A Response to Alison Weir


In a response to my review of her recent book, “Against Our Better Judgment“, Alison Weir writes

Knott’s accusations against me are a bit schizophrenic. On the one hand, he chides me for not discussing “Jewish power.” At the same time, his inaccurate descriptions of me and my motivation echo Zionist mistruths about me.

But in regard to Jewish power, I merely argue the book hints at it, “doesn’t take this further”, and “we need a theory” which explains it. My review starts by lavishly praising her book, and her skill in holding a conference against Zionism in the occupied territories.

However, I have valid criticisms. Alison is correct that, unlike her, I don’t take the State Department’s statements seriously. Its secretary recently lectured the president of Russia, to universal derision:

You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext

She is also right to say that I am wrong to say that her book mentions the USS Liberty, attacked by Israel in 1967. However, her organizations and websites distribute a patriotic version of this tragic story. But a naval spy ship is a warship, even in peacetime, and this was during the Vietnam war. Weir says claiming it was a warship is “echoing Zionist mistruths”, but in this case, they are telling the truth.

Same with the Zionist attack on the King David hotel in 1948: it’s not a war crime to bomb a building partly occupied by enemy soldiers. Civilians staying in that hotel were idiots.

More seriously, an important part of my critique goes like this:

Patriotism also leads Weir to quote opponents of the Lobby within the Pentagon as follows: ‘no group in this country should be permitted to influence our policy to the point where it could endanger our national security‘ without realizing that this could imply the suppression of any movement which endangered US imperialism.

She responds:

Knott foolishly writes, “Patriotism also leads Weir to quote opponents of the Lobby within the Pentagon”

This misses out the sinister quotation from the Pentagon, which I found in her book, implying the suppression of all unpatriotic movements, not just Zionism.

In response to my sarcastic remark

Weir gives the impression America is inhabited by well-meaning, simple, Christian folk, who are manipulated into supporting the oppression of the Palestinians by dishonest, clever Jews

she says I have ‘missed an important point in the book: “Zionist” is not synonymous with “Jew.”’. But my interpretation of her book does not imply that. “Manipulated by dishonest, clever Jews” does not imply that I think that she thinks that all Jews are dishonest, or clever, or Zionist. Why does she get defensive when I mention the J-word? I’ve consistently argued that the Palestine solidarity movement should not dignify the allegation of “anti-semitism” with a response. To Zionists, this concern surely looks like a weakness. It only reinforces their elitist attitude.

P.S. 5/28/14 – Read Alison’s latest over-the-top tribute to the USS Liberty:


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