ZOA Letter to DOJ & FBI on New “Mapping Project” Antisemitic Threat by ZOA Pres. Morton Klein, Dir. of Research/Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq., Dir. Center for Law & Justice Susan Tuchman, Esq.
Uncategorized
June 14, 2022

June 14, 2022

The Honorable Merrick Garland
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530

The Honorable Christopher Wray
Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20535

Re:      Request for Immediate Investigation and Prosecution of the “Mapping Project” and Other Hate Groups Targeting and Promoting Violence Against American Jews and Jewish Institutions

Dear Attorney General Garland and FBI Director Wray:

We write to alert you to the dangerous targeting and promoting of violence against American Jews and Jewish schools, charitable organizations and other institutions being carried out: (i) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by a Boston-area BDS group calling itself the “Mapping Project,” and (ii) throughout the United States by other anti-Jewish hate groups and their leaders. 

At this time when antisemitism is alarmingly surging in the United States, these antisemitic groups and their leaders are brazenly and openly mapping lists of Jews and Jewish institutions, and promoting and inciting violence against them.  Jewish Americans are at serious risk of grave harm.  We urge you to immediately investigate and monitor all these antisemitic hate groups and their leaders, and to prosecute them consistent with the evidence and the law.  These anti-Jewish hate groups and their leaders need to be stopped.  Law enforcement needs to ensure that Jews and Jewish institutions in the Boston area and around the United States are safe and fully protected.  Details about these anti-Jewish hate groups and their leaders are provided below.

The ”Mapping Project” is Targeting and Inciting Hatred and Violence Against Jews

The “Mapping Project” recently released a report alleging sinister connections between Jewish groups and the government, politicians, law enforcement, universities and the media; and blaming a long list of Jewish organizations, foundations, schools and individuals[1] for nefarious activities, including “racism,” “U.S. imperialism,” “colonialization” and “ethnic cleansing.”  Alarmingly, the “Mapping Project” plotted the locations of Jewish organizations on an interactive state map, [2] and released addresses and names of some groups’ staffers. The Mapping Project report also falsely defined “Zionism” as “a form of white supremacy” to engender hatred against Jews; and condemned “normalization” (treating Jews as normal people). 

In a “dispatch” published on June 3, 2022, the Mapping Project’s organizers made their destructive aims clear, stating:  “Our goal in pursuing this collective mapping was 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.”[3]  The Mapping Project also explained: “We have shown physical addresses, named officers and leaders, and mapped connections. These entities exist in the physical world and can be disrupted in the physical world. We hope people will use our map to help figure out how to push back effectively.”[4]

The Mapping Project poses a severe danger to the safety of American Jews.  Congressman Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) described the Mapping Project as “chilling” and “sinister,” and stated that it plays on “millennia-old antisemitic tropes about nefarious Jewish wealth, control, conspiracy, media connections and political string-pulling,” and “can incite violence” and “inflame the deranged among us to take the next step from contemplating to acting upon violence.”[5]

Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) tweeted, “Targeting the Jewish community like this is wrong and it is dangerous.  It is irresponsible.  This [Mapping] project is an anti-Semitic enemies list with a map attached.”[6]

Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) also tweeted: “The BDS movement put together ‘a mapping project’ that accuses Jewish and ‘Zionist’ institutions of various evils in American society.  Scapegoating is a common symptom of Antisemitism, which at its core is a conspiracy theory.”[1]

Virtually any connection, past or present, real or imagined, to Judaism, Jews in the United States, Jewish donors, Jewish charities or Israel makes one a Mapping Project target to dismantle. 

The Mapping Project’s Jewish targets include:

  • numerous Jewish charities and organizations, ranging from right to left and everywhere in-between on the political spectrum;
  • a Jewish high school;
  • the Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston;
  • the Jewish Arts Collaborative
  • the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts (which includes synagogues throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, across the entire Jewish religious spectrum);
  • the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and 102 identified Jewish charities which it donates to;
  • nine philanthropic foundations funded by Jewish families, which contribute to both non-Jewish and Jewish causes, across the spectrum (the Mapping Project also identified numerous Jewish charities receiving donations from these foundations);
  • the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and its 39 member organizations (the Mapping Project also identifies the 39 member organizations and JCRC’s staff members)
  • Jewish/Muslim friendship and peace organizations;
  • Jewish environmental groups;
  • Jewish groups providing medical care such as Hadassah;
  • and even Jewish groups that engage in anti-Israel campaigns that stop short of openly calling for Israel’s destruction (such as campaigns promoting anti-Israel United Nations resolutions) – simply because members of those groups are Jews.

