Monday, January 16, 2017

Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists at it again

Via Emunah:

The Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists is intent on proving that the fetid intersection where the hard left and the hard right meet is anti-Semitism. They'll be hosting anti-Israel activist Alison Weir for a talk on....wait for Israel activism. Alison's appearance at the BFUU  is part of a rather disturbing pattern of behavior at the fellowship, which has previously hosted holocaust denier and 9/11 truther  Ken O'Keefe  (We didn't know he was anti-Semitic. Really we didn't!) and Gilad Atzmon (We didn't know he was anti-Semitic! Really, we didn't!) 

Alison Weir is the former editor of a Marin penny-saver, who has catapulted 2 trips to the Mid-east into a career.  She is the executive director of If Americans Knew, run out of her Richmond home, and president of the Council for the National Interest 

Alison Weir is a controversial figure, even among her peers. Groups as extreme as Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine have publicly distanced themselves from her. If Americans Knew has been condemned for furthering anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation.

From Tablet:

Weir earned this remarkable wall-to-wall opprobrium by promoting anti-Semitic myths, working with white supremacists, and publishing anti-Jewish content on IAK’s web site. Among other exploits:
  Weir published an original blog post on her personal site which justified anti-Semitism by labeling the Jewish “race” as “an object of hatred to all the peoples among whom it has established itself,” In the words of the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, the piece “effectively blam[ed] Jews for anti-Semitism.”
  Weir has not only promoted the conspiracy theory that Israel harvests the organs of Palestinians—an update of the medieval blood libel—but has actually asserted the accuracy of the original blood libel itself, which accused Jews of ritually murdering Christian children to use their blood in Passover matzo. (Weir cited the discredited and since withdrawn research of a Jewish writer.)
  Weir has worked repeatedly with white supremacists, while never challenging their bigoted claims. For instance, in a series of appearances on the radio show of white supremacist and Holocaust denier Clayton Douglas, Weir dismissed allegations that he was a racist, did not challenge his repeated assertions of Jewish control of the world, and did not protest when he played a speech by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. Writes the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, “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.”
  Weir has also published repeatedly at the American Free Press, a white supremacist anti-Semitic site that is designated as a hate outlet by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
For these actions and others, both Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation severed ties with Weir in July 2015. (Though the same cannot be said for many other anti-Israel activists, who continue to defend and even honor Weir.)
From Political Research Associates: Challenging the Right: Advancing Social justice

IAK’s criticisms of Zionism and Israel dovetail with traditional antisemitic narratives, and Weir often cites antisemitic writers and publications as her sources. When asked if the work of antisemitic authors including Israel Shamir, Gilad Atzmon, and Kevin MacDonald were truly legitimate, she replied, “Yes. I suggest people read their work for themselves.”

Much of Alison's past presentations are based on a statistical study she personally undertook, alleging bias in reporting on Israeli and Palestinian dead. Her analysis has been described as "amateurish" and "flawed", with  media watchdog CAMERA concluding 

"Weir's pseudoscientific study and absurd conclusions are not so surprising in light of her history of distortion."

Weir's study claims

 "the Times reported Israeli deaths at rates up to seven to ten times greater than Palestinian deaths," and that this discrepancy is "based on the ethnicity of the person killed."  and that "Times reporting regularly gave readers the impression that equal numbers of people on both sides were being killed – or that more Israelis were being killed," and that "the majority of Palestinian deaths ... are never reported by the Times at all."

However, according to CAMERA:

The bulk of the study is based only on the headline and first paragraph – often just one sentence – of New York Times news reports, and completely ignores the remaining text of the articles. In other words, most of the news reports condemned by the study are not even read.

In an op-ed in the April 4, 2008  Greenwich Citizen,  Alison Weir described Judaism as  "such a ruthless and supremacist faith".

Information on Alison Weir's extremist conspiratorial views are widely available on the Web. Her facebook page, and those of If Americans Knew are filled with anti-Semitic imagery, conspiracy theories and classic Jew-hate 
Study of New York Times Coverage Severely Flawed

Alison Weir posing with convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh
Will the Berkeley fellowship of Unitarian Universalists still claim they didn't know?
Event details:
Thursday, February 16 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM PST
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA 
(Corner of Cedar St and Bonita Ave)

This talk is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.


Gary Fouse said...

The last time she came to UC Irvine I asked her about her organization, the Council for the National Interest and one of its former members, imprisoned terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi. She professed ignorance and said she would have to look into it.

Hopefully after 5 years or so she has an explanation.

The Cow said...

Are there any actions planned? If so, I want to be there.

Sappho said...

I went to the Weir event. Zionists were ordered to the back of the room. The audience was the worst. One woman told me, "the Jews have a lot to answer for." Weir talked about how Zionists brought on the Holocaust by collaborating with Hitler. I wore a paper bag over my head because I am ashamed of BFUU. I apologize for having been a part of the BFUU Social Injustice Committee. I predict BFUU will either drop the bigotry or die out.

Dusty said...

Thank you for being brave enough to attend and bear witness and to report back.