The Portland DSA calls on the DSA National Political Committee to censure or expel Representative Jamaal Bowman from the Democratic Socialists of America
In the past weeks, Rep. Bowman has:
- Voted to provide military aid to Israel to fund the “Iron Dome” missile defense system
- Traveled on a propaganda delegation to Israel
- Visited the Israeli Knesset, met with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and met and posed for a photo with far-right Zionist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
DSA passed its first political platform outlining the principles of the organization at our 2021 convention. The platform, passed overwhelmingly by our national organization’s highest decision making body, makes our position on Palestinian liberation quite 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.”
Portland DSA stands in full solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian liberation and affirms the national platform’s commitment to that cause. We note that Representative Bowman’s choice to undermine our commitment to BDS places him in substantial disagreement with our principles, as outlined by our platform. Additionally, Article I, Section III of DSA’s National Bylaws states:
Members can be expelled if they are found to be in substantial disagreement with the principles or policies of the organization or if they consistently engage in undemocratic, disruptive behavior or if they are under the discipline of any self-defined democratic-centralist organization.
When our organization works to elect representatives to public office, we must hold them to a standard that truly represents the beliefs of our membership. Representative Bowman’s actions directly contradict the democratically decided positions of DSA, both as a member and as a DSA-endorsed elected official. As such, we recommend the NPC do the following.
- Determine a disciplinary action, such as a commitment not to re-endorse Representative Bowman for reelection, a censure, or expulsion from the organization.
- Develop a policy for DSA-endorsed elected officials that outlines escalating measures for repeated instances of actions in contradiction with the national platform. The policy should leave the NPC the flexibility to determine measures commensurate with the transgressions committed by the elected official and should include expulsion as a final measure.