Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Mich.) has renounced his membership of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) after the organization appeared to support a pro-Palestinian rally in New York City just one day after Hamas’s surprise attack on southern Israel that left hundreds dead.
“Today, I am officially renouncing my membership in the Democratic Socialists of America,” Mr. Thanedar, who is currently serving his first term in office and was formerly one of the six members of the DSA in Congress, announced in an Oct. 11 statement.
“After the brutal terrorist attacks on Israel, which included the indiscriminate murder, rape, and kidnapping of innocent men, women, and children, I can no longer associate with an organization unwilling to call out terrorism in all its forms,” the Democrat continued.
“Sunday’s hate-filled and antisemitic rally in New York City, promoted by the NYC-DSA, makes it impossible for me to continue my affiliation. I stand with Israel and its right to defend itself. There is no place for moral equivocation in the face of unadulterated evil as we have seen from Hamas,” the lawmaker wrote.
The “All out for Palestine” rally took place on Oct. 8 in Times Square and was promoted by the New York DSA chapter on X, formerly known as Twitter, although the post has since been deleted.
The group did not organize Sunday’s rally, which was condemned by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul as “abhorrent and morally repugnant” prior to taking place.
Clashes at Rally
Although mostly peaceful, clashes did break out between Palestinian activists and pro-Israel demonstrators near the United Nations compound, during which one man ripped away an Israeli flag and threw it to the sidewalk before others stomped on it, The Associated Press reported.
Police intervened and quickly separated the two sides, according to the publication.
Other reports claimed one demonstrator held up a Nazi emblem on their phone during the protest.
The DSA is the largest socialist organization in the United States with over 85,000 members.
Its NYC chapter has since apologized for promoting the rally, writing in an Oct. 10 statement that it believes in “peace, equality, and freedom for all Palestinians and Israelis” while unequivocally condemning “all hatred and the killing of all civilians.”
“On Saturday, in anticipation of escalatory violence to come, we tweeted a promotion of a rally in solidarity with the people of Palestine. We understand why many, including our allies, were shocked by the timing and the tone of this message in a moment of profound fear and grief. We are sorry for the confusion our post caused and for not making our values explicit,” the group wrote.
AOC Condemns ‘Bigotry, Callousness’ at Rally
However, the group also noted that “some have chosen to focus on a rally while ignoring the root causes of violence in the region,” adding that it was concerned about “the far-right Netanyahu government’s escalating human rights violations and explicitly genocidal rhetoric, and the dehumanization of the Palestinian people.”
Mr. Thanedar is among a number of lawmakers who have sought to distance themselves from the pro-Palestine rallies, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), another member of the DSA, who in a statement to The Hill said the “bigotry and callousness” expressed at the Times Square rally “were unacceptable and harmful in this devastating moment.”
“It also did not speak for the thousands of New Yorkers who are capable of rejecting both Hamas’ horrifying attacks against innocent civilians as well as the grave injustices and violence Palestinians face under occupation,” she said.
In his statement Wednesday, Mr. Thanedar vowed to continue to focus on issues such as universal health care, workers’ rights, strong labor unions, and “compassionate immigration.”
“My ideals have not changed at all. I strongly believe that ending my association with DSA serves my constituents’ interests as they expect me to represent them by helping to build a better, more just world, not fanning the flames of hatred,” the Democrat said.
From The Epoch Times