Alison Weir at Stanford
Bill Weinberg, a New York journalist who appears very conflicted on Israel, periodically makes false statements about me (and others), so I thought I'd post a letter to the editor I wrote to the Village Voice in response to one of his diatribes:
To The Editor:
Re “Standing up for Gaza but not with certain groups” (talking point, by Bill Weinberg, Aug. 28):
I recently learned that Bill Weinberg listed our organization first among allegedly impure groups with which Mr. Weinberg would not deign to stand, despite his proclaimed love for the Palestinian cause.
I wondered what evidence he had provided for our dastardly designation.
Was it because I traveled throughout Gaza and the West Bank as a freelance reporter in 2001, discovered the carnage, and began an organization called If Americans Knew to give people the facts?
Did he dislike our designer’s infographics about Gaza, reaching millions — our Web master’s creation, considered one of the top sites on Palestine?
Did he dislike my recent book on the history of the Israel lobby with its almost 8,000 sales?
No, none of this is mentioned. Mr. Weinberg’s “evidence” consisted of two items. The first was an extraordinarily creative (and erroneous) Sherlock Holmes-like deduction: “It is obvious from its name that this is basically a right-wing nationalist formation with (at least) an anti-Semitic streak.”
The second was an equally creative (and erroneous) description of an alleged If Americans Knew flier that contained, he wrote, “a big quote from Gilad Atzmon,” an Israeli author who apparently causes Mr. Weinberg such anguish that when he heard Atzmon praised, “[a] wave of existential loneliness swept over me.”
The problem is that there is no such If Americans Knew flier.
Poor Mr. Weinberg, in his agony over those not marching to his own, highly flawed tune, simply got things wrong.
The ADL claims that Israel is a strategic asset. In reality, Israel is a tiny nation with few natural resources; it has long been subsidized by Americans; it has spied on us; and it has stolen U.S. technology. Israel attacked a U.S. Navy ship in 1967, killing 34 and injuring 175. Israel then paid $6 million compensation for a ship worth $40 million. The survivors of the attack are calling for a public investigation...
We've posted our response to the US Campaign accusations against us here. I'll now post some of the responses we're receiving below. There is also a new letter from the Open Letter Committee, which is posted on their website. If you'd like to sign their excellent petition, it is here.
For some reason, author Max Blumenthal has been attacking me on Facebook and elsewhere, so we finally decided to try to counter this with the video below.
Updated on Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 07:20AM by [Alison Weir
Some people have put together a powerful petition: An open letter to the U.S. Campaign and other Activists for Justice in Palestine. Among the signatories are: Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, and former Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, UN Human Rights Council. Hedy Epstein, Holocaust survivor; St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee*; Jewish Voice for Peace - St. Louis** 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. James Abourezk, former Senator, South Dakota, founder of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) Pete McCloskey, former Member of Congress (R..Calif. 1967-83) and Co-Founder, with Paul Findley, of the Council for the National Interes; and Helen McCloskey 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. 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.....
The ADL has a pattern of attacking people who provide facts they dislike about Israel-Palestine. A great many of the diverse organizations, writers and speakers who provide significant, factual information about Israeli oppression and violence against Palestinians – including Jewish individuals – are called "anti-Semitic."
I'm on a speaking tour in the northeastern United States and am being hosted in the homes of a wonderfully diverse array of committed, principled human beings – religious and secular; Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other; old and young. This is representative of the extraordinarily diverse collection of people working for justice in Palestine, who are of all ethnicities, races, ages, faiths, and political backgrounds...
(I met Schechter once and am sad to learn of his death. He was often critical of Israel; it's unfortunate that the Forward does not include that aspect of Schechter's activism in this article.)
Some articles I'm reading today:
...in the case of UCLA, there is a back-story to the "anti-Semitic" questioning, namely Hillel’s role in funneling Milstein’s money into student elections. Although this history has been excluded from the multiple stories about the incident, we believe that Milstein’s intervention through Hillel led to the student interviewers’ doubts about Hillel officer Rachel Beyda’s judicial impartiality...
