Tag: Benjamin Netanyahu

Meet the Owner of Canary Mission’s Anonymous Anti-Palestinian Blacklisting Website

Canary Mission has exploited its anonymity to smear college students with impunity. The Grayzone has obtained documents identifying the owner of the malicious anti-Palestinian organization’s web domain.

By Hamzah Raza and Max Blumenthal

Since it first registered its website in February 2015, Canary Mission has been a source of mystery and menace. Dedicated to blacklisting students involved in Palestine solidarity activism, intimidating them and denigrating their public reputations, Canary Mission’s administrators have gone to great lengths to conceal their identities. The secrecy has enabled them to target legally defenseless students – who are mostly members of minority and immigrant groups — with total impunity.

Now, the Grayzone can identify a key figure behind the malicious blacklisting operation. He is the owner of Canary Mission’s domain name and a wealthy lawyer who is a fervent supporter of Israel. According to documents provided to the Grayzone, his name is Howard David Sterling.

Sterling has said that it his life’s mission to increase foreign investment in Israeli healthcare companies. Having worked extensively in Israel’s medical and hi-tech sector, he sees investment in the country as a means of ensuring American support for Israel. He has published several videos on YouTube highlighting what he sees as Israel’s “impossible” medical breakthroughs.

In an interview with the Jewish National Fund’s IsraelCast, Sterling stated that, “People will protect their pocket books. And if they have shares in Israeli companies, they are going to want to protect their pocket books by protecting Israel.”

Other major Israel lobby operatives featured on the JNF’s podcast include Jacob Baime, who is Executive Director of the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC). Adam Milstein, a California-based Israeli-American hedge fund director who is among the top funders of the ICC, sits on Baime’s board of directors.

Josh Nathan Kazis, a correspondent for the Jewish Daily Forward, reported that the ICC’s Baime hired a professional consultant to battle a divestment resolution at Ohio State just a month after Canary Mission registered its website. It was the first known instance of the Israel lobby hiring political professionals to battle the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement on campus.

Two months later, the Israeli government appointed Gilad Erdan as Minister of Strategic Affairs, transforming the outfit into the military-intelligence apparatus’s main base of operations against the global BDS movement.

Sterling is a previously unknown figure whose ties to the ICC and other pro-Israel organizations are not firmly established. And that might be why Canary Mission’s website, which thrives off of anonymity, is registered under his name.

Calls by the Grayzone to the phone number associated with Sterling’s registration form were not answered.

The Israel on Campus Coalition supports Canary Mission

The Sterling-owned Canary Mission website has had such an inflammatory effect that it generated controversy even within Zionist circles. The American Jewish Congress has condemned the organization, while the Anti-Defamation League backed away after initially issuing support, referring to Canary Mission as “Islamophobic and racist.”

But the ICC has consistently stood by Canary Mission. The ICC brings together some of the lobby’s most hardline organizations, from the Zionist Organization of America to the David Project to the right-wing Christians United for Israel.

The ICC’s 2016-2017 annual report endorsed Canary Mission, referring to it as a “strong deterrent against anti-Semitism and BDS activism.” Baime, the Executive Director of the ICC, has been an avid defender of Canary Mission.

Sources who have viewed an unreleased Al Jazeera investigative documentary series about the Israel lobby have told the Grayzone that the series identifies the operatives who conceived and today direct Canary Mission. Al Jazeera has refused to air the documentary since falling under pressure from the lobby and its supporters in Congress.

Canary Mission triggers FBI interrogation, campus-wide surveillance

Since its advent in 2015, Canary Mission has been one of the most pernicious weapons of the Israel lobby. 

Today, the Sterling-owned website contains profiles of nearly 2000 students and over 500 college professors considered enemies of Israel. The site was created with the stated aim to expose those who “promote lies and attacks on Israel and the Jewish people” so that “the public is better informed.“

In practice, this means that those who overly support the Palestinian cause are publicly defamed through the publication of personal dossiers containing inaccurate, misrepresented, and/or out-of context statements. By raising the stakes of Palestinian solidarity activism, the website intends to act as a deterrent to students considering Palestinian solidarity activism — particularly those from marginalized communities like immigrants and people of color.

The case of a Palestinian-American law student named Ahmad Aburas provides a particularly disturbing portrait of Canary Mission tactics in action. While Aburas was enrolled at Seton Hall Law School, Canary Mission contacted school administrators to suggest that statements he made on social media expressed support for terrorism. Seton Hall then called the FBI, Aburas was taken out of class and subjected to interrogation by federal agents over his political views.

