Gaza youth breaks out with a ‘manifesto for change’

The following statement has gone viral over Facebook and has been sent to us by several people. It was issued by a group called “Gaza Youth Breaks Out.” When we contacted them for more information they sent this response, “We are a group of young people living in Gaza facing different kinds of violence everyday. We are looking for change in our country and trying to taste peace. we can’t give you names bcz we are working undercover and we can’t have meetings as well for our safety.” The also sent ways you can support their work which we pasted after the statement.

GAZAN YOUTH’S MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE

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 F16’s 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 like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. 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, homemade 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 canalizing this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope. The final drop that made our hearts tremble with frustration and hopelessness happened 30rd November, when Hamas’ officers came to Sharek Youth Forum, a leading youth organization (www.sharek.ps) with their guns, lies and aggressiveness, throwing everybody outside, incarcerating some and prohibiting Sharek from working. A few days later, demonstrators in front of Sharek were beaten and some incarcerated. We are really living a nightmare inside a nightmare. It is difficult to find words for the pressure we are under. 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. They did not get rid of Hamas, as they intended, but they sure scared us forever and distributed post traumatic stress syndrome to everybody, as there was nowhere to run.

We are youth with heavy hearts. We carry in ourselves a heaviness so immense that it makes it difficult to us to enjoy the sunset. How to enjoy it when dark clouds paint the horizon and bleak memories run past our eyes every time we close them? We smile in order to hide the pain. We laugh in order to forget the war. We hope in order not to commit suicide here and now. 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. We are a generation of young people used to face missiles, carrying what seems to be a impossible mission of living a normal and healthy life, and only barely tolerated by a massive organization that has spread in our society as a malicious cancer disease, causing mayhem and effectively killing all living cells, thoughts and dreams on its way as well as paralyzing people with its terror regime. Not to mention the prison we live in, a prison sustained by a so-called democratic country.

History is repeating itself in its most cruel way and nobody seems to care. We are scared. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. 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 what we want, sometimes we even cant 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!

We do not want to hate, we do not want to feel all of this feelings, we do not want to be victims anymore. 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 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? We are a peace movement consistent of young people in Gaza and supporters elsewhere that will not rest until the truth about Gaza is known by everybody in this whole world and in such a degree that no more silent consent or loud indifference will be accepted.

This is the Gazan youth’s manifesto for change!

We will start by destroying the occupation that surrounds ourselves, we will break free from this mental incarceration and regain our dignity and self respect. We will carry our heads high even though we will face resistance. We will work day and night in order to change these miserable conditions we are living under. We will build dreams where we meet walls.

We only hope that you – yes, you reading this statement right now! – can support us. In order to find out how, please write on our wall or contact us directly: [email protected]

We want to be free, we want to live, we want peace.

FREE GAZA YOUTH!

Pls consider supporting us by taking one or more of the following actions:

1) Promoting our manifesto by sharing it on your profile on Facebook
2) Sending an email to your friends asking them to like our page FB
3) Translating the manifesto to your language and sending it to us (we have it in English, Arabic, Hebrew, French, Portuguese, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Danish)
4) Sending the manifesto to journalists in your country
5) Making organizations in your countries that are concerned with the Palestinian issue and/or youth rights know about our existence
6) Posting links about violation of youth’s rights in Gaza on our wall
7) Planning an event in your country about this issue and/or organizing for a skype conference, where we are able to talk with a group of youth, politicians or others outside Gaza
8) Suggesting us ideas for reaching out to a greater number of people
 

About Gaza Youth Breaks Out

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 176 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Jim Haygood says:

    Note the complete absence of ‘religious bullshit.’ These are kids growing up under occupation. Unlike in a closed society (e.g. North Korea) where people may be somewhat ignorant of their relative condition, the young Gazans are free to travel the world electronically if not physically, and are aware of just how abnormal their situation is.

    Susan Rice (US ambassador to the UN) — are you listening? Even in the Jim Crow South (a million cultural miles from your Stanford University education), black sharecroppers in Mississippi who got fed up with the cultural oppression could ride the Illinois Central to Chicago.

    These kids in Gaza aren’t going anywhere. Most of them have never been more than ten miles from their place of birth — never seen Cairo; never seen Beirut; never seen Tel Aviv.

    US money and US extraterritorial law (hat tip, Stuart Levey) keeps them in prison and smears them as terrorists. Now you know why the Declaration of Independence is locked up inside a secure glass case — God forbid anyone else aspire to freedom, when we’re the ones grinding their faces into the ground!

  2. Taxi says:

    May ALL your wishes come true in 2011, Gazayouth.

    How brave and beautiful inside and out you all are.

    When the word fully spreads, which it will, you will have MILLIONS of people supporting you, working on liberating you from your “nightmare inside a nightmare”. (I’m gonna be haunted by this description for a long time).

    I’m spreading the word on your behalf – you bet!

    You’re all worthy of our attention and help. From here on, you are not alone – no effing way!

  3. kalithea says:

    I feel for them, and at the same time I fear that this cause will become Israeli propaganda at some point. More power to them, if they can break through this prison, but again, when they start becoming more widely known, Israel will use them as a tool like it uses collaborators and still continue the oppression, still continue the occupation. You cannot deny reality. You must work with what you have. You cannot pretend that Hamas does not exist and that the majority of Palestinians voted for Hamas. You have to work with what you know and not some fantasy where Nato flies in and liberates Gaza somehow from Israel and Hamas. In a perfect world this is what should happen, but it won’t, because Israel will always get the upper hand; Israel will always have U.S. unconditional support to deny Gaza freedom through Nato or U.N. forces.

    Until Israel is forced to give all the territories equal rights through sanctions and yes, hopefully, a peackkeeping force; Gaza will never be free and I fear that this is but an impossible utopian dream.

    • Taxi says:

      I think the Gaza youth know fully well what the “reality” of Gaza is and they certainly don’t strike me like they’re in ‘denial’ of it, Kalithea.

      Don’t you get it? They know that reality inside-out and they wanna CHANGE IT.

      And they’re right. All power to them.

      Nobody should be living in a “nightmare inside a nightmare”.

      And I doubt very much that israel’s gonna be successful at breaking their collective spirits, even if a few get strayed/corrupted.

      I don’t know about you, Kalithea, but lately it seems that israel is incapable of getting ANYTHING right on the PR front. Every propaganda button it presses get immediately and successfully challenged the whole world over. That’s a recent, palatable and very exciting development for the Palestinian cause.

      Tis true, like the parody song says: Internet killed the hasbara star.

      Spread the good word that Gaza youth reject extremism of any kind and insist on living in freedom and peace.

      It’s not utopia to want this – it’s basic human rights accorded to ALL.

      • kalithea says:

        Look, I’m just saying, let’s not be naive. Zionism will do anything, ANYTHING to survive and Zionism is incompatible with the rule of law, freedom and human rights.

        Zionism created Hamas for existential reasons. Zionism needs Hamas to justify itself. Don’t you get it?? Zionism cannot exist without the “enemy wants to get us” meme, and Israel will ensure that Zionism survives no matter what or who gets in its way…even this Gaza youth group.

        Anyway, gotta go for now.

        • Taxi says:

          Kalithea,

          No informed person, I’m pretty sure, underestimates the insidious mal-intent of zionism. That’s taken and granted.

          Point is, at this stage of the struggle, time is better spent on coming up with creative ideas to expose zionism further, not shout out warnings we’re already all aware of.

        • clenchner says:

          “Zionism created Hamas”
          Absolutely false.
          Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, constituted as a political and military resistance organization. Which is to say, Hamas is MB, but there are MB’ish groups that aren’t Hamas, often referred to as Hamas charitable organizations.
          Since the MB was created before Israel, and exists in many Middle Eastern countries, seems a bit off to even hint that Israel is responsible for Hamas.
          What Israel might be responsible for is providing the impetus for the MB to organize a political and military rival to the PLO and Fatah. For years, the MB was content to stay outside the political arena, but the outrage of the Palestinian ‘street’ forced it’s hand.
          What is sort of true is that Israel refrained from repressing MB and Hamas as it might have, as part of a strategy to empower rivals to the secular nationalists of the PLO factions.

        • Potsherd2 says:

          Zionism didn’t create Hamas, but Israel nurtured and watered it to make it grow. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Just like it seemed like a good idea when the US nurtured and watered the mujahedin that turned into the Taliban, to fight the Soviets.

        • eljay says:

          >> What is sort of true is that Israel refrained from repressing MB and Hamas as it might have, as part of a strategy to empower rivals to the secular nationalists of the PLO factions.

          “Sort of true” how?

          >> What Israel might be responsible for is providing the impetus for the MB to organize a political and military rival to the PLO and Fatah.

          Interesting that Israel would do such a thing, rather than be a sincere “partner in peace” with secular nationalist Palestinian organizations. Oh, wait, I keep forgetting, it’s not up to Israel to make “better wheels”…

        • tree says:

          I’m not in a position to quote from primary material here, but this timeline seems to be accurate to me. From History Commons:

          Following the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel takes over the administration of the West Bank and Gaza. Whereas Egyptian President Gamal Abddul Nasser had been tough on Islamist militants (see 1954-1970), Israel is much more permissive. One of their first actions is to release Sheikh Ahmed Yassin from prison. Yassin, a charismatic radical Islamist and the future founder of Hamas had been jailed in 1965 during one of Nasser’s crackdowns. [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 195] David Shipler, a former New York Times reporter, later recounts that he was told by the military governor of the Gaza Strip, Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev, that the Israeli government had financed the Islamic movement to couteract the PLO and the communists. According to Martha Kessler, a senior analyst for the CIA, “we saw Israel cultivate Islam as a counterweight to Palestinian nationalism.” In the 1970s, Yassin is able to form some Islamic organizations (see 1973-1978). In the 1980s, he forms Hamas as the military arm of his organizations (see 1987). [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 195, 197, 198]

          —-
          1973-1978: With Israel’s support, Ahmed Yassin Forms Islamist Organizations in the West Bank and Gaza

          In 1973 Israeli military authorities in charge of the West Bank and Gaza allow Sheikh Ahmed Yassin to establish the Islamic Center, an Islamic fundamentalist organization. With Israel’s support, Yassin’s organization soon gains control of hundreds of mosques, charities, and schools which serve as recruiting centers for militant Islamic fundamentalism. In 1976 Yassin creates another organization called the Islamic Association that forms hundreds of branches in Gaza. In 1978 the Islamic Association is licensed by the government of Menachem Begin over the objections of moderate Palesinians including the Commissioner of the Muslim Waqf in the Gaza Strip, Rafat Abu Shaban. Yassin also recieves funding from business leaders in Saudi Arabia who are also hostile to the secular PLO for religious reasons. The Saudi government, however, steps in and attempts to halt the private funds going to Yassin, because they view him as a tool of Israel. [United Press International, 2/24/2001; CounterPunch, 1/18/2003; Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 195 - 197] Yassin will go on to form Hamas in the 1980s, which is created with the help of Israeli intelligence (see 1987).

