The intelligence chief for American’s most funded “anti-racist” organization, Heidi Beirich, refuses to support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. Pressed during a 2009 libertarian podcast to defend Zionism, Beirich, the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, said, instead, her organization “couldn’t speak” to the foreign policy issue, adding that American support for the world’s only Jewish state was “outside of my bailiwick.”
Beirich, 50, wrote about about foreign policy 16 years ago, including about European nationalists and separatists. Why is foreign policy only now something she won’t comment on?
During a Sept. 2009 podcast episode of “Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock,” Hancock pressed the SPLC intelligence director about his frustration with a Zionist activist who called Hancock an anti-Semite for opposing foreign aid to Israel.
According to Hancock on his show:
“I have a government that’s putting a gun to my head, and you take money and redistribute it to all these other countries through the State Department. And they’ll go on, oh, doing it, you know, Syria and Egypt and whatever and Jordan and that’s all bad, but Israel’s OK. OK, what is your principle? What is the definition? If you oppose that, then they’re going, ‘Well, you’re being anti-Semitic.”
Added Hancock, “Define ‘anti-Semitic’ to me, and then how that applies to these other groups. And I just want to know what your definition is so we know what we’re talking about.”
“Well, I can’t speak to the foreign policy business that you were bringing up. It’s way outside of my bailiwick, right? But for me anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews that is reflected in things like Hitlerian dialogue, right? ‘All the Jews should be killed,’ right? ‘Jews run the financial system,’ like, crazy conspiracy theories about them. That’s what I think of anti-Semitism. I don’t have a clue what this Zionist character had to say about that.”
Hancock directly pressed Beirich on the matter of foreign aid to Israel:
“My question, you know, it generally goes around, you know, what is this anti-Semitic thing. And here on [Republic Broadcasting Network], John Stadtmiller, I met at – several times over the last couple of years at various different, you know, revolution, Ron Paul revolution events. … [People], they come up and they say, ‘You know, this Zionist thing is not the same as, you know, being anti-Jew. There is a – they want to make it very clear that you got to hammer on the fact that there is a philosophy that, you know, fill in the blank. And the bottom line, I’ll tell you where we overlap on this, is they’re going to use State Department money to buy congressmen to get them more State Department money. And I’m going, ‘You know, can we stop that?’ So are you for the foreign policy that is money going to Israel from the American taxpayer or anybody else?”
“Ernest, you’re not going to be satisfied with my answer. I just, I can’t talk, I can’t speak to this. This is not something that’s in our bailiwick,” said Beirich. “You know, and I just – you know, I don’t – and what I can say is that I don’t believe, and nobody here at the Southern Poverty Law Center believes, that people who are critical of some Israe- you know, various Israeli policies are anti-Semites. We don’t believe that.”
Responded Hancock, “OK, if I don’t want them taking my money, and you call me anti-Semitic because I don’t want Israel taking my money, then you’re kind of – you know, you’re off the mark.”
Beirich said, “Well, no, I’d be a hypocrite.”
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In August 2012, Beirich appeared on a conference call hosted by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an Islamist group Beirich supports. According to the Washington Times, MPAC has “a documented history of anti-Semitism, including such hatemongering as the contention on Sept. 11, 2001, by its executive director, Salam Al-Marayati, that Jews should be viewed as possible perpetrators of the attacks of that day; repeated claims that Zionists and Jews ‘own’ the Congress, its staff and the American media; and vitriolic support for the designated terrorist organization, Hamas, whose explicit goal is destroying Israel.”
Beirich hasn’t historically shied away from commenting on foreign affairs, raising questions about why she declines to do so with regard to Israel.
Wrote Beirich, in 2001, on nationalists in the Italian north, for the British journal Western European Politics:
“Cosmopolitan large-scale capitalist industries and bureaucrats are seen as a threat to the people, that is as foreign elements that do not understand the people’s real needs and interests. Historically, populism has taken the form of a mass movement seeking to recreate a lost authenticity threatened by the centralized bureaucratic rationality of the modern nation-state and the spread of capitalism.”
Beirich also contributed to the journal in July 1999.
Her 1998 Purdue University Ph.D. thesis was on the history of the Spanish constitutional court. In it, she wrote, “Foreign influence was marked in the final structure that the Constitutional Tribunal assumed. In crafting the new court’s federalist powers, the framers borrowed from the example of the German constitutional court’s umpiring of the Länder.”
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