While other prominent Democrats across the country have distanced themselves from the Democratic Socialists of America political party in the wake of its stance on the Hamas terror attack on Israel, Philadelphia Council Member Kendra Brooks is staying silent, refusing to denounce the group that helped propel her into office in 2019.
Kendra Brooks, an incumbent council member running for reelection and who is formally a member of the Working Families Party, has proudly touted her support from the Democratic Socialists of America, which endorsed her for reelection.
“Grateful to be endorsed by @PhillyDSA – in 2019 and today. @PhillyDSA has been out there fighting day in and day out for working people,” Kendra Brooks posted this August.
However, the DSA has received harsh criticism from many Democrats, particularly after the DSA’s New York chapter supported a pro-Palestinian march in New York City organized in the wake of the new war started Saturday by the pro-Palestinian terror group Hamas.
Additionally, a screenshot from the Philly GOP shows the Philadelphia chapter of the DSA publicly supported the organization of the pro-Hamas march that rocked Philadelphia’s Jewish community days after the Hamas attack that killed over one thousand Israeli civilians and at least a dozen American citizens.
Even before the New York City march, New York Governor and Democrat Kathy Hochul strongly condemned the idea.
“The people of Israel are facing violent terrorist attacks and civilian kidnappings. I condemn plans to rally in Times Square tomorrow in support of the perpetrators of these horrific actions,” she posted on X late Saturday night, the first day of the war. “The planned rally is abhorrent and morally repugnant.”
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On Wednesday, Rep. Shri Thanedar, a Michigan Democrat, renounced his membership with the DSA.
“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,” Thanedar said in a statement published on X.
Broad + Liberty requested a comment Wednesday afternoon from Kendra Brooks, asking about various aspects of her affiliation with the DSA. That request was not returned by the Thursday deadline.
Different chapters of the DSA supported the rallies in New York City and Philadelphia, which have been the center of controversy. But a report from Politico also noted that the “New York Democratic Socialists of America is the largest chapter of the national organization, but it did not appear to organize the [New York City] rally. No leading DSA members were seen in attendance.”
Still, the DSA’s promotion of the event was evident enough that the New York State Democratic Party felt compelled to issue a full-throated rebuke. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party has made no such comment in response to the pro-Hamas rally in Philadelphia.
“The rally in support of the terrorist violence against the State of Israel, promoted by the group that refers to themselves as the ‘Democratic Socialists of America’, is repugnant to everything that our country and this Democratic Party stand for,” the release from the New York Democratic Party said. “The surprise attack against innocent civilians, numbers of whom were kidnapped and taken hostage by a terrorist organization, should be universally and categorically condemned by all parties in our political process.”
Although the DSA account on X says that “Tweets are not official statements,” the DSA account also tweeted its thoughts on the new war on the same day it began, which blamed Israel.
“DSA is steadfast in expressing our solidarity with Palestine,” the post said. “Today’s events are a direct result of Israel’s apartheid regime — a regime that receives billions in funding from the United States.”
The DSA added in a post further down the thread that “This was not unprovoked.”
I can no longer associate with an organization unwilling to call out terrorism in all its forms.
The terrorist elements of the Hamas attack have been so stark and gruesome that it has led elected officials at almost every level of government to issue a statement of some kind.
For example, Philadelphia State Senator Nikil Saval condemned Hamas but did so only in response to the social media posts from his chief of staff, who reposted content supportive of the Hamas invasion.
In western Pennsylvania, Allegheny County executive candidate Sara Innamorato also denounced the DSA for its support of the attacks.
“I strongly denounce the recent anti-Israel actions and statements of national and local DSA chapters, which coldly ignores the gruesome attacks on innocent Israelis,” Innamorato posted to X on Thursday.
“In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas, I want to reaffirm my solidarity with the Jewish people and innocent civilians subjected to the wrath of Hamas,” she added.
The attacks also put pressure on the so-called “Squad” in Congress of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D – N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D – Minn.), and Summer Lee, from Southwest Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District. The Squad has been unabashedly pro-Palestinian, and all have maintained their DSA affiliations as of Thursday.
Update: This article has been updated from its original version to include Sara Innamorato’s denunciation of the DSA.
Todd Shepherd is Broad + Liberty’s chief investigative reporter. Send him tips at email@example.com, or use his encrypted email at firstname.lastname@example.org. @shepherdreports