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Fear the Canary 2 of 2

The College Council meeting of April 23 went dark because guests feared their comments against the recognition of a pro-Israel club, Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI), might land them on a list maintained by Canary Mission.

I reviewed their site and it seems like a fair and unobjectionable effort to me. For the most part, the errant students it calls attention to are generally posting anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi, pro-Hitler comments on their Twitter feeds. All Canary Mission does is capture a screenshot of these comments and then publicize them at their site.

The most famous Williams College graduate to earn a biography at Canary Mission, Sumaya Asad ’16, landed there largely because of an article she co-authored which indicated it was best to think of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians as an example of apartheid.

This doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that would keep anyone out of a job or a graduate school. It might actually get you advanced in some social circles. You can see Sumaya Asad’s profile here.

All in all, it doesn’t take much to land a student on Canary Mission. The site’s code of ethics sets low and broad standards for ending up on their list including  “promoting or enabling BDS in any of its forms.” Williams College students who are fearful of Canary Mission are probably overreacting.

They don’t have anything to fear as long as they are not tweeting out stuff like “Europe would have been a lot better if Hitler won” or  “Jews are the root of all evil.”

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3 Comments To "Fear the Canary 2 of 2"

#1 Comment By Johnny On May 10, 2019 @ 8:29 am

What an enlightening post! In fact, thank you for both part 1 and part as I was not familiar with Canary Mission until now. A search for Sumaya Asad leads to “Sumaya Awad is the leader of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Williams College (Williams).” That Williams has a SJP organization was also news to me. Sounds like a great organization! [sarcasm!]

https://canarymission.org/organization/Students%20for%20Justice%20in%20Palestine

SJP activists frequently intimidate and harass Jewish and pro-Israel students. SJP members have physically assaulted Jewish students, aggressively disrupted pro-Israel events and possibly vandalized communal property. SJP rallies regularly include hate-speech and chants such as “Long Live The Intifada!” and “From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free!” — calls for violence and for the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state.

Looks like, at a glance, anti-Zionism is alive and kickin’ at the college. See: https://events.williams.edu/event/palestine-101-thursday-9-20-7pm-hopkins-002/

#2 Comment By Johnny On May 10, 2019 @ 8:47 am

The page https://canarymission.org/individual/Sumaya_Awad tells a little bit of the recent history of SJP at Williams:

In May 2014, Awad and other Williams SJP members built a mock “apartheid wall” across a heavily-used campus sidewalk, without permission from the college. One side of the wall was painted to resemble the atypical concrete portions of the Israeli security fence — which were built in response to Palestinian sniper attacks.

Memoralized at https://unbound.williams.edu/williamsarchives/islandora/object/palestinemexicowall2014%3A109

https://unbound.williams.edu/williamsarchives/islandora/object/palestinemexicowall2014%3Aimages

#3 Comment By CaMoo ’22 On May 10, 2019 @ 11:29 am

Canary Mission has a pretty serious effect on peoples lives. It’s not hard to understand why some people would be opposed to it. While I disagree with it, calling Israel’s actions “apartheid” and “occupation” are common criticisms of the state that are not anti-Semitic. Having criticisms like that, conflated with the variety of virulent anti-Semites on the site, could certainly harm careers and futures.