Reuters shares sob stories about pro-Hamas student protesters exposed by anti-Semitism watchdog

Reuters shared sob stories over the weekend from anti-Israel student protesters who have been outed by the anti-Semitism watchdog Canary Mission. Reuters, which itself was criticized by an anti-Semitism watchdog group in November
over ties to at least one likely Hamas freelancer, concern-mongered over the efficacy of Canary Mission’s work Saturday, suggesting that it has exposed Hamas-anointed student radicals to undue “abuse,” “harassment,” and “attacks” online.

told the tale of how 20-year-old Egyptian-American student Layla Sayed found her way onto the watchdog’s radar. Although apparently long a supporter of Palestinian causes, Sayed indicated the Oct. 16 anti-Israel rally at the University of Pennsylvania was her first. It would later shock her to discover that some people might take issue to her chanting, “When people are occupied, resistance is justified” — an apparent rationalization for the unprovoked massacre of over 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7 and for other attacks of that nature.

To Sayed’s surprise and Reuters’ apparent chagrin, the student found herself profiled on Canary Mission’s website.

‘These students have disqualified themselves from a career in medicine.’

Canary Mission
notes on its website that Sayed attended a rally “supporting the Hamas terrorist organization after the group committed war crimes against Israeli civilians, including mass murder, torture, rape, beheadings and kidnappings, on October 7, 2023.”

As with most profiles on the site, the watchdog provides some biographical details about Sayed as well as links to her now-deleted social media pages.

According to Reuters, the watchdog also posted a picture of Sayed to its X and Instagram accounts with the caption, “Hamas War Crimes Apologist.” After indicating what war crimes Canary Mission was referencing, Reuters made sure to cite the
Hamas-run Gaza health ministry’s death toll figure of Palestinians killed in Israel’s counter-offensive.

Sayed is far from the only radical profiled on Canary Mission’s website.

Reuters indicated that the watchdog has accused over 250 U.S.-based students and academics, including 30 Penn students, of supporting terrorism or promoting anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel since October. The accused range from the radicals running the Hamas-endorsed Palestinian groups to virulent anti-Semites arrested for offenses, including assaulting a Jewish student.

Canary Mission’s stated goal is, after all, to document “individuals and organizations that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on North American college campuses and beyond.”

Reuters spoke to 17 students and one research fellow among the hundreds of “canaries” currently profiled on the watchdog’s website. Only one failed to complain about criticism in response for espousing pro-Hamas and/or anti-Israel rhetoric. Ten complained that their exposure as radicals might hurt their careers.

Canary Mission makes no secret of its intention to impact careers, noting that “today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees.”

In light of such efforts to name and shame anti-Semites and Hamas apologists, Reuters indicated pro-Palestinian student groups have begun advising radicals to wear masks. After all, they stand little chance of taking down Canary Mission, the publications of which are constitutionally protected under the First Amendment.

On this point, Reuters consulted with a University of California, Los Angeles, professor, Eugene Volokh, who confirmed that the First Amendment applies to the publication of accurate information, acquired lawfully from the public domain, that is published without consent of the subject, even if that subject is a pro-Hamas student protester.

Dylan Saba, an attorney with Palestine Legal, told Reuters that the legal standard for defamation is high. Since complainants would have to demonstrate the site lied about them, it’s an uphill battle — especially when the allegations are accurate. Saba suggested there have been only a few cases in which students successfully had their Canary Mission profiles taken down with threats of defamation lawsuits.

Some of the Georgetown University Medical School students who
threatened to sue the Washington Free Beacon earlier this year for reporting on their defense of the Oct. 7 terror attacks appear on Canary Mission.

Yusra Rafeeqi‘s Instagram post showing an Israeli tank destroyed on Oct. 7 with the caption, “No more condemning Palestinian resistance. Radical change requires radical moves,” appears in both the Free Beacon’s report and on the watchdog’s website.

Reuters suggested that Rafeeqi, daughter of Pakistani immigrants, now has “massive anxiety” over her future in medicine. She added, “I no longer feel safe in this country I once called home.”

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, former University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine associate dean, told the Free Beacon, “These students have disqualified themselves from a career in medicine. No Jewish patient can have confidence that they will treat them consistent with the Hippocratic Oath.”

The watchdog apparently has an appeals process. Individuals who believe they have been traduced or those “who were formerly investigated and featured on Canary Mission but have since rejected the latent anti-Semitism” can
request to become an “Ex-Canary.”

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