RELEASE: Bipartisan Group Urges Federal Investigation into Use of Map Targeting Jewish Organizations by Domestic Terrorists & Violent Extremists

Increased Security for Targets. Combating Circulation on Social Media. Protecting Jewish Community from Domestic Terror & Violence. ADL Supports Effort.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Don Bacon (NE-02) led a bipartisan group of 37 total Members of Congress urging the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI to investigate the use of the map by violent extremist organizations and terrorists, boost security for targets listed in the Project, and work with social media companies and internet service providers to prevent the map’s further distribution.  This comes on the heels of an an Eastern Massachusetts Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement group publishing a “Mapping Project” listing Jewish organizations, addresses, and names.

The Members urged federal coordination with state and local law enforcement to apprehend any foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), homegrown violent extremists (HVEs), and domestic violent extremists (DVEs) planning to use this map as a roadmap to domestic terror or violence.

The Members of Congress also asked that federal departments and agencies work with partners across the country – including law enforcement at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, as well as with partners in faith-based communities and the private sector – to protect those people and entities highlighted for targeting by the Mapping Project. 

“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,” the Members of Congress wrote in a letter this week. “We ask that you investigate the use of the Mapping Project by extremist organizations, provide any necessary enhanced security for targets listed in the Project, and work with social media companies and internet service providers to prevent its further distribution. We must not turn a blind eye to this dangerous incitement.”

“The BDS Boston-endorsed Mapping Project’s call to ‘dismantle’ most of Boston’s Jewish community because of the purported ‘devastation’ they cause to others is a form of intimidation deeply rooted in antisemitic tropes. This call to action against a wide swath of a community is unacceptable and dangerous. I applaud Congressman Gottheimer and his colleagues for their leadership in taking a stand against this antisemitism and join in calling on the appropriate authorities to address this situation with the seriousness it requires,” said ADL (Anti-Defamation League) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

The signatory list of 37 bipartisan Members includes Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Don Bacon (R-NE), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Shontel Brown (D-OH), J. Luis Correa (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jared Golden (D-ME), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), David Joyce (R-OH), John Katko (R-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Kim Schrier (D-WA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Jason Smith (R-MO), Darren Soto (D-FL), Thomas Suozzi (D-NY), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Dina Titus (D-NV), Ritchie Torres (D-NH), David Trone (D-MD), Fred Upton (R-MI), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and Susan Wild (D-PA).

Full text of the letter can be found here and below:

June 21, 2022

Attorney General Merrick Garland
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.  20530

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
301 7th Street SW
Washington, D.C.  20528

Director Christopher Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Department of Justice
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.  20535

Dear Attorney General Garland, Secretary Mayorkas, and Director Wray:

As you are no doubt aware, on June 3, 2022 an Eastern Massachusetts organization associated with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement published the Mapping Project. 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 therein. We ask that you investigate the use of the Mapping Project by extremist organizations, provide any necessary enhanced security for targets listed in the Project, and work with social media companies and internet service providers to prevent its further distribution. 

We must not turn a blind eye to this dangerous incitement. The United States faces a serious and growing threat from antisemitic foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), homegrown violent extremists (HVEs), and domestic violent extremists (DVEs).  In 2019, New Jersey saw antisemitic, anti-police domestic terrorists attack a Kosher supermarket, massacring four people, including three police officers. In 2018, eleven people were murdered at a Pittsburgh synagogue by a domestic terrorist. In both cases, the fatalities would have been much higher if our brave law enforcement officers had not shot the assailants, killing one and incapacitating the other.

These were not random occurrences. According to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) 2021 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, the overall number of incidents in the U.S. increased by thirty-four percent from 2020 and was the highest year on record since ADL began tracking them in 1979. The U.S. House of Representatives has clearly expressed in H.Res.246 its opposition to the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) targeting Israel and the hatred that it inspires. 

We are pleased that the FBI is already tracking developments, and ask that you please work with partners across the country – including law enforcement at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, as well as with partners in faith-based communities and the private sector – to protect those people and entities highlighted for targeting by the Mapping Project. We ask that you work with state and local law enforcement to apprehend any FTOs, HVEs, or DVEs that you determine are planning to use this map as a roadmap to domestic terror or violence.

Thank you for your service.

Sincerely,

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

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