Alison Weir at Stanford
While Israel partisans in the US and some others (often former Israel partisans) sometimes claim that the US-Israel "special relationship" is driven by the US, Israeli writers are more honest. Most recently, retired Israeli diplomat Alon Pinkas writes on Ynet* (emphasis added):
Apart from Israel's ability to defend itself, there never was – and probably will never be – a more important strategic asset to the country than its relationship with the United States. Since its founding – and especially since the end of the 60s and the start of the 70s – these ties have provided Israel a superpower to lean on, a supporting pillar of military deterrence, and a force-multiplier in the international arena.
The United States has not only vetoed more than 50 anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nation's Security Council, it has also provided military aid totaling more than $140 billion, as well as access to American weapon systems and advanced ammunition. But the US has also garnered a reputation as an almost-automatic defender of Israel – its layer of protection from international isolation.
The relationship between the two countries has often been defined as "special", "extraordinary", and an "unshakeable alliance." Since the 80s, Israel has often pushed to define itself as a "strategic asset" for the United States and, though Americans have never used the phrase themselves, they have not denied it.**
But on this matter there is some confusion in Israel borne of an exaggerated sense of self-importance. The strategic asset in this equation is the US for Israel, not the other way around.
* Ynetnews, according to its website, "is part of the prominent Yedioth Media Group, which publishes Yedioth Ahronoth – Israel's most widely-read daily newspaper – as well as several popular magazines and dozens of local publications."
** Actually many American experts have denied that Israel is a strategic asset – see, for example, The National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel Special Relationship].
Following are a few short questions for the New York Times in regard to a recent news report:
Tapper's alma mater states that many of its students report that their experiences in Israel [from the school trips there] "are life-changing; they return... with greater maturity as well as a stronger personal connection to Israel and their Jewish roots." The school emphasizes: "...we are committed to the centrality of Israel and the State of Israel."
Since US media are reporting the latest Israeli massacre in Gaza as though it is a defensive action, I thought I would set the record straight. Israeli forces shelled and invaded Gaza BEFORE the rockets began. Rockets were fired only after numerous Palestinians, including many children, had been killed.
According to a pro-Israel website, the Jewish Virtual Library, Gaza rocket fire against Israel began in 2001. Four rockets were launched in the entire year.
The Israeli military website agrees with this chronology, saying that the first rocket was launched from Gaza on April 16, 2001.
By happenstance, I was traveling throughout the Palestinian Occupied Territories just before that – during February-March 2001 – as a freelance reporter.
While I was there, Israeli forces were regularly shelling both the West Bank and Gaza, and had been doing so for several months. Gaza was particularly hard hit. (An article I wrote at the time can be read here.)
Below are some of my photos from Gaza from February 2001 (i.e. BEFORE any rockets had been fired, and long before Hamas was elected in 2006.)
A few months before, in fall 2000, massive unarmed demonstrations against Israeli occupation began, eventually growing into what is known as the "Second Intifada" (uprising).* Israeli forces immediately used lethal means to try to put this down. An Israeli newspaper reported that the Israeli military fired over a million bullets in the first few days alone.
In the following three months Israeli forces killed over 90 Palestinian children – before a single Israeli child was then killed, and long before any rockets were fired. (The largest single cause of these Palestinian children's deaths was gunfire to the head.)
In fact, in every year since, far more Palestinian children have been killed than Israeli children:
Israeli shelling, military ground invasions, and abductions of Palestinians have continued throughout the following years, occurring, except for few ceasefires (which Israeli violence consistently ends), virtually every day.
Some groups (usually not Hamas), have also periodically fired rockets at Israel through these years.
By the way, the Iron Dome sysem has played a somewhat minimal role in the small number of Israeli deaths from rockets. Iron Dome wasn't begun to be put in place until March 27, 2011. In the ten years before, there were only 17 deaths. For a full analysis go here.
Who originally began this violence?
Of course, the conflict between the two groups began before fall 2000, so let us go back and see how this all started, and which party initiated the violence.
That's actually quite easy to do.
You don't need to go back "thousands of years," as some people believe. In reality, in the late 1800s this region – known as Palestine – was peaceful and had been so for centuries. Its population was about 80 percent Muslim, 15 percent Christian, and a little under 5 percent Jewish; all practicing their faiths side by side largely without conflict on land considered sacred to all three groups.
