.Together for Peace: The Experience of Sonoma County Activist

It has been nearly three months since the bombs started falling on my people in Gaza. Palestinians love life and love each other.

Every one of them is my sibling; every one of them is my aunt or uncle, my cousin, friend, neighbor, classmate or teacher. Our connections go so deep and are so strong that when one of us is hurting, all of us are hurting.

On the 15th of October, I grabbed my Palestinian flag and headed down to Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa to show my support. The North Coast Coalition for Palestine and Jewish Voices for Peace had co-organized a protest against the then week-long attack Israel had launched on Gaza after the Palestinian resistance attack on the 7th of October. There were roughly 150 locals there: Palestinians, anti-Zionist Jews and conscientious people of many different backgrounds. There, at the square during that first protest, I and about a dozen others came together to coordinate our next steps and plan for future actions.

In the short time since that day, I have met so many amazing people who I wish I had met years ago and under different circumstances. They have given me support, friendship and love and have taught me so much about myself and about life. Times like these necessitate and facilitate trust and loyalty and openness among comrades. I became curious about why this is so important to the others who I have been working with during these few months.

To get some answers, I asked my colleagues what they had been motivated by.

Rachel is an anti-Zionist Jewish woman who I’ve known for several years and has been active on many social justice issues since long before I knew her. Her answer to my question about why she spends so much time and effort organizing around this issue was, “I think all of us who are organizing are just horrified by what’s happening and heartbroken, and it’s so painful to watch the news and to see the relentless murder of so many people. Our role at this time is really to shift public opinion.”

She added, “The Zionist narratives that Jewish people grow up learning about blocks them from seeing the horrors that are going on and seeing how Palestinians have been displaced from their land and their homes and are constantly under attack.”

Another friend, Tess, said, “I was raised in a Christian community, and the beliefs that I was taught in Christian school were not aligned with what I was taught at home.”

Tess’ great-grandparents were from Denmark and were part of the resistance movement against the Nazis. “There’s no way I could do anything else because my grandmother did not tell me these stories just for me to put them in my head and let them be there. She told me those stories so that I could spot oppression and fascism and occupation when I see it, and that’s why I’m here.”

Another friend I spoke with was Ronni, who is a young Mexican-American queer person. They said, “I first became aware of what has been happening in Palestine starting October 7th. …I just sat with my discomfort and used that opportunity to educate myself about what was happening. And just kind of realizing the history of how Israel came to be and how it’s at the expense of the Palestinians. It’s a clear issue.”

There is so much more that I learned from these conversations that is so valuable, but I will have to leave that for another time. The most important thing I learned is that Palestine has opened people’s eyes to the possibility of living in a more just and peaceful world. Palestine has freed the world, and now it is time for the world to come together and free Palestine.

Tarik Kanaana was born in Palestine, works in nutrition and childcare, and lives in Santa Rosa.


    • No mention of the hatred and murder encouraged, carried out and cheered on for over 75 years by radical Islamists in most middle eastern countries against Jews, Christians and all non Islamic adherents. That is what started all of this. How convenient to ignore this completely and believe the perpetrator is the victim. Tik Tok generations and ignorant jump on any bandwagon without knowing any of the facts sheeple.

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  1. Thank you to everyone who is protesting the illegal occupation of Palestine. Not in our name Israel. We are all Palestinians.

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    • I am NOT a rapist, baby killing, terrorist. If that is how you identify, that is your right. But we are NOT all Palestinians.

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  2. Israel is a colonial settler state that has displaced the indigenous Palestinians. Over the past 75 years, Israel has continued to seize Palestinians’ land, repress any dissent, and contain the Palestinians in what is considered a concentration camp. The dynamic of such a situation we are witnessing today, the genocide of Palestinian children and civilians. We demand a ceasefire now!

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    • You sheeple will believe anything! Why not praise Osama Bin Laden and Kim Jong Un LMAO…oh I forgot you probably do!!!! Here is the simple truth loaded with nothing but facts and ONLYT 8 minutes long. Try educating yourselves before you blindly follow any cause that plays a victim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP-CRXROorw

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  3. Thank you Bohemian for giving Tarik an opportunity to talk about who we really are, and what we are really fighting for — justice for all.

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  4. If Hamas laid down their arms and surrendered, then the “Palestinians” could prosper without the grifter tyranny of terrorists.

    If Israel laid down their arms, Israel would seek to exist.

    By not even mentioning Hamas or the PLO or Iran by proxy, you ignore half the argument.

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    • TRUTH! Who constantly attacks who and who openly cheers and encourages terrorism against civilians all over the world? Radical Islamic Sypathisers that’s who – now to include the new radical off the rails fall off the cliff left (not to be confused with old school liberals who used common sense). They name schools, Islamic Temples, streets and erect statues to celbrate TERRORISTS and teach their children hatred and murder makes them heroes and martyrs! This is ubiquitous in most of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Palestine and most of the middle eastern countries teach the hatred of Jews and non-Islamic Westerners in public school children’s textbooks – look it up! Indoctrinating hate to children with cartoons depicting Jews and Westerners as their enemy hell bent on killing them! They are continually raising generation after generation of terrorists!

      Here are some citations:



      Israel was created and approved by United Nations and League of Nations EXCEPT all the Arab countries voted against it’s creation. Middle Eastern Arabs had no problem having the lands of the countries of Jordan and others in the region called Palestine created because they were Arab based. Arab countries called for all of the Palestinians living in the area that is now called Israel to leave because they were going to militarily invade and drive out all of the Jews. At the same time all of the Jews living in Arab countries were robbed of their money and possessions, killed, harrassed and otherwise driven out so they many of them migrated to Israel. When the Arab countries attacked Israel they lost over and over again -and Israel has been under ATTACK ever since. Mostly propaganda and victim playing are the stories of Jews driving the Palestinians out of their homes although there were a few smaller instances by handfuls of people here and there but nothing even close to as large as the Arab countries expulsion of the Jews living in their countries for generations. Citations:


      Learn the truth instead of repeating others baseless lies without even a few hours of investigation and learning the facts! YOU are part of the problem when you do that!

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  5. Hamas is a terrorist organization. Hamas steals money from Gaza and uses it to build tunnels, rockets and bombs. It was Hamas that launched a terrorist attack on Israel. If you want peace, then you need to get rid of Hamas. Blaming the victim while ignoring the perpetrator will only get Gaza more of the same.

    How quickly some forget:

    The Day Hamas Came
    New York Times

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  6. If thousands of terrorists swarmed across our borders and killed, raped, tortured and kidnapped our citizens and destroyed their homes, hopefully our government would respond and not immediately declare a “ceasefire.” Israel is doing what any other country that is invaded would do. There will be no peace until Hamas is gone.

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  7. Thanks Bohemian for sharing Tarik’s voice. It’s important to celebrate these peace activists and I’m grateful.

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  8. Thank you Tarik and Bohemian. My heart breaks for the people of Palestine. Praying for better days ahead

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