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USA: Pro-Palestinians publish a map with the name of “Zionist leaders”

JTA — A Jewish arts company. A Jewish high school. A Jewish newspaper. A network of synagogues. A major Jewish charitable organization that raises funds for actions concerning mental health, the prevention of marginality and the reception of refugees.

These are some of the points on the very dense interactive map of “Zionist leaders and powerful NGOs” in Massachusetts. Created by a group of activists, it asserts itself as a tool for identifying “local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine” and claims to reveal the links between support for Zionist causes and “other social problems” ranging from gentrification to the prison-industrial complex via validism.

The Mapping Project, a collective of pro-Palestinian activists from the Boston area, which claims to be aligned with the local Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, uses mapping (addresses of organizations and names of employees at the support) to establish links between dozens of Jewish organizations, universities, foundations, police services…

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The group says its goal is to demonstrate that “institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally linked to the maintenance of order and the maintenance of white supremacy. [aux Etats-Unis]as well as to American imperialist projects in other countries”.

Jewish organizations in Massachusetts say this mapping is just another attempt to label and intimidate Jews.

“They choose, in their desire for intersectionality, to essentially point the finger at the Jewish community infrastructure in Greater Boston which they believe is responsible for all the ills of the Earth,” said Jeremy Burton, executive director of Jewish Community Relations. Council of Greater Boston, at JTA. “They don’t hide it. »

Burton says he is particularly concerned that the map has been widely circulated and welcomed on Twitter by the NGO Massachusetts Peace Action, which he says has a lot of influence in progressive circles and often speaks to local politicians.

The map shows the addresses of most major Jewish-affiliated organizations and the majority of state donors: political groups ranging from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to the Zionist Organization of America to JStreet and the ADL; charities like the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP) or the Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston; private foundations run by Jews; religious organizations such as the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts and finally university research centers such as the Harvard Center for Jewish Studies.

Sometimes the links mention information from tax documents, such as the amount of financial support. Sometimes they simply illustrate partnerships, or what the group describes as a “normalizing” Israel approach. (The Jewish Journalpartner of the JTA based in Salem, is listed among these links.)

“The purpose of this collective mapping is to reveal the names of entities and networks that are wreaking havoc with the goal of dismantling them,” said the group, which did not itself reveal the identities of its members. , in a statement posted on its website. “Each of these entities has an address, each of these networks can be subject to disruptive action. »

Archive: Pro-Palestinian protesters at an anti-Israel demonstration outside the Israeli consulate in Boston, July 11, 2014. (Elan Kawesch/The Times of Israel)

The map, released shortly before Shabbat on June 3, quickly became a concern among Jewish groups that returned to the internet on Monday night after the Shavuot holiday.

In a joint statement, Boston’s Jewish Community Organizations claimed that the map and its creators’ stated goal was in fact to “dismantle” the city’s Jewish community as a whole.

“As the Jewish community, which has made alliance and outreach a cornerstone of our work, we condemn this demonization of the Boston Jewish community and the attack on its relationships with other organizations,” the CJP, New England ADL and Boston JCRC said Wednesday. “This is not a thinly veiled attempt to target the Jewish community – it is an explicit attempt that lists and names. »

The map was also condemned by Lior Haiat, spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, who said it was “reminiscent of a dangerous anti-Semitic precedent, used from antiquity to the abominations of the 20th century, a model that invites to violence against Jews and their institutions.

The group behind the map did not respond to requests for comment from JTA.

In an interview with the pro-Palestinian website Mondoweiss, the group called certain Jewish organizations, including the ADL and the CJP, “super-oppressors”, saying they “had enormous influence” and that they relationship between the NGO community and “overtly repressive forces”, such as the police or arms manufacturers.

The joint statement from the CJP, ADL and JCRC said the map “draws from age-old anti-Semitic tropes that are all too clear to our community: Jewish wealth, control and conspiracies.”

“The main objective of the mapping project is in line with the trends noted in anti-Zionist exchanges. The focus on policing refers to a recent claim by some progressives that US police have adopted abusive techniques following trips to Israel sponsored by Jewish groups… allegation denied by tour groups and the many officials who took part,” the joint statement continued.

Archive: JStreet U demonstration at Stanford University to protest possible West Bank demolitions in 2018. (Courtesy)

The Mapping Project classifies JStreet as a liberal political group that supports a two-state solution, but does not “question the ethnocratic and colonial foundations of the Zionist state.”

This echoes a recent trend of pro-Palestinian groups shunning JStreet, which has in the past been favored by Jewish progressives.

Earlier this year in the Boston area, a student-led pro-Palestinian campaign at Tufts University urged students not to join the JStreet group on campus, citing similar arguments.

(The BDS movement also made inroads at another major Boston-area university, when the Harvard student newspaper espoused the cause.)

The group’s spotlight on the ADL as an organization causing “problems” confirms a recent trend among progressive groups to shun the civil rights group for its liberal stances on inner issues. The ADL responded in the same vein, through the voice of its CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, by equating left-wing anti-Zionism with right-wing anti-Semitism.

Greenblatt’s remarks were criticized by many Jewish liberals and progressives, but his fierce denunciation of the mapping project put him on the same side as progressive Jewish leaders, including T’ruah founder Rabbi Jill Jacobs, who also denounced the card.

“You can speak out against the policies/positioning of Jewish organizations vis-à-vis Israel (or even boycott Israel), but when you call for the dismantling of the basic Jewish community infrastructure, you have crossed the line. ‘anti-Semitism,’ Jacobs explained in a tweet.

“We will not be intimidated by the @BDSBoston’s menacing call to action against Boston’s Jewish community, nor by its designation of Jewish schools, institutions and organizations, including the @ADL,” Greenblatt summed up. in a tweet in response to the card, re-posting a statement from the ADL’s New England branch.

Greenblatt added, “This project plays squarely on the #anti-Semitic myths of Jewish power and perceived control over society. »

Burton claimed that The Mapping Project, which has not shied away from publishing the names of even junior employees of organizations like the JCRC, has invited intimidation — if not physical violence — against Jews.

“There is no doubt that these radical anti-Zionist activists deliberately choose to put a target on the backs of members of Boston’s Jewish community,” he concluded.

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