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Tom Campbell and Alison Weir

5:04 PM, Feb 26, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The leading Republican candidate for Senate in California, Tom Campbell, has come under fire for his voting record on Israel, his connection to Sami Al-Arian and others with ties to Islamists, and his endorsement of Alison Weir, who promotes the conspiracy theory that Israel harvests the organs of Palestinians.

Weir's organization, If Americans Knew, proudly proclaims Campbell's endorsement on its website. Here it is, in full:

“Ms. 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

How did Weir strike up her relationship with Campbell?

"I gave a speech, quite a few years ago," Weir told me in a phone interview. "I'm fairly certain it was in 2001, probably Spring 2001. And Tom Campbell was there. And then afterwords he gave us that endorsement."

Asked about the nature of her speech, Weir said she "described my recent trip as a freelance reporter to the West Bank and Gaza, and showed photos."

We don't have a firsthand account of what Weir said at the speech, but there is a paper trail of what she was saying about Israel at the time.  In a piece titled "Gaza: A Report from the Front," published in The New Intifida, Weir wrote: "You can feel the fear when we even see a soldier or a settler in the distance. These people are being terrorized ..."

Weir ends her piece with a plea to cut American funds to Israel:

Again and again, I can’t believe the incredible arrogance, cruelty, selfishness I’m seeing. Israel wants this land, so it is taking it. They don?t [sic] even bother coming up with an excuse for most of this... they just do it. The people here are in their way... and since no one is stopping Israel, and we are supplying them with the never-ending means, they continue...

When Campbell was in the House, just a couple years before, he introduced the Campbell Amendment (twice, actually, in 1997 and 1999) to cut funding to Israel. In 1999, the amendment failed a House vote with an overwhelming vote, 13-413. Campbell was one of those 13 Members to vote in favor of his amendment. (David Frum defends Campbell's Israel record here and here.)

In a radio interview with Eric Hogue yesterday, Tom Campbell, responding to a question about his connection with Alison Weir, said, "Well, of course I don't agree with that [Weir's position that Israelis harvest organs] or any particular position at all." He went on to say, "I've met her once" or heard her lecture, noting the meeting that Weir had described to me, "and preparatory to that, I had seen a publication in which she had commented on Palestinian points of view."

The only article of Weir's I can find on her website that predates this meeting is the piece I've quoted above: "Gaza: A Report from the Front," published in The New Intifida. It would be helpful if Campbell could clarify which article of Weir's helped convince him to endorse her group.

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