Statement on Israel-Palestine

Democratic Socialists of America endorses the decision of the United Nations to grant Palestine Non-Member Observer State status. We regard the U.N.’s recognition of a Palestinian state as a vital step forward towards a durable, just, comprehensive, negotiated two-state peace. We regret that Israel and the United States actively opposed the Palestinian application.

As we stated in our 2009 Statement on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Winning Peace with Justice in the Middle East:

Peace in the Middle East and justice for both the Palestinian and Israeli people can only be achieved through mutual recognition by each side of the right of each people to viable and secure states of their own, in which the rights of minorities are also guaranteed.

We strongly oppose retaliatory measures against the PLO or the Palestinian Authority (PA)–in particular, Congressional efforts to cut funding, which could lead to the collapse of the PA and jeopardize the important progress it has made in recent years. We call on President Obama to swiftly adopt serious and vigorous efforts that promote Israeli-Palestinian peace.

DSA also condemns the recent Israeli military attacks on Gaza that led to disproportionate civilian deaths. These arose in response to Hamas’s unjustifiable rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. Israel, however, is the hegemonic military and occupying power in the region; therefore, DSA believes Israel has the primary responsibility to create pre-conditions for peace–such as a unilateral withdrawal of illegal West Bank settlements and an end to the embargo of civilian goods entering Gaza. Israel should be willing to negotiate with representatives of the Palestinian people, while such representatives should promote the peace process by ending attacks on Israeli civilians.

At this crucial juncture, it is the obligation of the international community, including especially the United States of America, to make sure that the strategy of coexistence and moderation is rewarded, and that the Palestinian people are offered a horizon in which they are able to realize a viable, contiguous, independent state alongside Israel (including a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem) not through guns and bombs, but via the tools of statecraft and diplomacy.

DSA will work, along with other pro-peace forces in the American Jewish, Palestinian, Arab, and broader progressive community to pressure the United States to adopt a balanced Middle-East approach, including an end to military aid to Israel that is used for occupation purposes, and to support movements in Israel and Palestine that are committed to a two-state solution.

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 51 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
· 18 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
· 4 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.