiracy-tinged questions, Douglas touched on a lot of out-there thoughts, but I recall that he differentiated between Jews and Zionists, spoke strongly against violence, decried Israeli oppression, and seemed to be striving to be a fair person. When one time he failed to distinguish between Zionists and Jewish people in general, I corrected him.

(I’m told that some of those who seem to wish to “get me” are saying that he used an offensive term at one point, but I don’t recall anything of the sort. They may be referring to the term “Morlock” that he once used that I wasn’t familiar with, apparently from an HG Wells book, which Douglas used to refer to the global elite who exploit everyone, he said, including people who are Jewish.)

While someone has posted a transcript of one show (which may or may not be accurate), I actually went on his program several times, when I could squeeze it in (he asked me many times but I usually didn’t have time to do it). My purpose was to use this opportunity to convey to his audience as much important information as possible in the limited airtime available to me – the plight of Palestinians, my trips to the region, the media distortion on Palestine, how much money we give Israel, our responsibility to bring justice and peace, the real facts about Islam, the importance of opposing all racism, the fact that there are many Jewish-Americans who oppose Israeli oppression, etc.

This is what I try to convey to audiences whenever and wherever I can, as I believe that ending the long-standing injustice and horror in Palestine is the best way to protect human rights, security and peace for all parties and, indeed, the world. I believe the issue is too urgent to become distracted.

My goal is to try to reach everyone with the fundamental principle that all racism is wrong and to provide facts that will counter the falsehoods being given to them about Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Iranians, and others.

I don’t pretend that I am perfect and that all my responses will be flawless; all I can do is try my hardest. I apologize if there were cases where I should have done better.

It should go without saying (but apparently doesn’t) that appearing on anyone’s show or consenting to be interviewed by someone never denotes association with or endorsement of that person’s views, as surely everyone knows. Authors, politicians, and others go on a great many shows of diverse people, from the left to the right, and such appearances do not indicate agreement or disagreement with the host.

Jon Stewart invited John McCain, an advocate of war against many people in the Middle East, onto Stewart’s very powerful TV program and conducted a friendly, softball interview with him. Stewart gave McCain considerable airtime and even appeared to agree with McCain’s statement that the US should follow Israel’s example regarding torture, because “Israel doesn’t torture.”

This does not mean that Stewart is “associated” with John McCain. Yet, according to JVP’s illogical reasoning regarding my “guilt,” JVP should also be attacking Stewart. Why does JVP find Jon’s Stewart’s showcasing of McCain, a powerful individual with a track record of pushing wars and violence, acceptable, yet see my appearance on a tiny Internet radio show, with a host who apparently opposes both, as reason for attack.

–> JVP: “Your troubling associations and choices further include giving interviews to a range of far-right outlets including The American Free Press, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group”

See my answer above discussing the critical importance of giving facts on Palestine to all sectors of U.S. society.

Once again JVP is searching through my multitude of interviews for something negative to use against me and again must resort to alleged guilt through alleged (but false) association. JVP fails to mention that many diverse people have been interviewed by the American Free Press, including Cindy and Craig Corrie, Rachel Corrie’s parents.

Incidentally, it is important for people to be aware that the SPLC, like the ADL, is an unreliable source, and has changed considerably from its early valuable work: please see “King of the Hate Business,” (iakn.us/1LDYjOG) “An Open Letter to the Southern Poverty Law Clinic: Do You Equate Anti-Zionism with Anti-Semitism?” (iakn.us/1BnFnhO) and “Will the SPLC Rise to the Challenge? New Frontiers in Hate Crimes.” (iakn.us/1LDYsBO)

–> JVP: “and the anti-gay, anti-Jewish pastor Mark Dankof. One of your articles appeared in an anthology that was promoted by the infamous Holocaust-denial organization, the Institute for Historical Review. We see no evidence that you have disavowed any of these outlets or institutions.”

JVP’s attempt to tar me by claiming that a group once promoted an anthology that contains a piece by me is a truly bizarre way to attack me! My articles have been included in at least four, perhaps more, anthologies, and every anthology has included highly respected authors, including Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, and many others.

It is revealing that JVP’s accusation against me fails to mention that Rev. Dankof has also interviewed peace activists Ray McGovern and Jennifer Lowenstein, Israeli professor and author Ilan Pappe, and journalist and commentator Dilip Hiro, among many others.

For some reason JVP ignores our outreach policy against discrimination (iakn.us/1JV1KST):

“We are happy to provide information and speakers on Israel-Palestine to individuals and groups of all religious, ethnic, racial, and political backgrounds. If Americans Knew supports justice, truth, equal rights and respect for all human beings; and we oppose racism, supremacism, and discrimination of any and all forms.”

–> JVP: “Our movement must be built on a foundation of love, justice and equality for all people.”

That sounds excellent. I hope JVP will live up to these principles and will stop attacking people like me.

Our own statement of principles, posted on the If Americans Knew website (iakn.us/1KloRUo), affirms:

“We believe all people are endowed with inalienable human rights regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. We believe in justice, fairness, and compassion and in treating all human beings with respect, empathy, and in the manner in which we would wish to be treated.”

–> JVP: “It should not and cannot win by fueling or endorsing any form of hate, whether against People of Color, gays, Jews, Muslims or anyone else.”

I certainly agree. It also should not include hatred of Christians, conservatives, or people whose views or facts we, or one, may dislike. I truly hope JVP believes in this important principle, and that it is not like the ADL, whose definition of “hate” is often based on political stances it dislikes on Israel. I have a life history (iakn.us/1JV1KST) of opposing all bigotry.

–> JVP: “At Jewish Voice for Peace, we are particularly sensitive to the long history of anti-Jewish oppression”

We are acutely sensitive to historic suffering and oppression, which is why we are working on the horrific and long-lasting occupation and oppression in Palestine, which is going on right now and which we have the opportunity and obligation to stop. We deeply believe in ‘never again,” and apply it to all people without exception. I have always opposed all forms of bigotry, and one of my very first essays was “Choosing to Act: Anti-Semitism Is Wrong.” (iakn.us/1HJsovt)

–> JVP: “as well as the ways that Palestinian liberation work is frequently tarred with false charges of anti-Semitism.”

Exactly like JVP’s false charges against me.

–> JVP: “Just as we call out the hateful associations of those who seek to perpetuate injustice against Palestinians, as a movement we must also hold the line against those who promote the false notion that Palestinian liberation can be won at the expense of others.”

Rather than spending our time “calling out” fellow activists in McCarthy-like witch hunts based on guilt through alleged association, we should work to provide the compelling facts that will end the tragedy.

I’ve just completed a three-week speaking tour, and was deeply pleased to see the following message from an organizer at one of my talks who received this from an audience member:

“I thought the presentation last night was awesome. She brought sunshine, hope, love, and so much courage to all of us. She is very brave to write and speak such truth in these times. So many have come before her and failed. It was wonderful to know there is still such a powerful voice for the actual history in the Middle East. She was an inspiration.”

–> JVP: “JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE”

I hope that at some point JVP will change its name to Jewish Voice for Peace and Justice, since peace cannot come without justice. Israel frequently claims that it desires “peace” – i.e. Palestinian submission. It is our responsibility to advocate for justice, freedom, equality, and human rights for all.

I hope JVP will desist from its attacks on those it dislikes, and will instead focus on the often excellent work it is doing and that its members want.

I feel strongly that we all contribute important things to the movement for justice and peace in Palestine. It is time to stop fighting among ourselves, for JVP and others to stop their witch hunts against deeply committed writers and activists, for JVP to stop its attempted censorship and domination of the Palestine movement, and for all of us to get on with our desperately important work.

That’s what I intend to do.

—Alison Weir

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After we published the two statements above, we learned of additional false statements that had been made against us. Alison wrote a rebuttal to these, which she again posted to her Facebook page on June 5.

Setting the Record Straight on some additional accusations that people have told me about.

I’m so pleased to report that my two articles (iakn.us/1Q9TrHM and iakn.us/1IlmDak ) exposing the McCarthyist whispering campaigns against me have brought an outpouring of supportive emails and Facebook comments. Thank you to all of you who have written.

In addition to messages of support, some people have alerted me to additional accusations that have been made against me through the years in efforts to prevent my talks.

I’d like to set the record straight on these, also, since I suspect that many people have heard them. Similar accusations are frequently made about other activists, and I hope we will all listen to such rumors skeptically and check them with their subjects, as well as, when possible, the original sources.

(1) One activist leader told another that I had supposedly said, “There are too many Jews in JVP.” I have never said anything even remotely close to that foolish and offensive statement.

I don’t know whether the person relaying this falsehood fabricated it, or whether this person heard it from someone else. I would love to learn the original source.

(2) Another activist claimed that I had said that Phyllis Bennis and Josh Ruebner (the founders of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Bennis is president) “are Zionist Jews.” Again, I have never said this, and would not do so.

Although both grew up in Zionist families (Ruebner is an Israeli citizen), I am convinced that both abandoned Zionism a number of years ago. They have produced a great deal of important work and authored valuable books. Ruebner co-founded Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel, which merged with Jewish Voice for Peace.

Again I would love to know who started this false rumor, which I fear was calculated to obstruct the information I share with Americans.

Both of these claims about me are completely false and yet have been disseminated by others.

(3) A prominent activist (who served in the IDF before becoming aware and active on peace efforts, though this is not widely known) apparently tells people that I am anti-Semitic, without supplying any reason; I suspect his accusation stems from his disagreement with my analysis that the Israel lobby drives US policies on Israel-Palestine.

When in one long conversation he could not refute the many well-supported facts I supplied about the lobby’s influence on US Mideast policy, he resorted to calling me a “conspiracy theorist.” Behind my back, he now calls me “anti-Semitic.”

As this example demonstrates, accusations against me often come from individuals and groups who disagree with the information I report – particularly on the Israel lobby and supporting Palestinians’ right of return. Rather than openly debating these topics, they attempt to bury the facts by burying the messenger.

I’m not the first or only person this has happened to. However, I believe this ADL-like tactic is losing its power as more and more people are becoming aware of the facts.

(4) I am told that still another prominent activist, who grew up in a powerful, pro-Israel household but who now opposes Israel, tells people he won’t attend conferences where I am one of the speakers. This seems to stem from a speech I gave in which I discussed some of the information now contained in my book, “Against Our Better Judgment.” (iakn.us/AOBJ-site)

This person attacked that information as “bizarre,” even though it is quite thoroughly cited. Since hearing that speech, this person seems now to try to influence groups against having me speak. Some appear to have abided by his decree.

I am grateful to people who tell me about these whispered accusations so that I can then address them.

(5) There are also numerous additional accusations of all sorts. One person who says he is an activist emails people that I am “pro-Zionist,” part of a “well organized, ‘liberal’ Zionist network,” and that I have “shown total subservience to this network.” Another claims that my organization is funded by the Saudi government. None of this, of course, is true.

Fortunately, many people have not caved in to the type of pressure described above and have been inviting me to speak around the country – you can see a list of my talks in the past year at iakn.us/AOBJ-events.

A video of my speech is at iakn.us/1KMuVJ9. Apparently these few activists don’t want Americans to hear the facts discussed in it.

I hope others will continue to help us overcome this whispering campaign:

***Please contact outreach@ifamericansknew.org if you’d like to sponsor a talk.

***Please distribute our materials as widely as possible: iakn.us/IAKmaterials

***Please buy my book, give it to others, and tell people about it:
iakn.us/AOBJ-book

***And if you hear accusations against me or If Americans Knew, please check the facts with us.

Thanks again to all of you who have taken the time to phone, email, and post comments with such kind messages to me. These are so greatly appreciated.

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On June 16, JVP published on its website “Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on Our Relationship with Alison Weir,” which contained still another false claim about us. We published the following rebuttal on Facebook.

If Americans Knew Response to Latest Attack by JVP Leaders

I’m saddened to see that JVP leaders have continued their attack (iakn.us/1fffoEL) on If Americans Knew and me personally. I would like to leave this issue alone and focus exclusively on the work we’re all engaging in to push for justice and peace, particularly since I’ve rebutted most of their accusations previously (iakn.us/1MXzrCU).

However, JVP’s latest attack includes a new accusation that I feel compelled to respond to.

This new claim is that: “according to Weir and If Americans Knew, only non-Arab, non-Muslim, non-Palestinian, and non-Jewish voices can be trusted to speak the truth, based solely on their ethnic or religious identity.” This is because our website’s “about us” page describes that I founded If Americans Knew “directed by Americans without personal or family ties to the region who would research and actively disseminate accurate information to the American public.”

The JVP accusers omit the fact that this statement comes right after this one (iakn.us/1CbBqx3): “We believe all people are endowed with inalienable human rights regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. We believe in justice, fairness, and compassion and in treating all human beings with respect, empathy, and in the manner in which we would wish to be treated.”

In reality, as anyone who looks at our website www.IfAmericansKnew.orgcan see, we post articles from people of all ethnicities and religions and feature a wide variety of individuals and organizations on our website – including Jewish Voice for Peace, which has long been in our list (iakn.us/1TqU3aY) of groups working for peace and whose articles we’ve often posted – see for example, this (http://iakn.us/1MZPUpY) and this (iakn.us/1Gc14lT).

Our much-used statistical charts at www.IfAmericansKnew.org draw on regional Palestinian and Israeli sources. My book, Against Our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel (www.AgainstOurBetterJudgment.org), cites numerous sources from Palestine-Israel and numerous Arab, Muslim, and Jewish authors, among many others.

The main source we use for our news from the region is the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) (iakn.us/1ILoW3S), an excellent Palestinian news organization based in Beit Sahour. We have frequently worked with a wide variety of Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian organizations, and I have been honored to be a keynote speaker at many excellent events sponsored by such groups. We’re proud to have been given awards from such organizations on several occasions. I was pleased to be asked to assist on and narrate Abdallah and Sufyan Omeish’s superb film Occupation 101 (www.Occupation101.com), in which a wide variety of voices were heard.

How absurd to say that my organization and I don’t believe these sources can be trusted to convey accurate information, when we so frequently rely on and disseminate them, alongside other works by authors of other backgrounds. The claim that we assert that only non-Arab and non-Jewish voices “can be trusted” is as obviously untrue as it is offensive.

Groups working on this issue from specific ethnic and religious perspectives – such as Jewish Voice for Peace and others – serve a valuable purpose in the quest for justice and peace.

In the same vein, I believe that activists coming from an unconnected perspective also serve a valuable purpose. Each of these groups can reach particular segments of the population. All should be judged solely on our positions, accuracy and efforts, certainly not on our ethnicity or religious affiliations.

**I would not assert that JVP discounts Muslim or other voices when its website states that “Jews have a special role to play” and “because we are Jews, we have a particular legitimacy.” It is equally wrong to claim our statement that we began as an organization directed by individuals “without personal or family ties to the region” means we discount other voices.**

We’ve already addressed JVP’s other accusations in our previous responses to their secretive attacks against us and won’t take the time to repeat them here. While JVP suggests that we initiated this unpleasant dispute, the chronology is the reverse, and I tried to handle this privately before the escalating attacks and JVP’s letter to people all over the country drove me to defend myself and my organization (iakn.us/1MXzrCU).

While the public accusation leveled against us by JVP does not represent a real point of dissent – we are happy to agree that many Arab and Jewish voices are incredibly powerful on this issue, as are all kinds of other voices – there are some points on which If Americans Knew does diverge significantly with JVP leadership. Nevertheless, we are very willing to agree to disagree on these points and to continue our work in parallel.

SOME POINTS OF DISAGREEMENT between JVP leaders and If Americans Knew

(We would like to emphasize again, as we did in our previous statements, that JVP leaders do NOT represent all the JVP members. On the contrary, we suspect that the large majority of JVP members and supporters share If Americans Knew principles.)

1) JVP leaders deny the power of the Israel lobby; If Americans Knew details the facts about this significant lobby (iakn.us/1MID3rF).

2) JVP leaders only belatedly and somewhat half-heartedly support Palestinians’ right of return. If Americans Knew from the very beginning has upheld this internationally recognized human right, a right that belongs to all human beings regardless of race, religion, nationality, or ethnicity.

3) JVP leaders apparently wish to prevent activists from informing certain people. If Americans Knew tries to reach everyone.

JVP attacks me for providing facts on Palestine to conservative Americans, but, happily, does not complain of my appearance on a right-wing Israeli show. JVP has long admitted that it includes Zionists among its members, and says, “JVP embraces progressive Jews of… a wide range of views on the Israel-Palestine conflict. We pitch the widest possible tent.” (iakn.us/1Ij3IaS) We are in agreement with pitching a wide tent in an effort to inform and grow our movement and believe that everyone should potentially be welcome, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or political background – and that everyone, bar none, should be approached with accurate information about the “conflict” and the US connection.

We believe it is essential that we find ways to get the facts about Palestine and the region to everyone, including those who may be most vulnerable to the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim propaganda so often being disseminated on behalf of Israel. This can be incredibly difficult, given documented media bias and even frequent media blackout of information on this topic, but there are ways – from billboards to ads to tabling to internet radio. We must pursue them all relentlessly if we are all as horrified and outraged at the ongoing tragedy as I am.

Why do central JVP leaders continue these vitriolic, unfounded accusations, in which they seem to be reaching for straws in an effort to denounce me and my work? I don’t know and won’t speculate on individuals’ personal motives. The result of this campaign, however, seems to have more to do with attempting to silence If Americans Knew and prevent people from reading my book (iakn.us/AOBJ-book) on the history of Zionism in the U.S. than with actual concern about Palestinian human rights and ending Israeli oppression. Some activists seem concerned, intentionally or unconsciously, with controlling the narrative on Palestine-Israel within the justice movement.

If Americans Knew believes that a wide variety of approaches are welcome and necessary in our diverse movement for justice and that none among us is perfect. We do not attempt to prevent speeches by people on this issue with whom we may have disagreements, including those who deny the lobby. We believe that one of the most important and wonderful strengths of this movement is the joining together of people of all backgrounds committed to working for justice and peace, like the anti-apartheid or US civil rights movements, and we believe that most JVP members agree.

We will continue to support JVP members and chapters who are working for justice and peace and to applaud JVP actions that promote those causes. I hope to leave this dispute behind and move on without addressing it further, unless further spurious accusations are again leveled against me and If Americans Knew.

AS I WROTE in my first article (iakn.us/1Q9TrHM) about this campaign against me:

–As we see the carnage in Palestine continue, children maimed and killed, the entire population of Gaza imprisoned, people continually rounded up by Israeli forces, individuals routinely detained, humiliated and oppressed, we feel an urgent need to disseminate the compelling facts about Palestine even more widely to the American public, whose tax dollars and government are enabling these intolerable actions.–

–Our small, hardworking staff of committed, principled individuals is doing everything possible to bring about the change that is so desperately needed, often at personal inconvenience and even personal pain. That is why it is so deeply troubling to continue to learn of false accusations used to impede our work and block our information – attacks that surely would spur many people to simply give up and stay silent.–

I will not give up and I will not be silenced, and I hope others will not be either. Please do not join this kind of divisive infighting that impedes the quest for justice as surely as the best AIPAC lobbyist, nor be cowed by it. Let’s work together, or at least peacefully alongside one another, for justice and for peace and for the future.

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Following are some of the numerous supportive messages we've received. Some were addressed directly to us, and some were sent to JVP and copied to us. (Personal information has been removed and some messages have been shortened.)

Messages of support to Alison and If Americans Knew

Article: The Jewish Voice for Peace Attack on Alison Weir: JVP Loses Its Balance by Amith Gupta, NYU Law Student

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Dear Ms. Weir:

Congratulations on your courageous stance on issues relating to free speech especially as it relates to analysis of Israeli policies.

Every time I see efforts to suppress this I want to send you a message of support.

When you are taking flak it probably means you are on target, so you should regard the strength of the opposition you meet as a barometer of the importance and relevance of your message.

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Ms. Vilkomerson,

Your organization’s effort to denigrate Alison Weir with If Americans Knew is reprehensible. Through innuendo and issues taken totally out of context, you create a narrative that is totally false and misleading. It seems you’re taking your position straight out of the AIPAC play book. As hard as Ms. Weir works to promote justice for the Palestinian people, your effort to undercut her effort is trite and deceitful. You can count me as a “former” supporter of JVP.

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Sirs:

Thank you for the information in the latest email from IAK. It confirmed my suspicions regarding JVP and I will asking them to remove me from their mailing list.

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Dear Alison,

I was alarmed to hear of this ongoing attack on you by JVP which I have supported for years. Your masterful response was classic and needed to clarify what many of us never knew.

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Dear Rebecca,

I have been a long-time associate of JVP, going to local meetings, signing the petitions, giving money, and joining with JVP members in local actions. About a year ago I officially joined; however, I decided not to join the JVP Google Groups, as I belong to two other Google Groups that deal with Israel-Palestine and didn’t think I could cope with more e-mails. So I found out about your letter to Alison Weir in a roundabout way.

I am puzzled. The letter sounds as if it were drafted by the ADL, exhibiting one of the ADL’s chief tactics of defamation: character assassination by association. (Yes, despite the fact that the ADL claims to be against defamation, it frequently uses guilt by association to defame people whose views do not coincide with theirs.)

Did you read the source material on which the allegations were made? I found the transcript of Clay Douglas’s interview with Alison on August 25, 2010. Here is the only mention of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

CD: You know, I got threats. And mine were recorded too. Not exactly threats on my life but… “You need to take that link off of your site to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion… And Alison Weir, you know, she’s a communist… she’s a communist, she’s funded by the Arabs, and you need to take that film off of your site.” And this was…

AW: Let me just comment on those threats. First of all, I’m not a communist. It’s interesting that they go to conservatives, uh, Americans, and claim that I’m a communist. They go to liberal Americans, and claim that I’m a Right-wing associate of the Klan. So they make opposite claims about me, both of which are false, to whatever they think will sound the most negative to that audience.

Your comment was:

In the course of your appearance with Clay Douglas on August 25, 2010, for example, you were silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews.

Given the context in which The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was mentioned (not “invoked”), I don’t see why she needed to respond to that part of his statement. She did respond to the comments on her that he reported. While reading the rest of the interview, I was struck by how she made a distinction between “the Jews” and “Zionists.” She stressed the need to verify statements by checking them out and doing further research.

You went on to say:

One of your articles appeared in an anthology that was promoted by the infamous Holocaust-denial organization, the Institute for Historical Review. We see no evidence that you have disavowed any of these outlets or institutions.

By searching for “Alison Weir” in the book section of the Institute of Historical Review’s website, I found her name associated with one book: Persecution, Privilege and Power. Her contribution to this anthology was an article on bias in the New York Times, together with the statistics to prove it.

Alsion may not disavow the racist organizations who give her a platform, but I do not detect that she herself says anything that is racist. Surely the litmus test should be whether what she is saying is true.

No one can do a better job than Alison of defending her right to present her views in multiple fora–right and left. http://www.unz.com/article/my-reply-to-the-attacks-of-jewish-voice-for-peace/

Both JVP and Alison are working for human rights. Both JVP and Alison have encountered resistance to efforts to present the facts. I remain puzzled as to why Jewish Voice for Peace has now become part of that resistance.

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Dear Alison,

Please keep up your great work and I hope some day we may hear you speak here again.

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Thank you so much Alison for all your good work!

I have been following you for years and have ordered your book! Please do not ever give up as we need you!!!!

P.S. Many of us have lost all respect for JVP!

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I have purchased several of Alison’s books and have placed them where I hope inquiring minds will choose them. As for JVP, only money really makes a statement, and I have notified JVP they are to remove my name from their list of supporters. Our thoughts are with all of you.

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Greetings JVP:

I receive your missives regularly either via the campaign against apartheid or a middle east email list I am on.

You currently have a Muzzlewatch Campaign that you describe as “tracking efforts to stifle debate on Israeli-Palestinian policy.”

If you regard someone with Ms. Weir’s high ethical standards of what is right and just to fight for and believe in, then I feel JVP has lost its own moral compass.

That is exactly what you are doing with Alison Weir and her group If Americans Knew. Ms. Weir is a vital, articulate, conscientious and intelligent ally to our movement. She is not an enemy or non-friend of our cause.

Please reconsider your hypocritical decision to Muzzle her voice in the debate on Isareli-Palestinian policy.

Thank you for your attention.

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Dear Officers and Members of Jewish Voice for Peace:

I am stunned to have recently learned that JVP has for some bizarre reason decided to employ fundamentally dishonest slander and libel to engage in a dishonorable and disgraceful whispering campaign against one of the hardest working and most highly respected activists struggling to achieve justice and peace in Palestine, Ms. Alison Weir.

If JVP expects to retain any semblance of its own public reputation as a group working toward the goal of peace and justice in Palestine, JVP would do well to reconsider the dishonorable and disgraceful actions it has undertaken.

Surely you have all not taken such complete leave of your own good common senses that all of you, together, as a heretofore well respected organization, cannot understand that the ‘guilt by association’ accusations you are leveling against Ms. Weir smack of primitive McCarthyism. These methods, this primitive type of witch hunt irrationality, were so thoroughly discredited, so long ago, that it staggers the mind that people who profess to be working for justice and peace would employ them.

This type of witch-hunt McCarthyism simply will not stand up to the common sense scrutiny of reasonable people. People engaged in this effort to achieve peace and justice in Palestine know Ms. Weir and her work far too well to be taken in by your entirely counterproductive and irrational smear campaign. You are only damaging JVP, as well as the larger cause of peace and justice, with your actions.

You all will serve JVP best by realizing that this JVP initiated smear campaign is only reflecting on JVP itself. Engaging in this McCarthyite smear campaign, against one of our most highly respected activists, clearly illuminates the complete lack of any integrity, the disgraceful lack of any sense of basic decency and honor, and worst of all, the obvious lack of any genuine commitment to the shared cause of peace and justice, on the part of JVP.

I feel confident that I am only one among a very large number of people whose opinion of JVP is being dramatically lowered upon learning of your actions. For the sake of your own organization’s good name, and remembering the larger cause of peace and justice, I hope that you will reconsider whatever bizarrely aberrant thinking led you to such a disgracefully counterproductive course of action.

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I think Alison has defended herself very well and I agree that she has been unfairly accused of anti-semitism, as have I and every other informed, serious and uncompromising anti-Zionist. Some of us just do not accept Zionism, in any form, just as we would reject Apartheid or Manifest Destiny, fanatical Islam or Chinese supremacy.

“Israel” will one day have to change, profoundly. The alternatives are horrific and unthinkable for all inhabiting the Holy Land and beyond. This is why I do what I can and will continue to, including working with our most dispassionate, totally fact-based, incredibly insightful and quite courageous analyst/activist: Alison Weir.

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The secrets of Jewish Voice for Peace are revealed. But, not surprising. Too many suspicious and self-serving actions to have ever trusted it.

Sign my name in agreement and appreciation to If America Knew.

More and more, the collusion and orchestration of Zionist promoters are being exposed. More and more, the horrible history of crimes by Israel and its promoters are being exposed.

More and more, courage to call to task and to object and to take action is forming.

You deserve credit for this.

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Alison —

I am personally outraged by JVP National’s letter to you and promise blowback from our JVP chapter.

Please keep me posted on how this libel has impacted your mission and what might be done to undo this

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If this is how JVP operates at the top (e.g. sending undermining emails implying an encouragement of non-transparency), I’m not interested in their “Incubator Program” or much else more beyond this point.

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I have read your brilliant piece about overcoming accusations and believe it will not only negate the malicious false accusations against the worthy and admirable IAK organisation but also serves as an example of the campaigns waged against all who speak out against Israeli oppression. In the UK and elsewhere people’s livelihoods are destroyed by branding them, unfairly, anti-Semite, this is particularly true of performers/artists/writers but any individual can find his employment threatened.

I shall buy your book, naturally.

Thank you and keep up the good work

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Keep up the good work! We appreciate all the work you do to bring injustice to the forefront…

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I read with utter dismay your letter about the recent attacks on you and If Americans Knew, both so highly respected…

After reading your letter on your web site, I wanted to personally write to you and offer you my support and deep admiration for you.

I can’t tell you enough how valuable your data is, and I plan to share it widely if that is appropriate, but I will assume it is meant to be shared since you posted it on your web site. Your findings will allow me to shed needed light on the disparity to wake more people out of their slumber to the reality of this ongoing genocide and Israel’s unrelenting dehumanization, demoralization, harassment, terrorism, and dismantling and eroding of the Palestinian people, culture, and integrity.

With regard to the comments of anti-semitism thrown at you, I am deliberately refusing to use the word “accusations” because they are so undeniably untrue, they do not even warrant consideration and are utterly hypocritical. We each know, Israel’s own outrageous behavior is an extreme form of racism or whatever we choose to call it. I, along with others, am appalled that after 67 years, there is no term referring to “anti-Palestinian,” at least that we are aware of.

I personally want to offer you my support and full awareness that these ridiculous superficial statements about anti-semitism in portraying you, your organization or colleagues, or the much warranted, overdue, and growing criticism of Israel are a smoke screen, another diversion tactic. I do not know what experiences you have endured as a result of these, or any costs to your reputation or credibility but I can assure you the vast majority of the world that is NOT in denial sees clearly what these comments are intended to do. But they will not work and we are 100% behind you, as are a large global community who are unwilling to sit by and permit this horrendous situation to go on any longer.

Please stand tall. Yours was the first name given to me by a trusted friend as an very well-respected and credible resource for information on Palestine and by many others well-versed on this topic. You have had a huge impact on this movement, and I’m sure you know, we in this growing community would NOT be where we are today, and Israel would not be fearful of losing support, if it were not for you and your amazing contribution. I applaud you for seeking out this information, for your extraordinary empathy, and for your scientific approach to gathering data that is indisputable to the public to uncover this power imbalance and the massive cover Israel has constructed for itself to keep us all in the dark. Please DO NOT give up. You are amazing, and I for one am so deeply honored and humbled to have a woman of your stature, accomplishments, and humanitarianism to look up to. You inspired me from the first day I heard your name by what you had achieved.

In short, you will never lose the support of the people you have served so well, and these pathetic attempts of theirs will not survive.

Peace be with you, Alison, and thank you again so very much.

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Hi Alison

How tiresome. They don’t let up. You’re supposed to cower and quake in fear at accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ – levied deliberately as though the term itself contained some magical powers unrivaled by any other word in the dictionary! People utter it like some sort of sacred incantation … nonsense.

And it’s supposed to cower others into keeping their distance lest they be ‘contaminated’ somehow.

(Not so) paradoxically, your detractors have basically succeeded in underscoring and proving the very points you’ve been making. .. I’d challenge any of them – Jewish or otherwise – to do what you did: Take it upon yourself to spend years of your life educating yourself and learning the facts about an issue you weren’t really familiar with (except, of course, from our ‘free and fair’ media coverage).

Keep at it.

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To Whom It May Concern:

I’m just an ordinary citizen, not a member of the media, academia, etc., but I want to offer words of support to Alison Weir and If Americans Knew in dealing with the increased accusations of anti-Semitism detailed in Ms Weir’s article of March 20.

As Ms. Weir writes, dealing with such accusations is part of being pro-Palestinian, but among pro-Palestinian organizations and sites, I would think yours would be one of the hardest to accuse with any credibility, since its output deals so much with hard facts and statistics. It’s a shame that any time or attention needs to be spent dealing with such accusations, but I believe they should be addressed head-on and refuted; I think it helps the pro-Palestinian cause to expose the ridiculousness of such claims (and naming accusers publicly helps other activists to be wary of them). As I’ve been saying for years, equating opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism makes anti-Semitism the only morally acceptable stance; I know there are Jewish people of conscience out there who oppose such misuse of anti-Semitism, but I’ve found that those people exist in fewer numbers than I’ve hoped.

It’s especially disappointing to see accusations come from groups that are allegedly pro-Palestinan themselves, but I hope Ms. Weir doesn’t let the fear of adding to “disruption and dissention” dissuade her from continuing to address those accusations; people who make such claims due to the venues in which she tries to spread her message aren’t of much use to the pro-Palestinian cause, so exposing them and weeding them out would be beneficial.

I hope Alison Weir will continue to speak out and distance herself and If Americans Knew
from any allegedly pro-Palestinian organizations that traffic in racism or
false allegations thereof.

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Having read your article about slurs made against If American’s Knew I would just like to say that I deeply appreciate your advocacy on behalf of the Palestinian people and I have frequently shared links to talks that you have given, and the excellent documentary which you narrated and contributed to – Occupation 101.

I imagine that you do stray onto territory that is uncomfortable for some people, but I’ve never thought that you are anything less that completely principled and well-intentioned in the way in which you do so.

I agree with everything that you’ve said in your recent article – including your appeal to be judged fairly and not on the basis of selectively cited statements made with the express purpose of discrediting you.

Please continue your excellent work.

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Dear Alison Weir and associates,

First, absolute agreement and appreciation. That includes support.

I understand the assault and choices faced. My initial thought is to ignore, which allows the most time to continue what you do. To become embroiled in defending accusations distracts and takes away from presenting the most valuable of information for people to have, to consider and to know, which echoes the by-line, “If America Knew”.

The assaulters are part of a war campaign to advance the Zionist state and its agenda. They range from state sponsored to the self-appointed, from the messianic to the most rational. Et cetera.

Please continue. I will contribute in this form as well as financially.

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Dear Alison,

I am finally getting a chance to read your excellent book, Against Our Better Judgment. I read many, many books on Israel and Palestine and the influence of the Zionist lobby in the US. Your book stands out. It packs one punch after another and is VERY illuminating regarding the machinations and manipulations at the highest political levels during and after the creation of Israel. This is a book I will promote to others as central reading among all the other choices out there. Excellent work! Excellent. It’s no wonder JVP wanted to quietly withdraw support. They are Zionists and I believe they know this information undermines Israel’s moral legitimacy.

Hang in there Alison, the truth shall prevail. Thank you for all you do!

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Thank you for this article. It answers some “nagging” questions I’ve had for a while now quite well. Loved your book.

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God bless you Alison for all the good work that you do for the cause of truth, justice and peace.

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Thank you for your comments, Alison.

You are probably very familiar with the organization, Jewish Voice for Peace. I’m a member.

I’ll pass this article on to the executive group and hope they take the time to read your article in full. I’m sure that most of them would not consider you anti-Semitic if they listened to your talk.

I hope that, over time, your enemies will fall by the wayside and more people get the message. But with the control of most of the media in the hands of a few, it might take some time.

Good luck in your continued endeavours.

PS: I purchased 3 of your books and have passed them on to others.

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HI Alison,
Of course they will try to silence you any way they can….look at what they have done to US foreign policy, to Palestinians, to the middle east…your courage is tremendous, the world badly needs people like you…and you are making a difference..criticism of Israel is now accepted..and they do not like that. The cat is out of the bag…anti semites used to be people that did not like jews, now “anti semites” are people who stand up against Israeli atrocities.

I know it is tough…have you tried working with some people like “Jewish Voices for Peace”, the Answer Coalition etc…to pool resources?

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Dear Alison Weir,

I read with sadness of the hate and abuse you suffer because you stand for justice in Palestine. This is true of many who denounce the horrible crimes committed against the Palestinians – N. Finkelstein, R. Falk, I. Pappe, G. Levy, the list could easily be lengthened.

The cruel dispossession of the Palestinians is only possible because we (in my case Canada) enable it to happen and support it financially, politically, militarily, diplomatically.

Your work is one of the factors which I hope will finally bring an end to this criminality, and I commend and admire your devotion to truth and hope.

Peace, hopefully in our time,

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Don’t worry sister and keep up your work for humanity. Remember when they attack Muslims , it’s freedom of speech, and when you criticize them they try to silence you under anti semite. Because they know that they don’t have the truth in their side. Americans will wake up some day and realize how much they’ve been hurt with this insane relationship.

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Alison, you and If Americans Knew are a real inspiration to so many of us in Minnesota. In my opinion, the positions you take on the Palestine/Israel issue are the right ones to keep talking and writing about. When I have the opportunity to speak, I frequently quote you because you have such an articulate way of expressing the ideas I surely agree with.

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I understand the frustration of being attacked by people who should know better — I’ve been involved with issue since 1988, when I began working with the Middle East Council of Churches and later with the United Methodists.

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Now in my 80’s, I present the issue in schools and churches, using the lives of children and young people in Palestine to make connections with our young people.

Please know how much support you have, with all good wishes,

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You have our support, Alison. JVP is a JVPAC. They are a special interest group and their agenda only partially overlays with the agenda of the rest of the movement. People need to realize this very important distinction and take it into account. Work with them when possible and have courage to part when the goals are different. Their current methods are no different from ADL. So sorry you have to go through this. At the end, they will only out themselves for what they are and you will get more mainstream support because of it. Hang in there!

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They’re getting desperate – desperate enough to make things up. Not exactly a source for truth, are they?!

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With you 100%.

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Controlled opposition

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if you’re incurring incoming ‘fire’, it means you’re over the target! battle on! keep the faith!

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Alison, you do an awesome job and are a hero to so many. Thanks Alison for all you do for justice and humanity.

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Keep doing what you’re doing and NEVER worry about anyone’s opinion of you. I sleep great every night.

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I have known and worked with Alison Weir 18 years and very much admire and appreciate her hard work and focused determination to reach every American at a significant personal cost. In all the years I worked with her, I have never heard her utter, or know her to write, a single racist word.

I have read carefully all of the charges leveled against her and it all amount to guilt by association and I do not believe in guilt by association.

Please read the statements of JVP and Alison’s reply carefully before jumping to conclusions. You can question any public figure’s judgment on this or that instance but leveling such a serious charge as racism or anti Semitism requires careful and thoughtful deliberation

Alison put it exactly right: “I would not assert that JVP discounts Muslim or other voices when its website states that “Jews have a special role to play” and “because we are Jews, we have a particular legitimacy.” It is equally wrong to claim our statement that we began as an organization directed by individuals “without personal or family ties to the region” means we discount other voices.”

JVP and If Americans Knew are two great organizations and play a significant role in the Palestine solidarity movement. I hope to work with and support both without needing to choose one or the other.

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Very well put Alison. The JVP posting was defamatory and scurrilous. You have absolutely every right to advocate justice for the Palestinians to anyone who is prepared to listen, whether they are the audiences of right wing talk shows or not. The only way to reach ordinary Americans is to use all available channels. JVP appears in this statement to be all too sensitive to statements that perhaps seem to downplay the role of their tribe in resolving this conflict: they probably got upset with the word ‘would’ in the statement about people who have no direct emotional or political attachment to the conflict being the main target audience for IAK – I think they think it implies that those who do have some sort of tribal or political association with Israel/Palestine would NOT be able to form rational opinions about the conflict; I am sure that’s not what you meant at all.

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i was stunned to read that JVP is trying to silence you.i have heard you speak in person and on video and consider your work crucial in exposing the evils of Zionism. Your goal seems entirely compatible with JVP’s. I will have to do more research to uncover the real reason for this remarkable development.

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some members of JVP freely admit they are Zionists. So when Alison exposes the evils of Zionism, understandably, they don’t like it.

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I have been a long time admirer and supporter of your relentless efforts to describe what is really happening in occupied Palestine with the aim of promoting peace through overdue justice for the Palestinians and universal condemnation of Israel’s crimes, apartheid policies and subtle ethnic cleansing against them for the last 60 years .

The last thing I would have expected is to hear that JVP (of whom I have been a supporter so far) has been attacking you personally and your marvelous organization with slanderous and totally unfounded accusations and requests to boycott you all without the knowledge or approval of their members or the outside public. What is perplexing/ worrying is that whilst you have openly and convincingly refuted all their accusations (in view of your record and moral integrity I had no doubt about that) and challenged them to respond, they have chosen not to so far and I suspect the majority of JVP members are still unaware of the issue ? I hope JVP’s initial noble mission is not being subverted at the top!?? God bless you Alison Weir and bless the honourable and decent America that you represent!

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Alison Weir and If Americans Knew have always been valuable assets to the struggle for Palestinian rights, providing detailed and accurate information to the public in a very honorable manner.

They were also the first to pickup and publish my personal feature story (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/moment.html), and have always been true to their mission statement, and their professionalism in every possible aspect.

While I have great respect for Jewish Voice for Peace as an organization, and worked with them on many issues, this smearing of Alison Weir is unwarranted.

As the Editor-In-Chief of the International Middle East Media Center (www.imemc.org) I salute Alison and all of our friends in If Americans Knew. Alison is a wonderful person, a professional journalist and a great friend.

We don’t need JVP to act as a censor. Nobody can possibly call Alison a racist. But she informs us about the power of the Israel lobby and therefore became a target. Keep up the work!

A Moment that Changed my Life

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Alison, you are a brave woman. And I respect you tremendously for that. my prayer is that no one hurts you for your bravery. You are what the world needs more of: people who truly care about peace and justice for all.

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Absurd indeed. And a splendid answer to these absurdities. If activists can’t work side by side, accepting and respecting our differences,then what hope do we have for those living the conflict? Thanks for your reasoned voice.

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people are slowly getting the message Alison. You ‘re doing a great job.

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Well said Alison, well done!

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What upsets JVP is that Alison is talking to average Americans about issues that they can immediately relate to, such as the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty about which JVP says not a word.

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When the JDL was sending me death threats Alison was very helpful in sharing her own similar experiences. A very brave woman.

Ms. Weir needn’t police those with whom she interacts. She is rightfully anxious to test and facilitate the premise that, “if Americans knew” the facts about the vastly unequal Palestine-Zionist Israel conflict centering on land, words, deeds, and instruments of war excessively (state terrorist-like) applied by one party, the Zionist enterprise and the dangerous “entangling alliance” would finally be outed and be blown away in short, perhaps convulsive, order. Ms. Weir uses her own websites (IAK and CNI), CounterPunch, and other progressive/activist fora to make her facts and passion for justice known; she does NOT have access to the WSJ, NYTimes, WaPo and other Zionist-controlled MSM rags. Who, then, can blame her for reaching out to and using ALL of the few fora that are available to her…who? JVP, evidently and manifestly. Shame on JVP, an organization I once supported and for which I had hope. No more. Viva Filistina!”

Along the “…I once supported (JVP)” line, I purchased about 10 years ago a white-letters-on-basic-black T-shirt from JVP. It reads “‘END the Occupation: Sow Justice, Reap Peace…JVP” on the front; “Israelis and Palestinians, Two peoples, one future” on the back. I wore it perhaps five times in total at various rallies and demonstrations in my area, in rotation with other (preferred) pro-Palestine-themed shirts. It still looks and feels new. Henceforth, I’ll turn it inside-out and use it, fully black, for my outside gardening and farm chores.

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My guess is JVP was/were not happy with the irrefutable facts in Against Our Better Judgment. Nice to have them demonstrate so clearly that their loyalties are not with the American public.

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Alison Weir’s linked, expanded commentary is a must read; as always, she is informed, literate, passionate, consistent, and visible in ways that I believe are unmatched in our dissident community.

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Ms. Weir:

I hope that you have had your spirits buoyed by realizing that the body of work you have done, for such a long time, more than merely protects you from the sort of libel and slander of a group like JVP. Your hard and well earned reputation only makes such a foolishly short-sighted attack on you sully the reputation of those who made it. Your reputation is quite secure among those who are familiar with your sustained efforts…

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Attempts to defame you and others won’t cease. Sometimes is the so-called ‘liberals’ who are the loudest

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I have supported and worked with JVP since 2001, and run events for JVP , admiring all the work you do, especially on divestment.

However I feel I can no longer support an organization that publicly criticizes another member of our Cause. Compared to AIPAC and ADL, we are very weak, and poor, and it is essential that we stand together. I was particularly shocked when JVP stated that Alison Weir had attacked them in public, for two reasons. Firstly, the secret email was leaked by three JVP members, who were disgusted with the JVP executive, not by Alison. Secondly, Alison was not attacking JVP at all; she was defending herself from their attacks. That’s very different.

My thoughts on the whole issue which I put on FB are as follows:

“The huge question we should all be asking is: Why did JVP dig up an old interview that Alison did Five years ago to prove she is antisemitic? Why didn’t they complain at the time? What is driving this timing? And why are they making this fuss about another group that interviewed her, who also interviewed the Corries and many other activists? Why aren’t they conducting a smear campaign against the Corries too?!

It is my belief that they secretly asked JVP chapters not to work with Alison at the EXACT time that some of them were hosting her talks on her book tour.

From this I deduce that they are trying to suppress her book, which so strongly condemns Zionism. JVP states that they neither support nor condemn Zionism. They just don’t go there. They are sitting on the fence. IMO, it is Zionism that is causing all the trouble that we are trying to put right in Palestine. JVP, however, is doing some stuff to help, but refuses to notice the elephant in the room.”

There are rumors that JVP has been infiltrated by our opposition. That does not surprise me. If I led AIPAC, the first group I would send a mole to join would be JVP, to wreck havoc.

Please be vigilant.

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Love the response and admire your ability to keep your cool, Alison. Bravo

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This is too shocking. This is terrible behaviour and those few people in power positions should be spending their time and efforts on the real perpetrators of denial. Much respect to you Alison Weir: you go to places few people will take the time or efforts to bring an alternative view point. That is what is so masterful of who you are. Your job is not shut people down, it is to open minds. Thank you.

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Dont give up Alison Weir! They are doing it to true fighters for the Palestinian cause.

