Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey Condemn BDS Group Project Mapping Boston Jewish Orgs

'We strongly condemn antisemitism and will continue working for the safety of all vulnerable people at home and abroad,' say Markey and Warren, who join four other Democrats in Congress

Ben Samuels
JTA
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Elizabeth Warren speaking to reporters in Boston, earlier this month.
Elizabeth Warren speaking to reporters in Boston.Credit: Steven Senne\AP
Ben Samuels
JTA

WASHINGTON – Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey joined the chorus of Democratic lawmakers condemning a Boston pro-Palestinian activist group’s initiative mapping “local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine,” dismissing it as "dangerous and irresponsible."

“At this moment of rising antisemitism, racist attacks, and political violence, this ‘mapping’ of the Jewish community is dangerous and irresponsible. We strongly condemn antisemitism and will continue working for the safety of all vulnerable people at home and abroad,” the two senators from Massachusetts said in a joint statement.

Markey and Warren join four other Democrats in Congress in warning that the map – which includes the names, addresses and staff members of many Jewish organizations – could incite violence against the Jewish community.

Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Jake Auchincloss, Seth Moulton (who represent districts in Massachusetts) and Ritchie Torres (who represents New York) each separately condemned the Mapping Project this week in statements, following denunciations by Boston’s largest communal Jewish organizations and U.S. Jewish establishment figures across the political spectrum.

“There is no doubt that antisemitism and organized, violent white supremacy are at a boiling point in this nation and threaten our communities,” Pressley said in her statement, adding “it is not acceptable to target or make vulnerable Jewish institutions or organizations, full stop.” Without referring to the mapping project directly, she cited last year’s stabbing attack on a Boston-area rabbi as evidence for the need to be “vigilant when it comes to keeping each other safe.”

Pressley, a member of the progressive “Squad” of representatives who include Israel’s strongest critics in Congress, has become increasingly vocal in her support for the Palestinian cause after voting in favor of condemning the BDS movement in 2019 shortly after being elected.

Auchincloss, meanwhile, told Jewish Insider this week that the Mapping Project’s “actions have the potential to incite violence, especially in a moment of heightened antisemitism and gun violence.” Moulton tweeted that the project is “an antisemitic enemies list with a map attached,” while Torres called it “scapegoating...a common symptom of antisemitism.”

The Mapping Project draws what it says are lines of influence between “Zionist leaders,” running the gamut from Jewish political organizations and foundations to Jewish day schools and synagogue groups, and other “harms,” including local police departments and pharmaceutical companies. In a statement on its website, the anonymous group — which has connections to Boston BDS — says its goal is to “dismantle” these institutions.

The project also includes some politicians, including Warren and Markey, the state’s two non-Jewish Democratic senators, in its web of supposed Zionist influence. Other Democratic political figures who have criticized the project include Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, state Sen. Becca Rausch and Chip Goines, a former organizer for Pressley.

BDS Boston continued to defend the project on social media, retweeting messages of support from figures including Black Jewish author and theoretical physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. “The vast majority of organizations on the map are not Jewish,” Prescod-Weinstein said, adding that “JewishBoston dot com and Google Maps will literally tell you where all the Jewish orgs are, much more efficiently than this map does.”

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