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BDS’ Map Project Faces Outrage from Both Political Sides

A pro-BDS demonstration. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
A pro-BDS demonstration. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The anti-Israel campaign known as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, recently announced a new project dubbed the “Mapping Project” for the United States’ East Coast. The purpose of this project is to illustrate and list the hundreds of institutions and entities in Boston, Massachusetts, which are connected to what the group describes as the “colonization of Palestine” and the “harms” that the group deems are linked to alleged policing, displacement, ethnic cleansing, and other issues.

The BDS Boston chapter has come under fire from both Democrat and Republican politicians, who note the similarities between this movement and the boycotts of Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany. The group’s map lists the many Jewish organizations, companies, and groups across the state of Massachusetts that voice support for the state of Israel. Lawmakers in Boston view the project as antisemitic and argue that exposing the names and location of Jewish groups and organization could lead to antisemitic attacks.

Members of Congress and the Senate have issued joint condemnations against the project, arguing that this will lead to antisemitic and political violence against ordinary citizens. Democratic officials who have been critical of Israel, believe that such actions cross a line and will only exacerbate racial tensions in the country.

The anti-Israel chapter in Boston claimed that the map and chart show the ways in which the support for the “colonization of Palestine” is tied to policing and systemic white supremacy in the U.S. BDS has suggested that it seeks to “dismantle” the listed Jewish organizations and pro-Israel businesses. The group claims that the state of Massachusetts is founded on a landscape that contains racism, militarism, and Zionism, which are all systematically connected to communities.

In response to the concerns, Jewish leaders have met with FBI officials in Boston, promising to track the Mapping Project website and work to identify any additional information regarding it. Groups like the Jewish Relations Council (JCRC), Anti Defamation League (ADL) New England, and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP), have come out against the project and have met local community leaders in Boston to discuss this issue.

Since its formation in 2005, the BDS Palestinian-led movement has promoted boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel to pressure the Jewish State to meet what it describes as Israel’s obligations under international law. The group has spent millions of dollars to promote their messages.

Co-founder Omar Barghouti has openly supported Palestinian attacks on Israel by any means, including armed resistance. Like many other anti-Israel groups, BDS officials have called for no negotiations with Israel or any two-state solutions, arguing instead for the complete and total wipeout of the only place where Jews can live freely.

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