The Democratic Socialists of America unequivocally condemns the ethnic cleansing (aka illegal “evictions”) of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, the ongoing racist violence by Israeli police and Jewish settlers, as well as Israel’s latest bombardment of Gaza. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against apartheid, colonialism, and military occupation, and for equality, justice, and self-determination.
Israel is forcibly expelling Palestinian families in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods to make way for more Jewish settlers. The families have been ordered to leave their homes by the Israeli Supreme Court by August 1st. Israel has no legal jurisdiction over the occupied eastern part of Jerusalem according to international law, but nevertheless continues to illegitimately advance their racist agenda in a continuation of the state’s broader, settler-colonial Zionist project.
In 1948, the Zionist dream of the formation of Israel was achieved through the nightmarish displacement of approximately 750,000 Palestinians. This premeditated ethnic cleansing is commonly known as al-Nakba — the Catastrophe — and it has been ongoing ever since, with Israel over the course of the subsequent decades expanding its control over the rest of Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights. Hundreds of thousands more Palestinians have since been displaced from their homes. The millions of Palestinians still living in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem face constant home demolitions, illegal evictions, police and settler violence, and apartheid as Israel continues to expand its Jewish-only colonies (aka “settlements”).
Palestinians protesting the recent round of illegal expulsions have faced violent repression. Israeli police have gone so far as to storm the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, using tear gas and stun grenades against worshippers. But the resolve of the Palestinian people can never be shaken, with tens of thousands of Palestinians bravely pouring in from various parts of historic Palestine to join these demonstrations and uprisings happening in the colonized towns of Akka, Al Lydd, Umm al Fahm, and more.
At the same time that Palestinians are being attacked by Israel in Jerusalem and elsewhere, they are also being bombarded in Gaza. This is because what happens to Palestinians in Jerusalem is connected to Palestinians everywhere as part of the ongoing Nakba (i.e. ethnic cleansing).
Israel’s bombing has so far killed more than 100 Palestinians, including 28 children, and injured more than 500 more, according to Gaza Health Ministry. Civilians in Gaza have nowhere to run, as Gaza is an open air prison blockaded by Israel and Egypt on all sides. Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Any bombing of such a densely populated area constitutes collective punishment and is a crime against humanity. However, time and time and time again, Israel continues to violently violate international law with unconditional support from its allies (e.g. America).
The United States provides Israel with $3.8 billion of military aid annually and gives Israel special diplomatic cover for its countless violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. In line with the Palestinian call for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), DSA continues to call on all elected officials, especially those endorsed by DSA, to support the Palestinian call to defund ethnic cleansing and fully boycott apartheid.
More specifically, we demand not only an end to the ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine, including Sheikh Jarrah, but the full recognition of the Palestinian people’s basic rights, as laid out by the three demands of the BDS movement, which are 1.) An end to Israel’s illegal occupation and ongoing colonization; 2.) Equal rights for all Palestinians; and 3.) The right of return for all Palestinian refugees to their homes as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
We call on our comrades to continue to mobilize around BDS. We have seen powerful displays of Palestine solidarity across America this week with more still to come. DSA and its network of allies will continue to grow, and we will continue to expose and fight against the injustices of racism, colonialism, imperialism and capitalism wherever they exist.
These injustices have been a daily part of every Palestinian’s life from the day they were born, but the fiery resistance of the people remains unyielding. DSA unapologetically stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their ongoing struggle for liberation: from Sheikh Jarrah to Gaza and beyond.