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‘An Inflection Point’: Democratic Socialists Squabble Over Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Democratic Socialists of America are experiencing fallout from statements made about terrorist attacks in Israel, and a pro-Palestine NYC DSA rally following the attacks, with multiple Democratic officials denouncing the group.
(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

By: Brandon Poulter, Daily Caller News Foundation

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are publicly feuding after a New York City Democratic Socialist (NYC DSA) rally Sunday in support of Palestine led to condemnation from within the group and from many federal, state and local officials.

Democratic Socialists and Democrats around the country condemned NYC DSA’s rally following a mass terrorist attack in Israel that killed over 1,000 people, and Democratic Socialists also condemned statements made by the national chapter and local chapters regarding the conflict. Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemned the pro-Palestine NYC DSA rally, and Democratic Michigan Rep. Shri Thanedar renounced his membership in a statement Wednesday, saying he “can no longer associate with an organization unwilling to call out terrorism.”

“The core membership of the DSA has not shown any sympathy at all for innocent victims of Hamas’ barbaric terrorism, where the adults in the room have realized that that’s not a viable path forward for any political party in the United States,” David Greenfield of the Met Council, a Jewish nonprofit, told Politico.

The NYC DSA’s rally not only drew criticism from DSA members, but also drew criticism from state and federal New York Democratic officials such as Gov. Kathy Hochul, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Following criticism, the NYC DSA backtracked on its rally in a statement.

“We understand why many, including our allies, were shocked by the timing and the tone of this message in a moment of profound fear and grief. We are sorry for the confusion our post caused and for not making our values explicit. We are also concerned that some have chosen to focus on a rally while ignoring the root causes of violence in the region, the far-right Netanyahu government’s escalating human rights violations,” the NYC DSA wrote.

Multiple state and local level officials have come out against statements made by local chapters of the DSA as well.

DSA-endorsed Democratic Los Angeles City Councilmember Nithya Raman denounced the DSA Tuesday, saying the national organization’s statement “failed to reckon with the horrors committed by Hamas.”

Two Democratic New York officials, state Sen. Julia Salazar and Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, released a joint statement backing away from the NYC DSA’s rally.

“There were rallies in New York over the weekend in response to the violence in Israel, some of which failed to first acknowledge the fear, grief, death and destruction that was occurring,” they wrote in the statement.

“We did not participate in or promote these rallies or actions. We are disturbed to hear reports of statements from individuals who attended which minimized or justified civilian deaths and the devastating impact of the violence committed in Israel,” they continued.

The San Francisco Democratic Socialists (DSA) published a statement Monday in support of Palestine.

“Violent oppression inevitably produces resistance. Socialists support the Palestinian people’s, and all people’s, right to resist and fight for their own liberation. This weekend’s events are no different. Decolonization is the only path towards peace,” the San Francisco DSA wrote.

“This DSA SF statement is horrifying & even worse than the national DSA statement,” Democratic California state Sen. Scott Wiener tweeted.

“There’s an inflection point that’s happening now,” Greenfield told Politico.

The DSA and NYC DSA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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