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 it...pro 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.
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.
Will the Berkeley fellowship of Unitarian Universalists still claim they didn't know?