This is an article I found today in The Guardian. I copied the link here below. I'll also copy the text of the article and hope to read what YOU think about it.

I wish, I wish that the Change my brothers and sisters from Gaza aspire to will come soon!


---- o ----


Gazan youth issue manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflict

An anonymous group of students has created a document to express their frustration born of Hamas's violent crackdowns on 'western decadence', the destruction wreaked by Israel's attacks and the political games played by Fatah and the UN


Ana Carbajosa/ The Observer, Sunday 2 January 2011


A Gazan group of young people have issued a manifesto to vent their anger

about the situation in Palestine. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters


The meeting takes place in a bare room in a block of flats in the centre of Gaza City. No photographs, no real names – those are the conditions.


This is the first time that a group of young Palestinian cyber-activists has agreed to meet a journalist since launching what it calls Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change. It is an incendiary document –
written with courage and furious energy – that has captivated thousands of
people who have come across it online, and the young university students are
visibly excited, but also scared. "Not only are our lives in danger; we
are also putting our families at risk," says one of them, who calls
himself Abu George.


Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change is an extraordinary, impassioned cyber-scream in which young men and women from Gaza – where more than half the 1.5 million population is under 18 – make it clear
that they've had enough. "Fuck Hamas..."
begins the text. "Fuck Israel.
Fuck Fatah.
Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with
Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the
indifference of the international community!"


It goes on to detail the daily humiliations and frustrations that constitute everyday life in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian slice of land that Israel and Egypt have virtually sealed off from the world
since Hamas was elected to power in 2006.


"Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed," reads the extraordinary document. "We are afraid of living, because every single
step we take has to be considered and well-thought, there are limitations
everywhere, we cannot move as we want, say what we want, do hat we want,
sometimes we even can't think what we want because the occupation has occupied
our brains and hearts so terrible that it hurts and it makes us want to shed
endless tears of frustration and rage!"


The text ends with a triple demand: "We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask?"


On Facebook, the group calls itself Gaza Youth Breaks Out. When the cyber-activists wrote the manifesto three weeks ago, they gave themselves a year to gather enough support before thinking about
further steps. But their text has travelled around the world at an unexpected
speed and has harvested thousands of supporters, many of them human rights
activists, who say they are ready to help.


Now, the authors are dealing with the impact of a document that could be a turning point in the life of the Strip. "We did not expect this to be so big," one of them admits. Eight people – three
women and five men – wrote the text. They are normal students, from the more
secular elements of Gazan society. All declare themselves to be non-political
and disgusted with the tensions and rivalries that divide Palestinians between
Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, and Fatah, the more secular party which governs the
Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank. "Politics is bollocks, it
is screwing our lives up," said one member of the group. "Politicians
only care about money and about their supporters. The Israelis are the only
ones benefiting from the division."


Two of the group have been detained by the Gazan authorities several times, accused among other crimes of "immoral" behaviour. They say that they have been abused in jail and
claim that physical and psychological punishment is commonplace in Gaza's
detention centres.


Another one obtained a scholarship to attend a workshop at an American university, but he says Israel did not issue a permit that would allow him to leave the Strip. "We are supposed to be the engine
of change in this society, but our voices are muted. In the press, at
university, there is no room in our society to talk freely, out of the frame,
without putting yourself and your family at risk," says one, who wants to
be called Abu Yazan. He adds: "In Gaza, you feel watched at school, in the
streets, everywhere. You can be thrown into jail at any time. [Hamas] will
threaten you with ruining your family reputation and that would be it."


These youngsters do not represent anybody except themselves, but their call for change has resonated strongly, not only abroad but also inside Gaza. Their Facebook page already has thousands of
friends – including, they say, many from the Strip.


The causes of frustration are legion. The Israeli blockade forbids Gazans to travel in and out of the Strip without a permit, which is difficult to obtain. For Gazan students who wish to study
abroad, the most difficult part is not being accepted at a foreign university
or getting a scholarship, but simply being able to travel.


Inside the Strip, things do not get much better. Israeli shelling which follows the launching of rockets into Israel by Palestinian militants is part of their everyday life. Power cuts and ruinous
sanitary conditions are among the side-effects of the embargo suffered by
Gaza's inhabitants.


With high unemployment in the Strip and little access to other job markets after graduation, many feel that they have reached a dead end. Some keep studying and accumulating degrees and foreign languages,
which they learn via the internet, hoping for better days to come. Others kill
their time smoking hookahs with their friends day after day. There is an
increasing number who rely on drugs to cope with their conflict traumas and


Going out, meeting friends in cafés – let alone clubs or discotheques – or attending cultural events has become an increasingly complicated task as Hamas cracks down on western "decadence".


In Gaza there are no theatres and few concerts aside from the Islamic musical performances organised by the Hamas authorities. In the places where young men and women are allowed to meet, considered an
"oasis" by the less conservative youth, the police are quick to
interrogate mixed couples suspected of not being married or engaged.


The "last straw" for the writers of the Gaza manifesto came a month ago, when Hamas closed Sharek, an internationally financed organisation offering training and summer activities
for thousands of adolescents and young people. Sharek had also became a
hang-out place for the more liberal-minded in Gaza. Human Rights Watch recently
issued a statement condemning its closure. "Hamas authorities in Gaza
should allow an organisation that helps children and youth to reopen, and
penalise officials who have harassed its workers," it said.


