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Photo: USC Shoah Foundation

Editorial: Jew-hatred and the Mapping Project

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Editorial: Jew-hatred and the Mapping Project

Photo: USC Shoah Foundation

In these days of increasingly brazen antisemitism, it comes as no surprise that a website would materialize targeting Greater Boston’s Jewish organizations, law enforcement agencies, schools, businesses and nonprofits.

The Boston Mapping Project is anonymously produced and features an interactive map alleging that local organizations work with one another with the common goal of the “colonization of Palestine.” The website lists names and addresses, and asserts that they must be “disrupted” and “dismantled.” The website was endorsed and promoted by various anti-Zionist groups, including the anti-Israel group BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Boston movement. “Our interactive map illustrates some ways in which institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing and systemic white supremacy where where we live, and to U.S. imperialist projects in other countries.”

Linking hundreds of organizations together, and alleging a well-planned movement to promote Israel and delegitimize the Palestinians, is not an unexpected development in these times when conspiracy often trumps facts. “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 website warns.

In another era, when our democracy was stronger and when our government and country was less polarized, it would be easy to simply dismiss this as old-fashioned Jew-hatred. But given the widespread public violence in America, it needs to be taken very seriously by law enforcement.

Throughout history, charismatic leaders and hate movements have told lies over and over again to oppress minorities and establish power. While antisemitism has been constant the last 2,000 years around the world, Jews living in the Greater Boston area have been largely insulated from Jew-hatred for most of the last 60 years. While we learned about antisemitism and the Holocaust, many of us did not personally experience it.

Those days are over. Antisemitic incidents in the state reached an historic high last year. And this latest website, which targets Jewish organizations, is cause for deep concern because people who have little knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict now have another source of disinformation. Jews, interfaith families, elected officials and law enforcement must stand together against these threats. We must counter lies with truth. History reminds us what happens to the oppressed when they remain silent.

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