In funding Canary Mission, Jewish federation betrayed us

In secretly using funds meant for the betterment of the Jewish community to support a hate group like Canary Mission, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco has betrayed our trust, and made us all complicit in this racist and McCarthyite censorship campaign.

By Rebecca Pierce | Forward | Oct 3, 2018

It is time for all mainstream Jewish groups to stop supporting Canary Mission, both financially and rhetorically. It’s time for them to redirect their resources towards efforts that atone for . . . the stunning betrayal of the Jewish communities they purport to represent.

he revelation that mainstream Jewish organizations like the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco have been secretly funding Canary Mission, a widely-condemned online blacklist of students and professionals critical of Israel, pulls back the curtain on a stunning abuse of the trust and esteem placed on these groups by the Jewish communities they purport to represent.

It also speaks to a deep crisis within the US Jewish community, where unflinching support for even the worst acts of the Israeli government and its supporters from some of the community’s most mainstream organizations comes at the cost of Jewish anti-racist values and those who uphold them.

As a Jew of Color from the San Francisco Bay Area who is both active in my community and publicly critical of Israel, I’ve received everything from racist harassment to rape threats following targeting by Canary Mission.

For me, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco’s funding of this racist blacklist represents a deep and personal betrayal.

Continue reading “In funding Canary Mission, Jewish federation betrayed us”

Jewish federation will no longer fund Canary Mission

(graphic: Nikki Casey / Forward)
Since the Forward first reported on the grant supporting Canary Mission, left-wing Jewish groups have criticized the San Francisco federation and the Diller Foundation.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis | Forward | Oct 3, 2018

‘Respected Jewish communal funders should not be supporting an organization whose entire purpose is to intimidate and harass pro-Palestinian students. As Hillel leaders have pointed out, Canary Mission’s tactics do not help Israel or Jewish students, but only backfire and reinforce the belief that Israel and pro-Israel students cannot tolerate dissent.’
— Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of the rabbinic human rights group T’ruah

The Jewish federation that the Forward exposed Wednesday as bankrolling the online blacklist Canary Mission now says it will no longer support the site.

In a statement, the Jewish Community Federation of San Fransisco acknowledged that the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which it controls, made a $100,000 grant in 2016 to support the blacklist site, which targets students who criticize Israel.

Canary Mission has posted more than a thousand political dossiers on undergraduates. The dossiers are intended to hurt students’ job prospects, and have been used in interrogations by Israeli border officials.

Continue reading “Jewish federation will no longer fund Canary Mission”

Revealed: Canary Mission blacklist is secretly bankrolled by major Jewish federation

(graphic: Nikki Casey / Forward)
Mainstream American Jewish leaders have claimed not to know who funds Canary Mission. As it turns out, a big chunk of the money came from within their own ranks.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis | Forward | Oct 3, 2018

‘[Canary Mission] threatens the security of student activists, as well as create a toxic atmosphere of fear and paranoia among fellow students, thus infringing upon students’ ability to freely express their opinions.’
— Student Senate Resolution, UC Davis

One of the largest Jewish charities in the US has been secretly funding a shadowy online blacklist targeting college students who criticize Israel.

For three years, a website called Canary Mission has spread fear among undergraduate activists, posting more than a thousand political dossiers on student supporters of Palestinian rights. The dossiers are meant to harm students’ job prospects, and have been used in interrogations by Israeli security officials.

At the same time, the website has gone to great lengths to hide the digital and financial trail connecting it to its donors and staff. Registered through a secrecy service, the site is untraceable.

Now, for the first time, the Forward has definitively identified a major donor to Canary Mission. It is a foundation controlled by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, a major Jewish charity with an annual budget of over $100 million.

Continue reading “Revealed: Canary Mission blacklist is secretly bankrolled by major Jewish federation”

With little left to lose, Gaza’s Great March of Return protesters ramp up their resistance

A photo of 11-year-old Nasser Musabeh, killed by Israeli troops during a protest in Gaza, is displayed in his Khan Younis classroom, Sep 29, 2018. (photo: Sanad Abu Latifa | AP)
The World Bank says the economic and social situation in Gaza has been declining for over a decade but has deteriorated exponentially in recent months and has reached a critical point.

By Joe Catron | Mint Press News | Oct 4, 2018

‘Between starving to death and living humiliated and oppressed on the one hand and struggling for a better life, for freedom and independence, on the other, many choose to fight back and, if need be, die trying.’
— Refaat Alareer, a literature professor at the Islamic University of Gaza

As the Great March of Return roared past its half-year anniversary last Friday, it also seemed to reach levels of resistance and repression not seen in months.

