(New York Jewish Week) — A pro-Palestinian group that calls for “intifada” and Israel’s destruction temporarily posted maps online detailing the locations of Jewish organizations in New York City and saying they had “blood on their hands.”
The posts have drawn the NYPD’s attention and sparked condemnation from elected officials and Jewish leaders. Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine called the posts “dangerous and reprehensible.”
The group, Within Our Lifetime, posted the maps on Instagram. It urged its 121,000 followers, in all caps, to “KNOW YOUR ENEMY.” The group, and others who shared the posts, had deleted them from the platform by Thursday.
The posts were uploaded during an ongoing heated debate on social media over Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. They also come during a spike in antisemitism across the United States in the nearly six weeks since Hamas launched the war on Oct. 7 with its invasion of Israel.
The images recall the “Mapping Project,” an anonymous effort last year that listed the names and locations of Jewish institutions in Boston as supporters of “the colonization of Palestine.” That project was condemned and disavowed by a wide range of organizations, including pro-Palestinian groups. And in 2021, a local leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations warned an audience to beware of “polite Zionists,” including Jewish federations, synagogues and Hillels.
The posts displayed black-and-white maps with pins denoting the locations of a number of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations. Some are focused on funding settlement expansion or the growth of Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, such as the Central Fund of Israel, Friends of Beit El, Friends of Ateret Cohanim and Friends of Ir David.
Others are broadly focused on supporting Israel and its military, including Israel’s consulate in New York, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces and the Jewish National Fund. Still others are more general Jewish organizations such as the World Jewish Congress and Jewish Communal Fund, which is a donor-advised fund.
“Some of the most egregious organizations that we should be protesting every day are the fake zionist charities funding settlers in Palestine,” read one of the posts. “Make these locations a stop in your protests. picket and leaflet outside of them, make supporters of genocide uncomfortable!”
The groups “receive subsidies from the US government to commit genocide and ethnic cleansing,” one of the posts said. “These zionist charities must be exposed and confronted.”
Within Our Lifetime’s leader, Nerdeen Kiswani, shared the map and said, “Genocide supporters have been working amongst us.”
Another post from the group, headlined with one of its common chants, “Globalize the Intifada,” had a map of Israeli and U.S. companies and transit hubs. The locations listed included The New York Times, Penn Station, Grand Central Station, the BlackRock investment firm, and the Israeli tech company Check Point.
“Each of the locations on this map reflects the location of an office of an enemy of both the Palestinian people and colonized people all over the world. Today and beyond, these locations will be sites for popular mobilization in defense of our people,” the group wrote.
“May this map serve as a call for every struggle to act in their own interest,” the post said, closing with “from the river to the sea,” a slogan that critics have said calls for the destruction of Israel. Within Our Lifetime did not respond to a request for comment.
Within Our Lifetime supported the Oct. 7 Hamas attack as “whatever means necessary it takes” to achieve Palestinian liberation, and has since held near-daily street protests denouncing Israel. It has instructed its followers to chant, “Israel has got to go,” “Smash the settler Zionist state” and “We don’t want two states,” a reference to the possibility of Israel existing alongside a Palestinian state.
The group’s protests include banners that say “By any means necessary” and chants of “Globalize the intifada.” Palestinian terror attacks during the Second Intifada, two decades ago, killed an estimated 1,000 Israelis. Activists who have protested with the group have been convicted of hate crimes against Jews, and the Anti-Defamation League says the group has previously expressed support for U.S.-designated terrorist organizations.
“We strongly condemn maps of NYC that are circulating on social media with calls to ‘globalize the intifada’ in ‘direct actions’ and ‘operations’ zones,” ADL’s New York office posted online.
The NYPD said it was aware of the posts, saying in a statement, “We have been policing the protests effectively and will continue to do the same.”
Elected officials across the city decried the group’s posts.
“This posting is a dangerous and abhorrent incitement to violence and poses a direct threat to New York’s Jewish communities,” the New York City Council’s Jewish Caucus said in a statement. “It must be taken seriously and we appreciate that law enforcement is already investigating this matter.”
Democratic Bronx Congressman Ritchie Torres, a pro-Israel stalwart, said, “Coded calls for violence against Jews are proliferating on social media.”
Ted Deutch, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee, said, “This is not promoting peace. This is an incitement to violence against Jews and it must be taken seriously.”
One institution on one of the maps is the central office of the City University of New York, Kiswani’s alma mater, which has been grappling with allegations of antisemitism on its campuses in recent years. Kiswani and another prominent activist from Within Our Lifetime, Fatima Mohammed, gave the past two commencement speeches at CUNY Law, both of which were decried by Jewish groups and elected officials as antisemitic.
Within Our Lifetime collaborates with several CUNY student organizations that shared the maps targeting Jewish groups. All appeared to have removed the posts by Thursday evening.
Kiswani and Mohammed led a protest last year during which an activist associated with the group, Saadah Masoud, beat a Jewish man, Matt Greenman. Earlier this year, Masoud was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on hate crimes charges for the assault on Greenman and attacking Jews in two other incidents. At least two other activists who have protested with the group have been arrested or imprisoned for attacking Jews.