          1987: Hamas Forms with the Support of Israeli Intelligence
          Edit event

          Sheikh Ahmed Yassin forms Hamas as the military arm of his Islamic Association, which had been licensed by Israel ten years earlier (see 1973-1978). According to Charles Freeman, a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, “Israel started Hamas. It was a project of Shin Bet, which had a feeling that they could use it to hem in the PLO.” [CounterPunch, 1/18/2003; Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 191, 208] Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies, states that Israel “aided Hamas directly—the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO.” A former senior CIA official speaking to UPI describes Israel’s support for Hamas as “a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative.” Further, according to an unnamed US government official, “the thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the other groups, if they gained control, would refuse to have anything to do with the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place.” Larry Johnson, a counterterrorism official at the State Department, states: “The Israelis are their own worst enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism. They are like a guy who sets fire to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting it with a hammer. They do more to incite and sustain terrorism than curb it.” [United Press International, 2/24/2001 Sources: Larry C. Johnson, Unnamed former CIA official]

          link to historycommons.org

        • annie says:

          i wanted to call attention to tree’s post: scroll up>

          CIA official speaking to UPI describes Israel’s support for Hamas as “a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative.” Further, according to an unnamed US government official, “the thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the other groups, if they gained control, would refuse to have anything to do with the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place.

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          In Afghanistan this strategy is called “winning hearts and minds”. Israel tried the counter insurgency strategy of creating a peaceful alternative to the militaristic PLO. That did not succeed. But it is not a devious strategy. At that time Yassin looked 1000 times more attractive than the people that attacked the Munich Olympics.

          And maybe some right wing Israelis thought it would give Israel some excuse in the future. I highly doubt that any Israeli knowing that Hamas would unleash something like the second intifada would support strengthening them. But even if yes, so what? What is your point? Hamas is what it is and blaming Israel for that is completely wrong and also does not help one iota in moving forward.

        • MRW says:

          This is well known.

          According to Charles Freeman, a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, “Israel started Hamas. It was a project of Shin Bet, which had a feeling that they could use it to hem in the PLO.” [CounterPunch, 1/18/2003; Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 191, 208] Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies, states that Israel “aided Hamas directly—the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO.”

        • Shingo says:

          Israel tried the counter insurgency strategy of creating a peaceful alternative to the militaristic PLO. That did not succeed. But it is not a devious strategy.

          Of course it was devious. It was classic divide and conquer. Israel has always done it. Rather than negotiate with the PLO, Israel tried to fracture the Palestinians into 2 parties to dilute their political clout.

          Israel did the same thing in 2007, when they undermined unity talks between Hamas and Fatah.

    • yonira says:

      The majority of the Palestinians voted for Hamas 4 years. After that there has been zero attempt for another election. How do we know they are still the choice in Palestine, let alone Gaza?

      These kids are heroic and are dead on, no one, including their ‘supporters’ from the anti-Israel camp have their best interests in mind.

      They do have an English website for those that are interested:
      link to sharek.ps

      Chronology of events:

      link to sharek.ps

      To Kalithea, Israel or not, the reality is Hamas is not the angelic pro-democratic pro-Gazan organization everyone totes them to be. They are a repressive regime which wants to shut down any avenues of free speech given to their populous.

      • kalithea says:

        Yonira, I don’t buy your spiel. Period.

      • Potsherd2 says:

        More bullshit from yonira. You’re always making this stuff up. “Everyone” doesn’t “tote” Hamas to be angelic.

        There are hundreds of people posting here, and I’ve never seen one declare that Hamas was angelic, let alone “everyone,” but you keep spouting this stuff. It’s all in your mind, a vessel of distortion.

        • yonira says:

          Alright, we agree Hamas is a repressive regime. Sharek was opened since 1996, funny that it wasn’t shutdown when Israel was in control of Gaza.

        • annie says:

          funny that sharek wasn’t shut down by israel? how so?

        • sherbrsi says:

          Sharek was opened since 1996, funny that it wasn’t shutdown when Israel was in control of Gaza.

          Very funny, considering that Israel went on to shutdown Gaza entirely with its blockade.

        • yonira says:

          Annie,

          Hamas thought it bad enough to shut-down there must be something wrong with it.

          I was being facetious (and a bit of a prick) but that is how I roll :)

        • annie says:

          but it isn’t shut down yonira, it is still operating.

        • yonira says:

          Annie,

          Am I missing something, if so please tell me. I am interested in this group and would like to know all the details:

          Human Rights Watch: Let Sharek Re-open Its Doors
          Hamas authorities in Gaza should allow an organization that helps children and youth to reopen and penalize officials who have harassed its workers, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 30, 2010, Hamas authorities arbitrarily closed all of the Gaza offices of the group Sharek Youth Forum, which provides psychosocial and vocational support and operates summer camps and other programs for 60,000 Gaza children and youth.

          link to hrw.org

          You had mentioned there is more than meets the eye with this organization. Can you help me understand that? What do you think they did? have you heard anything?

        • annie says:

          i wish you would not paraphrase me. i didn’t say there was more than meets the eye, i agreed w/walid’s assessment “unanswered questions about them and why Hamas is on their case”. i really do not know, do you?

          you are correct, it does appear the doors are closed. somehow i imagined w/this website in operation meant they were still ‘operating’ but it sounds as tho they are not in terms of activities etc. there are many many youth groups in gaza so i really have no idea why they were targeted and it is certainly my wish all of the youths in gaza are free, and their parents too!

        • yonira says:

          there are many many youth groups in gaza so i really have no idea why they were targeted and it is certainly my wish all of the youths in gaza are free, and their parents too!

          Amen, stop the siege and the occupation!

        • annie says:

          as an aside yonira, it took me a little while to find it but i did write this group w/their manifesto arrived in my inbox. it was a message of hope. they immediately wrote back (w/a full name btw) and amongst other things said this:

          Thank you so much for your message. We would like to post it on our wall, because it is a message that should be shared with more ppl.

          this is why i imagined they we’re still able to meet .

      • sherbrsi says:

        To Kalithea, Israel or not, the reality is Hamas is not the angelic pro-democratic pro-Gazan organization everyone totes them to be.

        No one here claimed Hamas to be that. Do you like making up things?

        They are a repressive regime which wants to shut down any avenues of free speech given to their populous.

        So is Israel.

        At least Hamas is cracking down on its own people, whereas the IDF has racist youths gassing Palestinians to death.

      • Walid says:

        Yonira, Hamas would welcome an election but the Fateh guys don’t. The US, Israel and the Fateh disregarded the election results that brought Hamas to power. Fateh’s Abbas’ mandate ran out a couple of years ago and he is overstaying his mandate illegally and being kept in office by the US and Israel. It’s the people of Gaza that are giving the strength to Hamas to hang on and not the other way around; they still haven’t forgotten the corruption of the other guys that brought Hamas to power.

        I wouldn’t be too hasty to jump on these kids’ bandwagon, there’s still a few unanswered questions about them and why Hamas is on their case.

        • annie says:

          there’s still a few unanswered questions about them and why Hamas is on their case.

          i agree. i ask mohammed about them in his 2 years thread. but i find it illuminating yonira has provided us w/these links.

      • annie says:

        The majority of the Palestinians voted for Hamas 4 years. After that there has been zero attempt for another election.

        like there has been zero attempt to hold another election since obama was elected? the US/IS pressured palestine to hold elections early to dislodge hamas, they were warned it was too early but they didn’t listen, held elections at a time fatah was clearly operating corruptly ..and look what happened. btw..this might interest you:

        The Palestinian political situation will, of course, face another watershed later this month when the five-year anniversary of the 2006 elections arrives and therefore the mandate of the Hamas-led PA “government” that was elected at that point– and which still administers Gaza to this day, while the West Bank has come under the sway of the quite extra-legally installed, but very generously western-funded, “government” of Salam Fayyad– should theoretically come to an end.

        apparently their elections are every 5 years. it is abbas whose mandate is up btw, not hamas,but i don’t here you bitching about that.

      • Shingo says:

        The majority of the Palestinians voted for Hamas 4 years

        The majority of the israelisvoted for The Liebrman/Netnyahu coalition.

        • hophmi says:

          They did not. The majority of Israelis voted for Likud, Kadima, and Labor. But Kadima did not want to be in the government, so Netanyahu formed a right-wing coalition. Israelis do not vote for coalitions.

  4. kalithea says:

    I just want to add something: Hamas exists thanks to Israel. Israel will always find a way to deny Gaza freedom, whether it be through Hamas or some other angle. Remember that. So if one day Hamas disbands, Israel will find another way of keeping Gaza locked up.

    Zionism is the one and only reason Hamas exists.

    • eee says:

      Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which was formed as a reaction to Western culture in 1928, not to Zionism.
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      • kalithea says:

        Riiiiiight. You got swampland you wanna sell me too?

      • Potsherd2 says:

        Try some facts, eee, and stop waving your kindergarten wiki entries around.

        Hamas exists because Israelis had the bright idea of encouraging Islamic groups as a counter to the secular revolutionaries of the PLO, instead of embracing justice. If Israel had been willing to make peace a generation ago, at the time of the first intifada, there would be no Hamas now.

        • yonira says:

          Kalithea and Pots,

          Read Annie’s quote below.

          Paraipan asked him if Hamas is still ideologically “bound” to the Muslim brotherhood, the organization from which it was born. He replied:

          It is true that we came from the Brotherhood organization, but it is different now.

      • annie says:

        helena /JWN has segments of an interview w/Hamas’s representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan. it’s worth checking out.

        Paraipan asked him if Hamas is still ideologically “bound” to the Muslim brotherhood, the organization from which it was born. He replied:

        It is true that we came from the Brotherhood organization, but it is different now. We are a Palestinian national movement representing our national cause. There are no structural links to the Brotherhood, just ties like with any other movement or political party.

