This new website wants to prevent pro-Palestinian activists from getting jobs
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This new website wants to prevent pro-Palestinian activists from getting jobs

Protesters urging sanctions against Israel at a rally in Melbourne, Australia, June 5, 2010. (Wikimedia Commons)

Protesters urging sanctions against Israel at a rally in Melbourne, Australia, June 5, 2010. (Wikimedia Commons)

Take a pro-Palestinian activist, any one. Perhaps he or she has participated in Students for Justice in Palestine events on a college campus or advocated for divesting from Israel in a public forum. Now…

…[I]magine this same girl a few years later. She has finished her degree in Anthropology and is looking for a job in academia, or business, or anywhere, for that matter… Her resume reflects her impressive GPA, the time she spent teaching kids to read, and her summers visiting family in the Middle East. There is no mention of the three years she spent as president of SJP, on the board of her university’s MSA chapter, or spearheading the BDS movement on her campus. There is no link to her videos showing her spewing venom at pro-Israel students…

In this day and age of the internet[sic], researching potential employees is easy. One can google [sic] a name or search someone on Facebook and have access to a prospective employees private life. But all too often, when there are fifty prospective employees, so many resumes to wade through, and candidates that are seemingly highly qualified, intensive background research might fall by the wayside. And this is a problem…There is no recourse for spending endless hours relentlessly calling for the destruction of Israel…

The language above is taken straight from the Canary Mission website, whose founders have proved difficult to track down. As Josh Nathan-Kazis describes in a piece in the Forward, the group’s philosophy seems to be that pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel activists should be barred from getting jobs because of their political beliefs. The site is a database of individuals and organizations that the site’s founders find “anti-Freedom,” “anti-American” and “anti-Semitic.” Individuals on the list include Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement, and Hatem Bazian, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Several are college students or recent graduates, and their pages on the site include several detailed paragraphs on their activism histories and links to their social media profiles. The list of organizations is even more diverse, and includes Jewish Voice for Peace, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood alongside blogs such as Mondoweiss and Ali Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada. All appear to be linked with some level of criticism of Israel.

Nathan-Kazis quotes Daniel Pipes, president of the conservative Middle East Forum think tank, who says “Factually documenting who one’s adversaries are and making this information available is a perfectly legitimate undertaking” – but no founders, donors or employees are listed on the site. So, as Nathan-Kazis points out, while Canary Mission is dedicated to publicizing detailed information about specific individuals, the founders of Canary Mission will not disclose their own identities.

It’s also unclear what types of jobs Canary Mission wants to prevent these activists from getting – they probably won’t be applying for a job at AIPAC anytime soon.