The escalation aims to “put more pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities, hoping they meet the protesters’ demands — lifting the siege and recognizing the right to return,” a spokesperson for the Hamas movement told MintPress News.

Every Friday since March 30, the demonstration has mobilized thousands of Palestinians to a military barrier erected by Israel around the Gaza Strip.

Protesting both an 11-year closure of the Palestinian enclave imposed by Israel and Egypt, and Israel’s ongoing refusal to allow millions of Palestinian refugees — including two-thirds of the Gaza Strip’s population — to return to homes from which they were ethnically cleansed by Zionist and Israeli forces starting in December 1947, demonstrators have braved the tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live gunfire of Israeli troops.

Many have died from it, with 176 losing their lives to Israeli fire between March 30 and September 22, according to the World Health Organization.

During the same period, 20,833 were injured — including 10,762 requiring hospitalization, 5,048 struck by live bullets, and 1,200 needing reconstructive surgery on wounded limbs.

Continue reading “With little left to lose, Gaza’s Great March of Return protesters ramp up their resistance”

Israel denies 2,000 Palestinians entry based on their family names

An Israeli border police officer pushes away Palestinian protesters outside the Damascus Gate in Old City of Jerusalem, Dec 7, 2017. (photo: Ariel Schalit / AP)
Since 2016, thousands of Palestinian workers from the West Bank have had their entry denied overnight, rendering them jobless.

By Middle East Monitor | Sep 27, 2018

‘It could be hundreds or thousands of people for that matter [who have the same family name]. It is as if cancelling the entry permit for someone called Cohen, when someone else called Cohen did something wrong.’
— Yoav Gal Tamir of the Advice Centre, which represents Palestinian workers

Over the past two years, more than 2,000 people have been impacted by a decision to revoke entry permits to Israel from Palestinians who share a name with someone who has carried out a resistance attack, a report by Hebrew channel Social TV has revealed.

Since 2016, thousands of Palestinian workers from the West Bank, many of whom have worked in Israel for over 20 years, have had their entry denied overnight, rendering them jobless.

When the reason for the refusal is requested, Israeli authorities state that it is due to a shared family name with a suspected resistance attacker, even if no actual familial connection exists between the two parties. The move has impacted hundreds of people with common Palestinian names.

Continue reading “Israel denies 2,000 Palestinians entry based on their family names”

GOP candidate accuses Palestinian-American opponent of hiding “ties to terrorism”

US Representative Duncan Hunter is currently under federal indictment for campaign finance violations, including using campaign funds to pay his children’s private school tuition.

By Bill Tarrant | Forward & Reuters | Sep 30, 2018

“I think he’s trying to tap into dark emotions and I don’t think people will rise to that,”
— Ammar Campa-Najjar, candidate for the House of Representatives

When a Democrat with Palestinian-Mexican ancestry who had never before run for office was elected to challenge a Republican incumbent in a staunchly conservative southern California congressional district, few gave him much of a chance.

But five-term US Representative Duncan Hunter, who has been criminally charged with misusing campaign funds, is concerned enough about Ammar Campa-Najjar to issue a YouTube ad accusing his Democratic rival of trying “to hide his family’s ties to terrorism.” It was a reference to his Palestinian grandfather, who was involved in a 1972 plot to kill Israeli athletes at the Olympics and was killed the following year by Israeli commandos.

The ad, released on Wednesday, shows Hunter, a former US Marine who followed his father into Congress, dressed in camouflage and saying he approved the message.

Continue reading “GOP candidate accuses Palestinian-American opponent of hiding “ties to terrorism””

Israel denies entry to American student even though she had a visa

Passengers departing from Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv. (photo: Ofer Vaknin / Haaretz)
The Population, Immigration and Border Authority said entry was denied “because of boycott activity.”

By Noa Landau | Haaretz | OCt 3, 2018

[The student] was showed an photo of herself taken from the right-wing website Canary Mission, which claims to track and document ‘people and groups that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on North American college campuses.’

Israel prevented on Tuesday the entry of Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old American student whose grandparents are Palestinian, despite her having recently been granted an A/2 Student Visa for her masters’ degree in the Hebrew University.

Alqasem’s visa was granted by the Israeli consulate in Miami, and is valid for a year. However, when she landed in Ben-Gurion International Airport Tuesday night, she was refused entry into Israel.

The Population, Immigration and Border Authority said entry was denied “because of boycott activity,” adding she would remain at the airport until her appeal against the deportation is heard, scheduled for 2 pm.

Continue reading “Israel denies entry to American student even though she had a visa”