- Pro-Palestinian activist who holds Israel chiefly accountable for the Arab-Israeli conflict
- Former co-director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and national coordinator for the Tikkun Community
- Integral to the campaign to boycott Caterpillar, Inc.
Born in Netanya, Israel, Liat Weingart is the former director of campaigns and programs for Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Prior to joining JVP, Weingart was the national coordinator for the Tikkun Community (founded by Michael Lerner). She holds a degree in political science from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
Both Weingart’s maternal and paternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors. When Weingart was a young child, her parents became involved in a dispute with one of her schoolteachers, and the couple contacted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to assist in the matter. According to Weingart, the teacher subsequently took an early retirement. Weingart credits this experience with inspiring her decision to become an activist as an adult.
Weingart has written numerous articles for the anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada. She was a signatory to a petition (initiated by the 9-11 Emergency National Network) calling on Congress to establish an independent 9/11 Truth Commission, premised on the suspicion that the Bush administration had prior knowledge of, and possibly a hand in, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 — and that the U.S. government acted to conceal this information. Fellow signatories included such notables as Ed Asner, Harry Belafonte, Medea Benjamin, Robert McChesney, Rev. George Regas, and Howard Zinn.
In 2004, Weingart was active in calling for Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ze’ev Boim and Likud Knesset member Yehiel Hazan to resign because of their alleged racism against Palestinians. She has also been involved with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which seeks to terminate Israel’s presence in disputed territories such as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
At JVP, Weingart helped organize the group’s anti-Israel divestment campaigns, most notably the one aimed at Caterpillar, Inc. for the role which that company’s equipment played in the demolition of Palestinian homes. (Those homes were used as residences and weapons storehouses by terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza.). Other organizations assisting in this effort included the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and the International Solidarity Movement.
In 2005, under the auspices of JVP, Weingart spoke to a Presbyterian Church of Chicago congregation in support of its decision to pursue “selective divestment” from Israel. There, she lamented the “humiliation and brutality” that Israel was inflicting upon Palestinians on a daily basis. “[I]n Israel-Palestine … nuclear-armed Jews rule over 3 and 1/2 million Palestinians who live without any kind of representation in the government that controls the most mundane details of their day-to-day lives,” said Weingart. Regarding the divestment strategy, Weingart remarked: “The country of my birth is killing itself from the inside and Americans, mostly, are profiting from it.”
Not acknowledging any existential threat confronting the Jewish State, Weingart in 2008 explained to the Institute on Religion and Democracy: “When it comes to Israel, Jews are prone to acting and speaking like we are still in mortal danger.” In other writing, Weingart has made statements reflecting her belief that the Arab-Israeli conflict of today is merely a continuation of the 1948 war in which “660,000 Jews were either active participants in, or silent accomplices to, the destruction of 400 Palestinian villages and neighborhoods, the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians, [and] the massacre of several thousand civilians.”