        The Brotherhood network is bigger than Hamas’s, no doubt. We work among 10 million Palestinians, and they work among 1.3 billion Muslims.

      • annie says:

        israel empowered and supported hamas, this is old news. you can’t blame their growth on the muslim brotherhood. as a seedling israel could have starved hamas from the get go, they didn’t..they nurtured that seedling and now they have the target of demonization they so desired. it’s hard cleansing a people w/out a demonstrable justification.

        • sherbrsi says:

          Well said annie.

          Hamas is exactly the scapegoat Israel needed to sustain the occupation, deflect international and diplomatic criticism and use as a smokescreen for the settlements. Let’s not forget the talking points Israel has gained from Hamas either, from the charter to the rockets, there is no question Israel needs Hamas around to blame as they go about their business.

        • Antidote says:

          “israel empowered and supported hamas, this is old news”

          true, but my impression is that the general public in the West has never heard of this. When it was mentioned during a recent lecture on the I/P conflict in Canada, the audience reacted with disbelief. They were simply stunned.

        • annie says:

          there’s lots of documented evidence they supported them against the plo. while starving the plo/arafat they were funding the hamas social programs, community programs that supported the locals in numerous ways. for example if the US gov cut off welfare and then basic needs were supplied instead thru the churchs. of course UNRWA was still there, but hamas social programs are wide spread which was not the case earlier.

        • annie says:

          and provide a pretext to chip off gaza from palestine, their ultimate goal.

        • MHughes976 says:

          The fact that Israel and the West quietly supported Hamas in early days may not mean that they intended to produce a bogeyman rather than that they intended to produce a pliant instrument, which in some ways the early Hamas must have been. In Cold War days everything was the fault of Marxism and religion was an antidote to Marxism. I don’t know whether anyone really foresaw the reversal of roles whereby the heirs of the Marxist PLO became the pliant instruments and the religious extremists became the enemy.
          If Israel didn’t have Hamas to blame there’d be someone else to be blamed and someone else being prepared for the ‘pliant instrument’ or quisling role. The process is for more and more suffering to be inflicted on the Palestinians and for their resentment, ever increasing as it must but often taking different forms, to be called anti-Semitic, to be regarded as the real evil that is abroad, and to be used as the excuse for yet more violent inflictions.

        • Potsherd2 says:

          The general public in the West is force-fed Israeli propaganda and lies, not allowed access to the facts.

        • annie says:

          The process is for more and more suffering to be inflicted on the Palestinians

          the process if for israel’s expansion. just follow the money, that is something that keeps on keeping on..the suffering of palestinians is window dressing to mask the agenda.

        • MHughes976 says:

          I don’t think we have a serious disagreement here, annie. I’d say that to me the suffering, the injustice and the expansion do not so much mask each other as form three among the many faces of the same terrifying process defended by the same preposterous arguments.

    • kalithea says:

      What’s you’re problem??

    • Walid says:

      For those interested in following this story, the manifesto was triggered by the Hamas crackdown on the Sharek Youth Forum this past summer which I’m guessing must have some ties or other to Fateh. After the hamas raid, Khaled Meshaal issued a directive to Hamas to leave these youths alone. The manifesto is critical of Hamas, Fateh and everyone else. The Sharek group appears the main driving force of the group and there’s a picture on the net of the group of about 8 or 10 members in another article at link to salem-news.com

      The following article sheds a bit of light on what has been going on with these kids:

      Friday, June 4, 2010

      Hamas raids offices of group with foreign funding that publicized flotilla

      GAZA CITY — The Hamas regime has targeted a youth movement in the Gaza Strip.

      Palestinian sources said Hamas security forces have been raiding offices and arresting staffers of the Sharek Youth Forum, Middle East Newsline reported. On May 31, Hamas Internal Security Forces officers stormed Sharek’s central office in Gaza City and later closed a facility in the southern city of Rafah.

      “There seems to be confusion as to the reason for this action and the party carrying it out,” Sharek said on June 3. “Until now, no official position was communicated to us.”

      Sharek, which helped publicize the Turkish-sponsored flotilla to the Gaza Strip, was said to be an independent Palestinian youth group that receives funding from abroad. The non-governmental organization has been in contact with both Palestinian and foreign human rights organizations in wake of the raids.

      On May 31, amid the Israel Navy interception of the flotilla to the Gaza Strip, Hamas officers were said to have seized 18 computers, video and digital cameras from Sharek’s Gaza City office. Several hours later, Hamas forces raided Sharek’s office in Rafah, confiscated computers, an LCD projector and then shut the facility, owned by the Rafah Municipality.

      “After the first attack, we contacted the Interior Ministry and Youth and Sports Ministry in Gaza City as well the security personnel responsible for security of NGOs, all of whom claimed they were not aware of this action,” Sharek said.

      This marked the latest Hamas raid of social organizations in the Gaza Strip. Previous targets included youth and sports clubs linked to the Fatah movement as well as Christian organizations and NGOs.

      “We will continue providing our services despite the recent attacks. And we call upon the authorities in Gaza to immediately take action and reopen sister organizations that were ordered to close in Rafah and to ensure that civil society organizations and their staff are protected in the future,” Sharek said.

      link to worldtribune.com 0492_06_04.asp

      • “What’s you’re problem??”

        You, when I state my support of the youth that are genuinely independant, and you respond sarcastically.

        • Donald says:

          “You, when I state my support of the youth that are genuinely independant, ”

          I support this manifesto, but I am deeply distrustful of your support and even more of eee’s support. The manifesto denounces Hamas and that’s why you support it. They are right to denounce Hamas’s authoritarian behavior, but they also vehemently condemn Israeli brutality in language far harsher than you have ever used. You’re the one at Dan Flescher’s blog who said that Hamas was definitely guilty of war crimes in the 2009 slaughter, but you weren’t sure Israel was.

          So you support these “independent” youths because Palestinian criticism of Hamas is useful to you and not because you believe in human rights the way they do.

          I think these kids are like idealists in every society–they have an uphill struggle, getting criticism from the authoritarian types in their own society, from misguided activists abroad, and “support” from hypocrites who actually reject what they stand for, which is a consistent stance on human rights.

  5. eee says:

    Well at least this post shines some light the elephant in the room:
    Hamas is part of the problem
    Palestinian disunity is part of the problem

    The answer to Israel apparently is BDS. What is the answer to Hamas?
    And, how can a one state solution be successful if Hamas is a major player in it? The common sense answer is that the one state solution has no chance of being successful and therefore the onus is on the supporters of the one state to convince us otherwise.

    • Potsherd2 says:

      What is the answer to Hamas?

      Saying Yes to the ceasefire is the answer to Hamas. Lifting the siege is the answer to Hamas.

      While Palestinian disunity is certainly part of the problem, the primary cause of this disunity is pressure from the USraeli establishment, which does not want to see a united Palestinian front against Israel.

    • Walid says:

      eee, BDS is not out to destroy Israel; it simply wants to end the occupation. If the Palestinians want Hamas, it’s their damn business. No one is telling how to vote in Israel.

      • yonira says:

        There needs to a be a new vote Walid, the Hamas election is old news, a lot has changed since 2006.

        • Walid says:

          Of course there should be elections, Yonira, but the US, Israel and the others have to get out of the way and let the Palestinians agree among themselves on holding them.

      • David Samel says:

        Walid, excellent response. Many Israelis despise their PM, whoever it happens to be. Netanyahu, Olmert, Sharon at least were mired in financial/corruption scandals. Katsav has been convicted of rape. Does anyone insist that Israel, or any other country, must get its politics in order before it is accepted on the world stage?

        Now we hear that Israel must continue its military rule over millions of Palestinians until they get rid of Hamas. Or until the Iran problem is solved. Why not until global warming is reversed and the ozone layer is repaired? Give the Palestinians their freedom, and then they will be responsible for their electoral choices, just like the rest of us.

    • Taxi says:

      What you got presently ain’t exactly working eee.

      You wanna stay on current catastrophic track and to hell with any other proposition?

      Well some forces/people ain’t gonna let ya. Good for them!

      • eee says:

        Taxi,

        There is only one solution, a negotiated 2 state solution. That is the only track that has a a chance of working. If you don’t support that, what exactly are you supporting? How about injecting one ounce of practicality amid the slogans? I know the slogans, and they have been found to be hollow.

        • annie says:

          israel will prevent a sovereign palestinian state, so go bitch at them for that, not bds.

        • Taxi says:

          eee,

          Don’t make me laugh with your “negotiated” 2 state solution.

          Now if that ain’t a tired and deceptive slogan, I don’t know what is!

        • Shingo says:

          There is only one solution, a negotiated 2 state solution. That is the only track that has a a chance of working.

          The track has not worked in 30 years, so it’s clealy not the only one solution.

        • pjdude says:

          no actually a solution where everyone actualy gets all their legally accorded rights (and no one gets fake ones) as the very best chance of working long term.

    • sherbrsi says:

      Hamas is part of the problem
      Palestinian disunity is part of the problem

      They are both problems created and in place because of Israel.

      The answer to Israel apparently is BDS. What is the answer to Hamas?

      I’ll worry about Hamas when the Palestinians elect them after Israel withdraws from the Palestinian territories. And no, shifting the settlers from Gaza to the WB and punishing Gaza from the outside instead of checkpoints on the inside does not count as “withdrawing.”

  6. MHughes976 says:

    I’m not quite, kalithea, sure what ‘exists thanks to Israel’ implies. Had there been no Israel there would not have been the various forms of reaction and resistance, though Islamic movements strongly mixing religion and politics might, in that alternative twentieth century that we can hardly imagine, have arisen anyway. A stronger allegation, that Hamas was deliberately fostered by Israel and the West as an alternative to the godless, communist PLO, is sometimes made.
    It’s a bit hard to know what Gaza Youth really wants. Are they saying that Hamas should be replaced by people who would offer the famous recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, thus persuading Israel to ease the siege of Gaza? Are they saying that they want scope to express religious scepticism and that they don’t, in all the circumstances, have that much faith in divine providence? Are they saying that they want the world to recognise their suffering in order that moral pressure be put on Israel? I’m sure that there are people in Gaza with all these thoughts in their heads, just as there are Hamas loyalists, and I don’t know what I would think were I to be under the pressures they endure. But you have to come down on some side of these questions eventually. GYouth seems to be avoiding that and to my mind we’re seeing a cry for help rather than a true manifesto here. And it’s a demonstration of disunity and demoralisation in Gaza.

