The latest witch-hunt to discredit Alison Weir, [founder and executive director of If Americans Knew and president of the Council for the National Interest] is disgracing her attackers as it underscores the dire need to educate Americans:
In particular our elected representatives regarding Israel’s attack on the USS LIBERTY; which this activist reporter contends is when US foreign policy in the Middle East went pro-Zionist and anti-Liberty/Freedom for Palestine.
By Eileen Fleming
On May 20, 2015 the Jewish Voice for Peace emailed a select few:
Subject: [JVP Chapters] information regarding alison weir
Dear Chapter Leaders,
We wanted to share with you a recent letter that we sent to Alison Weir of If Americans Knew, which I have attached.
As you all know so well, because accusations of anti-semitism are so often used to squelch debate on Israel/Palestine, we would never lightly accuse anyone of it. But we also take seriously as part of our mission the need to call out racism and bigotry in all its forms when we see it.
After much deliberation, we have decided not to work with Alison Weir because of her troubling willingness to work with people who profess anti-semitic, anti-gay, and white supremacist viewpoints, as described in the attached letter.
We are therefore asking that chapters not sponsor events with Alison Weir.
We are not currently planning to release this letter more widely and ask that you not publish it on FB, twitter, blogs, or other public forums. However, if you need to share it with folks who have questions about this decision, please feel free to.
We understand that many of the people and organizations you work with may have relationships with Alison Weir and this may cause some discomfort. We are in the same situation! You should feel free to share this letter with allies and coalition partners as needed, but please also ask them not to publish the letter in public forums.
If folks have questions about this, please feel free to write to me directly, or to any staff person who is your main contact.
If needed, we can arrange a webinar to talk more about it–
please let us know if that would be helpful.
We hope that this can be a moment for all of us to practice living out our values, even when it is not the easiest!
Executive Director | Jewish Voice for Peace
A webinar is just a seminar conducted over the Internet and so it begins:
On July 8, 2015 Alison Weir wrote:
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.
Martin Niemöller was a German anti-Nazi, theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is best known for this statement:
First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me
USS LIBERTY survivor Joe Meadors is among the first to speak out on the witch-hunt against Alison Weir and he has been on the forefront countering “the massive misinformation being fed to the American public” on multiple issues.
On July 8th Joe wrote:
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…
On July 8th I received my latest AIPAC approved response from my member of Congress regarding the USS LIBERTY:
Dear Ms. Fleming,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the U.S.S. Liberty.
On June 8, 1967, during the Six Day War, the U.S.S. Liberty was attacked by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in international waters off the Sinai Peninsula. Investigations by both the U.S. and Israeli governments concluded that the attack was the result of the IDF mistaking the U.S.S. Liberty for an Egyptian ship. The Israeli government paid compensation to the families of those killed and injured in the attacks, as well as to the U.S. government for the damages to the ship.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, on July 2, 2003, the National Security Agency (NSA) published a collection of documents, audio recordings and transcripts regarding the attack for public review. On June 8, 2007, the NSA finalized and published its review of all material relevant. For more information regarding this incident, I encourage you to visit https://www.nsa.gov/public_info/declass/uss_liberty/.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I am honored to serve the people of Central Florida as your U.S. Representative.
Member of Congress
In fairness to Congressman Webster he at least responds to my emails and I have yet to receive a reply from either of my Senators. That story begins HERE and continues HERE with more to come…
I asked USS LIBERTY survivor Joe Meadors to reply to Congressman Webster and as always true to the USS LIBERTY Creed, Joe wrote:
With evidence readily available proving the claims made in his letter are factually incorrect I question why the Congressman finds it comfortable in parroting myths provided to him by Israel or her supporters. Wouldn’t he be better served by providing his constituents with facts provided by USS Liberty survivors instead?
The US government has never conducted an investigation of the attack on our ship. That fact can be verified quite easily by asking the Congressional Research Service if an investigation of the attack has, in fact, been conducted. He will learn as we have that there has been none.
But he won’t bother even to ask. I wonder why. Afraid of the truth no doubt.
As to the claim that the NSA has released all information in its files regarding the attack on the USS Liberty, not so.
At the NSA website that the Congressman directs his constituent to the NSA document at http://1.usa.gov/1CsKKlM refers to voice tapes in the possession of the station initiating the message.
Where are those tapes? They haven’t been released.
That’s another question the Congressman won’t bother to ask.
But why should he do anything we ask him to do? After all, we’re only the victims of the War Crimes committed by the IDF during the attack on our ship with the tacit approval and active participation of the US government as well as the victims of the cover-up of those War Crimes that the Congressman is so proud to perpetuate.
USS Liberty Survivor
Director of Operations, USS Liberty Veterans Association
“I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my shipmates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.” –USS Liberty Survivors’ Creed
Bottom line for this activist reporter remains EDUCATION is The Way to Compassion which is the only way positive change can happen and bring in the change we all really want to see:
A just PEACE which will SECURE Israel and FREE Palestine!
LIBERTY means FREEDOM!
Learn more about the USS LIBERTY, Alison Weir and If Americans Knew HERE
Sign and Share the Petition to Congress and President Obama: HONOR the USS LIBERTY
July 19, 2015 UPDATE:
The following statement, issued by the Steering Committee of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
2. provides further discussion of our position on the political issues that this case touches upon,
3. and provides evidence and documentation that undergirds the decisions that have been made by the organization.
Please READ it HERE
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