According to Ihab Al Ghusain, a spokesman for the Hamas Ministry of the Interior, the problems highlighted by Gaza's disaffected youth are sometimes the result of over-zealous officials. "There
are no laws prohibiting men and women sitting together in public places in
Gaza," he said. "But some policemen at their own initiative
interrogate the couples. Those policemen should be punished."


He says that proof of the government's commitment to Gaza's young generation is that it has declared 2011 the Year for the Youth. But the authors of the youth manifesto are unlikely to be persuaded
by such symbolic initiatives. The group is currently investing most of its time
and energy in debating new strategies to pursue a web-based platform for
change. The new year may yet become one for the youth of the Strip, but perhaps
not in the way Hamas intended.


The Manifesto 


"Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the
international community!


"We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense
frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in...


"We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal-dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they
are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their
guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating
for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the
rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land;
sick of being portrayed as terrorists, home-made fanatics with explosives in
our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international
community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting
resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree
on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by
Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.


"There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalising this energy into something that can challenge the
status quo and give us some kind of hope.


"We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. During the war we got the
unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the Earth.
During the last years, Hamas has been doing all they can to control our
thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. Here in Gaza we are scared of being
incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We cannot move as we
want, say what we want, do what we want.


"ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak
future, heart-aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians,
religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future
we want! We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want
peace. Is that too much to ask?"



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I'm sorry for the way my post came out. I tried to edit this several times, but the editing window and the final post are different. I hope you won't mind about this!

Thanks Samira.  If only the politicians would stop and listen to this.  Enough, is enough.  All this violence is hurting everyone on either side of the border. If only people could see the humanity of the other and the inhumanity that comes about when violence (whether state instigated or otherwise) is inflicted on another.The siege on Gaza must end.  The occupation of the Palestinian territories and the daily violence this inflicts on the lives of millions must end.  Pushing multiple people's head under the water for submission is not the way for Israel to find peace.  Agreed rocket fire and anti-Israel rhetoric from Gaza is an outrage, but what do you expect from occupation - kisses and cuddles?  Peace can be found but it is through risking trusting in the humanity of the other and building security (economic and political security).


The Gaza manifestor reminded me of the Young Jewish Declaration:


A vision of collective identity, purpose and values written by and for young Jews committed to justice in Israel and Palestine.
It is an invitation and call to action for both our peers and our elders,
launched as a counter-protest at the 2010 Jewish Federation General Assembly in
New Orleans.


I. we exist.


We exist. We are everywhere. We speak and love and dream in every language. We pray three times a day or only during the high holidays or when we feel like we really need to or not at
all. We are punks and students and parents and janitors and Rabbis and freedom
fighters. We are your children, your nieces and nephews, your
grandchildren. We embrace diaspora, even when it causes us a great deal of
pain. We are the rubble of tangled fear, the deliverance of values. We
are human.
We are born perfect. We assimilate, or we do not. We
are not apathetic.
We know and name persecution when we see it.
Occupation has constricted our throats and fattened our tongues. We are
feeding each other new words.
We have family, we build family, we are
family. We re-negotiate. We atone. We re-draw the map every single day. We
travel between worlds. This is not our birthright, it is our


II. we remember.


We remember slavery in Egypt, and we remember hiding our celebrations and ritual. We remember brave, desperate resistance. We honor a legacy of radical intellectuals and
refugees. We remember the labor movement. We remember
the camps.
We remember when we aged too quickly. We remember
that we are still young
, and powerful. We remember being branded as
counterrevolutionaries in one state and hunted during the red scare of another.
We remember our ancestors’ suffering and our own. Our stories are older
than any brutal war. We remember those who cannot afford to take time to heal.
We remember how to build our homes, and our holiness, out of time and thin air,
and so do not need other people’s land to do so. We remember
solidarity as a means of survival and an act of affirmation, and we are


III. we refuse.


We refuse to have our histories distorted or erased, or appropriated by a corporate war machine. We will not call this liberation. We refuse to knowingly oppress others, and we refuse to
oppress each other. We refuse to be whitewashed. We will not carry the
legacy of terror.
We refuse to allow our identities to be cut,
cleaned, packaged nicely, and sold back to us. We won’t be won over
by free vacations and scholarship money. We won’t buy the
logic that slaughter means safety. We will not quietly witness
the violation of human rights in Palestine.
We refuse to become the mother who did not scream when wise King Solomon
resolved to split her baby in two. We are better than this. We
have ancestors to honor. We have allies to honor. We have ourselves
to honor.


IV. we commit.


We commit ourselves to peace. We will stand up with honest bodies, to offer honest bread. We will stand up with our words, our pens, our songs, our paintbrushes, our open hands. We
to re-envisioning “homeland,” to make room for justice. We
will stand in the way
of colonization and displacement. We will take
this to the courts and to the streets. We will learn. We will
teach this in the schools and in our homes. We will stand with you,
if you choose to stand with our allies. We will grieve the lies we’ve
swallowed. We commit to equality, solidarity, and integrity.
We will soothe the deepest tangles of our roots and stretch our strong arms to
the sky. We demand daylight for our stories, for all stories.
We seek breathing room and dignity for all people. We are committed to the
struggle. We are the struggle. We will become mentors, elders,
and radical listeners for the next generation. It is our sacred obligation. We
will not stop.
We exist. We are young Jews, and we get to decide what
that means.


Thank you, Stewart! This is an amazing text as well. I love it. I have heard of this group - Jewish Voice for Peace and read some of their posts. I just saw that you replied and wanted to check, but I will reply more later - I'm tired now and should already sleep!


Peace - Salam - Shalom!



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