University Faculty Condemn Canary Mission Blacklist
As faculty who serve, have served, or are likely to serve on an admissions committee at graduate and undergraduate university programs across the country, we unequivocally assert that the Canary Mission website should not be trusted as a resource to evaluate students’ qualifications for admission. We condemn Canary Mission as an effort to intimidate and blacklist students and faculty who stand for justice for Palestinians.

Canary Mission is a website and social media initiative designed to slander student, faculty, and community activists for Palestinian rights as extremist, anti-Semitic, and sympathetic to terrorism. By publicizing the names, social media accounts, employment history, and other personal information about student activists, Canary Mission mobilizes a small online community of pro-Israel advocates to harass and threaten these activists. Over the past six weeks, the now two-year old Canary Mission site has added over 100 new students to its blacklist [1]. As of this writing, in the first half of 2016, Canary Mission has on over 30 occasions tweeted the names of employers in order to rally their followers to intimidate students [2]. In a few cases, Canary Mission also has contacted the prospective graduate schools of these students, claiming without evidence that the students are anti-Semites, terrorists, or both [3]. The goal of their campaign is to use fear and intimidation to pressure activists to cease their human rights advocacy. Though the creators of Canary Mission remain anonymous, it has been linked to, and utilized by, such well-known individuals as Daniel Pipes [4] and David Horowitz [5], who have been labeled as purveyors of hate speech by the Southern Poverty Law Center [6] [7].

Although, as individual faculty, we hold a range of viewpoints on Israel-Palestine, we recognize that student advocacy for Palestinian human rights is not inherently anti-Semitic, and that such advocacy represents a cherished and protected form of free speech that is welcome on college campuses. We reject the McCarthyist tactics used by Canary Mission. Canary Mission’s aim is to damage these students’ futures, and to punish them for their principled human rights activism. We urge our fellow admissions faculty, as well as university administrators, prospective employers, and all others, to join us in signing below and standing against such bullying and attempts to shut down civic engagement and freedom of speech.

[1] On June 13, the site had listed 426 students on its blacklist. By July 28, the number had risen to 539.
[2] Sourced from Canary Mission's Twitter and substantiated by accounts from students.
[3] Sourced from personal account to the organizers of this sign-on letter.
[4] http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/modern-day-mccarthyists-are-going-extremes-slime-activists-fighting-israels
[5] http://www.alternet.org/investigations/flush-cash-right-wing-extremists-train-future-zealots-pro-israel-campus-activism
[6] https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/david-horowitz
[7] https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2011/anti-muslim-inner-circle

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