How Gaza War Has Revitalized Global Solidarity With The Palestinians – OpEd


Jared Kushner, a former US official whose relationship to power is that he married the wealthy daughter of a man who was later to become the US president, once attempted to teach Palestinians how to handle their own struggle for freedom.

In 2019, he advised Palestinians to stop “doing terrorism,” summing up the Palestinian problem with the claim that “5 million Palestinians are … trapped because of bad leadership,” not the Israeli occupation or US support for Israel.

The inexperienced politician, who once bragged about reading 25 books on the Middle East, presented Palestinians with the same cliched rhetoric already offered to them by other ill-intentioned, self-imposed “peacemakers.”

Palestinians “have a perfect track record of missing opportunities,” he said, rehashing the condescending language once used by former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban: “If they screw this up, I think that they will have a very hard time looking the international community in the face, saying they are victims.”

But why bring up Kushner now? Every few years, Americans, at the behest of Israel, peddle ideas such as that the Palestinian cause is finished, that solidarity with the Palestinian people is dead and that the Palestinian people and their leadership should accept whatever political or financial crumbs are thrown their way, courtesy of Washington, Tel Aviv and a few of their Western allies.

Yet, every few years, the Palestinian people prove them wrong; that, despite all the pressures — arm-twisting, sanctions, siegesand relentless violence — they remain strong and not the victims, as they were ignorantly dubbed by Kushner.

What Kushner may not know is that there is a critical difference between victim and victimhood. While Palestinians cannot control their victimization, since it is imposed on them from an outside force, Israel — generously financed by the US — they do not seek to be victims.

Victimhood is a different issue. It is the state of perceiving oneself as a perpetual victim, with no aspirations, no agency.

While it is true that the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza is one of the greatest crimes of mass killings and ethnic cleansing in modern history, it is also true that no nation has, in recent decades, fought back as ferociously as the Palestinians. This is hardly the behavior of a victim.

The Biden administration, like every other US administration, has talked down to Palestinians, declaring them foolish for not accepting political deals that would fail to guarantee them the most basic of their long-denied rights. While Palestinians sought total and unconditional freedom, Camp David (1979), the Oslo Accords (1993 and 1995), the Road Map (2004) and every other “offer” were political attempts at prolonging the Israeli occupation and denying the rights of the Palestinians. Kushner’s proposal was no exception.

All of these previous American “peace proposals” were obviously unfair, as they were to Israel’s advantage and were designed entirely independent of international and humanitarian laws. All of these pro-Israeli proposals have failed, not due to the international community’s ability to challenge Washington, but due to the tenacity of the Palestinian people.

Palestinians defeated the US agenda, but that was not enough to clinch their freedom, simply because they were in this difficult battle alone.

Solidarity with the Palestinian people has been one of the pillars of international solidarity movements worldwide for decades. The phrase “Free Palestine” has been written on countless walls, in every language, in every city, town or working-class neighborhood. Still, that solidarity has not been enough to turn the tide, to achieve the coveted paradigm shift or to reach the critical mass needed to globalize the struggle for the freedom of the Palestinians the way that the struggle to end South Africa’s apartheid system imposed itself as a moral necessity on the whole world.

There should be no illusions that the anti-apartheid struggle of South Africa and the struggle for Palestinian freedom are identical. Back then, the global geopolitical shift made it difficult for South Africa to maintain its regime of racial segregation. Moreover, the power of that racist government, if compared to Israel and its backers, was minuscule.

Washington sees Israel as an integral part of America’s global influence. For US politicians, Israel is a domestic as well as a foreign policy issue. Moreover, if Israel ceases to exist in its current dominant form, the US will lose a stronghold in a region teeming with precious resources, strategic waterways and much more. This is precisely why Biden has repeatedly declared that, “if Israel didn’t exist, we would have to invent it.”

However, things are finally changing and today’s new solidarity, ignited by the worst killing campaign in the history of the region, has exceeded the confines of conditional solidarity, ideological solidarity and symbolic solidarity, which, to some extent, had previously defined global solidarity with the Palestinians.

This solidarity is now expressing itself at the highest level of political discourses. In his testimony before the International Court of Justice’s public hearings last month, Chinese representative Ma Xinmin went as far as defending, while referencing international law, the Palestinian people’s right to armed struggle. Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia called for sanctions on “those who obstruct humanitarian access to those in need.” And many European governments, such as Spain, Ireland, Norway and Belgium, are using unprecedented language to describe Israel’s war crimes in Gaza, while demanding real action.

Meanwhile, the Global South is back at the forefront of championing the cause of Palestine as the world’s most inspiring national liberation struggle.

None of this was created in a vacuum. While the majority of post-Oct. 7 global protests and rallies have been related to Palestine and Israel, 86 percent of them were reportedly pro-Palestine. It is not only the frequency or size of the current protests that matter, but their nature as well. This includes Palestine activists taking over the US Congress building and an American soldier self-immolating out of sheer anger at the culpability of his government in the crimes underway in Gaza.

This is truly earth-shattering. The critical mass for meaningful solidarity has finally been achieved, signaling that, once more, Palestinians have imposed themselves as the guardians of their own struggle, standing proudly at the front line of the global struggle for freedom and justice.

This leaves us with the question: Who is truly “having a hard time looking the international community in the face?” Certainly not the Palestinian people.

Ramzy Baroud

Ramzy Baroud ( is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of His book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story (Pluto Press, London), now available on

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