Home / News / Israel / Jewish leaders concerned with project that maps Israel supporters
project israel
Screen image of The Mapping Poject, detailing location of Jewish organizations in Massachusetts.

Jewish leaders concerned with project that maps Israel supporters

American Jews are concerned about an interactive website that seeks to expose those who support Jews who choose to immigrate to Israel. The identification effort, called The Mapping Project, reveals the names and addresses of nearly 500 organizations and individuals in Massachusetts, most of whom are Jewish.

The project, while having been ignored by what many see as a hostile American news media, has been well-covered in Israeli news organizations. Some observers have compared it to 1930s Germany which in which Jews were required to report where they live to local authorities.

Rob Leikind, regional director for the American Jewish Committee in New England, is listed. He is sounding the alarm, alongside a host of other Jewish advocates and community and regional leaders in the Boston area “There’s tremendous anxiety in the Jewish community,” Leikind says. “This is a moment where people feel like things have changed.”

Ellie Cohanim, former deputy special envoy on anti-Semitism at the State Department, said the map puts Jewish individuals and institutions at risk. “This is coming at a time when there is a rise in anti-Semitic incidents and attacks all across the country,” she said.

The Anti-Defamation League tracks anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assault in the United States. Last year, it recorded 2,717 incidents during the first year of the Biden administration, a 34 percent increase from 2020 – Donald Trump’s last year in office. 2021 is also saw the highest numbers since it began tracking in 1979. The American Jewish Committee said one in four American Jews has been the target of anti-Semitism in the last 12 months. Those included physical attacks, verbal harassment and online targeting.

“The anti-Semitism. which after the Holocaust was kind of an obscenity, today is becoming normalized again,” Leikind said. “That people who have those ideas, who kept them to themselves. now feel increasingly comfortable expressing them.”

The FBI is keeping tabs on the Mapping Project. In Boston, a wide array of elected officials and community leaders have denounced it. In light of that, Leikind is even more focused on building bridges and encouraging conversations about anti-Semitism, hoping people will learn to better tolerate and even appreciate their differences.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

Leave a Reply