Intro by John R. Houk, Editor
Article by Ari Bussel
Posted September 19, 2018
Ari Bussel sent a bit of an editorial nearly a week ago. I just caught up the Bussel piece and offer my apologies for not catching it earlier. I am unsure if my primary email service is actively restricting some emails (which is possible) or if some emails go to spam and get deleted without notice. I found Ari’s article on my secondary email which I do not check as often.
I say all this because the article is awesome and informative for those of us residing in the USA.
In the article you will discover info on a Pro-Israel website – Canary Mission – which purposes to expose anti-Israel perpetrators maligning the Land of the Jews with hate-propaganda.
You will find info on what Ari will only reference as “The entity” which is working as a private organization in close relationship with an Israeli government agency called Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs. The Strategic Affairs’ purpose is to fight Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) hate movements attacking Israel.
Apparently, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs is contracting with private entities in its anti-BDS efforts to avoid revealing tactics and actions which Israel law holds that government operations be revealed. This is rubbing Israel’s Leftists and pro-Palestinian folks crazy.
After doing a little digging I think Ari’s “The entity” is Kela Shlomo which is translated to us American English speakers as Solomon’s Sling. If my guess is correct, the Times of Israel has some relevant info on the organization.
I am not quite sure where Ari Bussel stands on all these semi-secretive operations. I get the sense Ari admires the work of the Canary Mission but is a bit suspicious of Israel government funding going to private organizations as Kela Shlomo. There is always the chance of the abuse of power where transparency is lacking. But when an existential situation is present, perhaps a little secrecy is a good thing.
In this current state of media censorship & defunding, consider chipping in a few bucks for enjoying (or even despising yet read) this Blog.
By Ari Bussel
Sent Sep 12, 2018, 10:28 PM
“Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit” JK Rowling
The Times of Israel last month published an article by JTA titled “Pro-Israel donor Adam Milstein denies report that he funds Canary Mission.”
The subtitle to the article reads “Previously un-aired Al Jazeera report names the donor as being behind anonymous site that aims to name and shame anti-Israel activists.”
Philanthropist Adam Milstein clearly has his reasons for wanting to distance himself from Canary Mission. What was the reason that the article appeared, I do not know, but it does not serve our collective interests.
For some reason, the article singles out Milstein of all the local philanthropists and Canary Mission from all other pro-Israel organizations, many of which philanthropist Milstein supports and is proud about doing so.
As one example, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East touts “the work of our friends at the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation who work on strengthening US-Israel ties” as a resource and offers its readers and supporters “to sign up for their mailers and updates.”
One would expect any leading figure in the pro-Israel camp to be aware of Canary Mission work and to applaud it.
A close friend of mine was a financial supporter of and very involved with Canary Mission from its very founding. Canary Mission is not a clandestine operation of Israel’s intelligence services. Rather, it compiles and presents readily available information about Israel’s detractors.
The reporting of Canary Mission from open sources is accurate, verifiable and to the point. The truth, presented in a concentrated manner, is most potent. And thus, this disturbs greatly those who like to act in the shadows and conduct their evil, intimidation and terror without any oversight or recourse.
In some ways, two other Jerusalem-based organizations, MEMRI and PMW act similarly, providing a compilation of open-source information to the public at large (the former translating it from Arabic and Farsi, the latter focused on Palestinian media and society). In all three cases, the reflection in the mirror of those being reported is not much to their liking. The translation of what they say and the ease of getting to the information stands contrary to the misleading public image they try to maintain in the West.
Israel’s detractors are neither ashamed nor hide what they do. Quite on the contrary, they are very active and most visible in their fight to damage, vilify and try to eliminate the Jewish state. They demand the right to spew their hatred while preventing anyone else from the right to express his or her opinion or to safely listen to others expressing their opinions. They also use our own Western system and institutions to silence and intimidate anyone who does not think their way.
Canary Mission’s website states that it “documents individuals and organizations that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on North American college campuses. Canary Mission investigates hatred across the entire political spectrum, including the far right, far left and anti-Israel activists.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center [Blog Editor: I have to disagree with Ari on the SPLC. The SPLC groups Christian Biblically moral institutions, Counterjihadists & Pro-Israel organizations (and individuals) that are Conservative in the same categories as Neo-Nazi & White Supremacists. NOT GOOD.] and the Anti-Defamation League – the three oldest, most established and most respected civil-rights organizations in the USA — do the very same via their individual “fact-finding” departments.
Unlike these leading organizations, Canary Mission who uses a dot org suffix is not clear at all about what it is (apparently it is not a 510(c)(3) organization that provides a tax-write-off for its donors and in return has to have its books fully open to the public). However, not giving tax-exempt status does not necessarily reduce or damage its credibility, and those who want to support it financially do so with after-tax money.
Canary Mission address, according to a Google search, is Parcels Plus, shipping and mailing service in Florida. This is not surprising, given the nature of the individuals and entities being “exposed.” The operators of Canary Mission may feel (and rightly so) threatened for their property, wellbeing, personal safety and lives, and the danger is translated into just caution.
Fighting Canary Mission
Canary Mission is a necessary outfit, crucial at this time and provides added value in the service of Israel.
The article appearing at The Times of Israel may provide a clue as to the success of Canary Mission.
