Lee Kaplan Israel Correspondent
What’s a single divorced mother with three children supposed to do with when her husband leaves? For Alison Weir, she became a mouthpiece for wealthy Arabs as she fronted a nonprofit she named If Americans Knew. The purpose of her nonprofit was to teach Americans about alleged abuses done by Israel against the Palestinian people. All this, she claimed was done because of the ignorance of the American taxpayer. Alison Weir found a sinecure for herself and she plunged in head first.Weir began a lecture circuit touring U.S. colleges and law schools where she cited statistics, largely made up, that showed American newspapers routinely reported positively on Israel and negatively on the poor Palestinian people. All the newspapers, such as the New York Times deny her claims. Her latest “statistic,” easily disproven, is that the Israelis have killed three Palestinian children each and every day since the war 1967. At the Palsolidarity (ISM) conference held at Georgetown in 2006, Alison set up an information table inside where she passed out pamphlets that claimed that the Jews started the Holocaust on purpose against themselves with the intention of it being the reason to create Israel. Alongside these pamphlets she passed out small cards with photos of keffiyah-clad Arabs holding knifes intended to be used against Israeli Jews. She even showed up later at Middle East Studies Association confabs where she passed out her business cards and literature about Jews wasting U.S. tax dollars and distortions on the Middle East. She encouraged academics to use her materials.
As a result of these activities Alison enjoyed super star status among the college oriented ISM-Boycott -Israel – crowd. Aside from being in demand at ISM national events, she worked her way into being the titular President of the neo-Nazi non-profit The Council For the National Interest that was largely funded by the Saudis. She did this after serving on its board of directors and she was recently appointed president. But now, after nearly fifteen years of activism blaming Israel and the Jews for all the problems in the Middle East and even problems in America, Alison suddenly found herself ostracized by the very same crazies like herself from whom she drew her sustenance.
Founded by ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf , who was a human shield for terrorists in the Church of the Nativity in 2002, The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is the ISM’s national clearing house in Washington, DC that concentrates on lobbying congress. It is a consortium that has nearly 400 groups nationwide who promote the boycott of Israel and other political attacks on the Jewish state. Jewish Voice for Peace is one of those groups. Composed mostly of Arabs when first created in Berkeley by some Israel-hating professors at UC Berkeley, JVP drew most of its membership from people of marginal secular Jewish descent who are lifelong Marxists and draw their ideas from Stalinist ideas of “Zionism as racism.” JVP through anonymous funding expanded its recruitment nationally and even attracted some well- known Jews who considered themselves lifelong socialists like Edward Asner and Mandy Patinkin. The JVP website though promoted the same impassioned obsession with ending a Jewish state, even bringing out a “Palestinian Hagadah” during Passover which replaced the Jews in telling of the Exodus.
Meanwhile, Alison Weir was losing no time in her own anti-Israel mission. She began rubbing elbows with the likes of neo-Nazi Clay Douglas and KKK acolyte David Duke and outwardly attacking Jews, not just Israelis. She appeared frequently on Douglas’ radio show, which is really a neo-Nazi diatribe most of the time.
A simple thing like outward antisemitism normally doesn’t bother Jewish Voice for Peace but Weir’s behavior was posing a problem. JVP’s directors and fundraisers were very successful but being involved with someone like Alison Weir posed a problem when trying to recruit mainstream Jews by claiming the group merely sought peace, not the end of Israel. JVP complained to the US Campaign leadership and it was decided to remove Weir from the national campaign.
Needless to say, her removal met with objections from factions of the ISM within the group who see antisemitism as no problem at all. A petition of 1,000 ISM activists, many involved in the Flotilla movement to aid Hamas in Gaza was presented to the US Campaign demanding reinstatement. The US Campaign posted a lengthy response to the petition explaining their expelling Weir from their organization.
“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)
‘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)
‘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.” While interviewing Ms. Weir, Douglas:
a. 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)
‘5. 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)
‘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.
‘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.
‘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, divisive “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.
‘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.
