The Resolution of the Democratic Socialists for Justice in Palestine to the 2017 DSA National Convention
Whereas, on July 9, 2005 all major Palestinian civil society groups, including all major trade unions, issued an open letter calling for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights (BDS Call);
Whereas, July 9, 2005 marked the first anniversary of the International Court of Justice finding that Israel’s construction of a wall annexing Palestinian territory in the West Bank to be illegal;
Whereas, the BDS Call noted one year later, Israel continued “construction of the colonial Wall with total disregard to the Court’s decision;”
Whereas, according to the BDS Call “all forms of international intervention and peace-making have until now failed to convince or force Israel to comply with humanitarian law, to respect fundamental human rights and to end its occupation and oppression of the people of Palestine;”
Whereas, in light of this failure, Palestinian civil society has asked for global civil society and people of conscience to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel until it recognized the basic human rights of the Palestinian people by: ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall, recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and; respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194;
Whereas, Palestinian trade unions are unanimous in their support of BDS and all three major Palestinian trade union federations are part of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions National Committee (BNC);
Whereas, DSA would be joining other US-based groups and unions in supporting BDS, including the United Electrical Workers, the Connecticut AFL-CIO, UAW Locals 2865, 2110, 2322, AFT Local 3220, the National Lawyers Guild, the American Studies Association, the African Literature Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the Association for Asian American Studies, Jewish Voice for Peace, among others;
Whereas, since 1948 Israel has denied the right of return to Palestinian refugees;
Whereas, today there are five million refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees;
Whereas, since 1967 Israel has militarily occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Golan Heights;
Whereas, Israel has engaged in a program of rapacious colonization (“settlements”) of the Occupied Palestinian Territories,
Whereas, Israeli settlers in the West Bank are given the rights of Israeli citizenship, subject to civilian law, and are permitted to drive on roads barred to Palestinians;
Whereas, Palestinians in the West Bank are not Israeli citizens, are subjected to military law, including being tried in military courts with a 99% conviction rate, are forced to drive on different roads, go through military checkpoints, are subjected to collective punishment, such as house demolitions, and have their land annexed and colonized to build settlements in which they are forbidden to live;
Whereas, there are today at least 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship;
Whereas, all of the aforementioned constitutes apartheid;
Whereas, since 2007 Israel has maintained a ruthless siege of Gaza, home of 1.9 million Palestinians, including 1.3 million Palestinian refugees, limiting access to food, electricity, and other basic materials, restricting movement, and transforming Gaza into an open air prison;
Whereas, Israel has since the blockage engaged in three wars against Gaza, which included sustained aerial bombing and the use of white phosphorous;
Whereas, since Gaza, is one of the most densely populated areas on Earth any widespread bombing is by its very nature a war against civilians;
Whereas, Democratic Socialists of America has condemned Israeli settlements and its bombings of Gaza;
Whereas, Democratic Socialists of America already supports “partial BDS” (boycotts of settlement goods);
Whereas, Democratic Socialists of America has endorsed the Movement For Black Lives Platform, which includes support for BDS;
Whereas, Democratic Socialists of America and Young Democratic Socialists played an important role in the historic international movement against South African Apartheid, upon which the BDS call is based;
Whereas, BDS is an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia;
Whereas, Israel is the largest recipient of US military aid, making the US complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights;
Whereas, socialists have a responsibility to side with the oppressed and are committed to their unconditional liberation:
BE IT RESOLVED:
- Democratic Socialists of America declares itself in solidarity with Palestinian civil society’s nonviolent struggle against apartheid, colonialism, military occupation and for equality, human rights, and self-determination.
- Democratic Socialists of America responds to Palestinian Civil Society’s call by fully supporting BDS.
- Democratic Socialists of America affirms that any political solution to the ongoing crisis must be premised on the realization of basic human rights, including all rights outlined in the BDS call.
- Within 30 days after passing, a copy of this resolution shall be sent to the BNC.