GYBO: You could have put it better

Read the Gaza Youth Breaks Out Manifesto Here

“What do you think of the GYBO manifesto?” I was asked time and again.

I would circumspect, repeat, stammer till I made sure I didn’t give a clear-cut answer.

But why? Am I afraid to side with youth who are very much like me in Gaza. Youth who expressed the general feelings of overwhelming depression, gloomy despair, and stifling rage at what is going on in the “besieged enclave”? Am I so different to disagree with 22 of my friends on Facebook who, obviously, already like the group? (never mind this part, I just pressed “like”) Do I stand a chance of being as someday courageous as they are? Didn’t I always curse the political situation much more obscenely than they did? Is it not me who always cursed the dark, though lighting a candle, and blaming it all on the political situation, or rather Hamas just to be more precise? Didn’t I always have the same thoughts, feelings and even nightmares! I dropped a tear more than once during the war. I am sick of the whole thing. Am I not?

Well, what am I waiting for, then? Why am I so reluctant so as to hail the guys’ inspiringly daring manifesto? Just like how others did.

“Come on, you’re not jealous of their success, are you?” I would think. That sometimes did make sense to me, specially since no other interpretation bolstered my withholding from “hailing the guys”.

Two things. First, I have never been afraid of declaring my affiliation with all youth in Gaza. Our thoughts of the ever deteriorating political situation are the same. Our feelings of despair, irritation and resentment are the same. Our perseverance is the same. I really liked the guys’ job immensely. But I think they could have sent a better letter. Sorry, a better manifesto. Second, I share the guys’ admonition of Hamas’s policies which I really abhor, most of the time against. Period.

Now, to make things perfectly clear for you, what I am doing is something that would generate in statements like “He’s given up on all his friends and made enemies of all.” However, what I’m giving up is my own interest. The whole idea of saying something against the GYBO manifesto seems (even to me) indigestible. And saying something against Hamas, and not siding with the group at the same time, is like abandoning all, and leaving myself stand alone, something my mother always warned me against. “Make sure you always have a friend!” she would tell me.

Dear GYBO, our struggle for independence has been going on for long. Not 63 years as some suggest. We have a quite older history of struggle on the way to freedom. We all share the same sentiments toward it. Our first clash with Zionists was in the 1920 in Jerusalem. This means 28 years before the Nakba. We all glorify the same figures of that struggle, Fawzi al-Qawuqji, Mohammed Jamjoom, Atta el-Zier, Fuad Hjazi, Amin al-Husayni, Abdel Qadir al-Husayni (and other Husaynis) Sayeed al-Ass and the list goes on. Our grandparents, all of them, used to wear al-Kuffiyeh. The question of Hamas and Fatah is truly and absurdly precarious to our cause, however.

Why I came up with such a passing glimpse of our history at this very point is but to help myself and you open our eyes. We sure have an enemy. When we’re killed by thousands, our villages ethnically cleansed, our houses daily raided, our youth imprisoned, our holy sites desecrated, our mothers humiliated, we sure have an enemy. Let’s, then, define who our enemy is. I wouldn’t give an answer to this, also.

Dear GYBU, did you really not expect it to be “this big”? You should have. When “Fuck Hamas” is what you open your manifesto with, you should expect it to leave a much more stirring impact on the whole world. When we constantly complain about being negatively framed as fanatics, homemade terrorists…etc and at the same time, it’s but framing (framing of ourselves) that we use to express our feelings, the whole world then should move toward our alleged liberation. When we put “Hamas” at the same level of animosity, admonition and hatred as “Israel”, then statements like (and here I give up on my last friend) “The salvation hour has come, Gazans” will resound time and again.

Can we imagine the impact the letter would have generated had Hamas and it’s oppression been dropped. Had at least one third of the letter been edited out, or into, say, more talk about Israel’s crimes against us?

The grassroots factor in our having such sentiments of anguish, resentment and despair tearing at all of us from within is not Hamas. Hamas, however, refuses to be the cure that can alleviate such terrible pain, and sometimes aggravates it. And when the pain has become very intolerable that we can’t take it anymore, we will heartily abhor the pain, its sources, and the cure all together.

