Activists are being warned not to give their information to a website claiming to sell T-shirts and merchandise for the upcoming National Students for Justice in Palestine conference.
National SJP said that a website and Twitter account using its name were not affiliated with the organization, and warned students not to enter their information into the fake website.National SJP suggested that the phishing effort could be related to Canary Mission, a website linked to anti-Muslim demagogue Daniel Pipes that aims to tarnish the reputations of student activists and compromise their future professional careers.
Organizers fear the T-shirt selling website could be an effort to collect the names and other personal information of participants and supporters of National Students for Justice in Palestine, which will hold its annual conference at the University of Houston later this month.
The creators of websites aimed at tarnishing and intimidating Palestine solidarity activists have gone to great lengths to hide their identities. Such websites have also previously used impersonation and fakery in an attempt to fool activists.
Last year, The Electronic Intifada exposed Sawtona, an online presence evidently created by Israel supporters falsely claiming to be Palestinians who oppose the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The Electronic Intifada also reported on a network of websites that used fabricated personas in an effort to smear students and a professor in Indiana who support Palestinian rights.
Collecting names of Jewish students
Student organizers have long been the targets of Israel and its surrogates in their efforts to suppress the Palestine solidarity movement.
Separately, it emerged this week that the Israeli government was planning to create a database of all Jewish students in US universities to facilitate its “outreach.”
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Israel postponed the plan after objections from Hillel International, a lobby group that works closely with the Israeli government to spread pro-Israel messages on US campuses.
This summer, Alissa Wise, a Jewish Voice for Peace rabbi who was denied boarding on a flight to Israel because of her support for Palestinian rights, said there was evidence Israel spied on the group she was traveling with.
Wise said she believed Israel had surveilled the email of organizers of an interfaith solidarity delegation.
Last month, a right-wing Israeli group admitted that some of its members had “infiltrated” a protest camp in the occupied West Bank posing as human rights workers in order to spy on Jewish activists who were there to support Palestinian rights.
In 2014, The Electronic Intifada revealed secret documents from right-wing Zionist group the Amcha Initiative which showed it had infiltrated a California student delegation to Palestine two years prior.
The emergence of a website impersonating National Students for Justice in Palestine indicates that efforts to spy on and sabotage the work of Palestinian rights supporters are ongoing. All activists should take reasonable precautions to protect their digital security.