Recently, journalists and policymakers have been in a frenzy over the NYC-DSA chapter’s decision to include a pledge for DSA endorsed candidates to not travel to Israel on the candidate endorsement questionnaire form. NYC Council members frequently participate in Israel-lobby sponsored trips to Israel. These trips are unethical and have the explicit goal of deepening the US-Israel relationship on a local level to normalize apartheid and occupation.
The ensuing attack on NYC-DSA was politically motivated with the intention of silencing and marginalizing DSA at a time when DSA-endorsed candidates in New York are winning major victories. This event aims to provide context for what played out leading up to the attack and how DSA responded. We will also use this opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what the rights-based Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement—which DSA voted to endorse in 2017—calls for. We hope to give DSA members a deeper understanding of BDS and why Palestine is an important part of NYC local organizing, as well as to align our words and actions to move forward in a fearless, positive, and powerful way.