I could never muster enough courage to express my sentiments even less poignantly than how you, my friends, have done. I am sincerely grateful for that part. And I will not be idealistic so as to ask you to carry on our struggle and steadfastness, or even to ask you not to complain. I, too, am fed up. But let’s make sure we express ourselves properly and with pride. We all teach our little children to keep their heads held high as they say, “We’ll die out of hunger, but never bow our heads!”

So, let’s break out together!

Mohammed Rabah Suliman
6th January


18 responses to “GYBO: You could have put it better

  1. Yousef M. Aljamal

    I believe that what you have just said is amazing.. you hit the nail on the head Mohammed. Our GREATEST problem is OCCUPATION. Nothing more,nothing less. All other sub-issues couls be resolved within a Palestinian context without calling upon ” foreigners to offer a helping hand”!

  2. thumbs up!
    what we need is a clear and right channel to go altogether within. the channel that doesn’t divert our anger from the root of our suffering that is the occupation to other phases that we need no one to speak on behalf of us telling how much we’re fed up, the thing that ends up with a closed channel for us all.

    how does that help when people keep on crying and damning the life they live with no single forefinger point to the real criminal. How would it help when we put the oppressed and oppressor in one basket? i think it destroys more than showing a help.
    the whole thing for me is like directing a Hindi Movie. Crying, Blaming, screaming, Tears, Anger and then sympathetic hands tapping upon the ‘hero’.

    wake up, guys. Let’s think, critically, and then write.

    Thanks, Mohammed! 🙂

  3. “How would it help when we put the oppressed and oppressor in one basket? i think it destroys more than showing a help.” Iman, thanks for the beautiful wrods, your speaking my mind.

    The manifesto has been haunting me. My heart is aching. I still can’t press the like button. I freaking love the outburst! But… !!!!!!!



    And why ON EARTH did they publish it now?! Couldn’t they wait until the finals were over.. Uh…

  4. the easiest way to get fame nowadays is to either Attack Islam and Islamic attitudes/opnions and Muslims who adhere to it. When the majority of the world and the free ppl of the world wholeheartedly condemn the israeli occupation for what is going on in Gaza, and then comes a group of masked guys (God knows who they are) who attack Gaza blatantly and viciously, of course a lot of people will applaud them and cheer for them.

    What might happen in Gaza regarding certain violation of individual rights is wrong and condemned.
    What makes us question those guys’ intentions is the fact that israel, the root cause of evil, in GAZA has not been subjected by them to the same kind of attack or criticism at least in half the passion they used in this lousy letter of theirs.

    i swear some israeli leaders giggled reading that letter. and they have to.

    • And this is precisely why I can’t and won’t press the like button.

      Palestinians are the ones who should have been addressed in such letter, and not the world.
      I’ll quote myself here…
      “I love the outburst, but before you write anything you gotta put into consideration all the consequences and possibilities! For all am concerned, Israel can SO EASILY take this to their advantage and they will, you know! Simply “oh well that’s exactly why we’re doing this to Gaza, it’s Hamas! If even Gazans are saying this, you gotta believe us”.. This shouldn’t have come out like this, it will do more harm than good…
      When THE HELL are we, ARABS, gonna stop calling for the western world to solve our internal problems??? They never asked for our help during their civil wars, have they? Why are we always UNABLE to solve our own problems… Stand up, no problem, but when you do it, do it the right way.
      They are speaking on behalf of all Gaza youth, and I don’t agree with that. What, because they had problems with Hamas? Every government in the world has its flaws, and the American government is the best example, what do they think they’ll achieve with this so-called manifesto?

      This makes me sick, particularly because I love the break out… I wouldn’t be surprised if they were hired by Jews lol the Israelis are loving this”

      “Am not talking about the intro, go on and read further and you’ll see what the focus is on. Everything is only mentioned in the beginning, but the entire thing is focused on Hamas and Israel.
      Israel is mentioned yes, but if you look for Israel’s justifications for what they do, it’s “We want to destroy Hamas because they are a threat to us, and that’s why we do this to Gaza”
      That way, you know what the entire thing is focused on.

      “I didn’t say justified for us and not for them, they can do whatever they want, I just hope they and we as Palestinians don’t regret it seeing as there is a new war coming up and this can be one of its justifications

      Stay safe.”

