Canary Mission puts people on a literal blacklist, making it tricky to get jobs or get through customs at Ben Gurion Airport.
What shocks me about finding myself on Canary Mission is that I am far from being an outspoken activist or organizer on my campus. I am a Jew whose political beliefs differ from the community she grew up in. And because of this, I’ve ended up on a blacklist. . . . I’m not a young Jew with opinions of her own, but a young “radical,” brainwashed Jew.
Earlier this week, I discovered I’d been added to Canary Mission’s database. Canary Mission is a McCarthy-esque blacklist, a website that collects and publishes information about activists who support Palestinian rights. The site claims to document “people and groups that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on North American college campuses,” with the header, “if you’re racist, the world should know.” When the site launched in 2015, it’s goal was even more explicit: “It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees.”
Apparently, I, a senior at Barnard College, am one of those dangerous radicals.
I’m a proud Jew. I’m committed to Jewish community, and get great joy out of hosting Shabbat dinners and attending an occasional Friday night service. Integral to my Jewishness is the activism I do with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), and my stance as anti-Zionist. I grew up in a conservative Jewish community that taught Zionism alongside Jewish values, history, and culture. As one can see on my Canary Mission profile, I attended AIPAC events in high school, went on the March of the Living as a senior at Milken Community Schools, and even joined TAMID once starting college (I remember sitting in my high school auditorium, watching alumnae present on TAMID. What a great way to continue being involved with something “sort of Jewish” in college, I thought). At the time, my conception of Israel and Judaism were inextricably connected. I hadn’t been given space to imagine my Jewish identity separate from Zionism.