    • eee says:

      MHughes976,

      The Fatah supporters in Gaza have been demoralized for quite a while. That is what, 20-30% of the population? So ignoring the Hamas issue in the name of unity is counterproductive anyway.

      The Palestinians are not united, and this is an issue for the Palestinians to solve. Nobody else can solve it for them. Blaming Israel or anyone else for this will get you nowhere.

      • annie says:

        The Palestinians are not united, and this is an issue for the Palestinians to solve. Nobody else can solve it for them.

        your correct in saying ‘nobody can solve it for them’ but the implication of this statement ignores the reality IS/US has threatened to cut off funds for the PA if they reconcile w/hamas. so lets put credit where credit is due.

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          What you say is not accurate. There is on the table an Egyptian brokered agreement for unification that Hamas refuse to accept. The US puts bounds on what the PA can agree to without getting its funds cut (for example support of violence) but does not stop the Palestinians from uniting. Why are you trying to find excuses for them instead of urging unification?

        • Taxi says:

          Gaza youth are telling us they’re fed up with religious bullshit of hamas, israeli crimes against them AND fatah secular corruption.

          This means they want to be FREE – which means they want to be FREE TO MOVE, THINK, SPEAK AND CONGREGATE.

          Sounds like the principles of true democracy have taken a hold of Gaza youth.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Some time ago I mentioned an article in the Economist in which a Euro spokesman (whether it’s worth my hoping he isn’t British I don’t know) specifically said that he’d rather have the Palestinians divided and with no properly elected government than united by an election that Hamas would win. This is apparently official EU policy, so we share some of that credit (for sowing dissent) you speak of. The blandness, the contempt, the injustice, the cruelty of the remark keep preying on my mind, since somehow or other this man represents me.
          Sowing dissent is one thing. Suppressing elections that would in some sense resolve issues, as elections do even when they reveal deep dissensions, is another, further step.

        • annie says:

          The US puts bounds on what the PA can agree to without getting its funds cut (for example support of violence) but does not stop the Palestinians from uniting.

          yeah, obviously we have a double standard here. the US has no problem framing their support of israel’s massacres as “the right to defense” so let’s reframe your sentence:

          The US puts bounds on what the PA can agree to or else risk getting its funds cut (for example , the right to defend itself is grounds for cutting off funds) but does not stop the Palestinians from uniting.

          get it? that’s like saying, israeli’s unite around no defense or we stop funding you! obviously hamas won the election because more palestinians than not believe in their right to resist occupation.

          There is on the table an Egyptian brokered agreement for unification that Hamas refuse to accept.

          CHARLIE ROSE: The requirements that have been suggested are for you — for Palestinians to come together, settle your differences with Fatah. Where is the reconciliation?

          KHALED MESHAAL: This is a question that you should ask in Washington and not here.

          CHARLIE ROSE: Washington is responsible for the conflict between Hamas and Fatah?

          KHALED MESHAAL: From one perspective, yes. After the Mattah (ph) agreement, General Dayton (ph) cooperated with some Palestinian leaders, (INAUDIBLE). And that brought Mattah agreement to a failure. (my link added)

          As for today, as far as I know, my accurate information tells that George Mitchell, the American envoy, told the Egyptians and he told Mahmoud Abbas a few months ago that there is a veto on the Palestinian reconciliation unless Hamas subjected itself to the conditions of the quartet. But if there is a government between Hamas and Fatah, the American administration will stop the assistance to the Palestinian people, so there is an American veto on the Palestinian reconciliation.

          CHARLIE ROSE: Maybe the Israelis are happy, maybe not. But as long as there is a division, they can’t negotiate with anybody and produce the kind of results that are necessary.

          KHALED MESHAAL: Undoubtedly, the Palestinian divide like this is very negative. And it is damaging all of us, and the reconciliation is our responsibility as Palestinians. However, the problem is there is a Palestinian party, which is Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah, that do not want to have real partnership between Fatah and Hamas, in the political decision, the security decision and in supervising the election. They don’t want
          Hamas to be in power. This is why when we won the election in 2006, they didn’t like the results. And they were assisted by the Americans and the Israelis against us.

          The question is if they had (INAUDIBLE) of America — or the American administration, because I wouldn’t blame the American people — if the American administration is interested in the reconciliation, why it didn’t accept the results of the elections of 2006? Why it interferes and it supported the other Palestinian side or (INAUDIBLE) Hamas.

          now, according to the ‘Mattah agreement’ link above talks broke down because after and agreement for talks arose @ the meeting in yemen there was a ‘misunderstanding’ as to what was agreed apon.

          Nabil Abu Rudeineh, another Abbas adviser, said: “The items of the Yemeni initiative are clear and we want it for implementation, not dialogue.”

          Hamas, on the other hand, says the agreement is a guideline for reconciliation talks, not a pre-condition.

          Fatah says the agreement stipulates that Hamas must return control of Gaza to the PA, but has so far shown unwillingness to make changes in the West Bank.

          so, the precondition required by the americans for talks to resume was that hamas basically fold first. what kind of ‘agreement’ is that for talks?

        • Antidote says:

          “The blandness, the contempt, the injustice, the cruelty of the remark keep preying on my mind, since somehow or other this man represents me.”

          That’s precisely how I feel about Merkel’s endless patience with Israeli, but not Palestinian terrorism, and her infuriatingly bland and callous statements:

          “When a future Palestinian state is established on the basis of mutual understanding I will be pleased [!!!] as well.” Merkel also addressed the report issued by the UN’s Goldstone Commission, which accused Israel of multiple war crimes during its offensive against hamas in Gaza last winter, saying that it was nothing to get worked up about [!!!]. She suggested looking to the future and investing efforts in preventing such clashes from arising again.

          link to haaretz.com

    • Walid says:

      Maybe it’s because I have a suspicious mind, but there is something behind this manifesto because eventhough it is superficially critical of Israel, the US and UNRWA, it is mostly a torpedo aimed at Hamas. I find it odd that Hamas raided their offices and confiscated their equipment at the height of the anti-Israel campaign during the flotilla stories. Remembering how Israeli propaganda operates, I can’t help smelling something unholy about this story. Even more perplexing is how come after almost a week of this kind of negative publicity, Hamas hasn’t yet clamped down on those kids.

      • annie says:

        yep. it’s rather odd they do not cite the blockade.

        • sherbrsi says:

          Upon reading the manifesto further I think Walid is definitely onto something. Most superficial of all are the action points of the manifesto which don’t mention Israel or the blockade at all. In fact, most of it (6 of the points) are directly calling for the dissemination of the article, which suggests that this group is more concerned with spreading their message than getting any actual help. I would think that the Gaza youth would have something to say or ask about the state that they thought wanted to erase their existence. The crux of their repression is being made to be Hamas and Israel is left off the hook way too easily for someone in their position. The blockade like annie says is hinted to but never mentioned at all.

          But what I find most suspicious is that they refused to give Horowitz their names or contact details, citing strict security reasons

          “we can’t give you names bcz we are working undercover and we can’t have meetings as well for our safety.”

          Yet in their manifesto they call for wide publication and video communication

          “Planning an event in your country about this issue and/or organizing for a skype conference, where we are able to talk with a group of youth, politicians or others outside Gaza”

          I don’t buy this manifesto at all seeing this glaring contradiction and the insidious Hasbara carefully embedded in the article.

        • Walid says:

          sherbrsi, about their fear for their security in not revealing their identities, their picture is in the Salem(Oregon) News:

          link to salem-news.com

        • annie says:

          that is a very nice swimming pool in the background. what is the point of going anonymous if you’re writing people back w/full names (as they did in the emails). i’m sure hamas already knows who they are.

      • sherbrsi says:

        They did not get rid of Hamas, as they intended,

        When I read this line, I thought the same. No one in Gaza, certainly not the authors of this document, would ever live through Cast Lead and then regurgitate the main talking point justifying the Gaza offensive, especially when the same document says

        “During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the earth.”

        Your suspicion is warranted.

        • Walid says:

          The opening “F” word in the manifesto was addressed to Hamas and the last to the US. Here’s more of what I’m calling torpedoes mostly intended for Hamas; if you block out the “we hate everybody equally” smokescreen, this is what you’re left with:

          “… 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, homemade 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.”

          “… The final drop that made our hearts tremble with frustration and hopelessness happened 30rd November, when Hamas’ officers came to Sharek Youth Forum, a leading youth organization (www.sharek.ps) with their guns, lies and aggressiveness, throwing everybody outside, incarcerating some and prohibiting Sharek from working. A few days later, demonstrators in front of Sharek were beaten and some incarcerated. We are really living a nightmare inside a nightmare.”

          “… During the last years Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. We are a generation of young people used to face missiles, carrying what seems to be a impossible mission of living a normal and healthy life, and only barely tolerated by a massive organization that has spread in our society as a malicious cancer disease, causing mayhem and effectively killing all living cells, thoughts and dreams on its way as well as paralyzing people with its terror regime.”

          “… Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. 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 what we want, sometimes we even cant 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!”

          “… 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!”

          That sure makes this package appear suspicious. I wouldn’t put it past Israel or its friends at MEMRI. Of course there are a few mild disparaging remarks aimed at Israel as part of the smoke but for a group that has had enough, it seems that most of their problems are with Hamas. These kids aren’t screaming for freedom, they’re campaigning to have a lynching party.

        • yonira says:

          I’d be interested to see/hear what these Gaza Youth’s opinion would be on your accusation of this being a hasbara stunt.

        • Walid says:

          Yonira, I haven’t actually come out with an accusation that it is, but at this point the manifesto has all the moves of an Israeli/US/Fateh hasbara stunt. Time will tell. FYI, I’m not a fan of Hamas or any other religion-driven political movement.

        • Potsherd2 says:

          This isn’t entirely unreasonable. Of the numerous repressive agencies, Hamas is the one constantly present.

          Not that I discount your suspicions, either. The manifesto seems designed to appeal to the yoniras of the world, which makes me wonder, too.

