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Editorial & Opinion

Providence DSA opposes Israel’s annexation plan



”Israel violates the most basic human rights of Palestinians living under its occupation, including the rights to freedom of movement, freedom of speech, and freedom of association.”

Today, July 1st, was scheduled to be the beginning of Israel’s annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank. This would accelerate the racist violence already committed by the Israeli state against Palestinians living under occupation. Providence DSA supports the international day of protests against annexation and for the human rights of Palestinians. We join the Democratic Socialists of America nationwide in fully supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement for freedom and equality, knowing that this is not separate from struggles against injustice here in Rhode Island. 

Israel violates the most basic human rights of Palestinians living under its occupation, including the rights to freedom of movement, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. On flimsy pretexts, Israel systematically destroys Palestinian homes to make way for ethnically exclusive Israeli settlements. Palestinians can be arrested arbitrarily, held indefinitely without a trial, and tortured in Israeli prisons – when Israeli soldiers don’t kill them outright. Just recently a Palestinian man, Ahmed Erakat, was murdered by Israeli soldiers on his way to his sister’s wedding. When Palestinians are tried in Israel’s military courts, they face a conviction rate of over 99%.

Israel’s racist violence against Palestinians has only worsened since the election of Donald Trump, whose regime has given Israel a green light to ramp up its policies of ethnic cleansing. Now, with Trump’s backing, Israel is seeking to permanently annex its settlements in the West Bank, which are built on land from which Palestinians have been forcibly removed and are illegal under international law. 

Rhode Island companies participate in these atrocities. The arms manufacturer Textron, which provides weapons to the Israeli military, is headquartered in Providence. Brown University is invested in several companies (including Textron) that sell weapons and equipment used in Israel’s occupation. While many have demanded an end to the Wyatt Detention Center’s contracts with ICE, few Rhode Islanders are aware that the same companies supplying Israel’s occupation are also contracting with ICE and profiting from the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. The depraved U.S. immigration policies that take children from their families and throw them in cages are already practiced by Israel’s occupation. Palestinian children can be stolen from their families in the middle of then night, imprisoned, and even subjected to torture. And following a pattern across the country, police in New England have gone on training junkets to Israel to study the brutal tactics used by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians. 

As the struggle against racist police violence continues in the U.S., we take seriously Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

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We encourage everyone to learn more about the Palestinian struggle for freedom at the website of the Palestinian BDS movement

About the Author

ProvDSA is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in the United States. DSA members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly democratic socialist presence in American communities and politics. At the root of our socialism is a profound commitment to democracy, as means and end. As we are unlikely to see an immediate end to capitalism tomorrow, DSA fights for reforms today that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people, such as stopping utility shutoffs and implementing a Percentage Income Payment Plan. Our vision is of a society in which people have a real voice in the choices and relationships that affect the entirety of our lives. We call this vision democratic socialism — a vision of a more free, democratic and humane society.