Resolution: For an Anti-Zionist Tampa DSA in both Principle and Practice

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Whereas, and in line with Convention Resolutions #4 and #62 from 2019, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is an anti-imperialist organization;

Whereas, and in line with Convention Resolution #50 from 2019, the DSA is an anti-colonialist organization committed to advancing decolonization projects;

Whereas, and in line with Convention Resolutions #41 and #45 from 2017 and Resolutions #4 and #31 from 2021, the DSA is an anti-racist organization;

Whereas, and in line with Convention Resolutions #7&8 from 2017 and Resolution #35 from 2019, DSA National has publicly declared on numerous occasions in recent years that it “unapologetically stands in solidarity with Palestinian people everywhere;”

Whereas, Zionism – as popularized by Theodore Herzl and explicitly described by him as something colonial,” meant to be “a wall of Europe against Asia… an outpost of [Western] civilization against [Eastern] barbarism – is and has always been a racist, imperialist, settler-colonial project that has resulted in the ongoing death, displacement, and dehumanization of Palestinians everywhere (i.e., in Palestine and in diaspora around the world);

Whereas, the establishment of a Jewish ethnostate in Palestine (i.e., the so-called “state of Israel”) and its maintenance via ongoing and illegal occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing represent the culmination of Zionists’ century-long colonization of Palestine;

Whereas, and antithetical to the DSA’s contemporary principles and policies, DSA’s founding merger was heavily predicated on ensuring that the DSA would uphold DSOC’s position of supporting continued American aid for Israel’s Zionist settler-colonial project, as explicitly noted in our organization’s founding merger documents (e.g., Points of Political Unity) and by Michael Harrington himself in his autobiography;

Whereas, and antithetical to the DSA’s contemporary principles and policies, a number of DSA endorsed electeds (e.g., Jamaal Bowman & Nithya Raman) have consistently demonstrated a commitment to Zionism through their public opposition to BDS and/or support for legislation that harms Palestinians everywhere (e.g., public support for and votes in favor of U.S. financial aid to Israeli military, which forcefully advances the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine through systematic tactics of abuse, forcible displacement, and murder of Palestinians; governmental adoption of definitions of antisemitism that conflate anti-Zionism and antisemitism, leading to the suppression of speech of Palestinians and those in solidarity with them);

Whereas, the DSA’s historic and contemporary association with and enablement of Zionism has jeopardized DSA rank-and-file membership’s confidence in the integrity of DSA’s overall politics, as well as our organization’s working relationships with major Palestinian-led grassroots organizations across North America;

Whereas, DSA membership has overwhelmingly denounced Zionism through its stated principles and convention mandates since 2017 but has yet to articulate these newfound principles into a more coherent praxis;

Whereas, the resolution “Make DSA an Anti-Zionist Organization in Principle and Praxis” (MSR #12), failed to be heard or deliberated on at the 2023 National Convention, and there is an urgent need to address this on a chapter level;

Whereas, in failing to pass an Anti-Zionist resolution in the spirit of MSR #12, DSA is not a safe space for Palestinians and those who organize for Palestinian liberation, as evidenced by the digital and physical threats against Palestine organizers at the 2023 convention;

Therefore, be it resolved, the Tampa DSA chapter denounces the organization’s Zionist roots and reaffirms its commitment to being an anti-racist, anti-imperialist organization by explicitly committing to being an anti-Zionist chapter– in both principle and praxis;

Be it resolved, Tampa DSA once again reaffirms our organization’s commitments to Palestinian liberation and the broad, international BDS movement by conveying our expectation that all of Tampa DSA’s endorsed candidates hold true to the following basic commitments:

  1. Publicly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement;
  2. Refrain from any and all affiliation with the Israeli government or Zionist lobby groups, such as, but not limited to, AIPAC, J Street, or Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), including participating in political junkets or any event sponsored by these entities;
  3. Pledge to oppose legislation that harms Palestinians, such as…
    • Any official adoption of a redefinition of antisemitism to include opposition to Israel’s policies or legal system, or support for BDS (e.g., IHRA definition of antisemitism);
    • Legislative and executive efforts to penalize individuals, universities and entities that boycott Israel;
    • Legislative and executive efforts to send any military or economic resources to Israel;
  4. Pledge to support legislation that supports Palestinian liberation, such as…
    • Legislative and executive efforts to end Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians and promote Palestinians’ rights to return to and live freely on the land (e.g., H.R. 2590);
    • Condemnation of Israeli apartheid and colonial practices  (e.g., H.Res. 751);
    • Attempts to end the spending of U.S. tax dollars on Israel and/or sanction Israel until it ceases its practices of apartheid and colonialism;

Be it resolved, our local chapter’s candidate questionnaires will continue to include a question that inquires about the candidate’s position on BDS;

Be it resolved, potential candidates who cannot commit to the aforementioned basic expectations will be disqualified from endorsement by the Tampa DSA at every level;

Be it resolved, the Tampa DSA, in collaboration with trusted Palestine Solidarity movement partners in the grassroots (e.g., Palestinian Youth Movement) and the DSA International Committee, will provide all endorsed candidates with anti-Zionist educational materials, 1-to-1 training opportunities and ongoing, open-door counsel as needed;

Be it resolved, upon receiving fair and ample opportunity for education about the Palestinian struggle for liberation, endorsed candidates who do not commit to the aforementioned basic expectations will have their Tampa DSA endorsements swiftly revoked;

Be it resolved, Tampa DSA members – regardless of endorsement status – who are credibly shown to:

  1. have consistently and publicly opposed BDS and Palestine (e.g., denouncing the BDS movement in public interviews; writing public op-eds denouncing the BDS movement; drafting and voting in favor of legislation that suppresses BDS, such as legislation that suppresses speech rights around the right to freely criticize Zionism/Israel and/or the right to boycott), even after receiving fair and ample opportunity for education about the Palestinian struggle for liberation, 
  2. be currently affiliated with the Israeli government or any Zionist lobby group(s) such as, but not limited to, AIPAC, J Street, or Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), or
  3. have provided material aid to Israel (e.g., Congresspeople voting to provide Israel with material aid; gave direct financial donations of any kind to Israel and/or settler NGOs who carry out the mission of Israeli settlement and Palestinian dispossession/displacement, such as the Jewish National Fund, the Israel Land Fund, the Hebron Fund, and Regavim)

will be considered in substantial disagreement with DSA’s principles and policies, and thus, the chapter will initiate the expulsion process in line with Article III, Section 3 of the Tampa DSA Bylaws;

Be it resolved, members expelled on these grounds may be reconsidered for membership reinstatement once per year provided they write a statement to chapter membership that 1.) demonstrates a basic understanding of Palestinian issues and Zionism and 2.) apologizes for past anti-solidaristic behaviors with a commitment to putting their new anti-Zionist principles into practice;

Be it resolved, membership reinstatement of reformed Zionists will require recommendation for reinstatement by their local chapter, followed by a majority vote in favor of reinstatement by the National Political Committee, as per the national Bylaws.

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