The problem began when a political movement called "Political Zionism" began in the late 1800s in Europe (and also in the United States) with the goal of pushing out the inhabitants and creating a Jewish state on this land.
The culmination of their efforts came in 1948-49, when Israel was created through warfare. At least 750,000 of Palestine's non-Jewish inhabitants, approximately half of the total population, were ethnically cleansed, their lands, businesses, orchards, and other property (worth many millions of dollars) confiscated by the newly created Jewish state, Israel.
The Palestinians' crime was being there.
By the way, the belief – also pushed by US media – that the current wave of violence began with the abduction and murder of three young Israelis is also incorrect.
The fact is that Israeli forces had killed at least 4 Palestinian children and approximately 35 Palestinian adults in 2014 BEFORE the abuction/murder of the 3 Israelis.
Also, one of the largest group hunger strikes in history was going on among Palestinians who were being held illegally in Israeli prisons -- these "administrative detainees," Israel's Orwellian term, are prisoners who have never even been charged with a crime, yet are held for months or years. Many are tortured.
Even JJ Goldberg, a fervently pro-Israel journalist, says that Israeli "politics and lies" are behind Israel's current aggression.
The pro-Israel spin, despite being repeated over and over, just doesn't survive the facts.
An account by another person who visited Khan Yunis (this is also spelled Khan Younis) a year later can be read here. Below is one of his photos:
And below are some photos I took when I was last in Gaza, July 2009:
* This is also sometimes called the "Al Aqsa Intifada," after the location where some of the first demonstrations began.
"Intifada" literally means "shaking off" of oppression. The American Revolutionary War, for example, could be similarly called the American Intifada against the British.
People should be aware that Wikipedia, Facebook and other places sometime contain individuals who post items while misleading people about their identities.
Please keep in mind that facebook and other online forums are in many ways anonymous and, according to several articles in the israeli media and elsewhere, are infiltrated by IDF soldiers and students with false identities. See, for example http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/142374#.UHjVdRgYLuw and http://electronicintifada.net/content/ei-exclusive-pro-israel-groups-plan-rewrite-history-wikipedia/7472 and http://www.dailystormer.com/israeli-students-paid-2000-each-to-troll-the-internet/comment-page-1/
I expect that some of the posts critical of me originate with such "trolls," as they are apparently called.
My latest article is at http://honorlibertyvets.org/legion.html
Of course, now Israel partisans (and probably these reprehensible American Legion bigwigs) will claim I'm "anti-Semitic," a foolish and unfounded charge. Of course, the last refuge of scoundrels is name-calling.
I've recently written an article about the upcoming day of national observance, "Education and Sharing Day." The article reveals that the person being honored on this day taught that Jews and non-Jews are different species and that non-Jews were put on earth to serve Jews. My main source (there are also others) is Israel Shahak, an Israeli professor whose books were praised by Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Catholic News, Jewish Socialist, London Review of Books, and others. Imagine if we had a national day honoring someone who said that Jews were only put on earth to serve non-Jews... there would be an uproar (and should be). Yet, the reverse has been going on for 36 years...
"...not everyone is afraid, and not every voice can be silenced..."
CounterPunch, March 16, 2001
A British writer named Alison Weir is receiving threats and harrassment from Israel partisans who have her mixed up with me. I hope others will help me spread the word that she is NOT the one they wish to hurt.
She is the author of apparently excellent books about British history, and she should be allowed to continue her life and her work without being attacked by pro-Israel fanatics who can't even get their target straight.
Below is her email to me:
I write to appeal to you to make your disclaimer more prominent on your websites. You can see, on my website www.alisonweir.org.uk, that I have very prominent disclaimers on the Home and Contact pages, and today I have had to make them even more prominent. I still receive emails from people who think I am you, and today I received one that was so obscene and threatening that I have reported it to the police.
It is clear from emails from readers that some have stopped buying my books because they think they are written by you, and various worrying incidents during US book tours have made me feel that it is unsafe to visit the States, and - a nervous traveller to begin with - I have stopped touring. All this because of a name - but it should not be impacting on my career, and I shouldn't have to keep defending myself against complaints that have nothing to do with me.
Everyone should have the right to the free expression of their views, but please could you work with me to make it absolutely clear that we are not one and the same person.
