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.