        • annie says:

          the proof is in the pudding. israel supporters are salivating over this message. not one remark about “what about israel’s right to exist as a jewish state” or anything to complain about. it feeds right into the demonize hamas agenda. i was in gaza, i met fatah supporters and i met youth who didn’t like hamas, not one bit. but i didn’t meet anyone who put them on a par w/israel. the overwhelming threat to them, as they communicated, was israel. they feel they are targeted for genocide, by israel. this was the overwhelming place they came together, and not just youth.

          the doctors and professionals i met with, the people who worked for unrwa @ the refugee camps, the schools and community centers..they made clear israel was their greatest threat. in general it is in private personal conversations among friends they may express critical remarks wrt hamas but nothing, nothing on a par w/israel who are holding their sons and daughters and fathers and policitcians in jail and killing their people.

          and that is not anything that comes thru in this document. is that because they fear israel will come bomb their center? (was it bombed in cast led as the UN schools were bombed?). hamas knows who they are and this manifesto is getting LOTS of press. do they fear hamas will bomb the center and kill them? who is their main threat? from this manifesto it appears hamas is. i find that rather startling.

        • yonira says:

          Walid, you sound like a Hamas plant, these are kids who want change and you are accusing them of being Zionist plants. You disgust me man.

        • Taxi says:

          No yonira, Walid DOESN’T sound like a “Hamas plant”. He’s a Lebanese oak tree – yeah go figure out the meaning of that one yourself.

          You don’t even know you’re a hasbara plant, do you? They ain’t even paying you for shoveling their horse-shit, are they?

          Some Gaza youth might very well be mad at Hamas, but their fury is reserved, and rightly so, for the IDF and unscrupulous, pathetic back-stabbers like yourself. That effing letter is directed squarely at people like YOU!

          So you’re gonna support the IDF when they bomb the Gaza youth again?

          You gonna try and stop them from killing more ‘freedom-loving Palestinian’ in the next assault against Gaza?

      • yonira says:

        Another Zionist /USrael/Zionist occupied territory conspiracy?

        uggghhhhh

        • annie says:

          israel would never do that, they would never even think of it. to infiltrate or impersonate gaza youth? never, it is inconceivable. just because there is a war going on to make these kinds of assumptions, as if israel or the US would ever engage in meddling w/internal affairs or any kind of coin operation inside the strip… is insane.

          all better now.

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          Seriously, if you interpret any Palestinian view that you don’t agree with as an Israeli-American orchestrated conspiracy, are you even leaving room for discussion?

          What do you find so irritating about what these youth write? Wouldn’t any liberal minded person in their situation write something that much different?

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          The reason some Israelis are happy with this message in spite the fact that it is highly critical of Israel is that the message is fair and diagnoses all the problems facing Gaza. I can live along side and be friends with people that think like these youth. I cannot do that along side Hamas.

        • Shingo says:

          I cannot do that along side Hamas.

          What about Palestinians who cannot live alongside Likud?

        • annie says:

          there is a difference between interpreting something as a conspiracy and considering it could be.

          i do not find it irritating, i find it suspicious for reasons i have already stated. what is the point of going anonymously and then posing for a picture? what is the purpose of going anonymously (implying serious risk if your identity is known) when the likelihood hamas does not already know who they are is practically nil.

          like i said, i don’t find it irritating in the least.

        • annie says:

          the message is fair and diagnoses all the problems facing Gaza

          and that is where we part ways eee. there is no ‘balance’ to the youth of gaza wrt threat levels wrt israel and hamas. any framing that could be construed to do so is not, in my mind, and accurate despcription ie: ‘fair’.

          but, i can see how you could embrace that concept. i have a brilliant idea..maybe the israelis who are happy w/this message could provide and escape route for these kids to finish their education out here in the real world. lift the siege!

        • yonira says:

          Annie, of course they would. I am not denying that. But seriously, basically the argument for anything that isn’t liked on this site is that it’s a conspiracy. Don’t you guys ever get sick of the constant excuses, misdirection, and blame? These kids want to make a different and you all are trying to stifle their freedom of speech by calling what they are saying illegitimate. It is complete BS.

          You all talk about a binational state, but you have a total inability to see anything beyond Israel’s demonic nature. There will be no peace without reconciliation, there will be no binational state w/ out trust.

          It’s like you all feel something is slipping away from your movement when someone criticizes something other than Israel. Let the kids of Gaza speak without trying to stifle it.

        • annie says:

          yonira, i don’t see anything slipping away.

          basically the argument for anything that isn’t liked on this site is that it’s a conspiracy

          some people are just more sceptical by nature. i wouldn’t take it too personally. this is the first time most people have heard of this group and it is a very natural reaction to get to know something or someone before trusting it. if you don’t believe me listen to this extremely informative video.

          for a little more elaboration let’s just assume we have to make a call on whether israel or the US or fatah would ever consider operating any kind of covert operation involving gazan youths. pretend you would have to stake the life of your families life on that call? i would guess, if i had to make a guess (50 50 toss up mind you), they do sometimes.

          iow, it’s just a matter of guessing what’s genuine and what isn’t. it’s prudent to be sceptical and it is in my nature.

          and with that i will bid you adieu on this topic, i think i have made my point. either way i hope the kids are free soon as well as all gazans.

        • eee says:

          Shingo,

          “What about Palestinians who cannot live alongside Likud?”

          Are there any of those, I thought all supported the two state solution? But if there are many it just proves my point that the one state solution is a pie in the sky.

        • Potsherd2 says:

          And how many members of Hamas have you met, eee? How many have you invited to dinner for a frank exchange of views?

        • Shingo says:

          But if there are many it just proves my point that the one state solution is a pie in the sky.

          A singgle state will come about whether it is via a solution or by default. Israel will make sure of it.

          Enjoy your aparheid fascist state while you can.

        • pjdude says:

          if you can’t live with them perhaps you should take your boot from their throat and treat them like a human being not a thing to be erased so you and yours never have to deal with your crimes

  7. MHughes976 says:

    I think it’s clear from the discussion that Israel can view this publication with at least a little pleasure, since ‘Gaza divided, Hamas blamed’ makes quite a good headline for the Israeli side. Fatah and even Israeli influences may have been behind it. For all that, the document may still, I suppose, reflect majority opinion in some age groups in Gaza.

    • annie says:

      the document may still, I suppose, reflect majority opinion in some age groups in Gaza.

      or it may not.

      • Walid says:

        Even the good doctor who lost 3 kids and a niece in the Israeli bombing of Gaza and could not speak any evil of Israel has changed his attitude towards Israel and is now asking for his pound of flesh so it’s doubtful that many think like those manifesto kids:

        Report: Bereaved Gaza doctor to sue Israel

        Published Friday 24/12/2010 (updated) 25/12/2010 11:43 TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) —

        Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, who lost three daughters when the Israeli army fired shells at his home during Operation Cast Lead, will file on Sunday a massive damages claim, an Israeli newspaper reported.

        “I didn’t want to file the lawsuit, and until now I didn’t want to discuss it,” he told Yedioth Ahronoth in a phone interview from Toronto, Canada, where he immigrated following the tragedy.

        “I tried to take every step that would allow me to close this with love and goodwill, but they didn’t leave me a choice. According to the law, the statute of limitations will apply to this case within a few weeks – but there is no statute of limitations on the blood of my daughters. It will stay with me forever. It’s a catastrophe that’s impossible to forget.”

        Abuelaish instructed his lawyer to avoid a lawsuit and reach a settlement with the security forces, which would include recognition and compensation, according to the report. But no such settlement was reached: The Defense Ministry’s legal adviser, Ahaz Ben-Ari, announced this week that Abuelaish does not deserve compensation.

        link to maannews.net

        • Antidote says:

          Good point , Walid. Dr. Abuelaish’s story has opened the eyes of many Canadians about Israel’s arrogance and unwillingness to cooperate and end the conflict. There is simply no excuse for people who spit in the face of a man who has done nothing but promote peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and forgiveness.

        • MHughes976 says:

          I would like to have more understanding of why ‘closure with love and goodwill’ is desirable when you are dealing with a system that has not in any sense closed down its operations and breathes fiery threats all the time. Some might say we should forgive all things always and unconditionally, perhaps like the Suffering Servant in Isaiah, who bears the sins of others and does not open his mouth. But I don’t see how legal actions, which surely say ‘I have not forgiven’, come into that picture.

  8. kapok says:

    I say we give eee and his ilk the heave ho. Or at least mark them out for the trolls they are. They come here making their infantile assertions and are decisively shot down every time. But they just reappear like an annoying rash. When have they ever won an argument?

  9. Henry Norr says:

    The (London Sunday) Observer has an interview with these kids today – supposedly the first they’ve given. Nothing terribly different from what most people are saying here, but it’s interesting.

    • eee says:

      Very interesting, and for once I have a smidgen of hope that Palestinian society can actually be a real partner for peace. Let’s see where this goes. Finally a manifesto that is in line with liberal democracy.

      • pjdude says:

        can actually be a real partner for peace?????????????? just now. they have been willing to give up their natural human rights to feed you and yours greed. they have been a partner for peace since the begining it is time for you to try for peace instead of conquest for a change

      • annie says:

        Finally a manifesto that is in line with liberal democracy.

        oy vey

        • eee says:

          Maybe you relish the thought of living near an Islamofascist state but I don’t. You are again unwilling to see the elephant in the room.

        • pjdude says:

          how can you not relish the thought of living next to an “islamofascist” state. the term its self is fairy tale. a boogyman that people like you use to paint those you dislike in horrible ways. there is no such thing as islamofascism.

        • annie says:

          do you also embrace the term judeofascism eee or does your advocacy for slandering religion only extend to islam?

        • EEE,
          Can you describe what you mean by Islamofascist state, so that it is a description of a term with some meaning that one can agree or disagree with, rather than just a name called.

          Also, so that one can distinguish between a civil state of Muslim majority and an Islamo-fascist state.

        • annie says:

          witty, why not asked about both? why ignore judeofascism?

        • You don’t want to understand what he means, so that you can respond intelligently, rather than just with a name-call?

        • annie says:

          name call? iow judeofascism is name calling but islamofascim has educational value? how illuminating.

        • Potsherd2 says:

          The elephant is your racism, eee. And from here, it’s real easy to see.

          No one asked the Arab countries if they wanted to live next to a Judeofacist state. And if you object to that term, see here:
          link to 123pab.com

        • eee says:

          Hey,

          You can call Israel whatever you want. I totally support freedom of speech.

          Hamas is both an Islamic movement and a fascist movement, hence a state governed by Hamas will be an Islamofacist state. The state will undoubtedly be authoritarian and will undoubtedly not accept individualism and liberalism.

          How sad for you that the Jews are organized and will not tolerate being dictated to as to what they should or should not accept.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Why the hell don’t you idiots know what “fascism” actually is?!

