Young, Jewish and Proud – Oy!

My good friends at Jewish Voice for Peace have unleashed their most fearsome campaign yet: Young Jewish and Proud, the declaration of young Jews that they are mad dag-nabbit, and they don’t plan to take it anymore.

Fortunately, an intrepid dumpster diver who is also a Divest This fan stumbled across an earlier version of their manifesto which I thought I’d post for those who can’t get enough of those intrepid schmendricks of JVP. And so, we bring you:

The Young Jewish Declaration (original draft)

I. we interrupt.

We shout, we yell, we interrupt when other people are speaking. Publically. We wear necklaces made of olives and have slightly creepy smiles. One of our grandparents was Jewish. Or not. You must take us seriously. We are. We be. We do. Do-be-do-be-do. We post photos of ourselves misbehaving on our Facebook pages. And thus, we exist. We are everywhere. And nowhere. Although we are mostly in Northern California, with about a dozen of us in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Including that doofus who tried picking me up at the last Jewish Voice for Peace square dance (yuck!). We speak in sentence fragments and mix our metaphors, fattening our tongues on the rubble of your nephews. We must do what we do. For if we didn’t tweet after we act naughty in front of grown ups, we would cease to be.

II. we remember.

Or, at least, I remembered to tilt my head slightly so that the picture doesn’t cut off the top of my hair (even if it makes me look a little dorky). I’m sorry, where was I? Oh yes! I (I mean we) remember. We remember slavery in Egypt, the persecutions in Europe, the resistance fighters in Warsaw, the camps. OK, we don’t actually remember any of those things since they happened decades before we were born and the names of the actual people involved are difficult to remember and pronounce. But we mention them to give our incoherent words unearned weight. We remember those who suffer, especially if they have their own YouTube channel. Our stories are older than history, older than time, older than even Wii. We are proud. We feel pain. Speaking of which, who are you calling a doofus? And what’s that thing on your head? Did a sumo wrestler lend you his diaper?

III. we refuse.

Will the two of you knock it off? Some of us are trying to be earnest here! Now I can’t remember what I was going to say. Thanks a lot guys. OK, I’ll wing it. We refuse. We refuse to stop speaking. We refuse to let other speak. You must give us a platform and never criticize what we say. We send out fifty press releases a day. We run a dozen Web sites. We show up at every event shouting at the top of our lungs. We are muzzled. We all say in unison: we are individuals! We will not be fluffed, folded and shrinkwrapped. We will not be stacked, spindled or mutilated. I am a not a number, I am a free man! Speaking of which, I’m free on Friday night if the girl below me isn’t doing anything. Can someone say Harry Potter 7 tickets?

IV. we dream.

As in, “in your dreams buddy!” Besides, I reserve Friday nights for matters of the spirit (i.e., my Tantric Yoga class at the JCC). But I (I mean we) also dream of peace. We pray for peace. We march for peace. We jump up and down demanding peace. Especially when those with whom we disagree return fire. We put our bodies, our words, our bread and our beverages on the line to stand with those who have no beverages, who have no bread, no words and no bodies of their own. We demand you listen to us. We demand the right to not listen to you, to speak (or yell loudly) when you are speaking, to accuse you of censorship for criticizing us in any way. We are your children. And we will not stop acting like them until you give us everything we want.

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15 thoughts on “Young, Jewish and Proud – Oy!”

  1. Once upon a time, I'd have laughed at these foolish children. What can they accomplish, beyond being useful idiots for murderers?

    But words can cause damage… and sowing self-doubt can cause a warrior to give up the good fight, leaving innocent people defenseless.

    I left a comment on their site; I'll be interested to see if it passes moderation.

    all the best,
    Daniel in Brookline

  2. Jon. Someday you are going to come to the left coast and I'm going to buy you a beer.

    You are clearly not the only one to realize that “Young Jewish and proud” is ridicule- worthy.

    A group of Berkeley anarcho-zionists (Old Zionist and Proud) apparently heckled the hecklers, repeatedly interupting a Berkeley JVP meeting organized to celebrate the rude and inappropriate behavior of the young activists.

    It was bound to end badly. JVP phoned it in as a riot. 6 squad cars, 1 firetruck and an ambulence showed up at the scene. One assault. One pepper spraying. Two brief musical interludes reminiscent of the Titanic.

