FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Author Alison Weir spoke at Clovis Community College Wednesday.
She was invited by local publication GV Wire to talk about the Israel-Palestine conflict and her experience traveling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2001. Her speech is called “Uncovered: Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
Her visit brought backlash from The Anti-Defamation League. They called her rhetoric anti-semitic and urged the college to cancel the event. They also said there were going to be protesters at the event, which led to increased security.
Instead, no protesters showed up and there was a line out the door to get inside the lecture hall.
“I’d like to thank GV Wire for holding strong to your principles of free speech and providing information you may not have gotten elsewhere, said Weir at the beginning of her speech when addressing the backlash.
Weir says out of the hundreds of colleges and universities she has spoken at, there has never been so much controversy surrounding her visit than at Clovis Community College.
“I believe in principles, as do you, universal principles like humane rights for all people and respect for all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or nationality,” said Weir.
Some in attendance said they feel the controversy was blown out of proportion.
“The backlash about this event I don’t know what it would be about other than some people might be afraid of what someone has to say,” said Roy Kendall.
“The anti-defamation league calling her an antisemite and all of that’s just rubbish. She’s a human being she is concerned about peace and love and friendship and no more wars,” said Fresno resident Leon Catchatoorian.
GV Wire said they don’t endorse their speakers and there will be a speaker with an Israeli perspective to come in the next couple of months.