  10. Eva Smagacz says:

    Smell the rat big way.
    That manifesto doesn’t even feel translated from Arabic. There is no mention of family In context of suffering or Allah/destiny and they are saying fuck UNRWA, as in the only agency between them and starvation? On a website that is slicker than most Gaza businesses can afford?

    • annie says:

      very slick website, and note their chronology page doesn’t go back very far. what happened to this center during the massacre of 08-09?

      • eee says:

        Give it a rest. Betselem, Zochrot, and other like minded Israeli organizations reflect the view points of these people even though they may receive external funding. They are not a Palestinian conspiracy against Israel. Why can’t you accept the simple explanation that this youth movement is a similar kind of organization? Just because they dare say bad things about Hamas?

        • annie says:

          give what a rest? i just ask a question in that comment. i wonder happened to this center during the massacre? does anyone know. they probably got bombed along w/numerous other public facilities i would imagine.

          and did commenting on their very professional website tweek you, too over the top?

        • annie says:

          eee, it isn’t why can’t i, it is why should i?

          i don’t know one way or another and there are compelling reasons to question how and why these kids are even alive if hamas is so threatening. that’s all. but i think they could be sincere, of course. i also think other possibilities could easily explain the phenomena of this urgent message is getting such wide coverage.

    • yonira says:

      Unbelievable, so Eva people in Gaza can’t speak English?

      There is no mention of family In context of suffering or Allah/destiny

      WTF are you talking about?

      Someone says something bad about Hamas and they are automatically a Zionist front group. Let the people of Gaza speak for themselves for once, quit trying to spout your BS conspiracy shit whenever someone doesn’t damn Israel exclusively.

      • annie says:

        ????? eva didn’t say they were a zionist front group.

        • yonira says:

          Then what is she saying Annie?

          Smell the rat big way. How am I supposed to interpret that? I thought the Israeli Lobby was an all encompassing entity?

          BTW, here is a list of their donors for anyone who is interested.

          link to sharek.ps

        • annie says:

          i dunno, could be fatah or the PA or anyone wishing to damage hamas. it’s not like they only have one enemy.

        • Ander says:

          And by the way, the http://www.sharek.ps website does not belong to the authors of the Manifesto. Sharek is a internationally funded youth organisation in Gaza. The Manifesto authors refer to the alleged Hamas crackdown on Sharek as the ‘last straw’ in their frustration, but they are writing independently of Sharek, and they don’t have any ‘slick’ website apart from their Facebook page.

          The conspiracy theorists should take ten deep breaths and read the manifesto again.

        • Yes, you’re tight to highlight the fact that the authors of the Manifesto are not necessarily representing Sharek.

          Lots going on here…

          And I see absolutely nothing wrong with using words such as “fuck”, given the circumstances, sorry Ellen.

    • Walid says:

      Eva, the Arabic version can be picked up from their Facebook. A friend that read the Arabic version said that it was very quirky and appeared to have been translated from English and that oddly, it contained non-Arabic expressions. Bernard Cohen translated the manifesto from English into French for Libération but when you read the French version and then compare it to the English, you get the impression that it was initially written in French and deliberately mistranslated into English. I’m tempted to think that the initial manifesto was drafted by Bernard Cohen and subsequently translated into sloppy English. In any event, the English and French versions are not identical:

      Here’s part of the French translation:

      Merde au Hamas. Merde à Israël. Merde au Fatah. Merde à l’ONU et à l’Unrwa (1). Merde à l’Amérique ! Nous, les jeunes de Gaza, on en a marre d’Israël, du Hamas, de l’occupation, des violations permanentes des droits de l’homme et de l’indifférence de la communauté internationale.

      Nous voulons crier, percer le mur du silence, de l’injustice et de l’apathie de même que les F16 israéliens pètent le mur du son au-dessus de nos têtes, hurler de toute la force de nos âmes pour exprimer toute la rage que cette situation pourrie nous inspire. Nous sommes comme des poux coincés entre deux ongles, nous vivons un cauchemar au sein d’un autre cauchemar. Il n’y a pas d’espace laissé à l’espoir, ni de place pour la liberté. Nous n’en pouvons plus d’être piégés dans cette confrontation politique permanente, et des nuits plus noires que la suie sous la menace des avions de chasse qui tournent au-dessus de nos maisons, et des paysans innocents qui se font tirer dessus simplement parce qu’ils vont s’occuper de leurs champs dans la zone «de sécurité», et des barbus qui se pavanent avec leurs flingues et passent à tabac ou emprisonnent les jeunes qui ont leurs idées à eux, et du mur de la honte qui nous coupe du reste de note pays et nous enferme dans une bande de terre étriquée.

      On en marre d’être présentés comme des terroristes en puissance, des fanatiques aux poches bourrées d’explosifs et aux yeux chargés de haine ; marre de l’indifférence du reste du monde, des soi-disant experts qui sont toujours là pour faire des déclarations et pondre des projets de résolution mais se débinent dès qu’il s’agit d’appliquer ce qu’ils ont décidé ; marre de cette vie de merde où nous sommes emprisonnés par Israël, brutalisés par le Hamas et complètement ignorés par la communauté internationale.

      Il y a une révolution qui bouillonne en nous, une énorme indignation qui finira par nous démolir si nous ne trouvons pas le moyen de canaliser cette immense énergie pour remettre en cause le statu quo et nous donner un peu d’espoir. Le dernier coup qui a encore aggravé notre frustration et notre désespoir s’est produit le 30 novembre, quand des miliciens du Hamas ont débarqué au siège du Sharek Youth Forum (www.sharek.ps, une organisation de jeunesse très active à Gaza) avec leurs fusils, leurs mensonges et leur agressivité. Ils ont jeté tout le monde dehors, arrêté et emprisonné plusieurs personnes, empêché Sharek de poursuivre ses activités ; quelques jours plus tard, des manifestants regroupés devant le siège de Sharek ont été agressés, battus et pour certains emprisonnés…

      link to liberation.fr

      • Walid says:

        Missed the 10 minute edit time.

        Eva, an example of the differences between the English, French and Arabic version can be seen on the opening line of merde-this and merde-that. In the French version, Bernard Cohen included a Merde l’ONU (fuck NATO) which you won’t find in the English version. Either Cohen made like last the old scribes and seasoned the translation to his taste or the ones that translated from Cohen’s piece to English got lazy and dropped the NATO reference. In the Arabic version you have the expression “caught between the hammer and the anvil” in the English becoming “lice between nails” (fingernails) and in French “des poux coincés entre deux ongles.” In the Arabic version, the expression “fuck” is used and in the French, “merde” is “shit”.

        Big mystery. Big noise. Maybe Big Hasbara.

        • Ander says:

          ONU is French for UN, not NATO, so there is no big difference between translations there. And it’s no surprise that there are some differences and ‘quirky’ language anyway, as the translations are all probably done by volunteers recruited over Facebook/email. GYBO’s request for support no.3 is “Translating the manifesto to your language and sending it to us”

        • Potsherd2 says:

          I agree that the differences between the English and French are essentially in idiom. I can’t speak to the Arabic.

      • Walid :
        I’ve read both versions, and the French and English are pretty much identical, given room for differences in idioms and expressions, etc.

        Also, “ONU” in French is the UN, not NATO.

        I have to say, I’m pretty surprised at the skeptical response this is getting here. People seem to think that in order to detest what the Israelis are doing one has to love Hamas. This is a fallacy. You have to remember that these are kids, and I get the general impression that they’re just sick of it all, and Hamas does represent a certain authority in Gaza, so it’s natural for them to lash out at them as well. The fact that Israel and the US are largely responsible for the Hamas’ rise to power doesn’t really change that.

        I’m open to rethink this, but…

        • Walid says:

          Sorry all for the ONU goof; I had l’OTAN on the brain, which is NATO of course. My doubt is on whether or not the kids were the ones that actually wrote the piece and the contradiction of refusing to give out their names while posing for the Salem News photo.

    • eee says:

      This should be a learning moment for people that support the viewpoint of this blog. The reason this manifesto gets front page attention is that it sounds authentic and reasonable and resonates with Western readers, exactly the reaction you want. What is wrong with your message is that it just does not make much sense in that it fantasizes that the problem is only with one side and you rarely acknowledge that the Palestinians are responsible also for their predicament.

      I saw the same process with the love affair leftists had with Arafat. It took them a few decades but they finally figured out he was a corrupt idiot. Isn’t it time to admit that Hamas are a dead end for the Palestinians?

      • Shingo says:

        I saw the same process with the love affair leftists had with Arafat. It took them a few decades but they finally figured out he was a corrupt idiot. Isn’t it time to admit that Hamas are a dead end for the Palestinians?

        Every Israeli leaders since Rabin has been under investigation for corruption and Israel is considered one fo the most corrupt states in the West. The reason Arafat failed is not because he was corrupt, it’s becasue he didn’t have a superpower behind him.

        Isn’t it time to admit that Hamas are a dead end for the Palestinians?

        Isn’t it time to admit that Zionism is a dead end for Israel?

      • Ellen says:

        My goodness….it is not about who is responsible for what. Or even about Hamas…good or evil. This discussion here is about how genuine this “Manifesto”may be.

        To be honest how seriously can anyone take a so-called manifesto/adolescent rant with such a lead:

        “Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! ” And then degenerating into more fecal language.

        “Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us,..They did not get rid of Hamas, as they intended, but they sure scared us forever and distributed post traumatic stress syndrome to everybody, as there was nowhere to run.”

        Knowing Palestinian youth, this language, expression and tone just does not fit. Something is strange. I cannot pin point it.

      • pjdude says:

        except we all know what you mean by responsible for their own fate. you mean they just didn’t give up their property and rights because people like you demanded it. No sorry no matter how much you pretend other wise the fault for you and yours crimes lies solely with you

      • Walid says:

        eee, the reason this item is getting front page attention is the same one why Jawharha is not, just as the badmouthing of Palestinians by other Palestinians and Arabs gets you on the front pages in a flash but Israelis assassinating Palestinians in cold blood does not.

  11. I’m hoping that these kids are genuine. Their anti-cleric stance is rather brave.

    Sharek’s web site is indeed slick, and as yonira notes, one might learn from looking at Sharek’s funding sources. One of them is the The National Endowment for Democracy (ex-Sen. Norm Coleman one of the newest board members). Here’s an item from the org’s Wikipedia article:

    NED regularly provides funding to opposition candidates in elections in countries other than the USA. According to Allen Weinstein, one of the founders of NED, “A lot of what we [NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA”

    • annie says:

      here’s ned’s wiki page.