This is undeniably rank antisemitism. 

In addition, the Mapping Project targets universities throughout the Boston area that do or did any of the following connected to Jewish life:

  • host Hillel programs for Jewish students (Hillel hosts Sabbath dinners, Jewish religious services, social programs, etc.);
  • have identified Jewish professors;
  • have Jewish student associations, such as Harvard Business School Jewish Students Association;
  • have alumni living in Israel;
  • have fellowships sponsored by Jewish organizations;
  • have an Israel club or exchange program; and/or
  • provide Jewish or Jewish-Christian learning programs, such as Boston University’s Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies and Boston College’s Jewish-Christian learning center.

The Mapping Project also targeted:

  • Harvard Medical School, because an identified Jewish family foundation that contributed $200 million to HMS in 2018 also contributed (much smaller) amounts to Jewish groups;
  • Lesley University for having a therapy training program in Israel years ago to learn to help trauma patients. (The Mapping Project failed to mention that the program no longer exists); and
  • MIT Museum, for running a virtual reality program in 2017 which equated a PFLP terrorist to an IDF soldier. The PFLP is a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. However, the Mapping Project considered the program to be too pro-Israel.

Numerous other allegedly Jewish-related targets of the Mapping Project include (but are not limited to):

  • a U.S. corporation’s charitable fund (whose wide-ranging donations included contributions to 33 identified Jewish charities);
  • the ACLU (because it receives donations from Jews and Jewish foundations in the U.S);
  • an arts center that once hosted a Yemenite Jewish singer;
  • the Brookline Police Department (for arresting an illegal Jordanian immigrant 21 years ago for allegedly kicking a Jewish man at a local celebrate Israel parade);
  • U.S. companies and colleges that have not joined antisemitic anti-Israel boycotts;
  • the Boston Globe newspaper, because it published a few op-eds by a local Israeli official;
  • a science museum that displayed a science exhibit from Israel 12 years ago;
  • U.S. component manufacturers whose components ended up in products sold to Israel;
  • a union whose identified business manager took a trip to Israel;
  • The Israeli Consulate-General in Boston;
  • a U.S. company that received a US State Department order 10 years ago to supply $150,000 of gym equipment to a U.S. consulate in Israel;
  • an organization that provides progressive educational materials that speak about “complexity of the conflict” between Israel and “Palestine,” because, according to the Mapping Project, the materials were not anti-Israel enough; and because the organization has identified Jewish donors;
  • Boston area police departments, for alleged Israeli counter-terrorism training;
  • a progressive U.S. Senator (for saying that the Israel-Gaza war was a “both sides” issue);
  • a Boston beer company that uses Israeli technology to clean the water used in its beer; and
  • a U.S. software company whose identified Jewish CEO is also a co-chair of an unrelated Jewish charity.

The “Mapping Project’s target list is spreading and “inspiring” other anti-Jewish hate groups to promote and incite anti-Jewish hatred in a similar frightening targeted manner.  For instance, the “Palestinian Youth Movement,” @palyouthmvmt, tweeted pages from the Mapping Project’s report, along with the statement: “May this project be an inspiration to anti-Zionist and anti-racist organizers everywhere.”[1]  In turn, “Globalize the Intifada” and others retweeted the Palestinian Youth Movement’s hateful tweet.

Additional Groups and Their Leaders Are Promoting Anti-Jewish Violence

Additional hate groups are promoting and inciting violence against Jews and Jewish institutions.  A brief video compiled by Canary Mission’s investigators[1] shows the leaders of the below groups calling for targeting and attacking Jews and Jewish organizations.  The video also shows recent frightening attacks on innocent American Jews on the streets of American cities.  These attacks, and the groups and individuals inciting them, must be stopped, and the perpetrators must be prosecuted and punished. 

