Think you're tired of the seemingly unending conflict between Israel and the Palestinians? Imagine being a teenager trying to have some semblance of an adolescence in the strife-riven Gaza Strip.
Well, one group of anonymous Gazan teens has had enough. They're not choosing sides; they're telling everyone—Israel, Hamas, the U.N.—to F*** Off.
These young cyber activists have issued an impassioned and pointed screed—Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change—demanding freedom, normalcy and peace.
The manifesto, which anyone can read on Facebook, is angry, fiery, and brutally honest. The declaration takes aim equally at the airplanes circling their homes, and the "bearded guys walking around with their guns:
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! 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 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?
The group, which calls itself Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO) on Facebook, is up to 16,182 "likes" on the social networking site. The manifesto has been translated into 21 languages, from Persian to Portuguese to Finnish.
The sentiments have clearly struck a chord inside Gaza. The blog has responded to accusations that it stooges for Israel (since it denounces Hamas). This note was posted under the heading Don't Distort Our Speech:
[W]e denounce ALL of them, not ONLY Hamas. We are TIRED of the status quo, from all sides. Political parties have all had the time and chances to BRING THE CHANGE, but we haven’t seen anything yet. [emphasis GYBO's].
The group says it is not calling for a political coup; it wants Gazan unity. But, while condemning all sides, the youth group says it wants to be clear that their enemy is the "Zionist Occupier."
A representative told Britain's Observer newspaper that "politics is bollocks," and the only person who benefits from Gaza's internal strife is Israel.
The manifesto's authors are looking for ways to harness the enthusiasm that their manifesto has generated and bring some change into their lives. The Observer reports the GYBO is building a web platform to encourage that change.