In Our Power

U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine
by Nora Barrows-Friedman
Foreword by Noura Erakat

When this battle is won, as I am certain it will be, this book will serve as a record of a vital part of the struggle.Ali Abunimah, Author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine

In Our Power

In the years following Israel’s 2008–9 “Operation Cast Lead” assault on the Palestinians of Gaza, a new kind of student movement emerged on US campuses, in support of the idea that Palestinians should gain the full exercise of their human and political rights within their historic homeland. This new movement of students for justice in Palestine has helped to put “BDS,” the worldwide campaign supporting the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel until it abides by international law, firmly onto the national map.

Nora Barrows-Friedman skillfully keeps the voices of students front and center in her comprehensive new book In Our Power. Their words—passionate, sharp, and inspiring—capture a movement in a historic moment.Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

In 2013 and early 2014, journalist Nora Barrows-Friedman crisscrossed the United States interviewing the young activists who form the core of this movement, and their voices ring out strongly from every page of her new book. In Our Power reveals the rich political legacy these students are building. This new student movement in support of Palestinian rights faces many challenges from on and off-campus opponents. But the strength and intelligence of the voices revealed in the pages of In Our Power show us that truth, justice, and “people power” are capable of withstanding such attacks and continuing forward to victory.

With a foreword by Noura Erakat.

Foreword by Noura Erakat

1. Inspired to Act
Interview: Kristian Davis Bailey

2. Building from History
Interview: Rebecca Pierce

3. Creative Tactics
Interview: Shirien Damra

4. The Campus as a Battleground
Interview: Liz Jackson
Interview: Taher Herzallah
Interview: Noor Fawzy

5. Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions: A Growing Movement of Justice
Interview: Yaman Salahi
Interview: Rahim Kurwa

6. Empowering Scholarship
Interview: Tom Pessah

7. Intersecting Struggles and Common Causes
Interview: Danya Mustafa

8. Advice to Student Activists

9. Defining Solidarity


Israel and its lobby groups in the United States have identified campuses as the main battleground in their effort to crush criticism and build support for the Zionist apartheid regime that destroys the lives of millions of Palestinians.

Students, often opposed by their own cowardly and complicit administrations, have faced this formidable assault with courage, creativity and determination. Nora Barrows-Friedman’s book gives voice to the students on the frontlines. With great empathy and sharp analysis, Nora takes us on a tour of the United States to meet young people who are making history, breaking the silence over Palestine and working to put Palestine into a much broader struggle against racism and social injustice.

When this battle is won, as I am certain it will be, this book will serve as a record of a vital part of the struggle. But in this urgent moment, Nora’s book makes critical, inspirational reading, gathering together a wealth of experience and insights from the real experts — the students doing the work — that will undoubtedly strengthen our growing movement for justice in Palestine.
–Ali Abunimah, Author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine

Not everyone gets a front row seat to see history in the making, but thanks to Nora Barrow-Friedman’s new book In Our Power, readers get a compelling view of the rapidly expanding U.S. student movement for Palestinian human rights. Despite fierce opposition, bullying and intimidation, students are strategically changing the US discourse on Palestine and winning support for freedom, justice, and equality. Nora’s book gives us portraits of many courageous campus activists, as well as important historical background that puts this special moment of history into context. The collective efforts of the movement generate optimism and promise that truth and justice will prevail.
–Jennifer Bing, American Friends Service Committee, Chicago
Profoundly inspirational, the personal histories, philosophies, tactics, and hope expressed by university students and gathered here by Ms. Barrows-Friedman show us not just what it is to be an activist, but what it is to be human. This book should be read by all working on this issue, or simply willing to be informed and inspired by these students, who are, as was my daughter Rachel, organizing for justice in Palestine.
–Craig Corrie, Co-founder, The Rachel Corrie Foundation
While the Palestinians resist the occupation of their land, these students have to fight against the occupation of the American mind, caused by decades of pro-Israeli narratives dominating the media.

Despite the intimidation and delegitimization they encounter when they organize for justice in Palestine, these students carry on , encouraged by the firm belief that history will be on their side. I am hopeful that the next generation of leaders will understand that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not just the rights of Americans, but also of Palestinians and people elsewhere.
–Norma Hashem, Viva Palestina Malaysia

In Our Power is available in Paperback ($20.99) and Ebook ($9.99)


274 pages, 6″ X 9″
Published November 2014
ISBN 9781935982418