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  • Writer's pictureJewish Examiner

Canary Mission: An Indispensable Resource in an Age of Anti-Semitism


In a series of recent exposes, prime funding sources of the anonymous Canary Mission, a highly controversial site that lists thousands of anti-Semitic and disproportionately anti-Israel individuals, professors, and organizations, were revealed, inciting debate over the legitimacy of the organization. It was discovered that two of the benefactors of the organization are the Helen Diller Family Foundation and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, both of whom have terminated their funding for the time being, persuaded by dissidents of Canary Mission.

The criticism of the organization has overwhelmingly arisen from progressives, proponents of BDS and staunch opponents of Israel, with claims of ‘McCarthyism,’ as well as lamenting the expansiveness of the operation (over 2000 names are currently listed). Others decry that Canary Mission punishes mere ‘critiquers of Israel,’ not deniers of Israel per se.

Canary Mission, however, maintains infallible research ethic and commitment to facts when listing information on a given individual. Their guidelines are explicit about their methodology, with the criteria for making ‘the list,’ so-to-speak, being as follows: an anti-Semite per the definition of the United States State Department, supporting terrorist organizations, violating the safety of Jews or Zionists, demonizing Jews or Zionists, or promoting the BDS movement. There is nothing controversial about these standards, unless of course, advocacy of terrorism, hate crimes, and violence are now morally grey areas.

Each individual profile is assembled through meticulous research of public domains--Twitter, Facebook, university profiles, etc. No name is published without sufficient material to corroborate an allegation of anti-Zionist rhetoric or action. This is paramount to the validity of Canary Mission as any and all claims are wholly substantiated such that any attempt to dispute the facts is inherently futile.

Yet in spite of Canary Mission’s stringent reliance on facts and principled action of publishing names, detractors of Canary Mission see it fit to question the organization’s validity, in what is more or less a last-ditch effort to resist the actuality of pro-Palestine advocacy in favor of a consciously ignorant understanding of it.

An organization devised in response to Canary Mission--cleverly named “Against Canary Mission”--exemplifies this failure: On the profile of Maryam Alhassani (a profile selected at random), Canary Mission provided ample links to photos and videos of Alhassani in which she indirectly praised the death of an “IDF terrorist”as well as a Tweet obscurely accusing Gal Gadot of murdering Palestinians. Contrastingly, her Against Canary Mission profile stressed her pursuit of justice and humane and empathetic qualities, evidencing the disparity between the factual reporting of Canary Mission and the glorification of terrorist-sympathizers by the Palestinian lobby. And this relatively mundane example is emblematic of the much larger phenomena taking place. Criminals are celebrated and romanticized as pioneers like Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist now celebrated as a leader of the Palestinian anti-occupation movement, and Ahed Tamimi, filmed assaulting an Israeli soldier and now championed as the young face of the Palestinian nationalist movement.

And the distinctive reason that Palestinians blatantly disregard the facts of the matter regarding their leaders is the lack of facts to support their perspective. Rather, an inherent prejudiced belief in the de-legitimacy of Zionism guides the movement. The earnest truth is that those advocating against Israel often harbor ardent bigoted views which Canary Mission displays prominently, showcasing the underrated viewpoints of known anti-Israel advocates.

And it’s for this reason that Canary Mission is dismissed as a group of “Zionist thugs” with intent to underhandedly slander “people dedicated to Palestinian emancipation,” when quite the contrary is apparent. Canary Mission is solely dedicated to procuring the facts of the matter, which overwhelmingly display the need for an imminent change in the Palestinian belief-system. And in spite of those against it, Canary Mission provides an indispensable and unparalleled service to Jews, Israelis, and Palestinians alike, reminding us all of the reality of intolerance at the forefront of the anti-Israel lobby.

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