Recently, proponents of BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions of Israel), on their 11th try, were able to pass an anti-Israel divestment proposal at the University of Michigan. There was much hand-wringing and second-guessing among Israel supporters who worked hard against the proposal. There was also a terrible self-defeating mistake made in placing part of the blame on the anonymous group Canary Mission.

According to a December 2017 DJN article, Canary Mission is engaged in creating a “McCarthyite blacklist.” It is accused of being the “far right” mirror image of Jewish Voice for Peace, instilling a climate of fear among BDS supporters who worry that Canary Mission is “holding them accountable, in perpetuity, for the ill-advised tweets from their youth …”

Yes, young adults are being held accountable for their publicly expressed anti-Semitism. Everything Canary Mission publishes is gathered from social media sites. In other words, it is exposing people who are comfortable in visibly expressing their Jew-hatred.

Last summer, an Arlington, Texas, preschool teacher was fired when some of her anti-Semitic tweets were publicized. Would you allow your child into a preschool class whose teacher tweeted, “… Kiss the Palestine ground for me and kill some Jews!” and “How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough!”? Would these tweets be considered merely “ill-advised” if they were made by a youthful white supremacist or a young Nazi?

Canary Mission has also exposed anti-Semitic university professors who use their position of authority to indoctrinate students into Israel/Jew-hatred. Hatem Bazian, founder of Students for Justice in Palestine and professor at UC Berkeley, once organized a press conference in support of an anti-Semitic campus mural. Jewish students were refused admittance. According to Bazian, “our Congress is an Israeli-occupied territory.” Meanwhile, some white supremacists claim that our Congress is ZOG — Zionist Occupied Government. Notice any similarities?

The BDS proponents’ expressed fear is ridiculous. It is Jewish students who are being harassed on campus and censured by student governments for Zionist leanings. By accepting these cowardly claims, Jewish U-M students are allowing the campus anti-Semites to dictate the rules. The haters have redefined free speech and academic freedom to deny Jews a voice while they allow themselves a free hand to demonize Israel. While we see it as a debate, they see it as a long war in which all is fair. Notice that after every defeat they begin planning their next round of Israel defamation.

Canary Mission has put campus Jew-haters on notice that they can no longer slander us at will and then whine about victimhood when their lies and hypocrisy are unmasked. They should be exposed and condemned.

There should be consequences for anti-Semites as there are for racists. Canary Mission supplies those consequences. Sympathizing with the haters’ discomfort at being uncovered ensures that the anti-Semitic lies and accusations that have followed us for millennia will continue. The fact that they notice and fear Canary Mission shows that Canary Mission is effective.

Harry Onickel

Ferndale

Read other letters from this week:

Oak Park Deserves JCC Presence

36 Under 36 Are Inspiring