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Courageous Journalist Alison Weir

If Americans Knew was originally founded by an American freelance journalist, Alison Weir, who traveled independently throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip in February and March of 2001. Ms. Weir found a situation largely the reverse of what was being reported by the American media.

Ms. Alison WeirMs. Weir presents a powerful, well documented view of the Middle East today. She is intelligent, careful, and critical. American policy makers would benefit greatly from hearing her first-hand observations and attempting to answer the questions she poses.” -Tom Campbell, Former Congressman and Dean of Haas School of Business

In March of 2004, Ms. Weir was inducted into honorary membership of Phi Alpha Literary Society, founded in 1845 at Illinois College. The award cited her as a: “Courageous journalist-lecturer on behalf of human rights. The first woman to receive an honorary membership in Phi Alpha history.”

After debating on “How Can Peace Be Achieved Between Israelis and Palestinians?” Thursday, October 2nd, Alison Weir and If Americans Knew received a voicemail message saying: “On Monday, at 2 PM, you better not be in your office. Because me and my buddies, who were trained in the Israeli Army, will come and kill every single one of you." The caller said, "This is not a joke. On Monday you better watch out. Don’t come to work. And close your organization or you’re going to die.

Israeli officer: I was right to shoot 13-year-old child Radio exchange contradicts army version of Gaza killing

"Thirteen-year-old Iman Al-Hams was killed when an Israeli officer emptied his weapon into her. Israelis have been responsible for killing over 600 other Palestinian children since September 2000."

"An Israeli army officer who repeatedly shot a 13-year-old Palestinian girl in Gaza dismissed a warning from another soldier that she was a child by saying he would have killed her even if she was three years old. "

"A tape recording of radio exchanges between soldiers involved in the incident, played on Israeli television, contradicts the army’s account of the events and appears to show that the captain shot the girl in cold blood." Israeli officer: I was right to shoot 13-year-old child Research the situation: The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid

The book, Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot To Print, has incredible examples of how the self censorship works. The book is an anthology of articles that have been rejected by print media but the article by Robert Fisk gives examples of self censorship in TV media too. Fisk's article "Remember 'the Whys' " was killed by Harper's magazine in 2002.

The book's editor, David Wallis, says Killed "rescues remarkable stories that editors commissioned, then abandoned." Before each article there is an explanation about what the circumstances were surrounding the killing of the article. Fisk explains that his article was killed because the editor at Harpers thought it was "a little too close in time" to another article that mentioned Israel and for which they took a lot of heat for. Fisk explains the details about his interaction with the editor after "Harper's had just been attacked by pro-Israeli lobbyists". Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot To Print Fisk writes about the "whys" concerning terrorism. Here is an excerpt that highlights how bad the most extreme case of bias in journalism is: "I've spent twenty-five years in the Middle East, trying to answer the "whys." And in no part of the world is reporting so flawed, so biased in favor of one country-Israel-and so consensual in its use of words. Indeed, the language of Middle East journalism has become so cowardly, so slippery, so deferential, so locked into the phrases used by the State Department , the President, the U.S. diplomats, and Israeli officials, that our reporting has in many cases become incomprehensible . For an American readership unfamiliar with Middle Eastern history or recent events-or for American viewers who may have no intrinsic interest in the region-our reporting has reached such poverty of expression as to render any real understanding of the conflict."

This extremely flawed reporting is especially dangerous because, as the Sept. 11 Commission report revealed, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man who conceived and directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was motivated by his strong disagreement with American support for Israel. This extremely flawed reporting is especially dangerous because Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker pilot who flew into WTC, was "most imbued actually about Israeli politics in the region and about US protection of these Israeli politics in the region. And he was to a degree personally suffering from that" according to a German friend that talked with him. This extremely flawed reporting is especially dangerous because Osama bin Laden has stated, "We swore that America wouldn't live in security until we live it truly in Palestine . This showed the reality of America, which puts Israel's interest above its own people's interest. America won't get out of this crisis until it gets out of the Arabian Peninsula, and until it stops its support of Israel." -Osama bin Laden, October 2001 Representative Press