      The National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is a U.S. non-profit organization that was founded in 1983 to promote democracy by providing cash grants funded primarily through an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress.[1] Although administered as a private organization, its funding comes almost entirely from a governmental appropriation by Congress and it was created by an act of Congress. In addition to its grants program, NED also supports and houses the Journal of Democracy, the World Movement for Democracy, the International Forum for Democratic Studies, the Reagan-Fascell Fellowship Program, the Network of Democracy Research Institutes, and the Center for International Media Assistance. It has been accused by both right-wing and left-wing personalities of interference in foreign regimes, and of being set up to legally continue the CIA’s prohibited activities of support to selected political parties abroad.[2]

      • annie says:

        here’s ned’s website West Bank and Gaza Strip

        General Union of Cultural Centers-Gaza (GUCC)
        $38,000
        To promote youth inclusion in Palestinian reform through youth engagement in, and oversight of national policies and budgets. GUCC will rally youth support for implementing the National Policy for Youth and Adolescents, ratifying a national budget that is responsive to youth demands, and revising the youth law. LYC members will lead 50 district-level workshops, produce posters on youth demands, conduct 10 live radio episodes, lead a television program, and produce a booklet on youth priorities.

        Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy (PCPD)
        $35,500
        To strengthen the role of youth in supporting the reform process in general and the rule of law. PCPD will work through its existing network of grassroots organizations throughout the West Bank to train youth on the rule of law and work with them to lead community-based efforts to strengthen its adoption. PCPD will lead workshops that address the definition of the rule of law, the role of rule of law, and mechanisms for respecting the rule of law.

        Palestinian Commission for Refugees (PCR)
        $31,800
        To strengthen the leadership skills of a core group of young democratic leaders in Gaza. PCR will provide training and support to 25 young political activists in their late 20s and early 30s in order to build their leadership presence within their political parties.

        there’s more @ the link. here’s sourcewatch, the part about “Covert embedded reporters” is interesting.

        Several articles about the political process in Haiti, Iraq, and the Palestinian-occupied territories have appeared in The New York Times, NPR, and other mainstream US media. The impression is given that the articles are from bona fide journalists, but it transpires that several of them are paid by the NED or its affiliated organizations.

        hmm.

  12. Ellen says:

    Sharek Youth Forum sounds like, for example, a USAID project.

    “To transform Sharek into a model initiative and dynamic development agent for youth organizations in Palestine.”

    link to meda-ete.net

  13. bijou says:

    NED? That makes it very fishy.

    I’m getting the strong sense that this might go hand in hand with this. Laying the groundwork. But in any case it should not be hard to smoke out whether this group is for real or not. Time will surely tell.

  14. Sumud says:

    Gaza YBO have a twitter account also, so you can follow and ask questions if you like:

    link to twitter.com

    To a degree I share other’s scepticism about the group – this is just a natural reaction to decades of hasbara and the standard colonial enterprise of divide-and-conquer, as practiced by Israel. To not be sceptical would be irresponsible. Having eee and yonira as their biggest supporters on this thread is not exactly inspiring.

    George Bush set up a $400 million program to destabilise Iran and Obama continued the programme. I don’t doubt that elements of the green movement in Iran were genuine but I also think that the $400 million was used to amplify their discontent in an attempt to overthrow the Iranian Government. Israel’s goal for several years has been to destroy Hamas and all attempts to do it politically and militarily have failed. As others have mentioned in their early years Israel nurtured Hamas as a counter to Fateh. It’s perfectly conceivable Israel would try other methods to damage Hamas.

    Anyway, I’ll just wait and see what they actually do, beyond issuing a manifesto. I hope they are genuine, healthy democracies require a multitude of voices, not just a poll every few years.

    • Walid says:

      Sumud, along with the $400 million State Department initiative in Iran’s elections, you can add Lebanon as another similar initiative as told to a Senate subcommittee by Assistant Secretary of State Jeffey Feltman on June 8, 2009:

      “… Moreover, the United States provides assistance and support in Lebanon that work to create alternatives to extremism, reduce Hizballah’s appeal to Lebanon’s youth, and empower people through greater respect for their rights and greater access to opportunity. Through USAID and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), we have contributed more than $500 million to this effort since 2006. These robust assistance programs represent one facet of our unwavering support for the Lebanese people and a strong, sovereign, stable, and democratic Lebanon. Since 2006, our total assistance to Lebanon has now exceeded $1 billion. If we let down the millions of Lebanese who yearn for a state that represents the aspirations of all Lebanese, we would create the conditions by which Hizballah can, by filling a vacuum, grow even stronger.”

      The other $500 million to complete the billion discussed by Feltman includes training and M16s and other sidearms as well as refurbished Vietnam and Iraq I-vintage unarmed helicopters and Humvees for Lebanon’s military.

      link to state.gov

      • Shingo says:

        It’s sickening that the US is so willing to corrupt other states to manipulate and undermine their own systems of government. Can anyone imagine the outrage if China or Saudi Arabia tried that stunt in the US?

  15. lyn117 says:

    Despite that Sharek seems to get funds from one or two dubious sources, they don’t seem to be other than what they say they are.

    A lot of their publications (e.g. link to sharek.ps) seem to come directly from some career/vocational development center at some U.S. college or university, with slight modifications specific to Palestine. The one on “Rights and Equality” is particularly weird, while it starts out listing human rights (leaving out the right to return to one’s country) in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, it then goes right into problems of workplace discrimination with an emphasis on gender discrimination. The “Living a Better Life” advises Palestinians to “Imagine you are dying!”

    They also seem to fund small businesses and provide some training. All to encourage entrepreneurs. Overall, I see no reason for Hamas to shut them down despite their complete silence on human rights violations by Israel such as locking up 1/3 the Palestinian legislature. On the other hand, the outcry in the U.S. press seems to be greater than the outcry regarding the bombing of Gaza.

  16. I have been away from my computer and just started reading this thread but it should be clear that while Israel may have nurtured Hamas as religious alternative to the secular PLO, to think of it as an Israeli creation would be just plain wrong.

    Even without Israeli assistance or “tolerance,” there would most likely have been a religious response to the manifest corruption of the Fatah led PLO which had been blatant in Lebanon well before Israel’s 1982 invasion and was responsible for alienating much of the Lebanese population from supporting the Palestinian cause. In the misguided excuse of maintaining “unity in the struggle,” those who saw it, like the late Edward Said, kept their lips sealed and later came to regret it.

    The people of Gaza were already tired of the PLO when Arafat and his coterie were trying to run things from Tunis as was clearly demonstrated when all the communiques of the First Intifada began with the words,
    “No voice above the voice of the uprising!” This was as much of a message to Arafat as it was to Israel and the latter soon began to do everything he could to undermine it, which culminated in the surrender at Oslo at a time when Arafat’s reputation in both the West Bank and Gaza was at an all time low.

    The other secular groups, the PFLP and the DFLP, also suffered from the same problem that also afflicts Hamas, today: the notion that someone based outside of Palestine should be telling those under the Israeli jackboot or threatened with daily attack, what they should or shouldn’t be doing.

    It should be noted that Hezbollah, while assisted in the beginning by Iran, was also an indigenous Lebanese response to the failure of the Lebanese secular government to do anything to resist the Israeli occupation. There are a number of critical differences between the two groups as well as the two struggles. One of the most important is that the Palestinian movement has been beset by competing organizations, some funded by reactionary Arab regimes and others, like the Abu Nidal organization, by Israel. The failure to have a unified movement under a less corrupt leadership than that demonstrated by Arafat and his cronies in the past is one of the key reasons what there is of a “political leadership” in all of Palestine is so ineffective today and why, in the West Bank it is composed of outright collaborators.

    As for the last election in which Hamas did so well, it was quite clear that its victory was as much a rejection of the corruption of the Fatah/Abbas clique as it was an indication of support for Hamas.

    Of course, those ziotrolls Yonira and eee will welcome the statement of the youth because they are on this list for no other reason than to cultivate divisiveness. Their “support” for the statement, however, is just as genuine as was the support of the union busting Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for the striking Polish workers in Gdansk a generation ago.

    • eee says:

      If wishing to have someone across the table to negotiate with that truly believes in democratic values for his own community is to “cultivate decisiveness” then you are right. But that is a completely skewed view. I want to negotiate with someone who is willing to make an historical compromise, not someone who wants a “hudna” so he can kill me at a later time as his ideology dictates.

      At least you admit that Arafat was corrupt and ineffective. Why not accept that Hamas is ineffective? I don’t think they are corrupt as in seeking worldly wealth like Arafat and his cronies (the PA kleptocracy), but they are a huge hindrance to the Palestinians in gaining Western support and in building trust with Israel. Their explicit antisemitism and support for suicide operations only dig the Palestinians deeper into the hole.

      • pjdude says:

        god your a greedy little weasal they have given up natrual legal rights and you claim they aren’t willing to make a historical compromise. your only going to be happy when the palestinians have given up all their rights and property to Israel. they have made more than one only to be shafted by you and yours.

        hears an idea instead of arrogantly and selfishly demanding they make a historic compromise why don’t you instead demnad your own terrosit government make a compromise for the first time in the history of its dealing with the palestinians. doesn’t even have to be a historic one just a general everyday one

        • eee says:

          You are an anachronism. The time Jews could be dictated to and called “greedy weasels” for standing up for their interests is long gone. And the more you blind yourself to this notion, the more you and yours will get “shafted” but by shafts of your own doing. Sit down and negotiate till white smoke comes out. There is no other solution.

    • bijou says:

      As for the last election in which Hamas did so well, it was quite clear that its victory was as much a rejection of the corruption of the Fatah/Abbas clique as it was an indication of support for Hamas.

      Spot on.

  17. SeaEtch says:

    my two cents:
    One, this buzz around GYouth seems like something I might read in the NYT. (Or in the Observer, as has been pointed to, above) Something put together with an agenda.
    Two, Yonira’s input early on seemed to confirm Kalithea’s suspicions of Israeli/Zionists’ ability to exploit whatever cracks appear in our tendency to identify Gazans with Hamas…they only have to hear “Fuck Hamas” or even a faint such whisper, like little metaphoric worms they gnaw away at this perceived divisive, weakest link.
    “Of course, those ziotrolls Yonira and eee will welcome the statement of the youth because they are on this list for no other reason than to cultivate divisiveness. “– Blankfort above, totally d’accord.
    (a floating thought in my head: the Greens in Iran… parallels here with GY are interesting.)
    Thanks, Walid, for your informative posts and more.
    Perhaps too early still to conclude it’s another US-Israeli plot though the whole enterprise of GY is littered with screaming red flags.(…false flags?)

