"Will I change the world?"
Haunting image from Akram Habeeb's blog wishing him healthA typical reaction to many suggestions which aim at a personal commitment to a broader strategy: "So what? Will I make a difference? Will I change the world?"
These days, I am discussing with young people, frequently of Palestinian descent... They are depressed and upset, while at the same time they put the blame for the crimes committed in Gaza on the world policy and the international community. And they are not wrong. But, by no means, this cancels the duty to engage themselves dynamically in mild means of protest (rallies, petitions, networking and polls) or more effective ones (such as boycotting products and commodities of Israeli origins). They gladly talk about the U.N. failures but they would not skip their Starbucks or KFC routines. And here I am, discovering very convincing arguments in the articles of Naomi Klein, a Canadian journalist, activist and thinker, of Jewish origins, who underlines the importance of this strategy in order to fight back Israeli aggression. She considers that for a small state which heavily relies on trade, boycotting is a very successful weapon of pressure. Most importantly, she brightly compares the situation in Gaza (before the attacks) with that of South Africa during the period of apartheid: The color-coded IDs and travel permits, the bulldozed homes and forced displacement, the settler-only roads...Only that, according to Ronnie Kasrils, a prominent South African politician, the architecture of segregation that he saw in the West Bank and Gaza was much worse than anything imposed on the black majority of South Africa. This open-air prison condition in Gaza has only been a much better excuse for sanctions and conscience alert. To the question "Will I change the world?" I am afraid I can give no answer, but to the question "Shall I compromise in my twenties with an apparently cruel pragmatism?" to this I have already answered.
Είναι κι αυτό ένα "ΟΧΙ".
Αφορμή για τις σημειώσεις αυτές ήταν η αναδημοσίευση στα ελληνικά μικρού αποσπάσματος του άρθρου της Ναόμι Κλάιν (Τα Νέα, 15 Ιανουαρίου 2009, στήλη ΑΙΧΜΕΣ).