By World Israel News Staff
A bipartisan group of 37 lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives has called on the federal government to launch a probe into the Boston so-called “BDS Map,” which they say constitutes “dangerous incitement” by pro-Palestinian activists that could lead to violent attacks against Jews.
At the same time, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) issued a statement Wednesday distancing itself from the Mapping Project, calling on BDS activists to withdraw their support.
“Endorsement of this project by any group affiliated with the BDS movement conflicts with this affiliation,” the BNC, which serves as the anti-Israel movement’s leadership body, said.
A leaked letter, however, shows that the BNC’s concerns with the map are largely strategic, not moral.
The BNC criticized BDS Boston, which is affiliated with the project, for exposing the BDS movement to “danger of heightened persecution and repression.”
It further said that the Mapping Project was “unstrategic” in providing the names and addresses of so many Jewish organizations and “promoting messaging that includes phrases such as ‘resistance in all its forms.’”
“By having BDS in your group’s name, and yet promoting messaging which indirectly advocates for armed resistance and associating with groups that do, you have violated a key guideline of our movement,” the letter, which was leaked to The Jewish Journal, said.
In their letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, FBI director Christopher Wray, Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and 35 others raised concern that the interactive map could be used as a “roadmap” by extremist BDS supporters, including antisemitic Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
“We fear that this map may be used as a roadmap for violent attacks by supporters of the BDS movement against the people and entities listed,” the letter’s authors wrote.
The group further called for “enhanced security for targets listed in the project.”
“We must not turn a blind eye to this dangerous incitement,” they wrote.
The FBI told local Jewish leaders on Monday that it was monitoring the Mapping Project.
The anti-Semitic map includes Jewish and Israeli institutions running the gamut of Israel’s Consulate in Boston, the Ruderman Family Foundation, Israeli-American Council Boston, the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, Elbit Systems, AIPAC, J Street, the Anti-Defamation League, two Jewish newspapers, and more.
Staffers at the Jewish organizations are often identified by name.
The map also features Boston-area police stations, hospitals, universities, U.S. military sites, financial and pharmaceutical businesses, the AFL-CIO, various federal, state and local government offices among other institutions, implying a conspiracy among the Jewish and public institutions.
While Democratic members of Congress, including anti-Israel “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley, spoke out against the map earlier this month, American Jewish progressives have been more reticent to do so. According to a report by The Forward, they are concerned that speaking out would “play into conservative narratives.”
“The reluctance of Jewish leftists to criticize the map appeared to be driven by three factors: distrust of the pro-Israel Jewish groups that have led the charge, anger at law enforcement’s role in the response, and concerns over preserving relationships with pro-Palestinian activists in the community,” the report said.