One Facebook status that Canary Mission singled out related to Israel’s 2014 bombing of Gaza, where Israel killed 551 Palestinian children in Gaza and destroyed some 100,000 homes.

Amid the atmosphere of despair, Aburas took to Facebook to declare, “We are all RESISTANCE ! We are all #hamas ! We are all HUMAN.”

Aburas maintained that he was challenging the Israeli propaganda that targets every Palestinian as a member of Hamas, not expressing any ideological affinity with the organization or its military resistance. Yet none of this mattered to Canary Mission, which branded him as a terrorist sympathizer and deliberately triggered his FBI interrogation.

“Canary Mission is an alt-right Zionist website created to put an end to Palestinian political opinions. Through false information and hostile tactics, Canary Mission intimidates pro-Palestinian organizers and activists,” Aburas said.

A co-author of this investigation, Hamzah Raza, also experienced the Israel lobby’s culture of intimidation while part of Vanderbilt’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter. There were multiple occasions when members of the David Project, an affiliate of the ICC, inquired about the student organization’s budget, took notes on laptops at the back of meetings, and even attempted to record its events.

When Canary Mission created a profile on Raza, he was shocked at the level that the Israel lobby’s intimidation tactics had gone to. The website compiled 67 images of him and stated that he “supported terrorists, demonized Israel, and spread anti-Israel propaganda.”

Anonymity has allowed Canary Mission to carry out its McCarthyite tactics with impunity. But as this Grayzone investigation demonstrates, members of this high-tech goon squad can not hide their faces forever. Accountability is coming.

Hamzah Raza is an alumnus of Vanderbilt University who has contributed to the Grayzone Project since its inception. Follow him on Twitter at @Raza_Hamzah

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Killing Gaza: A Film on Life Under Siege

By Max Blumenthal

Hours before Australia joined the US as the only countries in the UN Human Rights Council to vote against an investigation into Israel’s killing of over 60 protesters in one day in Gaza’s no-go zone, I joined Sky News Australia to discuss the massacre and my and Dan Cohen’s new documentary on life under siege, Killing Gaza.

You can watch the trailer below and purchase the complete film here.

Killing Gaza from Dan Cohen on Vimeo.

In the Electronic Intifada, I profiled a few of the survivors of war who appear in Killing Gaza:

Continue reading “Killing Gaza: A Film on Life Under Siege”

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Max Blumenthal in Gaza: Netanyahu Faces Scandal, Palestinians a Crisis

Reporting from the Gaza Strip, journalist and best-selling author Max Blumenthal says Netanyahu’s domestic corruption case has not even registered to a besieged Palestinian population under Israeli blockade

Continue reading “Max Blumenthal in Gaza: Netanyahu Faces Scandal, Palestinians a Crisis”

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Exposing the Shocking and Continuing Alliance Between Zionism and Anti-Semitism

An in-depth discussion with renowned Palestinian scholar Joseph Massad details the alliance between Zionism and anti-Semitism.

By Max Blumenthal / AlterNet

At its annual gala this November, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) feted Sebastian Gorka alongside fellow Trump White House alumni Steven Bannon and Sean Spicer. The ZOA’s president, Morton Klein, has established a special relationship with the Trump administration, going out of his way to defend Gorka against accusations of Nazi sympathies.

On the eve of Trump’s election, Gorka appeared in nationally televised interviews clad in a black uniform bearing the medal of the Vitezi Rend, a Hungarian fascist group that collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust. Speaking at a conference organized by the right-wing Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post in May, Gorka defended his wearing the medal, proclaiming, “My father was awarded a medal in 1979 by anti-communist members of a splinter order outside Hungary … I am proud to wear that, as a response to everything that we face today.”

Vitzezi Rend has appeared on a US State Department list of “organizations under the direction of the Nazi government of Germany,” and its late founder, Miklos Horthy, reportedly declared, “I have always been an anti-Semite throughout my life.” During the anti-communist White Terror that took place between 1919 and 1921 in Hungary, Horthy presided over some 60 pogroms, and attacks on Jews continued through the 1920’s. When Nazi Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, Horthy participated in the deportation of 437,000 Jews to concentration camps.

Continue reading “Exposing the Shocking and Continuing Alliance Between Zionism and Anti-Semitism”

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.