Board member Sharon Nazarian urges court to compel Icelandic domain hosting company to shut down dangerous antisemitic website targeting Boston Jewish community
Reykjavik, Iceland, October 11, 2023 … A witness from ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) today urged an Icelandic court to order a local web domain hosting firm to immediately shut down the Boston Mapping Project, an antisemitic website that pinpoints the locations of Jewish communal organizations in Massachusetts. In the wake of the recent violence in Israel, The Mapping Project has ramped up its calls in support of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and urged its readers to follow an antisemitic news channel.
Dr. Sharon S. Nazarian, who testified on behalf of ADL in its ongoing case against Reykjavík-based 1984 Hosting Co., explained how the project was purposely designed to name and target Jewish communal leaders and organizations in Massachusetts and beyond, falsely blaming them for many of the world’s problems and specifically calling out Zionism as a “harm,” thus implicating the vast majority of the Jewish community.
“Under the guise of an interactive map, The Mapping Project explicitly names Jewish community members and institutions in an attempt to intimidate the community – even listing physical addresses,” Dr. Nazarian said. “I myself am named, which is why I felt it crucial to personally come to Iceland and speak in this case. In a time of rising antisemitism in the U.S. and around the world, this antisemitic map potentially puts Jews in real physical danger.”
The Mapping Project is an interactive map that lists the exact locations of Jewish communal organizations in Massachusetts, including ADL. The map’s lines extend outward to any group, organization, educational institution or government official those communal organizations may have interacted with, in an attempt to expose and isolate those who the map’s creators assert are responsible for “the colonization of Palestine” and other perceived “harms that we see linked, such as policing, US Imperialism and displacement.” Since June 18, 2022, the Mapping Project has been hosted by Iceland-based domain service, 1984 Hosting Co. ADL is asking the Court to impose an injunction to permanently remove the website and its content from the Internet.
“Especially in the wake of the war in Israel, there’s an increased risk that anti-Zionist rhetoric could lead to further antisemitic violence around the world,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “The so-called Mapping Project provides a roadmap for violent extremists to target Jews in Greater Boston -- it’s completely unacceptable.”
The Mapping Project website calls for “the dismantling and disruption of Jewish community institutions and organizations,” and states “every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted,” which is tantamount to incitement to violence. Of the 38 non-profit organizations named, 30 are Jewish organizations – no other community is similarly targeted.
After the Mapping Project was launched in June of 2022 on the U.S. hosting site GoDaddy.com, ADL joined with the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council and Combined Jewish Philanthropies in asking the company to take action, which they did. The Project site quickly relocated to a Bulgarian hosting service before reappearing on the Iceland site 1984.is. In June of 2022, ADL penned a letter to 1984.is, urging the site to be taken down as a violation of their terms of service. ADL communicated concerns directly to the Icelandic authorities and government. After the District Commissioner denied a claim for an injunction, ADL filed its case in the District Court in Reykjavik.
According to the ADL Center on Extremism, following Hamas’ surprise massacre against Israel on Oct. 7, the Mapping Project expressed full support for Hamas’ actions and encouraged its readers to follow the Resistance News Network, an antisemitic encrypted news channel that shares violent anti-Israel imagery and promotes anti-Zionist propaganda.
ADL is the leading anti-hate organization in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact. A global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens, ADL works to protect democracy and ensure a just and inclusive society for all. More at www.adl.org.