Canary Mission is an online watchdog group that tracks antisemitic and anti-Israel activists. A report was released on April 6th listing names and social media information of 21 local Cleveland residents who posted antisemitic and anti-Israel comments on Twitter. The watchdog group has been investigated by Tablet Magazine and The Forward as being described as “shadowy”. The tweets range from “Holocaust denial to statements such as ‘Israel is not a country’ to homophobic statements”. Others have made remarks supporting Hamas and racist attitudes. Ten of the 21 people on the list conducted on April 6 are current or former students at Cleveland State University. Nine out of ten were tracked via social media. CSU President Ronald M. Berkman released a statement that said “the university was aware of the hateful tweets…although the tweets were made from personal accounts and were not connected to CSU, the university does not tolerate such statements”.
I am happy that this watchdog group is monitoring social media accounts to find comments regarding antisemitism and anti-Israel. People today are still unaware that their actions on social media, as well as hateful comments, are seen by all. These statements will ultimately land them in hot water with family, friends, and current/future employers. Although the website has been called “McCarthyist” I think that they are doing a great service to condemn acts of antisemitism on social media. Comments regarding anti-Israel however can be tricky to personally say that it is antisemitism. In class, we have discussed when does anti-Israel cross the threshold of antisemitsm? Anti-Israel comments can be very hard to determine whether the individual has personal ties with the conflict or whether they hate Jews. Overall, I think that Canary Mission has to be careful with releasing information about social media accounts when it comes to anti-Israel comments.
AMANDA KOEHN and ED CARROLL | STAFF REPORTERS Akoehn@cjn.org, Ecarroll@cjn.org. “Elusive ‘watchdog Group’ Calls out Local Students for Anti-Semitism.” Cleveland Jewish News. N.p., 12 Apr. 2017. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.