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You can’t reason with people who are bent on opposing you. You have been more than accommodating in even attempting to respond to their ridiculous accusations and those of their “attorney” meant to harass you only, but someone who really wants to KNOW who YOU are and what YOU believe WILL SIMPLY ASK YOU! and I doubt that they have? You have proven yourself. Repeatedly. We all know it, and so do they, even though they may attempt to act otherwise. Hence the accusations aimed at discrediting you. A common technique of attorneys aimed at silencing you, dissuading others from listening to you, and thus preventing others from getting at the truth and/or providing them with information to decide for themselves what they believe. My best to you as always, Alison! You are a gem, a star, a good human and humanitarian, a strong and brave woman, and an excellent journalist, and you are reporting the facts (“data”) not personal opinions. If your data has garnered the attention of a biased group who is now attempting to silence you by attempting to discredit you and your motives (which, we both know, are only known by you), then BRAVO to you! You are exposing some truth/data in this murky muddy soup they have created. DO NOT WAIVER, DO NOT DOUBT YOURSELF, DO NOT STOP, DO NOT APOLOGIZE, DO NOT EXPLAIN. They are not listening anyway. But the rest of the world HEARS AND SEES. I think the world of you. And JVP clearly has some explaining to do and some cleaning up to do amongst themselves. They are not your problem. Let them sort out their mess themselves. And keep boldly going!!!

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Alison, what you have researched and given us has been a tremendous service. The attacks are happening because the “veneer” is cracking. Remember this….

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In the end truth and justice shall prevail – no matter how powerful JVP is…

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Putting my conspiracy theory hat on, what if this were all orchestrated by Israeli infiltrators? Step 1: persuade some in the leadership at JVP to put out their original internal and secret directive. Step 2: arrange for the internal memo to be leaked. Step 3: sit back and watch as JVP is discredited by those who admire Alison’s work, while Alison is villified and her efforts to promote her bombshell of a book are curtailed. And voila! a fractured ,divided and less effective ‘pro-justice-for-Palestinians’ movement. Just like when you chip a piece of fine glassware, it doesn’t take much to shatter it once it is weakened.

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Alison, I have in the past expressed strong support for JVP, so I wrote to Rebecca Vilcomerson asking her to account for JVP’s attack on you. She sent back the standard response to which I see you have already brilliantly replied.
Like you, I don’t know and won’t speculate on the personal motives of those managing JVP, except when they tell me about those motives. It is clear from Rebecca’s letter that they have an impassioned objection to the “tail wags the dog theory” and, as you say, deny the power of the Israel lobby. They cannot face (and seem to be in denial about) your well-researched finding that the Israel lobby has indeed captured the American political system – in as much as this impinges on the diverse interests of Zionists and the state of Israel.

JVP seems to be arguing for a special kind of Zionist/Israeli exceptionalism. Rather like those who remind us of the Holocaust while not placing it in the context of other genocides (in Turkey, wartime Croatia, Rwanda etc.), Rebecca’s letter fails to relate the Zionist “tail” to other tails that have wagged the American “dog”, and distorted US foreign policies. Foremost among these was the Irish Republican lobby (NORAD et al.) which financed terrorism in Northern Ireland for decades – but which had little scope for action after 9/11 when the US Government needed UK support and had bigger fish to fry. There is also the Cuban-American lobby in Florida which prolonged the blockade of Cuba long after the fall of the Soviet Union. These cases say much about the United States, a country forged of immigrants: in each of them, we see ethnic or national communities resident within the USA successfully organising lobbies for things that are contrary to the interest of the American people. However the Israel/Zionist lobby is many times stronger than the pro-IRA and Cuban-American lobbies, has been far more successful, and by the same token, far more damaging to the cause of world peace.

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Hang in, Alison. You have a lot of us in your corner. We won’t be silent while you are attacked in this scurrilous way.

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We at Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition have your back Alison Weir!

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Dear Alison, in behalf the name of all my family, my grandparents, just want to thank all your efforts and work to show the truth about what Israel and Zionism really is. During long time we, the Palestinians, felt absolute alone against a whole world pointing us as terrorist, with all the media against us.

It’s amazing and rewarding to see people like you, a renown journalist that not just studied about Palestine issue but spread the truth to the world.

God bless you Alison for being so brave standing the truth against all the power of Zionism who has years brainwashing people.
Thanks.

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Alison Weir is an expert on this matter. Her skill and knowledge of this matter are purposeful and relevant. Thank God we have a person like Alison willing to stand up and speak to the world about these wrongs.

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I’m so grateful that Alison Weir is such a strong advocate for truth on this important topic!

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thank-you for trying to educate the US public, even in the face of terrible, unjust zio criticism and hate.

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u have spent career brilliantly being careful not to do wrong , and now your popularity has made u a big target , it one thing to tell us this is happening ,but it time u name the groups especially pro Palestinian group doing this and any activists if u don’t then how are u doing nothing more then assisting your own agenda now .. these pro Palestine groups especially need be named with people in them working against Palestine best interests as y assist Palestinians wouldn’t it be best we all know who is working against Palestine we might be supporters of these groups of people . you need release names groups , let us go to work on these traitors

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I am sorry that you have been put through this type of campaign. I was once the President of the Board of JVP in its infancy of creating a national organization. I, along with two other Board members at the time, resigned from the Board and left JVP because we were subject to an unfair and nasty campaign by a small group of JVP members who objected to our efforts to broaden the base and membership without going through what I believed were small-minded purity tests. I have watched JVP grow since it took on new leadership and have been pleased at its growth and influence. We then started American Jews For A Just Peace, which has a chapter in Boston and Philadelphia. I am still a member of JVP,but not active and am sorry to hear that you have been subject to this strange, unfair, unwise and ultimately small-minded attack. Please, Alison, continue your work and don’t let the naysayers and purists at JVP slow you down. I will write a letter on your behalf, but I have no influence any longer.

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Last summer, I stood in the pouring rain with members of JVP, praying for every single victim of the Israeli assault on Gaza. We were soaked, but a few of us refused to quit until every name had been said. I’m very disappointed to see that some of the JVP leadership have chosen to attack you. It is so vitally important for Americans to understand our history with regard to Palestine, no matter how discomfiting the facts may be.

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Being upfront and addressing this in public is a clear indicator of your true self and intentions. I make a practice of encouraging our allies, but I have noticed lately that JVP leaders want to control the Palestinian narrative and that is unacceptable. Please keep doing what you are doing and we shall support you. Salaam.

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I hope this list of replies does not slander JVP as an organization or many of the good people working with JVP’s umbrella. I don’t know who, in the organization, is responsible for the unfair attacks on Alison and I hope someone can expose them. The fact that an attorney was hired to write a response is troubling, but it is still possible that the origins of the attack are from a small group. I have always been amazed at how much damage a small group of dedicated zealots can do within an organization. But, folks, I implore you to avoid the over-arching critiques of JVP or its members as a whole and appreciate the good work that JVP has done over the years. I am not defending JVP or all of its positions–but there is good intention within the general membership. Just fix the problem with the small-minded, or better, short-sighted and silly undermining of Alison’s important work. Don’t make the same mistake that led Alison to write this response in the first place. My two cents.

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God Bless you Alison! A certain individual from Palestine has opened my eyes to so much that is happening there. I was so blind and not by choice, but by lack of knowledge or exposure I guess. I cannot believe that in 2015 we are standing back and letting this Genocide of Humans take place! They are Human beings, just like you and me, your neighbors, the family down the street! I am astonished that these politicians who claim to b so highly educated cannot see the truth of what is happening. Alison, you are an amazing woman and you must stand your ground and know we are at your back and will stand beside you. I would work for you in a second.

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all love and respect to you for fighting on my people’s behalf .

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Excellent reply, Alison. I hope you can reach JVP, and as you suggest, we work in solidarity and stop the in fighting, We must deal with the important issue of justice for Palestine. My monthly contribution to JVP just cancelled until I can be satisfied regarding their actions in this regard.

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Do your important Work. I and so many benefit from your research and compassion for Palestine.
Thank you!

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Alison Weir we know you are working tirelessly to educate the American public about the truth that the media hides from them and it is through your hard work that the American public is becoming aware of the

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I am sure that the JVP leadership does not represent the many grunts who work for peace for Palestine. Take heart from the fact that the whisper campaigns do not work because they offend the membership of the club

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This makes me proud to be a fellow activist and a long-time admirer of Alison Weir as she toils with incredible vigor, integrity, and perseverance in her quest for peace and justice for Palestine and its people! Viva Alison! Viva Palestine!

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I am so surprised at this. At the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation conference last summer in San Diego, it seemed JVP was in huge attendance. As you said, it is not all JVP members causing problem . keep up your excellent work Alison … We love you and need you and support you. We know this response from JVP is occurring because you are making a difference.

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Thank you Alison Weir for your courage, support for the Palestinian cause.
I have for a long time suspected JVPs true intentions and their campaign against you confirms it.
Best wishes from a Palestinian in Geneva.

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Alison Weir, you are a great pioneering influence in the movement exposing Zionism & freeing Palestine. Right of Return can never be compromised and human rights are NOT negotiable. Many Jewish organizations still cower to the Zionist agenda (with or without realizing it) by avoiding Right of Return! You’ve done the right thing by making this public. Maybe JVP will learn a valuable lesson from your professional response to their absurdity. You are much appreciated! heart emoticon Right of Return www.un194.org#un194

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Dear Alison, you are one courageous woman!!! and “Against Our Better Judgment” is on it’s way to my door step…as i type. I am ever grateful for your tour of Montana and esp Billings. …. JVP is acting just like a good Hasbara imo…this is what they do: ‘Poison Every Well’ and guilt by assn is cheap and however shallow, convincing to the willfully ignorant. Viva Palestine ~ Keep up the good work, You made them mad.

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please redouble your efforts as your commitment is evident. I have heard you speak several times and am inspired to work harder for justice.

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I am so sorry and so disappointed with JVP, I was a huge supporter of them and you, now I am questioning my support. I hope they fix this very soon .

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You are a class act, Alison! Keep up your very good and important work! Kudos to you for a wonderful, professional & thorough response! smile emoticon

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I can’t say I’m surprised. I will say set a limit to how much energy you waste on them. Getting you to spin wheels over their idiocy does the work of the Zionist demon. I’ve thought of them as a little too good at asking for money all the time, and picking the wrong fight with someone of your caliber shows it might be time for a shakeup in JVP

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Well spoken Alison, maybe JVP has been co-opted by Zionists and other ADL types. I appreciate all of your work. Well done!

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Alison, you are a hero, not only in your activism, but also in your patience and grace dealing with those who try to silence you. JVP are blackmailers here.

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It seems to me that accusing you of hate for criticism of Israeli policies indicates that they believe one cannot criticize without hatred.

Therefore, the people who penned this propaganda must hate you, making them hypocrites.

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Apparently there are some officials at JVP that suffer from emotional dishonesty and significant delusion. Add hypocrisy to the mix.

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Solidarity from Ireland Alison. Don’t let them bully you. The truth will out.

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I am a JVP member but after reading this will cancel my membership and no longer support them!

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They wont attack you if you were not on the right path

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We need you. Don’t let them bully you. Truth will prevail

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Guess I won’t be upgrading my JVP membership til they prove they are above politics. Thanks for taking the time to explain how this all works!

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Alison, you are a gem that emits profound messages of knowledge and enlightenment for millions. You stand up for justice and peace based on factual and well researched facts of history. We all admire you for what you do. It is unfortunate that some JVP members are misguided and taking such an approach where they should be on your side. I worked with you on many occasions and worked with JVP as well and wish that this dark cloud pass quickly as we have lots of work to do together. All the respect to you Alison.

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Unless something changes for better, JVP, under current leadership, will become another AIPAC within the movement. In your letter you brilliantly pointed out where the problem is. JVP is for peace but not necessarily for justice. I have been in many situations when this was very obvious. The interest of the tribe figures very highly on the list as well as the political standing of the Jewish people in U.S. Any information, no matter how accurate, that makes Americans realize how the Zionists have abused the positions of public trust and associated access or influence to advance Israeli interests is and will continue to be suppressed. This is why you are being attacked, for telling the truth.

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Just bought your book Alison…ignore the gatekeepers, justice is on your side!!

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Thank you Alison Weir for all the work you do . I thank you as a Palestinian and i thank you as a human being. And yes peace without justice is a adding insult to injury and, it is NOT their business to control who works for Palestine.

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Much love respect Ms. Weir for your wonderful work. The truth will always prevail, sooner or later.

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Bravo Alison Weir !!! Sorry you have had to suffer because of hateful people!!! You have our full love and support!

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you have our full support here! We were so disappointed to get this news, though it’s not surprising. We’ve seen this before from JVP – you’re not the first. There is something very disturbing going on inside there and it’s very sad and very harmful. We continue to use IAK regularly and support your work most strongly.

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There are people at JVP who are basically zionazis trying to undermine the Free Palestine effort. Thanks for revealing this. And thank you for your work!

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Sad to know JVP attacked u in such manner & I agree with u that JVP should also add the word “Justice”. Keep it going, as your website was the first that I have encountered before finding out JVP. May God Almighty bless u & give u strength

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Hey Alison, Can you please specify what help you need? People to vouch for you on their social media? To forward the post? Or to encourage their contacts to reach out to you if they have some negative feedback? Let us know! We want to help.

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You are one of those who dare to speak out against injustice and oppression and in the eyes of those who are seeking peace in the ME – a true American patriot.

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Alison Weir, my dear
You need guards to be with you 24/7
The mossad assassinated all the ones who spread the truth regarding real Israel.
I would say millions are supporting you, but none of them actually have the means to protect you. If each of your supporters donates few pennies, this will make up a wealth enough to provide you with protection.

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It’s all going to be okay…just keep doing what your doing and don’t allow that passion to diminish at all.
You are fighting a just war. And moreover you’re WINNING…
the criminal element can’t face the truth and it has no protection.
You wield the sword of truth and you’re protected by the shield of virtue, there are no more powerful forces than those.

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We support you and thank you for all you do. It’s getting closer and it gets harder as we approach the finish line. You are a pioneer in the Israeli /Palestinian issue. The struggle will continue until we reach our goals. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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“Controlled Opposition” will STOP at nothing to silence TRUTH. Keep that drum beating!

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Don’t despair Alison,don’t give up,you ARE making that difference! That is why they are so fearful.The WORLD is shifting towards the truth. Your goal was never going to be a easy task and take heart in the fact that you are terrifying them. LA LUCHA CONTINUA!

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I had a college essay withdrawn because it ʻoffendedʻ some anonymous complainer (online class and it was probably a parent reading/writing their childʻs papers for them). I used several quotes from your book, quotes by Jewish people as a matter of fact.

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Best of luck. You’re saying things that are widely accepted in Europe.

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All the best Alison. You are being tremendously brave.

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Please hang in there Alison Weir! You are on the right side of history! They can try, but the truth always catches up!

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Dear Alison, we’ve seen your gig…read your book…know what’s what. This is classic hasbara…by what we have dubbed The Hasbarafia because of their mobster like tactics and scruples. People of God don’t do what these mobsters do. It’s that simple. They are the people of that other guy. Know them by their fruits…and let God sort it out. They’re screwed.

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In case I did not mention it before, enough with this JVP attempt to play PC police.

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I am so very glad that secretive and behind your back attacks are being exposed. It helps us in the movement to re-evaluate our support for various sections of it. JVP has completely discredited itself by the secret memo blacklisting you. This is not how supporters of Palestine act. Shame on them.

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Stay on course. You are a fountain of positive information. I am a Semite, descendant from the Phoenicians in the Levant. When I speak about Zionist manipulation of US Congress, UK Parliament and others, I am called an anti-Semite. Stay on message.

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The REASON for all of it is that you speak the truth.

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All this McCarthyist, doctrinaire infighting — what an unbelievable waste of energy! Who at JVP, pray tell, has the time to keep a P.C. dossier on one of our leading activists? And WHY, for God’s sake???

Stay strong, my friend. And keep on fighting the good fight!

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The ad hominem attacks you are being subjected to are the last resort of your intellectually bankrupt critics. Unfortunately, the “anti-Semite” charge has become the “go to” move of those who cannot refute the facts you cite. Fortunately, their attacks discredit them as more and more people begin to understand history, as well as the “facts on the ground” (to ironically paraphrase Menachem Begin) show Israel’s implementation of their apartheid persecution of the Palestinian people.

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The JVP and so-called “Anti-Zionist Jews” function as a fifth column within the pro-Palestinian movement, working to weaken its goals and methods.

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I got in a arguement up on Haight street with an x IDF soldier that was suppotive of Isreal. And thats the only card in this guys whole knowledge deck. The ant semitic card is an old worn out hat. We see behind the smoke and mirrors. You wont lose any support from my groups.
Btw…he stormed off in huff….and some bystanders just looked and smiled and thumbs uped me. I went to her lecture and read her book so I was well studied.

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Alison, I am an ardent supporter of your groundbreaking work, especially how it is to the shame of the “American media” in collaboration with Zionists & sayanim when printing misinformation and spin.

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I want to thank you for leading the way for us that must help end this capture of USA gov., media. You are truly a light in our darkening world. You top the list of people who tell truth to power, you are in the league of Helen Thomas and Richard Falk

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Does anyone else see the irony of all this? JVP tries to sabotage Alison’s speaking events that promote her book. Her book describes the secret operations of the Parushim as early as chapter three.
JVP appears not to want people to know about this secret group, so sends out a secret letter to its chapters to prevent Alison’s book promotions! What are they trying to prove, that they can be as secretive as the Parushim? Sorry JVP, but you’re not very good at it – some one leaked your secret letter within days!!

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Thank you Alison for standing for “what is right” and not affectations of propaganda when it comes to exposing the Truth and it would be a great thing when I become more brilliant than you. Alison Weir book is a must read.

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These attacks prove that they are hiding something and that they are not 100% honest of seeking peace and justice

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My utmost respect and admiration for you! You are a pioneer in these murky waters and they only go after you because you are exposing their lies, sad to say, but what did they THINK would happen?? Thank you so much, Alison Weir!! You are a champion here.

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You’re a remarkable, principled, brave woman. Very brave , fearless. To speak the truth. To exclaim : The Emperor Has No Clothes. Beds you

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In RE JVP’s charge that you did not jump on Clay Douglas over his reference to the Protocols, Jon Stewart, Uri Avnery and Tanya Reinhart all compared the power of the organized Jews to the Protocols

Philip Weiss, “Jon Stewart Calls AIPAC ‘Elders of Zion’”, June 6, 2008

mondoweiss.net/2008/06/jon-stewart-calls-aipac-elders-of-zion.html

Philip Weiss, “Late Tanya Reinhart Reportedly Likened Lobby to ‘Protocols of Elders of Zion’”, September 15, 2008;

mondoweiss.net/2008/09/late-tanya-reinhart-reportedly-likened-lobby-to-protocols-of-elders-of-zion

Uri Avnery, “The Charge of the New York Times”, CounterPunch, July 22, 2011

www.counterpunch.org/2011/07/22/the-charge-of-the-new-york-times/ (all August 11, 2013)}

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On July 6th, we received a letter from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation informing us that another member group had filed a complaint claiming that If Americans Knew was in violation of the Campaign's Anti-Racism principles.

The letter demands that we answer a long list of charges largely based on the already discredited accusations fomented by Jewish Voice for Peace.

The Campaign letter also throws in a few new accusations that are equally without substance.

For example, the letter suggests that we are “associated” with allegedly “anti-Semitic” websites, based on the fact that these websites have re-posted some of Alison’s articles. However, these websites also contain articles by US Campaign President Phyllis Bennis and by US Campaign Policy Director Josh Ruebner.

Interrogation by U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

See the entire letter and our rebuttal here or continue reading.

Dear Campaign Member Organization,

If Americans Knew has just received a letter from the Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation interrogating us about a variety of allegedly dastardly actions that took place years ago, with the intention of expelling us from the Campaign if our answers are not satisfactory.

This interrogation, which we believe is absolutely unfounded and inappropriate, is the latest move in what I can only term a witch-hunt against pro-justice activists who some gatekeepers decide to attack. I hope that member organizations that do not support such witch-hunting and divisive infighting and attacks will object.

Ironically, the accusations against us stem from us fulfilling our mission: to provide accurate, transparently cited facts about Palestine (mostly unreported and unknown) to everyone possible in the United States. We believe that informing Americans is the path to changing U.S. policies – and that this is the way to bring true justice, security and peace to all the people of Palestine, Israel, the U.S. and indeed the world.

We must counter the massive misinformation being fed to the American public, and we reject attempts to censor, constrict, and limit our work.

Our accusers claim that my giving interviews to an obscure internet radio program indicates endorsement of the interviewer and whatever he may have published or stated elsewhere. In reality, as you know, writers, leaders, activists, politicians and others give interviews to all kinds of people and programs (from Fox News to Communist papers).

They also assert I am “associated” with all the websites that have posted my articles, even though sites repost my work without permission, compensation or even my knowledge (along with those of many other activists). The reposting, sharing or distribution of my work or If Americans Knew materials does not indicate endorsement by me or If Americans Knew.

However, we don’t copyright our material and support the “Creative Commons” internet licensing norm, which permits anyone to “copy and redistribute the material in any format.” We believe this advances both the freedom of the internet and our own mission to get accurate information out as widely as possible. (One website that didn’t cite the original source of my article has not responded to requests to rectify that.)

The accusers also claim that I did not do a sufficiently good job in a few interviews out of the probably thousands I have given. You can read details below in my response to the Campaign Inquisition (as well as at our website), but suffice to say that I do my best to get my message out in all interviews. I don’t pretend to be perfect, and (like most of us, probably) I often think later of things I should have said and better responses I could have given, especially when interviewers are confusing and hard to hear over internet phone connections.

Overall, however, despite imperfection and always falling short of the excellence I’d like to achieve, I’m proud of my efforts. Despite the amazing amount of time my accusers seem to have spent poring over my interviews, they seem only able to come up with things that I allegedly should have said.

Finally, the accusers attack a few of my writings, drawing on accusations certain pro-Israel organizations have long made against me, saying that I should have covered up some of the well-cited information I included. This is unacceptable. I believe that democracy requires a “free marketplace of ideas,” in which all information can be considered and sources followed up so that individuals can decide for themselves which information and arguments have merit.

Campaign member organizations could all file complaints against other members in our coalition – especially against organizations that work with and include Zionists, who are supporting war crimes, aggression against unarmed civilians, and apartheid-like conditions for the native people of Palestine-Israel.

Yet, we have all chosen not to do this, and for good reason. At If Americans Knew, we focus on getting accurate information out as widely as possible with the goal of bringing real change – justice and peace for all parties. We believe member organizations share this goal and therefore most remain focused on that, using diverse approaches and strategies that complement one another.

Below is the letter from the Campaign, along with my point-by-point response. The letter largely replicates an attack against us by Jewish Voice for Peace, whose accusations we have already thoroughly rebutted – Please see http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html. We have received tremendous support in response to this attack against us, and we have shared some of that response at the end of the page linked above.

Yet the Campaign has taken up these discredited accusations and even added a few more that repeat the accusations of pro-Israel organizations.

We find this Inquisition improper and a misuse of members’ fees.

If Americans Knew has been working on this issue devotedly year after year despite death threats, smears, obscene emails, threatening phone calls, and even an assault on me.

While many people were ignoring Palestine, we were working day and night to wake up Americans to the urgent facts. We built a website, conducted media studies and massive research, produced numerous written materials and have shipped tens of thousands of booklets, cards, fact-sheets, and videos all over the country — often filling last-minute orders so that groups could get them in time for their events.

I have written articles and a book, appeared on a myriad of radio programs and public access TV shows of all types, often at a moment’s notice, and have spoken all over the country to large groups and small ones – on campuses, in living rooms, libraries, Rotary Clubs, Veterans for Peace groups, religious groups of many stripes, Kiwanis Clubs, Socialist organizations, Democratic Clubs, social justice groups, at rallies and conventions; staffed booths everywhere from the US Social Forum to American Legion national conventions (where I was twice ejected for my polite and legitimate support of USS Liberty veterans) to get facts to everyone possible. I have stayed in hotel rooms and on couches, taken jets and Greyhound buses.

For years I left my family during Thanksgiving vacations to speak at American Muslims for Palestine conventions. I’ve been honored to give keynote addresses for a wide range of worthy groups, traveling all over the country to raise money for such groups as the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, CAIR, PAB, and numerous charities in cities across the nation raising money for Palestinians suffering and dying under Israeli oppression.

I did all this knowing that I was thereby exposing myself to a variety of potential perils, including malicious attacks on my character and on my organization. I was ready for this. I believed then, and I believe now, that if I did my best to work for justice and truth, there would be as many who would stand with me as would try to tear me down.

Through the years numerous people have told us that the If Americans Knew website is the most valuable one they’ve found on this issue, especially for reaching people new to the issue, and that my talks were the most effective they had heard on the topic. And now with the publication of my book, If Americans Knew is receiving even more supportive messages, many from newcomers to the issue and saying it’s the most eye-opening book they’ve read on the subject. This is not to brag; there are many people who have done and are doing amazing work on this issue, and we rely heavily on most of them — rather, it reflects our decade-and-a-half focus on reaching beyond the “choir.”

I have a life history of opposing racism of all sorts and of supporting justice. The If Americans Knew staff and I are committed to justice and dedicated to getting the facts out as widely as we possibly can.

It is strange that our accusers are dredging up events that took place years ago and combing my hundreds or thousands of interviews with even the most obscure hosts, in order to craft attacks on us. These attempts to create some kind of guilt by “association” and misrepresentations of my and If Americans Knew’s work mirror ADL attacks on us.

Defending ourselves against these attacks could easily force our tiny, shoestring-budget organization to put important projects on the back burner; as I write this, I’m leaving articles half-written and am delaying our billboard and other public outreach work. But we refuse to let it stop us, intimidate us, or long distract us. We’ll just work a little harder to keep pushing for change with all our skimpy resources and slim staff time — and then some.

Thank you for your time and, most of all, your work for justice and peace.

In solidarity for justice in Palestine,

Alison Weir

If Americans Knew

* * *

LETTER FROM THE US CAMPAIGN TO END THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION, WITH REBUTTALS IN BOLDFACE

P.O. Box 21539 | Washington, DC 20009 | 202-332-0994 | www.endtheoccupation.org

July 2, 2015

Dear Officers of If Americans Knew,

We are contacting you on behalf of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. We have received a complaint from a member group claiming that If Americans Knew is in violation of our Anti-Racism Principles.

Which member group filed this complaint? A basic principle of justice is that the accused is permitted to face her accusers.

The US Campaign has developed the procedures below to ensure that violations of the anti-racism principles by member groups, either real or perceived, are addressed in a clear and transparent manner that protects the rights of both victims of racism and those accused of violating this policy.

We’re glad to hear that our rights are to be protected and that this process is to be transparent. Therefore, we would like to know who has accused us and to see their accusatory document. I will reply below on behalf of myself and our organization. I hope you will, in fact, read the whole response.

We have also been told by several individuals that they nominated me for the activist award. We would like to know how many people nominated me.

–Alison Weir

This procedure is designed to address behaviors/incidents/written materials/etc. that emanate from a member group and/or a leader/spokesperson for a member group that violate the US Campaign’s commitment to fighting all forms of racism and bigotry. This procedure is not meant to mediate conflict between or within groups or to address the behavior of individuals who are acting and speaking of their own accord, but rather to address member groups engaging in public acts of racism/discrimination/bigotry that reflect negatively on the US Campaign coalition.

Our procedures require that a committee comprised of two members of the US Campaign’s Steering Committee and the US Campaign Executive Director assess the complaint and engage in a conversation about the allegations. After discussing the issue with If Americans Knew, the committee will decide on, and pursue action within three months.

Potential actions include:

1. The committee may find that the complaint has no merit and dismisses it.

We have already rebutted these accusations publicly and have received tremendous support. This Inquisition should never have started.

2. The committee may find that the complaint has merit and is being addressed within the member group and therefore requires no further involvement by the US Campaign.

3. If the committee finds that the complaint has merit, but the incident appears to be an isolated event or that the group involved expresses an understanding of the identified problem and a willingness to address it, the committee may recommend that no further action be taken.

4. If the committee finds that the complaint has merit and the individual or member group expresses no willingness to sufficiently address the issue, the committee may recommend removing the individual or member group from the coalition. This decision must be approved by a 2/3rd majority vote of the Steering Committee. Once the member group is voted out of the coalition, the Steering Committee will inform the group about this decision.

5. Groups that are removed from the coalition are entitled to re-apply to join, at which point the Steering Committee will determine if the previous concerns have been dealt with before making a decision to welcome them back.

In order to begin our deliberations into these allegations, we request your cooperation by providing responds to the following questions by August 3, 2015.

1. One issue raised in the complaint relates to Alison’s multiple past appearances on the “Free American Hour” hosted by Clayton Douglas. The issue of her appearances on this show is also a key issue in the public dispute between If Americans Knew and Jewish Voice for Peace. Could you provide us with background on these appearances and how you see them as consistent with If American’s Knew’s “Principles” as they appear on your website?

Interviewing me or sharing my work in any medium does not indicate endorsement by me personally or by If Americans Knew. My views and positions are represented solely in our own statements and writings. We are not so much an activism organization as an informational one, and we focus on providing the most accurate, transparently sourced information we can.

With that goal and mission in mind, I have aimed from the first to reach beyond the “choir” of people who already know about and sympathize with the Palestinian plight. I have sought ways to reach a broad audience, inform Americans across the political spectrum and present the most factual, well-cited information possible – all with the goal of truly bringing an end to the ongoing Mideast tragedy, by preparing Americans to change policies that enable Israel’s criminal actions. Effectiveness has always been my watchword. The tragedy is far too great for anything less.

Therefore, I have long had a policy of appearing, within time constraints, on any show that invites me (as, apparently, do many other committed individuals), because I believe the information we have to share should be heard by everyone. I do not vet interviewers, but instead do my (human) best to own my own words by speaking with accuracy, fairness and intention. Similarly, we do not attempt to police who reposts my writings and our materials and are happy for these to be shared far and wide, without compensation (and often without our knowledge), in the belief that they speak for themselves and the hope that they can make a difference.

I have appeared on radio programs across the political spectrum from the far left to the far right, and some years ago even went on a right-wing Israeli talk show. I knew ahead of time that this show would be unpleasant, and, indeed the host frequently turned off my microphone while another individual attacked me on air with false claims that I was left unable to defend against. But I felt it was important to even try to reach Israeli listeners, including conservative ones.

I travel all over the U.S. and abroad to speak about the Palestine-Israel issue and the U.S. connection, If Americans Knew ships hundreds of thousands of informational materials (written by excellent diverse authors and researchers) to events and individuals, and I give media interviews to anyone who’s willing to consider the information I address. My goal is to reach every single person possible with essential facts to counter the misinformation so often being disseminated to Americans. I go to great pains to be accurate, transparent, and respectful of all people.

Accusing me of some kind of extremism for accepting interview requests implies that I should only share my message with people who already agree with it. These accusers claim that me giving an interview indicates that I endorse the views of my interviewers. This bizarre line of reasoning holds that appearances or interviews constitute “associations” or “affiliations” with the interviewing groups or individuals. This would mean that Professor George Bisharat’s appearance on Fox News indicated his endorsement of Fox, that the Corries’ “exclusive interview” by the American Free Press demonstrated that they worked with AFP, and that Ray McGovern’s interview with the same publication meant that he, too, was associated with AFP. This is both absurd and harmful.

Indeed, appearing on anyone’s show or consenting to be interviewed by someone never denotes association with or endorsement of that person’s views, as surely everyone knows. Authors, politicians, and others go on a great many shows of diverse people, from the left to the right, and such appearances do not indicate any kind of comment on the positions of the host.

Instead, I believe that the people who most need to hear my message are those who do not agree with me, whether because they support Israeli aggression, Islamophobia, or any other forms of supremacism or injustice. In the U.S., Israel partisans are working to inject fear and hatred of Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs, and Islam into every sector of U.S. society and are particularly targeting conservative portions of the U.S. with this poison, which is causing an alarming growth of Islamophobia in this country, some of it taking violent turns. This makes it especially important that I and others work to give the real facts to every portion of our population – without exception. There are a multitude of important facts that I try to remember to give all audiences, including the fact that Zionism does not represent all Jews and that there are many Israelis who oppose governmental policies. When I once forgot to include enough of this type of information, I went on that show again to clarify it.

As best I recall about this particular obscure radio show from five years ago, Douglas was from Oklahoma or somewhere similar, seemed to have had a hard life and was, I suspected, a bit down and out.

In his somewhat wandering, occasionally conspiracy-tinged questions, Douglas touched on a lot of out-there thoughts, but I recall that he differentiated between Jews and Zionists, spoke strongly against violence, decried Israeli oppression, and seemed to be striving to be a fair person. When at one point he failed to distinguish between Zionists and Jewish people in general, I corrected him.

(I’m told that some of those who seem to wish to “get me” are saying that he used an offensive term at one point, but I don’t recall anything of the sort. They may be referring to the term “Morlock” that he once used that I wasn’t familiar with, apparently from an HG Wells book, which Douglas used to refer to the global elite who exploit everyone, he said, including people who are Jewish.)

While someone has posted a transcript of one show (which may or may not be accurate), I actually went on his program several times, when I could squeeze it in (he asked me many times, but I usually didn’t have time to do it). My purpose was the same as in all my interviews: to use the opportunity to convey to the audience as much important information as possible in the limited airtime available to me – about the plight of Palestinians, my trips to the region, the media distortion on Palestine, how much money we give Israel, our responsibility to bring justice and peace, the real facts about Islam, the importance of opposing all racism, the fact that there are many Jewish-Americans who oppose Israeli oppression, etc.

This is what I try to convey to audiences whenever and wherever I can, as I believe that ending the long-standing injustice and horror in Palestine is the best way to protect human rights and to achieve security and peace for all parties and, indeed, the world. I believe the issue is too urgent to become distracted.

To reiterate: My goal is to try to reach everyone with the fundamental principle that all racism is wrong and to provide accurate facts.

2. Are you currently aware of the racist and anti-Semitic materials published on Clayton Douglas’ website and the racist and anti-Semitic content included in recordings of his radio show from both before and after Alison’s appearances on the program?

Perhaps you should ask him about that. I have not delved into that. If Americans Knew spends our limited time on providing information on Palestine to the general public through articles, videos, studies, written materials, billboards, advertisements, etc. This takes all our time. Sadly, we do not have the million dollar budget that seems to give some organizations time for these extraneous and divisive activities.

I am aware of the frequently racist, belligerent, and inaccurate information published and aired by powerful mainstream news organizations on the Palestine-Israel topic, but I still don’t hesitate to give interviews to those organizations whenever possible, and I have no intention of changing that policy. Wouldn’t you?

3. In Alison’s statement in response to JVP’s decision not to cooperate with If Americans Knew from May 20th, Alison states, “I have a policy of appearing, within time constraints, on any show that invites me”. Will this continue to be a guiding policy for If Americans Knew or will efforts be made to vet speaking opportunities to prevent future appearances on shows that are used to promote racism, anti-Semitism, or other discriminatory actions when the primary purpose of the appearance is not to challenge all discrimination and racism?

Answered above. It sounds like the Campaign has already come to a premature decision on this topic; please genuinely consider it. It will be tragic if portions of the activist community succumb to focusing on self-limiting their opportunities to inform the public, which are already so very hard to come by, given frequent media blackout and bias. If we become so focused on our own personal and organizational purity that we must even investigate interviewers and re-posters before sharing information, in order to avoid being tainted by supposed “association,” we are guaranteed to fail in ending this long-standing tragedy in the Middle East. I hope very much that we all share the goal, rather, of bringing an end to it.

I plan to use as many opportunities as possible to provide critical information to the American public on the plight of Palestinians, children being killed and tortured, massive numbers of people being imprisoned, Gazans being held in a large open-air concentration camp (all done through the use of American money), the media distortion on Palestine, our responsibility to bring justice and peace, the real facts about Islam, the importance of opposing all racism, the fact that there are many Jewish-Americans and Israelis who oppose Israeli governmental oppression, the importance of opposition to war and violence, etc.

4. Will you accept future invitations to speak on shows hosted by Clayton Douglas or Mark Dankof if an offer is made and time allows for an appearance? If yes, what principles would guide this decision?

Answered above. Dankof has also interviewed peace activists Ray McGovern and Jennifer Lowenstein, Israeli professor and author Ilan Pappe, and journalist and commentator Dilip Hiro, among many others. Will you be interrogating these people, also?

5. What is If Americans Knew’s current connection to Veterans News Now (VNN) which regularly publishes articles by Alison and lists her as a “Featured Columnist”?

None.

6. Materials on the VNN site (particularly its 9/11 investigations) would be considered by many to be anti-Semitic and the VNN sister site Veterans Today and its partner site Rense.com both regularly posts racist and anti-Semitic content. How does Alison’s relationship with VNN align with the If Americans Knew “Principles”?

Your ADL-like charges have nothing to do with us since we have no relationship with either website. However, I’ve just looked at Veterans Today and found articles by Josh Ruebner, Phyllis Bennis, Mazin Qumsiyeh, Mohamed Khodr, Arundhati Roy, Alan Hart, Stuart Littlewood, Uri Avneri, Stephen Lendman, and many more. Similarly, Rense.com contains articles by Hedy Epstein, Josh Ruebner, Alisa Solomon, Robert Fisk, and many more. Have you also asked these people about their “relationship” with these websites?

7. In the complaint concerns were raised about your 2009 article “Israeli Organ Harvesting”. The concern expressed related not to the core content of the article but to the reference in the article to research that alleges that there was a factual basis for medieval blood libels. Reading the article in full it is apparent that the quote in question is used to point out how the research by a Jewish scholar into blood libel’s possible historic roots resulted in virulent attacks on that scholar in order to comparing those attacks to the unfair attacks against those who have written about Israeli organ trafficking including accusations that they are supporting a new blood libel. However, by juxtaposing these two cases it appears as if you are not only challenging the attacks on those reporting on organ trafficking but also the attacks on the author of the research on blood libels.

While recognizing the reality of Israeli organ trafficking and the importance of challenging attacks on those who raise up concerns about this organ trafficking which is now well documented, do you not find it problematic to hold up the idea that blood libel accusations might actually be based in historic reality and that they are not just a product of anti-Semitism? Is this connection you would make today?

I suggest you and others read both of my articles on this topic. When I wrote these, almost no one (outside of Palestine) was aware of this situation and, at that time, attacks came from all directions that even considering these accusations was “anti-Semitic”: Israeli Organ Trafficking and Theft: From Moldova to Palestine and Israeli Organ Harvesting: The New “Blood Libel”?

Regarding Israeli Professor Toaff’s book, I wrote:

In scanning through the reaction to Bostrom’s report, one is struck by the multitude of charges that his article is a new version of the old anti-Semitic “blood libel.” Given that fact, it is interesting to examine a 2007 book by Israel’s preeminent expert on medieval Jewish history, and what happened to him.

The author is Bar-Ilan professor (and rabbi) Ariel Toaff, son of the former chief rabbi of Rome, a religious leader so famous that an Israeli journalist writes that Toaff’s father “is to Italian Jewry as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.” Ariel Toaff, himself, is considered “one of the greatest scholars in his field.”

In February 2007 the Israeli and Italian media were abuzz (though most of the U.S. media somehow missed it) with news that Professor Toaff had written a book entitled “Pasque di Sangue” (“Blood Passovers”) containing evidence that there “was a factual basis for some of the medieval blood libels against the Jews.”

Based on 35 years of research, Toaff had concluded that there were at least a few, possibly many, real incidents.

In an interview with an Italian newspaper (the book was published in Italy), Toaff says:

“My research shows that in the Middle Ages, a group of fundamentalist Jews did not respect the biblical prohibition and used blood for healing. It is just one group of Jews, who belonged to the communities that suffered the severest persecution during the Crusades. From this trauma came a passion for revenge that in some cases led to responses, among them ritual murder of Christian children.”

Professor Toaff was immediately attacked from all sides, including pressure orchestrated by Anti-Defamation League chairman Abe Foxman, but Toaff stood by his 35 years of research, announcing:

“I will not give up my devotion to the truth and academic freedom even if the world crucifies me… One shouldn’t be afraid to tell the truth.”

Before long, however, under relentless public and private pressure, Toaff had recanted, withdrawn his book, and promised to give all profits that had already accrued (the book had been flying off Italian bookshelves) to Foxman’s Anti-Defamation League. A year later he published a “revised version.”

Among the many citations for the article were:

http://www.bokus.com/b/9789170370939.html

http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=8390&lg=en

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/829381.html
Ha’aretz. The Wayward Son, by Adi Schwartz, March 1, 2007

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/824152.html
Ha’aaretz, Bar-Ilan to order professor to explain research behind blood libel book By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Service and The Associated Press, Feb 11, 2007

http://bloodpassover.com/index1.htm

http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/824152.html
Haaretz, Bar Ilan to order professor to explain research behind blood libel book, by Ofri Hani, Feb. 11, 2007.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/957357.html
Ha’aretz, ‘Historian recants theory that Jews killed Christian child in ritual murder,’ By Adi Schwartz, Feb 24, 2008

I also discussed this on my blog:

“My short section near the end of my article on Ariel Toaff’s suppressed book on blood libel was a very small part of the fairly long article, but, as expected, it has drawn considerable wrath from some quarters. Others have raised the question of whether it was relevant to include in the article, a reasonable question and one I pondered ahead of time, knowing the anger it would engender among those who wish such things to remain hidden. (Much more information on Toaff is here. A video of Toaff is below.)

Obviously, I decided in the affirmative. Given that virtually all Bostrom’s critics were using the epithet ‘blood libel’ in their attempts to block any real consideration of the article’s content, I felt that the successful silencing of an Israeli scholar who had raised significant questions about this very subject was quite relevant and useful for people to know about — especially since the Toaff controversy had been covered so extensively in the Israeli press at the time. I don’t like the idea that some people are permitted to know something, but that others are not supposed to learn about it.

If people read Toaff’s book for themselves, and I provided the link so that they could, they can see the content for themselves and determine whether they feel that his evidence supports the conclusions he had drawn or not. If they do feel that some small groups did do what he believes they did, this conclusion in many ways simply indicates that the Jewish population is basically similar to anyone else, since history shows that there have been sects in numerous religious groups, that have committed “religious” violence.

The problem is that some people believe that the Jewish population is better than all the rest of humanity; others allege it’s worse. My view is that individuals within this population run the whole gamut, just as in other populations.

The continual portrayal of an entire population that has never done anything wrong (as Alfred Lilienthal once discussed), and that is eternally the victim of allegedly bigoted, always baseless accusations is part of what buttresses the Israeli myth, replete with its astonishing claim of ‘purity of arms.’ (The fact that so many people can believe that the soldiers of one army — unlike all others — have never committed a single abuse is an example of the pervasiveness of this myth of extreme exceptionalism.)

I feel that the continual attempt to censor all negative facts and allegations – to suppress books and block investigations — is a dangerous, two-edged sword. Many people believe the myth, at least for awhile, which enables continued and expanded misconduct. Others, however, do not, and they, recognizing the suppression, sometimes then imagine a reality that is considerably worse than the actual facts — and such suspicions smolder and grow.

I believe it’s always better for the truth to come out.

8. How do the views on racism and anti-Semitism expressed in the article “Ali Abunimah and Gilad Atzmon at the OK Coral” published on Alison’s blog align with the If Americans Knew “Principles”?

As I wrote on my blog: “I BELIEVE IN THE FREE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS AND SOMETIMES POST ARTICLES BY OTHER INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS WHEN I FEEL THEY CONTAIN INFORMATION OR ANALYSES THAT COULD BE INTERESTING FOR PEOPLE TO READ AND PONDER. SUCH POSTING DOES NOT NECESSARILY DENOTE AGREEMENT WITH THE ARTICLE AND DOES NOT NECESSARILY DENOTE AGREEMENT OR ENDORSEMENT OF THE AUTHOR AND OTHER ARTICLES HE OR SHE MAY HAVE WRITTEN IN THE PAST OR MAY WRITE IN THE FUTURE.”

To repeat, we stand by our own principles and statements:

Mission Statement

In a democracy, the ultimate responsibility for a nation’s actions rests with its citizens. The top rung of government – the entity with the ultimate power of governance – is the asserted will of the people. Therefore, in any democracy, it is essential that its citizens be fully and accurately informed.

In the United States, currently the most powerful nation on earth, it is even more essential that its citizens receive complete and undistorted information on topics of importance, so that they may wield their extraordinary power with wisdom and intelligence.

Unfortunately, such information is not always forthcoming.

The mission of If Americans Knew is to inform and educate the American public on issues of major significance that are unreported, underreported, or misreported in the American media.

It is our belief that when Americans know the facts on a subject, they will, in the final analysis, act in accordance with morality, justice, and the best interests of their nation, and of the world. With insufficient information, or distorted information, they may do the precise opposite.

It is the mission of If Americans Knew to ensure that this does not happen – that the information on which Americans base their actions is complete, accurate, and undistorted by conscious or unconscious bias, by lies of either commission or omission, or by pressures exerted by powerful special interest groups. It is our goal to supply the information essential to those responsible for the actions of the strongest nation on earth – the American people.

Our Principles

We believe all people are endowed with inalienable human rights regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. We believe in justice, fairness, and compassion and in treating all human beings with respect, empathy, and in the manner in which we would wish to be treated.

