What the attacks on Canary Mission are really about.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Hamas, Hezbollah, the PFLP, FARC, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are all on the official list of terrorist organizations drawn up by the United States government. Providing support to them is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
So of course they all have Twitter accounts.
As does Ramadan Shalah, the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is also on the list of designated terror groups. The PFLP has at least four Twitter accounts. (Both the PFLP and Jibril’s Assadist splinter group are listed. And both have their own Twitter accounts.) FARC also has multiple Twitter accounts. Timochenko, the FARC’s narcoterrorist boss, who was accused by the State Department of “the murder of hundreds of people who violated or interfered with the FARC’s cocaine policies”, is also on Twitter.
None of them are subtle about it. “Official Account: Hamas Movement,” the Hamas profile states. Twitter has been repeatedly informed about their existence. It chooses to let the Islamic terrorists stay.
But Canary Mission, a Jewish activist group which exposes anti-Semitism, had its account suspended yet again, before being reinstated. Labour Antisemitism, which tracks bigotry by the UK’s lefty Labour Party, had its account locked for a profile picture of a Star of David worn by Jews under Nazi occupation.
Two years ago, Twitter unveiled its Trust and Safety Council to fight abuse on the platform. The Council, which leaned left, wasted no time in targeting political and cultural opponents on the right. The Islamic terrorists have been allowed to stay. The same hasn’t always been true of their critics.
Canary Mission documents anti-Semitism on social media. It has repeatedly shown members of campus hate groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association praising Hitler and calling for the deaths of Jews. Unlike Canary Mission, their accounts weren’t suspended.
Amanda Jamal, SJP's treasurer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, celebrated Hitler's birthday and defended hating Jewish people. Her account has been made private, but is otherwise up.
Majd Shaker, a supporter of SJP, tweeted, celebrated Hitler and tweeted, “Allah will curse the Jews. Allah will take the Jews." Her tweet is still up.
Salah Abdelrahman, an MSA member at McMaster University, retweeted support for the monsters in the Hebron Massacre of 67 Jewish men, women and children . Many of the bodies were mutilated. The tweet that Salah retweeted praised three of the murderers for "resisting Jewish immigration".
Here's how a BBC article described the, "evidence of the massacre eight decades ago - a photograph of a girl struck over the head with a sword with her brain spilling out; a woman with bandaged hands; people with their eyes gouged out. These are the well-documented atrocities committed by an Arab mob seeking to drive their Jewish neighbours out of Hebron."
The Tweet is still up.
Sarah Abdel-Khalek, an MSA and SJP member at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK), tweeted support for attacks on Jews. Her support for violence was exposed recently by Canary Mission.
And her Tweet is still up.
Twitter censored Canary Mission, but left anti-Semitism from SJP members up on its service.
National security expert Jordan Schachtel reported an anti-Semitic video from the account of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the racist hate group, the Nation of Islam. Twitter responded that the blatantly bigoted video in which the racist leader states, “Jews are my enemies” did not violate Twitter rules.
Twitter can’t find any violation of its rules by a man who has openly admired Hitler. Yet it has twice suspended Canary Mission. Anti-Semitism isn’t a violation of Twitter’s rules. Calling it out is.
Why target Canary Mission? Because its work is having a major impact on college campuses.
While the ADL and other pseudo-liberal groups pretend to fight anti-Semitism, as long as they don’t have to talk about Islamic and leftist anti-Semitism on college campuses, Canary Mission gets results.
Its exposes recently forced McMaster University and the University of Texas-Arlington to respond to its revelations about campus anti-Semitism. Both institutions have avoided taking meaningful action, but Canary Mission’s lists of social media hatred from SJP and MSA members has upended the usual way of doing business by these campus hate groups. Canary Mission bypasses campus struggles over BDS to directly document the racist comments by SJP, MSA and JVP members on social media. And there is no room for ambiguity when SJP and MSA members are caught praising Hitler and the Holocaust.
Anti-Israel activists have become obsessed with taking out Canary Mission. But their efforts have failed.
Canary Mission has been condemned for “blacklisting” and “shaming” haters. It’s been accused of “harassing” and “cyberbullying”. These are tactics and behaviors that the radical left relentlessly employs against its targets. Indeed BDS is largely based on them. And yet all that Canary Mission has done is actually publicize unambiguously hateful comments posted publicly by bigots on social media.
Anti-Israel haters have harassed random people around the world whom they suspected of being “behind” the site. They’ve also barraged Twitter with a stream of complaints aimed at Canary Mission.
And, as of now, Twitter has done more about critics of anti-Semitism than anti-Semitism on its platform.
The anti-Israel movement targeting Canary Mission has refused to apologize for the statements of its members. Instead it has tried to censor the Jewish activists who are bringing them to light. Anti-Israel hate sites like Electronic Intifada, the Guardian, Mondoweiss, the Forward and dozens of others denounce Canary Mission. Some call for its destruction. Others seek to target its activists.
But Canary Mission’s critics could stop the site very easily. All they would have to do is stop the anti-Semitism. If SJP and MSA members stopped praising Hitler and celebrating the Holocaust on social media, Canary Mission wouldn’t have any material to work with. And if the anti-Israel movement really were sincere about distinguishing between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, that’s what it would do.
Instead it’s been trying to shoot the messenger and silence the canary in the campus coal mine.
Canary Mission’s success is hard evidence that anti-Semitism is at the heart of the anti-Israel movement. Not only are the two impossible to separate, but the movement has no interest in separating them.
Every attack on Canary Mission is a clear admission of this unshakeable fact.
The campaign to kill the canary in the coalmine is an admission that the anti-Israel movement will not stop hating Jews. And the attacks on Canary Mission are an excellent measure of its effectiveness in protecting Jewish students and faculty from BDS bigots. Twitter has twice bowed to those bigots.
There is every reason to believe that it will try to shoot the social media canary again.