Within Our Lifetime (“WOL”):  WOL chairperson Nerdeen Kiswani urges targeting Jews (as shown in Canary Mission video), saying:  “The Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Communal Fund: They are Zionist organizations hiding behind JudaismSo every single [Jewish] organization on that list is a legitimate target.”   

WOL also posted a map entitled “Globalize the Intifada Zone of Operations” showing the location of Jewish groups, clubs, etc. in New York City, along with a statement:  “Organizations to target in the future . . .” (reprinted in the Canary Mission video).

WOL targeted Jews in the United States prior to the recent Mapping Project report.  In a WOL video on YouTube (approximately 45 seconds into the video), leader Nerdeen Kiswani tells a crowd, as they burn an Israeli flag in front of Rockefeller Center in New York City: “The most notorious Zionists in this country, they’re right here in our city.  We marched today, we took over the streets and we visited multiple Zionist settler foundations.  Multiple.  We let them know we know where they’re at. We know where they work.  We’re gonna find out more about where they’re at too. And we’re gonna go after them.”[1]

WOL openly legitimizes and promotes violence and terrorism against Jews.  WOL’s home page is emblazoned with the slogan “Resistance and return by any means necessary,” illustrated with a terrorist firing a slingshot.[2]   “Resistance” is a well-known euphemism for violence and terrorism.

A WOL rally in Brooklyn, New York in May 2021 again made it clear that “resistance” means violence, and called for this to go “global.”[1]  “Existence Is Resistance” leader Nancy Mansour led chants calling for “resistance” and stated: “Every single person, who says that we shouldn’t be calling for resistance, that we shouldn’t be calling for violence, well then stand the f*ck up!”  WOL leader Nerdeen Kiswani led the chant: “New York to Gaza, Globalize the Intifada . . . With our spirit and our blood, we will redeem you, oh Palestine!” 

WOL’s “Globalize the Intifada” campaign calls for “globalizing the Intifada,” “direct action” and winning liberation “by any means necessary.”[2]  WOL’s “Globalize the Intifada” campaign also incites others to violence and terrorism against Jews, urging people to “Amplify the message of Globalize the Intifada.  Organize an action in your neighborhood . . . to channel the spirit and example of the Palestinian intifada.”  

The “Intifada” is the terror war to murder Jews.  In Israel, Palestinian Arab terrorists murdered or maimed approximately 10,000 innocent Jews in Intifadas, by bombing civilian buses, pizza parlors full of children, Passover Seders full of Holocaust survivors and elsewhere; and with car ramming, knifing and shooting attacks.  WOL is openly seeking to spread this horror to Jews throughout the United States and the world.

Decolonize This Place / Israel in New York” posted (as shown in the Canary Mission video): “Find targets nearby.  Find where these Zionist fools live, and where there [sic] offices are, and act!”   

At the May 2021 WOL rally calling for violence, “Decolonize This Place” leader Marc Saffore urged: “Where is the World Jewish Congress?  Right here in New York City. New York City is full of Palestine related targets.  So again I ask, how do we strike back where we are now?  The options are endless.

#decolonizethisplace also posted on Instagram on May 14, 2022: “There is Only One Solution: Intifada, Revolution.”

Al-Awda (Palestinian Right of Return Coalition):  As shown in Canary Mission’s video, Al-Awda founder Lamis Deek urges:  “I think that we need to take responsibility for the Zionists in our communities.  And we need to start finding them, identifying them. . . ”   Deek has a long history of promoting the murderous Intifada, glorifying violence and supporting U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.[1] 

At a WOL rally in Time Square on November 15, 2019, celebrating Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s launch of 190 rockets into Israel, Al-Awda activist Husam Kaid and WOL’s Nerdeen Kiswani led chants of “Intifada!  Intifada!  There is only one solution! Intifada, Revolution!”  Kaid added:  “The intifada does not have to be in Gaza or Palestine!  We are going to have an intifada in every classroom!  We are going to have an intifada on every college campus!”[2]

CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations: As shown on Canary Mission’s videoZahra Billoo, the executive director of CAIR’s San Francisco chapter, urges: “We need to pay attention to the Jewish Federations.  We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues. They are your enemies.  They are infrastructures and organizations out there who are working to harm you.”