Disseminating Our Information

Our materials and information are available to all. We feel it is essential that these facts be learned by every possible person.

The positions of If Americans Knew are represented in our statements and writings alone, and the views of those who distribute our materials, articles, or interviews do not necessarily represent those of If Americans Knew.

Action Focus #1

Israel is the largest recipient of US. aid in the entire world. It receives more aid than that given to all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, put together.

Israel receives about $8.4 million dollars per day from the United States, and there is evidence that the total cost to American taxpayers is closer to $15 million a day. Yet this information is almost never printed in American newspapers. Coverage of the Middle East in general, and of Israel in particular, virtually never reports this enormous American connection with this region.

Empowered by American money, Israel is occupying land that does not belong to it, is breaking numerous international laws and conventions of which it is a signatory, and is promulgating policies of brutality that have been condemned by the United Nations, the European Union, the National Council of Churches, Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, and numerous other international bodies. This truth is also rarely reported.

Through the money and weaponry provided by the United States, Israel is imposing an ethnically discriminatory nation on land that was previously multicultural. There is ethnic and religious discrimination inherent in its national identity, and a doctrine of the supremacy of one group over all others permeates its political, financial, and military policies. This also is virtually never reported.

There are a variety of organizations and individuals in Israel who are protesting their government’s policies, and who are working strenuously and courageously on behalf of human rights and justice. It is their intent to create a just and fair nation with equal rights for all its citizens. They are refusing to serve in the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and are actively trying to prevent Palestinian homes from being bulldozed. These actions are also not covered in the American media.

American support of the Israeli government is against our national interest on every level: It places us at war with populations whose desperate plight we are helping to create, and who, quite correctly, place the responsibility for their sufferings on us. It makes us an accomplice to war crimes and an accessory to oppression. This also is not reported.

In analyzing the American media, we are increasingly discovering a cover-up of appalling proportions. Israel is being protected, the news about Palestinians in particular and Arabs in general is being distorted, and the American public is being manipulated.

We believe strongly that if Americans knew the truth about Israel and Palestine — about the massive amount of our tax money that is being given away to Israel, and about the human costs of Israel’s American-financed militarism — they would demand an immediate re-thinking of our policies in this region.

It is the goal of If Americans Knew to inform the American public accurately about this area. Most of all, it is to inform Americans about our enormous, and too often invisible, personal connection to it.

Americans, through our blank check to Israel, are empowering the worst elements of Israeli society, and undermining those working for a just, peaceful, and nondiscriminatory nation.

We are driving the violence in this region.
We can stop it.

9. Does if American’s Knew find any of the statements put out in its defense and attacking JVP by people like Mark Dankof and Gilad Atzmon problematic and should the organization have any responsibility for challenging positions such as these which use anti-Semitism and racism in its defense?

We have numerous projects we’re working on and don’t feel it’s appropriate to take time away from these to engage in debate about the numerous articles and postings about us by others that can be found all over the Internet. I stand by my writing and our statements; other people’s writing and comments represent their views alone.

I suggest that Campaign staff focus your time, funded by all of us, on bringing justice to Palestine, rather than descending into in-club debates, engaging in witch hunts and producing lengthy spurious dossiers on fellow activists.

We look forward to your responses which can be emailed to us at director@endtheoccupation.org.

Is the campaign also investigating groups that work with Zionists, have been published by Zionists, and / or contain Zionists who support not just racist words but horribly racist actions in Palestine?

Sincerely,

Felicia Eaves, Co-Chair, Steering Committee
Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director
Sandra Tamari, Member, Steering Committee

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Below are more messages of support we've received since publishing the U.S. Campaign's letter to us.

Additional messages of support

From Molly Hogan and Alice Kisch, Jewish Voice for Peace-Bay Area:

Dear Jewish Voice for Peace,

As members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), we are distressed and saddened at the public stance that JVP has recently taken vis-à-vis journalist and author Alison Weir, founder of If Americans Knew (IAK). On the basis of “guilt by association” JVP has chosen to break all contact between its organization and If Americans Knew, as well as with Weir herself, because of alleged anti-Semitism on the part of Alison Weir. JVP has disavowed Alison Weir and has publicly distanced itself from Weir and from IAK.

Alison Weir and Clay Douglas

Alice: Some time in 2014 a JVP member disseminated, via an internal JVP Google group, links to four one-hour radio conversations between Weir and Clay Douglas which took place on Douglas’ radio show, “The Free American Hour”, in late 2010 and early 2011. I had never heard of Clay Douglas and was interested to hear examples of Weir’s anti-Semitism – about which I’d heard but which I’d never witnessed. Accordingly, I listened to three of the four programs in their entirety and could discern nothing anti-Semitic in any of Weir’s statements. At the same time, Clay Douglas is clearly a white supremacist and an anti-Semite and it wasn’t difficult to discern where his sentiments lay.

Another reason why I was eager to hear the Weir-Douglas conversations is that, over the past few years, I have been involved in conversations – more often than not by email – with anti-Semites, and I was interested to see how Weir handled this sort of exchange. When I’m engaged with an anti-Semite I try to keep them engaged and I try not to “spook” them. This takes delicate handling, especially if one is as repulsed by these creatures as I am. What I heard in Weir’s responses to Douglas’ provocative pronouncements was someone trying, as I try, to maintain the conversation and the relationship so as to return to fight another day. Weir is much more skilled at this than I am, but there was no question in my mind that this is what she was trying to do: keep Douglas interested in further conversation with her while he continued to assume that she held similar beliefs to his.

It is understood that everything is in the eye and ear of the beholder, but I do not interpret Alison Weir in the same way that JVP does.

I have never found anything anti-Semitic in Alison’s writings or in her lectures, nor did I hear anything anti-Semitic in any of her utterances during a thirty-minute conversation I held with her, in person, in 2014. In fact, I found myself liking her and admiring her very much, as her work on behalf of justice for Palestine and the Palestinian cause is compassionate, intelligent and unrelenting.

Molly: I have also been very distressed by the actions of JVP toward Alison Weir. I do not know Alison well, have heard her speak a couple of times, read and disseminated her materials and read her most recent book and find her to engage in a high level of scholarship in digging out reports of historical events that most Americans have no idea about. A lot of us in the movement spend a lot of time preaching to the choir, but Alison gets out into what I’ve been known to refer to as “the real world” to educate about the oppression of Palestine. During the 1980 Presidential election, I was living and working in redneck country, and told my friends in the Bay Area that Ronald Reagan was going to win the election – I was told by the Bay Area liberals that that would never happen, no one would vote for him. Since then I’ve tended to regard the Bay Area as “not the real world.” There’s a lot of work that needs to be done outside our comfort zones, and I see Alison as one who is going there and has a clear vision of what needs to happen – if Americans knew what is going on in Palestine, it would stop.

Molly and Alice: There is one major point on which we disagree with Alison Weir. It seems that Weir is convinced that it is the interests of Israel which drive U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East; however, we are of the opinion that it is U.S. hegemonic ambitions and interests that encourage, permit and support Israel’s policies vis-à-vis Palestine and the Palestinians. In other words, if Israel’s policies did not serve U.S. interests, and serve them well, the U.S. would not permit Israel to behave as it does.

We believe that it is Weir’s anger at Zionists – whether these be Zionists in Israel, in the U.S. or elsewhere – that is being misinterpreted by JVP as anti-Semitism. That is, we believe that JVP is making the very mistake that JVP deplores so vigorously in others: the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

Our Request of JVP:

It is not necessary to comment further on the manner in which JVP’s stance regarding Weir was publicized, as many have already expressed their views on that process. What we request of JVP is that it carefully re-examine its attitude towards Alison Weir and, ideally, engage with her directly and in private to see if the misinterpretation of her ideas can be sorted out. Our Palestinian solidarity community is too small and our resources – time, energy and emotional and mental exertion – too meager to afford us the ability to dissipate these resources in fruitless internecine squabbling.

JVP is undoubtedly aware of some of the conversations that are taking place in the Palestinian solidarity community with respect to this issue. One criticism is that JVP is indicting Weir for associating with anti-Semites such as Clay Douglas, while at the same time JVP associates with Zionists – Zionists defined as those who accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state. JVP is being perceived as engaging in exceptionalism and identity politics, not to mention hypocrisy. We find that this criticism has a considerable amount of merit.

Finally, we believe that it is critical that there exist a U.S.-based non-governmental organization (NGO), with the word “Jewish” in its name, which promotes justice and equality for Palestinians. Jewish Voice for Peace is that NGO. So we are pained that JVP has sullied its good name by this recent behavior. What’s done can often be undone, and we urge Jewish Voice for Peace to try to undo this destructive error.

Molly Hogan

Alice Diane Kisch

Jewish Voice for Peace-Bay Area

#

To: US Campaign

Re: If Americans Knew

Some years ago in a year-end report and fundraising publication, a high official of Rabbis for Human Rights accused Christian Peacemaker Teams of being anti-Semitic. Nevertheless, the official said, Rabbis for Human Rights worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams in actions regarding the West Bank, feeling that the overall goal that they shared was more important than their internal differences. Working together, they had a better likelihood of achieving their mutual goal.

I hope the same attitude prevails with regard to retaining If Americans Knew in the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. With such a large coalition of organizations, there are bound to be differences among them, but surely we must keep our eyes on the prize: ending the Israeli occupation. Together, we have more strength.

The accusations against Alison Weir and If Americans Knew sound as if they were drafted by the ADL, as they rely on guilt by association, not on anything Alison said. If this is so, I am surprised that JVP fell for these accusations. I hope that the U.S. Campaign uses better judgment.

I agree with Alison’s objective to inform as many people as possible of what is going on. She is not responsible for what they do with the material she provides. The information she provides is well-sourced and presented in a factual manner. She gave one of the best presentations I have heard on Israel/Palestine when I invited her to speak at the First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo (Marin County, CA) last year. People came from as far away as Sonoma County to hear her, having listened to her being interviewed on a left-wing broadcast by Project Censored.

I first heard Alison shortly after her initial trip to the West Bank and Gaza. She had not yet developed a website. I have been amazed at what she has accomplished since then. Not only complete novices but also longtime activists like myself can learn from her. She not only talks about Israel’s human rights abuses, she researches and provides information about the role of Zionism in our foreign policy and the efforts of Zionists to suppress information that could lead to a change in U.S. foreign policy.

A good example is an obituary she wrote about award-winning journalist Donald Neff, who served as Time magazine’s bureau chief in Jerusalem http://www.wrmea.org/2015-august/donald-neff-1930-2015.html. His career plummeted when he brought to light an incident in the occupied territories in the 1970s. The New York Times refused to report the incident, even though it was well documented. The incident is described in detail in an article Neff wrote for the Link (see http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/epiphany.html). In this article he relates several instances of dual loyalty, something that many Jews regard as a canard, believing charges of dual loyalty to be anti-Semitic. (See such charges listed as an example of anti-Semitism on the State Department website.)

I suspect that Alison’s research takes her into matters some JVP members would just as soon not be explored. Perhaps that is why JVP has distanced itself from her. I hope the U.S. Campaign does not fall into the trap of letting the opposition hamper research into Zionism and its effect on our country.

I close with a copy of the letter I wrote to Jewish Voice for Peace:

Dear Rebecca,

I have been a long-time associate of JVP, going to local meetings, signing the petitions, giving money, and joining with JVP members in local actions. About a year ago I officially joined; however, I decided not to join the JVP Google Groups, as I belong to two other Google Groups that deal with Israel-Palestine and didn’t think I could cope with more e-mails. So I found out about your letter to Alison Weir in a roundabout way.

I am puzzled. The letter sounds as if it were drafted by the ADL, exhibiting one of the ADL’s chief tactics of defamation: character assassination by association. (Yes, despite the fact that the ADL claims to be against defamation, it frequently uses guilt by association to defame people whose views do not coincide with theirs.)

Did you read the source material on which the allegations were made? I found the transcript of Clay Douglas’s interview with Alison on August 25, 2010. Here is the only mention of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

CD: You know, I got threats. And mine were recorded too. Not exactly threats on my life but… “You need to take that link off of your site to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion… And Alison Weir, you know, she’s a communist… she’s a communist, she’s funded by the Arabs, and you need to take that film off of your site.” And this was…

[4:40]

AW: Let me just comment on those threats. First of all, I’m not a communist. It’s interesting that they go to conservatives, uh, Americans, and claim that I’m a communist. They go to liberal Americans, and claim that I’m a Right-wing associate of the Klan. So they make opposite claims about me, both of which are false, to whatever they think will sound the most negative to that audience.

Your comment was:

In the course of your appearance with Clay Douglas on August 25, 2010, for example, you were silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews.

Given the context in which The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was mentioned (not “invoked”), I don’t see why she needed to respond to that part of his statement. She did respond to the comments on her that he reported. While reading the rest of the interview, I was struck by how she made a distinction between “the Jews” and “Zionists.” She stressed the need to verify statements by checking them out and doing further research.

You went on to say:

One of your articles appeared in an anthology that was promoted by the infamous Holocaust-denial organization, the Institute for Historical Review. We see no evidence that you have disavowed any of these outlets or institutions.

By searching for “Alison Weir” in the book section of the Institute of Historical Review’s website, I found her name associated with one book: Persecution, Privilege and Power. Her contribution to this anthology was an article on bias in the New York Times, together with the statistics to prove it.

Alison may not disavow the racist organizations who give her a platform, but I do not detect that she herself says anything that is racist. Surely the litmus test should be whether what she is saying is true.

No one can do a better job than Alison of defending her right to present her views in multiple fora–right and left.http://www.unz.com/article/my-reply-to-the-attacks-of-jewish-voice-for-peace/

Both JVP and Alison are working for human rights. Both JVP and Alison have encountered resistance to efforts to present the facts. I remain puzzled as to why Jewish Voice for Peace has now become part of that resistance.

Sincerely,

Esther Riley

No one has worked harder than Alison for justice and human rights for the Palestinians. Her organization, If Americans Knew, should be allowed to retain membership in the U.S. Campaign. Otherwise, we succumb to those who are trying to undo our efforts.

Esther Riley
Member of 14 Friends of Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel, NorCal Friends of Sabeel, and the United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network.

(P.S. Many thanks to the U.S. Campaign for helping to get the UCC’s divestment resolution passed at General Synod.)

#

To the Campaign to end the occupation

Dear Friends:

I am shocked by the attacks being carried out against Allison Weir and If Americans Knew by Jewish Voice for Peace and End The Occupation. I should think that your organization would appreciate Allison’s extensive research and very detailed evaluations, as well as her courage to face enemies of the Palestinian people straight on with the truth. I admire her determination to reach a larger audience than the “choir,” and it surprises me that two organizations I have held in high regard are now attacking her.

I support Allison and her courageous stand against the manipulation of facts at the expense of her own quality of life and comfort, and ask that you also support her, even though her strategy may differ from your own. The last thing the Palestinians need is infighting between their supporters. They have enough trouble with infighting among their leaders.

I am amazed by Allison’s very thorough research and I, for one, encourage her to continue, even if some of the facts may not be entirely stellar in support of a particular people’s national narrative. No group of people is perfect, and when such a group can own up to their flaws it makes them even more noble in my estimation.

Allison’s dedication and tireless efforts deserve all of our admiration and cooperation and not our criticism.

May God bless the cause of truth and justice and all of those who dedicate themselves to the struggle.

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To US Campaign

Anna, Ramah, Mike:

This message is important. Please give this request your every consideration.

I am writing to ask that you do whatever it takes within US Campaign to embrace Alison Weir and, by extension, embrace the dedicated, capable members of her organization, and NOT to shun them.

When I joined this movement just two years ago, I was very impressed at how inclusive the movement was – how non-territorial it was. In this movement, there is tolerance and patience even for folks whose understandings of occupation and how to fix it are just plain wrong. This inclusiveness is a hallmark of this movement. And it is precious.

I was thus shocked to learn that JVP had decided – and announced widely! – to shun Alison Weir and her team. I have personally benefited tremendously – tremendously! – from expert research and publications and in-person presentations of Weir and her team.

What is it that caused JVP to shun Weir and her organization?

Evidently JVP leadership has fixated one or two behaviors of Weir some years ago – behaviors which they argue make her totally unfit to do business with. One of those behaviors, if I understand correctly, was Weir’s not having challenged or reacted quickly enough to a statement made by another person during an interview or discussion. My goodness! How we all wish we had been faster to react, with better choice of words, from time to time. I too am guilty of imperfect reactions (years ago)!

Is this a reason to cut off Weir (or anyone else with perceived imperfections years ago)? From everything I have seen and experienced, Weir and her team are a HUGE asset to our cause. To shun her seems out of place, uncalled for.

Let’s focus our efforts on smashing the boot heel of Israel’s apartheid, ethnic cleansing and settler colonialism, and put aside this witch hunt to stomp out a valuable, dedicated member of our community.

Anna, Ramah and Mike, you hold tremendous power – justifiably so! – within U.S. Campaign. Please do what you can to have the U.S. Campaign team set aside its current investigation of Alison Weir. Instead, let Weir know that U.S. Campaign continues to support her dedication and continued fine work for the cause.

Thank you very much!

#

[JVP Member] wrote:

Hi, all,

I agree with concerns raised about avoiding divisiveness in the movement, and I share concerns about accusations of guilt by association. The first is dangerous and the second is wrong.

Nevertheless, I support our statement. It makes a distinction within the Palestine solidarity movement in order to place JVP solidly in alliance with anti-racist work in this movement, and with the work of allies in other movements who aim to empower the margins. And though JVP’s concerns are clearly related to the ways that Alison Weir chooses, relates to and messages about her associates, it is not attributing guilt because of the associations themselves.

As often happens in disputes like this I think this discussion has lost connection with the original document. I recommend that people who critique it read it first, and critique it itself, and not hearsay or impreasions about what it says!

Here’s the link:

jewishvoiceforpeace.org/blog/jewish-voice-for-peace-statement-on-our-relationship-with-alison-weir

Thanks,
JVP Board and Philly Chapter member

[To JVP member],

On the one hand, it was good that you re-sent the basic JVP message from the JVP Board. On the other hand, that JVP Board decision was very counter-productive.

1. That decision to condemn Weir should have been discussed much more widely. It was a decision that did not seem to have a useful goal, but it certainly has had a damaging result. What was to be gained by publicly attacking Weir? Even had Weir been out of bounds, there was no identification of Weir and JVP that required a public divorce.

2. The broad-brush approach used does actually smear Alison Weir with all the sins of the right wing. That is the fundamental damage of “guilt by association.” The accused is smeared with the wide range of bigoted actions if she does not — on all occasions — fully attack each and every occurrence of bigotry. That reminds me of the McCarthy-era attacks on liberals and socialists if they did not continue to harangue about Communist problems. When would communication ever happen with “the other side” if the only communication allowed was to harangue against that “other side.”

3. The controversy is based on the weak premise that a person can’t talk about human rights without bringing in all possible permutations of injustice. JVP itself is demonstrating with the anti-Weir distraction that unanimity can be a deal-breaker when discussing some issues. Why NOT let Alison Weir choose her own routes to support Palestinian rights. Would JVP think it rational to cut itself off from people who support human rights but also think that THEIR religion (as opposed to Judaism) is the one true church? Clearly not.

4. JVP is certainly not getting the message out to those audiences that Weir is reaching.

5. I encourage JVP to get input from some neutral communication-oriented source to re-examine its decision to reject one of the most rational, courageous, and clearly speaking people in the fight for Palestinian rights.

#

Apparently dominated by “The Israeli Campaign to End the Occupation”. see
here

#

Dear Alison,

At first I thought that the attacks on you were dreadful; I was shocked and dismayed that it would divide our movement, as well as waste a lot of your/our valuable time.
I have changed my mind completely.

The attacks on you by JVP and the US Campaign have been the best thing for our movement, because they have exposed what a few people already knew but none of the rest of us, myself included, really believed; that the two organizations have been infiltrated by people who oppose our cause and are acting as gatekeepers.

When organizations get infiltrated, the only way to rescue ourselves is to expose them publicly. This has now happened. The person who is behind it all is some one whom I had hardly heard of before, certainly never met, and unlikely to ever meet: a woman called Phyllis Bennis, about whom I knew nothing before these attacks started. I have hard evidence it is her, thanks to a friendly spy :-)

Hopefully, now that this behind-the-scenes treachery has been exposed, it will stop. There is nothing like a scandal to raise awareness among activists for the Palestinian Cause, and force us to be vigilant at all times.

In addition, we all know that the feeble accusations against you are mere excuses to attack you, equivalent to the “weapons of mass destruction” lie used to persuade the world to invade Iraq and destroy it. We now all know the real reason for the attacks: your brilliant and well-researched book, Against Our Better Judgment, which exposes the sheer evil of the Israel lobby and Zionism. Never has such a short book contained so many truth-bombs which will substantially change the attitude in this country.

The Zionist infiltrators of both JVP and End the Occupation are desperate to suppress it. What they have done, instead, is help promote it. I doubt there is a single member of the US Campaign who has not rushed out to buy your book, to find out what all the fuss is about. Nothing like an attempted book ban to turn it into a best seller!

You have my support, along with 99% of the other members of the US Campaign.

#

A lot of somebody's time and effort is going into investigating the guilt-by-association of If Americans Knew, because of interviews given or articles anthologized or reposted.

Meanwhile, virtually 100 percent of the US Congress votes slavishly to rearm Israel.

Meanwhile, my own hometown newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, cannot be bothered to report on BDS victories.

Meanwhile, my own US Senator, Ben Cardin, is so confident of himself, that he does not bother even to respond to me, when I ask for constituent services, or now, escalating my inquiries to asking him to clarify his preference for codifying Israeli policies in US law, against the best interests of the United States.

If you guys have time to attack if Americans knew, then I assume you have time to help me

- with Cardin, or

- with the Congress, or

- with the Baltimore Sun, or

- with shaping local BDS activities here in the Baltimore area, or,

- what the heck, let's just end the occupation of Palestine.

#

Hi Alison

Sorry you’re still going through this…. Wish there was an easy solution, but Zionists have been perfecting smear and defamation campaigns since the 60s. They, of course, get to spout the most ludicrous and outlandish propaganda and fully expect they have a ‘right’ to get away with it. But heaven help the truth-tellers.

#

It is obvious why some people are trying to evict Alison Weir. It’s Alison’s book on the Israel lobby. Nothing to do with some silly interview she did years ago (as did the Corries) or the magazine that publishes her stuff (along with that of Josh R!)
It is ALL about her book.
Well done Alison!

#

I didn’t see where it is possible to post a letter of support, but I support you and I disagree with the US Campaign to End the Occupation investigation. I am Jewish and I see no evidence of you being anti-Semitic when I use the dictionary definition of anti-Semitism:

“Discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews.”

I think part of the problem is that the definition of anti-Semitism is a free-for-all with people adding to it whatever suits their interests, e.g. the State Department saying it is anti-Semitic to criticize Israel and JVP saying something else and so on. I am trying to find out what JVP’s exact definition of anti-Semitism is.

I am sorry that you have to go through all of this.

#

Dear If American’s Knew,

Is it even necessary to respond to these people? You are doing such important work and the nature of the “accusation” so flimsy, it does not deserve your time. Thank you for all your wonderful work. It is greatly appreciated.

#

Stay strong Alison. Going for the person rather than the ball is standard for these creeps….

#

This really is a witch-hunt which has the objective of discrediting and splintering the global Palestine solidarity campaign from within. It would be naive not to expect such attacks. Considering that the British government infiltrated the tightly closed senior ranks of the IRA it is a certainty that the Zionist regime will have agent provocateurs and moles in highly influential position in the global solidarity movements which is open to all. The US Campaign sweeps up and controls US solidarity groups keeping them focused where they will have minimal impact on Israel – the focus on Caterpillar and Ben & Jerrys being a clear example of campaigns that will never have any impact on Israeli government policies. Meanwhile, US jewellery companies continue to sell $billion of diamonds that fund a regime guilty of war crimes to unsuspecting consumers who would reject such blood diamonds if the facts were exposed.

While this must a annoying distraction that no doubt consumes too much of your valuable time I know you won’t allow it to divert you from your course. Keep up the great work.

http://jewishbusinessnews.com/2015/07/07/diamond-exports-from-israel-during-the-first-half-of-2015-4-335-billion/

#

Dear Alison, I’m going to forward this correspondence to the local “resistance/activist” group with some pleading, some harsh words. I want, however, to make this point to you: I am astounded, shocked, saddened, and finally angry to note that two of the three signers of the Campaign’s inquisition-commencing letter are Yousef Munayyer and Sandra Tamari. In fact, I am so outraged that I have just decided to Cc Anna Baltzer, who I believe remains an important official within the Campaign…

In disbelief that your precious time, energy and focus must be diverted in order to rebut and overcome such spurious slander (as we know, diversion, manipulation et al are time-honored Zionist tactics; is the Campaign infiltrated to that extent?!)…

#

I suppose that the Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has been infiltrated. What else is new?

#

You do a magnificent job! I don’t know where you get the energy to do all that you do. Please keep up the great work.
#

I am at a loss,a total loss, after reading through this material. It is both illogical and, frankly, rather frightening. Is it possible that ‘they’ have somehow gotten into the Campaign. Some day when we are face to face, revealing how timid I have become since they got me. in a big way, we can talk about it – maybe.

Fight on, my friend.

#

I am at a loss, a total loss, after reading through this material. It is both illogical and, frankly, rather frightening. Is it possible that ‘they’ have somehow gotten into the Campaign…

Fight on, my friend.

#

To US Campaign

Judgement Tribunal of End the Occupation Coalition

Dear Ms. Eaves, Ms. Tamari, and Executive Director Munayyer:

I suppose there is nothing in itself untoward about setting yourself up in judgment of Alison Weir, in regards to her association with the coalition you govern. A judicial function is an essential element in any body that provides the function of governance.

As your tribunal pursues these bizarre proceedings, however, I hope you will give some thought to the relative position of your governing body to the actual cause that is the purported purpose of your existence. Are you serving that cause by indulging yourselves in this kind and degree of divisive behavior? Or are you doing damage to that cause?

A coalition is made up from individual parts. A coalition has no existence other than as an amalgamation of the energies of its parts. As a governing body, you have no existence in relation to the cause you purport to advance, other than as a body whose ONLY purpose is to facilitate the energies of its constituent members.

Alison Weir is an extraordinary citizen who has dedicated her entire life, spirit, and being to the same cause that you purport to serve. Her energies and efforts, over a very long period of time, have won for her the deep admiration and respect of a very large number of people. You should try to realize that the depth and breadth of this admiration and respect is far deeper and far more widespread than your own relatively weak power to affect it in any meaningful way.

And why would you want to? THAT is the most burning question? Why would you, or anyone else, undertake to besmirch the reputation of a person so dedicated to the same cause that you purport to serve?

You can sit in judgment of Ms. Weir if you wish, but I hope you will not pretend that by casting judgment on her you will accomplish anything but a debilitating denigration of whatever degree of respect that people might hold for your coalition. (And that in itself, also weakens the cause that you purport to serve)

“Purpose before position” is a guiding principle that too few activists understand or follow. The service of personal concerns, (personal egos), has long been the bane of group efforts to serve a cause. Are your genuine and sincere concerns for the purpose you purport to serve stronger than your concerns and conceits regarding the positions, and/or power, that you hold?

To which are you more dedicated? To the cause of justice in Palestine? Or to the organizational title that you hold up to identify yourselves as individuals, and to whatever degree of personal power that your title imparts to you?

No activist anywhere, working on ANY issue, could possibly exceed Ms. Weir’s own selfless dedication to her purpose, to the cause she serves, far above any concerns or conceits that Ms. Weir may hold for herself or for her own position.

Nothing that you, as the governing body of a ‘coalition’, which itself is a body that purportedly seeks to empower the energies of others, could possibly do or say could have any effect on people’s awareness of and appreciation for Ms. Weir’s deep spiritual dedication to the cause she serves, far above any concerns she has for herself, or her position.

Just as an anecdotal case in point, I am a person who makes a great effort to be informed, especially concerning events in Palestine, and concerning efforts being made to achieve justice in that troubled land. I have heard of your coalition, but only just barely. I have never even so much as heard of any of you as individuals.

Yet Ms. Weir’s work resonates so widely that I hear about it constantly, from MANY sources, and have for MANY years. Her efforts are so strenuously genuine and sincere that they reverberate in people’s minds. It is the very power of her commitment to telling the TRUTH, regardless of personal consequences, that gives her efforts this degree of power.

I am not personally acquainted with her at ALL. I have never met her, never laid eyes on her in person. But it is very easy to recognize that the sheer power of her commitment to this cause indicates that she holds up people like Gandhi, and/or Dr. King, as her spiritual mentors.

Perhaps you might give some thought to the possibility that the bedrock guiding principles that guide Ms. Weir in her work seem to be MUCH more solid that those now exampled by these pretenses through which you pretend to have earned the stature to sit in judgment of her.

The height of irony here is that since I have never so much as heard of Executive Director Munayyer, I did an internet search to learn more about him before writing, and the FIRST ‘hit’ returned by my search engine, (at the TOP of the column), is a video of his appearance with Sean Hannity on the extremist right wing Fox News Network. We all surely know that this disgusting person, Sean Hannity, isone of the most notoriously extremist right wing bigots in America.

Please understand that I am NOT criticizing Executive Director Munayyaer for this appearance with this notorious bigot. I think that one of Ms. Weir’s guiding principles, her desire to communicate with people who do NOT agree with her, (rather than engage in the proverbial ‘preaching to the choir’), is a wise one, and Executive Director Munayyer’s efforts to communicate with the bigoted people who watch Mr. Hannity’s show are admirable.

I hope that it is obvious that what I am pointing out is how clownishly ridiculous you appear as you sit in judgment of one of the most dedicated and highly respected and admired activists in America for doing what you yourself have done, and do.

There is NOTHING less flattering to anyone who strikes a pose of advanced morality than HYPOCRISY. Can you possibly not know that???

Can you possibly be so misguidedly foolish as to think that your current posture, sitting in judgment of a person of Ms. Weir’s solid and well-earned stature, augments the status of your own group?

In demeaning yourselves by engaging in this kind of primitive McCarthyite witch hunt, can you possibly not be aware of the damage you are doing to the cause itself, the cause that you purport to serve?

What is more important to you. Your organizational titles? The power of your ‘positions’? Or the purpose that you purport to serve?

#

I want to support your efforts in this typical battle within so-called progressive movements. It is a very disturbing fact that people can/will become self-righteous when they don’t like or agree with another groups voice. Censorship is the common form of reaction. I think the most important question you raise regards the identity of the specific group(s) and/or people who raised the complaint. I can only assume that members of this coalition contain people who function as moles. During the 1960-70’s we saw how the FBI used plants to create disruption—it was a major tactic used to destroy a movement. Why not think the same is happening here.

At the very least, is the self-righteousness and lack of real politic about building coalitions in operation. I have to support your effort to raise consciousness about not only speaking to the choir and to take the uncomfortable risks of placing yourself in the ‘enemy’s camp’ in an effort to broadcast a different reality. I learned this very clearly in my early anti-racist work. Some of the hardest being talking with good liberals who dismiss all that makes them uncomfortable.

#

Clearly the PC ignoramuses are at it in full swing! You wrote:

“I believe that democracy requires a “free marketplace of ideas,” in which all information can be considered and sources followed up so that individuals can decide for themselves which information and arguments have merit.”

Heck, yesterday’s news report said that even Edward Snowden may be getting a pass because, as Eric Holder put it, “His reporting has opened up an honest dialogue.”

Keep up the good fight.

#

Please express to Allison my deep appreciation for her on-going work
as the Director of IF AMERICANS KNEW.

I share many of her resources with our congregation and others in my adult classes, to help the public become more aware of American blind support for Israel, and their ingnorance of Palestinian suffering..

I attended her conference in Seattle at the Univ Methodist Church.

I am part of a Presbyterian Task Force on Israel/Palestine and have traveled there 5 times to visit and connect with the people.

thank you for sending these complete articles about the attacks on her and on If Americans Knew.

#

I am more dismayed than ever to hear that End the Occupation is on the attack. It matches my dismay at knowing that Jewish Voice for Peace is on the same war path.

What is going on?

I have supported all these organizations, including If Americans Knew. This quarrel leaves me more distressed than I can say.

But from what I know, I must say to If Americans Knew and Alison Weir: YOU GO, GIRL! (MEN AND WOMEN)

Praying for Justice and Peace among us,

#

am disappointed in jvp’s accusations against you. just sent you a small donation. stay strong. thank you.

please send your information emails. i love your work.

#

The lack of comprehending the larger picture is a shortcoming of some organizations, such as Campaign to End…

I have written to various of them, pointing out that the Zionist hegemony, the connections made by Zionist organizations world-wide, and combined with the influence of America upon some Arab countries, have given free reign to Israel and its efforts to crush Palestine and people and publications critical of its criminality.

Many of these pro-Palestinian groups don’t get it. They’re short-sighted and narrowly focused.

#

I wish the non-sense attack on this lady and her organization will stop; it is a distraction and a waste to her work and efforts. The information she is providing is very valuable and important to the average American, specially, young Americans. They need to know these facts about Palestine and Palestinian issues. She is providing these information in simple and strait forward terms.

Why the in-fighting, and distraction. We need everyone and every contribution we can muster.

Just look at the pro-Israel lobby, they have hundreds and thousands of organizations and individuals volunteering and on payrolls to push their agendas. Yet, you don’t here a single attack on any of them.

The in-fighting in the Middle East should be a lesson to all of us.

#

wish i were a member…so i could quit…this is disgusting, as usual..and sadly, nothing new.

kudos to you for all your great work!

and that does not make me an anti-semite because i;ve already been dealing with that crap for many years.

#

Open Letter to all organizations who are members of the Coalition of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

I have recently read the article by Alison Weir — available at http://bit.ly/1LYvD6A — which has left me outraged and in a state of disbelief.

Perhaps you will understand my outrage after reading a brief biography.

As a child I was raised in Saudi Arabia shortly after the Nakba. While growing up I had more than one occasion to listen to the account of my Palestinian friends who were recent victims of the Zionist terrorist gangs who plundered their homeland while killing thousands of indigenous Palestinians, destroying thousands of homes and hundreds of Palestinian villages.

On June 8, 1967 I was aboard the USS Liberty when the ship was attacked by the combined forces of the Israeli Air Force and Navy. Since that day my shipmates and I have learned that the US government will not only allow Israel to commit War Crimes against Americans with impunity but will actively participate in the commission of those War Crimes.

In May, 2010 I was invited to participate in the Freedom Flotilla effort to break the siege of Gaza. I sailed on the Sfendoni while others sailed on various ships in the Flotilla including the Mavi Marmara where 10 innocent passengers were murdered by Israeli pirates far from any territorial waters and clearly in violation of international law. I also participated in Freedom Flotilla 2 and Freedom Flotilla 3 in their effort to break the siege of Gaza and will participate in the continuation of Freedom Flotilla 3 later this year if the funds are available and notwithstanding any threat of violence or death the Flotilla is threatened with by the State of Israel.

On June 8, 1972 – the 15th anniversary of the attack – USS Liberty survivors met and formed the USS Liberty Veterans Association. I and many other survivors began our effort to persuade the US government that an attack on a US Navy ship warrants a Congressional investigation simply because it happened. Despite the effort of those of us who were victims of the Israeli War Crimes those efforts have proven to be unsuccessful.

Our effort has not been without opposition. What are the tactics used by our opposition?

They claim that we agree with the editorial position of the websites who support our effort or who republish articles written by USS Liberty survivors. This despite the fact that we have no control over who publishes those articles.

They claim that there is a segment of the American public that is not entitled to hear our story because they have been deemed to be “anti-Semitic” and therefore unworthy of learning our story first hand.

We have not been completely successful in confronting this tactic. A good example of our failure is contained in an excellent article by Alison Weir at http://bit.ly/1HQFCdr. It tells of the National Officers of the American Legion refusing to allow a USS Liberty resolution to be passed during their National Convention, of the American Legion not allowing a USS Liberty Association booth at their National Convention and of the American Legion successfully ordering local police to arrest a USS Liberty survivor for throwing his membership card at one of their staff members.

These same tactics are being used against Alison Weir and If Americans Knew. The only difference is instead of those tactics being employed by external sources they come from inside the US Coalition to End the Israeli Occupation.

As I see it you have two courses of action:

If you and those you represent feel the charges against Alison and IAK are worth pursuing do nothing. Bear in mind the same tactics being employed against Alison could be directed at you and your efforts.

The second option is to contact the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation atdirector@endtheoccupation.org and demand that they cease their destructive and vindictive actions against one of its most productive members.

The ball is in your court. Do you feel your effort should be directed by the dictates of those who believe in Guilt by Association? Do you feel that some Americans are unworthy of the benefit of your effort?

Respectfully,

Joe Meadors

USS Liberty Survivor

Freedom Flotilla 1 Participant

Freedom Flotilla 2 Participant

Freedom Flotilla 3 Participant

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To US Campaign:

I am very saddened at the apparent infighting among groups who, I presume, aspire to the same goal; i.e., justice for the Palestinians. Should we be constrained, in an effort to further this goal, to reach out only to groups whose ideals we share? Is it the thinking of USCEIO and JVP that, by engaging with organizations whose goals we do not share, that we would be compromising our ideals? I can certainly see that endorsing any group which espouses racist or anti-Semitic views is off-limits, but should it be a policy that such groups should be held outside the realm of our interaction. I guess it would depend on how easily a propaganda machine could make an effective connection between the racist group and the person presenting a program, or being interviewed. I can see that there might be this possibility – that having our name connected to a questionable group, even though innocently, might allow an opportunity for critics to malign us with guilt by association.

I do agree with Alison though that:

With that goal and mission in mind, I have aimed from the first to reach beyond the “choir” of people who already know about and sympathize with the Palestinian plight. I have sought ways to reach a broad audience, inform Americans across the political spectrum and present the most factual, well-cited information possible – all with the goal of truly bringing an end to the ongoing Mideast tragedy, by preparing Americans to change policies that enable Israel’s criminal actions. Effectiveness has always been my watchword. The tragedy is far too great for anything less.

 

I can see though that we have to walk a fine line between interacting with questionable organizations and missing an opportunity to influence them.

For example, my organization … has sponsored films and talks which for the most part have attracted only “the choir,” even though we have advertised the event to the public, but it appears that most people don’t want to have their convictions overturned by listening to another viewpoint. I believe these presentations are still worthwhile, but we would welcome people who challenge our viewpoint, as long as the discussion is civil.

I recently attended a talk by Josh Reubner and Laila El-Haddad at a Howard County library, and was surprised to learn that the sponsors of their talk was a group “Marylanders for Constitutional Governance,” an innocuous name whose platform (according to the handout) included anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro-gun, etc, policies which (all ?) most of us do not agree with.. However, none of these policies were referred to in the presentation, nor in the discussion which followed. I did not find that I was distracted from the purpose of the talk, and there was nothing said to sway me to the beliefs of the sponsors.

I do hope that some accommodation can be made with If Americans Knew, as I think they have done amazing work in our mutual fight.

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Like many others I am concerned about Jewish Voices for Peace’s attacks on Alison Weir on what look like trumped up and/or guilt by association charges.

It reminded me of past negative experiences with JVP. I remember in 2000 we had a meeting of individuals concerned about possible “Black Bloc” violence during anti-globalization protests in Washington DC. The meeting was disrupted by a very bullying woman who defended “Diversity of tactics” (code word for smashing windows and fighting with cops) and assailed us as being malcontents who refused to go along with the agenda set by prominent activists. One of her friends would call us up and call us “peace nazis” for speaking out.

After 9/11 these women dropped that cause. As the Justice for Palestine/End the Occupation/Al-Awda movements in DC grew more active, they joined Jewish Voices for Peace. In 2005 they started attacking our local DC Antiwar Network which started the first annual protests against the AIPAC conference in DC, with endorsements from a number of groups. The bullying woman who disrupted our peace meeting was the main representative of JVP and she demanded that our coalition drop any mention of the right of return, ending aid to Israel, equal rights for all in Israel and Israel’s nuclear weapons. We refused and were accused of antisemitism. But some JVP people showed up anyway.

Many activists who experienced that or similar incidents were happy to see the annual protests taken over by groups like Code Pink, End the Occupation and even JVP. To see groups concerned about undue political influence on the US government, like If Americans Knew and Institute for Research Middle East Policy, having tables and organizing workshops. We thought the bullying and harassment was over. But now it looks like it is back. Very disappointing.

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To US Campaign:

Dear Yousef: OK, I expect the Zionists to go after Alison, including the ones who are in the US Campaign, but you? Why? Are you Palestinian or just another front for the soft Zionists who control this movement? Most of us have seen the letter sent by the campaign, signed by you and written by someone else.

We’re not interested in having you resign. We’re interested in your getting a set of cojones and telling people who have an agenda to silence Alison Weir that the vast majority of people who support justice in Palestine also support justice for Alison.

….to go after Alison Weir who has spent the better part of two decades researching what Zionist influence has done to the Palestinians? That is disgraceful.

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dear alison, I have the utmost respect 4 you & your bravery. I was somewhat in shock that a smear campaign wasn’t launched at you earlier. These people simply don’t play by the rules & you need to keep a gun in your house & the doors locked. If you remember I sent you $1500 a year ago with a message… Good Luck Allison

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we at citizens for Palestinian self determination back you and will urge the us campaign not to pursue this matter.

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Hey ! US Campaign ! You expel If Americans Knew — You expel me !

Je suis Alison.

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We need to expose the new “new” antisemitism threat, which
is aimed at our movement from within.

Such a shame that we’re losing
our objectives and shooting arrows at each other.

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To US Campaign:

I was shocked to hear you could consider removing her from you mission. I have heard her speak and met her and she has given untold time and effort to end the occupation.

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Hi Alison,

Your latest post is superb. Hit ’em between the eyes with a two-by-four!

Check for $5,000 is on the way.

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To US Campaign:

I’m sorry to hear about friction between the US Campaign and If Americans Knew, having known Alison Weir for a long time, having her stay in our home, having our group sponsor her presentations here. There’s been no hint of anti-Semitism as far as we’re concerned- anti-Israeli Zionism, yes, but not the other. She’s been diligent in getting the truth out and informing American people about the true state of affairs.

I hope this all is cleared up and IAK and USCEO can work diligently together for Palestinian justice.

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Some Facebook comments:

Saboteurs. Time for a concerted campaign to root out the agent-provocateurs behind this crap. Contact JVP and USCEIO and voice displeasure. Crack on them on facebook. It’s a way to defend those important organizations against those who would harm them.

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I would like to know who the biggest donors to JVP and the US Campaign are. They may be wielding their influence. It also would not surprise me, though I have absolutely no evidence, that some wealthy and clever Zionists made big donations to these orgs for the sole purpose of influencing their policies. What is amazing is that JVP, the US Campaign and certain well-known individuals have joined the Netanyahus, Abe Foxmans and Israeli Knesset members in attacking people via slanderous accusations. Reducing someone to a one word label, “anti-Semite,” disregards the entire history of that person. In Alison’s case it disregards many years of writings and speeches all of which were produced for the same purpose that JVP and the US Campaign allegedly exist for, which is to stop Israel’s oppression, occupation and human rights abuses. By aligning themselves with the aforementioned accusers, JVP and the US Campaign give credibility to the ideology of slander in which charges of anti-Semitism are routinely vomited out by the worst of the oppressors. They are pandering to these accusers, who make the accusations primarily in order to hide from and not take responsibility for their own bigotry and hatred. Welcome to Joe McCarthy world.

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Alison Weir has been a staunch messenger of truth about the Zionists’ propaganda for more than a decade. Alison Weir effectively rebuts the smears from Jewish Voice for Peace. What is the real issue Jewish Voice for Peace?

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BE STRONG.. THANK YOU FOR all you are doing….YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT

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Alison Weir does excellent work and is the genuine article. I am proud to call her a friend and colleague. If they persist, her critics will break themselves on her integrity, courage, and professionalism.

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You definitely have my support…..thanks for your work sister

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look at it as negative publicity that drives open minded people to you. stay above it and just keep telling the truth about how that travesty came to be and what they’re doing now.

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The Zionist fight is about to get REALLY UGLY!

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Hands down, If Americans Knew has the most thoroughly and well-researched and objective approach to disseminating necessary information on the history of US collusion in horrific Israeli policies — approaching it in our own US interest. And it has been doing so longer than the US Campaign. Perhaps US Campaign has its own agenda that is not made clear. I was really dumbfounded that Ruebner, in his book Shattered Hopes: Obama’s failure to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace, lauded Hillary Clinton for supposedly insisting on Israeli compliance with peace agreements and supposedly countering Israeli settlements. Seemed like nonsense to me.

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Sounds like someone may be working to a hidden agenda, divide and conquer etc. Keep up the good work IF AMERICANS KNEW

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It’s important for activists to understand the zionist m.o – subversion. They will lie without skipping a beat; without the slightest pause for consciousness. And explaining that to the uninitiated is a very difficult process, indeed. But thats what we’re dealing with..

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If Americans Only Knew has been standing for truth & justice for a long time now. They have added information, issue framing for average American to grasp the situation, and curriculum materials for use in a society which has been kept in the dark and is the real audience for change in the U.S. Enabling of oppression. All views and all efforts are needed.

