Statement on Rep. Jamaal Bowman

Class Unity stands in full solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian national liberation and affirms the national platform’s commitment to that cause.

The Democratic Socialists of America is an organization in which elected officials are accountable to the membership and we believe it is time to hold Representative Jamaal Bowman accountable. His actions and statements run counter to our values and resolutions. Within the last few months, Rep. Bowman has:

  • voted in favor of $3.3 billion in military aid to Israel and an additional $1 billion in funding for Israel’s already fully funded Iron Dome
  • participated in a Zionist propaganda trip with J Street to apartheid Israel – visiting the Israeli Knesset, meeting with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and posing for a photo with far-right Zionist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, as well as participating in an online fundraiser with J Street.

These are not inconsequential actions that can be written off as a difference of opinion. DSA’s political platform makes our position on Palestinian liberation clear. In the section titled International Solidarity, Anti-Imperialism, and Anti-Militarism, the platform states:

  • “Stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against apartheid, colonialism, and military occupation, and for equality, human rights, and self-determination, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”
  •  “Discontinue US support of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people, including an end to all military aid and resisting the ‘normalization’ of relations between the Israeli government and other governments.”
  • “Support self-determination for the Palestinian people and a political solution to the current crisis premised on the guarantee of basic human rights, including an end to the military occupation, an end to discrimination against Palestinians within Israel, and the right of return of refugees, as outlined in the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.”

In May, DSA released a statement claiming that it stood “in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against apartheid, colonialism, and military occupation, and for equality, justice, and self-determination.” Rep. Bowman’s actions contradict the democratically decided positions of DSA. Further, when asked to support BDS in the future, Rep. Bowman declined.

DSA is a big-tent organization that tolerates wide divergence of opinion among its membership, including disagreement with articles of its platform. But Rep. Bowman is no ordinary rank and file member. He is a DSA-endorsed elected official whose proper role is to faithfully represent the socialist movement in the halls of power, not to prioritize his own individual opinions and political self-interest.

It is on these grounds that Class Unity calls on the National Political Committee (NPC) to demonstrate a commitment to our organization’s values by standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and expelling Rep. Jamaal Bowman. Additionally, we appeal to the NPC to withhold any future endorsement of Rep. Bowman.

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