Canary Mission documents even more about the hatred and violence that these and similar hate groups and their leaders are promoting and inciting at https://canarymission.org/.

Combating Jew-Hatred Needs to Be a Top Law Enforcement Priority

For as long as the FBI has maintained hate crime statistics, Jews have been the major target of all religion-based hate crimes in the United States.  The FBI’s hate crime statistics for 2020[3] (the most recent year reported) reveal that although Jews comprise no more than 2% of the U.S. population, they are the most targeted religious group in this country.  Close to 60% of religious-motivated hate crimes in the U.S. are anti-Jewish. 

This situation is frightening and intolerable and must be addressed.  We urge you to make combating Jew-hatred a top priority.  Please thoroughly investigate the “Mapping Project” and the other groups and their leaders identified in this letter, who are openly targeting, and promoting and inciting violence against Jews.  Prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law as supported by the evidence.  Monitor these groups and their leaders closely and shut these groups down.  Please also produce a full and transparent report on your findings and activities.  It should go without saying that Jews and Jewish institutions in this country should not have to continue enduring threats, worry and fear.  Please use all the tools at your disposal to ensure that American Jews and Jewish institutions can exist and thrive without risk of being targeted for harassment, intimidation or violence. 

Thank you for your diligent work and attention to this matter.  Please direct responses and requests for further information to ZOA National President Morton A. Klein at mklein@zoa.org   Please consider us a resource; we are here to help.  

Respectfully,

Morton A. Klein
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President

Elizabeth A. Berney, Esq.
ZOA Director of Research and Special Projects

Susan B. Tuchman, Esq.
Director, ZOA Center for Law and Justice

 

View the Letter as a PDF Here.


[1]   Mapping Project report, list of groups allegedly causing the alleged “harm” of Zionism,  http://www.mappingproject.org/plain/harms/Zionism.html

[2] http://mappingproject.org/dev/map_js/.  See also: https://mapliberation.org/index.html

[3]   “Zionism, Policing and Empire: A dispatch from the Mapping Project,” June 3, 2022, https://mondoweiss.net/2022/06/zionism-policing-and-empire-a-dispatch-from-the-mapping-project/

[4]   https://mapliberation.org/articles/zionism_policing.html

[5] https://jewishinsider.com/2022/06/jake-auchincloss-mapping-project-bds-boston-israel/.

[6]   “The Mapping Project: Harm: Zionism,” https://twitter.com/sethmoulton/status/1534550873128435712?s=20&t=DldcJflwjBBwlwKhq2U3Ng.

[7]   https://twitter.com/RitchieTorres/status/1534509956225028098, June 8, 2022

[8]  https://twitter.com/palyouthmvmt/status/1534531114513190912, June 8, 2022

[9]   Canary Mission investigates and documents people and groups from all quarters that promote hatred and violence against the U.S., Israel and Jews.  The video was posted on Canary Mission’s twitter feed, on June 2, 2022, at https://twitter.com/canarymission/status/1532463312817885184

[10]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NHhOh_xF90&t=49s   See also Canary Mission compilations on WOL leaders: https://canarymission.org/professor/Amin_Husain & https://canarymission.org/individual/Nerdeen_Kiswani

[11]   https://wolpalestine.com, accessed on June 9, 2022

[12]   Video and transcript on the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) TV, at https://www.memri.org/tv/brooklyn-memorial-rally-palestinian-martyrs-no-justice-peace-nyc-targets-strike-globalize-intifada   MEMRI TV monitors, documents and translates Arab and Muslim media. 

[13]   https://wolpalestine.com/campaigns/globalize-the-intifada/, accessed on June 9, 2022

[14]  See Canary Mission compilation on Lamis Deek, at https://canarymission.org/individual/Lamis_Deek

[15]   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI9j8PBlotY&t=19s 

[16] https://www.justice.gov/crs/highlights/2020-hate-crimes-statistics.

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