Alison Weir publicizes her views of Israeli brutality and what she has described as Israel’s control of “the American media’s coverage of stories from [the] region” through articles and lectures she gives at various events around the country.
Weir, formerly the editor of Marin Scope, a local newspaper in Sausalito, California, has said her interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict developed following a trip to the Palestinian territories in early 2001. By the end of that year, Weir published an essay in The New Intifada: Resisting Israel’s Apartheid, a compilation of 20 essays by many established voices in the anti-Israel movement, which examines the causes, rise and potential consequences of the second Intifada.
In her essay, “Gaza: A Report from the Front,” Weir discussed “America’s role in [Palestinian] suffering” and accused the Israeli military of trying to prevent the media from reporting on Palestinian suffering. Weir charged that the U.S. press is biased because “the reporters in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv get their numbers and ‘facts’ from military spokesmen. Information from Israeli sources is printed; information from Palestinian sources isn’t.”
Weir also generalized in her essay that Israelis are biased and unreliable sources of information on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We think we know what they’re talking about,” she wrote, “because they sound so reasonable and confident and knowledgeable. They say just enough about what is wrong about Israel, about the ‘two sides,’ to seem neutral. This is BS.”
Weir attempted to return to the Palestinian territories as part of a delegation of Bay Area activists in 2002. The group was detained at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and eventually sent back to the U.S. Weir later claimed that Israeli security officials held a file falsely accusing her group of working with the PLO.
That year, Weir increasingly addressed audiences around the country and praise of her lectures began circulating on various listserves run by anti-Israel groups. In August 2002, for example, she was commended by one organizer for drawing capacity crowds and “galvanizing” audiences.
Weir’s lectures included criticism of American aid to Israel, arguing that the U.S. enables Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians at the expense of American security and prosperity. During an appearance at the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine (CPAP) in August 2002, Weir argued that the U.S. is “steadily insulted, endangered, and damaged” by its “special” relationship with Israel, according to the CPAP report released afterwards.
During a debate at University of California at Berkeley in October 2003, Weir portrayed Israel as a country that exists on stolen land, stating, “a little over fifty years ago 3/4 of an entire population was expelled from its land to make way for an ethnically discriminatory state. And this process is still going on. Palestinians are being continuously and violently dispossessed because of one original sin: inhabiting land that others wanted—exclusively.”
Weir’s hostility toward Israel became especially apparent in an open letter she published in the CounterPunch, a radical left wing publication,following the debate. In the letter, addressed “Dear Israel and your frenzied defenders,” Weir claims that Israel “ethnically cleansed the once-multicultural land” and imposed its “uni-cultural nation, ridding yourself of hundreds of thousands of human beings who did not fit your national vision of purity.” Describing Israeli influence in the U.S., Weir wrote, “In this country…you’ve killed careers. You’ve killed businesses. You’ve killed hope. You’ve weeded out sprigs of integrity from our Congress, journalists of principle from our press.”
In a July 7, 2005, interview with Ventura County Reporter, Weir described Palestinian territories as open-air prisons, and urged the U.S. to pressure Israeli leaders into land negotiations by cutting off support to Israel: “If we withdrew that massive amount of money, it would be clear to the Israeli public, and they would make it clear to their government, that there won’t be this blank check coming from the American public to do whatever they want.”
When asked about suicide bombings, Weir said, “There are basically two ways to end suicide bombings. One way is to give the Palestinian population F-16s to deliver their bombs, but I don’t think that’s an improvement because it causes more loss of life to civilians, including children. The other way is to stop funding the Israelis. Their military forces are killing far more civilians than Palestinians are killing. Most people would think it’s the opposite of that.”
Weir reiterated the notion that terrorist attacks carried out against Israel are provoked by the merciless actions of the Israeli military in a February 1, 2006, Counterpunch article. Discussing the U.S. practice of hiring security consultants from Israel, Weir wrote, “The fact is, Israeli governmental security and policy ‘experts’ have long promulgated policies of such ruthlessness and cruelty that a tiny but lethal number of their victims finally began to fight back.”
Weir’s message has been embraced by many known anti-Israel groups, including the Council for National Interest (CNI) Foundation, Wheels of Justice, Al-Awda and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Weir appears in Occupation 101, a documentary film released in 2006, narrating a distinctly anti-Israel view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In 2008, Weir joined a chorus of conspiracy theorists in claiming that Riad Hamad, the head of the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund who drowned to death in April 2008 in Austin, Texas, had been “targeted for elimination by Israeli agents.” She further alleged that the FBI searched his home following pressure by the “Zionist zealots.”