Bloomington-Normal Democratic Socialists of America is committed to the international struggle for Palestinian liberation against the Zionist settler colonial violence and Israeli apartheid and calls on area institutions and companies to divest and withhold all dealings that provide material and financial support to the occupation.
Contrary to popular media reporting, the violence in Palestine has not ended under the “cease fire.” Rather, as recently as June 22, twenty Palestinians were injured by Israeli police who used skunk water and stun grenades against protestors in Sheikh Jarrah. These protestors were gathered to demonstrate and resist the threatened expulsion of dozens of Palestinian families from their homes in favor of hardline Israeli settler groups.
These occurrences are not “real-estate disputes” as the Iraeli government would call them; rather, these expulsions are a practice of discriminatory policies aimed at the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Violence of this scale and duration would not be possible without the support of the government and capitalist interests of the United States.
With the long history of Zionist settler-colonialism, and the escalation of current events; Bloomington-Normal DSA understands now, more than ever, the necessity and urgency to stand against those who are complicit and draw profits from the continued violence against Palestinians. Our recent panel discussion, Palestine: A Socialist Introduction, underscored the importance of the global strategy of boycott, divestment, and sanctions to demand an end to the violence.
Caterpillar, headquartered in Peoria Illinois, is a major manufacturer of the construction equipment being weaponized against the Palestinian people to destroy their homes, schools, businesses, farms, and medical facilities. These machines are also used to build illegal settlements for Zionists in the place of Palestinian owned property. Material support for Israeli occupation also comes from Bridgestone/Firestone, located in Bloomington-Normal, which manufactures the industrial grade off-road tires that are used in the operation of Caterpillar’s destruction equipment.
The Bloomington-Normal DSA calls on Caterpillar and Bridgestone/Firestone to immediately cease sales of their products to Israel. We also call upon unions member employed by these two corporations to honor the long celebrated history of international solidarity and collective action’s ability to effect positive change by demanding that the products of their labor not be sold to advance the brutal Zionist project.
A better world is possible when working class people stand in solidarity and demand it, together.