COMMENTARY: A Misguided Quest
Above, a “map” from the Mapping Project website showing “interlocking systems of oppression.”
We first learned about the Mapping Project through a newsletter, Arguable, created by Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby. Since then, much ‘ink’ has been spilled on the subject, but it doesn’t hurt to add a little more. Jacoby’s article begins as follows:
The Mapping Project was unveiled last week by far-left extremists associated with BDS Boston. (BDS refers to the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions campaign to isolate and demonize the Jewish state.) It consists of an interactive map of Massachusetts on which are linked nearly 500 public and private entities of every description. Its creators call it “an organizing tool” for “fighting back against Zionism, US imperialism, and other interlocking systems of oppression.”
That seems a fairly concise summary. The fact that so many of the institutions identified by BDS as part of this “interlocking system” are created by or associated with Jews is, of course, particularly worrisome. It’s a too-familiar kind of construct that rarely leads in positive directions. Some of those singled out by the BDS include, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), Ruderman Family Foundation, Kraft Family Philanthropies, Seth Klarman, and the Klarman Family Foundation.
We would add this thought: when people pursue a worthy goal, in this case concern for the people of Palestine, without attempting to maintain a sense of perspective, bad things can happen. Humans of every stripe and point of view can slip into narrow-minded blindness and before you know it, they are creating enemies and, most worrisome of all, dividing the world into “us” and “them” or, perhaps, actually striking out at these “enemies.”
Very likely, many of those involved with BDS have the best of intentions and are kind and decent people. Let’s hope they reconsider their polarizing vision of the world and let’s hope all of us can avoid the trap of pursuing goals, even worthy goals, without keeping a sense of balance and human sympathy for those with whom we disagree.