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THE JEWISH RENAISSANCE MOVEMENT IN POLAND: A MANIFESTO

We want to come back. Not to Uganda, Argentina, Syria or Madagascar. Not even to Palestine.
It is Europe we are interested in. The land of our fathers and forefathers. Awake or asleep, we continue to dream of Poland.
The squares in Warsaw, Łódź and Kraków shall be filled with new settlements. Like many decades ago, we wish to once again settle in a land where no one expects us. We believe we are fated to live here, to set up families here, die here and bury the remains of our dead here.
We want to heal the trauma — ours and yours. Once and for all.
We direct our appeal not just to Jews. We accept into our ranks all those for whom there is no place in their homelands — the expelled and the persecuted. There will be no discrimination in our movement. We will not dig into your life stories, or check your residence cards or refugee status. We shall be strong in our weakness.
Perhaps this return will not always be a distinguished or victorious one. We are filled with doubt, disbelief, and hesitancy.
We plan no invasion. This may be more a procession of ghosts of neighbours haunting you in your dreams, neighbours you never expected to see again, or ever had a chance to meet.
We will speak out about all the evil things that happened between you and us.
We long to correct the pages of a history which never quite took the course we wanted it to. Welcome us with open arms. We count on being able to govern our cities, work the land, and bring up our children together.
We are exhuming Zionist phantasmagoria. We are reaching back to the past — to the imagined world of migration, political and geographical displacements, to the disintegration of reality as we know it.
This is the response we propose for times of crisis, when faith has been exhausted and old utopias have failed. Optimism is dying out. The promised paradises have been privatized. Apples and watermelons from kibbutzes are no longer as ripe. This is all in the past imperfect tense.
You may ask: why reopen old wounds, why conjure up old demons?
We reply: So that we can further our common and continuously rewritten history. We invite you to join our Movement! We welcome new settlers whose presence shall be the embodiment of our phantasy of a parallel history. We are facing one of many potential futures we may experience, leaving behind our safe, familiar, and one-dimensional world.
We shall shed any feeling of guilt. We will be settlers, not occupants. Newcomers, we await you!
Hosts, join us!
Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland

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