Supporter of PFLP terror group (upper left) (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90); JISR logo (lower left); BDS Boston Mapping Project (R) (Screenshot). Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90/Screenshot
Mapping Project

An anonymous report claims there are “remarkable similarities” between the creators of a map identifying Jewish targets in Massachusetts and a pro-terror organization that supports Iran.

By United with Israel Staff

Since its emergence at the beginning of June, a group called the Mapping Project has been denounced for circulating a map of around 400 organizations in Boston that Jewish groups say invites terror and violence.

The individuals behind the Mapping Project have fought to conceal their identities, claiming that they are merely exposing connections between “Zionist leaders and powerhouse NGOs” in the Boston area. While BDS Boston, the Boston-based Muslim Justice League (MJL), and Israel-designated terror group Samidoun initially endorsed the project, none of them revealed who manages it.

“This BDS Boston-endorsed Project includes a disturbing and antisemitic call to ‘dismantle’ and ‘disrupt’ most of Boston’s Jewish community and concludes with a thinly veiled threat that ‘every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted,’” commented the Anti-Defamation League.

“I have no question that, in this particular case, these radical anti-Zionist activists are deliberately choosing to put a target on the bodies of the Jewish community in Boston,” Jeremy Burton, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after the map was disseminated online.

“We fear that this map may be used as a roadmap for violent attacks by supporters of the BDS movement against the people and entities listed,” argued a group of bipartisan lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives in a letter to the federal government urging it to investigate the Boston “BDS Map.”

‘Remarkable Similarities’?

This week, an anonymous but well-sourced report on the internet documented what it calls “remarkable similarities” between the Mapping Project and an organization called the JISR Collective.

According to the report, “On June 3, at 10:44 am (7 hours after BDS Boston’s first tweet on the Project) JISR Collective – until then a lesser-known group – shared a link to The Mapping Project website on Twitter and on its website. JISR Collective claimed on Twitter that they ‘proudly support the initiative.’”

The report described JISR as “an anonymous ‘Arab diaspora media’ collective, which supposedly aims to counter ‘Zionism'” that maintains social media accounts “express[ing] support for terrorists, namely U.S.-designated terror organizations such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).”

PFLP issued a statement in English and Arabic expressing gratitude to Boston’s local BDS group, which seeks the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state.

JISR also “regularly retweets posts from accounts affiliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran or Iranian allies like Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria.”

According to the report, the similarities between the Mapping Project and JISR include using similar terms to describe themselves in public statements (“collective,” “multigenerational,” “imperialism,” etc.). Both also tout their refusal to accept any form of financial donations and offer only one channel through which they can be contacted, an end-to-end encrypted email service provided by Proton Mail.

The report also notes that JISR has “gone out of its way to defend the Mapping Project,” “attacking the BDS Movement (BNC), due to BNC’s attempt to disassociate itself from the Mapping Project” following widespread outrage.

The report adds, “JISR Collective’s Twitter thread included 10 graphics that JISR created to attack the BNC. This kind of offensive against the Ramallah-based group regarding the Mapping Project was not carried out by any other anti-Israel/delegitimization group. Other anti-Israel groups, such as PYM, Samidoun, and Within Our Lifetime only showed support for the Mapping Project following the BDS Movement’s denouncement of the project.”

The report continues, “Another example of JISR Collective going out of its way to defend the Mapping Project is a blog posted on its site. The in-depth blog post attacking the BNC is more than 8,000 words long, includes inside information from the BDS network, and mentions the BNC more than 195 times.”

The report does not, however, provide conclusive evidence linking JISR to the Mapping Project.

It concludes by casting doubts on JISR’s claims that it represents the “Arab diaspora community,” noting that its “publications contain several glaring mistakes in Arabic spelling, indicating that its writers do not possess mother-tongue-level Arabic.”

According to the report, JISR’s web domain was established in 2021 and is registered in Los Angeles, California. While a lawyer named Masood R. Khan from California submitted a 501(c)3 application on behalf of JISR on October 7, 2021 to register it as a nonprofit organization, it had failed to receive approval as of June 28, 2022.

An individual named Masood R. Khan is listed as a board member of a California-based organization called Claremont Canopy, which says it “work[s] with leaders in the community to provide resources for employment, education, and community integration” for refugees.

Millennia-Old Antisemitic Tropes

“This is just chilling to me,” Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) told Jewish Insider shortly after the map was disseminated. “It is tapping into millennia-old antisemitic tropes about nefarious Jewish wealth, control, conspiracy, media connections and political string-pulling.To name names and keep lists, which has a very sinister history in Judaism, in terms of how we are targeted, is very irresponsible. [The group] needs to take this down and apologize.”

A joint statement issued by the Jewish Community Relations Council, ADL-New England and Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston said the Mapping Project’s “underlying messages are clear: Jews are responsible for the ills of our community and if you maintain your relationship with Jewish organizations, you will share that responsibility.”

While local Jews were outraged by the map, the PFLP terror group was delighted by it, expressing its support in an official statement.

By way of background, PFLP is a murderous criminal group that has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., Japan, the European Union, and Canada.

The PFLP is a brutal Marxist terror group, originally supported by the Soviet Union and China, which has been responsible for armed attacks, aircraft hijackings, bombings, assassinations, and the murder of countless innocent Israelis and citizens of other countries.

According to the U.S. Department of State, “The group was responsible for the November 1, 2004 suicide bombing at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, which killed three people and wounded 30.”