    • yonira says:

      OK, screw the youth of Gaza, if they don’t worship Hamas, Fuck’em.

      You guys win.

      • tree says:

        Geez, yonira. Is it impossible for you to do anything other than erect strawmen and misquote fellow posters? I guess if you can’t win on the arguments, strawmen and misquotes are all you have, eh?

      • annie says:

        yawn.

        if they don’t worship Hamas

        get current dude. how many times in this thread alone have strawmen been built on the love for hamas?

        hey, while i have your attention ..what do you think of the sourcewatch link. i noticed none of team z responded to this info. don’t forget to scroll!

      • Chaos4700 says:

        That’s pretty amusing considering your college buds are wearing the brown shirts now.

      • Walid says:

        Yonira, you missed my answer to you telling you I dislike Hamas as I dislike Israel and to the list, you can add the late Arafat and the current Fateh collaborators and the illegitimate PA government that looks like it’s in place only to safeguard and facilitate Israel’s interests. I feel bad for the Palestinians that keep getting screwed by both Israelis and Arabs with the blessings of the US.

  18. kalithea says:

    I too would draw a parallel between this GY group and the Green Movement in Iran, and this déjà vu makes me highly skeptical. Unlike others, I was not blown away by this Manifesto. Something about it didn’t feel right. It just appears way over the top; it doesn’t sound sincere. What is it with the Fcuk UNWRA, anyway? Isn’t UNWRA Israel’s pet peeve, the NGO that NGO Monitor loves to demonize?? Were it not for UNWRA in Gaza, what would have been the fate of Gazans under the blockade?

    There is something arrogant and selfish about this manifesto that makes no mention of the blockade or the Flotilla Massacre but mentions Cast Lead repeatedly in the same context as Hamas as if blaming Hamas for Cast Lead and blaming Hamas for their imprisonement, when really Israel is the warden and the common enemy. As a matter of fact the line between Israel and Hamas is so indistinguishable that sometimes when you think they’re referring to Israel they’re actually referring to HAMAS!

    What really bothers me about this manifesto is it reeks of political agenda and totally ignores reality, the reality of the refugees of Gaza and the reality of the government of Gaza elected by the people of Gaza and what Israel has done to destroy unity and an attempt at Democracy with the last elections which is what is driving Hamas to be more suspicious of groups like Sharek. Since the last elections there has been an unprecedented effort to subvert the outcome of those elections. Is it no wonder that Hamas suspects these groups to be part of that subversion.

    Also, I agree with Walid about the translations. The French version sounds very correct. It’s almost like it was in fact written in French and translated to English.

    I sense “interference” here. I sense psyops intended to sow paranoia and division here. This group is propbably miniscule within the entire population of Gaza and yet it’s making so much noise all of a sudden, why?? I see it as a torch for the zio-trolls, the hasbarists to take up and carry endlessly through threads to keep the “Hamas bogeyman” in the forefront. “Look, they’re suffocating the youth of Gaza.” I see it as more demonization to distract from what is happening on the West Bank, and to pretend that if only Gaza searched out Democracy, Israel would losen its grip – but look at what’s happening on the West Bank. People have resorted to peaceful protest, the government is Westernized and STILL Israel digs in its heels and inflicts it oppression on these protesters. This is just another ploy to try to get the world’s attention on Hamas again; so that another round of bombings on Gaza the “Hamas stronghold” can appear more pallatable to the world.

    Maybe these kids are cocky, naive rebels who are being manipulated, maybe they’re collaboraters, who knows, but their manifesto completely ignores reality, appears impudent, selfishly-driven and politically-motivated and I just don’t buy it and didn’t buy it from minute one.

    I feel the hand of Israel in this. I’m not sure who’s goading this group or who’s assisting them, but I remain very guarded.

    • From outside of Gaza, I don’t think any of us can say that these kids are ignoring the reality of Gaza. Hamas has done a number of things, such as destroying Palestinian homes in Rafah last year, and repressing secular groups that are as anti-Zionist as is Hamas but who do not subscribe to its precepts, that are not defensible.

      Hamas, admittedly, is operating in a difficult situation, but the solidarity movement should have learned something from it having mistakenly pretended that blind support for the PLO was essential two decades ago when it turned out that the PLO was part of the problem.

  19. bijou says:

    Perhaps the best way to put it is that this sounds more like an externally “cooked” manifesto than a truly indigenous one. The language, the context, the framing, the emphases — all of it don’t “resonate” as being genuinely Gazan/Palestinian/Arab. So even if the organization is bona fide and the kids are real, something about it feels wrong, forced, false. As such, its motives are potentially suspect, particularly given the broader context that Ilan Pappe wrote about here some days ago — beating the drums for another war against Gaza.

    I could be completely wrong, but this seems to be the gist of what’s emerging from this thread.

  20. Tuyzentfloot says:

    While I think organisations like NED have a very peculiar view of what democracy means – I recall their cheering when Chavez was replaced by an unapologetic dictator a few years back – it should also be expected behaviour to blame Hamas for everything. Compare it to the Sandinistas: hey, we chose you and all we got was years of american terror, we’ve had enough. And the Sandinistas lost the elections. After all, that’s the whole point of collective punishment.

  21. MHughes976 says:

    One of the points of collective punishment is certainly to sow discord among those punished, and on that level I think it usually works. That said, oppressors cannot deflect the resentment that they cause away from themselves for ever and they cannot stop the resentment increasing with their own increasing misdeeds.
    The GYouth may be anything from a genuine surge of opinion to a malevolent fabrication – we won’t know for some time. They certainly resort, as has been said, to adolescent rant – statements intended to have political effect but beginning ‘we hate politics!’ are an awful old cliche, not a brilliant bit of jugendstil. In all the circumstances ranting may be very understandable: these people face pressures and ‘nightmares’ we can hardly imagine.
    I tend to look for ideas, arguments, policies or plans and don’t really find them. I suppose the reply to that is that policies and plans are for fuddy-duddies, not – did James Dean have policies? – for alienated youth.

    • Tuyzentfloot says:

      MHughesninehundredseventysix, I see no reason to doubt the sincerity of the document, why make something up if you can just go and find it. I drew the comparison with Nicaragua. People turned against the Sandinistas and they were relatively nice. It should be a lot easier to turn people’s opinions against Hamas. The collective punishment has a specific message: “Look what Hamas is making us do to you!”. It’s hard to argue with that.

      If there’s manipulation, or let’s say, unfairness, it’s in the amplification. This document is instantly all over the place. An organisation like NED could make a big difference there, both in nurturing groups in gaza and in opening doors for them. Nilin and Bilin don’t have that.

  22. The last thing the Palestinians in Gaza or the WB need to see is the NED because that would be like a vision of the grim reaper, since the NED would only be there to put the final nail in the coffin of Palestinian resistance.

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

    The frustration of the authors is absolutely clear and so very warranted by the circumstances of Gaza! It is not very much different from the frustration of so many other young people all over the Middle East. (To a lesser degree, much of the youth and young-minded older individuals of the entire world echo similar frustrations.)

    Gaza Youth and those who agree with his/her/their plight and want to help, I first urge that you consider this very important point – enforcers are the key to all elected and self-appointed governments. Enforcers are what make government for without them the legislators/executives/judges/bureaucrats would be nothing more than issuers of words, spoken or written. Enforcers are those who are willing to initiate physical harm on others and these are who every “official” and quasi- government requires in order to come into existence, maintain power and grow. Enforcers are the key to keeping or withering any government, anywhere.

    Politicians and bureaucrats – rulers, whether or not they are fairly elected – do not get out into the field and enforce their own legislation/decrees/mandates/etc. Instead they depend on the enforcers to do the dirty work. Therefore the enforcers are the key! Politicians and bureaucrats simply talk and write, even when it is to give orders. Without the enforcers, the harm cannot be done! The enforcers are the key, whether police or military!

    And this is a “secret” that those at the top – civilian and military – do not and will not admit but it can be seen between the words they occasionally issue. Sulieman made this very clear as can be seen in an Al Jazeera’s news story on 2/9/11, “Egypt VP: Protests must end soon” and particularly the quote: “Suleiman reportedly told the editors of the newspapers that the regime wants dialogue to resolve protesters’ demands for democratic reform, adding, in a veiled warning, that the government doesn’t “want to deal with Egyptian society with police tools.”"

    A secondary point immediately following the above is that there are far more/stron> non-enforcers in any area than there are government enforcers – civilian or military! When it becomes undesirable to large numbers of those enforcers (who are not convinced by verbal/written persuasion) to be shunned – recipients of public negative Social Preferencing, they will find other lines of work, hopefully truly productive. First though, it needs to be understood by (the far greater in numbers) non-enforcers that they have it within their power to take the “teeth” out of all forms of established government, by in large numbers withdrawing voluntary association, having absolutely no business or social dealings, with all government enforcers – agents of all the various law/regulation agencies of the various levels of government and the military.

    Strong negative Social Preferencing – withdrawal or refusal of voluntary association with the reasons made public – is selective (discriminating) association to exclude those who cause harm. It is a potentially very powerful method of non-violent action, referred to as shunning and ostracism by many down through the ages. It is included in Gene Sharp’s 2nd volume (of 3), “The Politics of Nonviolent Action”, Chapter 4, “The Methods of Social Noncooperation”.

    Even in the current very unfree societies (of which the US is one despite its government’s claim of otherwise), negative Social Preferencing can be effectively used to influence individual social behavior and the actions of the State. In fact I wrote about this practice in general intended for use in North America in “Tax/Regulation Protests are Not Enough: Relationship of Self-Responsibility and Social Order” – http://selfsip.org/focus/protestsnotenough.html – but the general principles are applicable anywhere.

    The above is a practical starting point, resting on the principles described in considerable detail in and linked from the treatise “Social Meta-Needs: A New Basis for Optimal Interaction” – link to selfsip.org

    Gaza Youth, I urge you to consider deeply all the above, formulate concerns and questions and bring them forth in a public forum at which the authors of these ideas can respond so that the discussion is available to benefit others.