Wellesley College student paper openly supports anti-Israel mapping project

One liberal arts college in Massachusetts has openly supported a project that would target Jews and supporters of Israel.

 Campus life (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
Campus life
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)

The editorial board of a newspaper at the prominent women's college in Massachusetts, Wellesley College, has officially endorsed a project that would send the university back into the Nazi era. While publishing a piece calling for "The Liberation of Palestine," the publication referenced the "Mapping Project", a project that regresses to strategies used against Jews in World War II.

The Mapping Project highlights companies that Boston-area BDS activists refer to as "supporters of apartheid Israel." However, very few of these businesses and organizations have direct ties to Israel. 

Their key identifiers? These mapped locations pinpoint businesses, organizations, and houses of worship with connections to Judaism. The company itself may not be Jewish nor directly affiliated with a religious identity, but would be pointed out for having Jewish leadership.

This student editorial board openly endorsed this project, citing their belief that the only way to stop injustices happening in the occupied territories is by boycotting anything and everything relating to Israel. With that, these students failed to acknowledge the increased antisemitism that has steadily been on the rise recently, nor the impact of these actions on diaspora Jews.

This also includes the university's own Jewish community, which remains under 10%. This number is so low that, according to a report by The Boston Globe, the university previously cut multiple positions supporting on-campus Jewish life, leaving the college Hillel with only a part-time director.

Students take a university entrance examination at a lecture hall in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, June 16, 2015. Students in Spain must pass the exam after completing secondary school in order to gain access to university. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo (credit: MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS)Students take a university entrance examination at a lecture hall in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, June 16, 2015. Students in Spain must pass the exam after completing secondary school in order to gain access to university. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo (credit: MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS)

The Jerusalem Post was unable to confirm the current number of staff members currently serving the college's Jewish community.

What does this mean?

In addition to openly supporting a project that would track Jewish businesses in the same way the Nazis did, the publication went on to state that they believed pro-Israel students, faculty, and administration create a hostile environment for expressing opinions. 

They specifically point out the discomfort in expressing opinions that students on visas often felt. Though that discomfort can likely be attributed to a hostile environment that exists among students, the publication felt strongly enough to point fingers at students and staff who support the Jewish state.

Despite the publication's comments about "supporting Jewish students at Wellesley," the paper ultimately called for the college to cease the promotion of Jewish life, amongst other requests.

"The Wellesley Investment Office should immediately withdraw any investments in entities based in Israel or those that support the apartheid regime. The College should cease promoting Birthright Israel, foster an environment where Palestinian students feel free to express themselves and cut ties with any suppliers or vendors that provide support to the Israeli government," they wrote in a statement.

The paper continued: "We believe that the Mapping Project is providing a vital service. Collecting data about these institutions, tracing their financial and political activity and publicizing this information is incredibly important."

College President Paula Johnson said that the school does not endorse the Mapping Project. 

"While it is not my practice to comment on the newspaper’s editorials, I do feel the need to make it clear that Wellesley College rejects the Mapping Project for promoting antisemitism," Johnson said in a statement. "The project encourages the targeting of approximately 500 Jewish and other organizations in Massachusetts, including educational institutions like Wellesley, MIT, and local public school systems, and lists the names and addresses of individuals who are affiliated with these organizations. Its stated goal is '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.'"