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: When Abortion Was Illegal

March 26, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Directed by Dorothy Fadiman, When Abortion Was Illegal (1992, nominated for an Academy Award, Best Documentary Short Subject) reveals through first-person accounts the experiences of women seeking abortion before the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973. We are one Supreme Court nominee away from a return in many states to back-alley abortions. Join Amanda Williams, Executive Director of the Lilith Fund, to discuss challenges to reproductive justice and abortion access. (Lilith Fund funds abortions for women in need in the Central and South Texas area.) Learn about how to participate in April Bowl-A-Thons to raise funds for low-income women. View the film here for free before the discussion. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

DSA New Member Orientation Call

March 30, 2017
· 39 rsvps

You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved.  9:30 PM ET; 8:30 PM CT; 7:30 PM MT; 6:30 PM PT.

LGBT Activism: A Brief History with Thoughts about the Future

April 01, 2017
· 50 rsvps

Historian John D'Emilio's presentation will do 3 things: Provide a brief explanation of how sexual and gender identities have emerged; provide an overview of the progression of LGBT activism since its origins in the 1950s, highlighting key moments of change; and, finally, suggest what issues, from a democratic socialist perspective, deserve prioritizing now. John co-authored Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, which was quoted by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision that ruled state sodomy laws unconstitutional. 1 pm ET; 12 pm CT; 11 am MT; 10 am 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 Peg Strobel, peg.strobel@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 30 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. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT. Here's a blog post about PHIT.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

April 04, 2017
· 53 rsvps

Join Rahel Biru, NYC DSA co-chair, and Joseph Schwartz, DSA Vice-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 PM ET; 8 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 6 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 Joseph Schwartz, schwartzjoem@gmail.com.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

What Is DSA? Training Call

April 05, 2017

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.

Feminist Working Group

April 12, 2017
· 15 rsvps

People of all genders are welcome to join this call to discuss DSA's work on women's and LGBTQ issues, especially in light of the new political reality that we face after the elections.  9 pm ET; 8 pm CT; 7 pm MT; 6 pm PT.

DSA New Member Orientation Call

April 16, 2017
· 6 rsvps

You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved.  8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT.