A website is publicising the identities of pro-Palestinian students, in a bid to prevent them from getting jobs once they have graduated from college.
“It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” a female said in a video posted to the website’s YouTube account.
However, the website, Canary Mission, which is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret, has posted profiles of dozens of students and recent graduates.
Of the profiles posted, some of the students are active in Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), an anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian college student activism organization in the United States, Canada and New Zealand, while others were involved in recent pro-BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) resolutions at campuses in California.
The website features videos and photographs of the activists and in some cases the students’ majors as well.
Moreover, the website provides link to Facebook pages, Twitter pages and LinkedIn profiles of the student and the groups and movements to which they have alleged links.
“I think it’s creepy and I think it’s McCarthyist,” said Max Geller, an SJP member who is profiled on the site. “This is not a badge of honour. This is scary.”
Geller said that some of what is written about him on the site is untrue, and that he has contacted an attorney.
“The focus on young people and students is an effort to try to tell people that there will be a price for you taking a political position,” founder of the pro-Palestinian website The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah, said.
“It’s an effort to punish and deter people from standing up for what they believe.”
However, president of the Middle East Forum Daniel Pipes defended the website as a way of forcing people to understand the seriousness of their political stands.
“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 said.
However, though making pro-Palestinian students’ profiles public, those operating the website have been keeping their own identities hidden.
There are no names of Canary Mission staff members, volunteers, donors or allies on the site. Further, the web domain is registered in a way that hides its ownership.
A person named Joanna responded via email to a request for comment from the group. She agreed to an interview but did not go back to the reporter and did not reply back to a questions sent to her.
Further, right-wing pro-Israel groups that focus on campuses said they had no relationship with Canary Mission.
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