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We support you Alison no matter what the opposition concocts against you. You are an inspiration to many and we honor your courage and commitment to peace, justice, and compassion.

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Hang in there! You guys do great work and they wouldn’t be after you if you didn’t. So to look at it optimistically, you got their attention for a reason. Like you said, just a witch hunt, we’re here to support you!

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Shamefully reminiscent of COINTELPRO era, the attacks upon ALISON WEIR merely demonstrate how much some fear her sincerity & depth of research, as well as obvious love of ALL humanity — the opposite of the PERPETATORS of MURDER she so effectively & meticulously exposes in a manner the ugly-of-spirit shrink from it so PURE!

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Good to know. Adios, USCEIO. Good riddance. Onward and upward with the true leaders here of this cause and movement–Alison, If Americans Knew, Council for the National Interest. It’s always a good time to cut out rot.

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I guess we know who the gate keepers are. These accusations are false and fraudulent. Keep up the good work If Americans knew!

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Wow. Thanks for the heads up! Glad to know who the “controlled opposition” is!!!

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Agent provocateurs at work. Despicable bullshit.

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Alison,you are armed with the truth and nothing but the truth. Humanity is on your side-

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They can try, but they cant expel the truth. If Americans knew, is our shining star.

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Sounds like an infiltration. Some types are expert in this field.

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You have my vote! I am so sorry these other two organizations are spending their time and resources trying to discredit a stellar voice in getting the facts out there. My financial support will now be redirected to IAK

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know who the gatekeepers and controlled opposition are

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A group of longtime activists on Palestine from diverse backgrounds initiated a petition against the attacks, and in support of Alison Weir and If Americans Knew. It contains extremely highly regarded signatories from Palestine, the U.S. and elsewhere. At last count it had 1,400 signatories and continues to grow by the hour.

An open letter to the U.S. Campaign and other Activists for Justice in Palestine

Sign the petition: http://tinyurl.com/StopDivisiveAttacks

Website created by committee who wrote the letter: https://stopdivisiveattacks.wordpress.com/

As active participants in the struggle for justice for Palestinians, coming from a variety of ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds, we call for an end to internal attacks on fellow activists and organizations. These only impede the work for justice.

We appreciate the important contributions to that cause made over many years by If Americans Knew, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

In that light, we are dismayed by the recent unfounded attacks on one of the top organizations working on this issue, If Americans Knew, and its dedicated leader, Alison Weir, by the leadership of Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign. Many of us are members of these groups and are unhappy at these significant actions made in our name but without consulting us.

We recognize that important differences among these organizations exist – each has its own constituencies, approach, and style, as is the case with the scores of other organizations that together make up the solidarity movement. Some may disapprove of taking the Palestinian case to people who don’t define themselves as “liberals” or “progressives.” Others may disapprove of working with Zionist groups and failure to state that Zionism is racism, etc. We have no problem with any group articulating such differences and even making principled criticisms of another’s work – that is part of the life of any healthy democratic movement.

But we believe strongly that secret dossiers, ideological inquisitions, double standards, misrepresentations, spreading innuendo, and attempting to excommunicate groups or individuals one disagrees with from the ranks of the movement sow unnecessary divisions and distract from what must remain our primary focus: building the broad united front that’s necessary to change United States policy in the Middle East and to help Palestinians obtain justice in their homeland.

We also believe that the vitriolic, ADL-like accusations that Alison Weir is “anti-Semitic” and/or racist are scurrilous and without foundation. They are based on guilt-by-association arguments through which numerous committed activists – including the leadership of the US Campaign and JVP – could equally, and also incorrectly, be called “anti-Semitic” and/or racist.

We are painfully aware that there are well funded opponents who spare no effort to undermine and divide this movement for justice and human rights in Palestine. We therefore expect those who sincerely share our goals to be mindful of the potential to fracture the movement and be judicious and principled in their critique of groups and individuals who make significant contributions to the movement.

We call for these attacks to cease and for those initiating them to return to their main task, working for justice in Palestine.

Sincerely,

[The Undersigned]

TO SIGN scroll down below the signatures to add your name. Full list of signatories to be added here periodically, and at http://tinyurl.com/StopDivisiveAttacks

More Information:

Accusations against If Americans Knew:
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html

Messages of support for If Americans Knew:
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html#five
http://ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html#seven

Analysis of Attacks on If Americans Knew:
http://louisproyect.org/2015/06/25/the-jewish-voice-for-peace-attack-on-alison-weir-jvp-loses-its-balance-2/

SIGNATORIES (over 1,400; last updated 2.42pm PDT 7/19/2015)

Affiliations for identification purposes.
* = US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Member Organization
** = Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, and former Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, UN Human Rights Council.

Samia Khoury, founding member of the board of Trustees of Birzeit University and Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre, author, “Reflections from Palestine: A Journey of Hope” (descendant of Birzeit University founders).

Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat turned peace activist; passenger on 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla; co-organizer and passenger on Gaza Freedom Flotillas 2011 & 2015; co-organizer of 2009 Gaza Freedom March.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, Co-Founder Al-Awda-Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

Hedy Epstein, Holocaust survivor; St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee*; Jewish Voice for Peace – St. Louis**

James Abourezk, former Senator, South Dakota, founder of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Arun Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute

Pete McCloskey, former Member of Congress (R..Calif. 1967-83) and Co-Founder, with Paul Findley, of the Council for the National Interest; and Helen McCloskey

George N. Rishmawi, Director, The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People, Beit Sahour, Palestine

Ray McGovern, Retired CIA officer turned peace activist. Co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Rita Giacaman, Professor, Research & Program Coordinator and founder, Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University; active in 1980s Palestinian social action movement.

John Whitbeck, Director, Council for the National Interest

Edward Peck, Americans for Middle East Understanding, Former US Ambassador to Iraq & Mauritania, Participant in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Abbas Hamideh, National Board Vice Chair, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, son of one of the few survivors of the massacre at Deir Yassin Palestine on April 9th 1948

Philip Giraldi, Former CIA Officer turned anti-war activist & journalist; Executive Director, Council for the National Interest*, member, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist and former presidential candidate, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox

Joe Meadors, USS Liberty Survivor, Past President, USS Liberty Veterans Association, Participant in three Gaza Freedom Flotillas, Free Palestine Movement*.

The Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus for The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, President: Tree of Life Educational Fund

John Erickson, NorCal Friends of Sabeel* — Co-Chair

Sunaina Maira, Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis, USACBI

The Reverend Canon Richard K. Toll, former Director, Friends of Sabeel* , Retired Episcopal Priest

Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies

Donald A. Kruse, Retired Foreign Services Officer, Consul, Consulate General, Jerusalem 1976-1980

Lawrence Davidson, Professor Emeritus, West Chester University

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy Intellignece Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council

James Petras, Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY

Joel Kovel, author of “Overcoming Zionism,” “White Racism,” “Red Hunting inn the Promised Land,” and other books; editor; former psychiatrist; Bard College professor emeritus

Ernest Gallo, President, USS Liberty Veterans Association

Ronald Kukal, USS Liberty Survivor: Petty Officer in Charge of the Body Recovery and Identification after June 8, 1967 attack

David Rovics, Folk Musician, American Federation of Musicians Local 1000

Mary Ratcliff, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper – Editor

To view the full list of signatories, click here.

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On July 16, the U.S. Campaign expelled If Americans Knew. The organizers of the above petition then sent the following letter to the petition's signatories.

Petition organizers' letter to signatories

The US Campaign has ignored you

If you are reading this, it means you joined former UN special rapporteur on Occupied Palestine Richard Falk; Holocaust survivor and peace activist Hedy Epstein; founding member of the Board of Trustees of Birzeit University Samia Khoury; Palestine-based director George Rishimawi; peace activists Cindy Sheehan and Arun Gandhi; former senator and founder of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee James Abourezk; former US government officials-turned-peace-activists Ray McGovern, Edward Peck, Philip Giraldi, and Ann Wright; and over 1200 others in defending Alison Weir and If Americans Knew from the vitriolic attacks on that organization by the national leadership of US Campaign and Jewish Voice for Peace.

But like them, you were ignored.

Earlier today, the US Campaign released a statement officially expelling If Americans Knew and Alison Weir from their non-profit coalition.

In doing so, they ignored over one thousand dedicated activists and human rights defenders like you, including many members of their coalition, who signed our Open Letter within 48 hours.

They ignored at least 15 activist leaders who risked their lives to break the siege of Gaza by boat.

They ignored at least 83 members of Jewish Voice for Peace from around the country, the organization whose national leadership originally released a statement attacking Alison Weir without the approval or consensus of their membership

They ignored several hundred members of several dozen US Campaign member organizations.

The statement by the US Campaign repeated some of the same accusations that have been addressed meticulously before, with little new material. The only new item is yet another guilt-by-association argument, targeting Alison Weir for re-posting a lengthy piece — without endorsing it — by Roger Tucker on her blog. While the piece is undeniably controversial, it hardly suggests that Alison Weir seeks to “blame Jewish people for any bigotry they might face” as the US Campaign suggests.

It is worth noting that the same accusation was recently leveled against Norman Finkelstein and Yale University chaplain Bruce Shipman, for suggesting that Israeli actions could have prompted a spike in anti-Semitism, and even against renowned German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt, for discussing what she called “Jewish responsibility” for the rise in anti-Semitism during the interwar period.

If you are like the rest of us who have come together to defend If Americans Knew, you probably do not agree with everything Alison Weir or IAK has ever said — and certainly not everything said by those with attenuated associations with her. You probably do, however, agree with her opposition to bigotry and believe that everyone should treated with respect, and with the statement on her website:

“If Americans Knew supports justice, truth, equal rights and respect for all human beings; and we oppose racism, supremacism, and discrimination of any and all forms.”

You probably also agree that there is something deeply wrong with an organization that is willing to engage in extensive witch-hunts and excommunication campaigns based on combing through extensive writings and advocacy over two decades to find instances of speech that could be perceived as anti-Jewish.

You may feel that such a tactic is excessive, especially given the blatant failures of the American movement for solidarity with Palestine to take more militant stances with regards to the oppression of Palestinians, let alone other oppressed groups.

You might dislike that the Campaign seems intent on expunging Alison Weir from public awareness, just as opponents worked to disappear Dorothy Thompson, Grace Halsell, Donald Neff, Helen Thomas, and other journalists who revealed too many truths.

You might also wonder what sorts of things might be found if someone were to apply the same sort of McCarthyistic tactics to those who are currently leveling such harsh charges.

But whatever your views are, it is clear that the US Campaign ignored you along with hundreds of others, including those who are leading the movement for solidarity with Palestine.

Defend your voice. Act Now.

Already, some organizations in the US Campaign are considering measures to end their affiliation with the Campaign and pulling their membership funds. While we cannot tell you how to deal with this situation, we suggest the following possible responses to the US Campaign’s unfair and undemocratic decision:

1) Let the US Campaign Steering Committee know that their decision was unfair and did not represent you. ***You can e-mail the US Campaign here.***

A sample message might state,
***“Dear U.S. Campaign Steering Committee,
Your expulsion of Alison Weir and If Americans Knew did not represent my views or input. I call on you to reverse your decision and consider that it was not representative of the views of this movement. Thank you.”*** [[[I wrote the following in the Subject field: Expulsion of Alison Weir]]]

2) Post your objection to the Campaign listserve in your region.

3) Forward this e-mail to all of your lists.

4) Propose leaving the US Campaign to others in your USCEIO-affiliated organization. You can cancel your membership in the US Campaign by e-mailing membership@endtheoccupation.org.

5) Cancel your membership fee. (Since only a tiny number of organizations seem to have paid this, this option probably only applies to handful of you.)

6) Stay in the Campaign and work for a more representative, democratic and focused organization, while demanding that your membership fee not be used for witch hunts.

A US Campaign that does not, in fact, represent the campaign for Palestinian liberation in the US is an undemocratic and unaccountable one.

You can also consider donating and volunteering for the organization that has come under attack, and joining their list-serv. Consider also purchasing Alison Weir’s latest book.

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On July 18, we sent the following statement to our email list.

On the US Campaign's Excommunication of If Americans Knew

The management of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has now officially excommunicated Alison Weir and If Americans Knew.

The expulsion took place even though numerous people – including some of the most committed human rights advocates in the U.S., Palestine, and beyond – had signed an open letter publicly defending Alison Weir and If Americans Knew. These heavyweights include former UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; Rapprochement Center Director/ISM co-founder George Rishimawi; activist and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein; peace activists Ann Wright, Arun Gandhi, Ray McGovern and Cindy Sheehan; founding member of Birzeit University’s board of Trustees Samia Khoury; American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee founder James Abourezk; founder of Community and Public Health Institute at Birzeit University Professor Rita Giacaman; Al-Awda Vice Chair Abbas Hamideh; Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities professor and co-founder of Al-Awda-Palestine Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh; author Joel Kovel; activist/musician David Rovics; founder of Friends of Sabeel Rev. Richard Toll; USS Liberty survivor and Gaza flotilla member; and many others.

The expulsion was accomplished through a Star Chamber-like kangaroo court in which normal principles of justice and fairness were trampled upon and Campaign leaders’ predetermined judgment was executed.

In one supporter’s wise words: “If JVP/Campaign had spent a 20th as much time researching AIPAC and the Zionist network that controls Congress and sets the Washington line on the conflict, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.”

We will post a detailed response to the Campaign’s latest expanded dossier against us as soon as possible on the same page where we responded to the previous accusations (which have already been addressed in detail by If Americans Knew and by a multitude of others.)

While we are saddened to take time away from our many projects to work on this, and are in full agreement with individuals who decide to spend their time working for justice and peace rather than delving further into divisive accusations, we feel it is necessary for our organization to defend ourselves from these attacks, which seem intended to prevent our work.

For now, we will simply reiterate our deep commitment to basic principles of fairness and respect for all people and opposition to violence and oppression, principles that motivate our work despite what our accusers have attempted to portray in their dredging through 14 years of writings, interviews, speeches, online posts and other work.

As we state on our website, “We believe all people are endowed with inalienable human rights regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. We believe in justice, fairness, and compassion and in treating all human beings with respect, empathy, and in the manner in which we would wish to be treated.”

It is ironic that our accusers’ actions at times unintentionally parallel strategies recommended by Israel’s Reut Institute to counter BDS: “drive a wedge” between different critics of Israel to prevent a unified movement, and focus “all available fire-power” to “name-shame” opponents to “eventually limit or eliminate altogether their ability to operate in a campus… or any other forum.”

The Campaign appears to be trying to blacklist Alison Weir much the way that Israel partisans erased
Dorothy Thompson, Grace Halsell, Donald Neff, Helen Thomas, and other journalists who revealed too many truths.

But the petition defending If Americans Knew suggests that they will fail in this effort.

A number of the signatories are prominent Palestinian activists, members of Jewish Voice for Peace, and Campaign member organizations.
The common theme of those who signed the petition is commitment to true justice in Palestine and deep opposition to malicious, ADL-like tactics against committed justice activists.

And petition organizers have announced that people have continued to sign the petition even after the recent Campaign announcement against us.

The timing of the Campaign and JVP actions may be connected to the publication of Alison Weir’s expose of Zionist lobbying in the United States and elsewhere. The book has already sold 17,000 copies, and sales continue to grow. Plans are underway for it to be translated into other languages and sold abroad.

While Campaign honchos have the power to expel anyone they target from the organization they created and control, they cannot expel Alison Weir and If Americans Knew from the movement for justice in Palestine.

If Americans Knew plans to continue, intensify, and expand our work to expose the facts about Israeli aggression, oppression, violence, and cruelty, and those behind US support for it, and thereby help to bring the change that is so urgently needed but which some others wish to block.

Our work, as always, will focus on full justice for all Palestinians, and thus a just and secure peace for all parties — not only on ending the occupation.

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Go here for our detailed response to the Campaign’s original interrogation, and here for messages of support for If Americans Knew. Go here for our entire previous discussion of such accusations. We will post our upcoming point by point response to the latest dossier in this same location.

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The following are responses we've received or that have been shared with us since the U.S. Campaign removed us from their organization.

Responses to U.S. Campaign's Excommunication

It appears that US Campaign staff are asking Open Letter signatories to remove their names but are being refused. Below is the response one person sent to the US Campaign staff member and copied us on:

Yes, my name remains on the letter from Falk, Mazin, Ann W, etc calling for an end to this. I’ve been doing this work far too long not to recognize the attack on Weir for what it is – a way to split, decimate, and neutralize the solidarity movement and to telegraph a message of absolute censorship and destruction should others want to expose what she has exposed to the general public eye.

I understand that many people whose hearts are solid for Palestine, whose loyalty is not in question, have joined the executives of JVP and US Campaign without having an understanding of the long view, or perhaps even of the machinations over the decades to stop the move toward equality in the region and thus the end of the “Jewish State”. One such attempt was the call for “dialogue” in the early 90’s, when it was becoming clear the movement for Palestinian freedom and equal rights was growing. All of a sudden, the disruption and re-direction was “dialogue”, which stopped most of the work for a couple of years and marginalized all who were not Jewish or Muslim or Arab, before folks began to understand that stopping the work was the reason for the disruption, not dialogue.

Before I speak for myself, I quote one of the comments on a FB discussion that I think asks a very unsettling question, and one that requires serious reflection.

“why did End the Occ find it necessary to develop “anti-racism principles”? This assumes that racism is prevalent in ranks of Palestine supporters, a strange idea. There are no adherents of Islamophobia in Palestine ranks, one of two “isms” mentioned. The other is anti-Semitism, which the principles in effect accuse Palestine supporters of.

Astonishingly, for a Palestine group, there is no attention to the broad history and literature on Zionism as a form of racism, and on Jewish anti-gentilism, chauvinism and separatism in the “diaspora”. This signal omission suggests that “anti-racism” is being used to persecute people whom Jews disagree with.”

One of the most puzzling aspects of JVP’s and Campaign’s justification of this attack on Alison is their statement that she has “legitimized” racism by appearing on certain shows (Joseph said exactly that on FB posts), yet the organizations refuse to see the contradiction and hypocrisy when they work with Zionist groups, thereby giving “legitimacy” to the racism of Zionism – remembering that across the globe, Zionism is recognized as racism. It IS, on its face, racism.

No Alison didn’t respond to every single statement or pick up on every nuance. Do you know of anyone who has ever been able to do that? She’s not a goddess. She’s not even perfect.

I believe the real reason for the attack against Alison is that she exposed Jewish power in the US, the rather stunning power that resulted in the establishment of Israel as a Jewish state. She was certainly not the first to do that – it’s been written about for years (long before Atzmon), including extensively in the Daily Forward for decades – but she put it into easily readable form available to the public and substantiated and confirmed it with solid research and references. This is not allowed. It is “beyond thinkable thought”, as Chomsky says.

The Jewish community speaks with pride about it’s presence and influence in many areas, as would any oppressed or formerly oppressed group. That in itself is not a bad thing, but to destroy a movement because someone outside that community said the very same thing, is evil. The hypocrisy and contradictions in this attack are almost beyond comprehension.

I also believe concern about that revelation is why Chomsky and Bennis, so good on nearly everything else, refuse to recognize the power of the Lobby in the face of all evidence to the contrary. They, and certainly we, are all concerned about a real rise in anti-Jewish racism.

It’s a very slippery slope, isn’t it? No sane person wants to see a repeat of the 1930s and 40s, so we avoid talking about things that might generate a similar anger again. And yet the things being done by Israel in the name of Jews everywhere are exactly the things that generate deep anger and contempt against nations that do such things and against people who are perceived to support them. It is those actions, that state in its current configuration, that must end, not the work of people exposing them.

As long as that state insists that it is the state for all Jews, and that it speaks for all Jews, all Jews get tarred with the ugliness, even my Jewish husband who has been in the struggle for Palestinian freedom longer than I have – almost 35 years.

For Jewish groups, or Jewish-led groups, to split the movement (one simply cannot deny that is what has happened, and what was surely expected to happen) is so transparent and completely unacceptable that there is almost nothing more to say on it.

We will have to agree to disagree about this attack on Alison. She is certainly not perfect, has done things she perhaps might wish she had done differently, but to single her out for not being 100% pure is not only damaging to the movement but is hypocritical in the extreme.

I have been saying for years that there would come a time when our erstwhile allies split away from us, for many are not in the struggle for Palestine – they are in it for Israel. They want to end the occupation because it is clearly harmful to Israel. They believe that once the occupation and siege are ended, Israel can continue to live as an apartheid state and the world will leave them alone.

After we lose those folks, I thought, the next to go will be those who are afraid of the exposures needed to finally get to justice. Perhaps I had the timing backward, for this is where we are now. It will take great courage on all our parts to lay out the reality and to demand a change, to demand that power be used for justice, not for continuing apartheid and a false sense of security.

Just for the record, I’m thoroughly familiar with the arguments against racism, about ends and means, about the need to fight racism wherever we find it and have been a significant part of that struggle all my life. That is NOT what this is about, and the very people saying it is are working with racists.

I cannot stand back and watch this movement be destroyed by people whose first concern is clearly not Palestinian freedom.

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September 18, 2015

Louisville, Kentucky

TO: The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

FROM: The Louisville Committee for Peace in the Middle East (LCPME)

The Louisville Committee for Peace in the Middle East (LCPME) hereby resigns from The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation because of your unfair treatment of Allison Weir and her organization, If Americans Knew. Please remove the name of our organization from your coalition. The reasons we are taking this action are explained in the petition below.

Sincerely,

Polly Johnson, Chairperson
Reverend David Johnson, Member
Dr. Ibrahim Imam, Ph.D., Member
Dr. John Morrison, Ph.D., Member
Patricia Geier, Member
Nadia David, Member
Russ Greenleaf, Member
Barbara Berman, Member
Linda Omer, Member
Rawdha Malik, Member
Christian Tate, Member
Christian Brawner, Member
David Horvath, Member

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Shame on the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Jewish Voices For Peace (JVP) in attempting to silence and bully Alison Weir a well respected educator for ‪#‎Palestine‬ and founder of www.IFAmericansKnew.org. These stunts only prove that such organizations cannot be taken serious and only serve as gatekeepers.

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This is in response to the US Campaign decision to expel Alison Weir and If Americans Knew organisation:

I agree, this is a terrible decision on the part of the US Campaign and a disservice to the people of Palestine and a blow to the Palestine solidarity movement world wide ,especially when it comes from groups who purport to be in solidarity with Palestine. This reminds me of the vicious attack against the impeccable work of the two scholars of Harvard and University of Chicago regarding their book "The Israeli Lobby" . I sincerely question the motive behind the attack on Alison Weir and her organization If Americans Knew. The US Campaign needs to focus on the groups within it ranks instead and purge itself of the pro-Zionist groups and elements engaging in undermining the emergence of a truly genuine mass movement in solidarity with the people of Palestine at the behest of the likes of ADL, AJC, Campus Watch and the likes. It's not a secret for many of us who have been involved with the movement to be subjected to extensive spying,defamation and infiltration of groups,organisations and coalitions in the name of "presenting the two sides", fighting "racism" and "Anti-Semitism",etc... The cases are too many to enumerate and reflect a pattern at work not only locally but nationwide by the aforementioned groups and others. Needless to say that the primary concern of these groups and organisations is to undermine the emergence of a genuine mass movement in solidarity with Palestine. The aim is to defend and justify the brutal wars of aggression, occupation and policies of the Apartheid, settler-colonial state in Palestine.

It's within this framework that the US Campaign must rescind its decision to expel If American Knew and apologize to Ms. Weir and her organisation for tarnishing the reputation of otherwise unassailable individual and group who has been in the forefront advocating for Palestinian rights and their struggle for freedom, liberation and independence. The Campaign needs to refocus its energy,resources and investigation of the group(s) within its ranks that has targeted Alison Weir and her organisation in order to uncover the real motive behind sanctioning a very powerful member and ally of the US Campaign unless the later has adopted the new definition of "anti-Semitism" by the apologists for Israeli atrocities, then it needs to let its members and supporters know of such position. Moreover, the campaign needs to do the hard work of cleansing itself of pro-Zionist groups and elements that truly hinder the development of a mass movement in solidarity with Palestine otherwise its claim to fight racism remain suspect at best and disingenuous at worst. a board member of Karama,a San Diego-based organisation

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The Chico Palestine Action Group is a member of the US Campaign to End the Occupation and the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights. As a member of these two coalitions and as a group actively working for Palestinian rights, the Chico Palestine Action Group urges the US Campaign to End the Occupation to withdraw their decision to expel If Americans Knew from the coalition. We value the strength of our coalition, and the irreplaceable work of If Americans Knew as part of this coalition. We are deeply saddened by the conflict and the harsh language between two prominent organizations that are doing such valuable work for justice in Palestine.

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Ms Vilkomerson,

As one who has worked tirelessly for peace in our world and particularly in the Middle East for the past 13 years, I want to register with you my disappointment for your removing of Alison Weir and If Americans Knew from the coalition working for peace and equality for the Palestinian people of Israel. Your mission statement which I have just read, appears to indicate just the opposite of this recent action.

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Alison Weir’s views re. justice for Palestine seem nearly identical to my own. I appreciate her thorough research and articulate presentations. I have been fairly active with JVP/Boston and am now rethinking that relationship.

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We are in solidarity with you and your troubles with the US Campaign and JVP. We’ve let them know our views in the strongest way. We’re hoping that a reconciliation is possible and comes soon. If not, we’re with you.

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I greatly admire your work and appreciate the effort you put into it. I am wondering if you can help me better understand the issues you are now encountering. I find this issue deeply discouraging and hope this is not the beginning of something worse, the complete collapse of any viable Palestine justice movement forming. Infighting among solidarity movements is a real phenomenon that has halted the progress of so many issues and hindered progress in our wider world.

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I’ve read the USCEIO allegations and Alison’s response, and doubt that the numerous distinguished signatories to the statement challenging USCEIO are just blindly piling on. But I agree that an examination of both documents and a measured response is in order. Here’s mine:

There is no more powerful voice disseminating more relevant knowledge more widely than journalist Alison Weir and her organization and website, If Americans Knew. Our project has sponsored three speaking engagements for Alison in Eugene over the past several years. Her recently published book, Against Our Better Judgment, exposes explosive information about secret manipulations by contemporary and future Jewish Supreme Court justices Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter during World War I to use the American military to further Zionist ambitions, decades before Israel or its US lobby yet existed. Predictably, a storm of efforts to discredit her have been unleashed including denunciations by two presumably allied groups, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO). Given the circumstances, timing, vulnerability of open membership organizations, and Israel’s current state of embattlement by the burgeoning BDS campaign and ICC investigation, these efforts smell strongly of infiltration.

RESPONSE TO USCEIO EXCOMMUNICATION OF ALISON WEIR

USCEIO’s points of disagreement with Alison are understandable but I believe their reasoning and conclusions are flawed on both empirical and logical grounds. There is a difference in strategic thinking that deserves discussion but not condemnation.

  1. USCEIO asserts that right-wing broadcasters want to “further their racist aims rather than truly help the Palestinian people.” It is presumptuous to assume the motivations of others, including both broadcasters and thousands of listener/voters all painted dismissively with the same broad brush as “right wing” and “racist.” But even were they all an ideologically homogeneous population, what will “truly help the Palestinian people” more than weakening the lobby’s grip on the American electorate and legislators, many of whom adhere in some measure to “right-wing” viewpoints? These programs provided Alison access to an audience ignored and discounted by traditional “liberals” and “progressives,” potential single-issue political allies capable of bringing political pressure on pro-Israel legislators. Does this imply a more general ideological alliance? Must we shun the “right wing” of American political opinion for the sake of appearances? Are all people of conservative leanings racists? Incapable of thought? Of learning? Of judgment? Of conscience? Of change? How many listeners do so just for entertainment or idle stimulation without having firmly established political views? In some parts of the country there isn’t much else to listen to while driving to work or to keep awake while driving home late.And quite simply, all “wings” of the US electorate are US citizens with a right to know how their tax dollars are used.
  1. Did Alison have a duty to use her limited air time arguing with broadcasters about other issues? USCEIO understandably does not want Palestinian human rights conflated with racism, but since Palestinians are direct victims of the Jewish racism called Zionism, which projects its own racism onto its opponents, it is a challenging line to walk. Personally, I might have handled it by stating, “Racism treats people as categories rather than individuals and can be very unfair, as Zionism so tragically demonstrates. We need to be very careful not to fall into the same trap of overgeneralizing about people.” I doubt such a statement would have lost audience or future invitations, but who are we to second guess her? Arguably, she has successfully introduced more Americans to the facts on this issue than anyone else in the movement.
  1. USCEIO complains about the Roger Tucker passage cited by Alison. But Tucker’s thinking is logical, and yes, it does suggest that something intrinsic to Jewish culture may have contributed to its problems at various times and places throughout history. The late Israeli professor Israel Shahak and others have addressed this issue at some length. Although Christian condemnations of Jews as Christ-killers unquestionably fueled the fires of religious bigotry in Europe, collective self-definitions have also likely played a role. French-Israeli writer Michel Warshawski has written about Israel’s self-ghettoization in the world community leading “toward an open tomb,” and it doesn’t require a Ph.D. in social psychology to recognize that self-declarations as a “chosen people” are likely to evoke antagonism in others who value their own collective identity. But the non-specific examples invoked by Tucker are far from comprehensive or randomly selected samples of interactions between Jewish communities and their surrounding cultures. These collisions of ideologies have by no means been universal. Jewish citizens and communities existed compatibly within Muslim-majority societies for centuries without notable conflict or discrimination, often as refuge from Christian persecution in Europe, until disrupted by the Zionist movement with its “iron wall” policies of dispossession, displacement and segregation. The Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewish communities of Iberia, North Africa and the Middle East were not subjected to pogroms or the Holocaust, and their experience does not support the Zionist necessity-for-our-own-state thesis. After 1948 the “Arab Jews” immigrated to Israel over two decades largely in response to Israeli recruitment and incentives such as award of properties taken from Palestinians, and some in response to Mossad false flag attacks to panic them into flight. A large Jewish community in Iran has preferred to stay there.Either alternative interpretation – (a) Jewish culture has contributed to its own alienation, or (2) Jewish cultures have not been routinely alienated but have been well integrated with many other cultures across many centuries – fails to support the Zionist worldview and its Israeli manifestation.
  1. Since when does self-examination or external criticism perform a disservice to people who complain of being chronically victimized? That’s what group therapy is for, and the UN General Assembly, although without executive authority, does serve as something of an international therapy group. The UNGA has passed well over 100 resolutions by overwhelming margins providing corrective feedback to Israel for its flagrant, serial crimes against Palestinians, invasions of its neighbors and violations of international law, all of which Israel has ignored and defied while declaring itself the nation of the Jewish people and a bastion of Jewish culture, Jewish character and Jewish values. And while over 90% of Israelis were cheerleading the mass murderous Operations Cast Lead and Protective Edge.With that operational self-definition, is there any louder voice of anti-Semitism in the world today than Israel itself? And do any of the 50+ “Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations” repudiate this? Not one. So if right-wingers overgeneralize to generic “Jews” their confusion is understandable, however unfair to the non-Zionist and anti-Zionist Jewish minorities who unfortunately have negligible political power or media voice. De-conflating “Judaism and Jewish people globally with the state of Israel” is a responsibility and should be the focus of Jewish-Americans concerned with anti-Semitism, not picking on people like Alison Weir for not making their job easier by withholding rather than exposing inconvenient truths.
  1. Alison has provided documentation from credible sources for both medieval Jewish atrocities and recent organ harvesting which USCEIO obliquely cites as evidence of anti-Semitism. But if evidence of the medieval atrocities is as authoritative as it appears from Alison’s sources, then it is not “blood libel” but represents barbaric Jewish behavior in retaliation for barbaric acts of Christian Crusaders. These were barbaric times that included the Inquisition burning heretics at the stake. Why is it acceptable to openly discuss Christian but not Jewish barbarism? The organ harvesting scandal has been admitted by Israel itself, and Alison’s report has been decisively confirmed by multiple sources. The central role of Russian Jews in the Gulag system was described by Ynet Deputy Editor Sever Plocker in a 2006 editorial titled“Stalin’s Jews” that described the role of Gingrikh Yagoda, “the greatest Jewish murderer of the 20th Century,” in designing and implementing the Gulag system with his Jewish deputies responsible for the death of at least 10 million – and eventually at least 20 million – people.
  1. So what justifies USCEIO’s complaint? Clearly, inaccuracy is not a supportable charge. Categorical political labeling is a fraternal if not identical twin of racism, and guilt by association, a first cousin of ad hominem attacks, is not a valid argument in a courtroom or a logics classroom. Nobody becomes responsible for the ideas of another person just by talking with him.I see only one legitimate question that deserves an answer. Why bring up these indelicate matters? Are these merely gratuitous slurs against the Jewish people and hence “anti-Semitic”? The same could be asked of Israeli editor Plocker, who was intentionally exploding the sacred myth of Jews as the eternal innocent victims from the inside out. Plocker complains that “An Israeli student finishes high school without ever hearing the name Gengrikh Yagoda” and finds it “unacceptable that a person will be considered a member of the Jewish people when he does great things, but not considered part of our people when he does amazingly despicable things.” This Jewish exceptionalism and culturally scripted victim identity has been relentlessly used to justify Zionism’s urgent claim for an exclusively Jewish place of safety at the expense of anyone else who might be in their way. Disposing of this myth effectively cuts the legs from underneath Zionist ideology and its Israeli implementation project. I judge that to be a worthy objective and a significant contribution to the cause of justice, liberation and self-determination for Palestinians denied them since 1948.
  1. To avoid arbitrary judgments using poorly defined variables including “thought crimes” and subjective interpretations of language, all USCEIO (and JVP) members might be asked to endorse the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This would establish objective, comprehensive and universally approved standards of conduct.

Jack Dresser, Ph.D.
Health Behavior Research Scientist
Member, International Society of Political Psychology
National vice-chair, Palestine and Middle East Working Group, Veterans for Peace
Co-director, Al-Nakba Awareness Project
www.al-nakba-history.com

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I'm shocked at the decision by the End the Occupation organization. It makes no sense whatever. This makes me think that there must be Zionists inside the organization. I hope the good people come to their senses and identify this fifth column and kick it out before it does anymore damage. I've contacted them and let them know I think they've made a big mistake by excommunicating If Americans Knew and suggested they keep a close eye on those who made the initial complaint.

Best of luck.

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I just sent the following message to the U.S. Campaign:

Please cease this witch hunt against Alison Weir. In several years of listening to and reading Alison's work I have never found anything to be anti-Semitic.

It is clear to me that your organization has been infiltrated by Hasbarists and your energies would be better used to clear out this menace in your ranks.

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This witch hunt is unbefitting our advocacy work which must focus on the cause of Palestinian freedom and justice. I express my sorrow that Alison is going through this difficult and unjust experience. I express my gratitude for Alison's materials, which have been a true benefit to me in my work. Alison may have made some mistakes, but this current campaign against her is quite a bit worse. It is malicious and seems mean-spirited. I find it difficult to comprehend and impossible to support.

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To US Campaign:

In the interests of transparency, who were the specific individuals and member organizations involved in this decision and what were their roles or is this a Star Chamber proceeding?

Along with over one thousand other activists and several hundred other members of the US Campaign Coalition, I oppose your actions in expelling my friend Alison Weir and I question your real motives for this act so destructive to the struggle for a free Palestine.

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To JVP:

It really is a shame that JVP has tarnished its own name the way it has. For a long time I have greeted messages from JVP with welcoming expectation, as a message from a source that supports the same cause that I do.

Now I see the name JVP and my first thought is markedly negative. My first thought goes to your disgraceful witch hunt on Alison Weir, one of the most dedicated activists working on any issue, anywhere.

I do hope that you will come to your own good senses and rethink your foolish and misguided actions against Ms. Weir. I would much rather welcome your messages once more without feeling this antipathy toward you and what you have done.

The cause we support is more important than any of us, or any group. It is a shame that JVP seems to have lost sight of that. By doing such great damage to its own good name, JVP has done damage to this cause.

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So sorry you are going through this.

I will send check this week. Not a lot, but to show support. I Hope my name shows up on petition with all those great people mentioned as volunteers and freedom sailors first flotilla.

Thank for all you do for justice.

I know when Reza Aslan debates or informs idiots on Fox news about Islam he is not promoting ignorance or bigotry they repeatedly espouse; he is offering a counter point. Maybe someone watching might get a glimmer of truth seldom heard on any of Fox's so called news programming.

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Dear Mr. Munayyer

Alison Weir has a track record of opposing the Israeli oppression of Palestinians — and appeals to Americans to stop their collusion with Israel and the financing of this sorry enterprise. Your attack against a person who ostensibly is your ally is rather pathetic and miserable. And finally, you seem to spend (waste) more time on this issue than you do going after zionists who invariably utter far more pernicious and hateful statements. What do you do about the likes of Pamela Geller, et al? If you have condemned Weir more than Geller, then I suggest that there is a problem with your organization.

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This exposes the bogus so-called "US C..." for what they really are. I am afraid there is no shortage of scumbags masquerading as supporters of our cause!

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Defend Alison Weir, the courageous lady who has taken on the all-powerful and pervasive Jewish Zionist Lobbies in the US, namely the AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee). Alison Weir is a historian and journalist of impeccable repute and is the founder of the best website "IF AMERICANS KNEW" www.ifamericansknew.org -In solidarrity from India

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Just wanted to express my support for you and your great work. One really does have to wonder about the actual motives of the people responsible for this campaign against you. Like any such campaign its purpose is to sow dissension and to try to silence the voices of those targeted. It's disgraceful that these organizations have allowed themselves to be used this way.

I was nearly 40 when my eyes began to be opened. It was the first intifada. I will never forget looking at the images on my television and wondering why soldiers would be killing children. Seemed like a disproportionate response to stone throwing. So began the self-education. Anyway I used to do things like write snail mail to the NY Times editors to complain about their coverage. Back then of course there was little or no infrastructure for more effective resistance. My how things have changed and thank god for that. Anyway thank you for all that you do. Don't let them get you down.

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Dear Alison, I am writing a message of support after becoming aware of the campaign to discredit you and your work. I read the materials on your site detailing the allegations and can only say that sad as it is that you must use time and energy to respond to them, overall the fact that such a campaign exists speaks volumes about the effectiveness of what you are doing. Please keep it up! I heard you speak in San Diego last year, and very much appreciate your very important work. I hope as you trudge through the mud thrown at you, you will be able to realize that you wear it as a badge of honor and integrity, something those slinging the mud cannot claim. Warm regards.

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Here's the email I sent to JVP in Chicago: Hi, I’m a Chicago member. I am very concerned about JVP’s recent attacks on Allison Weir and If Americans Knew. Now I’ve just seen that the US Campaign has formally ousted her, with JVP support. I’ve read all the allegations made against her, and her replies to those allegations. I find her replies quite reasonable, and I find the witch hunting allegations very UN-reasonable. I‘m not writing to argue all the points about this, but I do find it exceedingly arrogant that someone would think they have the right to tell someone else where they are allowed to try and spread this important message. The world is not divided into the perfect people and the evil people, and sometimes you wind up engaging with people whose opinions you’re not entirely in favor of, but nonetheless, you can find common ground. We desperately need common ground with a lot of people to ever change Israel, and your cherry picking of who is and isn’t “worthy’ to spread the message is not consistent with an organization that is supposed to be supporting Palestine.

Ask yourself this: do you truly believe that Palestinian people, who are fighting for their very existence, and their right to live on their homeland, care if someone on a radio show has some prejudices? When they might be blown to pieces at any time by an Israeli attack, do you REALLY think it’s appropriate to try to LIMIT the amount of people speaking out in their favor? This backbiting and holier-than-thou nonsense does absolutely nothing to help Palestine, but instead serves to make someone feel superior, or more pure, while actually damaging the cause you say you work for. How childish!

I call on you to tell me where the Chicago chapter leaders stand on this issue. I’ve read that JVP is not really cohesive on this issue, but I want to know where you stand, and I’d like to know why JVP leadership did all this without publicly calling for input from the membership.

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You have my full and heartfelt support Allison. You have courage, intelligence and heart. You are a beacon in a dark world. Thank you.

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My impression is that efforts by some in leadership positions in the US Campaign and JVP to discredit and marginalize Alison by smearing her as anti-Semitic are mostly a smokescreen. Many "liberal Zionists" (a term that is self-contradicting and that reflects inherent internal inconsistencies and conflicts) are profoundly troubled by the publication of Alison's book, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel. As one who has formally studied the history of political terrorism and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias in US media and who has written for publication about these and related issues since 1999, I was very much surprised by the amount of information in Alison's ground-breaking book that was new to me. Against Our Better Judgment explores and exposes the long-hidden history of secret Zionist organizations and operations on US soil and in Europe that were instrumental in the creation of the state of Israel and Israel's powerful lobby in the USA. The book is extraordinarily well-research and prodigiously documented. Were there factual errors or falsehoods in the book, those who would rather the information had remained secret would tear it apart and refute it on the basis of error or falsehood, but the book is factually impervious to attack. If they attacked the book anyway and made false arguments against the information in it, such attacks could and would be successfully refuted - and that would draw yet more attention to the book and the information in it! Because they dare not allow that to happen, they have chosen instead to attack and smear the author herself.

Three local crypto-Zionists and self-proclaimed social justice and pro-Palestine activists here in central Iowa sought unsuccessfully to smear me as an anti-Semite soon after I distributed a case, 50 copies, of the first edition of Against Our Better Judgment, here in central Iowa last year. (One of those was fired from his job as a community organizer and effectively forced to leave the state for several months after he sought, unsuccessfully, to introduce militancy to pro-Palestine activism here in central Iowa. He has since returned, continued to behave badly, and was voted out of a local non-violent intentional community where he had long been a resident member.)

Crypto-Zionist political operatives and deeply conflicted "liberal Zionists" really do not like Alison's book. They fear it because it draws back a curtain of secrecy that has long protected the Zionist political and media machine's perfidy and hidden an ugly and potentially damaging truth: their loyalty to a foreign nation, its leaders, and their political agendas, which are in many instances contrary not just to US foreign policy but actually harmful to entirely legitimate privacy, public safety, and national interests of the United States of America and all of its citizens. But please don't take my word for it. Buy the book, read it, and draw your own conclusions.

http://www.amazon.com/Against-Our-Better.../dp/149591092X

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Few if any of us had any input as to their decision. I have reason to believe this has been planned for quite some time, possibly by people who are no longer seem to be on the US Campaign steering committee but head their own organization in Portland. I recognize few names from well-known long-time Portland activists on this petition. She has been betrayed by the very people she has worked with and helped the most in the past.

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It bothers me that there are people in JVP who obviously feel we can't handle the unvarnished truth and so Alison Weir is pilloried because of it. We don't do this to writers who have exposed the true nature of colonialism although it reflects very badly on the British. America wears it's own badge of shame over slavery and its treatment of the indigenous people, also well written about, so I can only assume that the difference here is that Israel has to be regarded as a special case because it is an ongoing situation being played out right now. But how can JVP or any other Jewish organisation working toward a resolution not be hampered by choosing to be selective?. Of course it is a sensitive issue, but the book does not encourage anti-Semitism in reasonable minds. Instead, it tells the truth about political Zionism.

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It's sad that this is happening because it is just divide and conquer. However I see no reason to believe the allegations of antisemitism on the evidence provided and happily call myself anti-Zionist so for those reasons had no problems supporting the petition. I do hope that the differences can be worked out or at least that the organizations will not oppose each others actions and spend all their time fighting. Mostly I'm sad and disappointed that we are not unified for Palestine.

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This is indescribably appalling. I'm through with JVP and the US Campaign. I stand with Alison.

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IAK is founded around education about Israel-Palestine much more than it is an advocacy organization. She is a journalist who has filled a shameful void in the USA concerning the history of Palestine. A more enduring format, I think, with more integrity than purely lobby-based 'advocacy' organizations. A journalist and educator should be able to speak to whomever they can about their research.

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Alison weir! Your super woman in my eyes!! I'm in the West Bank as I type and ur name always comes up when talking about our greatest chance in ending the occupation!

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The annual donation I've made for years to the US Campaign will be going to IAK in the future. Keep up the good work!

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Many members of JVP are speaking out, and I hope many more will as well.

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Every American should read this book. Thank you for your dedication to truth, justice, and clarity. I hope you will not be discouraged by detractors.

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We should be supporting each other in ending Zionism - not attacking each other!! I have long had my suspicions about JVP & even the U.S. Campaign - now they are sadly beginning to become more clear. I will order Alison's book from Amazon today & read it. * There's no doubt in my mind that Zionism is trying to infiltrate the #BDS movement here in the USA. Thank You All - Never be afraid of the Truth smile emoticon

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Still waiting to see the evidence Alison is a white separatist/nationalist other than "She talked to a couple people we don't agree with." I personally believe both the U.S. and Israel use each other for their own shady ends and policies so stating neither is incorrect the way I see it.

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I'll be eternally grateful to Alison and ifamericansknew for giving me the information necessary to realize I had previously been a victim of zionist lies and propaganda.. The truth remains true whether others want to believe it or not. That seems to bother some in JVP for which I had great respect until now. I would not be surprised at a zionist government sponsored Fifth Column working within JVP who's mission is to disrupt both parties, divide and conquer. JVP should realize the common enemy is the zionist regime colonizing Palestine. Israeli government disregard for International Law and opinion are a catalyst for anti-semitism which should concern all Jews with a moral conscience and understanding of history Peace will only come with justice and equality for Palestinians

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I support Alison. The zionists are spending huge amounts of $$ to divide and conquer. Don't fall for it.

