If further proof were needed that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel is deeply anti-Semitic, a venomous “mapping” campaign defaming and targeting Boston-area Jews provides stunning evidence of it.
A Boston BDS group recently publicized an online map that lists the addresses of Jewish institutions across Massachusetts. The group called on followers to use the addresses to “dismantle” and “disrupt” the institutions in question. Although the project was slammed as anti-Semitic and dangerous by members of Congress, the city’s leading daily, the Boston Globe, has not covered the scandal. [A report by Jonathan Tobin appeared on the cover of last week’s Jewish Star.]
The BDS hit list includes a Jewish high school, a center for Jews with disabilities, Jewish student groups, synagogues, Jewish newspapers, a center for Jewish arts and various Jewish-run charities.
Also included in the list are Jewish communal organizations ranging from the ZOA to J Street. They include the ADL, AJC, CAMERA, JCRC, New England Jewish Labor Committee, the New Israel Fund and others. Also included is the city of Newton’s public school district — the elementary schools, middle schools and high schools of a community known for its high Jewish population (30 percent).
The so-called “Mapping Project” holds Jewish communal organizations responsible for the world’s ills, both abroad and in the United States. It accuses the Jewish community of being implicated in “white supremacy,” “colonization,” “US imperialism” and “propaganda.” Boston’s “Zionist leaders” are even charged with “extracting wealth from colonized Puerto Rico” and “advancing the privatization of U.S. public schools.” Opponents of anti-Semitism are said to be responsible for police violence.
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The BDS activists behind the map appear to encourage violence against those on the list — all those allegedly evil Jewish students, artists, worshipers, philanthropists and disabled people.
“These entities exist in the physical world and can be disrupted in the physical world,” the Mapping Project asserts. “We hope people will use our map to help figure out how to push back effectively.”
The map’s creators call for confronting Zionists with a “network of resistance.” On a page directly and prominently tying “Zionism” to “policing,” they state that in confronting the police — and perhaps also their Zionist enablers — they support “resistance in all its forms,” a clear call for violence.
Anti-Semitism has always festered on the right and left fringes. The Mapping Project, however, has been promoted by influential political activists with connections to various Massachusetts politicians.
“Zionist” has long been a euphemism for “Jewish.” And anti-Zionism has long been used as a flimsy cover for anti-Semitism, including violent anti-Semitism. With their attack on the Massachusetts Jewish community, the authors of the Mapping Project make this as clear as ever.
Those behind the Mapping Project have managed to remain anonymous. Its promoters, however, have been prominent in Massachusetts political activism. A lobbying group called Massachusetts Peace Action, which has been frequently cited by The Boston Globe, has promoted the map. A group called BDS Boston has also heavily pushed it.
The leadership of both these groups include young activists highlighted in the New York Times as prominent boosters of Democratic Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey’s recent campaign. They are part of an informal collection of activists, dubbed the “Markeyverse,” who the senator thanked by name.
Even after the activists criticized Markey for saying Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas rocket fire, Markey’s chief of staff said, “I can tell you, Senator Markey loves these people.” The Times also tied the collection of activists to campaigners for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.
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Anti-Semitism is always a danger to Jews. And with political extremism from all sides on the rise, it’s imperative that our politicians understand the threat in all its guises, including the BDS movement, and all its sources, including political campaigners. One polling organization has found that a disturbing number of young Americans support political violence. Just this week, a man was arrested for attempting to murder a Supreme Court justice.
An activist who has heavily promoted the anti-Jewish map, and is part of the leadership of Massachusetts Peace Action, BDS Boston and the so-called Markeyverse, appeared to cheer the assassination attempt, though her language was vague enough to leave room for interpretation.
It is reassuring, however, that in the face of the Mapping Project’s blatant anti-Semitism, many prominent Massachusetts Democrats have spoken out in support of the Jewish community.
Rep. Jake Auchincloss called the map “chilling,” telling Jewish Insider that it “is tapping into millennia-old anti-Semitic tropes about nefarious Jewish wealth, control, conspiracy, media connections and political string-pulling.”
Rep. Katherine Clark stated, “At a time where anti-Semitism and political violence is on the rise, this ‘mapping’ of Jewish people, schools, organizations and academics is alarming” and could “provoke attacks against the Jewish community.”
Rep. Seth Moulton said the project is a dangerous “anti-Semitic enemies list with a map attached.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley released a statement saying, “It is not acceptable to target or make vulnerable Jewish institutions or organizations, full stop.” Some might be confused about the source of the threat in question, however, as Pressley’s statement pointed the finger at “anti-Semitism and organized, violent white supremacy,” even though the map does not appear to be the work of white supremacists.
Warren and Markey later issued a joint statement condemning what they called a “dangerous and irresponsible” attack on Massachusetts Jews.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy wrote, “With anti-Semitism rising across the country, including here in Massachusetts, this is irresponsible and unacceptable. Mapping out Jewish community groups, arts organizations and schools like this puts residents and their families at risk.”