Anti-Zionism is Not Antisemitism

Massachusetts Peace Action Statement

Photo: JVP

We have no connection with the Mapping Project, had no knowledge of it before its launch, and are in no position to vouch for the accuracy of everything it says.  The claims that our organization is antisemitic because of a purported connection to it are disingenuous and slanderous.  

Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism.

For the past week, defenders of Israel’s occupation of Palestine have launched a furious attack at Massachusetts Peace Action, claiming we are antisemites and are putting Jews at risk.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  We are anti-racist and stand against all forms of discrimination and oppression.  We have many Jewish members.  We denounce antisemitism.

The charge of antisemitism is due mainly to MAPA’s opposition to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan, which has continued since 1967 with the strong support of the U.S. government.  The nearly $4 billion a year in military aid the U.S. sends to Israel enables it to hold the Palestinians under military occupation, to further expand its illegal West Bank settlements, and to attack neighboring countries.  

The latest target for those who support Israel’s occupation is the Mapping Project, a power structure research dataset recently posted by an anonymous collective of activists.  Its stated purpose is to document “some ways in which institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing and systemic white supremacy here where we live, and to US imperialist projects in other countries.”  

We reaffirm our support for the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement which uses economic pressure to end the Israeli occupation.  We appreciate the Mapping Project’s efforts to show the institutional links between US imperialism, the Israeli occupation, and systems of racism and oppression at home, though we don’t necessarily agree with all of their analyses. Dismantling these systems of militarism and oppression has always been part of MAPA’s mission to build a just and peaceful future.

Critics of the Mapping Project use lies and slander to attack it.  They claim it is a list of Jewish organizations.  Not true – it lists some Jewish-identified organizations and many more that are not Jewish.  For those it lists, it identifies the policies that got them on the list, not the ethnicity of their members. 

Antisemitic violence is rising dangerously in the United States, but we know of no violence against Jews committed by progressive anti-Zionists; the Department of Homeland Security assesses that the greatest terrrorism threat comes from white supremacist extremists. When leaders of organizations are outraged because their ties to Israeli apartheid are documented, they should openly explain why they support the Israeli occupation rather than hiding behind deceptive claims of antisemitism.

This statement was edited on June 16 to move the previously final paragraph to the start, where it is more prominent.