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They have no grounds. God bless you Allison

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This is absolutely looney-tunes. WTF. Just as the Palestine movement is starting to really turn the tide, this happens to your organization that has been absolutely monumental in informing the public. It's pretty clear that this is an attempt to disrupt and derail the entire movement.

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To JVP:

As one who has worked tirelessly for peace in our world and particularly in the Middle East for the past 13 years, I want to register with you my disappointment for your removing of Alison Weir and If Americans Knew from the coalition working for peace and equality for the Palestinian people of Israel. Your mission statement which I have just read, appears to indicate just the opposite of this recent action.

I, like Ms Weir, have been a supporter of Israel for most of the adult life of my 73 years. But then, when I realized that most of the wars in the Middle East have had an indirect if not direct hand of the zionist government of Israel and its relationship to the Palestinian people, I started to change my attitude toward Israel itself. I find it hard to believe that a group such as yours, could possibly be genuine in your beliefs, and still be willing to throw under the bus, a group which has as its sole purpose to educate the American people of what our tax dollars are being used for in the destruction of people's homes and lives;.

I hope that you can find it in your conscience to rescind your recent decision to expel Ms Weir and If Americans Knew from the coalition working to end the strife in the Middle East and the degradation of the Palestinian people, and the endangerment of the Jewish citizens of Israel.

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By my count, the USCEIO lists three Palestinian member organizations, but none are current listed as being in good standing (i.e. dues paid). Whether there are or are not Palestinian organizations depends upon whether you count those that are not in good standing. Some such organizations have been out of standing for years and the existence of some as active organizations of any kind may be in doubt. The USCEIO counts more than 400 organizations as “members” but only 44 are currently in good standing. One certainly has the right to doubt the breadth of the USCEIO if only around 10% of the “members” are in good standing and to what extent they continue to exist at all.

With regard to the issue of racism, there are certainly member organizations in the USCEIO that equivocate. American Muslims for Palestine refuses to recognize the Armenian genocide. For Armenians and their supporters, this is equivalent to Holocaust denial. And several organizations, including JVP, refuse to take a stand on whether Zionism is racism, a slap in the face to many Palestinians who are denied the right to return to their homes and to recover their property for the sole reason that they are not Jews.

Under these circumstances, and in view of its ostensible zero tolerance policy, it is hard to understand why the USCEIO singled out If Americans Knew for expulsion and anti-Semitism as the only form of racism for enforcement of its policy.

A coalition is by definition a cooperation between groups that don’t agree on everything but are willing to work together on issues that they hold in common. Thus, AMP, IAK, JVP and other groups can work together because they do not have to accept all of the positions of the others. They do not represent each other.

However, their relation to the USCEIO is different. As members of USCEIO, they implicitly and usually explicitly agree to USCEIO policy and practice, and USCEIO represents them. Thus, when the USCEIO makes a statement on racism, or enforces or fails to enforce its position, or expels or fails to expel a member for nonadherence, it represents the membership. And if any of the members disagree, they have the choice to either compromise their view, try to change or overturn the policy, position or action, or resign. That is why, after years of speaking on the issue of the failure of the USCEIO racism statement to address Zionism, the Free Palestine Movement resigned over the USCEIO decision to selectively enforce its racism criteria on the issue of anti-Semitism alone and against If Americans Knew.

Thus, as Sparrow points out, when the USCEIO says, “…what is truly divisive is condoning racism or bigotry of any kind…” it is the height of hypocrisy to apply that policy to one kind of racism alone and to fail to speak out against Zionism, the form of racism that is directly responsible for Palestinian dispossession.

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For anyone still confused, please read Alison’s book, Against our better judgment. It brilliantly exposes the Parushim, a secret society in the USA that eventually controlled our government and media, and from the look of things today, still does appear to do so. One of the first things I would do if I belonged to this secret group, having got control of both the government and media, would be to focus on controlling the Palestine solidarity movement, placing Zionist gate keepers in the top positions.

Alison’s book educates us on the Parushim; who is now trying to suppress her voice? (with the standard false accusation of antisemitism)? The ADL has been doing so for years. Now the attacks are coming from within our own movement.

See this video: Anti-semitic, Its a Trick, We Always Use it: http://youtu.be/Nex-oSKPX2w

Another thing to meditate on:

How long did it take to collect all the information about Alison Weir’s past interviews? I asked Alison if she has a handy list of all the interviews she has ever done, and how many had she done. She didn’t have a list, and she didn’t know how many, but it must be over 1,000.

Some body somewhere must have been compiling a list of all her past engagements, so that, at the appropriate time (like during a book tour) they could make a fuss about 5 of them. 5 out of some 1,000 or more.
That’s 0.5% or less.

(In keeping with her policy of reaching ALL Americans, Alison accepts all interviews she is offered if she can fit them in.)

All the other interviews have been to left wing groups, churches, Islamic groups, or whatever. Was there one person assigned to monitoring Alison? Who was paying them?

Just throwing out some ideas here, for you all to ponder. There are many unanswered questions.

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I cannot tell you how angry I am at the U.S. Campaign and JVP for their scandalous treatment of Allison. They have lost my respect. Completely.

I will continue to work with them where necessary because we need all hands on deck to educate and move the American people. Otherwise I am done with them.

Please keep your chins up at If Americans Knew. You have lots of supporters.

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I doubt there is an organization in the US Campaign that has a body of work so simply and truthfully stated, consistently honest, available, and powerful as Alison Weir’s If Americans Knew. Out of all her documentation, presentations, interviews, and question and answer sessions, countless haystacks of expressions, she is singled out for condemnation for having the courage (grace?) to express her hard earned knowledge on a controversial talk show, allowing for the possibility listeners of said talk show will hear some truth about Israel, the Palestinians, the US media, and the US government. There was nothing Alison could have said on that talk show that would have made supremacist listeners less supremacist. However, pointing out the inherent lack of humanity toward the Palestinians by the zionist project might eventually filter through the mind of a supremacist that supremacism itself is inhuman, they are guilty of it, and that they too ARE human.

Not to mention she is a mature insightful compassionate American woman who does not need to ask permission to have a conversation with anyone she chooses. I listened and heard no lies from her.

Who gives Alison permission to painstakingly study this endless barrage of murder, dispossession and misery perpetrated by zionists (not all Jews), against an unarmed (for practical purposes) native population (Palestinians), with the blind unlimited support of the world’s premier military industrial complex (US)? The nerve. Love of Truth? Bah humbug.

The gall that she did this without the permission of anyone? She should go back to the kitchen where she belongs, right?

It is an art, albeit destructive, to draw negative implications from positive actions. Those who do so live 24/7 with such a mentality. Joseph Goebbels was very good at it. It is called “propaganda”.

Finding her at fault is at best comparable to noticing Jesus did not wash his hands before being crucified.

At fault? It could be argued, but it takes away from countless volumes of precious moments, the whole of the Love, that really matter.

If Anna Baltzer was on a panel about the racial strife in Ferguson, and the panel included a zionist, is she supposed to excuse herself from the panel because of association? Or if the zionist remarks “They don’t have racial disparity in Israel” is she condemned if she stays focused on her message about Ferguson rather than sidetrack her attention to the sick message of the sicko on the panel?

Speaking of guilt by association, are there any organizations in the US Campaign that support the existence of Israel, a supremacist state (a bit harsher reality than a supremacist talk show)? If one did support Israel would it be cancelled as a member for associating itself with a supremacist state? Have the organizations in the US Campaign been polled as to whether they support the existence of Israel? Of course some do and while it is supremacist they are not expelled.

So I am in a quandary. I have recently, in the past year or so, been able to resume my financial support of the US Campaign. I have been supporting JVP, If Americans Knew, and ANERA as well.

I absolutely trust Alison Weir to be purposeful, meaningful, and honest with my support. Josh Ruebner and Anna Baltzer are also trusted absolutely. There are lots of other similarly trustworthy people out there I just don’t know or am not bringing to mind. For now my JVP budget goes to If Americans Knew.

JVP and the US Campaign are wrong for condemning IAK which has precious purpose. There is only one meaningful path forward. Alison Weir deserves to be honored for her tireless work. Apologies and restoration of support are in order from JVP and USCTETO. We are on the same team. The goal line is only 60 yards away. We are moving the ball.

The enemy is hypocrisy and deceit. We must not allow ourselves to start tackling each other. This would be the zionist dream come true.

We have purpose. Speak the truth about zionism, the zionist project, the Palestinians who so well exemplify the human spirit, the right of all people to life and literacy, to live free among each other on this Earth so close to the Sun.

Stop the expansion of the zionist project and in so doing expose the truth of it, and the truth of all like projects throughout the world, and send them to the dust bin of history.

Whether in a land or in a neighborhood, the mentality is the blessing or the beast. You know this is true.

This is the truth Alison is pointing at. She is saying the beast is devouring the blessing and we must stop it.

It has nothing to do with race or being Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc, it is about being human.

With love and understanding, and no tolerance for deception or hypocrisy, God bless us all

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I am so disappointed in JVP and End the Occupation. I agreed with the statement, if they spent this much energy on Zionists and Israel, that would be impressive. I understand your passion and thank you for the work you do.

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Some people have let us know about an offensive post made about If Americans Knew and Alison Weir on Facebook by a steering committee member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

These slurs were made behind our backs, but we are grateful to friends for sharing them so that we may respond to this absurd, offensive bullying.

We are horrified that these falsehoods are being disseminated about us. We are also deeply troubled that this steering committee member, who is part of the group that expelled us, has so many incorrect impressions about who we are.

Below is our response to these cruel and incorrect accusations.

Response to claims circulated by a US Campaign steering committee member

The steering committee member claims that “IAK operates on the principle that if only the Israel lobby didn’t assert power, the US would be a benevolent force in the world.”

This is silly and untrue. Anyone aware of the Vietnam War (or who protested against it, as Alison did) and historical injustices perpetrated by the U.S. Government would never claim that the country would always “be a benevolent force.” It is a democracy. It’s only as “right” (or wrong) as its citizens are informed, wise, involved and empowered (or ignorant, misguided, manipulated, or disenfranchised.)

The person also asserts, offensively, that “Alison Weir’s outlook is one of American nationalism and white racist politics. Both she and the mission statement of IAK suggest that only white Christians are equipped to be fair researchers and arbiters/leaders of the Palestinian rights movement.”

These statements are absurdly false and offensive. Not only would we never make such a hateful and stupid claim, but we have never claimed to be or seen ourselves as the “arbiters/leaders of the Palestinian rights movement.”

It’s sad that this Steering Committee member has made no effort to learn the truth about us or to contact us in order to at least learn about who we are and to hear our side. We are human beings who have long worked extremely hard for justice in Palestine; doesn’t this person at least owe it to us and to the members of the Campaign to try to find out the facts?

All members of our organization, past and present, including Alison Weir, are acutely aware of previous and current injustices by the US government, have life histories of opposing all racism, and have often publicly opposed oppression and racism of many types.

The staff and board members of If Americans Knew as well as Alison Weir’s other organization, The Council for the National Interest, have included individuals who are Palestinian, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, African American, Asian American, Latino, etc.

Alison participated in the civil rights movement (and was once arrested for this). She has a history of opposition to racism against African Americans, Jewish Americans and others that long predates her current work, and she wrote about an impoverished, mostly African American community’s problems with lack of services, unfair treatment, etc (largely ignored by others), when she was a newspaper editor. She, like many Americans from diverse backgrounds, was active in the Vietnam antiwar movement. She has participated in many demonstrations of various sorts throughout the past 50+ years and was arrested about 12 years ago in San Francisco simply for legally distributing information about Palestine (Zionists in the “pro-peace” but anti-Palestine movement called the police to to have her arrested). Alison raised her children to have similar deep commitment to fairness, tolerance, compassion, and human and civil rights for all people; her children have also been detained for taking part in demonstrations for justice, and some were members of one of the earliest SJPs in the country. If Americans Knew staff members have included former SJP members and other deeply committed activists.

If this steering committee member had read our articles and the other multitude of facts on our website, s/he would be aware that our information comes from a highly diverse array of organizations and researchers/writers from throughout the world.

The post also claims the US Campaign is led by a majority of Palestinians and other people of color.

No, it’s not.

We don’t believe in judging people by their ethnicity or religion. However, it’s true that a coalition on this topic should represent diverse voices.

The Campaign’s governing body – its board of directors – contains four white people and one person of color.

The Campaign is under the corporation “Education for Just Peace in Middle East,” although it is quite likely that a large majority of Campaign members (probably including some Steering Committee members) don’t even know this name.

Check out the board of the Education for Just Peace in Middle East. There are no Muslims.

None of this information is available on the very un-transparent US Campaign website.

Our cyberbully also claims, “We are building an inclusive movement…”

That is a worthy goal. However, the Campaign doesn’t welcome principled and justice-seeking conservatives or pro-Palestinian Orthodox Jews such as Naturei Karta. Many Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have some similar religious and social beliefs that would not pass muster by the Campaign’s would-be purity squad, either.

The Campaign’s claimed “inclusivity” is, in reality, severely restricted, with multitudes of principled people committed to justice in Palestine excluded.

It is, therefore, particularly ironic that the Campaign does include and work closely with groups that contain and work with Zionists, a particularly virulent and powerful form of racism.

Despite an outcry from member groups, the people who run the Campaign refused to include Zionism among the racisms that this “coalition” opposes – even though it is the specific issue that this alleged coalition is supposed to be addressing.

We understand the idea of creating a broad umbrella; at this time, the Campaign doesn’t seem to be it.

Despite much valuable work, funded by all of us who have been members (and by additional large donors), some aspects of the Campaign through the years have been deeply troubling, including its failure to focus on full justice and equal rights for all Palestinians and to expose and oppose Zionism itself.

Some recent Campaign activities seem to be unintentionally furthering Zionist objectives of dividing and conquering and marginalizing committed and effective individuals, rather than furthering justice and peace.

We hope that those who truly care about peace and justice will work to cause the Campaign to be a true coalition, to be vigilant against false claims (whether ignorant or malicious), and to focus on important work that is so desperately needed, and not let it be sidelined into destructive, divisive, and intolerant activities.

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The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook

Jack Dresser
Counterpunch
August 3, 2015

From the outbreak of the Second Intifada, Journalist Alison Weir has tirelessly investigated and reported on the history and realities of Israel’s dispossession and occupation of Palestine through her organization and website, If Americans Knew. Now, she has come under guilt-by-association attack by two umbrella organizations of the Palestinian Solidarity movement, Jewish Voice for Peace and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, for granting interviews to “white supremacist, anti-Semitic” and “vile” radio shows, specifically Clayton Douglas and American Free Press. Judged as tarred by a common brush for not using her limited air time to challenge their objectionable ideologies, her offenses include being called a “patriot” by her defenders.

Alison’s politically incorrect policy has been to disseminate salient facts to anyone, anywhere to achieve the broadest possible reach among American citizens, without political discrimination. The expelling organizations undoubtedly fear that the knowledge will feed anti-Semitism. Maybe it will, but the appropriate remedy would be a collective demand by the Jewish diaspora to end the Zionist project, make reparations to its victims, and establish a democratic state, not to withhold information from people who might use it to make Jewish Americans uncomfortable.

The complaint itself is strongly bigoted against the presumptively “white” political “right-wing” of America and the evidence is extremely thin, so what might really – and so suddenly – be behind this? Unlike the two organizations attacking her, Alison has always taken an unequivocal and uncompromising position against the legality and morality of the entire Zionist project, focusing on the 1948 Nakba and UN-established right of return, not just the Israeli occupation. So-called “liberal” or “progressive” Zionists evade the former and pretend that the crimes began in 1967. Why this adamant denial of honest history and Palestinian human rights?

Fully honoring the right of return would threaten or eliminate Israel’s Jewish majority and any defensible claim to be a “Jewish state.” Survey data from Israelis and occupied Palestinians show this as the largest disparity between them and the most insurmountable obstacle to resolution. Hand-wringing Jewish Israelis and their US enablers see establishment of an integrated, multi-ethnic, Western-style constitutional democracy as an “existential threat” to be fought tooth-and-nail. Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street says, “One-state is not a solution. One state is a dissolution.”

This is pure segregationist racism, not simply annoying discourtesies but the kind of racism that really counts, imposed by armed violence for 67 years upon helpless victims by a self-declared “Jewish state” with a Jewish religious symbol on its flag and emblazoned on the wings of its Hellfire missile-equipped, US-supplied F-16s murdering whole families in Gaza. How can this not inevitably generate some anti-Semitism? And how does it differ in spirit from the Jerusalem Cross of Crusaders that remains a mark of shame upon the history of Christianity? Emotional reactions are not finely parsed, however sometimes unfair to the innocent, and are less likely to be nuanced when Israeli atrocities remain uniformly unopposed by the 50+ Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Jews everywhere are put on the spot by Israeli arrogance and outlawry to collectively stand up, declare “not in my name,” take sides, and choose the side of international law and justice. If they don’t, they have themselves largely to blame. Given awareness – which is readily available, however ignored – silence becomes complicity.

And equally disturbing, it is our country that protects these outrages in violation of our declared principles and our own laws, so why should “patriotism” not be evoked? And why should American WASPs not be prominent among opponents of the government for which they are responsible? And why should organized and politically influential Jewish Americans who march in lockstep defending Israel, as well as those who remain silent, not be held accountable by all US taxpayers who involuntarily support this? And who are the USCEIO and JVP to tell Americans of any political persuasion what to think, to what information they are entitled, or what to conclude from the evidence? Until the righteous critics find effective ways to end Israeli oppression of people suffering under it daily, who are they to judge the attitudes or strategies or political outreach of others?

Those of us firmly supporting justice for Palestinians have observed JVP for many years as compromised by Zionist colonial sympathies but improving recently by endorsing the full BDS campaign. We also found ourselves suspicious a while back when USCEIO convened conference calls, highly controlled in format and content, concerned with “anti-Semitism” – the threadbare fallback complaint of Israel and its US lobby to change the subject and regain the offensive from attention to Israeli state crimes. Curiously, “Zionism” was omitted from their statement on racism while generically condemning “other racist or bigoted behaviors, practices and structures,” an undefined subjective net that could sweep up almost anyone deemed objectionable. Why were putative Palestinian human rights advocates echoing Israeli propaganda themes?

Setting aside the possibility of infiltration, both Alison-attacking organizations have mixed memberships of people scattered along the learning curve of knowledge regarding international law, human rights and documented history, and at different levels of readiness to give up attachment to Israel and its mythologies. Alison would inevitably make many of these members very nervous. And to make matters worse, she has been spreading inconvenient facts widely and very democratically, providing these, inter alia, to people from whom we “liberals” may choose to ideologically distance ourselves. But they too are voters, with a right to know how and where their tax money is spent, to draw their own conclusions, and to exert political influence. Political influence is what is desperately needed against AIPAC power, and many of our federal legislators who bow to AIPAC are also “right-wing.”

The timing of the excommunication is not random. I suspect that it is publication and Alison’s promotion of her book, Against Our Better Judgment, that has released long-stockpiled ammo against her, however flimsy – especially her revelations of arguably treasonous conduct by our first two, widely revered Jewish Supreme Court justices, both pledged to Zionism above loyalty to country as members of a secret Zionist organization, the Parushim. If Justice Louis Brandeis was instrumental, as the evidence suggests, in persuading President Wilson to betray his 1916 campaign promise and declare war on Germany (as a quid pro quo for the Balfour Declaration, with or without his knowledge) – a decision costing over 116,000 American lives (double those killed in Vietnam) – this is explosive information indeed. In addition, Alison’s research indicates that future Justice Felix Frankfurter was instrumental in preventing an early WWI peace treaty with the Ottomans that would have obviated the Balfour Declaration, terminating or seriously restricting the Zionist movement and the havoc that has followed. This information had been published elsewhere but remained obscure.

Some would like to keep it obscure. Blackening the reputation of Justice Brandeis in particular, an iconic figure with a university bearing his name, is undoubtedly intolerable in the realm of “Jewish identity politics” (the real criteria, it would appear, defining Alison’s “anti-Semitism”). It also drives another nail in the coffin of Israel’s proclaimed “right to exist” on land stolen from others. Alison had to be discredited and silenced.

These attacks are serious and malevolent, threatening both Alison’s influence and her livelihood, intended to reduce or extinguish her book sales and speaking engagements. Both expelling organizations are national in scope with many JVP chapters and USCEIO member organizations that may fear inviting her to their communities with her opposition now freshly armed to harass her events and their sponsors.

Readers wishing to oppose this muzzling attempt can endorse a petition supporting Alison here.

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On August 12, 2015, the Mondoweiss website published an article defending the US Campaign/JVP and another, by JVP member Russ Greenleaf, defending Alison Weir (see below).

Mondoweiss Roundtable on the Palestine Solidarity Movement and Alison Weir

As of August 17, the comments topped 800 and continue to grow, with the majority of them strong, often extremely thorough and articulate rebuttals of the JVP/Campaign accusations.

See:

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/roundtable-palestinian-solidarity/comment-page-1#comments

and

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/roundtable-palestinian-solidarity

An individual emailed us:

“As you’d expect in a thread of that length, there’s a fair bit of repetition, cross-talk, off-topic posts, etc. I have read most of the discussion, and quite a bit of it is at a pretty high level. Overall, I think it’s fair to say that the voices defending the JVP and US Campaign attacks have suffered a real rout.

I'd particularly recommend (use your browser's Find command on those pages) the comments by hfouda, Henry Norr, Pianoteacher, MTorres, Tree, Paul Larudee, Rusty Pipes, Danaa (a Jewish ex-Israeli), W.Jones, Eva Smagacz, Jack Dresser, and Genesto.

Below are the article by Russ Greenleaf and some of the comments:

Why I think JVP and the US Campaign are making a mistake regarding Alison Weir

By Russ Greenleaf

On June 15, 2015, the national office of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) publicly accused Alison Weir of endorsing anti-Semitism. On July 16, 2015, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO) publicly repeated the same accusation. The accusations by JVP and USCEIO are very similar, so for convenience I will refer them together as “JVP’s accusations.”

JVP’s accusations against Weir echo previous accusations made in two articles by Spencer Sunshine, titled, “Campus Profile – Alison Weir: If Americans Knew” (2014) and “Drawing Lines against Racism and Fascism” (March 5, 2015). Sunshine wrote those articles for the left think tank Political Research Associates (PRA).

Sunshine said the goal of his articles was to explain why “Far Right actors should not be allowed to participate in progressive circles, [and to] suggest criteria regarding where the line should be drawn in defining which politics are problematic enough to take action against.”

His articles are a major attack against Alison Weir, in which he classifies her as a right-winger who should be excluded from progressive circles. His 2014 article contains many of the same accusations JVP is making against Weir, including:

  • She has addressed right-wing audiences.
  • She was interviewed four times on Clayton Douglas’s radio show “The Free American.”
  • She was interviewed once by “The American Free Press” radio show.

Sunshine’s article also recycles several Zionist propaganda attacks against Weir, including one by CAMERA. He says Weir’s focus on “the so-called Israel lobby in the United States” is evidence of her anti-Semitism. He condemns Weir for saying,“Israel’s core identity is based on ethnic and religious discrimination.” He says that statement is evidence of Weir’s anti-Semitism. (By Sunshine’s criteria, JVP would be anti-Semitic.)

JVP’s accusations against Weir seem identical to one of the accusations in Sunshine’s article: that because Weir has given interviews to right-wing radio shows, it means she is a right-wing anti-Semite who should be excluded from progressive circles. Both Sunshine and JVP have looked for reasons to exclude her, and both have decided that guilt by association is a good-enough reason. (In this case, association means being interviewed by a radio show.)

If JVP wants to say that people should only speak to progressive audiences, it has a right to say so.

But unless JVP has hard evidence that Weir has made anti-Semitic statements, it should not join Sunshine and others in accusing her of anti-Semitism, explicitly or by innuendo. I think JVP should not participate in what is clearly a long-running campaign in progressive circles to accuse Weir of anti-Semitism in order to delegitimize her and undermine her effectiveness as a Palestine solidarity activist. (This dovetails with a similar campaign in Zionist circles.)

JVP should be willing to live and let live.

Weir is educating broad audiences which JVP will not reach (including right-of-center audiences that are not racist or extremist.) I have never seen any anti-Semitism in Weir’s talks, writings, or interviews – including the ones that JVP cited as evidence against her. Close inspection of JVP’s evidence reveals no anti-Semitism by Weir.

JVP’s evidence consists of the fact that Weir was interviewed by two right-wing radio shows that air racist views. JVP says that during those interviews it has “not seen evidence that she has disavowed, debated, or challenged the thinking of any of these outlets,” and she “has consistently chosen to stay silent when given the opportunity to challenge bigotry.”

But when one actually listens to the Clayton Douglas interview of Weir that JVP cites as evidence, it is clear that she is speaking up to challenge bigotry. She can be heard cautioning Douglas to not make sweeping negative statements about Jews. She can be heard challenging bigotry and promoting tolerance multiple times throughout the interview.

What is left of JVP’s argument is guilt by association, based on the fact that Weir allowed herself to be interviewed at all. Those interviews are a small fraction of all the interviews Weir has given. The vast majority of her interviews have been given to progressive or mainstream audiences. Weir does not vet the media outlets that ask for interviews. Her stated policy is to talk to anyone who will listen, and to challenge racism when she hears it. That appears to be exactly what she has done.

In reality, Weir marched in the civil rights movement and continues to speak out against racism and anti-Semitism today. JVP and USCEIO have not offered any credible evidence that she has made (or endorsed) anti-Semitic statements. They seem to be repeating false accusations from a Zionist propaganda article.

I think it hurts the Palestinian cause when JVP tries to undermine the efforts of a sister Palestine solidarity activist just because her message and approach are not the same as those of JVP.

JVP and USCEIO are doing to Weir the same thing that J Street did to JVP regarding BDS: spending time and effort to delegitimize and oppose a sister group that is doing something that will help end the occupation. It’s fine to say you don’t share their approach. But it’s not OK to go out of your way to delegitimize them and obstruct their efforts to end the occupation.

JVP and USCEIO should stop, and should make peace with Alison Weir. Their divisive attacks are harming the Palestine solidarity movement and harming the reputations of JVP and USCEIO.

I have signed the petition asking JVP and USCEIO to stop these divisive attacks.

Russ Greenleaf is a Jewish peace activist and writer in Louisville, Kentucky. He started the Louisville Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace and is currently a member of Jewish Voice for Peace of Kentucky.

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Response to US Campaign’s accusations against If Americans Knew

I. Point by point response to US campaign

II. Further reading

  1. The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook by Jack Dresser
  2. An open letter to the U.S. Campaign and other Activists for Justice in Palestine
  3. Statement of an activist who a Campaign staff member pressured to remove her name from the open letter
  4. Information about the origins of the Clay Douglas accusations

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation expelled If Americans Knew from its coalition. To justify the expulsion, the Campaign issued a detailed dossier accusing me of tolerating racism, white supremacism and anti-Semitism. (In follow-up Facebook posts, some steering committee members even went so far as to accuse me myself of being racist, white supremacist and anti-Semitic.)

(We promised at the time of the Campaign’s actions to respond publicly. After dealing with other more pressing projects, as well as personal concerns, I’m now taking the time to respond in detail for those who in good faith would like to hear our reply. For the record, I provide this defense to combat the effort to discredit me and If Americans Knew; let it be clear that the Campaign went after If Americans Knew and not the other way around.)

The idea of attacking someone who has dedicated herself (for over 14 years) to supporting the rights of one of the world’s most marginalized non-European indigenous populations via smears of racism and white supremacism ought to be ludicrous enough on its face to give many impartial readers pause.

Indeed, many people are, apparently, aware of the absurdity of this effort against me, judging by the many signers of a petition opposing the Campaign action and the many, many supportive commentaries and comments online.

Perhaps some younger activists do not recall the climate in this country when I became active on the Palestine-Israel issue at the beginning of this century. Very few progressives were yet talking about Palestine, and many left-wing organizations were dominated by people who supported Israel and its oppressive policies. The few who did discuss Palestine disdained Palestinians’ right of return and supported a two-state “solution” in which Palestinians would be robbed of 80 percent of their land. I was one of the few who fully supported Palestinian rights.

When I thus allied myself with Palestinians rather than with white liberal Zionists, I was designated “anti-Semitic” by JVP leaders who began whispering this against me. This was a decade and a half ago, when both JVP and I were located in the San Francisco Bay Area. (The claim of general “racism” has only suddenly cropped up this past year.)

The popular media of the time consistently portrayed Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular as cartoon villains (“see Reel Bad Arabs” by Jack Shaheen) and truly racist stereotypes about them were accepted and repeated without question across our country.

Then came the 9/11 attacks and soon an all-out war against Arabs and Muslims, with its attendant propaganda, began. Afghans and Iraqis began being mowed down: men, women, children, the elderly (and more and more young American men and women serving in our armed forces in our disastrous wars abroad).

Our government vastly curtailed civil liberties; freedoms that had persisted in our country for generations were slashed with hardly a backward glance. The foreign-born were rounded up, shut out, deported, even disappeared and tortured. Anti-Arab hatred was a violent and looming reality in this country.

This is the climate in which I spoke out at every opportunity about Palestine, explaining the core injustice at the heart of the worldwide “War on Terror,” and about which so many Americans knew so very little that they actually believed reality to be reversed—believing the attackers to be the attacked, the oppressors the oppressed.

When antiwar activists in the San Francisco area began mobilizing against an attack on Afghanistan but were unwilling to mobilize against the already massive attacks on Palestinians (this was at the height of the second Intifada), I distributed information about Palestine to encourage activists to also oppose this other violent oppression. While most leftist leaders resisted speaking about Palestine, eventually more and more activists joined me and those who’d led the way before me, and those leaders who had been deflecting criticism of Israel in the left for many years began to lose ground. (I wasn’t the first to do this. Jeffrey Blankfort and Barbara Lubin, for example, had valiantly worked in the Bay Area for Palestinian rights for many years before I finally woke up to the facts.)

When I began working on Palestine —and when those brave writers and researchers before me began—it was widely considered anti-Semitic even to explore facts that are now generally accepted, or to espouse positions that are now more widespread. For example, exploring facts about the Israeli lobby and supporting the Palestinian right of return or a one-state solution were written off as anti-Semitic; earlier, even believing 1948 refugees’ tales of massacres was smeared as anti-Semitic. Saying the word “Palestinian” itself was even considered controversial.

The Campaign dossier heavily echoes the Jewish Voice for Peace statement on me (one must be based on the other, unless both draw on a shared original source), to which my detailed response is above. The Campaign dossier does include additional accusations of the same nature, however. Numerous commentators have produced shrewd analyses and rebuttals of these various points, which we’ll reproduce below, along with my personal response.

Fundamentally, the Campaign dossier consists of misrepresenting the facts using filtered, misleading statements, spin, negative innuendo, and outright falsehoods. It relies on attempting to create an impression of ferreting out what I “really” think underneath my unwavering championing and espousing of universally equal rights. Whoever crafted it assumed readers would just take the Campaign leaders’ word for it, allowing them to interpret my actions, without skeptically examining the original sources and the full multitude of my interviews and writings. Happily, this didn’t prove to be the case, as the comments below will show.

I invite everyone who would like to hear me represent myself, rather than the Campaign represent me, to view a recent video of me here and an earlier one here. You can also see videos of my 2003 debate on the UC Berkeley campus.

I am not surprised that I and If Americans Knew have been attacked. As a British journalist recently stated: “Any writer who steps into the debate over this long and bitter struggle is almost certain to be subjected to an onslaught from detractors,” and will often be accused of being “anti-Semitic.” Since many people judge our organization’s website, media studies, materials, and approach to be particularly effective, this onslaught has been even more pronounced than usual.

Many attacks come from the Anti-Defamation League, which acts as an advocacy organization for Israel. If Americans Knew and I myself have been listed alongside several leading pro-justice organizations on their top ten “anti-Israel” organizations and individuals. (We interpret that as pro-justice, anti-censorship organizations and individuals, because we support compassionate justice and peace for Palestinians, Israelis, and all human beings.)

Like the ADL, some Palestine solidarity groups and individuals who wished to obscure the significance of the Israel lobby and who were not committed to full justice for Palestinians, began whispering campaigns against me and If Americans Knew. I touched on this during a talk in Iowa in 2012 in which I answered a question about efforts to prevent my talks – see the video here (starting at about 1:06:50).

Campaign leaders’ accusations against me boil down to five basic points (more detailed responses follow):

1. The campaign objected to a statement by a Jewish writer of long ago that was quoted in an article by a highly principled Jewish activist, published on his own website, which I reposted without endorsement on my own personal (and low-traffic) blog, as part of a partial roundup of opinions on a controversy of the day. The statement quoted was not the focus of the article.

2.The Campaign objected to some thoroughly cited information I included in a brief segment of an article published by the progressive news website CounterPunch—information that had been widely reported in the Israeli media, though largely omitted by US media.

3. I accept interview requests from a wide range of interviewers to take every opportunity to provide factual information on Palestine to all sectors of American society, without exception, in order to counter misinformation on Palestine, Muslims, Arabs, and Zionism disseminated by American media. The Campaign objects to this practice by me, but not by others who do the same thing, including its own leaders.

4. The Campaign accuses me of failing to respond adequately to some long, rambling statements by one obscure interviewer out of my hundreds of interviews. Other listeners of the archives of that show have disagreed with the Campaign’s negative assessment of my responses, and several have supplied their own very different analyses.

5. The Campaign attacks me for giving interviews to (or even being reposted by) websites or radio programs that Campaign management has decided are taboo. In reality, the sites and programs they point to have included interviews and commentaries by a wide variety of others, including:

  1. Campaign President Phyllis Bennis
  2. Campaign co-founder Josh Ruebner
  3. Peace activist Ray McGovern
  4. Writer Stephen Lendman
  5. Israeli academic Dr. Avner Cohen
  6. Code Pink directors Medea Benjamin and Rae Abileah
  7. CAIR director Zahra Billoo
  8. Cindy and Craig Corrie
  9. Peace activist Brian Terrell
  10. CAIR director Zahra Billoo
  11. Independent Jewish Voices Canada member Marty Roth
  12. Author Jennifer Dixon
  13. Gaza reporter Harry Fear
  14. Israeli co-founder of of the Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions Meir Margalit
  15. Civil Rights Coordinator for Northern California for the Council on American Islamic Relations Rachel Roberts
  16. President of Muslim Public Affairs Council Salam Al-Marayati
  17. leader of the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign Ed Mast
  18. Project Censored director Mickey Huff
  19. Author and Founding Director of the American Jewish Congress Feminist Center Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
  20. UK Guardian columnist Suzanne McGee, and numerous others.

Below we address the Campaign’s various claims. The Campaign dossier is quoted in full in italics, with our response to each point below it.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

Part 1: Process and Decision with Respect to Complaint against Alison Weir and If Americans Knew

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a coalition of hundreds of US-based groups working for Palestinian rights. In 2012, the Steering Committee of the US Campaign, elected at our annual conference, formed a working group to address racism within the coalition as part of our ongoing effort to become an anti-racist organization. The work of this group resulted in the adoption of our anti-racism principles in 2013 and the establishment of procedures for handling instances of racism and bigotry within the coalition.

RESPONSE:

Many groups and individuals objected to the fact that this policy was put in place without approval by the membership, and that it did not include Zionism among the racisms to be addressed – even though many assumed that was the specific focus of the organization. Although a number of people voiced these objections, Campaign management ignored them.

While the Campaign claims to represent 400 groups, it’s hard to know how many are actually involved. Those in “good standing” actually usually number a little over 40. The largest number we’ve seen is around 60; it’s hard to confirm the real numbers since the process is opaque.

In addition, we’ve noticed that “anti-racism” is often a banner that pro-Israel groups use, particularly focusing on alleged anti-Semitism (which too often is conflated with criticism of the state of Israel), while ignoring Zionism.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

Earlier this year, the US Campaign received a formal complaint from a member group regarding actions and statements by Alison Weir while representing a coalition member group, If Americans Knew. A committee was formed to review this complaint, to allow Ms. Weir to respond to the complaint for herself, and to determine whether our anti-racism principles have been violated; importantly, the committee also assessed whether these violations are likely to continue in the future.

RESPONSE:

The organization that filed the complaint has been kept secret. This, of course, violates fundamental principles of justice in which the accused has the right to confront the accuser. In addition, no one else outside the handpicked committee was allowed to provide information or to participate in the interrogation or final determination. This was much like Israel’s kangaroo courts.

A multitude of people opposed the Campaign’s actions. A group organized An open letter to the U.S. Campaign and other Activists for Justice in Palestine that quickly gained over 1,200 signatures (and now has closer to 2,000). Numerous diverse, highly respected individuals in Palestine, the U.S., and elsewhere signed it. (More on this below.)

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

After a thorough review and a correspondence with Ms. Weir, the committee has concluded that Ms. Weir’s repeated statements and actions, often as the Executive Director of If Americans Knew, did indeed violate our anti-racism principles, as detailed later in this statement. Ms. Weir’s responses led us to believe that these violations will continue in the future. Based on the report of the review committee, our Steering Committee voted in favor of removing Ms. Weir and If Americans Knew from our coalition.

RESPONSE:

To come up with their preordained “guilty” verdict, Campaign directors followed Israel partisans’ modus operandi: misrepresentation, double standards, taking statements out of context, omitting important information, and alleged guilt through false association, as will be shown below.

Since the official Campaign statement was published, some Campaign directors and staff have made even more malicious, defamatory and outright false statements against me. See, for example, this.

Because of the escalating and particularly vicious nature of these statements, I finally feel it justified to reveal some early history of the Campaign and its founders. We have long been reluctant to name names, as our earlier statements indicate; we hoped that we would all move on to what we felt was our real work – ending US support for Israeli oppression – in our case through giving Americans the full facts on this issue. However, we now fear that Campaign leaders prioritize their work quite differently than we do, given that they seem to be expending a great deal of effort on controlling the discourse—time and resources that we believe ought to be dedicated to saving lives.

For all its good work, there have been some problems with the Campaign since its beginnings.

Founders Phyllis Bennis (its current president) and Israeli citizen Josh Ruebner have produced excellent work and valuable books. They also, however, have a history of limiting the parameters of Israel-Palestine debate.

They were slow to endorse the Palestinian right of return (which they still largely ignore), slow to call Israeli actions apartheid, and slow to call for ending aid to Israel. Bennis refused to acknowledge that Israeli actions were genocidal.

It is telling that they named their organization “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation,” although even when it was founded most dedicated activists acknowledged that the discriminatory nature of Israel itself and the ethnic cleansing of all of historic Palestine were the core problems—not just the occupation that began in 1967.

Similarly, Bennis has long attempted to deny the significance of the Israel lobby and to minimize its power, as documented by longtime Palestine activist Jeffrey Blankfort.

When they created the Campaign, Josh Ruebner rebuffed efforts by a major Palestinian Muslim organization working on Palestine to join it. After 9-11, when Palestine activists were working desperately to end the ban on Palestine within leftist and antiwar activism, Bennis (representing the Campaign) undermined these efforts by privately telling some activists to omit mention of Palestine from antiwar actions.

If Americans Knew and I took different stands and discussed principles (the right of return and minority rights in Israel-Palestine) that the Campaign was ignoring, making us unpopular with Campaign leaders. At one point early on, the Campaign sent out a call for proposals, and If Americans Knew submitted one. This deadline was suddenly unilaterally extended so that others could file different ones; the IAK proposal was never discussed. There were other such incidents. This was long before any of the points included in the Campaign dossier even occurred.

Yet, If Americans Knew became and remained a member of the Campaign in order to support the good, if limited, work it did, and because many good people have been involved. We have been glad to work with these individuals through the years.

As mentioned above, the Campaign’s accusations largely repeat accusations made shortly before by Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization whose membership explicitly includes Zionists and which refuses to call Zionism racism, despite its blatantly discriminatory nature and practice.

Like the Campaign, JVP accusations against me reference specific actions (or inactions) of mine, as though these are the reasons it has opposed my talks.

However, this has turned out be a falsehood. We were told by a friend in JVP that during a recent JVP conference call, a JVP boardmember admitted that their opposition to me and If Americans Knew was not a new policy. He explained that from its early days as a local organization in Berkeley, California, JVP had a policy not to work with me.

That was many years before my interview on the obscure Internet radio program and the other “offenses” that JVP – and the Campaign — claimed for their opposition. It was the time, however, when I openly supported full Palestinian rights and opposed the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, not just the injustices of the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as exploring the actions of the Israel lobby in the US.

The boardmember additionally explained why JVP issued its directive against me: Several JVP chapters apparently wanted to bring me for book signings, so the leadership issued its decree not to work with me.

Why did JVP and the Campaign escalate their efforts against us at this particular time?

Why did they suddenly draw on obscure and frankly insignificant interviews and posts from years ago in order to ramp up attacks on us and essentially try to expel us from the pro-Palestine movement?

Numerous people have argued that the real, if unstated, target is my book, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the US Was Used to Create Israel. Indeed, a friend has recently shared privately that some activists who dislike the book are now combing it and its multitudinous footnotes for any errors or anything at all they can use to try to discredit it.

A CounterPunch article recently stated:

The timing of the excommunication is not random. I suspect that it is publication and Alison’s promotion of her book, Against Our Better Judgment, that has released long-stockpiled ammo against her, however flimsy – especially her revelations of arguably treasonous conduct by our first two, widely revered Jewish Supreme Court justices, both pledged to Zionism above loyalty to country as members of a secret Zionist organization, the Parushim…

Despite not being published by a major book publisher and not being reviewed in the mainstream media (it has recently come out that even Mondoweiss refused to publish a review by a contributor), the book has taken off. We have so far sold over 19,000 copies and it has over 300 Customer Reviews on Amazon, the large majority of them giving it five stars. I believe this is because impartial readers are open and ready for accurate information and discussion of the history of the colonial Israeli project and of America’s role in it.

Before the Campaign suddenly began its inquisition against us, we had already sent in our money to the Campaign to have a table at the upcoming convention in Atlanta, where we were going to offer the book at a special discount to attendees. Now, we can no longer even post messages to Campaign listserves. There are messages on these email lists concerning us, but we can neither see them nor respond to them.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

Ms. Weir and If Americans Knew have been notified of this determination which is effective immediately. Per our established procedures, Ms. Weir and If Americans Knew are entitled to reapply to join the coalition, at which time the US Campaign Steering Committee will assess whether concerns detailed herein have been addressed.

RESPONSE:

Numerous members of the US Campaign objected vehemently to the Campaign’s inquisition, many in considerable detail, before it expelled us. As mentioned above, some created an Open Letter objecting to the Campaign’s original interrogation, rapidly signed by over 1,200 people (and now nearly 2,000), including a diverse array of extraordinarily distinguished, courageous and principled individuals on the front lines of the struggle in Palestine itself, in the US, and elsewhere.

When the Campaign expelled If Americans Knew, the petition organizers sent out a follow-up statement that included the following:

If you are reading this, it means you joined former UN special rapporteur on Occupied Palestine Richard Falk; Holocaust survivor and peace activist Hedy Epstein; founding member of the Board of Trustees of Birzeit University Samia Khoury; Palestine-based director George Rishimawi; peace activists Cindy Sheehan and Arun Gandhi; former senator and founder of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee James Abourezk; former US government officials-turned-peace-activists Ray McGovern, Edward Peck, Philip Giraldi, and Ann Wright; and over 1200 others in defending Alison Weir and If Americans Knew from the vitriolic attacks on that organization by the national leadership of US Campaign and Jewish Voice for Peace.

But like them, you were ignored.

Earlier today, the US Campaign released a statement officially expelling If Americans Knew and Alison Weir from their non-profit coalition.

In doing so, they ignored over one thousand dedicated activists and human rights defenders like you, including many members of their coalition, who signed our Open Letter within 48 hours.

They ignored at least 15 activist leaders who risked their lives to break the siege of Gaza by boat.

They ignored at least 83 members of Jewish Voice for Peace from around the country, the organization whose national leadership originally released a statement attacking Alison Weir without the approval or consensus of their membership

They ignored several hundred members of several dozen US Campaign member organizations.

The statement by the US Campaign repeated some of the same accusations that have been addressed meticulously before, with little new material. The only new item is yet another guilt-by-association argument, targeting Alison Weir for re-posting a lengthy piece — without endorsing it — by Roger Tucker on her blog. While the piece is undeniably controversial, it hardly suggests that Alison Weir seeks to “blame Jewish people for any bigotry they might face” as the US Campaign suggests.

It is worth noting that the same accusation was recently leveled against Norman Finkelstein and Yale University chaplain Bruce Shipman, for suggesting that Israeli actions could have prompted a spike in anti-Semitism, and even against renowned German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt, for discussing what she called “Jewish responsibility” for the rise in anti-Semitism during the interwar period.

