Red Star-Marxist Unity Group Joint Statement on the Palestinian Uprising

Red Star-Marxist Unity Group Joint Statement on the Palestinian Uprising

For a Free Palestine

Red Star and Marxist Unity Group stand in solidarity with Palestine and its ongoing struggle against colonization. Palestine will only be free when there is no territory held under Israeli apartheid, ending 75 years of occupation and oppression by the Zionist entity. We support the right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves from harm and to determine their own fate.

The United States is the dominant imperial power of the modern world, enriching itself through the exploitation of billions in the Global South. The US subsidizes the Israeli war industry through direct purchases and funding of over $3 billion a year, using Israel as a bulwark in West Asia and North Africa while working-class Americans, including millions of migrant workers and prisoners who are denied the right to suffrage, live with rising prices and stagnant wages. Despite this, the Biden administration is currently pushing for additional military aid to crush the Palestinian uprising. Hundreds of Palestinians have been martyred already, murdered by Israel in retaliation for the uprising. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has announced a complete siege of the Gaza Strip, calling its residents “human animals.” We reject calls to end the conflict without ending its sources—colonization and apartheid, funded by the US.

Israel and the United States rely on the Zionist narrative that any resistance to the occupation—from nonviolent movements like BDS to armed self-defense—amounts to terrorism. This shifts the blame to Palestine, forcing anti-Zionists to defend against accusations that they hold antisemitic views or condone violence against civilians while Israel commits genocide against the people of Palestine and marginalizes Jewish anti-Zionists.

In the past few days, we have seen leaders within the Democratic Party crawl out of the woodwork to denounce anti-Zionist activists, including DSA, as supporters of terrorism. This echoes the repression of the Stop Cop City movement in Atlanta, where activists fighting police occupation and environmental destruction now face charges of domestic terrorism. There is a clear possibility on the horizon that the state will level terrorism charges against the Palestinian solidarity movement for nonviolent mobilization and we need to stand ready to defend our comrades.

We call on DSA’s nationally-endorsed elected representatives to vote no on any funding to Israel. The responsibility of socialists in office is to agitate for mass action against US imperialism and to do everything in their power to block the war machine. As DSA members, we pledge to join them in this fight, mobilizing in the streets and protecting them from Zionist attacks. Only a mass movement for the end of the US empire can bring peace, and our task is to build it.

On Internal NPC Deliberation and DSA’s Positioning on Palestine

When making decisions with DSA, both of our caucuses follow two guiding principles: the centrality of fighting imperialism and the necessity of democracy and transparency. As the largest socialist organization in the US, it is DSA’s responsibility to lead the fight against atrocities committed in the name of democracy here and in occupied Palestine—both nations where real democracy is denied to the majority of the population and power is held by the capitalist class. 

On Saturday, October 7, a draft Twitter thread was brought to the NPC Steering Committee (SC) for consideration. Despite concerns from members of the SC, votes to post the thread were collected informally from multiple platforms and published in less than an hour. In practice, the thread constitutes a statement from leadership that neither satisfied many of our allies in the Palestinian solidarity movement nor prevented Zionists from smearing us as supporters of terrorism. This is not a surprise—the Zionist lobby’s aim is to discipline DSA for supporting Palestinian liberation. We will not back down under pressure. 

The process to approve the statement reflects a failure to learn from the mistakes of the prior NPC, which made major decisions on Palestinian liberation in closed spaces and without political debate rather than in open session with the involvement of membership. We have failed to build the pace and quality of decision-making needed to adequately handle business, marring this term with procedural inertia. We are grateful that the NPC passed a motion to hold an open political discussion on the thread during its last meeting, but it was an inadequate substitute for a process that puts the full political leadership of the organization in charge of the decisions we make, within view of the membership.

It is imperative that DSA take this opportunity to chart a new path forward and correct our previous missteps, demonstrating our unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle. We must be proactive in supporting and guiding our elected officials to hold firm stances against backing the Zionist occupation in any form, and in particular against sending military aid to Israel. To this end, the NPC members from our caucuses introduced a resolution to do the following:

  • Issue a longer-form NPC statement on the current situation that demonstrates unwavering support for Palestine and calls on DSA members to fight for the Palestinian right to resistance and against the Israeli settler-colonial occupation.
  • Brief DSA elected officials at all levels on the context and history of the occupation, DSA's democratically-decided positions, and how they can effectively lead the fight for Palestinian liberation
  • Call upon our Congressional elected officials to vote against all military aid to Israel and reassert that voting for military aid violates the organization's democratically-decided principles and is grounds for disciplinary measures.

In the interim Steering Committee special meeting on Tuesday, October 10, our resolution was considered and substantially edited, and the SC passed a motion for it to be referred to the NPC for Loomio vote within 24 hours after non-political edits for clarity. While we disagreed with some of the edits put forward by our comrades, and believe the task of editing should have gone to the full NPC, we were refreshed to see the SC work through a positive and productive process aligning the statement. Unfortunately, after referring the amended resolution to the full NPC, several comrades switched their apparent positions to a no vote, blocking the passage of the resolution. 

While we were disheartened that the collaboratively-amended statement would not be put forward as an official position, the most urgent issue now facing us is that our resolution represented the only plan of action for supporting our socialists in office in their fight to block funding to the Israeli war machine. This applies particularly to Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib, who have come under fire for their immensely brave stances against Zionist apartheid. Our task remains to take up the fight against genocide, either by reintroducing the organizing tasks of the previous resolution minus the attached statement, or by developing a new plan in collaboration with the rest of the NPC.

We look forward to working with the full NPC and the mass membership of DSA to fight for Palestinian liberation, which we believe starts with a concrete electoral strategy to block US funding for the war. Our caucuses view this as the basic first step the organization can take to ensure that Palestine is free, in our lifetimes, from the river to the sea.

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