Earlier this week, the Twin Cities DSA Steering Committee posted a statement in solidarity with the people of Palestine. Based on responses from both inside and outside our chapter, we would like to clarify our position. We want to be clear that this statement is from the Steering Committee, and that no statements issued by Twin Cities DSA – including this one – are directly approved by or created in concert with any elected officials or candidates affiliated with our chapter, nor those of Twin Ports DSA.
We grieve for those who have been killed in Israel and Palestine. We grieve alongside those whose lives have been torn apart by this bitter, ongoing struggle. The bloodshed of the last few days has been utterly devastating. Our Jewish and our Palestinian friends and family members, both here in the United States and abroad, are faced with astonishing loss and pain.
We strongly condemn attacks on civilians by Hamas. In our previous statement, we made a conscious choice to center the lives of oppressed people in Palestine; Palestinians have suffered under colonial violence and apartheid for decades. However, not mentioning the mass death and kidnapping of Israeli civilians instead gave the impression that we were unconcerned about the tragic civilian casualties that have occurred as a result of Saturday’s attacks. This is not the case, but we recognize that the impact of our statement is more important than our intent.
We also strongly condemn attacks on civilians by the government of Israel and the IDF. We stand in solidarity for a free Palestine because we want to see this violence ended. The current Israeli policy towards Gaza and the West Bank is one of apartheid and collective punishment, and will continue to escalate this conflict. Our media fails to hold the lives of Palestinians killed by the IDF as sacred as Israeli citizens killed by Hamas. This is why it is so important to speak out in solidarity with Palestine.
Just this week, Israeli officials announced that they will cut off electricity, food, and water from the 2.2 million people who live in Gaza, nearly half of whom are children under 18. We remain concerned that the overwhelming response in the United States has been one of unconditional support to the government of Israel, even as it pursues such atrocities. The IDF’s siege of Gaza will only lead to more death and suffering – not peace.
To condemn the actions of a government is not the same thing as condemning its people. We stand against antisemitism and Islamophobia in all their forms. The actions of the government of Israel do not represent Judaism, just as the actions of Hamas do not represent all Palestinians or Muslims. Insisting Judaism and Zionism are equivalent erases the many Jewish people who are actively and vocally anti-Zionist. Holding American Muslims – including elected officials – to an increased scrutiny of having to explain that they are not terrorists and do not support war crimes is racist and Islamophobic.
To reiterate: antisemitism and violence against civilians have no place in the fight for a free Palestine. Twin Cities DSA – including our Jewish, Muslim, and Palestinian members – stands with people everywhere who are on the side of justice, freedom, and the right to self-determination. Only when this occupation is ended can there be a just and lasting peace.
– Twin Cities DSA Steering Committee