Thursday, October 06, 2016

Smear tactics targeting Palestine activists get personal

"Palestine solidarity activists in Indiana are being subjected to a new kind of online harassment.  Beginning in March, about two dozen websites emerged targeting at least three organizers for Students for Justice in Palestine chapters and one professor who acts as an adviser for the groups at two universities in the state.  The websites contain fabricated allegations of sexual harassment, “immoral” behavior and terrorist leanings. They appear to be part of a well-coordinated attempt to smear the reputations of individuals who speak out for Palestinian rights. Some of those targeted are planning legal action against the creators of the websites. Unlike past attempts to smear the characters of Palestine activists, the websites do not exclusively focus on their target’s activism. For example, one chastises a Muslim female student for supposedly improper behavior. Another accuses the male professor of sexual harassment. The websites present no evidence to support their claims. Analyzed together it is clear the websites are being managed by the same person or group of people.  There is also evidence that the same people who created these websites attacking Palestine activists may be planning to create more websites posing as pro-Palestinian."