The New Generation of Palestinian Solidarity is More Impressive Than It Realizes

It’s another day as a person in North America who is emotionally connected to the struggle in Palestine. It feels like each massacre, each denial of human status doled out by the Zionist state is more barbaric and unimaginable than the prior one. I get up, things are calm here, and I hear the birds sing. It’s a cruel joke of a beautiful song.

It was months ago when we first were privy in the west to vague images of Israeli snipers gunning down civilians who were waving white flags, trying to surrender. In the last week, multiple ones were available… and aside from podcasts in video form, there have been no media representations of this.

A military attack that turned into a massacre of almost 300 Palestinians dead, 500 more wounded, and 3 dead Israeli hostages (including an American citizen) was celebrated because the destruction also included 4 surviving Israeli hostages. “Kill one of ours and we’ll kill a hundred of yours” is known as Nazi logic.

MSNBC– America’s “liberal” network, allowed an evil pretend-human to talk about how there are no such things as civilians in Gaza. He spoke, calmly about this as if it were the most rational thing in the world while “Morning Joe” and the entire set were quiet.

We have seen the US use the so-called “humanitarian aid pier” as a launching stage for the slaughter of Palestinians. No aid was brought in, yet the American helicopters used to shuttle out the attackers with their human bounty were observable in footage the US would really like you to believe wasn’t exactly what it was.

We have seen Columbia Law Review, one of the most prestigious legal scholarship zines around the western world– taken completely offline by the Board of Directors after the actual editors refused to take down a Palestinian scholar writing about the legal framework of genocide in Palestine given the current destruction in Gaza.

We have seen far, far more than this. And I’m only talking about the last week. This is not even the beginning of exhaustive for those seven days, either.

If I went into detail on every attack on free speech, on every attack of freedom to assemble, on every attack of the basic human rights law that was written in the wake of a genocidal campaign called World War II? Just a supposedly unabridged list from the last week? I’d never be able to finish.

And this is the imperial strategy at play: The destruction of Palestine is now so total, so complete, that we are being so utterly overwhelmed with evil, with heartbreaking images, with prosecutable war crimes, with destruction of international law, of humanitarian law and more.

The depth of evil– and this is a word I almost always refuse to write or apply to situations or people, lest the word lose it’s meaning—gets not only deeper each week, but it is spread more wildly all around.

It’s sortof like the military equivalent to Nazi propaganda, and the slogan from Addie himself:
“If you’re gonna tell a lie, make it a big one and people will believe it.”

The deliberate attempt to make Palestine simply unlivable, and to keep killing until the remaining people leave en masse has been undertaken since October 8.

The reality however, is that it is not really new. It’s just massively sped up. The attempt to make life intolerable was long, long undertaken by Zionism. That has been the plan since before 1948.

Since 1967 most of the world has rejected Israeli colonialism, and expansionism. The very, very few people in the West who denounced Israel has grown faster than a rabbit colony within a carrot farm.

Previous to these images, to this day to day assault on human decency, Israel got a free pass for the seemingly contradictory reasons of white/gentile guilt from having allowed the Shoah to happen, and the draw of white supremacy infested states, built on the model of the western colonization of half the planet for “civilizing” missions that led to genocide on a mass scale. The attraction, though perhaps subconscious, of believing that the world needs to be “civilized” by European values to this day is as strong as ever. Israel is helping lead the reconstitution of European fascism in Germany, France, Italy and a lot more.

I personally got involved in Palestinian solidarity work in the late 90’s, I became emotionally a partisan of their just cause in both Gaza and the West Bank a few years prior, and I have long believed that those who say the 2 state solution is dead were more than correct. I was one of the non-Jewish, non-Arab people in Vancouver who worked with a coalition of mainly Jews and Arabs to try and help Palestinian self-determination via the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) when it was launched here in Vancouver, and I have been involved in similar groups across the continent at various times since.

The issues have always been roughly the same, though the details change from day to day and year to year.

