Here’s one to think on this weekend.
Apparently controversial columnist Alison Weir is spending some time in Sioux Falls this next week. She’s scheduled to speak at the University Center on Thursday.
I’m told she is also scheduled to appear with Patrick Lalley on the Argus’s 100 eyes program. And the word is that she’s speaking to the Democrat’s Friday lunch at the VFW.
As was noted in an e-mail that went out in Sioux Falls at the end of last month, Weir is noted to be in Sioux Falls visiting former Democratic US Senator Jim Abourezk and had offered to give a presentation. Apparently, Weir is founder of “If Americans Knew,” a group that focuses on Israel-Palestine issues.
That doesn’t sound bad on it’s surface. But, and it’s a big but.
Some people say that some of the things she’s said cross the line. And that’s a line into anti-Semitism.
The premise of her of her organization “If Americans knew” is that the US media is “consistently Israeli-centric in their reporting, finding that a great many of the journalists reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have family and personal ties to the Israeli military.” Also cited at Wikipedia is that her organization defended Helen Thomas’ comments when she contended that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to “Germany, Poland, America, and everywhere else.”
The Anti-Defamation League makes few bones about it, and has called “If Americans Knew” one of several “anti-Israel organizations.” In fact in the same article, they noted about Weir:
She often writes for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, an anti-Israel publication that frequently serves as an apologist for Muslim American groups advocating anti-Semitism and support for terrorism.
“An apologist for groups… advocating anti-Semitism and support for terrorism.” Nice. But, hang on, it gets better. More from the ADL:
In September 2006, Weir appeared via phone on Hesham Tillawi’s weekly cable television show, Current Issues, which is a sounding board for Holocaust deniers, white supremacists and conspiracy theorists seeking to broadcast their hatred and anti-Semitism into American homes. During the interview, she called the U.S. an “accomplice” in Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians and called the American media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “Israeli-centric” and “enormously distorted,” especially in its reporting of injuries and deaths. She also accused the Israeli government of trying to transfer all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to other countries, calling this “ethnic cleansing,” and agreed with Tillawi’s charge that Palestinian suicide bombings against Israel do not justify Israel’s continued aggression in the Palestinian territories.
Appearing on a show for holocaust deniers and white supremacists…. How could we not have her speak? And in case you needed more, here’s a snippet from one of Ms. Weir’s articles:
In the article, “Our sons plundered for their organs,” veteran journalist Donald Bostrom writes that Palestinians “harbor strong suspicions against Israel for seizing young men and having them serve as the country’s organ reserve – a very serious accusation, with enough question marks to motivate the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to start an investigation about possible war crimes.”1
The fact is, however, that substantiated evidence of public and private organ trafficking and theft, and allegations of worse, have been widely reported for many years. Given such context, the Swedish charges become far more plausible than might otherwise be the case and suggest that an investigation could well turn up significant information.
Yes, she actually is implying that Israelis are capturing Palestinians and stealing their organs. As a columnist in the UK based “Guardian” criticized the above article….
Sadly, the left does not have an unblemished record on opposing antisemitism. In 2009, for example, the respected American leftist publication Counterpunch published an article by Alison Weir of the organisation If Americans Knew defending the unsubstantiated and implausible claims made by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet about Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinians in Gaza to harvest their organs.
Weir implied, with no evidence, that Israel is at the centre of international organ smuggling. She then explicitly argued that the medieval “blood libel” – that Jews kill Christian children – has a basis in fact.
Alleging Jewish organ smuggling and “blood libel.” What a great message to bring to South Dakota through our schools, our media, and the Democratic party.
Of course, let’s not forget who she’s coming to visit. This is the same James Abourezk who appeared on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV, and said “The Arabs who were involved in 9/11 cooperated with the Zionists.”
So do we really think Weir is providing an objective point of view here? And should the Argus Leader, Democrats, and the University Center be complicit in helping promote it?