Officials from across the political spectrum condemn BDS mapping project as ‘anti-Semitic’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘unacceptable’
Lawmakers from across the political spectrum denounced a recent project by a Palestinian advocacy organization as anti-Semitic after the group released the names and addresses of those it deemed to support Israel.
BDS Boston — a local branch of the broader Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS movement — earlier this month released “The Mapping Project,” an illustrated web of alleged connections between Jewish organizations and groups across Massachusetts. who expressed support for the state of Israel and other entities he said had ties to the Jewish nation.
Critics have condemned the project as dangerous and anti-Semitic “Jewish community mapping,” which could reveal the names and locations of Jewish groups and other organizations vulnerable to attack.
The denunciations came from a wide range of organizations and politicians as ideologically diverse as progressive Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and New York Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, a staunch Trump ally.
“At this time of rising anti-Semitism, racist attacks and political violence, this ‘mapping’ of the Jewish community is dangerous and irresponsible,” Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey said in a statement. joint statement. “We strongly condemn anti-Semitism and will continue to work for the safety of all vulnerable people at home and abroad.”
The BDS movement aims to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories through international isolation. She has been accused of anti-Semitism, notably by the Anti-Defamation Leaguewhich claims the movement singles out Israel for its criticism and holds Jewish organizations responsible for the country’s actions.
Conceived by an anonymous independent group but published on BDS Boston social media, The Mapping Project drew what its authors saw as connections between “Zionist leaders”, politicians, financial groups and media companies, as well as others who they said represented “local institutional support”. for the colonization of Palestine” and other “misdeeds”, according to the group, were linked to this cause – such as the police.
The long list of entities included clusters of synagogues, Jewish day schools, towns with sizable Jewish populations, police departments that had no clear connection to Israel, and the offices of politicians such as Governor Charlie Baker and the Senator Elizabeth Warren. Each label on the map gave the location and sometimes the names of people the authors had labeled as supporting Israel.
Organizers said they wanted to “dismantle” these individuals and organizations and wrote on the map’s homepage that “every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.”
Jewish groups in Greater Boston also called the project. ADL New England Regional Director Robert Trestan wrote in a Boston Globe Editorial that “it is reminiscent of the worst kind of targeting and isolation of the Jewish people”.
“This is an affront not only to the targeted Jewish community but to all who hold to our democratic values,” he said. “It plays on the idea that Jews act conspiratorially, that Jews have excessive toxic power and therefore Jews are legitimate targets.”
“There is no doubt that anti-Semitism and organized and violent white supremacy are at a boiling point in this nation and threaten our communities,” Pressley said, according to a statement provided to Jewish Insider. “It is not acceptable to target or make vulnerable Jewish institutions or organizations, period.”
From an opposite political corner, Zeldin offered similar feelingscalling the Mapping Project “an anti-Semitic and dangerous attack on the rights and freedoms of American Jews” and claiming that it would “ignite anti-Semitic hatred and violence” locally and abroad.
“It sends shivers down my spine,” Rep. Jake Auchincloss, a centrist Democrat from Massachusetts, said in an interview with Jewish Insider. “It taps into age-old anti-Semitic tropes about nefarious Jewish wealth, control, conspiracy, media relations and political strings.”
Auchincloss represents an area of Greater Boston with a significant Jewish community, including the town of Newton, where the police department and public school system were tagged on the mapping project.
“Citting names and keeping lists, which has a very sinister history in Judaism, in terms of targeting, is very irresponsible. [The group] must take that down and apologize,” he said.