      “Not cause a war, but it sure can be taken as a back up for their image in mainstream media”

  5. Let’s keep in mind that the manifesto did talk time and again about Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. They kept referring to the occupation, the siege, the continuous shooting, bombarding and killing of civilians. And by and large, the whole letter is about unleashing the general feelings of rage and depression which are overflowing inside all of us. Is there anyone who is not literally fed up with the whole thing? But how you direct your anger and frustration is the point. We never talked in such a tone before the world. When we talk, we used to challenge, to swear to go on, even to reason revealing Israel’s crimes against us. If this manifesto sent any message to the world, it’s that we can’t go on with our struggle. So Gaza Youth Wails Out would have made a better title.

    • Again “srael is mentioned yes, but if you look for Israel’s justifications for what they do, it’s “We want to destroy Hamas because they are a threat to us, and that’s why we do this to Gaza”
      That way, you know what the entire thing is focused on.”

      If theses “guys” can’t go on with the struggle, there are hundreds that still can. The same tone could have been used to address Israel, but I bet you anything it wouldn’t have gathered such audience no matter how passionate it was.

      If the manifesto serves anything, it’s to back up Israel’s, let me say recently deteriorating, image in mainstream media. Such letter enhances Israel’s claims that the Hamas government in Gaza are the main reason for all their attacks and suffocating of Gaza, and even the siege. Once they are destroyed, the siege will be broken. And tell you what, Israel does not want to destroy Hamas just yet. They could have so easily done so during their last massacre in Gaza two years ago had they wanted to, but no, it gives them an excuse to keep doing whatever they want, and also keep Palestinians divided.

      They could have addressed Palestinian leaders, they could have done it in Arabic like that girl from Egypt, while being anonymous still. But, yeah…


      • this is bullshit, sorry. people are fed up with hamas, that is nothing to do with zionist propaganda. and they did it in ARABIC first place, actually. they did it afterwards in many languages. what you are doing, is propaganda.

      • Hello Mahmoud,
        my point is that it could have been done a million times better, and I did say I loved the outburst and the passion. Being a Palestinian is a responsibility and a burden. In Gaza, we haven’t suffered one bit near as much as the Palestinians back in 1948 for example, and we should always remind ourselves of such horrendous things because they will give us motivation and courage and help us carry on with the struggle. I am not a supporter of Hamas myself, but you have got to be smart when you have such a malignant enemy as Israel. I have been to the Israeli embassy in the US in the summer of 2007 – at a time where I wasn’t able to go back to Gaza just because of the Hamas-Fatah fight. Did I hate it? Yes. But I’ve seen that Israeli ambassador’s discourse directed at American youngsters majoring in international relations, without him initially knowing that there were Palestinians amongst the audience. How he made me cry and made my blood boil is beyond my words, and ever since, I knew what to say and what not to say.
        Diplomacy sucks, but it’s the way that this world runs, and you have to be extra careful when you have got to use it. This immense support for the letter came only because of its criticism of Hamas.
        Hamas was fed up with Fatah and they did not wait for the world to get them where they are now. If so many are fed up with Hamas, but don’t they do things themselves rather than hide behind masks and ask the world to do it (while benefiting their real enemy in the process)?

        Mohammed and Iman put it plain and simple:
        “Is there anyone who is not literally fed up with the whole thing? But how you direct your anger and frustration is the point. ”
        “How would it help when we put the oppressed and oppressor in one basket? i think it destroys more than showing a help.”


    • “But how you direct your anger and frustration is the point.”
      thank you.

  6. Mohammed, beautiful and very well-said. Lina and I were just having a discussion about this. You took the words out of our mouths! Now go convince Bashar. 🙂

    • Laila,

      Thanks for the comment. Yeah most of us actually have something to say against the latest manifesto. It wasn’t what we really wished for.

      Aha Bashar! Convincing him is never an easy task.

  7. Pingback: Jan 7, 2011 | GAZA PALESTINE | TODAY NEWS LINKS| Gaza has been under a siege for 1304 days | Spread-Share-Link or Tweet the News « 63 Years Occupation is Enough | فلسطين

  8. Pingback: reflections on the Gaza Youth Manifesto | Jewbonics


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  11. hats off.
    let me quote the Dam Rapers ” we used to want peace with our enemy, and now we need peace with ourselves .”

  12. Pingback: Jan 7, 2011 | GAZA PALESTINE | TODAY NEWS LINKS| Gaza has been under a siege for 1304 days | Spread-Share-Link or Tweet the News | Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

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