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.