BOSTON - For years, activists critical of Israel have been pushing Massachusetts institutions to cut ties with the country. But now some top politicians and hate-speech monitors say a new website has gone too far.
"This is a Jewish hit list," says Robert Trestan, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of New England, a group that monitors and combats anti-Semitism. He's talking about a new website - "The Mapping Project" - listing hundreds of local schools, hospitals, charities, government agencies and more as complicit in a range of offenses, including "the colonization of Palestine," "systemic white supremacy," "U.S. imperialism" and "medical apartheid."
"They're promoting a conspiracy theory that at the center of all ills are the Jewish institutions of Boston," says Trestan.
And the site's focal point is a detailed, searchable map of the alleged offenders, including the Anti-Defamation League, with addresses included. What's this all about?
"Our goal in pursuing this collective mapping was to reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them," states the site. "Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted."
Coming amid a historic surge of local anti-Semitic incidents, including thelast year, the anonymous website is being probed by the FBI and denounced as "dangerous and irresponsible" by Senators Markey and Warren, both of whom are denounced by the site, along with scores of others, including the Boston Globe, the Kraft Philanthropic Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union.
"This website is not about legitimate political criticism or discourse," says Trestan. "This website is about targeting the Jewish community and blaming them for almost all of society's ills. It's a call to action against the Jewish community."
So who is behind this?
That's unclear. We reached out to an email address on the site but got no response. Trestan says they're using proxy servers to mask their identity. We also contacted the local boycott, divestment and sanctions group because some of their supporters have been on social media applauding the website, but they also didn't respond.
Whoever is behind it, they've achieved something unusual - uniting politicians of both parties and a broad array of institutions in disgust and horror.
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