“According to the Forward, Israeli border control officers have used information from the site to bar activists from entering the country. The site does not reveal who funds it or manages its activity.”
So this is what bothers Israel’s enemies. They are being highlighted in a website, put in one place for the world to see and know. In some circles that process is called “shaming,” although for Israel’s detractors it is a badge of honor. Likely they would like nothing more than to take this site down and hurt anyone associated with it. But they cannot do it easily, since our own system cannot be used against it. Canary Mission is apparently not subject to rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service since it does not claim a non-profit status. It can, however, be subject to a lawsuit, and these likely will start arriving.
Half a year ago, an outfit calling itself “Palestine Legal” reported that Canary Mission Twitter account was suspended (for two days) and called its supporters and “victims of Canary Mission’s harassment to contact Palestine Legal and report any further violations of Twitter’s conduct rules directly to Twitter.”
Palestine Legal helps us understand why Canary Mission poses a threat. Its content? No. Its existence – very much so: the very audacity of Jews and Israelis not to be led to the slaughter like obedient sheep, the utter refusal to go to the ovens, amazing!
Palestine Legal is using Canary Mission as another tool in fighting Israel. Let us read the way it describes/defines Canary Mission: “Defamatory website that blacklists and harasses activists who support Palestinian rights.”
Palestine Legal continues to advise that “the website … now profiles over 1870 students, professors and community activists. Canary Mission frequently harasses these individuals on Twitter with abusive and hateful messages …. Blacklisted individuals have reported being questioned by current and prospective employers and schools about their support for Palestinian rights … they have been put on leave, denied bank accounts, received death threats, and been denied entry and Israeli-controlled entry points into Israel/Palestine.”
Palestine Legal is creating a full transposition: Those who call to boycott, divest and sanction Israel claim to be “blacklisted” and “harassed.” Those who advocate use of “any means” to bring about Israel’s demise are suddenly blaming the victims for issuing “death threats,” a preferred method by them. And the constant accusation of “being denied entry into Israel” surfaces verbatim.
Allow me, detractors of Israel and her devout enemies, to clarify and emphasize: First, Israel has every right (and fiduciary responsibility) to prevent those who seek her destruction from coming in. You may not like it, as you got used to free and complete access. No more. Israel has awoken, understanding such irresponsible behavior is hurting her.
Second, Israel does not need to rely on foreign or open sources for taking protective and corrective action. Israel, a sovereign country with one of the best intelligence services and armed forces in the world definitely should not want to rely on a “shadowy-at-best source” unless it checked and verified and cross-checked and re-verified its contents.
Israel’s enemies are hurt and upset that they cannot do exactly as they please, that Israel has woken up and decided to start acting rationally. And Canary Mission is becoming a visible obstacle.
Allow me to further assure you, Israel’s enemies and detractors: Even without the existence or presence of Canary Mission, Israel will not revert to its old self of allowing you a free reign of terror. You will still be questioned and you will still be denied entrance. These are not unalienable human rights to which you are entitled. There is an Israel; and she will do what is necessary to defend herself and ensure her continued existence.
Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs
An article that appeared earlier this year in The Forward and later was expanded upon in an Israeli investigative site The Seventh Eye provides the context which will yield a greater understanding.
Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs has created a full entity, like a military division, tasked with fighting BDS. The entity [Blog Editor: I am guessing “The entity” is referencing Kela Shlomo (which in English translates as Solomon’s Sling)] is headed by a Brigadier General (res.), and it has tried to exclude its sizeable budgets from the Israeli laws of transparency claiming national security.
It is this attempt that has attracted much attention to it (much like Milstein’s denial of having anything to do with Canary Mission, adding to the frustration of the enemies and to the aura of success and effectiveness of Canary Mission). Also, the tens of millions of NIS earmarked to be spent fighting BDS have attracted the very keen interest of the very same organizations that failed to stop BDS as it grew and expanded and anyone else who sees a pot of gold and requires/demands access to enjoy the spoils.
It is this Ministry new division that has approached various non-profits in the USA and offered them funding. Most refused – as it is not allowed under US law. Most, but not all.
Alas, there are laws in the USA prohibiting exactly such activities.
Are all means sanctified by the objective? Not in Israel, and definitely not in the IDF, that sacrifices its own soldiers for protecting its ethics code and the sanctity of life.
Israel, the past has taught us, is being held to a much different moral standard than any other nation and people in the world.
The lesson here is likely very simple. When fighting dirty, do not be surprised if the other side will use some of the same tactics and will follow a page from your own book. Expect to be exposed; and expect the other side to fight back.
And Israel’s enemies do not like it.
Maybe they should take a lesson from the many pages practiced by the IDF – act honorably, above reproach. Hide nothing. Recognize that transparency and truth are amazing remedies. Fight with conviction and with determination. Help protect life, liberty and justice; help build and create.
Intro to ‘Canary Mission’
Intro by John R. Houk, Editor
Posted September 19, 2018
Edited by John R. Houk
Explanatory source links and text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.
This is the latest in the series “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” a collaboration between Zager and Bussel, a foreign correspondent reporting from Israel.
Ari Bussel and Norma Zager collaborate both in writing and on the air in a point-counter-point discussion of all things Israel-related. Together, they have dedicated the past decade to promoting Israel.
© Israel Monitor, September, 2018
First Published September 12, 2018