I have copied in my literary agent and my US publishers so that they are aware of this situation.
I have now emailed some of David Horowitz's websites that attack me asking them to always tells readers that I am NOT THE British historian. I'll let you know if I hear anything back from them.
The Horowitz-connected website, DiscoverTheNetworks, has now added this information.
Yesterday I also wrote several other such sites, including the ADL, but none of them have yet replied and none, so far, seem to have added the clarification requested.
I was the fourth speaker on the fourth panel. Below is what I said:
Hello, I’m Alison Weir, president of the Council for the National Interest and executive director of If Americans Knew. Thank you. There are full citations in my book [ Against Our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the United States was used to create Israel ] for everything that I'll be saying, and some of it will be quite surprising. So I want you to look at the citations if you would like.
For most of my life, I knew very little about Israel-Palestine. I was deeply aware of the Nazi holocaust, sympathetic to Israel, and had seen the movie Exodus.
But then in fall of 2000 the departure of my youngest child for college coincided with the eruption of the second Palestinian intifada with its images of children throwing stones against tanks, and I finally began to pay attention to a distant part of the world that I had thought had little to do with me and my family.
When I paid attention, I noticed how one-side the news coverage seemed to be, providing far more information from and about Israelis than Palestinians.
Growing curious, I looked into what the internet had to offer and discovered a wealth of information directly from the region from Palestinians, Israelis, and others that revealed a far darker reality than our media were reporting – a reality in which Israel’s massively powerful military, it appeared, was using extreme violence against a population that was largely unarmed, killing many and injuring multitudes.
The strategy, I read in a report by an Israeli academic, was to keep deaths below the level that would trigger world outrage, while maiming as many as possible; a common practice was for Israeli snipers to target knees and eyes. In the first month alone over 7,000 Palestinians were injured, including numerous children.
I noticed little of this was being reported by one of my main news sources, NPR’s Linda Gradstein, and I began to notice a pattern of media filtration that continues through to today, in which some facts are repeated and some never reported.
While we are repeatedly told that rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel, we seem never to be told that over 10 years of largely home-made rocket fire has killed a total of 29 Israelis – nor do we learn that during this same period Israeli forces have killed 4,000 Gazans.
We tend to hear, often in detail, about Israeli children who have been tragically killed. We hear far less often about the Palestinian children who were killed first, and in far larger numbers. It is my view that all of these deaths are tragic.
After several months of researching such information, I finally decided I needed to go and see for myself if things were truly as bad as I was beginning to believe.
I quit my job as a small town weekly newspaper editor and traveled over to the region as a freelance reporter, traveling throughout the West Bank and Gaza in February & March 2001 – long before rocket fire from Gaza – and took photographs of what I saw.
When I returned, I began an organization to tell Americans the facts on this issue.
I also began to study it intensely. I was especially curious about the U.S. connection, reading book after book by respected authors and scholars.
I was completely unprepared for what I found.
I discovered an extraordinarily powerful and pervasive special interest lobby of which I had previously been almost entirely unaware.
Even more surprising, I discovered that this was just the latest incarnation of a movement that has been active in the U.S. for over a century. A movement called “political Zionism” – its adherents are called Zionists – that has profoundly impacted my nation and others, and yet that many Americans do not even know exists.
I discovered that political Zionism, a movement to create a Jewish state in Palestine, had begun in the late 1800s, and that by the early 1890s there were organizations promoting this ideology in New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.
By the 1910s the number of Zionists in the U.S. approached 20,000 and included lawyers, professors, and businessmen - and was becoming a movement to which, as one historian put it, “Congressmen, particularly in the eastern cities, began to listen.”
By 1918 there were 200,000 Zionists in the U.S., and in 1948 there were nearly a million.
While politicians from both parties increasingly saw Zionists as potential voters and donors to curry or at least placate, the U.S. state department opposed Zionism, believing it was counter to both U.S. interests and principles.
President Taft’s Secretary of State Philander Knox stated in 1912 that Zionism involved “matters primarily related to the interests of countries other than our own.”
A U.S. commission that studied the situation in Palestine in 1919 concluded, “the project for making Palestine distinctly a Jewish commonwealth should be given up.”
In 1947 American statesman Dean Acheson stated that supporting Zionist objectives would “imperil not only American but all Western interests in the Near East.”
The Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that a Zionist proposal “would prejudice United States strategic interests in the Near and Middle East,” and predicted, “the Zionist strategy will seek to involve [the United States] in a continuously widening and deepening series of operations....”
Such reports and memos go on and on...
During this time, however, Zionists were working strenuously – and ultimately successfully – to combat such wise recommendations.
They employed a wide variety of strategems – from open public advocacy to various covert activities. Their initiatives targeted every sector of the American population – including Jewish Americans, the large majority of whom for many decades were either non-Zionist or actively anti-Zionist, and who still today most likely are misinformed on what is being done allegedly in their name.
In 1943 a Zionist organization, in the words of its leader, launched “a political and public relations offensive to capture the support of Congressmen, clergy, editors, professors, business and labor.” A directive ordered: “In every community an American Christian Palestine Committee must be immediately organized.”
An annual report crowed: “We reach into every department of American life.”
When Britain failed to accede to Zionist demands, an American rabbi named Baruch Korff fomented a plan to drop incendiary bombs on London that was only prevented when a young American aviator divulged it to the Paris Police. 25 years later Korff, his terrorist past expunged from the public memory, became close to President Richard Nixon, influencing his Middle East polices. Nixon jocularly called him “my rabbi.”
Perhaps my most surprising discovery of so many surprising findings involves an extremely well-known and highly regarded Supreme Court Justice – Louis Brandeis.
According to a 1978 article in the respected scholarly journal American Jewish Historical Quarterly, by Dr. Sarah Schmidt, an Israeli professor of Jewish history at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a book by Peter Grose, former editor of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times, and associate at the JFK School of Government Harvard, Louis Brandeis was a leader of “an elitist secret society called the Parushim, the Hebrew word for ‘Pharisees’ and ‘separate.’”*
According to Schmidt and Grose, this society promoted Zionism throughout the U.S. Its initiates underwent a solemn induction ceremony in which the inductee was told:
“You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life...... until our purpose shall be accomplished, you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life–dearer than that of family, of school, of nation.”
Grose writes “The members set about meeting people of influence here and there, casually, on a friendly basis. They planted suggestions for action to further the Zionist cause ...”
“As early as November 1915,” Grose writes, a leader of the Parushim went around suggesting that the British might gain some benefit from a formal declaration in support of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.”
Brandeis directed Zionist activities secretly from his Supreme Court chambers through his loyal lieutenants – one of whom eventually became a Supreme Court Justice himself, another particularly influential one: Felix Frankfurter.
A number of authors report that Brandeis was a close friend of President Woodrow Wilson and used this access to advocate for the Zionist cause, at times serving as a conduit between British Zionists and the president.
In fact, some Zionist leaders bragged, and British officials, rightly or wrongly, believed that Zionists had played a significant role in the U.S. decision to enter World War I.
Numerous individuals, both Jewish and Christian, attempted to oppose Zionist endeavors.
One was Dorothy Thompson. According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, Thompson was “one of the most famous journalists of the 20th Century.”
She had graced the cover of Time magazine, had been profiled by America’s top magazines, and was so well-known that a Hollywood movie featuring Kathryn Hepburn and Spencer Tracey and a Broadway play starring Lauren Bacall, were based on her.
Thompson had been the first journalist to be expelled by Adolph Hitler and had raised the alarm against the Nazis long ahead of most other journalists. She had originally supported Zionism, but then had visited the region in person. She began to speak about the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians that Israel had violently forced out in its founding war to create a Jewish state on land that was already inhabited, and narrated a documentary about their plight.
Thompson was viciously attacked in an orchestrated campaign of what she termed “career assassination and character assassination.” She wrote: “It has been boundless, going into my personal life.”
Before long, her column and radio programs, her speaking engagements, and her fame were all gone. Today, she has largely been erased from history.
In the coming decades, other Americans were similarly written out of history, forced out of office, their lives and careers destroyed; history was distorted, re-written, erased; bigotry promoted, supremacy disguised, facts replaced by fraud.
Very few people know this history. The excellent books that document it are largely out of print, their facts and very existence virtually unknown to the vast majority of Americans. Instead, false theories have been promulgated, mendacious analyses promoted, chosen authors celebrated, others assigned to oblivion.
George Orwell once wrote: “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” Perhaps by rediscovering the past, we’ll gain control of the present, and make a better future for all our children.
