BDS map ties police, media to Boston Jewish, 'Zionist' institutions

The map ties Zionist and Jewish institutions to groups that are supposedly guilty of the "harms" of US imperialism, ableism, and more.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, also known as BDS. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, also known as BDS.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Boston Jewish and Zionist institutions were alleged to be "structurally tied" to US media, police, government, and other key local establishments in a mapping project by activists affiliated with the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement on Friday. 

A system of "harms"

The interactive map, created by The Mapping Project, ostensibly shows a network of connections of institutions that support Israel and other "harms that we see as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing," the activist group said on their website.

The map ties Zionism to the "harms" of US imperialism, ableism, ecological harm, gentrification, the prison-industrial complex, and more. Institutions perceived by the activists as guilty of these "harms" are connected to the network, and subsequently to Jewish and Zionist establishments.

The database includes profiles on each entry on the map and explains their connection to Israel and other crimes.

"Our interactive map illustrates some ways in which institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing and systemic white supremacy here where we live, and to US imperialist projects in other countries," The Mapping Project wrote. "Our map also shows the connections between harms such as privatization and medical apartheid, which are often facilitated by universities and their corporate partners."

 BDS ACTIVISTS in action (credit: GALI TIBBON / AFP) BDS ACTIVISTS in action (credit: GALI TIBBON / AFP)

The Mapping Project told Mondoweiss that it was trying to overcome BDS limitations in which activists would focus on one institution at a time, and instead identify a "web of connections" so that activists could identify "strategic vulnerabilities" of the system to "weaken and dismantle them."

"US imperialism is the greatest threat to life on the planet."

The Mapping Project

Jewish and Zionist institutions mapped out

Notable Jewish institutions in the network include the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, which is described as "complicit" in Zionism and normalization. Some charities are part of the network for donating to the synagogues. The synagogue umbrella group is a member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and is one reason that the council was added to the network.

According to the database, the ADL is connected to dozens of police departments due to the counter-terrorism seminars it organizes with police leadership and Israeli counter-terrorism experts. The Mapping Project dismisses the idea that counterterrorism is learned in the seminars, and is instead a pro-Israel propaganda campaign and part of the ADL's broader effort "to surveil and police Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples in the US as well as worldwide."

A high school, Gann Academy, is part of the system because the school has Zionism in its student clubs and allegedly in the curriculum, and because the school encourages students to travel on programs to Israel — Which the map project decries as being laden with "pinkwashing" and "greenwashing" efforts.

Media outlets such as the Boston Globe and Jewish Journal were included in the network for "willfully spreading Israeli state propaganda" and capitalism. 

Cultural programs and institutions such as the Jewish art collaborative or the Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston are blacklisted in the database for promoting Israeli arts and culture. 

Multiple Jewish charities are included in the maps, as "charity is fundamentally misconstrued as a selfless and generous act," the project asserts. "In reality, charitable donations are supporting the colonization of Palestine and violence worldwide."

The wide network also includes a variety of companies and organizations such as Apple, Pfizer, the FBI, Google, the Harpoon Brewery and Elizabeth Warren.

Accusations of anti-Jewish incitement

The mapping of Jewish institutions and their connection to a series of what some may see as global evils have drawn criticism from Israel, and Jewish and pro-Israel activists.

"Israel strongly condemns BDS Boston’s publication of a map of local Jews and its blaming them for anything and everything wrong in Greater Boston," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat. "This publication reveals the true, ugly face of BDS Boston which is nothing but a conspiratorial antisemitic organization. We call on all decent people to come out against this publication, and to condemn the organization and those behind this racist campaign." 

"This is a direct call for incitement to violence and racial hatred against Jews and Jewish organizations, businesses and properties!"

Arsen Ostrovsky, chairman and CEO of The International Legal Forum.

"Boston's BDS movement is mapping out and targeting synagogues, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions while slanderously claiming that these organizations are actively participating in the 'colonization of Palestine'," said Pro-Israel organization StandWithUS.