North NJ DSA

Greetings. We wanted to introduce our new working group, The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and Palestinian Solidarity Working Group (BDSPSWG) to you all, tell you a little bit about ourselves, and invite you to join us in our organizing work going forward.

The North Jersey BDSPSWG arose from the debate around DSA endorsed (and DSA member) Representative Jamaal Bowman voting for a package of military funding for, and making a diplomatic visit to, the apartheid government of Israel. These actions violate DSA’s well-established support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. The increased visibility of this issue following the Bowman incident helped us realize how much work we needed to do locally and nationally to support Palestinian liberation. We started meeting informally in December. As of February, we officially became a chapter working group, with Brian F. as our co-chair.

What have we been up to?

At our January convention, we introduced and passed resolutions dissenting from the decision of DSA’s National Political Committee’s “failure to expel or otherwise discipline” Jamaal Bowman and calling on them to reconsider their vote to censure and/or revoke their pre- vious endorsement and to commit to refusing to endorse Bowman in 2022. The resolutions also called for improving organizational issues including discipline for candidates and elected officials, more transparency, and better communication.

We also took part in our first Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). We kicked off the week by hosting Alex and Laurie, members of the BDS national working group at our March chapter meeting to educate our members about Palestine and discuss the importance of the BDS movement. Later that week, we held a screening of Naila and the Uprising. We were excited to be able to screen and host a discussion on this powerful film of Palestinian resistance to Israeli oppression. That week, our working group also released a tweet each day, highlighting apartheid, resistance, and local events. We hope to expand our efforts for next year’s IAW.

What are we doing now?

Our primary ongoing focus is on local organizing. We are engaging in outreach with local groups organizing on behalf of Palestinian solidarity, especially Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim led organizations. These groups include: The NJ Coalition for the Liberation of Palestine, Palestinian-American Community Center, American Muslims for Palestine-NJ, Jewish Voice for Peace North/Central NJ, Rutgers Students for Justice in Palestine, Jews for Palestine Right of Return, People’s Organization for Progress, Palestinian Youth Movement NYC and more There is a substantial Palestinian population in North Jersey, and we know our work needs to be informed by those most impacted on the ground here.

We have recently joined a letter campaign calling on Rutgers University to cancel its recent Memorandum of Understanding with Tel Aviv University We have also initiated a petition endorsed by seventeen other organizations/branches, calling on Rutgers President Holloway to repudiate US Representative Joshua Gottheimer’s recent slander of Rutgers supporters of Palestinian rights with false accusations of antisemitism and of having “sided with the terrorists.” We also note that Rep. Gottheimer’s attack is part of the well-documented Zionist campaign to smear Palestine advocacy into silence, on college campuses and beyond.

We are encouraging all our members and everyone in North Jersey to sign a pledge card to support the BDS movement, and boycott brands that profit from the apartheid Israeli regime. (

We are also wholly supportive of repealing New Jersey’s shameful anti-BDS law that prohibits the investment of state funds in companies that honor the BDS picket line. New Jersey should be taking the lead in joining the BDS movement, just as it did in protesting apartheid South Africa, not targeting those who would affirm the humanity of Palestinians.

The BDSPSWG meets every other Monday at 7:45 PM If you have any questions, would like to learn more, or would like to join our working group, please reach out to BDS channel on Slack (if you’re a member) or contact us:

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free

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