* Citations for all the above statements in my talk and additional information can be found in my book, Against Our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the United States was used to create Israel.]
I showed a number of slides during my talk. These will be available on the video of the Summit to be uploaded at http://natsummit.org/ when our videographer has had time to produce this.
For a documentary that is currently being made about Dorothy Thompson, see http://thesilencing.org/
My Modest Proposal to the Anti-Defamation League (....Foxman's salary is even higher than I thought. The latest info is that it's about $740K, not including $50K benefits.)
From the Independent Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), a must-read source of daily news...
Monday [September 30, 2013] Israeli soldiers invaded different parts of the occupied West Bank, violently broke into several homes and kidnapped at least five Palestinians, including one
... Such a pattern is discouraging... it weights the diplomatic process hopelessly in favor of the materially stronger side that has taken full advantage of the failure to resolve the conflict by grabbing more and more land and resources; it makes it virtually impossible to imagine a just and sustainable peace emerging out of such a process at this stage; it plays a cruel game in which the weaker side is almost certain to be made to seem unreasonable because it will not accept what the stronger side is prepared to offer, which is insultingly little; and it allows the stronger side to use the process and time interval of the negotiations as an opportunity to consolidate its unlawful claims, benefitting from the diversion of attention...
I became curious about the organization "Aish" when I stumled across it while researching my piece on the Weider History Group's censorship, and awhile ago I subscribed to the Aish feed. Today I was amazed to read an article that I found openly supremacist; yet, the author and his editors probably feel he is being wonderfully tolerant and sensitive. In many ways I find it a very sad piece. Below is the article from the Aish website. This was proudly announced in its daily feed. (By the way, I imagine many – perhaps most – Jewish Americans find the attitudes it displays offensive):
Updated on Monday, October 21, 2013 at 06:54AM by [Alison Weir
The latest favorite means that Israel partisans use to try to attack me is by making false claims about my two articles on Israeli organ trafficking. The best way to refute their claims I feel is to suggest that people read for themselves what I have written on this topic, so I'll post these below, including their numerous footnotes. As people will see, my information is largely from mainstream sources, including the Israeli media. (These articles represent perhaps about 1 or 2 percent of my writings on the topic of Israel-Palestine). I've also written a few follow-up commentaries on this topic, which I'll also post. In addition, I discuss this at length in the below extended video interview...
Another professor is also attempting to prevent students and others from learning facts he dislikes.
However, while Greenbaum (and perhaps others) have succeeded in pressuring the South Dakota World Affairs Council to drop its sponsorship of my presentation, and they all assumed that this would cancel the event, in reality it is going forward at the same time and location -- but now under different sponsorship. Read more here.
It is sad to see a former professor who demonstrates such disregard for free academic inquiry and who attempts to censor information. For too long the bullying of such people has prevented Americans from learning the facts on Israel-Palestine. Fortunately, their control is eroding.
Apparently, Dr. Murray Haar, chairperson of the Religion, Philosophy, and Classics Departments at Augustana College in South Dakota, is trying to pressure colleges to cancel my upcoming lectures on Israel, Palestine, and America. He is also, it appears, trying to pressure the media not to cover them. It's so sad to see academics without academic principles...
At my recent presentation in Colorado Springs, an Israel partisan distributed a flyer entitled "A Critique of Alison Weir's Book, Against Our Better Judgment (16 September, 2013)"... when I read the flyer it was clear that its anonymous author had not read my book... When I spoke to the man disseminating the flyer, he admitted that he, also, had not read my book.
Updated on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 04:19AM by [Alison Weir
UN General Assembly Resolution 181, the Partition Plan, was a recommendation that was to go to the Security Council. The resolution requested that the Security Council take it up. This never happened, and the partition plan has no force of law. Israeli propagandists, however, perpetrated the myth that the UN created Israel, and this interpretation was then been repeated by numerous others...
...""[Summers] seems to have played a major role in transmuting Harvard from a renowned university to an aggressive hedge fund, policies that subsequently brought my beloved alma mater to the very brink of bankruptcy during the 2008 financial crisis"... When he was president of Harvard, Summers told students and faculty that calls for the University to divest from Israel and a Harvard student group’s fundraising activities were “anti-Semitic in their effect if not in their intent.”