Even after the Campaign leaders expelled us, people have continued to sign this petition, and among the signatories, in addition to those named above (and alongside thousands of other committed individuals), are:

  1. Iyad Burnat, Palestinian grassroots activist, Bil’in Popular Committee
  2. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, Co-Founder Al-Awda-Palestine Right to Return Coalition.
  3. Arun Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute
  4. Khalil Nakhleh, author of “Globalized Palestine: The National Sell-Out of a Homeland”
  5. George N. Rishmawi, Director, The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People, Beit Sahour, Palestine
  6. Rita Giacaman, Professor, Research & Program Coordinator and founder, Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University; active in 1980s Palestinian social action movement.
  7. Edward Peck, Americans for Middle East Understanding, Former US Ambassador to Iraq & Mauritania, Participant in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla
  8. Abbas Hamideh, National Board Vice Chair, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, son of one of the few survivors of the massacre at Deir Yassin Palestine on April 9th 1948
  9. Bassem Tamimi, Palestinian Popular Resistance Movement, Nabi Saleh
  10. Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist and former presidential candidate, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
  11. Mary Ratcliff, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper – Editor
  12. Joe Meadors, USS Liberty Survivor, Past President, USS Liberty Veterans Association, Participant in three Gaza Freedom Flotillas, Free Palestine Movement*.
  13. The Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus for The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, President: Tree of Life Educational Fund
  14. John Erickson, NorCal Friends of Sabeel* — Co-Chair
  15. Sunaina Maira, Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis, USACBI
  16. The Reverend Canon Richard K. Toll, former Director, Friends of Sabeel* , Retired Episcopal Priest
  17. Samir Abed-Rabbo, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies
  18. Lawrence Davidson, Professor Emeritus, West Chester University
  19. James Petras, Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
  20. Joel Kovel, author of “Overcoming Zionism,” “White Racism,” “Red Hunting inn the Promised Land,” and other books; editor; former psychiatrist; Bard College professor emeritus
  21. David Rovics, Folk Musician, American Federation of Musicians Local 1000
  22. Abdallah Omeish, award-winning documentary filmmaker of “Occupation 101” and “The War Around Us”
  23. Andrew Killgore, former Ambassador, publisher, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, providing facts on Palestine for over 30 years.
  24. Janet McMahon, Managing Editor, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, author, “Seeing the Light: Personal Encounters With the Middle East and Islam”
  25. Kathleen Christison Author, “Perceptions of Palestine” and “The Wound of Dispossession”; Co-author “Palestine in Pieces”
  26. Jerry Levin, former CNN network journalist. Christian Peacemaker Teams. Writes on nonviolence. Recognized by the Dalai Lama as one of 2009’s “Unsung Heroes of Compassion.”

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

Our decision was informed by the following actions taken that we believe violate our anti-racism principles. In the attachments to this decision, we include full footnotes and evidence undergirding each point:

1. Ms. Weir posted a blog on her personal website that references Jews as a race being “an object of hatred to all the peoples among whom it has established itself,” effectively blaming Jews for anti-Semitism. (See Section 1 of Part 3)

RESPONSE:

This makes it sound like I wrote that. In fact, the Campaign is referring to a statement by a Jewish writer of long ago that was quoted in an article by a highly principled Jewish activist, published on his own website, which I reposted without endorsement on my own personal (and low-traffic blog) as part of a very partial roundup of analyses by a wide variety of commentators on a controversy going on among activists at the time. The statement quoted was not the focus of the article.

My personal blog announces that it includes a somewhat random assortment of posts and refers readers to the If Americans Knew website for the important articles. It further explicitly states that posting an article on my blog does not constitute an endorsement.

My low-traffic blog shares information and articles that are of interest to a small constituency of thinkers and activists who may be interested in considering various information that’s not relevant to the general public, including as-yet unverified or controversial articles that I haven’t taken a position on but find potentially interesting for debate. Articles that I feel are important to disseminate widely are posted on the much higher-traffic If Americans Knew website and Facebook page, not on my personal blog—and indeed, we often create and distribute printed booklets and flyers of those.

Specifically, my blog announces:

I believe in the free marketplace of ideas and sometimes post articles by other individuals and organizations when I feel they contain information or analyses that could be interesting for people to read and ponder. Such posting does not necessarily denote agreement with the article and does not necessarily denote agreement or endorsement of the author and other articles he or she may have written in the past or may write in the future.

…For my main articles and the most important information, please go to the If Americans Knew website. Also, we post a great deal of information on our Facebook page. In addition to those, however, now and then I like to tell people about behind-the-scenes happenings, random information that I’ve stumbled across but not written an article about, etc. and so place these on this blog.

…I am part of a wonderfully diverse movement of people of all ages, ethnicities, races, faiths, and political backgrounds.

We are secular and religious; Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and many other; of all ages, economic classes, and political backgrounds; we are united by a commitment to justice and truth, opposition to bigotry, and determination to end the violence and oppression against Palestinians and others that generates war and profound tragedy throughout the Middle East and far beyond.

The posting in question was on March 27, 2012. At the time, Israeli expatriate Gilad Atzmon was being attacked—and subsequently supported—by various people for his book, The Wandering Who. I viewed this controversy as a distraction from our work and as outside If Americans Knew’s arena, as it centered on discussions of Jewish identity that I considered side issues to our work and outside my personal expertise.

If Americans Knew continued to focus on our efforts to inform Americans about Israel-Palestine without getting embroiled in the controversy, but I re-posted a number of articles delving into it on my personal blog. The one mentioned by the Campaign was by a principled Jewish activist named Roger Tucker, published on his website, which is dedicated to supporting a one-state solution.

Tucker’s article was also posted on DeLiberation, which I linked to in my re-posting. DeLiberation identifies itself the following way:

We oppose Zionism and other forms of supremacism where ever they may occur. deLiberation are thinkers, writers, artists, musicians and activists, each committed to freedom of thought and to telling the stories that the mainstream media is there to conceal.

Tucker’s article concluded:

...I realized that we needed to operate under a big tent. After all, we are a small, relatively powerless group of people, up against the most powerful and ruthless fascist endeavor in history. At the very least, we need to accommodate one another even if some people have some views that rub us the wrong way...

Perhaps, in retrospect, I could have cut out the offending quote from the article and just posted excerpts from it rather than its entirety, but I felt that the article contributed an interesting viewpoint to the debate.

In my personal commentary on the controversy, which encapsulated my approach in re-posting other writers’ analyses of it, I wrote:

While people are suffering in Israeli prisons and being killed in Gaza, it is sad to see time and energy expended in a campaign against Israeli author and saxophonist Gilad Atzmon. I respect and like people on both sides of this controversy and am troubled over this distracting and destructive (but, I hope, temporary) split.

I, of course, come down on the side of open discussion, even when the subject matter is difficult or troubling – in fact, that’s probably when it’s most needed. I believe in such old fashioned but critical concepts as the free marketplace of ideas, and I oppose censorship and would-be “thought police” telling others what they may or may not do, even when those attempting to do this have created valuable work that I admire.

(From my blog 3/15/2012)

I find it heartbreakingly ironic that anyone truly concerned about racism and real anti-Jewish hatred wastes time attacking me, when my life history confirms my own personal commitment that I would be among those to stand up if ever our society began to round up Jews (unthinkable as that may be), just as I have publicly stood up for Palestinians and Muslims despite the risks that I knew this involved. Unlike some who are understandably cautious, I use my real name, and I do not post anonymously.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

2. In writing about a controversy surrounding allegations of the Israeli military harvesting the organs of Palestinians in 2009, Ms. Weir responded to supporters of Israel claiming this was a new “blood libel” by citing the research of Ariel Toaff, who purported to have uncovered ritual murder of Christian children by Jews in medieval Europe (the very definition of “blood libel”). (See Section 2 of part 3)

RESPONSE: In one of two long, detailed articles published by CounterPunch and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs about Israeli organ trafficking – Israeli Organ Harvesting: The New “Blood Libel”? and Israeli Organ Trafficking and Theft: From Moldova to Palestine – I included a short section on an episode that had been headline news in the Israeli media. This was therefore widely known by Israelis and by those who read the Israeli and Jewish media; I felt others had the right to know it also. Clearly, the Campaign and JVP do not agree, apparently feeling that some information should be restricted.

Contributor Henry Norr posted a comment on Mondoweiss that thoroughly addresses this accusation (my own further response is below):

First of all, the article in question was not something Alison came up with out of the blue, to make Jews look like ogres – it was a real-time report on a huge controversy that was swirling through the Israeli media the very week she posted the article.

Second, it wasn’t Alison who introduced the “blood libel” concept into the discussion about organ trafficking – that came from a whole slew of Israeli pols and pundits. Alison’s article includes a direct quote from the Israeli foreign minister using the phrase.

As many others here have already noted, in the article Alison explicitly explained that the “blood libel” refers to “widely refuted stories that Jews killed people to use their blood in religious rituals.” Should she have gone into a discussion of the meanings of “refuted”…?

If you read what Alison actually wrote, she introduced Toaff’s book into the piece not to say the proven Israeli involvement in organ trafficking was just another instance of a pattern going back a thousand years, but to compare the all-out Israeli assault on Swedish reporter Donald Bostrom that was going on as she wrote to the similar attacks on Toaff that had swept through the Israeli media just two years previous, in 2007: in both cases, investigators had brought up some facts that were uncomfortable for Israeli Jews, and instead of trying to disprove those facts, the Israeli mainstream responded with a hysterical campaign to crucify the authors in question.

Do you know … that Toaff was not some kook from the anti-Semitic fringes, but a professor of medieval and renaissance history at Bar Ilan University in Israel,, widely considered one of the leading academic authorities on medieval Jewry? And that he was (and is) also a rabbi and the son of a hugely popular former chief rabbi of Rome? Yes, the vicious assault mounted against him in the Israeli media and political when he published the book on the blood libel succeeded in breaking him, and he finally “retracted” the book. All of that is all the more reason it was appropriate for Alison to cite his treatment in reporting what the Israelis were doing that very week to Bostrom.

… Another couple of comments on the organ trafficking: at the time Alison wrote her article, there was no solid definitive evidence that organs were being taken from Palestinians as well as Jewish Israelis. That’s why Bostrom’s article contained – as Alison noted in the very first sentence of her article – only “testimony and circumstantial evidence” about that phenomenon. But a few months later in 2009 an Israeli TV network ran a documentary including an interview with chief Israeli pathologist Dr. Yehuda Hiss in which he explicitly acknowledged that some of the organs he’d been trafficking came from Palestinians.

We urge people to read both of my articles on organ trafficking, which are thoroughly cited and contain a great deal of significant information. The section that Israel partisans and the Campaign particularly dislike was essentially an aside at the end of the first long article. It consists of the following:

In scanning through the reaction to Bostrom’s report, one is struck by the multitude of charges that his article is a new version of the old anti-Semitic “blood libel.” Given that fact, it is interesting to examine a 2007 book by Israel’s preeminent expert on medieval Jewish history, and what happened to him.

The author is Bar-Ilan professor (and rabbi) Ariel Toaff, son of the former chief rabbi of Rome, a religious leader so famous that an Israeli journalist writes that Toaff’s father “is to Italian Jewry as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.” Ariel Toaff, himself, is considered “one of the greatest scholars in his field.”23 24

In February 2007 the Israeli and Italian media were abuzz (though most of the U.S. media somehow missed it) with news that Professor Toaff had written a book entitled “Pasque di Sangue” (“Blood Passovers”)25 containing evidence that there “was a factual basis for some of the medieval blood libels against the Jews.”

Based on 35 years of research, Toaff had concluded that there were at least a few, possibly many, real incidents.

In an interview with an Italian newspaper (the book was published in Italy), Toaff says:

“ ‘My research shows that in the Middle Ages, a group of fundamentalist Jews did not respect the biblical prohibition and used blood for healing. It is just one group of Jews, who belonged to the communities that suffered the severest persecution during the Crusades. From this trauma came a passion for revenge that in some cases led to responses, among them ritual murder of Christian children.’26 27

Professor Toaff was immediately attacked from all sides, including pressure orchestrated by Anti-Defamation League chairman Abe Foxman, but Toaff stood by his 35 years of research, announcing:

“‘I will not give up my devotion to the truth and academic freedom even if the world crucifies me… One shouldn’t be afraid to tell the truth.’”

Before long, however, under relentless public and private pressure, Toaff had recanted, withdrawn his book, and promised to give all profits that had already accrued (the book had been flying off Italian bookshelves) to Foxman’s Anti-Defamation League. A year later he published a “revised version.”28

Donald Bostrom’s experience seems to be a repeat of what Professor Toaff endured: calumny, vituperation, and defamation. Bostrom has received death threats as well, perhaps an experience that Professor Toaff also shared.

If Israel is innocent of organ plundering accusations, or if its culpability is considerably less than Bostrom and others suggest, it should welcome honest investigations that would clear it of wrongdoing. Instead, the government and its advocates are working to suppress all debate and crush those whose questions and conclusions they find threatening.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, rather than responding to calls for an investigation, is demanding that the Swedish government abandon its commitment to a free press and condemn the article. The Israeli press office, apparently in retaliation and to prevent additional investigation, is refusing to give press credentials to reporters from the offending newspaper.

Just as in the case of the rampage against Jenin, the attack on the USS liberty, the massacre of Gaza, the crushing of Rachel Corrie, the torture of American citizens, and a multitude of other examples, Israel is using its considerable, worldwide resources to interfere with the investigative process.

It is difficult to conclude that it has nothing to hide.

Both articles were extensively footnoted. Below are some of the sources that were cited for the above information on Toaff. Please note that they all come from mainstream Israeli media:

  • http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/829381.html
    Ha’aretz. The Wayward Son, by Adi Schwartz, March 1, 2007
  • http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/824152.html
    Ha’aaretz, Bar-Ilan to order professor to explain research behind blood libel book By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Service and The Associated Press, Feb 11, 2007
  • http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/824152.html
    Haaretz, Bar Ilan to order professor to explain research behind blood libel book, by Ofri Hani, Feb. 11, 2007.

On my personal blog, I posted a lengthy follow-up to my article, in which I included the following statement;

Finally, it is interesting that some writers with friendly and family ties to Israel, who are slowly overcoming their denial on Israeli war crimes, still quite often leap to Israel’s defense against evidence of Israeli wrongdoing.

Some of these bloggers attempt to cover up Israeli actions by alleging that facts in some of my articles are incorrect — for example, like other Israel partisans, some claim that Israeli Professor Ariel Toaff, a preeminent Israeli historian who wrote a book initially suggesting that there had apparently been cases of ritual killings of Christians during the Middle Ages (after massive pressure he later recanted) is actually — they allege — not an expert.

However, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz and other Israeli sourcees refer to Dr. Toaff as “an international expert on Italian Jewry,” “an expert on the history of medieval Italian Jewry“, “who is considered an international expert on Italian Jewry“, “one of the greatest scholars in his field‘”, “the university also reiterated that Toaff was among the senior lecturers in his field in Israel and internationally“; reviews of earlier books noted his “scholarly rigour” and stated, “Toaff is the acknowledge master of the social history of Umbrian Jewry

It is interesting to note that Professor Toaff, who is also a rabbi, initially said: “I will not give up my devotion to the truth and academic freedom even if the world crucifies me.” Following multiple and diverse threats, he recanted.

Ha’aretz reports some of Toaff’s statements:

“I tried to show that the Jewish world at that time was also violent, among other things because it had been hurt by Christian violence,” the Bar-Ilan history professor said. Of course I do not claim that Judaism condones murder. But within Ashkenazi Judaism there were extremist groups that could have committed such an act and justified it,” he said…

Although the use of blood is prohibited by Jewish law, Toaff says he found proof of rabbinic permission to use blood, even human blood. “The rabbis permitted it both because the blood was already dried,” and because in Ashkenazi communities it was an accepted custom that took on the force of law, Toaff said. There is no proof of acts of murder, Toaff said, but there were curses and hatred of Christians, and prayers inciting to cruel vengeance against Christians. “There was always the possibility that some crazy person would do something.”“Over many dozens of pages I proved the centrality of blood on Passover,” Toaff said. “Based on many sermons, I concluded that blood was used, especially by Ashkenazi Jews, and that there was a belief in the special curative powers of children’s blood. It turns out that among the remedies of Ashkenazi Jews were powders made of blood.”

As I wrote earlier, people who wish to take the time to delve into this further and to determine whether or not Toaff’s evidence supported his initial conclusions can read an unauthorized translation of his book here. (This book, despite an enthusiastic review by Italian Jewish historian Sergio Luzzatto, was withdrawn by Toaff following pressure from the Israeli Knesset, the ADL, death threats, etc.)

Unfortunately, his new, revised book has not yet been translated into English. In the meantime, parts of it are available. For example, Toaff’s detailed description of the attacks on him and his defense of his work is available here. It is well worth scanning.

Ha’aretz reported that, at least before his book came out, “Faculty members described Toaff as a unique lecturer who is well-liked by students.”

(By the way, it’s probably worthwhile to point out that despite the immense focus from some quarters on Toaff, information on his book and the massive attacks on him were actually a minor part of my CounterPunch article; he is not even mentioned in my recent ones. People who wish to look into this further might wish to view this analysis of Toaff’s research.)

In another follow-up on my blog I wrote:

Do I agree with the need for an investigation [about allegations of Israeli organ trafficking (now largely corroborated)]?

Absolutely. Below are some reasons:

When a multitude of people describe similar incidents, all pointing to the same serious human rights abuse, it is important to listen to them and investigate their concerns – particularly when there are additional, outside clues that seem to support their statements.

The world has a history of ignoring Palestinian (and others’) charges – only to find later that they were true.

  • In the early part of the 20th century some Palestinians were concerned that Zionists were moving to Palestine with the intention of taking it over for a Jewish state. To some people at the time, both inside and outside Palestine, this seemed far-fetched, perhaps even anti-Jewish. It turned out to be true.
  • After Israel’s founding war Palestinian refugees said that they had not left voluntarily but had been violently expelled from their land. This was viewed as extremism and anti-Semitism. Again, it was true.
  • Palestinians described horrific massacres during this war, relating grisly tales of brutality; again they were largely dismissed. Later, former Israeli soldiers corroborated their claims.
  • For decades Palestinians have described grotesque abuses against them while in prison. Again, these were portrayed as lies and exaggerations, until finally they were documented by outsiders.
  • For many years American veterans of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty claimed that this had been an intentional attack. They were called anti-Semitic and disdained. Thirty years later, the senior prosecuting attorney of the one official investigation into the attack stated in a legal document that he and others had been ordered by the White House to cover up the fact that all of the evidence indicated that it had been a deliberate attack.

It is time to listen – and investigate.

As we all know, accusations do not prove guilt, and not all Palestinians are making these particular ones. However, when there are a great many such charges, and when they are accompanied by circumstantial evidence, they should be explored.

The innocent can then be absolved; the guilty discovered. An investigation leads to both.

On a side note, there is no doubt that journalist Bostrom and his editors were aware that they would be viciously attacked and threatened if they published his information and gave voice to the questions it contains. I feel that they should be supported for fulfilling their journalistic responsibility to print the news. When numerous people are making serious charges, these are normally reported. It was appropriate to bring them to the public’s attention.

Incidentally, it appears that the Palestinian Association in Sweden, which represents more than 30,000 Swedish Palestinians, agrees. Reportedly the group has sent a letter to the Aftonbladet newspaper, expressing their appreciation.

I also wrote:

Some comments on my own article

My short section near the end of my article on Ariel Toaff’s suppressed book on blood libel was a very small part of the fairly long article, but, as expected, it has drawn considerable wrath from some quarters. Others have raised the question of whether it was relevant to include in the article, a reasonable question and one I pondered ahead of time, knowing the anger it would engender among those who wish such things to remain hidden. (Much more information on Toaff is here. A video of Toaff is below.)

Obviously, I decided in the affirmative. Given that virtually all Bostrom’s critics were using the epithet ‘blood libel’ in their attempts to block any real consideration of the article’s content, I felt that the successful silencing of an Israeli scholar who had raised significant questions about this very subject was quite relevant and useful for people to know about — especially since the Toaff controversy had been covered so extensively in the Israeli press at the time. I don’t like the idea that some people are permitted to know something, but that others are not supposed to learn about it.

If people read Toaff’s book for themselves, and I provided the link so that they could, they can see the content for themselves and determine whether they feel that his evidence supports the conclusions he had drawn or not. If they do feel that some small groups did do what he believes they did, this conclusion in many ways simply indicates that the Jewish population is basically similar to anyone else, since history shows that there have been sects in numerous religious groups, that have committed “religious” violence.

The problem is that some people believe that the Jewish population is better than all the rest of humanity; others allege it’s worse. My view is that individuals within this population run the whole gamut, just as in other populations.

The continual portrayal of an entire population that has never done anything wrong (as Alfred Lilienthal once discussed), and that is eternally the victim of allegedly bigoted, always baseless accusations is part of what buttresses the Israeli myth, replete with its astonishing claim of ‘purity of arms.’ (The fact that so many people can believe that the soldiers of one army — unlike all others — have never committed a single abuse is an example of the pervasiveness of this myth of extreme exceptionalism.)

I feel that the continual attempt to censor all negative facts and allegations – to suppress books and block investigations — is a dangerous, two-edged sword. Many people believe the myth, at least for awhile, which enables continued and expanded misconduct. Others, however, do not, and they, recognizing the suppression, sometimes then imagine a reality that is considerably worse than the actual facts — and such suspicions smolder and grow.

I believe it’s always better for the truth to come out.

My second article on organ trafficking, commissioned by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, contained extensive documentation of Israeli involvement. By the way, before I wrote these articles, some Palestine solidarity leaders (unlike most Palestinians in Palestine) had scoffed at the suggestion that Israelis had taken Palestinian organs, which has since been proven true. Israeli organ trafficking periodically continues to appear in the news today.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

3. Ms. Weir has appeared at least five times for hour-long episodes on notorious white supremacist and militiaman Clayton Douglas’s radio show, the “Free American Hour,” between 2010 and 2012. A cursory glance at Douglas’s homepage would raise concerns about the host and program’s political content. Douglas’s homepage features the confederate flag, a video that opens with the title “9/11 Brainwashing and the Holohoax,” and numerous references to the “Jew World Order” and its “war on Adolph Hitler,” as well as claims of “ritual murder of Christians and Children by Jews.”

RESPONSE:

Douglas is hardly “notorious.” Until JVP and the Campaign decided to go after If Americans Knew, almost no one had heard of him and he quite likely had a tiny listenership. Even now, after all the attention brought to him by JVP and the Campaign, his videos seem to have a very small viewership.

The Campaign ignores the fact that many people have gone on Douglas’s show, including peace and justice activists Charles Carlson, Ken O’Keefe, and Stephen Lendman, a radio host for the Progressive News Hour whose articles have been promoted on the news page of the Campaign website itself.

The Campaign cites things that were apparently on one of Douglas’s several websites at the time it issued its dossier (2015). Yet that is irrelevant, given that the interviews the dossier takes issue with are from years ago. In looking at Douglas’s 2010 homepage using the Way Back Machine, I see that not a single one of the items highlighted by the Campaign were there then, though the crowded web page did included hundreds of items that frankly made my eyes swim; I didn’t attempt to read them all, though they appeared to vary wildly.

As explained elsewhere, I don’t delve into the websites or biographies of the stations, publications, programs and individuals who interview me. Rather, I give interviews to attempt to share important information with the public. I research people who I interview, not those who interview me – that’s the normal way of things.

I have appeared on a multitude of diverse shows over the past 14 years, many of them on small, obscure Internet radio stations, such as this (interview starts at about the 1:00:00 mark) and this and this and this, and numerous others.

The large majority of my interviews have been on progressive stations, such as KPFA in Berkeley, KPFK in Los Angeles, and KBOO in Portland. I have also been on some television newscasts, such as RT (also here and a few other times) and Al Jazeera, and even on some local mainstream TV news programs, NPR outlets, and at least twice on C-Span. Often I have been on Public Access shows such as this one and radio stations around the country. It’s astounding to think that someone has apparently been monitoring these probably hundreds of appearances to try to find something negative about me. This is the type of thing Israel partisans and intelligence agencies tend to do.

The Campaign goes on to cite a number of my and Douglas’s statements during the interviews. Most of the following accusations are untrue or subject to the Campaign’s negative and inaccurate spin. My point-by-point response is below, as are comments from a number of other people who have examined the interviews and disagree with the Campaign’s assertions.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

While interviewing Ms. Weir, Douglas…

3. made derogatory remarks about Arabs (See 3.a and 3.d of Part 3) b. repeatedly asserted Jewish control of the world (3.b, 3.g, 3.h, and 3.j) c. quoted and played speech by the former head of the KKK, David Duke, proclaiming a war on Christianity (3.c, 3.e) d. demonized adherents of communism, insinuating it is a Jewish conspiracy (3.h) e. downplayed or denied the existence of apartheid historically in South Africa, analogizing criticism of white South Africans during apartheid, which Douglas sees as unfair, to the treatment of white Americans today. Similarly, Douglas analogizes the average German between WWI and WWII and average white American today (3.f 3.j) Confronted with these assertions and statements, and knowing full well Douglas’s larger record of white supremacist views, Ms. Weir made little to no effort to challenge, confront, or rebut any of these views; on the contrary, she continued to appear on the show, placing Palestinian rights advocacy within the context of — rather than in opposition to — those views. 4. During appearances on Douglas’s radio show, Ms. Weir: a. explained her view that Muslims are much closer to Christians than Jews, stating “…sadly, if you look at the theology of Judaism, that is quite different. So again, it’s not that I like to tell negative things about any group, but we do need to be fully informed on this.” (See Section 4a of Part 3) b. acknowledged several books Douglas mentioned when ranting about communism and its connection to Jewish people, stating that she “read some portions of those books and they are as you say, they do discuss the Jewish connection to the Gulags…”(4b, Part 3) c. acknowledged that Douglas is perceived as racist, but indicated that she dismissed these allegations. (4c, Part 3)

RESPONSE:

Many of these statements are completely false. The others largely consist of exaggeration, spin, lying through omission, or perhaps sometimes (in the spirit of extreme fairness) misinterpretation. We suggest that people listen to the interviews for themselves, impartially and skeptically, rather than accepting the Campaign’s interpretation. Numerous people who have done so testify that the Campaign is negatively spinning the interviews. That said, I am certainly not perfect and, like everyone, often think of things later I wish I’d said (though, of course, time is limited and hosts sometimes interrupt before one has finished speaking). I did my best and will strive to do even better in the future. My goal always is to stay focused on using my airtime as effectively as possible to provide facts on Palestine and to counter the misinformation that is enabling Israeli oppression – and that is also endangering Arab and Muslim Americans, who are increasingly victimized by media-induced hostility. I also always strive to convey my personal philosophy of opposing all racism and violence, and to adhere to my belief that we should speak to one another with respect and civility. I don’t always succeed in these goals, but do my best.

I have repeatedly indicated that my giving an interview to a person or outlet does not indicate endorsement of the individual, the outlet, or of anything else done or disseminated by the individual or outlet.

During my interviews with Douglas, he skated across a wide variety of topics, often touching on numerous points in long statements that I found sometimes hard to follow, before asking me a question. I continually tried to bring the interviews back to Palestine-Israel, find ways to reach his listeners, seek and reinforce common ground and emphasize the importance of principles of justice, equality and fairness.

While my only concern in examining and sharing these interviews is to counter misrepresentations of my own statements and actions, I hope listeners who wish to delve into the interviews further will examine them carefully; I suspect that Douglas is more complicated than the ogre the Campaign depicts. I haven’t explored all of Douglas’s statements during his interviews of me, and in fact there are many claims I didn’t understand and references I didn’t know anything about. There were, however, some statements that initially sounded problematic to me that seemed to be less so when now, in the course of writing this response, I’ve had the chance to untangle what he was saying. Just as one example, at one point he states that some Christians he talked to were “just as evil as the Jews they were pointing the finger at,” or words to that effect. This statement sounded offensive on the face of it, but within the context of the interview it appeared quite clear that he was talking about some small subset of Christians and some small subset of Jewish people. While I personally don’t consider people to be evil, but rather actions (as I like to believe all people are capable of change), murderous policies supported by individuals across a variety of faiths surely are.

Other statements similarly sounded disturbing on the face of them but appear to be referring to factual occurrences, though sometimes in overly broad terms. In other cases, he does reference theories that to my knowledge are unsupported by evidence. He certainly made inappropriately sweeping references at times, which I endeavored to counter, and passing references to various far-flung topics on which he and I disagree, which I generally ignored, trying to stay on message and bring the interviews back to Palestine rather than discussing other subjects.

My phone interview with Douglas in 2010 can be heard at:

An additional interview from 2012 is here (the upload by Douglas claims that it aims to be “An honest discussion without any trace of racism about Israel”):

Below are analyses by a number of independent, pro-Palestine activists who looked into the Campaign/JVP accusations for themselves. Next is my point-by point response.

  1. An activist in northern California wrote the following to JVP and copied us on her message:

I am puzzled. The letter sounds as if it were drafted by the ADL, exhibiting one of the ADL’s chief tactics of defamation: character assassination by association. (Yes, despite the fact that the ADL claims to be against defamation, it frequently uses guilt by association to defame people whose views do not coincide with theirs.)

Did you read the source material on which the allegations were made? I found the transcript of Clay Douglas’s interview with Alison on August 25, 2010. Here is the only mention of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

CD: You know, I got threats. And mine were recorded too. Not exactly threats on my life but… “You need to take that link off of your site to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion… And Alison Weir, you know, she’s a communist… she’s a communist, she’s funded by the Arabs, and you need to take that film off of your site.” And this was…

AW: Let me just comment on those threats. First of all, I’m not a communist. It’s interesting that they go to conservatives, uh, Americans, and claim that I’m a communist. They go to liberal Americans, and claim that I’m a Right-wing associate of the Klan. So they make opposite claims about me, both of which are false, to whatever they think will sound the most negative to that audience.

Your comment was:

“In the course of your appearance with Clay Douglas on August 25, 2010, for example, you were silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews.”

Given the context in which The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was mentioned (not “invoked”), I don’t see why she needed to respond to that part of his statement. She did respond to the comments on her that he reported. While reading the rest of the interview, I was struck by how she made a distinction between “the Jews” and “Zionists.” She stressed the need to verify statements by checking them out and doing further research.

  1. An East Coast activist wrote:

In RE JVP’s charge that you did not jump on Clay Douglas over his reference to the Protocols, Jon Stewart, Uri Avnery and Tanya Reinhart all compared the power of the organized Jews to the Protocols

Philip Weiss, “Jon Stewart Calls AIPAC ‘Elders of Zion’”, June 6, 2008

mondoweiss.net/2008/06/jon-stewart-calls-aipac-elders-of-zion.html

Philip Weiss, “Late Tanya Reinhart Reportedly Likened Lobby to ‘Protocols of Elders of Zion’”, September 15, 2008;

mondoweiss.net/2008/09/late-tanya-reinhart-reportedly-likened-lobby-to-protocols-of-elders-of-zion

Uri Avnery, “The Charge of the New York Times”, CounterPunch, July 22, 2011

www.counterpunch.org/2011/07/22/the-charge-of-the-new-york-times/ (all August 11, 2013)}

  1. Two members of Jewish Voice for Peace-Bay Area, wrote:

Dear Jewish Voice for Peace,

As members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), we are distressed and saddened at the public stance that JVP has recently taken vis-à-vis journalist and author Alison Weir, founder of If Americans Knew (IAK)…..

Alison Weir and Clay Douglas

Member 1: Some time in 2014 a JVP member disseminated, via an internal JVP Google group, links to four one-hour radio conversations between Weir and Clay Douglas which took place on Douglas’ radio show, “The Free American Hour”, in late 2010 and early 2011. I had never heard of Clay Douglas and was interested to hear examples of Weir’s anti-Semitism – about which I’d heard but which I’d never witnessed. Accordingly, I listened to three of the four programs in their entirety and could discern nothing anti-Semitic in any of Weir’s statements….

Another reason why I was eager to hear the Weir-Douglas conversations is that, over the past few years, I have been involved in conversations – more often than not by email – with anti-Semites, and I was interested to see how Weir handled this sort of exchange. When I’m engaged with an anti-Semite I try to keep them engaged and I try not to “spook” them. This takes delicate handling, especially if one is as repulsed by these creatures as I am. What I heard in Weir’s responses to Douglas’ provocative pronouncements was someone trying, as I try, to maintain the conversation and the relationship so as to return to fight another day. Weir is much more skilled at this than I am, but there was no question in my mind that this is what she was trying to do: keep Douglas interested in further conversation with her while he continued to assume that she held similar beliefs to his.

It is understood that everything is in the eye and ear of the beholder, but I do not interpret Alison Weir in the same way that JVP does.

I have never found anything anti-Semitic in Alison’s writings or in her lectures, nor did I hear anything anti-Semitic in any of her utterances during a thirty-minute conversation I held with her, in person, in 2014. In fact, I found myself liking her and admiring her very much, as her work on behalf of justice for Palestine and the Palestinian cause is compassionate, intelligent and unrelenting.

Member 2: I have also been very distressed by the actions of JVP toward Alison Weir. I do not know Alison well, have heard her speak a couple of times, read and disseminated her materials and read her most recent book and find her to engage in a high level of scholarship in digging out reports of historical events that most Americans have no idea about. A lot of us in the movement spend a lot of time preaching to the choir, but Alison gets out into what I’ve been known to refer to as “the real world” to educate about the oppression of Palestine. During the 1980 Presidential election, I was living and working in redneck country, and told my friends in the Bay Area that Ronald Reagan was going to win the election – I was told by the Bay Area liberals that that would never happen, no one would vote for him. Since then I’ve tended to regard the Bay Area as “not the real world.” There’s a lot of work that needs to be done outside our comfort zones, and I see Alison as one who is going there and has a clear vision of what needs to happen – if Americans knew what is going on in Palestine, it would stop.

.……. One criticism is that JVP is indicting Weir for associating with anti-Semites such as Clay Douglas, while at the same time JVP associates with Zionists – Zionists defined as those who accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state. JVP is being perceived as engaging in exceptionalism and identity politics, not to mention hypocrisy. We find that this criticism has a considerable amount of merit.

  1. An early member of JVP addressed JVP’s similar accusations on Democratic Undergound:

…in your Statement you explained that you decided “not to work with her because… she has consistently chosen to stay silent when given the opportunity to challenge bigotry…” Your statement particularly objected to her August 2010 interview with Clay Douglas, which contained the following exchanges(3):

DOUGLAS: …the Jews put a full page ad in the New York Times declaring–
WEIR: Let me just correct you. Don’t say “The Jews”. It may sound to people that you are saying every Jewish-American did this, which, as you’ve just said is not true.
DOUGLAS: No it’s not true…

DOUGLAS: David Duke’s pointed out about the menorahs being up. You can put it on the White House lawn but we can’t have a Christmas tree on the White House lawn anymore?
ALISON WEIR: I don’t know–is that true? I can’t… You know, sometimes we all hear things and we pass them on, and sometimes the things that we hear and pass on are true, and sometimes it turns out to be one of these urban myths that many of us have believed and told others and then it turns out somebody looks into it and it’s not true. So I personally don’t know for sure if it is the case, that a menorah can be on the White House lawn, but a Christmas tree cannot.

Further, Weir explained to Douglas that: “I don’t, by the way, however, when I write about this or speak about it, I never say “the CIA” does this, I never say “the Jews” do this. What it is are specific individuals within these groups that are doing these things.” And she promoted Jews, Muslims, and Christians living together peacefully while practicing their religions:

Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in Palestine for centuries, without armed conflict, without conflict, all practicing their religions. Christians and Jews lived throughout Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco… They lived throughout what’s… Jewish, Christian and Muslim human beings all living, without wiping one another out… Wouldn’t these statements by Weir qualify as opposition to bigotry?

Next, you pointed out that during this interview “she was silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews.” In that exchange, Douglas said that people told him: “You need to take that link off of your site to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion… And Alison Weir, you know, she’s a communist… she’s funded by the Arabs, and you need to take film off of your site.” Weir responded that she was not a communist, Douglas continued to ask her questions, and as you said, she didn’t return to challenge Douglas having a weblink to the Protocols. Did her failure to do so imply that she condoned this? She has two essays on her website rejecting the Protocols as an “old czarist forgery”.(4)

You wrote further that:

“Her troubling associations and choices further include giving interviews to a range of far-right outlets including The American Free Press (AFP), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group, and the anti-gay, anti-Jewish pastor Mark Dankof.”

I understand your objection to her interviewing with far-right outlets, but Weir claims that she just wants to reach audiences with a wide range of political views. Why else then did JVP’s National Director Rebecca Vilkomerson have an interview with The AFP’s online editor Dave Gahary to discuss Divestment?(5) How should we view Stephen Lendman, whose essay favorably mentioning JVP was hosted on the Tikkun website(6) and yet was also on Clay Douglas’ radio program?(7) How should we view the interviews of Ray McGovern, the Corries, Dr. Avner Cohen, CodePink director Rae Abileah, Guardian columnist Suzanne McGee, and CAIR director Zahra Billoo for The AFP?(8) And what about interviews of Ray McGovern, Jennifer Lowenstein, Ilan Pappe, Dilip Hiro, with Rev. Mark Dankof, mentioned above?

…….. you objected that “Weir and IAK have a fundamental political framing that the U.S. is not implicated in the same racist and white supremacist structures as Israel.” Did you mean that her political framing (A) does not implicate the US system in having the same kinds of domestic inequalities in its institutional “structures” as the Israeli system does (eg. laws discriminating against Israeli Palestinians), or that it (B) does not implicate the US in Israeli discriminatory structures?

I think that you meant (B), because you added: “This ‘tail wags the dog’ theory is a form of chauvinistic nationalism that absolves American interest in perpetuating injustice–not just in Israel but in other regions around the world.” Is Weir’s “tail wags dog” theory that the Israeli government makes the US accept unjust “structures”, like unequal laws for Israeli Palestinians and the settlements/dispossessions in the West Bank. If so, what do you see as a potential “American interest” in those unjust domestic laws and West Bank land confiscations?

Additionally, do you think that Uri Avnery’s position on the US-Israeli relationship and the “tail wags dog” theory (as Avnery wrote in parenthesis) published on the JVP website is acceptable:

This discussion came to a head when the American professors, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, published their research paper, according to which Israel imposes on the United States a policy that is contrary to the American national interest. The conclusion upset many who believe the opposite: that Israel is but a small wheel in the imperial American machine. (I permitted myself to argue that both versions are right: the American dog wags its Israeli tail, and the Israeli tail wags the American dog.)(10)

  1. Another Palestine activist wrote a detailed analysis on louisproyect.org that contained the following:

Reading the transcript of her interview with the right-wing extremist, Weir sounds like she is doing her best answering questions from a person who does not sound as though he is “all there”. Interrupting this individual any time he made racist comments would require interrupting him virtually every other sentence. But that is not a reason to completely avoid this individual’s listener base, especially as that base is particularly vulnerable to the sort of racist and violent propaganda that is regularly pushed by both anti- and pro-Israel segments of the far-right against Arabs, Muslims, immigrants, and others (see section VII below).

…… I think it is worth discussing a major organizing flaw that seems to permeate well past Palestine-organizing: not engaging the communities that are most likely to be exploited by the right…

….. in the past, many of the people who listen to such people [Douglas] are not committed to such hateful messages. They buy into it because those kinds of hateful people are the only ones that speak to their sense of frustration with real problems, like the economic crisis. ……. That is not because he is an avowed racist, it is because he is vulnerable to such messages from people like the radio host in question.

…… in my own personal experience of meeting people with, quite frankly, ignorant views on host of race-related subjects, I have found that many of them are not hateful or violent but simply misled. Properly engaging people in a way that they will actually understand and be placed on the right path is important, even if tricky. If even one person stopped listening to the radio host in question and started reading If Americans Knew, where they would hear not only from white American voices like their own, but also from Jewish voices, Palestinian and Arab voices, the United Nations, and the like, that is in my mind a small victory. That would not be possible if Alison Weir did not go on his bizarre radio show or interrupted him every time he said something racist, which was every other sentence.

Most importantly and ironically, it appears that JVP already knows this: that is why they have gone out of the way not to condemn Zionism, knowing (correctly) that to do so would immediately alienate Jewish people who have been brought up in communities where Zionism is a prevalent form of racism. There is wisdom is telling those segments of a society that are committed to various forms of racism to take a hike, but there is also wisdom in trying to put them on the right path, even if it means not always being able to shame them in the strongest terms.

  1. West Coast Palestine and Veterans for Peace activist Jack Dresser wrote:

…. if you listen to the interview. He’s a guy honestly distressed at what he sees in the world, as are his callers, as we all should be, and trying to piece together an understanding from lots of information, much of it reasonably accurate however often detail-imprecise and simplified. I heard nothing suggesting violence. Most of his anti-Semitic feelings reflect resentment of disproportionate Jewish/Zionist influence in the media and US government policies – which is inarguable – and result from Israel’s own self-declaration as a Jewish state representing the world’s Jews, thereby blaming them generically for its criminality. Alison carefully corrected that perception and, in general throughout the interview, tactfully moved him (and his listeners) into more nuanced and more solidly evidence-based understandings. He said – I suspect in response to her gentle and rational tone – that we should all “listen to both sides” and decide for ourselves, and people “shouldn’t just take my word for anything.

We think this is a particularly perceptive and compassionate comment. Perhaps Dresser’s own experience as a veteran helps him to empathize with Vietnam veteran Clay Douglas, rather than jump on the JVP bandwagon to condemn him. The Campaign has made Douglas into a cartoon villain, ignoring his statements against violence, war and oppression; his opposition to the criminalization of so much of our population via the war on drugs; his outrage at the US dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and our nation’s treatment of Native Americans.

The Campaign would make Douglas and all his listeners into the enemy; we don’t automatically write them off and instead believe it is possible that some of them could become part of an anti-racist, pro-justice movement, just as many former Zionists are now part of this movement.

With regard to the specific points cited by the Campaign about these interviews, I will give the actual context and further information below. Naturally, I am giving context about what I said and about what I responded to during my interviews. Readers may draw their own conclusions about Douglas’s positions, but the issue in question is my own statements within the context of his questioning, so I hope that concerned readers will consider the full interviews, focusing more on what I said than what Douglas said.

3. Statements made by Clay Douglas to Ms. Weir during his interviews of her on his radio show:

a. Made derogatory statements about Arabs [5:00],

The supposedly “derogatory statements about Arabs” consisted of recounting some hostile voicemails against him, including quoting one caller who said: “And Alison Weir… she’s funded by the Arabs.”

b. referenced the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – a long debunked forgery claiming Jewish plans to control the world – as fact [22:25],

Douglas claimed that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion referred to “our terrible power of the purse.” In reality, it was Zionism founder Theodor Herzl who said that.

c. played clips of former head of the KKK David Duke speaking in which he declares that there is a war on Christianity in the United States, supporting sentiments Douglas himself frequently expresses. [35:00],

The recording said: “Why is it that a giant Jewish menorah can be erected in the White House, while Christian Christmas symbols are banned?” and “America is an overwhelmingly Christian nation, yet we are now forbidden by law to put Christian Christmas symbols on public property. Jews are less than two per cent of our population, are permitted to put up their religious symbol, the menorah…” At the time, I responded at length warning listeners against accepting such assertions or rumors without examining them. After the Campaign dredged up this long-forgotten interview, I checked out Douglas’s claims. I surmise that he was referring to a 1989 Supreme Court decision that displaying a Menorah on government property was constitutional, while displaying a Christian nativity scene (an overtly religious symbol) was found to be unconstitutional. A David Duke segment played by Douglas appears to be wrong: Christmas trees (not considered a religious symbol) are allowed at the White House.

d. asked Ms. Weir, “The Palestinians aren’t Arabs; there’s a lot of them that are Christians TOO, aren’t they?” [32:23]

Douglas voiced a fairly widespread mistake. I took the opportunity to clarify the facts for Douglas and his audience:

“Well, Arab is just like saying Europeans, it doesn’t denote a religion. So yes, many Arabs are Christians, many Arabs are Muslims, some Arabs are Jews. You know, these are all different… these are all religions and/or cultures, and Arab is a culture and a region, it’s not a religion.”

e. cited David Duke criticizing the presence of a menorah on the White House lawn but not a Christmas tree. Ms. Weir responded skeptically to the menorah story, but went on to state, “You know, if I moved to a country that was largely Muslim or largely Jewish, I wouldn’t feel, “Well, my.., I should suddenly take over and change that country, I would have to fit in and play a role.” [41:23]

I continued: “I think minorities should be respected, I think all people should be respected, but I do think the majority of a population of a country should be paid attention to. That’s democracy.” Of course, in regard to taking over a country, it was Zionists who went into Palestine and took it over.

f. downplayed the existence of apartheid in South Africa, criticizing the treatment of white South Africans and pejoratively calling Nelson Mandela a communist. Douglas went on to suggest that “Americans” (presumably referring to white Americans) are now similarly being unfairly treated as he believes white South Africans were under apartheid. [24:25]

At this point, as he did frequently throughout the interview, Douglas went into a very long statement that touched on many different topics outside my areas of expertise and which I found rather hard to follow. He did discuss South Africa (after touching first on communism in the early 20th century), though I did not hear him mention Nelson Mandela at any point. He seemed to take issue with the idea that all South Africans were uniformly nasty; he compared South African colonization to the European colonization of the US: “I tried to point out to people… they’ve been there in South Africa as long as we’ve been here in America and they probably treated the blacks better than we treated the Indians. Why were they demonized?” He went on to other topics, declaring that he was not racist, listing people of various backgrounds who he’d had on his show, and then saying that the SPLC and ADL were “demonizing” various people including the Tea Party, before eventually ceding to me with a vague question.