To learn the details see:
Recent news from the International Middle East Media Center, IMEMC (ignored by US media. Imagine the coverage if Palestinians had taken these actions against Israelis):
...you have to consider the problem from two points of view. The first point of view is that are we going to have an independent judiciary or not, and if we do have an independent judiciary whatever comes out of that then you have to live with it and try to improve it through education, through reforms of the judiciary, better understanding of the world today, etc..... we’ve already started even before the present King came to power on a reform program for our judiciary – literally scores if not hundreds of sitting judges in Saudi Arabia that have been taken by this reform program to visit other countries to see how their judicial systems work..... My gut reaction to a man being lashed - It’s the same gut reaction that I got from seeing how those people in Abu Ghraib prison were treated by American soldiers in 2004 and 2005. It is the same gut reaction that I get even today from seeing people that have not been put on trial, that have not been charged with anything incarcerated still in Guantanamo. So it is not an issue that is unique to Saudi Arabia. If there is injustice in the world it happens in other places. What we are doing at least about it is we are trying to reform our judicial system, and hopefully we can get there sooner than people give us credit for.
From Electronic Intifada http://youtu.be/pen3Ka5IaR0 Note: This video shows disturbing footage of Israeli police shooting and killing a Palestinian youth. At least thirty Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested in the Galilee village of Kufr Kana on Sunday as protests spread over the cold-blooded police killing of a youth on Friday. The video above shows Israeli police shooting 22-year-old Kheir Hamdan in Kufr Kana in circumstances that totally contradict their initial account...
JTA: "Supreme Court justices talk Jewish"- Kagan calls Rabbi Riskin (currently founder of notorious West Bank settlement) "gracious"
In a JTA article this week, Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan talk about the significance of their Jewish upbringing, of having 3 Jewish Justices on the US Supreme Court, and of Judge Kagan's debt to Rabbi Shlomo Riskin (who has since founded a particularly notorious West Bank settlement). They fail to discuss the significance of having no Christian Protestant justices on the Supreme Court (the largest religious group in the US), no Muslim Supreme Court Justices (Muslim-Americans are about equal in number to Jewish-Americans), no Buddhist Supreme Court Justices, etc....... Justice Breyer serves on Israeli board....
Updated on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 08:49AM by [Alison Weir
Updated on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 10:07AM by [Alison Weir
...UPDATE, 11am Pacific time: Mark Memmott has just emailed me: "I’ve had no contact with PBS. I’ve actually never met Sara Just, as far as I remember, and have not had any email correspondence with her. I have to think that they agreed with what I wrote and decided to (mostly) reissue it." I find it disconcerting that PBS's Sara Just didn't attribute her statement to NPR's Memmott; this seems dangerously close to plagiarism. I wonder how she learned of his statement? I'm also curious about why she removed a small but significant portion of what he had written. Please read on:
NPR's standards editor & ombudsman minimize and/or ignore NPR ethics requirements regarding David Brooks
Now I've also been in touch with NPR's Standards and Practices Editor, Mark Memmot, who is in charge of ensuring that NPR journalists adhere to ethics standards. Last week NPR's ombudsman's office sent me an email that contained a statement by Mr. Memmott. I discussed this statement in a previous post and now will expand on this a bit more, specifically including information about NPR's own ethics code...
Following is an email to me from the Office of the Ombudsman, and below that is my response...
The New York Times ombudsman ("public editor") has now said that the Times should disclose to readers the fact that the son of columnist David Brooks, who often comments about Israel, is serving in the Israeli military. Ethics codes require such disclosure. So far, however, PBS has stated nothing about this, despite the fact that Brooks regularly appears on PBS and was commenting on Israel during its most recent massacre in Gaza, while not disclosing that his son was at the time serving in the Israeli army...
I find Sullivan's view that it requires only a "one-time acknowledgment"of David Brooks' conflict of interest deeply perplexing. Since, as she states, "readers deserve to learn about this in the same place that Brooks' columns appear" why would it not be posted every time Brooks' writes about matters concerning Israel? Obviously, many readers will not have seen that one posting, and for them it is just as germane and necessary as the first time it was posted.