The Anti-Defamation League on Friday expressed its regret for characterizing Canary Mission, a Pro-Israel group that targets anti-Israel rhetoric on college campuses, as “Islamophobic and racist.”
The Jewish Telegraph Agency published an op-ed written by some members of Canary Mission on Monday that criticized the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement saying, “We have opposed, and continue to oppose, BDS because we believe that BDS delegitimizes the State of Israel, aims to isolate it as a pariah, paints the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a zero-sum and oversimplified issue, continually reinforces double standards and polarizes our campuses in the process.”
The ADL attacked the group on social media, writing in a tweet, “Thank you to @umich student leaders for exposing Canary Mission’s Islamophobic & racist rhetoric as ‘antithetical and destructive to supporting Israel and eliminating anti-Semitism on campus…”
When contacted by the JTA, the ADL walked back some of their language, expressing regret at the harsh tone of their criticism.
“We regret the overly broad language that we used to describe the Canary Mission in a tweet earlier this week,” an ADL spokesperson told the JTA in an email. “It was wrong to apply those labels to a group working, like us, to counter anti-Semitism on campus.”
They added that they still had reservations about the tactics used by the watchdog group.
The Canary Mission describes itself on its website as an organization that “documents people and groups 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.”