In my response, I focused on the need for people across the political spectrum to engage in tolerant, civil, evidence-based debate in order to find common ground, rather than sinking into greater polarization and extremism, attempting to reinforce to listeners the importance of sticking to meaningful principles: “I think the big problem is that we’re not being able to have the kind of open, honest discussion that a democratic republic needs to have to maintain its health and to create reasonable, moral, principled strategic policies. People like you and myself who are living in different parts of the country, probably have different views about different aspects of what you just discussed, about racism, about the history, etc., can and should and need to have honest discussions, where you present and the evidence you’ve discovered, your research, I discuss the evidence I’ve discovered, my research, we both have a civil, moral, principled discussion.” I went on to cite the debate between Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party as an example of useful, civilized debate.

g. claims that all of our media is controlled by Jewish people, then asks Ms. Weir, “If the Jews control the media and the newspapers, all of our sources of news, and they call our money… Alison, are we Palestinians on our own land, right now?” Ms. Weir responds challenging the use of the term ‘the Jews,’ highlighting that Jews aren’t monolithic and mainstream Jewish organizations may take actions that not all Jews agree with. Yet at no time does she challenge Douglas’ assertions including that Jews “call our money,” control all of the media, etc. [30:06]

I emphasized that “it’s never accurate to say ‘the Jews,’” and continued in that vein quite awhile. Douglas interrupted me to say that he would stop talking about “the Jews” when they stopped talking about “the Palestinians.” I responded that it’s acceptable to use that term if it’s used with accuracy and precision. He continued: “Here in the United States, if you question the Federal Reserve, if you question the US policies towards Israel, or Iraq or Iran for that matter, then again you’re called anti-government. If you talk about the Israeli state, which I consider a criminal state, having 400 nuclear weapons, bragging that they can hit every capital in Europe, then suddenly you’re anti-Semitic….” At that point, he moved on to the point below, and I never did get a chance to comment on the movers and shakers behind financial power (outside my expertise) or the media (within my expertise, and about which I would have a good deal to say) beyond my initial statement that it’s not accurate to make a statement about “the Jews” collectively controlling anything.

h. begins ranting against Communism, claiming that all of the communist [used pejoratively] leaders were Jewish. Douglas says that the Russians used to call communism “Judaism for the masses.” He continues on a bigoted and factually inaccurate rant, “60 million White Christian Russians were killed after the Soviet Union took over. The politburo in the Soviet Union was 90% Jewish. Marx and Lenin, the founders of communism, were Jewish. Stalin was Jewish. And all of the commissars that forced the Russians into battle against the Germans… they happened to be Jewish.” Douglas then claims that the people running detention centers in the Soviet Union were Jewish. He continues, “We have the same setup, the same scenario, going on in America now.” Ms. Weir begins her response to this rant by stating, “There’s a lot happening that people truly need to wake up to…” [36:00]

This makes it sound like my comment quoted above came in response to Douglas’s claims about Jewish Soviets. In reality, Douglas moved on to say a good deal more before I spoke. He said the US had detention centers in the US built by Halliburton and then listed groups and people at some length that he felt the ADL and SPLC were unfairly demonizing, finally finishing by saying that’s “what’s happening right now.”

While Douglas did make some of these exaggerated statements, the Campaign fails to mention that the source Douglas gave for the Jewish connection to Soviet detention centers was Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel laureate whose writings on this topic are sometimes mentioned in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Ha’aretz, among other publications—where I heard about them.

I said: “I’m not an expert on the Soviet Union or its history” and emphasized that this was outside my field of expertise. I stated that I had read some portions of Solzhenitsyn’s books but that much was not translated into English, saying that I was bothered by this, as I feel we should have full information on history and should always oppose censorship. I then attempted to bring the interview back to Palestine-Israel by describing censorship against If Americans Knew, but was interrupted by a break in the show (I returned to this anecdote as soon as possible after the break).

As an additional note: I attempt to challenge generalizations about groups of people and to contradict errors when I hear them, but my approach is not to attack claims without knowing whether they’re true or not. In this dense statement, Douglas made numerous claims about which I did not have expertise. Many may have been true; many may not. The Campaign errs in focusing on his claims themselves as bigotry. The problem comes in painting a whole diverse swath of humanity with one brush, applying collective judgment based on the actions or alleged actions of individuals in distinct times and places, not in exploring various claims. I like to investigate the evidence supporting or refuting facts, but this was not a topic I was equipped to evaluate with any authority, nor was it what I had gone on the show to discuss.

i. Douglas regularly attacks communism and communists in all of the episodes of his show reviewed, including denouncing the late South African President and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela and his ANC party as communist.

I have no idea of the accuracy of statements about Douglas’s other shows. (Although the Campaign has a poor track record in accurately representing the interviews with me, I’ll assume its claims about other shows could be correct.) However, in the show the Campaign is referencing, Douglas did not mention Mandela. He did denounce communism and refer to millions of people who died under the Soviet Union – perhaps a reference to the massive Holodomor in Ukraine under Stalin.

j. mentions the possibility of President Obama being impeached due to a “lack of a birth certificate,” which Ms. Weir does not directly respond to but rather says she and Douglas agree on the point that “people should be getting the full facts.” [44:50]

This is another case in which Douglas spoke for quite some time, rambling across a number of topics. I’m not sure what the Campaign’s point is; Did I violate the Campaign’s anti-racism principles by failing to engage in a debate about President Obama’s birth certificate?

Douglas began this long statement with an announcement about a petition to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky that he said could use support, then moved on to say California was looking at legalizing marijuana, which brought him to Arnold Schwarzenegger. He said: “I think Gov. Schwarzenegger will ok that… because I think Obama is setting the stage for Schwarzenegger to be our next president. The movies have been telling me that, like ‘Demolition Man’ and a few others… If Obama doesn’t get impeached and thrown out for his lack of a birth certificate, then the door is open for Schwarzenegger. Is that a comforting thought for you, Alison?”

I attempted to bring the interview back around to my anecdote about censorship of If Americans Knew about Palestine-Israel, beginning: “These days I’m not comforted by the way our political system is working, because most of us aren’t getting the full facts, and so when voters go to cast their vote, they often are–intelligent, well-meaning, principled people are voting in ways they would not vote if they had the full facts. I think that’s where you and I certainly especially share a lot of commonality, which is we think people think we should be getting the full facts on–” Douglas cut in there to agree: “[unintelligible] both sides. Tell me both sides and let me decide for myself. I tell people don’t just believe what I tell you, go out and check it out for yourself.” At this point I got back to my anecdote about censorship against If Americans Knew.

k. says that Hitler was “perceived as a hero to the German people because they were starving to death, their economy had crashed” and then appears to suggest that Americans are dealing with similar issues. Douglas subsequently blames the “Schiffs and the Rothschilds” for these issues, presumably referring to the two Jewish families. [45:40]

Douglas said: “I also see parallels between what’s happening here in the United States — We’ve seen a police state being formed and Hitler … he was perceived….” In context, I took this to be a statement connecting economic collapse and the rise of police states, not a belief that Hitler was a hero. The author of the Campaign dossier considers the salient point about the Schiffs and the Rothschilds to be that they were Jewish; to me, the relevant point was that they were mega-rich elites profiting while most of their compatriots suffered.

As Douglas started off on what looked like a tangent, I cut in to discuss his assertion that the US was turning into a police state (“I think many of us are very, very worried about what’s going on in our country, I think there are laws being passed…”) but then there was some sort of technical glitch that drowned out my words.

When I was able to be heard again, I explained that I believe we should all “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and said that if everyone would live that way we would have a “much safer and better world for all of our children.” I continued: “all of the children of the world deserve a safe world… in which they can prosper, they can flourish. When you look at a small child, all of us want the best for that child, and I think it’s our responsibility to do our best to make that sure that happens, and right now the policies in the United States by our government are jeopardizing that kind of world….”

l. stated that, instead of calling those he was referring to “Jews,” he would call them “Morlocks,” a reference to fictional reptilian antagonists, in H.G. Wells novels, who dwell underground. [23:15]

This was a term I was unfamiliar with. However, Douglas used this term to refer to powerful individuals who exploit everyone, and specifically said they “used the Jews the same way they used the Judaic Christians.”

4. Statements made by Ms. Weir to Clayton Douglas on his radio show.

a. Ms. Weir explained her view that Muslims are much closer to Christians than Jews, stating “…sadly, if you look at the theology of Judaism, that is quite different. So again, it’s not that I like to tell negative things about any group, but we do need to be fully informed on this.” [29:00]

This came immediately after I had emphasized that we need to have open, honest conversations with each other. I was discussing that we have the demonization of one side by the other side, when American voters should be seeking common ground and principles that we share, holding up the debate between Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin as an example. Shortly before, I had explained that Muslims, Christians, and Jews had all lived together as neighbors in Palestine for centuries without conflict.

I then took the opportunity to try to combat the Islamophobia that was then being so heavily pushed to conservatives, relating that something I discovered on visiting Palestine was that “Muslims actually are very close to Christianity. They revere Jesus as one of the major prophets. He is considered very sacred to Muslims, as is Mary, who is considered the most revered woman in Islam, so you find a great reverence for Jesus Christ, for Christians, for Christianity among Muslims.” I continued by saying: “Sadly, if you look at the theology of Judaism, that is quite different, so again it’s not that I like to tell negative things about any group, but we do need to be fully informed on this, and the fact is that Muslims are very close to Christians; they feel very close, they live close to Christians in Palestine, in Bethlehem, where you find Christians and Muslims living side by side for centuries and still today, so it’s important to get the full facts on this and we’re not getting that; we’re getting very manipulated, filtered facts from most of our American media.”

I was commenting on the situation in Palestine-Israel, where discrimination against non-Jews is sanctioned (and in fact prescribed) by law and woven into the whole system (thwarting some Jewish Israelis who try to fight it), and where extremist Jewish theologies are exploited to justify that discrimination, as well as killings and horrific brutality; for example, a best-selling book by a prominent rabbi saying that the killing of non-Jewish children was religiously permissible. There has been a great deal of violence against Christians and Christian institutions from the very beginning of Israel’s existence (see my book), in addition to the more-known violence against Muslims; more recently a mayor rounded up New Testatements and burned them. I am not a theologian and my comment was not meant to speak for all Jewish beliefs. I don’t know that I made that fully clear in the context of my statements, in which I always tried to remain focused on the situation in Palestine.

Americans frequently discuss extremist theologies within Islam and critique various Islamic beliefs – right-wing Americans in particular, but also mainstream and even progressive Americans. This is also true of various Christian theologies and extreme Christian positions. I dislike that we critique certain positions and extremism within those two religions, but that it’s taboo to do so with regards to Judaism.

However, let me reiterate for the record that I firmly support both religious freedom and religious tolerance; I do not condone discriminating against or stereotyping individuals of any group. My belief is that promoting truth, civil dialog, tolerance and justice will ultimately benefit all people, while propping up an unjust system with coverups, lies, and ever widening taboos can only backfire. If we condemn and stop the atrocities being committed in the name of Jews and with the known support of the US, we can do the right thing and forestall backlash against those parties that would (as backlash tragically does) target innocents rather than the perpetrators.

b. Ms. Weir acknowledged several books Douglas mentioned when discussing communism and its connection to Jewish people, stating that she “read some portions of those books and they are as you say, they do discuss the Jewish connection to the Gulags…” [38:55]

They’ve here jumped back to my discussion of Alexander Sozhenitsyn, an extremely famous, celebrated writer whose later books were not translated into English. I said I opposed censorship and was troubled that this information was not available to Americans. I said I had read some portions of these books and they did discuss the Jewish connection to the Gulags. (I learned about this when I read Jewish & Israeli media, where this was discussed.)

c. Throughout her interviews with Douglas, Ms. Weir repeats her belief and agreement that Douglas is not racist, violent or anti-Semitic.

I did attempt to positively reinforce Douglas’s statements against racism, violence, and anti-Semitism, as well as the goal of living moral, decent lives.

I also wrote previously on the Clay Douglas accusations:

Interviewing me or sharing my work in any medium does not indicate endorsement by me personally or by If Americans Knew. My views and positions are represented solely in our own statements and writings. We are not so much an activism organization as an informational one, and we focus on providing the most accurate, transparently sourced information we can.

With that goal and mission in mind, I have aimed from the first to reach beyond the “choir” of people who already know about and sympathize with the Palestinian plight. I have sought ways to reach a broad audience, inform Americans across the political spectrum and present the most factual, well-cited information possible – all with the goal of truly bringing an end to the ongoing Mideast tragedy, by preparing Americans to change policies that enable Israel’s criminal actions. Effectiveness has always been my watchword. The tragedy is far too great for anything less.

I also wrote about this in an earlier statement.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

In addition to appearing on the “Free American Hour”, Ms. Weir spoke more than once, and as recently as April 2015, to the American Free Press, another white supremacist publication whose homepage currently features numerous defenses of the confederate flag, including an article proclaiming that the outrage around the Charleston shooting of nine Black church-goers is a tactic in the “ongoing war on traditional America.” The front page of their print publication declares “Civil War II: Hate group exploits tragic shooting as catalyst for vicious assault on Christian, Southern culture.” (See Section 5 of Part 3)

RESPONSE: I have no idea why the Campaign talks about what today’s print publication may or may not contain since this is entirely irrelevant, while omitting the fact that the interview with AFP mentioned was about my book and the censorship of our book advertisement by the American Historical Association. The article quotes me saying: “One thing that motivates my work is opposition to racism and discrimination.”

Others who have appeared on the American Free Press are peace activists Ray McGovern, Cindy and Craig Corrie, Brian Terrell, Israeli academic Dr. Avner Cohen, CodePink director Rae Abileah, UK Guardian columnist Suzanne McGee, CAIR director Zahra Billoo, Independent Jewish Voices Canada member Marty Roth, author Jennifer Dixon, Gaza reporter Harry Fear, Israeli co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions Meir Margalit, Rachel Roberts, the Civil Rights Coordinator for Northern California for the Council on American Islamic Relations, President of Muslim Public Affairs Council Salam Al-Marayati, Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin, spokesperson for the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign Ed Mast, Project Censored director Mickey Huff, author and Founding Director of the American Jewish Congress Feminist Center in Los Angeles Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, and numerous others.

The Campaign’s Executive Director Yusef Munayer and Prof. George Bisharat were on Fox News.

The Campaign’s Policy Director Josh Ruebner was recently a speaker at an event organized by the Maryland Constitution Party, whose Presidential Candidate complains about “elevating” minorities and whom the Human Rights Campaign considers a White Supremacist. Its platform opposes “any legal recognition of homosexual or civil unions,” affirms “the rights of states and localities to proscribe offensive sexual behavior,” and supports “a moratorium on immigration to the United States” as an article on the controversy in Media With Conscience notes.

I don’t believe this makes any of us guilty of anything; clearly, we’re all working to get important information to the American public.

While the Campaign apparently attempts to dictate that no one should be interviewed on right-wing shows, it is interesting that in reality it seems only to apply this requirement to me.

(In its earlier interrogation, the Campaign also accused me of being associated with Veterans Today, which, the Campaign said: “regularly posts racist and anti-Semitic content.” However, when we pointed out that the site also contained articles by the Campaign’s Josh Ruebner and Campaign President Phyllis Bennis, the Campaign apparently decided to leave this aspect of our “guilt” out of its indictment. Among the many others whose writings are on the website are Sabeel writer James Wall and professor Lawrence Davidson.)

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

According to her response to our inquiry, Ms. Weir is fully committed as a matter of principle to continuing to contribute to American Free Press, “Free American Hour”, and any other show regardless of its agenda. That may be her principle but it is not ours.

RESPONSE:

Their statement isn’t entirely true, as its leaders have specifically been interviewed on shows and given talks sponsored by groups from across the political spectrum, including right-wing ones.

It is our policy to give the facts to everyone, without exception, for the reasons detailed above. As we state on our website:

Our Principles

We believe all people are endowed with inalienable human rights regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. We believe in justice, fairness, and compassion and in treating all human beings with respect, empathy, and in the manner in which we would wish to be treated.

If Americans Knew is a nonpartisan, educational organization. We are happy to provide information and speakers on Israel-Palestine to individuals and groups of all religious, ethnic, racial, and political backgrounds. If Americans Knew supports justice, truth, equal rights and respect for all human beings; and we oppose racism, supremacism, and discrimination of any and all forms.

We profoundly disagree with the Campaign’s decree that supporters of Palestine-Israel justice should never speak to non-progressive outlets. Certain individuals aggressively promoting or parroting the Campaign line are white Christian Americans who are secure from anti-Arab, anti-Muslim violence fomented by some right-wing programs. Many Muslim Americans do not enjoy that privilege to be so purist. A great many have suffered from verbal and physical harassment from Americans who have been influenced by some conservative TV and radio programs to believe that all Muslims are “terrorists.”

Therefore, we believe it is critical that this sector of the American population also receive the real facts that counter such media-generated, mistaken beliefs – beliefs that pose a real danger to Muslims and Arabs. While some activists prefer to remain “pure” and would perhaps only go on Democracy Now and Al Jazeera, we feel this is an abdication of responsibility. We need to reach the people that are NOT listening to Democracy Now and other programs deemed acceptable. One of the few ways to reach them, and probably the most direct, is by appearing on programs that they listen to.

Many others agree with this approach.

Prominent peace activist and former US Congressional representative Cynthia McKinney, who is herself African-American, made an important point in an interview several years ago with Chris Hedges:

It is time for us to stop talking about right and left. The old political paradigm that serves the interests of the people who put us in this predicament will not be the paradigm that gets us out of this. I am a child of the South. Janet Napolitano tells me I need to be afraid of people who are labeled white supremacists but I was raised around white supremacists. I am not afraid of white supremacists… I am willing to reach across traditional barriers that have been skillfully constructed by people who benefit from the way the system is organized.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

Taken as a pattern, we concluded that Ms. Weir’s views and actions, on behalf of If Americans Knew, contradict the US Campaign’s anti-racism principles.

RESPONSE:

I would argue that the Campaign needs to embrace “anti-racism” that includes true opposition to racist Zionism, as well as embracing anti-bullying and free speech principles. I’ve been honored and vindicated to receive public and private statements from many people I respect greatly, who are truly committed to opposing bigotry and oppression, that indicate my and If Americans Knew’s actions do not violate their own anti-racism principles.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

The US Campaign contacted Ms. Weir privately so that she could respond to the assertions herself, in her own words. Our correspondence with Ms. Weir was sent in accordance with our anti-racism procedures. Ms. Weir chose to publicize the private inquiry and misrepresent it as a public, “attack” on her and her freedom to organize. Ms. Weir’s representation of our communication is inaccurate and functioned as a substitute to addressing the serious concerns we raised.

RESPONSE:

Firstly, we responded fully and directly to the Campaign, so the accusation that we avoided addressing its concerns is spurious.

Furthermore — unlike the Campaign — we believe strongly in openness and transparency. The Campaign purports to act on behalf of hundreds of organizations representing thousands of individuals – very few of whom were informed of its plan to expel If Americans Knew. This was not a private discussion, but supposedly an action of a “coalition.”

We are against secret tribunals and behind-closed-doors manipulation. We felt it was important for others to know of Campaign leaders’ actions – especially since this is the latest example of ongoing actions to block my speeches, prevent people from learning of my book, and prevent the American public from learning of our highly informative, thoroughly sourced website about Palestine. (It’s also one of many public and behind-the-scenes attacks on other activists.)

Campaign leaders wanted us to submit to an unfair, un-transparent, pretend process, much like Israel seeks “peace” through Palestinian submission, and yet then accept our expulsion from the coalition, which would most certainly have been public and which is wielded as a weapon to attempt to discredit us. We chose to publicly resist.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

Although the Steering Committee of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation deliberated solely on the allegations made and the subsequent facts uncovered by our review, we acknowledge that this issue has raised significant political questions that are relevant to the movement at large — issues such as white supremacy, anti-Semitism, privilege, racism, and others. In the following section, we elaborate on some of these issues.

RESPONSE:

Once again, it is notable that they don’t even mention Zionism, the core issue our movement is addressing.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

Part 2 – The US Campaign’s Position on Issues Raised by the Alison Weir Case

We are striving to build a progressive, inclusive, and effective movement for Palestinian rights in the US. If Americans Knew and Executive Director Ms. Weir have long contributed to our movement, providing useful resources and tirelessly advocating for Palestinian rights. It is precisely for this reason that many of us were taken aback and disappointed by the stance Ms. Weir took in responding to what we believed would be an opportunity for a member organization to send a clear and powerful message opposing white supremacy, hate and racism. Some, including Ms. Weir, have incorrectly claimed that the US Campaign is acting at the behest of Jewish Voice for Peace. This suggestion seems to assume that only Jews can be concerned about anti-Semitism and racism in our movement. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our movement cannot flourish and achieve its aims if we tolerate the same biases and bigotry against which we fight.

RESPONSE:

The Campaign sets up a straw man argument. No one that we know has ever claimed that “only Jews can be concerned about anti-Semitism and racism in our movement.” The fact is that one of the first pieces I ever wrote about this issue was entitled “Anti-Semitism Is Wrong.” The reason so many people think JVP played a role in this attack is for the very obvious reason that most of the accusations made by the Campaign echo almost exactly those earlier made by JVP.

The Campaign claims that it is “striving to build a progressive, inclusive, and effective movement for Palestinian rights in the US.”

In reality, however, it is clear that Campaign leaders, far from being inclusive, are working to exclude us and many, diverse others.

Recently, it has refused to include Free Gaza, even though Free Gaza is the organization that initiated the entire flotilla movement at profound life-and-death risk. This exclusion was done without even a pretense of process. Similarly, we’re told that it recently excluded the Global March to Jerusalem; again without any process.

Campaign leaders early on alienated one of the most committed organizations on this issue, Al Awda. As mentioned earlier, it rebuffed a Palestinian Muslim organization that wished to be involved. It is unwelcoming to principled conservatives who fervently support Palestinian rights, as well as minority rights, and to many Muslims, Christians, and Jews who hold religious beliefs the Campaign management does not approve. (This is its prerogative, but it is foolish to claim that it is striving to be “inclusive.” Indeed, we wonder whether the Campaign would allow Palestinians’ elected governmental representatives to participate, given that some may hold views that do not conform to the Campaign’s position on social issues.)

Rather than focusing on reaching all Americans as effectively as possible in order to end the tragedy we’re all supposed to be opposing, the Campaign leadership is unilaterally attempting to constrict both the movement and whom we inform about Palestine. This is not only highly improper, it is also the recipe for failure. The Campaign’s approach would target only a narrow segment of the American public – the segment that largely already agrees with us. (Perhaps supporters of the Campaign’s approach think that then this small slice of society will force the rest of the country to stop supporting atrocities, but that is both undemocratic and incredibly unlikely.)

It is absurd to claim that the Campaign is simply acting for its own purity, and not restricting If Americans Knew and my actions. When smears and accusations are being used to exclude us from conferences, convince groups not to host us at events and encourage individuals to discount our work, they certainly are restricting us. Recent Facebook posts by some Campaign leaders have become increasingly vitriolic and are clearly aimed at discrediting us entirely – it’s impossible to think the aim of that isn’t to block the information we share.

We are disturbed to learn that some Campaign Steering Committee members are also bullying some longtime activists on this issue. This needs to stop.

CAMPAIGN DOSSER:

On allies: In Ms. Weir’s response and public comments, she insists that we need to spread the word about Palestinian rights, wherever we can, to gain more allies to our cause. We strongly believe that one cannot be an ally to the Palestinian cause if one’s objection to Israel’s actions toward Palestinians is part and parcel of one’s broader worldview of hatred toward all non-whites and non-Christians. Such “allies” want to use our movement to further their racist aims rather than truly help the Palestinian people. Just as we would not accept the KKK as an “ally” we also cannot accept individuals or groups that believe in its hateful ideology. It is the same logic we apply in not accepting any overtly Islamophobic, Zionist or homophobic groups in our coalition.

RESPONSE:

Again, the Campaign has created a straw man argument. Nowhere do we talk about gaining racist allies. Converting a misguided, ignorant or hateful person into an ally working for peace and justice and moral policies, however, is a triumph any time it is achieved.

Our approach is to reach everyone with our facts and our philosophy, in the belief that many will be convinced by real evidence, and in the fervent hope that they will then work on behalf of justice and fairness, and demand an end to destructive, immoral US Middle East policies.

CAMPAIGN DOSSER:

On strategic value: Claiming a strategic value in appearing on white supremacist media without challenging the racist or bigoted views presented, on the basis that it allows our message further access, may sound compelling, and even courageous to some, but it is an argument rooted in white privilege. We know that it is Palestinians, their struggle, and other people of color who suffer the consequences when movement members carry such affiliations. Principled advocates of Palestinian rights appear on media outlets that have promoted bigoted narratives, such as Fox News or CNN, in order to challenge, not reinforce, racism in all of its forms, including anti-Palestinian bias, Zionist propaganda, Islamophobia and white supremacy.

RESPONSE:

I did – and do – speak out against racism, and opposition to bigotry and oppression clearly permeates If Americans Knew internet and print resources. I specifically spoke against racism on the Douglas shows, emphasizing the importance of “speaking out against racism of every sort.” Numerous neutral people who examined my appearances for themselves have also stated this fact.

It sounds like the Campaign is, absurdly, trying to say that I didn’t appear on conservative outlets in order to challenge anti-Palestinian bias, Zionist propaganda, and Islamophobia, even though this is exactly what I do in every interview.

While I oppose white supremacism, that subject didn’t come up and therefore I did not explicitly address it. However, I feel that speaking out for justice and truth and specifically for non-white, minority rights is implicitly and productively challenging white supremacy. Incidentally, I’m not aware that the numerous other individuals who appeared on AFP directly addressed white supremacy either. I’m also not aware that Yusef Munayer condemned this during his appearance on Fox News.

We’re disappointed that the Campaign has been so dishonest about this.

CAMPAIGN DOSSER:

On white supremacy: White supremacy is racism emanating from white privilege, or the belief that white people are superior to all other groups and races. The institutionalization of this hateful ideology has led to the killing and oppression of millions of native, African-American and other non-white people throughout the history of the United States. Institutionalized white supremacy continues its attack on black and brown communities today in various forms including police brutality, mass incarceration, anti-immigrant policies, and widespread Islamophobia. Appeasing white supremacists for political gain empowers and legitimizes white supremacy, which contributes to its ongoing ability to materially affect people’s lives.

RESPONSE:

Perhaps these ideas are new to some Campaign leaders and for that reason they felt the need to enunciate them. We believe that the movement for justice in Palestine is full of people acutely aware of the horrors of racism, who have long opposed it, and for whom this principle is a fundamental motivating factor in their activism, as it is for us. None of us believe in “appeasing white racists for political gain” (though some individuals suggest that many of our attackers appease Zionists for this reason).

By the way, while some Campaign leaders have called me a white racist, largely due, I suspect, to my European-American ancestry, the fact is that the staffs and boards of my two organizations have been quite diverse ethnically and religiously, including individuals who are Muslim-American, African-American, Palestinian-American, Latin-American, Jewish-American, Catholic-American, Protestant American, etc.

CAMPAIGN DOSSER:

On divisiveness: We have heard concerns that bringing up these issues can be considered ‘divisive’ in our movement. We do not take those concerns lightly. We weigh them against the tendency in dominant culture to shy away from discussion about race and racism in order not to break a perceived consensus. This is as true for race in this country as it is for Palestinian advocacy. However, to be true to our principles, we must recognize that what is truly divisive is condoning racism or bigotry of any kind. Appeals to unity that fail to address issues of racism are rooted in white privilege, ultimately placing the burden on people of color to accept this racism as part of joining the movement or our coalition.

RESPONSE:

This is yet another straw man argument. All of us are opposed to racism, and I consistently speak against it. I was active in the Civil Rights movement (as is posted on our website) before some of my accusers were born, and I was arrested in a demonstration for civil rights many years ago. On our website we specifically state: “If Americans Knew supports justice, truth, equal rights and respect for all human beings; and we oppose racism, supremacism, and discrimination of any and all forms.”

While some members of the Campaign have spoken out about their own so-called “Jewish privilege” and have opposed the particularly virulent Jewish supremacism found in extremist elements in Israel (especially among the most violent settlers), we are disappointed that the Campaign statement leaves out these forms of supremacism and racism, even though these contribute most to the oppression of Palestinians, the specific issue the Campaign is supposed to be addressing.

It’s unclear if the Campaign wishes to place Jewish people of European descent under its “people of color” umbrella, since its abstract discussion of the burdens on people of color seems to clash with the specific issues it raises, which revolve around alleged anti-Semitism. Perhaps the writers should focus more on respecting equal rights for all and opposing the abuse of power wherever it’s found, and less on this confusing categorization and labeling of human beings.

CAMPAIGN DOSSER:

On muzzling of dissent: We recognize that advocacy for Palestinian rights is often met with attempts to muzzle speech or portray legitimate criticism of Israeli policies as anti-Semitic. We have all learned to be vigilant to bring these efforts to light whenever they occur. Just as we insist on continuing to speak up loudly and forcefully for Palestinian rights, we hold the same commitment regarding racism and other forms of bigotry. Failing to do both violates our principles and damages the movement at large.

RESPONSE:

It is ironic to see the Campaign speak against muzzling dissent in the middle of doing just that. Its accusations have already had, and will continue to have, a chilling effect against others who might speak out about Palestine, Zionism, the Israel lobby and the US connection to the Palestine-Israel tragedy (including not just American responsibility but the American power to pull the plug on aid and thus on the tragedy itself).

This is reminiscent of a similarly Orwellian incident in 2001. After I returned from my first trip to Palestine, I went with a small group to a progressive event in San Francisco called “Silent Voices Speak.” This event addressed virtually all types of oppression except that of Palestinians, even though the series took place during a particularly brutal period of Israeli violence.

When I and the others tried to peacefully and legally hand out flyers about Palestine, the “progressive” organizers called the police and had me taken away in handcuffs. In other words, at “Silent Voices Speak,” my voice on Palestine was silenced.

Today, the Campaign and its fellow attackers, who proclaim they are against muzzling speech, are attempting to do just that.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

Part 3 – Evidence and Documentation Supporting the US Campaign’s Decision

The evidence and supporting documentation presented below pertains to actions taken by Ms. Weir and referenced in Part 1 of this statement. It contains quotes from materials that she posted on her website, and statements made to her in public conversations that she did not challenge. None of the evidence presented below refers to re-posts of her materials on third party websites or other acts or expressions not under her control.

We feel compelled to present this information in detail as it fully conveys the gravity of the situation. This is not an isolated incident, and it is not rumor or hearsay; rather, it is a series of repeated, documented instances of accepting and condoning extreme racist speech. Moreover, the quotes below illustrate that this is not a case of re-branding legitimate criticism of Israeli policies as anti-Semitic; rather, it is a case of an individual favorably re-posting racist content on her website and failing to challenge racist statements made during interviews she participated in.

RESPONSE:

Well, the Campaign certainly makes me sound like a monster! But what the Campaign actually revealed is its similarity to the ADL and Israeli propagandists. It has used deception and intentional misrepresentation to attack me and others at If Americans Knew, despite our years of committed work on behalf of peace and justice in Palestine, and despite our life histories of opposing injustice and racism and of standing up for the oppressed. It has demonstrated a level of malice and dishonesty that I find appalling and that forces me to question the authenticity of its commitment.

The rest of the Campaign dossier comprises reiterations of the Campaign’s false statements, sometimes with additional detail. These accusations have been addressed in detail above. In some cases, the reiterations introduce new errors and misrepresentations; in those cases, they’re addressed below each point.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

1. As part of a series of attacks on Palestinians who signed a statement distancing themselves from Israeli writer Gilad Atzmon, Ms. Weir hosted an original blog post on her personal website by Roger Tucker.

RESPONSE:

Please refer to the section on this above. However, since I dislike inaccuracy, let me correct two further errors or misrepresentations in this reiteration of this point.

First off, the reality is that 33 individuals (few, if any, Palestinian) initiated a statement attacking Atzmon. Max Blumenthal calls this "the Jewish letter." (Much like the timing of the later attacks on Greta Berlin and myself, this was just before a scheduled book tour in the United States). A few months later a similar letter came out, this one signed by a grand total of 23 Palestinians, most living in the US.

Many other Palestinian, Jewish, and diverse activists supported Atzmon at that time, among them Ghada Karmi, Mazin Qumsiyeh, Ramzy Baroud, Richard Falk, Lauren Booth, David Rovics, Sameh Habeeb, Sheldon Richman, Nahida Izzat, Cynthia McKinney, Samir Abed Rabo, James Petras, Rich Siegel, and many others.

Second, the post cited was not “an original blog post,” as the Campaign claims. It was reposted from the Deliberation website and was, I believe, first on the author’s site.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

2. See Ms. Weir’s 2009 article "Israeli Organ Harvesting" http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/08/28/israeli-organ-harvesting/

RESPONSE:

See response above.

CAMPAIGN DOSSIER:

3. Statements made by Clay Douglas to Ms. Weir during his interviews of her on his radio show.

RESPONSE:

As already stated above, please listen to the interviews or see the transcripts to learn what was actually said, or read the analyses above by people who did this. And please also see my other interviews and talks, some of which are posted here: http://ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html#six

My most recent talk is here. Also, please read my book and my bio and numerous articles directly, rather than relying on the Campaign’s filtered and heavily spun interpretation.

Further Reading

  1. The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook by Jack Dresser
  2. An open letter to the U.S. Campaign and other Activists for Justice in Palestine
  3. Statement of an activist who a Campaign staff member pressured to remove her name from the open letter
  4. Information about the origins of the Clay Douglas accusations

1. The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook, by Jack Dresser (CounterPunch, Aug. 3, 2015)

From the outbreak of the Second Intifada, Journalist Alison Weir has tirelessly investigated and reported on the history and realities of Israel’s dispossession and occupation of Palestine through her organization and website, If Americans Knew. Now, she has come under guilt-by-association attack by two umbrella organizations of the Palestinian Solidarity movement, Jewish Voice for Peace and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, for granting interviews to “white supremacist, anti-Semitic” and “vile” radio shows, specifically Clayton Douglas and American Free Press. Judged as tarred by a common brush for not using her limited air time to challenge their objectionable ideologies, her offenses include being called a “patriot” by her defenders.

Alison’s politically incorrect policy has been to disseminate salient facts to anyone, anywhere to achieve the broadest possible reach among American citizens, without political discrimination. The expelling organizations undoubtedly fear that the knowledge will feed anti-Semitism. Maybe it will, but the appropriate remedy would be a collective demand by the Jewish diaspora to end the Zionist project, make reparations to its victims, and establish a democratic state, not to withhold information from people who might use it to make Jewish Americans uncomfortable.

The complaint itself is strongly bigoted against the presumptively “white” political “right-wing” of America and the evidence is extremely thin, so what might really – and so suddenly – be behind this? Unlike the two organizations attacking her, Alison has always taken an unequivocal and uncompromising position against the legality and morality of the entire Zionist project, focusing on the 1948 Nakba and UN-established right of return, not just the Israeli occupation. So-called “liberal” or “progressive” Zionists evade the former and pretend that the crimes began in 1967. Why this adamant denial of honest history and Palestinian human rights?

Fully honoring the right of return would threaten or eliminate Israel’s Jewish majority and any defensible claim to be a “Jewish state.” Survey data from Israelis and occupied Palestinians show this as the largest disparity between them and the most insurmountable obstacle to resolution. Hand-wringing Jewish Israelis and their US enablers see establishment of an integrated, multi-ethnic, Western-style constitutional democracy as an “existential threat” to be fought tooth-and-nail. Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street says, “One-state is not a solution. One state is a dissolution.”

This is pure segregationist racism, not simply annoying discourtesies but the kind of racism that really counts, imposed by armed violence for 67 years upon helpless victims by a self-declared “Jewish state” with a Jewish religious symbol on its flag and emblazoned on the wings of its Hellfire missile-equipped, US-supplied F-16s murdering whole families in Gaza. How can this not inevitably generate some anti-Semitism? And how does it differ in spirit from the Jerusalem Cross of Crusaders that remains a mark of shame upon the history of Christianity? Emotional reactions are not finely parsed, however sometimes unfair to the innocent, and are less likely to be nuanced when Israeli atrocities remain uniformly unopposed by the 50+ Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Jews everywhere are put on the spot by Israeli arrogance and outlawry to collectively stand up, declare “not in my name,” take sides, and choose the side of international law and justice. If they don’t, they have themselves largely to blame. Given awareness – which is readily available, however ignored – silence becomes complicity.

And equally disturbing, it is our country that protects these outrages in violation of our declared principles and our own laws, so why should “patriotism” not be evoked? And why should American WASPs not be prominent among opponents of the government for which they are responsible? And why should organized and politically influential Jewish Americans who march in lockstep defending Israel, as well as those who remain silent, not be held accountable by all US taxpayers who involuntarily support this? And who are the USCEIO and JVP to tell Americans of any political persuasion what to think, to what information they are entitled, or what to conclude from the evidence? Until the righteous critics find effective ways to end Israeli oppression of people suffering under it daily, who are they to judge the attitudes or strategies or political outreach of others?

Those of us firmly supporting justice for Palestinians have observed JVP for many years as compromised by Zionist colonial sympathies but improving recently by endorsing the full BDS campaign. We also found ourselves suspicious a while back when USCEIO convened conference calls, highly controlled in format and content, concerned with “anti-Semitism” – the threadbare fallback complaint of Israel and its US lobby to change the subject and regain the offensive from attention to Israeli state crimes. Curiously, “Zionism” was omitted from their statement on racism while generically condemning “other racist or bigoted behaviors, practices and structures,” an undefined subjective net that could sweep up almost anyone deemed objectionable. Why were putative Palestinian human rights advocates echoing Israeli propaganda themes?

Setting aside the possibility of infiltration, both Alison-attacking organizations have mixed memberships of people scattered along the learning curve of knowledge regarding international law, human rights and documented history, and at different levels of readiness to give up attachment to Israel and its mythologies. Alison would inevitably make many of these members very nervous. And to make matters worse, she has been spreading inconvenient facts widely and very democratically, providing these, inter alia, to people from whom we “liberals” may choose to ideologically distance ourselves. But they too are voters, with a right to know how and where their tax money is spent, to draw their own conclusions, and to exert political influence. Political influence is what is desperately needed against AIPAC power, and many of our federal legislators who bow to AIPAC are also “right-wing.”

The timing of the excommunication is not random. I suspect that it is publication and Alison’s promotion of her book, Against Our Better Judgment, that has released long-stockpiled ammo against her, however flimsy – especially her revelations of arguably treasonous conduct by our first two, widely revered Jewish Supreme Court justices, both pledged to Zionism above loyalty to country as members of a secret Zionist organization, the Parushim. If Justice Louis Brandeis was instrumental, as the evidence suggests, in persuading President Wilson to betray his 1916 campaign promise and declare war on Germany (as a quid pro quo for the Balfour Declaration, with or without his knowledge) – a decision costing over 116,000 American lives (double those killed in Vietnam) – this is explosive information indeed. In addition, Alison’s research indicates that future Justice Felix Frankfurter was instrumental in preventing an early WWI peace treaty with the Ottomans that would have obviated the Balfour Declaration, terminating or seriously restricting the Zionist movement and the havoc that has followed. This information had been published elsewhere but remained obscure.

Some would like to keep it obscure. Blackening the reputation of Justice Brandeis in particular, an iconic figure with a university bearing his name, is undoubtedly intolerable in the realm of “Jewish identity politics” (the real criteria, it would appear, defining Alison’s “anti-Semitism”). It also drives another nail in the coffin of Israel’s proclaimed “right to exist” on land stolen from others. Alison had to be discredited and silenced.

These attacks are serious and malevolent, threatening both Alison’s influence and her livelihood, intended to reduce or extinguish her book sales and speaking engagements. Both expelling organizations are national in scope with many JVP chapters and USCEIO member organizations that may fear inviting her to their communities with her opposition now freshly armed to harass her events and their sponsors.

Readers wishing to oppose this muzzling attempt can endorse a petition supporting Alison here.

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Jack Dresser, Ph.D. is National vice-chair, Veterans for Peace working group on Palestine and the Middle East and Co-Director of Al-Nakba Awareness Project in Eugene, Oregon

Back to Further Reading

2. An open letter to the U.S. Campaign and other Activists for Justice in Palestine

As active participants in the struggle for justice for Palestinians, coming from a variety of ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds, we call for an end to internal attacks on fellow activists and organizations. These only impede the work for justice.

We appreciate the important contributions to that cause made over many years by If Americans Knew, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

In that light, we are dismayed by the recent unfounded attacks on one of the top organizations working on this issue, If Americans Knew, and its dedicated leader, Alison Weir, by the leadership of Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign. Many of us are members of these groups and are unhappy at these significant actions made in our name but without consulting us.

We recognize that important differences among these organizations exist – each has its own constituencies, approach, and style, as is the case with the scores of other organizations that together make up the solidarity movement. Some may disapprove of taking the Palestinian case to people who don’t define themselves as “liberals” or “progressives.” Others may disapprove of working with Zionist groups and failure to state that Zionism is racism, etc. We have no problem with any group articulating such differences and even making principled criticisms of another’s work – that is part of the life of any healthy democratic movement.

But we believe strongly that secret dossiers, ideological inquisitions, double standards, misrepresentations, spreading innuendo, and attempting to excommunicate groups or individuals one disagrees with from the ranks of the movement sow unnecessary divisions and distract from what must remain our primary focus: building the broad united front that’s necessary to change United States policy in the Middle East and to help Palestinians obtain justice in their homeland.

We also believe that the vitriolic, ADL-like accusations that Alison Weir is “anti-Semitic” and/or racist are scurrilous and without foundation. They are based on guilt-by-association arguments through which numerous committed activists – including the leadership of the US Campaign and JVP – could equally, and also incorrectly, be called “anti-Semitic” and/or racist.

We are painfully aware that there are well funded opponents who spare no effort to undermine and divide this movement for justice and human rights in Palestine. We therefore expect those who sincerely share our goals to be mindful of the potential to fracture the movement and be judicious and principled in their critique of groups and individuals who make significant contributions to the movement.

We call for these attacks to cease and for those initiating them to return to their main task, working for justice in Palestine.

Sincerely,

[The Undersigned]

TO SIGN scroll down below the signatures to add your name. Full list of signatories to be added here periodically, and at http://tinyurl.com/StopDivisiveAttacksPDF

SIGNATORIES (over 1,750; last updated 3.45pm PDT WED 8/05/2015)

Affiliations for identification purposes.

* = US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Member Organization

** = Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, and former Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, UN Human Rights Council.

Samia Khoury, founding member of the board of Trustees of Birzeit University and Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre, author, “Reflections from Palestine: A Journey of Hope” (descendant of Birzeit University founders).

Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat turned peace activist; passenger on 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla; co-organizer and passenger on Gaza Freedom Flotillas 2011 & 2015; co-organizer of 2009 Gaza Freedom March.

Iyad Burnat, Palestinian grassroots activist, Bil’in Popular Committee

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, Co-Founder Al-Awda-Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

Hedy Epstein, Holocaust survivor; St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee*; Jewish Voice for Peace – St. Louis** , Free Gaza Movement

James Abourezk, former Senator, South Dakota, founder of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Arun Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute

Pete McCloskey, former Member of Congress (R..Calif. 1967-83) and Co-Founder, with Paul Findley, of the Council for the National Interest; and Helen McCloskey

Dr. Khalil Nakhleh, author of “Globalized Palestine: The National Sell-Out of a Homeland”

George N. Rishmawi, Director, The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People, Beit Sahour, Palestine

Ray McGovern, Retired CIA officer turned peace activist. Co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Rita Giacaman, Professor, Research & Program Coordinator and founder, Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University; active in 1980s Palestinian social action movement.

John Whitbeck, Director, Council for the National Interest

Edward Peck, Americans for Middle East Understanding, Former US Ambassador to Iraq & Mauritania, Participant in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Abbas Hamideh, National Board Vice Chair, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, son of one of the few survivors of the massacre at Deir Yassin Palestine on April 9th 1948

Bassem Tamimi, Palestinian Popular Resistance Movement, Nabi Saleh

Philip Giraldi, Former CIA Officer turned anti-war activist & journalist; Executive Director, Council for the National Interest*, member, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist and former presidential candidate, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox

Joe Meadors, USS Liberty Survivor, Past President, USS Liberty Veterans Association, Participant in three Gaza Freedom Flotillas, Free Palestine Movement*.

The Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus for The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, President: Tree of Life Educational Fund

John Erickson, NorCal Friends of Sabeel* — Co-Chair

Sunaina Maira, Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis, USACBI

The Reverend Canon Richard K. Toll, former Director, Friends of Sabeel* , Retired Episcopal Priest

Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies

Donald A. Kruse, Retired Foreign Services Officer, Consul, Consulate General, Jerusalem 1976-1980

Lawrence Davidson, Professor Emeritus, West Chester University

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy Intellignece Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council

James Petras, Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY

Joel Kovel, author of “Overcoming Zionism,” “White Racism,” “Red Hunting inn the Promised Land,” and other books; editor; former psychiatrist; Bard College professor emeritus

Ernest Gallo, President, USS Liberty Veterans Association

Ronald Kukal, USS Liberty Survivor: Petty Officer in Charge of the Body Recovery and Identification after June 8, 1967 attack

David Rovics, Folk Musician, American Federation of Musicians Local 1000

Mary Ratcliff, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper – Editor

Abdallah Omeish, award-winning documentary filmmaker of “Occupation 101” and “The War Around Us”

Andrew Killgore, former Ambassador, publisher, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, providing facts on Palestine for over 30 years.

