Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Pro-Palestine mapping website raises alarm among Jewish groups

BOSTON ( Associated Press) — Massachusetts’ Jewish community is on edge after a mysterious pro-Palestinian website was launched earlier this month that listed the names and addresses of several local institutions — many of which are Jewish — and sought to “dismantle” them. And there has been a call to disrupt them.

The creators of the mapping project say that the interactive map of nearly 500 local colleges, police departments, companies and nonprofits “shows some of the ways in which institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally linked to policing and systemic white supremacy.” where we live, and US imperialist projects in other countries,” according to a statement on the site.

The Anti-Defamation League, which opposes Jewish discrimination and bigotry and is one of the nominees, is organizing an online forum Wednesday to talk about why the project is harmful and what the Jewish community is doing. Maybe, as an event invitation. U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachel Rollins is among those to speak.

Robert Traston, head of ADL’s New England office, said the event’s organizers wanted to warn the wider Jewish community about the potential for copycat attempts in other cities and states, as encouraged by the website’s creators.

ADL is among those calling on the authorities to shut down the site for promoting hatred and promoting violence. The League and others argue that Jewish groups represent a disproportionate share of the designated entities.

Local police departments and other law enforcement agencies comprise more than half, and some of the state’s most recognized institutions, such as Harvard, MIT, Raytheon, General Electric, Moderna, and Fidelity Investments, account for another sizable share.

But dozens of Jewish organizations are also named from New England Yacht, a Jewish high school in suburban Boston, Gann Academy, and the regional branch of a national organization for people with disabilities.

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“The danger is that there are people among us who want to commit violence, even if the Mappers did not intend to do so,” Treston said before Wednesday’s incident.

Meanwhile, members of Congress are calling on federal law enforcement officials to get involved.

A bipartisan group of 37 MPs from across the country sent a letter last week To the US Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to investigate the use of the website to intentionally target Jewish groups.

The letter also called on agencies to work with social media companies and Internet service providers to provide “advanced security” for organizations listed on the website and to prevent further distribution of the site.

“We must not turn a blind eye to this excitement,” wrote US Representative Josh Gottheimer and other lawmakers. “The United States faces a serious and growing threat from anti-Semitic foreign terrorist organizations, domestic violent extremists, and domestic violent extremists.”

Spokesmen for federal agencies did not respond to an email seeking comment on Tuesday. Messages sent to the emails listed on the mapping project site in recent days also went unanswered.

Internet company GoDaddy, where the website’s domain name is registered, reviewed the website and concluded that it did not violate its domain name registration agreement, spokesman Nick Fuller said in a statement.

The 1984 hosting company from Reykjavik, Iceland, which is hosting the site, said in an email response that it facilitates freedom of expression, but “does not host those advocating violence, terror, repression or hate.” does.”

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But the company declined to comment when asked specifically about the concerns of the Jewish community in follow-up messages.

“We have endured serious cyber attacks, legal attacks, and physical threats of various persuasion from hate groups that try to force us to remove websites,” the company said in its statement. “No matter what legal fees, security arrangements or peace of mind we have, we don’t give up.”

Local Jewish community leaders say the website was launched as a result of rising anti-Semitic sentiment in New England.

According to the ADL’s annual report, Massachusetts recorded more than 100 anti-Semitic incidents of vandalism, harassment and assault last year, a 48 percent increase from the previous year., According to the report, the overall incidence in New England is over 40%, excluding Connecticut.

One of the last year’s incidents in Massachusetts was the stabbing of a rabbit. Near a Jewish day school in Boston and the Duxbury High School football team used anti-Semitic words in their play,

Jeremy Yamin, vice president of United Jewish Philanthropy, a Boston nonprofit named on the mapping project, said local Jewish groups have been reaching out in recent days to see how they should respond.

As the head of his organization’s Communal Security Initiative, which provides security advice and other resources to local Jewish groups, he is encouraging others not to exaggerate, but also ensures that their security plans, Equipment and staff training are up-to-date and working.

“We’re really focused on long-term preparedness and not the latest threat,” Yameen said. “This is serious, anti-Semitic speech, but it is also part of a spectrum of issues that we have been dealing with for some time.”

Nation World News Desk
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