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.

What Is DSA? Training Call

May 30, 2017
· 61 rsvps

If you're a new DSAer, have been on a new member call, but still have questions about DSA's core values/strategy/core work and how to express these ideas in an accessible way to the media, as well as to friends, family and others who might be interested in joining DSA, this call is for you. 

We will talk through the basics of DSA's political orientation and strategy for moving toward democratic socialism, and also have call participants practice discussing these issues with each other. By the end of the call you should feel much more comfortable thinking about and expressing what DSA does and what makes our organization/strategy unique. 8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT. 70 minutes.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 96 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. 9 ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 PT.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 27 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. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

June 13, 2017
· 15 rsvps

Join Bill Barclay, Chicago DSA co-chair, and Peg Strobel, National Political Committee and Feminist Working Group co-chair, on this webinar for an overview of what we in Democratic Socialists of America mean when we talk about "socialism," "capitalism" and the goals of the socialist movement. 9:30 PM ET; 8:30 PM CT; 7:30 PM MT; 6:30 PM PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Bill Barclay, chocolatehouse@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 7 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 5 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.