Janet McMahon, Managing Editor, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, author, “Seeing the Light: Personal Encounters With the Middle East and Islam”

Kathleen Christison Author, “Perceptions of Palestine” and “The Wound of Dispossession”; Co-author “Palestine in Pieces”

Jerry Levin, former CNN network journalist. Christian Peacemaker Teams. Writes on nonviolence. Recognized by the Dalai Lama as one of 2009’s “Unsung Heroes of Compassion”.

And 1,800 others….

Back to Further Reading

3. Statement of an activist who a Campaign staff member pressured to remove her name from the open letter

We were astounded to see the Campaign and its supporters opposing all these principled signatories of the open letter and were deeply saddened to learn that Campaign staff have attempted to pressure people to remove their signatures. Happily, they have been unsuccessful in these efforts.

Longtime activist Marianne Torres, of Spokane, Washington, responded to a request by a Campaign staff member that she take her name off the petition with the following statement. She gave us permission to publish it here:

Yes, my name remains on the letter from Falk, Mazin, Ann W, etc calling for an end to this. I’ve been doing this work far too long not to recognize the attack on Weir for what it is — a way to split, decimate, and neutralize the solidarity movement and to telegraph a message of absolute censorship and destruction should others want to expose what she has exposed to the general public eye.

I understand that many people whose hearts are solid for Palestine, whose loyalty is not in question, have joined the executives of JVP and US Campaign without having an understanding of the long view, or perhaps even of the machinations over the decades to stop the move toward equality in the region and thus the end of the “Jewish State”. One such attempt was the call for “dialogue” in the early 90’s, when it was becoming clear the movement for Palestinian freedom and equal rights was growing. All of a sudden, the disruption and re-direction was “dialogue”, which stopped most of the work for a couple of years and marginalized all who were not Jewish or Muslim or Arab, before folks began to understand that stopping the work was the reason for the disruption, not dialogue.

Before I speak for myself, I quote one of the comments on a FB discussion that I think asks a very unsettling question, and one that requires serious reflection.

Why did End the Occ find it necessary to develop “anti-racism principles?” This assumes that racism is prevalent in ranks of Palestine supporters, a strange idea. There are no adherents of Islamophobia in Palestine ranks, one of two “isms” mentioned. The other is anti-Semitism, which the principles in effect accuse Palestine supporters of.

Astonishingly, for a Palestine group, there is no attention to the broad history and literature on Zionism as a form of racism, and on Jewish anti-gentilism, chauvinism and separatism in the “diaspora.” This signal omission suggests that “anti-racism” is being used to persecute people whom Jews disagree with.”

One of the most puzzling aspects of JVP’s and Campaign’s justification of this attack on Alison is their statement that she has “legitimized” racism by appearing on certain shows (Joseph said exactly that on FB posts), yet the organizations refuse to see the contradiction and hypocrisy when they work with Zionist groups, thereby giving “legitimacy” to the racism of Zionism – remembering that across the globe, Zionism is recognized as racism. It IS, on its face, racism.

No, Alison didn’t respond to every single statement or pick up on every nuance. Do you know of anyone who has ever been able to do that? She’s not a goddess. She’s not even perfect.

I believe the real reason for the attack against Alison is that she exposed Jewish power in the US, the rather stunning power that resulted in the establishment of Israel as a Jewish state. She was certainly not the first to do that — it’s been written about for years (long before Atzmon), including extensively in the Daily Forward for decades — but she put it into easily readable form available to the public and substantiated and confirmed it with solid research and references. This is not allowed. It is “beyond thinkable thought,” as Chomsky says.

The Jewish community speaks with pride about its presence and influence in many areas, as would any oppressed or formerly oppressed group. That in itself is not a bad thing, but to destroy a movement because someone outside that community said the very same thing, is evil. The hypocrisy and contradictions in this attack are almost beyond comprehension.

I also believe concern about that revelation is why Chomsky and Bennis, so good on nearly everything else, refuse to recognize the power of the Lobby in the face of all evidence to the contrary. They, and certainly we, are all concerned about a real rise in anti-Jewish racism.

It’s a very slippery slope, isn’t it? No sane person wants to see a repeat of the 1930s and 40s, so we avoid talking about things that might generate a similar anger again. And yet the things being done by Israel in the name of Jews everywhere are exactly the things that generate deep anger and contempt against nations that do such things and against people who are perceived to support them. It is those actions, that state in its current configuration, that must end, not the work of people exposing them.

As long as that state insists that it is the state for all Jews, and that it speaks for all Jews, all Jews get tarred with the ugliness, even my Jewish husband who has been in the struggle for Palestinian freedom longer than I have — almost 35 years.

For Jewish groups, or Jewish-led groups, to split the movement (one simply cannot deny that is what has happened, and what was surely expected to happen) is so transparent and completely unacceptable that there is almost nothing more to say on it.

We will have to agree to disagree about this attack on Alison. She is certainly not perfect, has done things she perhaps might wish she had done differently, but to single her out for not being 100% pure is not only damaging to the movement but is hypocritical in the extreme.

I have been saying for years that there would come a time when our erstwhile allies split away from us, for many are not in the struggle for Palestine — they are in it for Israel. They want to end the occupation because it is clearly harmful to Israel. They believe that once the occupation and siege are ended, Israel can continue to live as an apartheid state and the world will leave them alone.

After we lose those folks, I thought, the next to go will be those who are afraid of the exposures needed to finally get to justice. Perhaps I had the timing backward, for this is where we are now. It will take great courage on all our parts to lay out the reality and to demand a change, to demand that power be used for justice, not for continuing apartheid and a false sense of security.

Just for the record, I’m thoroughly familiar with the arguments against racism, about ends and means, about the need to fight racism wherever we find it and have been a significant part of that struggle all my life. That is NOT what this is about, and the very people saying it is are working with racists.

…… I cannot stand back and watch this movement be destroyed by people whose first concern is clearly not Palestinian freedom.

Back to Further Reading

4. Information about the origins of the Clay Douglas accusations

We’ve discovered that the origin of the Clay Douglas accusations seems to be an anonymous website registered in 2010: ifamericansknewalisonweir.com. The subhead is “Documenting Alison Weir’s Anti-Semitic Activism.”

The site has only two entries, one of them a transcript of my interview by Douglas. There is also a blogroll with two links: Contested Terrain and Political Research Associates.

Contested Terrain is no longer in operation, but an archived page shows that it is largely about “anti-Semitism.” It focuses on a number of ideologies that the author seems to consider problematic, including “left-right convergence” and “anti-zionism.” Other topics include “Holocaust History” and “Fascism/Antifascism.”

The site lists four contributors, all using pseudonyms. The domain was registered by a person named Robert Foster Ogman. Ogman appears to oppose those who speak positively of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance movement and elected government, Hamas.

The site announced the launch of the ifamericnsknewalisonweir.org website, declaring:

“If you have information about anti-Semitic activism by Alison Weir or her ‘If Americans Knew’ organization, please get in contact: ifamericansknewalisonweir@riseup.net. Please also share this announcement with any groups or email lists whose participants may find it of interest.”

A person going by the name “Malkat HaKeta” commented: “Thank you thank you thank you for this amazing site!” HaKeta’s facebook page shows the person to be an Israel partisan.

The other blog in the site’s blogroll, Political Research Associates. Soon after the posting of the transcript, PRA assigned an individual named Spencer Sunshine to do an article on me. (Two months earlier Sunshine had condemned me in a speech at an Oregon “antifa” conference after I had gone to an antifa event a few months before to announce a rally against AIPAC; an organizer then called me “anti-Semitic.”)

The person who assigned Sunshine to do the article was an individual named Chip Berlet, who often focuses on allegations of anti-Semitism. Israel-Palestine analyst Jeffrey Blankfort calls Berlet “a strong supporter of Israel and former collaborator with the ADL.” Berlet wrote a long report on “conspiracism” that Project Censored called a “diatribe of meaninglessness” consisting of “demonization by association.”

Among those Berlet acknowledges as helpful and encouraging in his report are:

  • Gershom Gorenberg, whom the Electronic Intifada calls an “apologist for ethnic cleansing,”
  • Richard Landes, who invented the term “Pallywood” to claim that incidents of Israeli violence against Palestinians were staged,
  • and Daniel Pipes, an Israel partisan who founded Campus Watch and is known for his anti-Muslim

Berlet is also reported to have worked with a Wikipedia editor known for abusing the system, often in favor of Israel.

Sunshine contacted me at the last minute – his article was due the next day – and it quickly became apparent that he planned to do a hatchet job on me. After a phone call in which he referred to my “European-American” ethnicity but refused to divulge his own, he emailed me 20 questions. After I provided detailed responses, his article didn’t materialize.

Within a few months of the anonymous website posting of the Douglas transcript, a Berkeley individual named Jim Harris began referring to it and misrepresenting what had occurred. I don’t know how he learned about this obscure interview among my multitudes of interviews.

Four years later, after my book was published, PRA suddenly published Sunshine’s article. At the same time, the JVP whispering campaign against me accelerated, and within a year, both JVP and the Campaign attempted to discredit me (JVP blocked members from hosting my talks and told some people I was associated with David Duke, an absurd and false charge they seem to have dropped, at least publicly). Sunshine’s article about me was featured on the PRA home page.

Sunshine is a member of the small “anti-racist” “antifa” (“anti-fascist”) movement. This seems to be a scattered and widely varied movement. Apparently, it often has a pattern of focusing on “anti-Semitism,” which it seems to too-often conflate with criticism of the pro-Israel lobby or even of Israel itself. Some related groups in Germany march with pro-Israel signs. A CounterPunch article by political analyst Gearóid Ó Colmáin, based in Paris, asserts that antifa particularly “targets intellectuals who denounce Zionism.”

Back to beginning of Response to Campaign

Back to Further Reading

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Responses to our statement about US Campaign

Dear Alison and all the wonderful activists at If Americans Knew,

Many thanks for the update, which I've read in its entirety and with great interest.

I was also delighted to see "Stop Divisive Attacks!" https://stopdivisiveattacks.wordpress.com/, the recently-created website which was created to encourage support and continuation of our Palestinian solidarity activity -- without resorting to attacks on you or on anyone else.

I do not know if you receive emails from the Bay Area Palestinian Solidarity Network Google group. Yesterday Amith Gupta wrote:

"2) We need to get our own house in order first. You know, Black Lives Matter isn't going through its own ranks and looking for "anti-white" sentiment the way Palestine solidarity groups are looking for anti-Semitism. Instead they are taking the issue head on and mobilizing scores of people to get into the streets, something that the US-based Palestine organizations cannot seem to do short of a blatant escalation by Israel."

to which I responded:

"I cannot second strongly enough what Amith is saying.

We need to leave aside those individuals and groups who self-describe as Palestinian solidarity activists while all the time obsessing about anti-Semitism. Let's leave Jewish Voice for Peace, U.S. Campaign, Americans Friends Service Committee and whoever else to their irrelevant concerns, and not become embroiled with them -- at the expense of our time, energy and focus.

We are not about Semitism, be it pro- or anti-. We are about Palestinian liberation. And we had bloody well better get back to that, because time's a wasting and lives, as always, are being destroyed and lost."

So I hope that you, Alison, and you, If Americans Knew, are assured that there are, literally, thousands of committed Palestinian solidarity activists solidly behind you, and that we continue in the work.

I wish all the best to all of you,

Alice Kisch - San Francisco Bay Area, USA

#

Comments posted to Mondoweiss:

#

It confirms that it is a smear campaign by JVP and Campaign. Importantly, Alison Wier points out that JVP and Campaign exclude the topics Right of Return and Apartheid from their policy.

It also further proves that the accusations of Weir being “anti-Semitic” are even thinner that we learned before. What a shame.

It is the unbased accusations of anti-Semitism that lie at the heart of this train wreck. A practice common at Mondoweiss allows too. And then, Weir writes: (it has recently come out that even Mondoweiss refused to publish a review [of Weirs book “Against Our Better Judgement”] by a contributor).

#

I’ve been reading the eloquent Response for the hour since you posted the link and now begin to re-read. I’m sickened that it’s even “necessary” and heartsick that I’ve not done more to help, yet uplifted by Alison Weir’s continuing humanity.

And THANK YOU to Alison Weir for your leadership and conscience. I can only wish that I’d ever done one smidge of the good you do for justice throughout Palestine and Israel for All every day and for many years.

#

I’d like to add how moved I am by this–amongst all else–“After dealing with other more pressing projects, as well as personal concerns, I’m now taking the time to respond in detail for those who in good faith would like to hear our reply.”

Alison Weir’s call to “hear,” to listen “in good faith,” is what I try to remember always, and wish I could do as well as she and If Americans Knew—-and the many Writers (including Commenters, as well as Founders) here at Mondoweiss.

To Alison, I’m concerned to hear that you’ve had “personal concerns,” and fervently hope that All is Well for You–as well and as good as the work you do.

#

Weir writes: “Saying the word “Palestinian” itself was even considered controversial.” She is right. I am not sure that the Campaign leaders who work at NGOs realize fully how strong the social pressure is. I myself sometimes have avoided using the word “Palestinian”, even on Mondoweiss.

She writes: “If Americans Knew and I myself have been listed alongside several leading pro-justice organizations on their top ten “anti-Israel” organizations and individuals.”

Henry, if you were an opponent of If Americans Knew, what do you think that the most effective ways would be to shut it down? Maybe do some muckraking from statements it made five years ago?

CEIO’s position is that if Weir makes retractions, then she could reapply for membership. She seemed to be willing to make a retraction about her quoting of Tucker here: “Perhaps, in retrospect, I could have cut out the offending quote from the article and just posted excerpts from it rather than its entirety, but I felt that the article contributed an interesting viewpoint to the debate.” She also seemed to make retractions about her statements to Douglas, which seems it would meet CEIO’s other criteria.

Weir mentions: “we’re told that it recently excluded the Global March to Jerusalem; again without any process.” It would be helpful to know more about this.

She also mentioned a powerful incident:

After I returned from my first trip to Palestine, I went with a small group to a progressive event in San Francisco called “Silent Voices Speak.” This event addressed virtually all types of oppression except that of Palestinians, even though the series took place during a particularly brutal period of Israeli violence.

When I and the others tried to peacefully and legally hand out flyers about Palestine, the “progressive” organizers called the police and had me taken away in handcuffs. In other words, at “Silent Voices Speak,” my voice on Palestine was silenced.

#

i appreciated alison giving her impressions briefly of the origins of the relationship between jvp and IAK. all in all, as i’ve expressed before in this long 2 page thread, i’m not happy about this effort of jvp’s and end the occupation. rather than elaborate more i’ll say i found Marianne Torres’s sentiment at the base of the response as most closely resembling what i’ve come to feel about this complaint. so thanks marianne. and thanks to everyone who’s put in so much effort dissecting this incident. truly an unfortunate event.

#

Thanks, Annie. That comment is the first version of what became my comment on Mondoweiss back at the beginning. Just for clarification, the letter I got from USCEIO came from a staff member who is also a personal friend. She expressed consternation that my name was “still” on the early letter calling for an end to the attacks. Not a specific request that I remove my name, but a clear inference that I should.

It was followed by another long note from her that did not address the content of my first response, but rather was filled with insulting rhetorical “questions”. She didn’t address any of the content of my second reply to her, either. It was sad and sorry process and a disturbing example of the organization’s inability to actually defend their appalling actions.

#

that’s really sad marianne, especially with a personal friend. i feel really fortunate i didn’t have to endure any pressure from anyone, my colleagues included. but the internal pressure (in my own head) was difficult for me. there didn’t seem to be clarity in why this was coming down, although there was an effort to present it clearly — as if it was clear cut and black and white. and it just failed that test in my assessment. it felt too overloaded with baggage that wasn’t reflected in the complaint itself. but i still believe there are really good people in all these groups. when leaders make choices that effect and speak for everyone and people are task with choosing a side (and silence is also an implied side), it can cause a lot of turmoil. whereas some people seem to revel in it, and i don’t understand that.

there was a lot of intent behind this. and for what end? so many people feel alienated when we should be united.

#

I too was frustrated by this very long discussion which seemed counterproductive and draining energy from the main issue, Palestinian freedom. But Marianne’s comment turned a light switch: This conversation and thread is very valuable because it highlights the widening schism between the liberal Zionists holding on desperately by their fingernails and the rest of us who are anti-Zionist and see it as an issue involving Palestinian freedom and self-determination in a state side-by-side with a truly democratic Israel.

The liberal Zionist faction can’t abide any diversions from their goal of a very minimalistic Palestinian state and a maximized Israel state. Thus, BDS, RoR, Weir, Atzmon, and other heremites are threats to the simplicity and minimal nature of their goal which is to take the heat off Israel by the getting the Palestine issue off the table with as little impact on Israel as possible. Their cause isn’t Palestinian freedom, it’s preservation of as much of the status quo in Israel and the occupied territories as possible. They really don’t want to discuss issues like right of return, illegality of all the settlements, division of Jerusalem, return to the Green Line borders, status of external refugees, etc. because they don’t want any of that. Again, their goal is to get the Palestinian issue off the table with as little disruption as possible.

Most of the time this gaping schism is invisible and buried in Kumbaya, make nice talk. but occasionally, the liberal Zionist powers that be strike out to silence someone who has deviated from the minimalist goals as did Weir and others before her.

Wishing and trying to pull the “movement” back together just postpones the inevitable. The schism is there and for good reason. Pretending to be part of some solidarity movement that is so fundamentally flawed and fractured just weakens the cause for Palestinian freedom.

Time to face up to the reality. The Allison Weir kerfluffle is a much-needed slap in the face. We need to embrace the reality of the schism and quit pandering to the liberal Zionist powers that be that are really undermining the cause of Palestinian freedom.

#

“It was sad and sorry process and a disturbing example of the organization’s inability to actually defend their appalling actions.”

and

“there was a lot of intent behind this. and for what end? so many people feel alienated when we should be united.”

Well said. Thanks, mtorres and Annie.

#

I wish mondoweiss would publish an article focusing Weir’s rebuttal. This topic is obviously very important to many mondoweiss readers, as evidenced by the huge number of comments. The question seems to be whether rights for Palestinians are as important as avoiding hurt feelings in the U.S. Jewish community or offending the powerful Jewish lobby.

#

Why and how some unknown folks are trying to fracture the movement of peace and justice and everything else that the Palestinians and Palestine deserve and are entitled to is the real mystery and crime here. It should not be tolerated now~ or ever.

Many of today’s activists and writers/bloggers/ journalists owe a great debt to IAK and Alison Weir for laying much of the groundwork that enables them to move forward and be successful. Perhaps that is their agenda …

I hate to consider that heinous possibility, but the thought has occurred to me more than a few times.

#

I can’t resist posting one more little tidbit illustrating the hypocrisy behind the JVP and US Campaign attacks on Alison Weir: One of the main counts against her in both the JVP letters and the USCEIO dossier is that she gave interviews to a website called “American Free Press,” which “the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group,” according to the JVP letters, and which the USCEIO characterizes as a “white supremacist publication.”

Turns out that Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of JVP, also gave an interview to the very same “hate group”/ “white supremacist publication”!

Seems like a clear violation of the same “anti-racist principles” they used to smear Alison. I’m waiting with bated breath for someone to file a complaint and have her brought before the same kind of kangaroo court USCEIO used to expel Alison.

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Our response to statements made by Max Blumenthal

We were disturbed to learn that Max Blumenthal – despite much excellent work on Palestine – has been maligning Alison Weir over the information contained in her book.

He has even worked, at times successfully, to prevent her talks, so that people would not learn the thoroughly cited and important information she documents in her book.

We tried to ignore these actions, but finally decided that it is time to counter his erroneous statements and unprovoked attacks. See video below.

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Response to statements made by Stanford SJP

April 19, 2016

Some people who oppose If Americans Knew are misrepresenting a recent event at Stanford University in which the Stanford SJP demanded that their invited speaker, a Palestinian refugee from Lebanon, censor her talk. She refused to do so and the event was not held.

The organizer of the speaking event, the North America Nakba Tour, posted an account of what transpired.

However, to our astonishment, some opponents of If Americans Knew then tried to divert attention to me and IAK rather than keeping it on this woman and her colleague who traveled so far to tell us their story. Someone at Stanford SJP posted a fraudulent statement about the incident, both on their website and Facebook page, which we expect will be repeated far and wide by people bent on taking down If Americans Knew.

While the Nakba Tour statement already gives the basic facts, we are now augmenting this with a more detailed description of what transpired.

Below are the facts:

The Stanford SJP event was part of a tour by two Palestinian women who have recently arrived in the US from a Lebanese refugee camp to speak at events under the North America Nakba Tour. They are Mariam Fathalla (respectfully known as Umm Akram) an 86-year-old Nakba survivor, and Amena Ashkar, the 22-year-old granddaughter and great granddaughter of other Nakba survivors, who has known no other home than refugee camps.

The purpose of the Nakba Tour is to bring Palestinian refugees from camps in Lebanon to tell Americans about Israel’s mass expulsion of Palestinians 60 years ago and of their subsequent plight, voices that are almost never heard in the U.S. Nakba means catastrophe, the term Palestinians use to refer to the 1948 war of ethnic cleansing that created Israel. (For details, read the excellent book by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe and see our short brochure on it.)

Several months ago, the organizer of the Nakba Tour, Paul Larudee, asked me and many others to help with various aspects of the tour. Like others, I responded that I’d be glad to help.

On request, I agreed to help, as needed, with driving, with visits to Capitol Hill and with promoting the tour. As you’ll recall, IAK posted announcements of the tour to our list and on our Facebook page encouraging people to organize venues for the speakers.

When the two women arrived, Paul asked me to join a discussion on how to present to Americans (we both live in the SF Bay Area), since this is their first visit to the U.S. I agreed to do this and mainly emphasized how little most Americans know about this issue. The tour organizers had not had time to put together written materials to take along, so we arranged that IAK would provide these free to the Nakba Tour to make available to audiences, particularly our Synopsis factsheet, which gives important history and context about Palestine-Israel.

Since speakers can only cover so much in a 45 minute talk, it’s always valuable to provide additional informational materials to audiences. Many groups around the country use If Americans Knew materials, which are largely articles written by respected experts that IAK republishes into booklets and factsheets. Some of the most popular are the Origin booklet (written by Jews for Justice in the Middle East), Right of Return booklet (by Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh), Synopsis factsheet, and map cards. We also arranged that IAK would provide some of my books for the Tour to sell at events, with all proceeds going to the Tour, as a fundraising contribution and to educate attendees about the history.

Paul told me that the meeting about speaking to Americans had been extremely helpful and asked me to come hear the talks in person and perhaps afterwards give feedback. I felt both speakers would do a superb job – Amena’s English is excellent and both have powerful stories – but I said I’d be glad to come along if this might be of help, and rode with them to Stanford.

The Stanford Incident

When we arrived at the venue, the Tour videographer Samir Salem and I set up the materials table in the back. Suddenly, a few students confronted me, saying I wasn’t supposed to be there. I was entirely taken aback that they were focusing on me, rather than their distinguished guests.

(By the way, this was a huge change from when I spoke at Stanford several times a number of years ago. A 2004 lecture was covered in the campus newspaper, and I was enormously touched when a student reporter told me, “That was the most powerful speech I’ve ever heard.”)

Paul tried to explain to today’s Stanford SJP students (none of whom have heard my talk or read my articles and book) that I wasn’t a speaker and that I had come at the Tour’s request to sit in the audience and hear the talks.

During the ensuing discussion, one or two of the students obliquely referred to the JVP-USCEIO unfounded accusations against me. They appeared not to know that these have been widely discredited and are opposed by most pro-Palestine activists, including some of the most respected and committed individuals both in the U.S. and in Palestine.

The students first objected to the books (which have been purchased by over 24,000 people and widely praised by reviewers, activists, and general readers, many saying they are “eye opening,” and “should be read by every American”), claiming they couldn’t sell things.

Next, they objected to the cards and booklets (eventually admitting it was because they contained the IAK website). Paul responded that these were the Tour’s materials and that he had never heard of speakers not being allowed to provide materials to audiences. I removed the offending books from the table and left the conversation, feeling the event shouldn’t be about me or IAK, but about Amena and Umm Akram.

At about this point, Amena entered the discussion, and students told her they objected to my views on “Israel’s right to exist” (one of our brochures contains John Whitbeck’s excellent article deconstructing this alleged “right.”).

As I’m sure you’re aware, the demand that Palestinians recognize Israel’s alleged “right to exist” is one of Israel’s major talking points, and a demand that many Palestinians reject, since it would mean that Israel supposedly had the “right” to ethnically cleanse them, the “right” to discriminate against them, and the “right” to prevent people like Amena, Umm Akram and numerous others from returning to their homes. As Whitbeck writes:

“To demand that Palestinians recognize ‘Israel’s right to exist’ is to demand that a people who have been treated as subhumans unworthy of basic human rights publicly proclaim that they are subhumans. It would imply Palestinians’ acceptance that they deserve what has been done and continues to be done to them. Even 19th-century US governments did not require the surviving native Americans to publicly proclaim the ‘rightness’ of their ethnic cleansing by European colonists as a condition precedent to even discussing what sort of land reservation they might receive.”

Amena questioned the Stanford students, who told her she could not give her views on “Israel’s right to exist.” She then said she felt “unwelcomed,” refused to give a censored speech, and the event did not go on. I was not involved in that conversation, which took place largely in Arabic, and I did not discourage her from speaking.

Nonfactual statement by anonymous individual from Stanford SJP

Someone has now posted on the Stanford SJP website and Facebook page a truly bizarre, highly inaccurate statement about the incident containing numerous false and absurd assertions. Among these is the claim that they canceled the event because of me, that I “refused to leave” (no one ever asked me to do so), and that I have supposedly “made derogatory remarks about Arabs, endorsed speech by a former head of the KKK, denied the impact of South African Apartheid, and referred to communism as a Jewish conspiracy.” Whew!

When some individuals tried to post comments on the Facebook post objecting to the statement and giving real facts, their comments were quickly removed. At this point in time, however, perhaps a new moderator seems to have stopped removing such comments, and the thread contains a great many comments supporting me and opposing the Stanford students’ actions and statement, including the following by Paul Larudee:

“Whoever wrote this should be congratulated for cramming so many falsehoods into such a small space. If invited, I would be happy to elaborate, but why bother when the gatekeepers are removing all the evidence whenever it is posted? If they will allow this comment to remain, I suggest http://freepalestinemovement.org/2016/01/31/the-north-america-nakba-tour/. Long live free speech everywhere except Stanford.”

(By the way, it’s probably relevant to note that a committed Palestine activist has written to me that this Stanford behavior seems to be part of a problematic pattern with the current group, whose version of the divestment resolution takes a liberal Zionist position: ignores refugees, dates the injustice only from 1967, disavows BDS, and endorses Israeli self-determination at the expense of Palestinians.)

The Good News

Fortunately, to date the Stanford behavior has not been replicated by other groups on the Nakba Tour. In fact, Paul and others say that their reception has been overwhelmingly positive, and that individuals hosting the Tour in other locations are outraged at the Stanford group’s actions.

Meanwhile, at IAK we’re busy putting up more and more billboards (including our incredibly popular billboard supporting Flint, which has been shared by well over a thousand people on Facebook), sending out materials around the country, and preparing for my upcoming talks in Washington State, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

And I’ve just received word that a wonderful supporter, outraged by this malicious attack and extremely pleased with our work, has given us $10,000!

As we’ve mentioned previously, our IAK talks are going extremely well – to standing-room-only, receptive audiences, many of whom buy my book. (In fact, many supporters suggest that it is specifically because the talks are so effective and the book is doing so well that the attacks on us continue and escalate.)

Thank you once again for your deeply appreciated, steadfast support. This is what makes our work possible. Together, we’re going to make the difference.

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Ms. Weir Goes to Washington (excerpt)

September 9, 2016

View article on separate page.

The scurrilous attack in summer, 2015 on Alison Weir and If Americans Knew by Jewish Voice for Peace and US Campaign to End the Occupation, has threatened Weir and her audiences with violence. On March 30, Weir spoke at the Walnut Creek, CA public library, about her book Against Our Better Judgment, about Zionist influence on foreign policy. A few weeks before, Weir had been warned by Walnut Creek police of hateful on-line incitement to disrupt the talk; the threat referred to the JVP-USC material against Weir. The Walnut Creek Parks and Recreation Department received phone calls from people planning to protest the talk.

The talk, sponsored by the Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center and Rossmoor Voices for Justice in Palestine, was well-attended, including by members of Stand With Us, an Israel propaganda outfit. They protested with signs and handed out fliers, also referring to the JVP/USC material. At the talk, five protestors seated themselves in the front row, and more stood at the back of the hall holding signs. During the talk, SWU protestors shouted repeatedly at Weir, prompting some audience members to call for them to stop. Only by speaking loudly, directly into the microphone, could Weir make herself heard.

Helen Lowenstein of SWU, a significant donor to pro-Israel organizations, according to Weir, was escorted from the hall by Walnut Creek police. She “swiped at” an audience member who was recording her, and was arrested and taken away in handcuffs. The Bay Area Jewish press decried an outbreak of anti-Semitism in their version of events.(1) As of this writing, the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office has not prosecuted Lowenstein. One supporter later wrote to Weir, “Alison, your equanimity was extremely impressive—I think that really strengthened the message, because it made clear that facts and reason are on our side and the Zionists are nasty bullies.” Weir said that she didn’t actually feel calm, but was glad it seemed that way.

Weir, a journalist in the Bay Area, became interested in the Palestine question upon the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada, uprising against Israeli occupation, in fall, 2000. She became an activist and founded If Americans Knew (2), dedicated to informing the public, following her return to the Bay Area from a two-month trip to Palestine in early 2001. JVP was at that time also based in the Bay Area, and Weir felt some of them were from the outset whispering accusations of anti-Semitism, for her endorsement of the Palestinian right of return and a single democratic state. For a decade and more, Weir and IAK published studies of the media, reports on Israeli human rights violations, historical articles, and videos, about many aspects of the Palestine issue, in Palestine and the US. Weir traveled and spoke extensively, gaining a wide following. At the same the time attacks on Weir by left Jewish groups and individuals continued. (3)

In 2014, Weir published independently a book, Against Our Better Judgment. How the U.S. was used to Create Israel (4), 93 pages of dry prose and 135 of footnotes and bibliography, which has sold an extraordinary 27,000 copies, according to Weir. (5) None of her facts are new, but many are obscure, and their sum acutely depicts Zionist influence in the US from before World War I to Israel’s establishment.** (see below)

Many facts in Weir’s book doubtless aroused JVP, whose chief objection to Weir is her emphasis on the Israel Lobby, mainly Jewish institutions, as the chief reason for unconditional US support for Israel. JVP claims, after Noam Chomsky and others, that the US-Israel relationship is due to Israel’s value as a US “strategic asset,” and that the Lobby is powerful only when it supports US interests. The first article in JVP’s 2004 book Reframing Anti-Semitism. Alternative Jewish Perspectives bemoaned “the Jewish conspiracy theories of some on the left,” those for whom “a Jewish conspiracy is much simpler” than the “complexity” that belies any decisive Jewish influence. (8)

The US Campaign to End the Occupation shares that aversion to the Israel Lobby critique. In 2011, Medea Benjamin and Code Pink called for a national demonstration against the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, at which the top of the federal government and half of Congress make obeisance. (9) US Campaign and JVP have never attempted to organize such a demonstration, and they carefully “endorsed” it, while doing nothing to encourage turnout.

Phyllis Bennis, a perennial figure at the US Campaign, and a minor writer on “strategic asset,” has long opposed efforts to disseminate the Israel Lobby critique. (10) She refused to debate the Israel Lobby with Jeffrey Blankfort, on the grounds that it “wouldn’t be useful,” echoing verbatim the demurrals of Chomsky, Beinin and JVPer Mitchell Plitnick. (11) Somehow, despite her “strategic asset” advocacy, Bennis presided over the program of talks about the Israel Lobby at the Code Pink AIPAC protest.

Bennis was a “board-nominated” candidate for the JVP board of directors election in August, 2016. A “board-nominated” candidate is the JVP leadership’s way of instructing the membership how to vote, and Bennis was duly elected. The nomination may have been in view of services rendered over the years. Speculation in Washington last summer focused on Bennis as the éminence grise of the attack on Weir, though details were scarce.

Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of the celebrated The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, were featured in the plenary sessions, while Stephen Sniegoski, author of The Transparent Cabal, The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel was proposed, but rejected. Alison Weir and other writer-activists, including Jeff Blankfort, photographer (12) and journalist, (13) Janet McMahon of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (14) and Grant Smith of Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (15) were relegated to a workshop in the basement, which was very well attended. Code Pink repeated the event in 2012, but the Israel Lobby critics were allowed only to hold an event in the hall afterward, with the hall stripped of all Code Pink identifying material, and the audience invited to further events scheduled elsewhere at the same time. One hundred twenty-five attendees remained in the hall to hear the Lobby critics. In 2013, the critics were banned from the program altogether.

All of the candidates for the JVP board save one were board-nominated or incumbent, as in earlier elections; the first-ever “self-nominated” candidate lost. The election required a quorum of 20% (1250) of the JVP membership, which was achieved only in the final hours of a 10-day period of on-line voting. This gives the impression of an organization run by and for an autocratic leadership, licensed by a small minority willing to select among the list of approved candidates, a democratic facade common on the authoritarian left. It would appear that the JVP leadership is accountable mainly to itself and its donors, while presuming to define the collective decisions.

JVP claims great importance as “a national organization closely connected to a growing grassroots base. We have 200,000 supporters on our email list, 10,000 individual donors, over 60 chapters across the United States, a staff of 25… ” After twenty years of existence, JVP is only about 1300 people nationwide, less than 5% of the number who purchased Alison Weir’s book within two years of publication. JVP’s donor base is less than 40% of the readership Weir garnered in two years.

If Americans Knew has 16,000 on their email list, and 175,000 Facebook followers, all as a byproduct of Weir’s research, publication and speaking, with minimal attention to organization building. The programs, literature and outreach of JVP suggest that building the organization is their main task. Like the rest of the Israel Lobby, JVP has little to do with the views of the American people, but imposes itself by being relentless, highly organized, and well funded. [Information about JVP funding is expanded in the full article.]

The JVP membership was not consulted by the leadership over their blacklisting against Weir. Criticism erupted within the ranks when the attack on Weir became public in the spring of 2015. The online JVP member forum (which in early July replaced an email list) was full of discussion, many opposed to blacklisting Weir.

In mid-July Stanford professor Joel Beinin, historian of the modern Middle East and founding member of JVP, then contributed his own attack on Weir. At the end of August, after two months of JVP member dissension, the forum was taken off-line for a month, with stern warnings about “civility”. That term is a familiar censor’s ploy, and at least one person was ejected from the forum discussion. When the forum reopened again in October, there was no further discussion of Alison Weir.

(This writer had access to the forum as a dues-paying JVP member. The forum guidelines state that material should not be used without permission, but also state that material should be considered public. JVP’s attack on Alison Weir is a public matter.)

Joel Beinin wrote:

“As she has become more prominent Alison Weir (along with the Council for the National Interest and Washington Report on the Middle East) has become a major spokesperson for the view that the US-Israel alliance uniquely (unlike US alliances with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, for example) harms US national interests (which she does not define). While this is objectionable in its own right, it might not be a sufficient reason for JVP not to associate with her. Her uncomfortably frequent association with types like white supremacist Clay Douglas right wing racists like The American Free Press, and the anti-gay, anti-Jewish pastor Mark Dankof make her a liability for the movement.”

The nominal causes of JVP’s “disassociation” and US Campaign to End the Occupation’s expulsion of If Americans Knew were interviews she gave to right-wing journalists, among hundreds given to others, such as Clay Douglas, an obscure figure with a tiny audience.

The version of Douglas’s web page from last summer, when the attack on Weir became public, is available on the ‘Wayback Machine internet archive’. (39) … Douglas’s web pages also detail interests in Donald Trump, chem trails, Bitcoin, survivalism and other popular obsessions. The pages are crude, obviously made by a self-taught programmer.

JVP was especially incensed that Clay Douglas cited the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Russian anti-Semitic forgery, among other anti-Semitic references on his pages. Douglas is not the only critic of Israel to cite the Protocols. The late activist and scholar Tanya Reinhart referred to the “present situation with the US lobby- as if the Protocols of the Elders of Zion had come to life.” (41) TV comedian Jon Stewart referred to the “elders of AIPAC” in a piece on presidential candidate pandering. (42)

Whether one views Douglas as an anti-Semite, or someone with a crude, ugly misapprehension of the real problem of Jewish power, perhaps depends on whether one views the Israel Lobby thesis as either “objective anti-Semitism” or basically valid. JVP and End the Occupation collapse the complex, contradictory personality of Douglas into a “hate” figure in order to smear Weir.

Beinin uses vague, menacing show-trial language such as “associating with” and “consorting with” to make Weir’s granting interviews seem sinister and ominous. Rather than being blacklisted, it is better that far right audiences hear about distinctions between the Jewish public and organized Jewish leadership, as Weir presented. It is important to note that Douglas, and other right-wing outlets that interviewed Weir, such as American Free Press and Mark Dankof, have also interviewed Jewish critics of Zionism like Ilan Pappe, Jennifer Loewenstein and even Rebecca Vilkomerson of JVP, as well as many non-Jewish critics. But those people were not attacked as anti-Semitic by JVP and US Campaign.

The “most fundamental question that any movement must ask” is what it stands for. It appears that JVP stands for, among other things, Jewish control of the Palestine movement, behavior as old as “the occupation” itself. A generation ago the New Jewish Agenda sought to remove from progressive politics the goal of reducing US aid to Israel. (44) Today JVP seeks to suppress the Israel Lobby critique, and uses the charge of anti-Semitism for its ends, as does mainstream Jewish groups. Weir was accused of violating the “anti-racism principles” of the US Campaign to End the Occupation by unnamed member organizations (45). The “anti-racism” principles claim to “oppose Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, all forms of racism, and any other expressions of bigotry directed at any person or group.” JVP also claims that “our central tenet is opposition to racism in all its forms.” (46)

The “anti-racism principles” were drawn up in 2013, likely as part of a long-term vendetta against Weir. The “principles” mention only anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, which was protested (47). Islamophobia has no followers in Palestine ranks, and “anti-racism principles” are unnecessary to oppose it. The “principles” ignore the history and literature of Zionism as a form of racism (48) and of Jewish anti-gentilism in the “diaspora.” This suggests that the purpose of the “anti-racism principles” is to support accusations of anti-Semitism, a common gambit of “anti-racist” politics world-wide. The insistence of US Campaign and JVP that they “oppose all forms of racism” while they use “anti-racism principles” that omit Zionism to mount a show trial over anti-Semitism calls to mind Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

This was so egregious that, last summer, when the campaign against Alison Weir was at its height, the JVP leadership promised a “Zionism study group” to which members could “apply,” which would formulate a position on Zionism. Unsurprisingly and unfortunately, the idea died until one member raised the question again this spring, and was seconded by eight other members. Facing another mutiny within the JVP ranks, Joel Beinin again wrote to explain why taking a position on Zionism was inadvisable. Unlike younger JVP members, Beinin understands that examining Zionism would expose the racialism and racism on which JVP is based. As with any mature discussion regarding the JVP attack on Alison Weir, the Zionism study group discussion was disallowed.

The attack on Alison Weir shows, among many things, JVP’s “Jewish politics” as power and privilege. “Jewish identity” can only be a personal, individual matter. Beyond and outside a religious congregation, collectively it is a form of Zionism.

As Peter Beinart observed, “privately, American Jews revel in Jewish power. But publicly, we often avoid discussing it for fear of feeding anti-Semitic myths.” (49)

Such reveling has for 50 years suppressed the critical tasks of the left:

  1. a critique of Zionism and the Jewish people idea as Jewish race doctrine, opposing Jew and gentile everywhere;
  2. a candid analysis of the Israel Lobby, from its debut in World War I to its maturity in the 1940s to its present cumulative radicalization;
  3. recovering the classical liberal traditions, products of the Enlightenment and Jewish emancipation, which rejected Zionism categorically.

The ‘left’ includes classical Reform Judaism, which rejected Jewish peoplehood and affirmed the position of Jews as a religious minority. Marxist internationalism viewed nationalism as an impediment to the unity of the working class and Zionism as colonialism. The late Israel Shahak dated “the modern secular [non-] Jewish tradition” from Spinoza, the greatest of the 17th c rationalist philosophers, who was expelled from his Amsterdam synagogue for his modern ideas; Shahak rejected Zionism as pre-modern recidivism. These traditions are the antipode to Zionism, and also to anti-Semitism, rather than backroom slanders about “objective anti-Semitism.”

Alison Weir entered politics to address her fellow citizens, and was attacked by the left Jewish establishment not unlike Jefferson Smith’s reception in the Frank Capra movie, Mr Smith Goes to Washington. The liberal foundations of the modern world remain the only way of addressing the issues raised by Zionism and the state of Israel, as Weir understands, if the Jewish left obviously does not.

###

We encourage people to also read Clark's full article for important information on the history of the neocons, Israel's long-term plan for the fragmentation of the Middle East, and an analysis of the claim that discussion of the Israel lobby constitutes, as Joel Beinin suggests,"objective anti-Semitism."

** Note: She notes the formulation in 1913 of the Parushim, Hebrew for “Pharisees,” a secret society of elite US Jews, dedicated to the advancement of Zionism. The Parushim took an oath of secrecy, and were told to regard their commitment “as greater than any other in your life—dearer than that of family, of school, of nation.” (6) Many Parushim were also publicly Zionist; the oath and secrecy reveal their fanaticism.

The Parushim were founded by Horace Kallen, an academic who devised the idea of “cultural pluralism” as an alternative to the “melting pot” model of American liberalism. Pluralism allowed liberalism to accommodate a degree of ethnic identification. The Parushim were the least “ethnic” of American Jews, their backgrounds assimilated German Jewish, not the ethnically distinct Yiddish of the immigrants who arrived by the million starting in 1880. The “Jewish distinction” to which they aspired was Zionist racialism, the myths of the “Jewish people” and “land of Israel,” not the actual (non-racialist) Yiddish culture. Kallen’s “cultural pluralism” exploited liberalism in order to advance Jewish separatism, exploited Jewish success under liberalism in order to subvert it, showing how insidious Zionism is, how tempting and corrupting to Jewish intellectuals. (7)

The eminent jurist Louis Brandeis was a member of the Parushim, and he resigned his public affiliations upon his appointment to the Supreme Court by President Wilson in 1916. Yet Brandeis remained covertly active for Zionism and other causes through a network of associates and proteges, notably Felix Frankfurter, who was also appointed to the Supreme Court, in 1939, and carried on the pattern. This was was highly unethical, later scholarship has argued.

As early as November, 1915, Kallen suggested to a well-placed British friend that Britain declare support for Zionism in order to encourage US Jewish support for US entry into World War I, an idea that gained wide currency, and may have played some role in the US decision. Certainly, it produced the Balfour Declaration of November, 1917, by which Britain promised to facilitate creation of “a Jewish national home” in Palestine. Zionists were in the US delegation at the postwar peace conference at Versailles, as well as represented by their official delegation, and the Balfour Declaration became part of the postwar settlement in the Middle East.

References

(1) http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/77314/student-protesters-scary-lesson-at-anti-israel-talk (note Weir’s comment on the article)

(2) http://ifamericansknew.org/

(3) http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html#4

(4) https://ww.amazon.com/Against-Our-Better-Judgment-History/dp/149591092X

(5) http://www.againstourbetterjudgment.com/reviews/

(6) Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, 12

(7) Naomi Cohen, The Americanization of Zionism, 1897-1948, 73-4, for a debate between Kallen and a Jewish critic

(8) Jewish Voice for Peace, Reframing Anti-Semitism. An Alternative Jewish Perspective, 5

(9) http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/05/30/move-over-aipac/

(10) http://www.palestinechronicle.com/jeffrey-blankfort-breaking-the-silence-on-the-israel-lobby/

(11) http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/jeff-blankfort-to-azz-gabriel-ash.html

(12) http://www.jeffblankfortphotography.com/

(13) http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/1752

(14) http://www.wrmea.org

(15) http://www.irmep.org

(39) https://web.archive.org/web/20150801163836/http:/freeamerican.com/

(41) http://mondoweiss.net/2008/09/late-tanya-reinhart-reportedly-likened-lobby-to-protocols-of-elders-of-zion

(42) http://www.cc.com/video-clips/zso85j/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-indecision-5768

(44) http://student.cs.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0018834.html

(45) , http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3403

(46) https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/letter-to-alison-weir/

(47) http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/23/racism-and-the-movement-to-end-the-israeli-occupation/

(48) http://eaford.org/publications/1/ZIONISM%20&%20RACISM.pdf

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/I/bo22562266.html

(49) Peter Beinart, The Crisis of Zionism, 5

Harry Clark can be reached at his web site http://questionofpalestine.net

See full article here.

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