When we first read the manifesto almost two weeks ago, our initial reaction was nothing short of being delighted. Nothing grabs our attention as forcefully as some serious case of fuck-ficking.
"Fuck Israel. Fuck Hamas. 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!"
Brilliant. Those first few lines adequately captured the boiling sentiment that we feel our generation ought to be experiencing, had fifty percent actually cared. We read on, thoroughly engrossed. Mainstream media has the tendency of portraying the people in Gaza as Hamas fanatics. That's about as true as saying the Palestinians in the West Bank are ardent supporters of Fateh. The manifesto expressed serious disapproval and sneering hostility toward Hamas, as GYBO described them as mentally incarcerating those in Gaza and imposing an authoritarian regime in telling people how to think, behave, live etc. They then went on to describe their miserable lives fraught with hope and happiness and at the end asked for three things: Freedom, Normal Lives (the ability of living in such a way), and Peace. The full proclamation can be read here.
Well. We were certainly enthralled! And our joyous mood further increased upon learning that this anonymous group of university students, with all their frustrations about a life cruelly restricted by the hawkish totalitarian eyes of Hamas, the strangulation of the siege, and the dominant destructive occupying force of Israel on a tiny immensely overcrowded strip of land, has attracted overwhelming support in such a short time period. Finally, we thought, a voice has spoken up, determined to shed light on the reality of what they go through in a way news reporters and journalists can never quite capture. After the years of passive silence on behalf of our generation, one small corner have let rip with exactly how they feel. We dreamed of drafting a similar mandate..."We, the youth in the West Bank, are so fed up with Israel, Fateh, the occupation, the violation of human rights, and the indifference of the international community!"
But then...something seemed a bit off. It was a small niggling feeling, but it was there nonetheless. This extraordinary piece of work has amassed thousands of supporters in such a brief amount of time...its popularity is unprecedented owing to the fact of being the first of its kind, yet more than one comment began to surface that this manifesto was in reality the clever work of Zionists. That these kids were commissioned and being pulled along their strings by the slick and manipulative gross hands of the so called professed enemy-Israel. That the enemy was in fact Hamas, and that these words were written to garner even more disgust and 'liberating operations' to effectively get rid of their ruling power. That even if the integrity of the manifesto was true, the Zionists would pounce upon it and seize it to further their own interests by their used methods of fabrication, slander, and lies. We held our breath, disappointment and resentment trickling in our hearts. Were we that naive to so readily champion the manifesto?
And then we got slapped in the face with THIS.
Lord, we feel so much at ease now. Quick excerpts:
"Many activists reject our movement and consider us as some Zionist machinery because in the manifesto, we’ve been denouncing Hamas – among others."
"Our followers, readers, and those who are not supporting us yet must keep in mind THIS message: we have ONE enemy which is the Zionist Occupier."
"What we want is UNITY, and NO MORE DIVISION, because it makes Israeli terrorism’s impact on our lives even worse."
"Our call is a call for SOLIDARITY, a call for PEACEFUL ACTION; we are holding out our hands & waiting for you to complete the bond. Make sure this is read, help us work for a better solution, HELP US MAKE IT!"
Our tiny doubt must have risen from the initial poorly worded manifesto, and we're not blaming them-English isn't their first language and they can be afforded some slack. We're now burning with curiosity as to what their next move will be, what their plan of action is, what it is they have in mind, how they will act, how they will counter act against censorship and possible infiltration and arrests. The first step is gathering support, then what? How do they expect to work with their supporters in accomplishing or at least working out a solution for the present injustices they (and we) endure on a daily basis if they committed to maintaining their identities a secret?
We honestly hope that this does become successful and a preclude to chapters forming in West Bank cities soon, and not just one of those We came We saw We conquered and now We sleep. Palestine desperately lacks university activism. Fingers crossed that will change.
Because we couldn't resist. Shit, no pun intended.