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If Americans Knew

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If Americans Knew is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the foreign policy of the United States regarding the Middle East, offering analysis of American media coverage of these issues. The group's website declares its aim is to provide "what every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine."[1] The site is generally critical of U.S. financial and military support of Israel. It has accused The New York Times and other mainstream news organizations of being biased against Palestinians.[2][3][4][5]

In addition to the freelance journalist and founder Alison Weir,[6] board members include Paul Findley, a former United States Representative and author of "They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby",[7] and Andrew Killgore, a former ambassador of the United States to Qatar.[8][9]


According to the organization's website, founder Alison Weir traveled independently throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2001, where she found a situation she considered to be different from what was being reported by the American media. She stated that the U.S. press portrayal was significantly at odds with that reported by media throughout the rest of the world, and that American citizens were being misinformed and uninformed on what she considered one of the most significant issues affecting them today. Weir therefore founded an organization that would reflect what she considered to be a more objective viewpoint.[6]

In addition to its information website, If Americans Knew places billboards and advertisements about Israel, Palestine and the U.S. and founder Weir publishes articles and op-eds about the topic.[10][11][12][13]


The organization's stated goal is "to inform and educate the American public on issues of major significance that are unreported, underreported, or misreported in the American media," going on to say: "It is the goal of If Americans Knew to inform the American public accurately about [Israel-Palestine]. Most of all, it is to inform Americans about our enormous, and too often invisible, personal connection to it.".[14]

If Americans Knew maintains that U.S. media are consistently Israeli-centric in their reporting, finding that a great many of the journalists reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have family and personal ties to the Israeli military."[15]

If Americans Knew holds that United States' support of Israel should be reduced on the grounds that it is not in American interest[16] or aligned with American principles, costs American taxpayers billions, is increasingly imperiling American lives, and prevents peace.

Executive Director Alison Weir writes that ending U.S. military aid to Israel would "help bring peace to the Middle East, build a safer world and alleviate massive misery."[17]

It asserts that U.S. support of Israel has long been driven by lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, often via AIPAC, over the objections of State Department and Pentagon experts,[18] and in recent years by the efforts of a "growing number of individuals with close ties to Israel (known as neoconservatives)" in high-level U.S. Government positions.[16][19]


If Americans Knew published a study critical of The New York Times coverage of Israeli and Palestinian deaths, and met with then New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent to discuss their study.[2][20] In subsequent column Okrent mentioned the meeting but dismissed IAK's conclusions.[21]

The Anti-Defamation League has called If Americans Knew one of several "anti-Israel organization[s]",[22] and further asserts that "Weir's criticism of Israel has, at times, crossed the line into anti-Semitism." They cited Weir's use of a quotation by Israel Shahak that characterized beliefs of certain Israelis as "such a ruthless and supremacist faith."[23] Weir herself stated that she considered this quoted characterization as not pertaining to the mainstream of Judaism,[24] and has demanded that the ADL correct what she termed "defamatory and inaccurate statements."[25]

The ADL voiced concern about an article written by board member Paul Findley in which he blamed America's relationship with Israel for the September 11 attacks.[26]

If Americans Knew has been lauded by the media monitoring organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and termed 'valuable'.[27]

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Interests and Israel/Palestine (If Americans Knew)
  2. ^ a b "Off the Charts - NY Times Coverage of Israeli & Palestinian Deaths". Ifamericansknew.org. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  3. ^ "Media Report Cards Grading Accuracy in News Coverage of Israel and Palestine". Ifamericansknew.org. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  4. ^ "A Study of Bias in the Associated Press - Censored Notebook, Investigative Research". Project Censored. 2010-05-02. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  5. ^ admin (2005-02-26). "The LA Times' notion of "relative calm"". The Electronic Intifada. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  6. ^ a b If Americans Knew - Who We Are
  7. ^ Findley, Paul (2003-05-01). They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby (3rd ed.). Chicago: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 9781556524820.
  8. ^ American Educational Trust: Andrew I. Killgore
  9. ^ "Andrew I. Killgore". WRMEA. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  10. ^ "Guest commentary: The fact on $10 million per day to Israel". EastBayTimes.com. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  11. ^ Sentinel, Orlando. "U.S. aid to Israel prevents peace". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  12. ^ "MSNBC, Martin Fletcher Disavow Image of Palestine Being Wiped Off the Map". www.counterpunch.org. 2015-10-23. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  13. ^ Sentinel, Orlando. "U.S. massive aid to Israel must stop: My Word". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  14. ^ Mission Statement
  15. ^ Media Reporting on Israel: All in the Family, CounterPunch, February 26-28, 2010
  16. ^ a b U.S. Interests and Israel/Palestine. Retrieved August 2011
  17. ^ Saving Americans by Saving Money, The Gilmer Mirror, June 21, 2009
  18. ^ The History of US-Israel Relations, Part I
  19. ^ talkingsticktv (2014-08-01), TalkingStickTV - Alison Weir - The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, retrieved 2016-04-29
  20. ^ Weir, Alison. "New York Times Distortion Up Close and Personal", April 24, 2005
  21. ^ The New York Times > Week in Review > The Public Editor: The Hottest Button: How The Times Covers Israel and Palestine
  22. ^ "Wheels of Justice: A Biased View of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict" Archived 2007-02-06 at the Wayback Machine December 29, 2006
  23. ^ ADL on Alison Weir Archived 2008-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Alison Weir Greenwich Citizen April 4, 2008 (2008-04-04). "What Our Taxes to Israel are Funding". Ifamericansknew.org. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  25. ^ Weir, Alison (2009-02-13). "Journal - Anti-Defamation League Defames Me - My Letter to the ADL". AlisonWeir.org. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  26. ^ "Backgrounder: The Council for the National Interest (CNI)". Anti Defamation League. July 8, 2010. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  27. ^ FAIR, Media Views, December 1, 2006, from archive.org

External links