But that was my adult-youth. 20 years ago. Revolutions belong to the youth, and always have.

Now, is the era of yours my non-Arab, non-Jewish allies of justice in Palestine. And you are living the proof that dialectics exist.

It is beyond hard when you see children blown into pieces, parents gathering their children in plastic bags, graveyards being run through by bulldozers, and that the primary targets for destruction across Gaza are all the things that give actual living space to the strip. How are we supposed to see the “good” side of all that? How do we stay human, keep our feelings and promise to never look away without despair?

Since I have been doing my goy attempted solidarity for a quarter century now, I want you younger allies to realize some of the things that us prior allies have been through. To get some perspective, and to be clear that YES, there is a point to all of this alienating, backbreaking, soul crushing daily routine.

In “our day?” We would hold a picket near a consulate, and hope to draw maybe two dozen people.

We would go to other anti-war groups, such as anti-nuclear groups, or anti-Nato alliances of various stripes. Our attempt to have anti-war include for Palestinians? Almost always blocked. Denied. Refused. Told “this isn’t the place for that,” and we’d leave with little. This was from other radical left wing organizations. Israel’s “Shining beacon” was just that blindingly bright.

Sometimes– rarely but once in awhile– we’d get a statement or place on a list of another groups demands. That is, when we weren’t called “Jew haters” and shown the door.

On campuses? Well, this was where Palestinian solidarity work was by far the strongest in North America. Where people did academic studies of situations, got well beyond the headlines, applied international law or human rights to the analysis and ‘boom!’ we could have a group with a dozen students calling for solidarity with Palestinian struggles.

And sometimes we would write editorials in our student newspapers, denouncing the Canadian and American backing of a settler state. By the first years of this millennium, our discussions of Palestine began to make common analogy with the fact that North America too exists on stolen land. This was at the same time as various Israeli advocacy groups were taking local indigenous leaders and chiefs on tours of ‘Israel,’ where they were told that this was the Jewish people “resurrecting their sovereignty.”

We would try to disrupt this, but we didn’t right away.

All of our student groups could meet in a hall, even after bringing the various subgroups together from all over North America to one place.

If I wrote an article on Palestine that had an angry “letter to the editor” written in response? This was seen as a major win; It meant that we had broken out of the bubble a little bit, and were now causing some intellectual disruption of the status quo.

The founding of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement in 2005 saw a series of internal arguments, major steps forward and also a few serious steps back. Nonetheless, the framework: Working towards a non-violent isolation of Israel politically, by forcing those who supported Israel in various ways to break that support, gave shape to the solidarity– while it remained basically, a non-starter.

But any good revolutionary knows: The only jobs really worth doing seem almost impossible.

In 2002, on September 9, Concordia University in Montréal gave Israel what I like to call their first military defeat outside of the Middle East. “We”– and my use of the word we is entirely emotional, I was still living on the other side of the continent– brought Benjamin Netanyahu to a crushing defeat, with activists trying to arrest him and blocking his ability to appear inside the largest conference hall room in the school. He was chased out of the city.

It went extraordinarily well, and was followed by a massive counter attack: The city of Montréal, the campus bosses (of course, the province of Québec, the media & the federal government) all joined hands to call the students various types of terrorists. But the real terrorists not only ate shit that day, their defeat inspired people like me across the continent.

And I found myself moving to Montréal very soon as a result of this inspiration, precisely because something like a school being shut down by pro-Palestinian students to fight off a war criminal from their campus was just not going to happen here at all, nor seemingly anywhere else in North America at the time.

Wanting to be involved in Palestinian solidarity to an effective level felt like it meant going to Montréal, just as surely as trying to be a playwright would end you up in New York.

I have been out to the University of British Columbia solidarity encampment a few times in just the last month. The kids there are more organized than I have seen pro-Palestine organizing anywhere. But that’s my age and my lack of exposure– not a reality.

The reality of how many campuses around the planet now exist in solidarity is mind blowing. The list covers many computer screens or sheets of paper. The font has to shrink several times to try and see them all.