‘- See more at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4510#sthash.a3RfeiCr.dpuf where it is stated:
“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. – See more at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4510#sthash.a3RfeiCr.dpuf
“Weir’s attacks on Zionism as the idea of a Jewish national homeland and against Jews might ordinarily be given a pass despite any opposition. However, the US Campaign outlines its reasons for her expulsion to counter the petition for reinstatement:
“As part of a series of attacks on Palestinians who signed a statement distancing themselves from ex-pat Israeli writer Gilad Atzmon (who has endorsed burning synagogues –ed.), Ms. Weir hosted an original blog post on her personal website by Roger Tucker. In this post, Tucker quotes Jewish-French thinker Bernard Lazare’s 1894 Anti-semitism, its History and Causes:
“If this hostility, even aversion, had only been shown towards the Jews at one period and in one country, it would be easy to unravel the limited causes of this anger, but this race has been on the contrary an object of hatred to all the Peoples among whom it has established itself. It must be therefore, since the enemies of the Jews belonged to the most diverse races, since they lived in countries very distant from each other, since they were ruled by very different laws, governed by opposite principles, since they had neither the same morals, nor the same customs, since they were animated by unlike dispositions which did not permit them to judge of anything in the same way, it must be therefore that the general cause of anti-Semitism has always resided in Israel itself and not in those who have fought against Israel.”
‘For anyone reading the excerpt Tucker chose (emphasis ours), it is evident it is aimed at blaming Jewish people [referenced as “Israel” given that the state did not exist at that time] for any bigotry they might face. Tucker also exceptionalizes (sic) Jewish religious texts by citing them as evidence that Jewish people are inherently racist, a practice we often identify as Islamophobia when done to the Qur’an:
Weir wrote “Just take a look at the Old Testament, let alone the blatant contempt for the “goyim” (non-Jews) found in the Talmud. The dehumanization of “the Other” is a very old and characteristically Jewish pattern. For tribal Jews and their allies, the “shabbas goyim,” to bandy about the term “racism” is hypocrisy of the highest order. (“The term shabbos goy refers to a non-Jew who performs duties that Jewish law forbids a Jew from performing on the Sabbath.” – wikipedia) What I am getting at is that Ali Abunimah et al are arguably shabbas goyim, non-Jewish elements of the currently dominant political force in the Western world that James Petras refers to as the Zionist Power Configuration (JPC).”
Finally, Tucker attributes Israel’s apartheid and settler-colonial policies to Jewish culture:
“…take a look at this, Ali Abunimah attacking Gilad Atzmon at the Stuttgart One State conference (Dec 2010. “Jewish Culture.. doesn’t explain anything at all.” This remark is not only absurd – it would be like saying that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War…”
On this last point, it is important to understand that to conflate Judaism and Jewish people globally with the state of Israel is to replicate Zionism, a political ideology that has spent decades trying to convince the world that they are one in the same.
‘2. See Ms. Weir’s 2009 article “Israeli Organ Harvesting” http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/08/28/israeli-organ-harvesting/
‘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],
b. referenced the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – a long debunked forgery claiming Jewish plans to control the world – as fact [22:25],
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],
d. asked Ms. Weir, “The Palestinians aren’t Arabs; there’s a lot of them that are Christians TOO, aren’t they?” [32:23] 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] 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] 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] 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] 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.
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] 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]
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]
4. Statements made by Ms. Weir to Clayton Douglas on his radio show.
– See more at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4510#sthash.a3RfeiCr.dpuf
Ms. Weir explained 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] 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] c. Throughout her interviews with Douglas, Ms. Weir repeats her belief and agreement that Douglas is not racist, violent or anti-Semitic.
‘5. As late as April 2015, Ms. Weir gave an interview to American Free Press. The front page of the American Free Press print publication declares “Civil War II: Hate group exploits tragic shooting as catalyst for vicious assault on Christian, Southern culture.” The website’s current top post is an apartheid apology and diatribe against Nelson Mandela. – See more at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4510#sthash.a3RfeiCr.dpuf “
Rumor has it that some of the ISM leadership elsewhere in the US has resigned from the US Campaign over the removal of Alison Weir. Others are insisting this removal will only be temporary and that If Americans Knew will be reinstated. The most important thing to Palestinian advocacy groups and BDS is that they not be recognized as anti-Semitic despite their actions to the contrary. Alison Weir crossed that line which is quite an accomplishment.