Connecticut DSA Statement in Support of DSA BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group – Adopted April 5, 2022

To Our Comrades:

We stand in solidarity with the DSA BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group and reaffirm our commitment to the BDS Movement and Palestinians’ struggle for justice and liberation. We commend the decision by the DSA National Political Committee’s (NPC) to reverse their recent attempt to decharter the Working Group, but we stand with the Working Group in calling for the reinstatement of their Steering Committee.

As leftists within the imperial core, itself a settler-colonial state, our position as an anti-imperialist, working-class organization striving for freedom, peace, and safety of oppressed peoples is only strengthened by principled and active solidarity with Palestinians.

The Israeli settler-colonial project has carried out a regime of occupation, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, and the U.S. government continues to fund and arm the Israeli occupation, sending billions of dollars in military aid with congressional approval.

The struggle to end U.S. complicity with Israeli colonialism is paramount for us in Connecticut. Weapon manufacturers are central to Connecticut’s economy, which makes our state highly complicit in the provision of military equipment to Israel. Police departments in Hartford and Stamford engage in police exchanges and training programs with Israeli Occupation forces, which have been happening in cities across the state and country for more than two decades. This year $79,590,405 of Connecticut tax dollars went to fund the Israeli military instead of investing in our communities through programs like social housing, increased funding for daycare and education, and expanded access to healthcare regardless of income or immigration status.

An array of Palestinian civil society organizations has called for a tactic of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel to comply with international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall.

2. Granting Palestinian/Arab citizens of 48’ (‘Israel’) their right to full equality.

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

The Democratic Socialists of America national convention voted to support the BDS movement in 2017, reaffirmed its commitment in 2019 by establishing a BDS & Palestine Solidarity national working group, and in 2021 included BDS in our National Platform. Connecticut DSA similarly supports BDS and stands in solidarity with Palestinians’ resistance to occupation and apartheid.

The NPC’s vote to decharter the BDS Palestine WG and suspend its leadership was both illegitimate and the continuation of a pattern of deprioritization of solidarity with Palestine and tolerance for crossing the BDS picket line, in defiance of DSA’s stated mandate to support BDS. The NPC’s actions override the decisions made by the majority of convention delegates at the 2019 Convention that established this Working Group in the first place. While we commend the NPC in reversing the decision to decharter the Working Group, its work and its organizational relationships in the BDS movement have been deeply harmed locally, nationally, and internationally by the original decision, and this harm will not be fully repaired if the suspension of the Working Group’s leadership is allowed to stand.

Connecticut DSA stands in firm solidarity with the DSA BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group. We opposed the NPC’s decision to decharter the Working Group and demand the immediate reversal of the suspension of the leadership of the Working Group. We will publicly announce our condemnation by sharing this statement on our website and social media accounts and send a brief notification of the statement to the NPC.

We concur with the authors of For An Internationalist DSA in their support of dissenting NPC members when they write: “we invite you to commit to struggling through conflict, to remain true to our anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist values, and support us in standing with our Palestinian and Palestinian-allied comrades against censorship.” 

In solidarity,

Connecticut DSA