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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Full disclosure with Alison Weir

Alison Weir, executive director for the If Americans Knew research institute, spoke at City College April 28. Photo by ||Jack Remson|| [email protected]

The executive director of a California research institute said April 28 at City College that U.S. media have largely under-reported deaths and favored the Israelis in reporting on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

“I finally decided to pay attention to this issue. As a journalist, I noticed I was getting very one-sided coverage,” said Alison Weir, a freelance journalist, who has studied coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for 11 years.

The mission of Weir’s nonprofit organization is, If Americans Knew, according to its website, “to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power—and duty—to bring a resolution.”

From fall 2000 to early 2001 Weir said that she immersed herself in the study of the plight between Israel and Palestine and how Americans are being informed. She singled out National Public Radio, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, San Jose Mercury News as news organizations that reported pro-Israeli news and under-reported on Palestine.

In 2004 the Times reported on Israeli deaths 2.8 times more than Palestinian deaths, and recorded the death of Israeli children 6.8 times than the deaths of Palestinian children, according to Weir.

However, Weir said, from September 2000 to the present, 124 Israeli children have been killed, compared to 1,452 Palestinian children killed. In the same time period, 1,084 Israelis were killed, compared to 6,430 Palestinians killed, according to

In October 2002 to March 2003, 123 Israelis were killed, compared to 324 Palestinians killed, Weir said, but in a front-page headline The San Jose Mercury News reversed and increased what was actually reported.

“What if they covered the Super Bowl backwards? What if they got the World Series wrong?” said Weir.

Photo by ||Jack Remson|| [email protected]

During Weir’s immersion in the study of Israel and Palestine, she took a trip to the country to investigate the conflict firsthand.

“As I stepped off the plane, I experienced the panic I began to feel on that long flight, especially as a single woman traveling alone,” Weir said.

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“I was welcomed. I was invited into people’s homes to drink tea. I was treated warmly,” she recalled.

One Palestinian woman asked Weir, “Do you really think we are all terrorists?”

Weir replied that Americans don’t know what’s going on in Gaza and the West Bank.

According to Weir, during the 2009 fiscal year American taxpayers gave Israel over $8 million per day in military aid, which costs $3 trillion annually.

“If you’re impacting other people’s lives negatively, it is important to know about it,” Weir said.

Weir explained that Israel was created in Palestine 60 years ago through the violent expulsion of more than 750,000 Christians and Muslims in a colonial enterprise to create a Jewish state.

“I saw children with bullets in their backs, bullets in their legs, bullets in their knees, bullets in their teeth-a people being destroyed by the use of my money,” Weir said. “I don’t like to see children suffering—I don’t like to see children in pain—but I had to see what our tax money was doing.”

Weir returned from her trip and dug up articles from the time she was in Palestine to see what was actually reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Instead of telling us what is going on now that we have the power to change still, the paper didn’t have room because it was covering events that happened over 50 years ago,” Weir said, referring to a front page story about the Jewish holocaust.

Weir ended her presentation with a letter written to her from a Palestinian woman.

“Come with me and see how the tax dollars are being spent. Come with me and see a bullet in a boy’s brain. Come with me to the borders and see the visible Israeli tanks in the sand,” read Weir. “Come with me and see a woman give a difficult birth to a dead baby and than die herself at Israeli checkpoints. Come to Palestine Americans and see your tax dollars at work. Come with me and say no more.”

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