A First Step Towards a Peace Process

DSA’s National Political Committee’s Statement on the UN Security Council Resolution 2334
January 2, 2017

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) commends the UN Security Council vote of 14-0-1 in favor of Resolution 2334 on December 23, 2016, a resolution that condemns all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as having “no legal validity” and amounting to a “flagrant violation of international law.” We wish that the United States government had voted in favor of the resolution, but we note that the U.S.’s abstention enabled the first Security Council condemnation of the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank since 1980.

DSA has long viewed the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and its inhumane siege of Gaza as the major barrier to a just settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. DSA commends U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent speech for highlighting the barriers that continued Israeli settlements pose for justice in the region. But DSA must also point out that the speech came too late from an administration that has been consistently unwilling to take meaningful action against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayahu government’s outrageous settlement policy.

DSA reiterates its belief that only a unilateral Israeli end to the occupation would enable the Palestinian and Jewish peoples to share the land of historic Palestine in a manner to be determined by negotiations between democratic representatives of both parties, free of external interference. Thus, DSA believes the United States government must break with its implicit support of the settlements by ending all forms of military assistance to Israel that aids the inhumane occupation.

We also join with the European Union and most progressive religious organizations in the United States in supporting a boycott of goods and services produced by Israeli and foreign corporations in the occupied territories and for divestment from companies such as Caterpillar and Motorola that economically benefit from the occupation. (Such a policy is commonly known as “partial” boycott, divestment and sanctions.)

DSA has always supported the right to self-determination and democracy for both the Palestinian and Jewish peoples of historic Palestine. We believe that only unconditional negotiations between democratic representatives of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples can achieve such an outcome. The ultimate resolution of this process – whether it be two states, a confederation, or one state – must guarantee full political and civil rights for all people and be supported by a majority of the members of both communities.

Because the vast majority of our members reside in the United States, DSA takes particular responsibility for influencing the policies of our own government. We believe that the belated endorsement by the Obama administration of an end to the occupation is a start; however, DSA fears that the incoming presidency of Donald Trump will reverse this modest progress. We believe that massive public pressure must be put on the next administration to support the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

A first step in such resistance will be to pressure the Senate to reject the confirmation of the Trump administration’s nominee for Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. Friedman not only backs continued settlements but is an extreme advocate of annexing the occupied territories into one “Greater Israel,” a solution that would codify Israel as an apartheid state and permanently threaten the rights and security of all peoples living in the region.

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 52 rsvps
The Price We Pay blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance — the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, tax havens - and what we need to do to stop this.  DSA member Bill Barclay, who has a cameo role in the film, will facilitate the discussion. Watch the film prior to the discussion.

Full film available on Vimeo.

How to Plug in New Members

February 01, 2017
· 19 rsvps

Is your DSA chapter growing quickly and you're trying desperately to find ways to plug new members into your chapter's work? Never fear! On this conference call an experienced DSA organizer will go over the basics of new member outreach and developing a plan for plugging new members into your chapter's work. Most of the call will be devoted to troubleshooting specific issues you're facing, so please brainstorm some issues beforehand that you want to bring up on the call.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 7 PM PT.

Film Discussion: Salt of the Earth

February 05, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Join DSA members Shelby Murphy and Deborah Rosenfelt in discussing Salt of the Earth, a captivating film made in 1954 by blacklisted writers and actors about a strike at a New Mexico zinc mine. Well before the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s, these filmmakers were exploring gender inequality and solidarity. Available on Netflix.

Shelby Murphy is a Latina from Texas and former Young Democratic Socialists co-chair. Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, Deborah Rosenfelt researched the making of the film and its aftermath for the reissued screenplay. Here is her blogpost about the film.

 

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 5 rsvps

Join DSA members Glenn Scott and Richard Croxdale to discuss videos produced by People’s History in Texas (PHIT), a project that brings to life the stories of ordinary people in significant socio-political movements in Texas. They will discuss The Rag, their newest documentary, which tells the story of an influential underground paper based in Austin, Texas, from 1966-77. Click here to view Part I (the early years as an all-volunteer paper covering the student, anti-Vietnam and Civil Rights movements), Part II (the impact of Women’s Liberation on the paper) and Part III (building community: covering local politics, nukes, co-ops, feminist institutions). But also check out the video on the Stand-Ins about a group of university students who led a movement to desegregate Austin’s movie theaters in 1961.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion.