The Anti-BDS Smear Campaign Escalates

From time to time, the Palestine Center distributes articles it believes will enhance understanding of the Palestinian political reality. The following article was published by David Palumbo-Liu in Jacobin Mag on April 19, 2018

For years, well-funded pro-Israel vigilantes have been harassing Palestine activists. Now they’re enlisting the FBI. Since 2015, the alt-right’s campaigns to intimidate and harass their critics, particularly those working on college campuses for progressive politics and Palestinian rights, have intensified and gotten deeply personal. Instead of criticizing ideas, they are defaming specific individuals in campaigns that then spread virally across alt-right websites.Much of this activity is the responsibility of conservative activist David Horowitz and his Freedom Center. It grandly calls itself the ‘School for Political Warfare,’ but its version of ‘warfare’ is more a sleazy version of Nixonian dirty tricks. In November 2015, Horowitz put up posters on the UCLA campus accusing Students for Justice in Palestine members of supporting the murder of Israelis In this first attack, Horowitz did not name individual students or faculty. But since then attacks on specific individuals have become common, including accusations that supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) have ‘allied themselves with Palestinian terrorists to perpetuate BDS and Jew hatred.’ This tactic has been criticized even by those who are against BDS. The Jewish Journal reports that Amanda Susskind, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director, “denounced the campaign … calling the posters ‘hateful.’ She said it ‘underscores that the group responsible for their placement is not interested in productive discourse surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.’Another organization, called Canary Mission, is reaching deep into its targets’ personal lives. In one YouTube video, Canary Mission declares, ‘Our mission is to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees.’


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