The Democratic Socialists of America, which gathered July 2017 in Chicago for its biennial convention, passed a resolution on Saturday to endorse the BDS movement. The vote in favor was so overwhelming, with so few dissenters — more than 90 percent supported the resolution — that no formal tally was taken. It marked the first time in the group’s 35-year history that it has taken a position on the issue.
“I expected it to pass, but it did surprise me how overwhelming the support was,” said Rawan Tayoon, a Palestinian DSA activist from Los Angeles. Tayoon helped draft the resolution as part of a group that began its work in the spring.
Another drafter, Benjamin Balthaser, a Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago member, who joined the DSA last year, said it was especially important for people from the Jewish community to make their voices heard on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The Israeli government says it represents all Jews in the world,” Balthaser, who is Jewish, told The Intercept. “And I think it’s very important for the Jewish community to say, ‘We don’t feel represented by an apartheid government. We don’t feel represented by a military occupation.'”
Environmental Working Group - Chicago DSA
Chicago DSA Closed Facebook group
- This is the official Facebook group for Chicago DSA and its branches (South Side, Northside, and Oak Park)
Jewish Solidarity Caucus
DSA-JSC in Solidarity with Ilhan Omar
Jewish Solidarity Caucus 2019, Feb 14 2019.
- As Jews on the left, we are in solidarity with Representative Ilhan Omar and her statements regarding the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) influence over US lawmakers and foreign policy.
Signatories of the letter included Benjamin Balthaser.
Resistance Culture: A Chicago DSA Working Group
Members of Resistance Culture: A Chicago Democratic Socialists of America Working Group, a Public Facebook Group, accessed February 10, 2018 included Benjamin Balthaser.
- This page is intended as an ad-hoc start to a proposed working group based around the exploration of arts, culture and radical social change among Chicago members of Democratic Socialists of America. 
- [https://theintercept.com/2017/08/06/dsa-democratic-socialists-bds-israel-palestine/ The Intercept, Zaid Jilani, AS CONGRESS TRIES TO CRIMINALIZE BDS, THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA ENDORSE IT Zaid Jilani August 6 2017]