The Canary Mission is a covert group of Israel supporters whose mission is to release the private information of supporters of Palestinian human rights, international law, and the peaceful Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in an explicit effort to prevent them from getting jobs. In short, the Canary Mission exists solely to attack human rights activists and make their lives miserable.
It is not known who is behind the organization and where it gets its funding. Although it publishes details about the personal lives of activists, the Canary Mission has released no information whatsoever about its own staff. While the site claims to be a non-profit organization—although no such organization is registered as a 501(c)(3).
Many commentators have accused the Canary Mission of “McCarthyist tactics” and “open racism” and have described the furtive group as “neo-McCarthyist.”
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) activist Max Geller told Israeli publication Haaretz that the organization is “creepy and I think it’s McCarthyist.” He also revealed that some of what it wrote about him on its website is actually false.
Filmmaker and journalist Rebecca Pierce, who was targeted by the hate group and whose personal information has been shared on its website, without her permission, says the “website is filled with racist stereotypes about our activism, and intentionally tries to tie a diverse non-violent student movement to antisemitism and terror.”
“I do worry about future employers potentially seeing this and getting the wrong idea,” she added, “but I stand behind my activism and won’t allow racist extremists to intimidate me.”
“They even went out of their way to mention my African American and Jewish heritage in my profile,” Pierce told The Guardian. “This is clearly a website driven by deep hatred and prejudice, masquerading as some sort of ‘Canary in the Coalmine’ on antisemitism. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Yet some media networks in the United States have downplayed the effects of the site. California’s ABC 7 published a piece on May 29 titled “Website Canary Mission targeting politically active college students infringes on free speech,” admitting that the group’s tactics violate the free speech and privacy of supporters of Palestinian human rights. The news network however later changed the headline to a much more innocuous “Website publicizes actions of politically active college students.”
ABC 7 contacted the organization, requesting more information. The Canary Mission replied “Due to the somewhat clandestine nature of our mission, it is difficult to be as available to comment as we’d like.” Other media networks have done the same, and received similar responses.
As of June 1, the cached version of the article in Google showed the ABC article’s previous headline.