In the mid-aughts?

We used to talk about BDS as being really just one giant B with D & S being “someday, hopefully.”

We knew there was little to no chance we could have Divestment by having a couple of dozen students hand in a petition to a university board. Sanctions? Like getting countries of western persuasions to actually blockade and refuse to deal with Israel? We’ll keep working. Someday, we can do this, too. That was the conversation.

Being involved in a movement where the questions of justice, human rights, and the right side of history are all on your side– while also being opposed to the very pinnacle of power within our society structure, the most important pet project of the racist white supremacist order that still is North America? That meant the only way to not lose hope was to understand we were working alongside the “Foolish old man who removed the mountains.” Looking at it in any other manner was a recipe for despair. Our work would have to be measured in generations.

And we are here now, in a new generation.

The students no longer need to move across the continent to be involved in something bigger than themselves to try and see justice in Palestine during our lifetimes. They don’t even need to switch campuses. Harvard in the US– could you come up with a more American elite institution?– has seen the so-called American leaders of tomorrow make demands today:


This is not a pie in the sky dream, it’s a very, very achievable reality.

When resistance fighters entered the 48 territories from Gaza the morning of October seventh, the one greatest problem of the last decade was ended forever: The notion that Israel could quietly get the world to forever ignore or just not acknowledge the Occupation, and normalize the existence of a white/Jewish Supremacist state that commits murder, apartheid and now, open genocide.

This– more than anything else– has unravelled the Empire. The foolhardy class of racist corporate peons that run the western Empire have cashed in all of their chips. Israel has already completely isolated itself: Israel is forever a pariah state; While racist state policies are rising globally, anti-racist people have never been more clear about what Israel actually is.

And the defeat of Israel is far, far closer than people realize. The fact remains that Israel became the West’s pet project to help the US dominate oil and gas in a post WWII world. That is no longer in play, to put it mildly.

The far-right, racist axis of the West has moved to the edge of the cliff. For decades Israel has been listed to us all as an existence that helps undermine racism and ethno-fascism; The recent EU elections show that it is very much the opposite. The remaining and ascending Hitler lovers and similar Fascists take inspiration from the ethno-state of Israel, and makes them think:

“Hey, we can have a state that tortures and enslaves non-white people, too!”

But this is what happens during every such major flash point in human history: The revival of massive nationalist upsurges always happens alongside the great shifts in history. Being an Internationalist remains the tonic to their hatred.

This human historic moment is taking place right now, as climate catastrophe is starting to literally kill hundreds of thousands, soon to be tens of millions (never mind all the species involved). The parasitic class that sits on top of the world has been losing their grip, but they have done the world a super-solid: They have tightened their grip on Israel.

This means that resistance to the Empire is now more wedded and aligned with anti-racist, anti-colonial and perhaps for the first time, anti-white supremacist visions for a better world. As the world of people of colour– 80% of humanity– bands together to end the US/European decision to try and exterminate Palestine, we also have a chance to exterminate their capitalist machinery that has pushed life itself to the brink.

All this, for a white boy born in 1975, sure seems like a better fighting ground to take up than “Maybe next week my article will get read off campus,” don’t you think?

Dialectics are at work, and all the desperate attempts to stop the passage of time into truth will fail. All we need is our integrity.

Stay strong. Keep your vision. From the River to the Sea – PALESTINE is getting so very close to free. The US has basically abdicated it’s global leading role to defend this racist state. It has finished off the impotent UN, with all of the massive danger that this represents, a no-longer unipolar order soon will no longer contain a Jewish supremacist state.

Macdonald Stainsby is a caregiver, social justice activist and professional hitchhiker still looking for a ride to the better world.
He can be found on SubStack & can be reached at:

Macdonald Stainsby is an anti-tar sands and social justice activist, freelance writer and professional hitchhiker looking for a ride to the better world, currently based in Vancouver, Canada. He can be reached at