    And maybe a reminder to all (or at least to the smart ones) that the only real way to achieve peace is with dialog, mutual respect and compassion

  3. It is pathetic and outright scary that a nation (Israel) is so utterly dependent on another (America) for it's survival. Without US aid, military equipment, UN vetoes, congressional support …. list goes on but you get the picture, Israel would never behave as it is behaving today. Add to that a) America's decreasing economic and political might, b) the near unanimous condemnation of israel's rogue behavior (with the exception of a handful of no name countries) and its low standing in the community of nations, and one sees a bleak future for Israel.

    Power corrupts for sure, but Israel should know better than to be so short sighted. So Jon boy instead of making parodies of the young Jews protesting israel's suicidal path and putting together manuals on how to combat BDS (and patting yourself on the back) you should concentrate on the forest and not the tree. But as stated in an earlier post that would be above your brain power and pay grade.

    Yours truly

  4. Anonymouse: In 1948 the new nation of Israel was faced with destruction, as the armies of the surrounding Arab nations descended on her. Israel asked the American government for help. America refused.
    So Israel took its appeal directly to the American people. And the American people- not the American government, came to Israel's aid.
    Gold Meir left America with $50 million dollars in donations.

    And fortunately, I have faith, anonymouse, that the American people are smarter than you, and they are smarter than the foolish “YJP'ers”, and that they will continue to support the only democracy in the Middle East.
    And if the people led, the leaders will follow.

  5. When young people choose their rebellion to be in support of the destruction of a people who others last century nearly succeeded in destroying it ceases to be cute. The facts seem to have escaped them. They don't seem actually to notice that this state, Israel, is the only state in the region that supports human rights (the ones that they say they're in favour of). In the excitement of wearing kaffiyehs and being fashionably revolting (yes I noticed the pun) they lose sight of the truth.

    I'd like to think they'd be sorry. But they won't be.

  6. Thanks to Gabriel Latner, I will always think of Israel as, thank G-d, a “rogue state”:

    After proposing the motion in the Cambridge Union debate that Israel is a rogue state, he asked: well, what does rogue actually mean? “Aberrant, anomalous, misplaced, occurring (especially in isolation) at an unexpected place or time.”

    His first argument was statistical. There are 195 countries in the world; Israel is the only country in the world that is Jewish, therefore, a rogue.

    His next argument came from its treatment of Darfur refugees, the survivors of the Sudanese Janjaweed war of genocide, who are scorned throughout the Middle East, and even shot on sight in Egypt, but are welcomed in Israel.

    Thirdly, the Israeli government engages in an activity that the rest of the world shuns — it negotiates with terrorists.

    Fourth, Israel has a better human rights record than any of its neighbours.

    And fifthly, Israel is the only democracy in the entire Middle East.

  7. Can't breathe … cheeks hurt … laughing too hard. So hard … . The cat is freaking out.

    Jon, please, for the love of G-d, send your intrepid dumpster diver back out to work on those 241-and-counting readers' comments posted below the “Young Jewish and Proud” manifesto.

  8. To Mike and anon immediately preceding Mike: Go ahead, don't fear, say it without leaving out the middle letter. Here you go ….GOD. Wow that was scary but I did it. Mmm…. who is god? God damn you for using the word god in vain. Oops I did it again.

    Any time religion and politics mix you have a mess. So take your g_d and shove it !

  9. Anonymous: Cheeks … hurting … even … more. Gasp.

    Thank you for the even better laugh today! I love it. I don't even think Jon could have made that one up.

    Which of the 242 now are you?

  10. I just left this comments on their site. Let's see if it makes it through the moderators:

    “I am ashamed to be Jewish if Jewish means denying my people self-determination, identifying as justice the collaboration with the Hamas doctrine of extermination, invoking the age-old blood libel against my people and feverishly exploiting Nazi tropes to demonize my people as was done through the millennia. How shameful that you have succumbed to the language of Jew-hatred that your elders have been intoning. Youth, in this case, should know better.”

  11. Predictably, my comment didn't make it past the muzzling censors of Proud-to-be-Ashamed-to-be-a-Young-Jew moderators. Don't play well with others, do they?

  12. Yes, they are beyond pathetic and don't understand context, history, and reality. But why not? The rest of us just cannot understand their obtuseness. Is it something in the water over there? Do they just like to be different? Superior maybe to the “bad Jews” who don't have their refined understanding or suicidal prescriptions for Israel?

  13. Rae abileah, young Jewish and proud, in the fourth photo was abandoned by her Jewish Israeli father at a tender age, and uses her activism with JVP and code pink as a way to get revenge on her father and his people. She' s a sad misguided and deepy troubled young woman, more deserving of pity than ridicule.

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