Unmapping the "Mapping Project"
What is the "Mapping Project"
- The mapping project is an interactive map that pinpoints the locations of Jewish communal and other community organizations in Massachusetts, including ADL. The map's lines extend outwards to any group, organization, educational institution or government official those communal organizations may have interacted with, in an attempt to expose and isolate those who they assert are responsible for "the colonization of Palestine" and other perceived "harms that we see linked, such as policing, US Imperialism and displacement." In all, approximately 500 organizations are named. This BDS Boston-endorsed Project includes a disturbing and antisemitic call to "dismantle" and "disrupt" most of Boston's Jewish community and concludes with a thinly veiled threat that "every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted."
What exactly is antisemitic about the Mapping Project?
- Under the guise of this interactive map, the authors essentially name, shame and blame Jewish communal organizations in Massachusetts for many of the world's problems and specifically calls out Zionism as a "harm," thus implicating the vast majority of the Jewish community that identifies in some way with the state of Israel.
- Of the 38 non-profit organizations named, 30 are Jewish organizations – no other community is similarly targeted. The Jewish communal groups are identified as "Boston's Zionist NGO circuit" and accused not only of "supporting the colonization of Palestine" but also "violence worldwide."
- Many familiar antisemitic tropes are woven into this project, including:
- Myths of Jewish wealth, power and control through the project's inordinate focus on revealing the identity of Jewish philanthropists, doctors, and media.
- Scapegoating the Jewish community by claiming that Jews are overwhelmingly responsible for a range of societal ills.
- Advocating the isolation and shunning of the entire Jewish community and those who interact with it, including through boycotts.
- As one of many examples of the antisemitic trope of Jewish power and wealth, The Mapping Project makes this assertion: "Charitable giving is a way for rich people to amass money—power—and then grant it as they see fit personally, enriching their allies, and bypassing much-needed resource redistribution. The concentration of wealth in New England demonstrates the importance of combatting zionism (sic) locally."
- Any campaign that blames and scapegoats Jews as a community for perceived ills is, by definition, antisemitic.
Why is this threatening?
- The website itself is threatening, calling for the dismantling and disruption of the Boston Jewish community as follows:
Our goal in pursuing this collective mapping was to reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them. Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.
- The Mapping Project uses names and addresses of Jewish community members and institutions to intimidate the community, with this chilling call to action threatening physical security:
We have shown physical addresses, named officers and leaders, and mapped connections. These entities exist in the physical world and can be disrupted in the physical world. We hope people will use our map to help figure out how to push back effectively.
- Even the BDS Movement has called on BDS Boston, a group promoting the Mapping Project, to cease doing so because of these threats, in a letter stating that the project :
…unstrategically targets and provides 'physical names and addresses' of individuals, and promotes messaging that includes phrases such as 'resistance in all of its forms'…BDS, however, is clearly a nonviolent movement that advocates for peaceful forms of Palestinian popular resistance… By having BDS in your group's name and promoting messaging which indirectly advocates for armed resistance and associating with groups that do, you have violated a key guideline of our movement.
How can Jewish community organizations and members protect their safety and security?
- Review your communal security preparedness – contact CJP's Communal Security Initiative which provides professional security advice and support to meet the needs of the Jewish community as it is forced to contend with increased antisemitic threats and attacks.
- Report antisemitic incidents to ADL.
- Call 911 or contact your local police department if you fear for your safety or the safety of others.
How can I join in the fight against antisemitism?
- Join our community in denouncing these efforts to blame and scapegoat Jews in America for the alleged actions of the State of Israel and other societal problems.
- Join with the Boston Jewish community by standing together and continuing our work building bridges, supporting our allies and each other, and confronting antisemitism where we see it and when we experience it.
- Share Facts, Show Strength and Speak Up using this Toolkit.
- Massachusetts voters: Sign the Pledge Against Antisemitism here and urge your network to do the same.
- Support ADL's COMBAT Plan, including contacting your elected officials to Combat Antisemitism.
Who is Supporting the Boston Mapping Project:
- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization, and Press TV – Iran's state-sponsored news agency.
In some cases, early supporters are withdrawing support. Many other groups have also endorsed The Mapping Project, including: National SJP, Tufts SJP, Tufts YDSA, Tufts Labor and Samidoun
Boston Mapping Project in the Press:
- Pro-Palestine mapping website raises alarm in Jewish groups (The A.P.)
- Boston Jews say a pro-Palestinian group's map of local 'Zionist leaders and powerhouse NGOs' is a guide to antisemitism (JTA)
- Mass. Jewish leaders, politicians, condemn new pro-Palestine site 'The Mapping Project' (Boston.com)
- ‘A Jewish hit list’: Antisemitic mapping project seen as incitement to violence in Massachusetts (Boston Globe)
Op-eds by ADL on the Mapping Project:
The insidious roots of the Boston ‘Mapping Project’ (Times of Israel)
BDS-promoted mapping project is antisemitic and must be condemned (The Boston Globe)
You Don’t Need a Map to Find Antisemitism (Times of Israel)