EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Canary Mission monitors, spotlights, and reports cases of online hate speech – a vital service, as hate speech often precedes hateful acts of violence. It remains to be seen whether this undertaking will be embraced by the people it is designed to defend and protect.
The Canary Mission organization has several locations from which it conducts endless social media searches, refreshes, clicks, video reviews, forwards, and saves in an effort to capture the worst of the openly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) agitation and hate speech erupting across America’s campuses. Its work also encompasses white nationalism.
BDS advocates often spew some of the most venomous hate speech visible on the Internet, hate speech that Canary Mission captures and re-publishes in personal profiles. For example, it exposed a Chicago activist with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) who tweeted this joke: “Why did Hitler commit suicide?…….. He saw the gas bill. Pahhahaha.” It also captured this tweet by a UCLA student protestor: “Mmmaaaannnnnnnnnnn what’s with all this peaceful approaches!?? F**k that. I want terrorism and another intifada.” The same UCLA student reportedly added a photo close-up of a gun and bullets.
Of course. What else could a Muslim who believes in the caliphate and in jihad violence be but mentally ill? There is no jihad, after all: it’s a religion of peace! Are British authorities, however, ready to round up thousands of other Muslims in Britain who believe the same things? This is just more of the same denial and willful ignorance on the part of British officialdom.
Controversy over the responsibility Twitter has in policing its users has been at the forefront of our national discourse. There is also a role for individuals to play in propagating fair and accurate stories on this platform. On Twitter, information seems to spread at lightning speed and “news” stories have a way of taking on a life of their own. Twitter undoubtably has some virtue — I myself am a frequent user. It is a forum where otherwise disparate people can communicate quickly and information can be democratized. However, Twitter all too frequently can be used to deceive and mislead.
On Twitter, I am often the target of misleading news stories based on out of context or truncated quotes as well as outright lies. My recent commentary on Michael Flynn’s lying to the FBI is a perfect example of just that. On December 17, I was interviewed by Bill Hemmer and was asked about the repercussions of Flynn lying to the FBI. I first responded by stating:
“I hope the judge understands when he has the case tomorrow; Flynn did not commit a crime by lying because the lie has to be material to the investigation, and if the FBI already knew the answer to the question and only asked the question to give him an opportunity to lie, his answer, even if false, was not material to the investigation.”
In the early 1990s, Eitan Ben-Zur of the Israeli foreign office tried to explore the possibility of a deal with North Korea to halt its missile shipments to countries in the Middle East that pose a threat to Israel. The deal would have included indirect Israeli economic assistance to Pyongyang in order to compensate it for the financial losses it would incur from the cessation of those sales. The Ben-Zur initiative was supported by Shimon Peres, the then-Israeli foreign minister.
In the end, the deal was not concluded, due to a disagreement between the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Mossad about its feasibility. Another barrier to the initiative was Washington’s objection to Jerusalem’s involvement with Pyongyang at a time when the US was trying to reach its own agreement with North Korea on the nuclear issue. Washington was disturbed by the Jerusalem-Pyongyang contacts, despite the fact that Israel’s sole focus — missile shipments to the Middle East — was not perceived by the Americans as a critical issue.
Decades later, Washington is negotiating with Pyongyang on an agreement that will include complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of its nuclear and long-range missile programs. Once again, as occurred during the 1990s negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the agreement is not expected to view military exports to the Middle East as a core issue.