“Stay in the streets,” urge our friends in Gaza.
Their courage radiates hope in our shared humanity – one that Israel has completely abandoned through its relentless, horrific genocide. With 2023 coming to a close in the most dark and heavy way, the one constant we must hold on to is hope – not giving up is the best gift we can give our Palestinian sisters and brothers. In keeping with this spirit, here are 10 things fueling our determination to continue fighting for peace and justice in 2024:
Palestinians Are the Ones Liberating Us:
Nothing has been more inspiring than the bravery of Palestinians facing unimaginable horrors under Israel’s genocidal occupation, with the knowledge that each moment could be their last. When most would give up, their incredible endurance and selflessness is a beacon of hope for all those resisting injustice around the world. Palestinian journalists and doctors have been tragically and mercilessly murdered by Israel, but those who persist are awakening us from our complacency. Not only are they exposing the horrific truth about the deadly occupation of Palestine; but they are also showing that true freedom lies in resistance, and that it is all of us who need liberation from the trappings of a morally bankrupt, capitalist, white supremacist world.
24/7 Worldwide Demands for a Ceasefire:
Record-breaking rallies, marches and actions in most of the world’s cities, with over 300,000 people marching in Washington DC for Palestine show the people of the world stand with Palestine. Since Israel’s assault began over two months ago, not a single day has gone by without a protest, march, rally or action demanding a ceasefire. With congressional phone lines clogged with calls for a cease-fire, CODEPINK has been in the halls of Congress with rabbis, doctors, teachers, lawyers and mothers from day one, staging sit-ins, die-ins, hunger strikes, and more. We even managed to confront Genocide Enabler-in-Chief Joe Biden not once but twice this year.
The Kids Are Alright:
At almost every defining moment in 2023, young people have been leading the way, showing older generations they will not put up with any more bullsh*t. More than 140 Congressional interns and fellows —in a shining example of bold leadership—have written an open letter accusing Congress of suppressing and ignoring the overwhelming number of constituents calling for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. “It is genocide,” their letter reads. “There is a clear disconnect between what the American public wants and what their representatives are doing.” Similarly, countless high school and college students across the country are bravely pushing their communities to end complicity in Israel's genocide, despite threats of surveilance, suspension and expulsion.
Traditional News Declines as Digital Activism Becomes the New News Medium:
When traditional news becomes a mouthpiece for genocide, it’s no surprise that viewership will fall. The latest Pew Research reports a third of US young adults get their news on TikTok, where sky-rocketing pro-Palestine hashtags are proving that it’s not only the young people’s platform of choice for news but also for global solidarity. According to TikTok’s official blog, this trend continues across platforms. Instagram reported 5.7M total posts tagged #FreePalestine compared to 214K total posts tagged #standwithIsrael. Similarly, public Facebook data showed 11M total posts tagged #FreePalestine compared to 278K total posts tagged #standwithIsrael.
The BDS Movement is Alive and Kicking:
We’re celebrating that German sportswear brand PUMA won’t be renewing its contract with the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes teams based in Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law. Thanks to this boycott win, we are determined to continue disrupting business as usual by holding genocide enablers and apartheid supporters accountable so that all Palestinians can live in peace, justice and equality.
Connecting Struggles in a Truly Transnational Peace Movement:
The Palestinian Feminist Collective’s call to shutdown “Colonial Feminism” is uniting feminists around the world against Zionism, setting off a wave of alliances bringing people together in their shared struggle against dehumanization to take a stand for peace and justice in Palestine. From labor unions calling for a ceasefire, to the LA Tenants Union and the Palestinian Youth Movement connecting on how displacement by LA gentrification and Palestinian genocide are intertwined, to Black Lives Matter-LA and Palestinian organizations joining forces, many Indigenous Communities and Queer people are connecting their struggles with that of the Palestinians. Silos are breaking down as we learn how our collective power can set us free from oppression.
The Climate Justice Movement is Finally Connecting the Dots for Peace:
Our work to educate the movement on the deep interconnection between militarism and climate change is finally reaping results. With 2023 as the hottest year on record, our advocacy played a crucial role in influencing COP28 to issue a groundbreaking declaration that integrates climate and humanitarian policies, linking climate to conflict for the first time. As reported by AlJazeera, COP28’s discussions about this link can increase awareness about the profound impact of wars on climate, especially in the Global South, which already bears the brunt of climate disaster.
The Fog of War Around Ukraine is Lifting:
As if dumping $110 billion on the war in Ukraine wasn’t enough, this October Biden asked Congress for an additional $106 billion to continue funding war in Ukraine and Israel, while also beefing up U.S. border security. Although a majority of Americans supported funding the war in Ukraine from the outset, this year saw an increasing number of Americans thinking the U.S. is doing "too much," with over 60% believing there should be a limit on war spending according to the latest Gallup polls.
Increasing Global Unity in a More Multipolar World:
In West Africa, countries are expelling French troops and eliminating French as a language, and some countries have formed alliances to counter colonial exploitation. In the Middle East, Chinese diplomacy facilitated diplomatic talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and BRICS has expanded to add new members, now constituting a substantial part of the global economy. Discussions include a common BRICS currency and a unified Latin American currency to replace the U.S. dollar, as the Global South builds frameworks against U.S. and European influence.
Latin America Solidifies its Position as a Zone of Peace:
Despite many challenges, Latin America has emerged as a beacon of peace by reaffirming its ability to resolve issues without external interference. Not only did Venezuela and Guyana convene at the same table for the very first time to discuss the Essequibo territorial dispute, but also, peace talks between Colombia and the guerrilla group FARC may help resolve that nation’s long-standing armed conflict. And, after being illegally detained in the U.S. for 1,286 days for trying to evade US-imposed sanctions to meet his country’s humanitarian needs, Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab was finally released this month, with thanks to the power of diplomacy and negotiation.
This was the year that finally rid us of war criminals like Henry Kissinger, only to give rise to new ones. A year that transformed Twitter into an exasperating “X,” while giving us the “#Barbenheimer” opportunity to talk about the very real and devastating possibility of nuclear war. It was also a year when Canadian wildfires sucked the good air out of our lungs with a dire reminder that we are literally standing on the precipice of climate doom. But most of all, this was the year that completely unmasked the American Empire by showing the entire world the grotesque truth: what our genocidal political leaders really stand for.
We know we have our work cut out for us. At CODEPINK the only recognizable feature of hope is action. We look forward to engaging with you in the streets for peace and justice in 2024.
Led by Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK activists protest outside Senator Lindsey Graham's office in Congress.