Democratic Socialists of America launch into anti-Israel chant at convention
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Democratic Socialists of America launch into anti-Israel chant at convention

Attendees at gathering for 'largest socialist organization in US' chant 'from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free' after passing BDS motion

Illustrative: Members of the Democratic Socialists of America marching at the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York, September 2011. (CC BY David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons /File)
Illustrative: Members of the Democratic Socialists of America marching at the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York, September 2011. (CC BY David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons /File)

Attendees at a convention in Chicago on Saturday for the Democratic Socialists of America launched into an anti-Israel chant after passing a motion to overwhelmingly endorse the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement.

In a video posted to social media following the vote, a number of people at the event began chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” — a popular slogan at anti-Israel protests around the world — as one person waved a Palestinian flag.

Others remained silent as the chanting went on, but the BDS motion —  passed with 90 percent approval of the 697 delegates from 49 states — was met with wild applause.

The chant is perceived as a call to eliminate the state of Israel within the 1967 lines, and establishing a state of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea instead. Some pro-Palestinian activists argue that the slogan calls for an end to Israel’s military and civilian control over Palestinians in the West Bank and other areas they claim as part of a future state.

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