“If Americans Knew” advocacy group receives death threats

3 October 2003 — After a 2 October 2003 debate on “How to can peace be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians,” a Berkeley, CA woman and her organization received a voice mail message saying: “Don’t be in your office Monday at 2 pm. Me and my buddies, trained by the Israeli army, are going to come in and kill you.”

The caller went on to say, “This is no joke. We’re going to kill every one of you. Close down your organization.”

The recipient of the threat is Alison Weir, who speaks widely on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. She is executive director of If Americans Knew, a nonprofit organization known for providing information on the Middle East.

In last night’s debate she predicted that Israelis and Palestinians searching for a just peace will succeed when US tax money no longer goes to fuel Israeli militarists such as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Sharon was found guilty by the Israeli Knesset in 1982 for his role in the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon.

Weir said that she takes the caller seriously. “I am named an ‘enemy’ on a website of the Jewish Defense League, a group known for violent acts - most recently, police are investigating charges that its members planned to firebomb Congressman Darrell Issa’s office in southern California.”

Weir says that there has long been a concerted effort to intimidate people speaking out on this issue, but says, “We will not be silenced. I hope others will join us.”

Weir says that she plans to be in her office all day Monday, working to inform the public on this urgent issue.

Berkeley police and the FBI are investigating the death threat.

Scott Campbell or Alison Weir
510-655-6384; 415-847-1782 (cell)