I don’t know if you have heard about Canary Mission, but it is a delicious little website that “exposes individuals and groups that are anti-Freedom, anti-American and anti-Semitic in order to protect the public and our democratic values.”
That’s a big charge, little bird.
More specifically: “Canary Mission is concerned by the rise of anti-Semitic hate crimes on college campuses, and the dangerous Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to demonize and destroy Israel via economic, academic and social boycotts. These acts lead to a divide between students on campus, and an atmosphere of fear and distrust.”
Concerned? How concerned? Really concerned!
“The pro-Palestinian lobby is way ahead of the pro-Israel movement. Way ahead. Years if not decades ahead.”
Canary’s weapon of choice against these cunning terrorists-of-conscience is to deny them future employment by exposing their subversive behavior (holding signs, voting in student elections, saying things, etc.) to potential employers. (because proactive students who take a lot of initiative and have a talent for organizing make TERRIBLE employees).
It’s a blacklist.
Ok, so why am I not on it? I know I don’t have the pedigree of truly inspirational activists like Rebecca Vilkomerson or world-class scholars like Rashid Khalidi, but I write LOTS of Facebook posts, and I have feelings, and I am sick of being left out.
Well I am not sitting around and waiting for Israel to end the Occupation, so I sure as hell am not going to wait for someone else to nominate me through the online submission form.
Here is what I wrote:
I have done a whole lot of pro-Palestine work over the past few years, and I was really pretty disappointed to discover that I am not on your list. Would you allow me to submit myself?
I grew up in a nominally Zionist household believing, like many young American Jews, that Israel was generally a good thing. I started learning about Palestine towards the end of 2008 when a very dear friend introduced me to the subject. A million questions, three years in Palestine, three wars in Gaza, and a few thousand history textbook pages later, I serve Palestine Advocacy Project as a member of its board and its executive team. You may have seen the advertisements we ran in seven major cities a few months ago. They highlighted Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Your website asks for the profiles of people engaged in “anti Semitic and/or anti Israel activities.” I don’t qualify as anti-Semitic. Discriminating against a group of people because of who they are would contradict all of the reasons I advocate so strongly for the rights of Palestinians. However, I am pretty sure I qualify as anti-Israel. The idea of a state meant for one ethnic group, particularly when it protects that group’s majority by a combination of physical force and bureaucratic violence, grates against my civil rights sensibilities. I hope that is enough to qualify for inclusion in your database.
But why, you might ask, would I want to be on a blacklist? Vanity! You seem to believe that I am ashamed of my solidarity with Palestinians and that my advocacy is something I wish to hide. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact is that I am damn proud of my support for Palestine. It is a great honor to be able to contribute, in some small way, to the betterment of someone else’s life. My employers and clients have always agreed. I am sure many others do too.
Thank you for your consideration,
Board Member | Palestine Advocacy Project
I share this with all of you because I am peeved by the reaction of some my fellow “enemies of freedom.” In an interview with Haaretz, Students For Justice in Palestine member Max Geller called the website “McCarthyist.” McCarthy was a U.S. Senator with the might of the FBI at his disposal. Canary Mission is a group of anonymous schmucks who struggle with basic editing.
If there is anything sillier than trying to shame a group of activists for acting on behalf of their consciences, it is activists getting up in arms about it. We do this work because we are proud of it, and we should be thrilled any time someone associates us with it. Being “exposed” only makes people nervous when they have something to hide. That is why I submitted my own name, and why you should too.
Posts by individual contributors do not necessarily reflect the position of Palestine Advocacy Project.