New Group Seeks To Blacklist Pro-Palestinian Student Activists

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A secretive new organization called Canary Mission has established a slick website intended to identify pro-Palestinian activists on American college campuses and prevent them from getting jobs, The Forward reports.

The group’s website profiles more than 50 students, recent graduates, and faculty members whom it denounces as “anti-freedom, anti-American, and anti-Semitic.” The group says it compiled such a list because “we believe in the right of employers to know which potentially threatening organizations prospective employees were affiliated with during their time on campus.”

A video posted on the group’s website warns that “these individuals are applying for jobs within your company” and may soon “be part of your team.” The video ends with the slogan “Ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees.”

The article in The Forward, a newspaper that describes itself as covering “issues, ideas, and institutions that matter to American Jews,” says Canary Mission “seems to have gone to great lengths to keep the identities of its own members and backers well hidden.” It notes that the site does not list the group’s staff members, volunteers, or donors, and its web domain is registered in a manner that hides its ownership.

A post on Canary Mission’s blog defends the group’s secrecy, saying, “Why is it so important who we are? Maybe you want to know so you can threaten us, discredit us, or punish us.” It says, “We may be using a different angle than traditional advocacy, but the war for the hearts and minds of world opinion is multifaceted.”

The Forward quotes Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, a pro-Israel organization, as defending Canary Mission’s tactics. “Collecting information on students has particular value because it signals them that attacking Israel is serious business, not some inconsequential game, and that their actions can damage both Israel and their future careers,” he told the newspaper in an email.

But Max Geller, a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, told The Forward that Canary Mission’s profile of him contained false information. He called the site “creepy” and “McCarthyist.”

This article was first published at The Chronicle of Higher Education.