Palestinians can’t consume and resist at the same time — Raja Shehadeh, NY Times

11 Dec

I though this was espically frustrating:

On the way over, the taxi driver told me that he felt let down by the Palestinian response to the news. I asked him about the call of the Hamas leader, Ismail Haniya, for another intifada. “What intifada, when we are all burdened by loans?” he answered. “Thirty years ago I never thought twice about taking part in every strike that was announced, but now if I don’t make money I will not be able to pay back the bank loan on this car. How then will I survive without it?”

From Spain and Portugal to Greece, to Palestine even, it seems (without drawing facile comparisons): keep them in debt and keep them silent.  Give them something to lose, even if its the chains of credit and they’ll be afraid to do anything but pipe down; it’ll make ’em more docile then an uzi.

And this too…so much for the liberating hopes of social media: watch the revolution — this one will be televized — on your phone and it’ll be just like being there:

I asked around to see if anyone knew the plan for the day. I’m a stranger to social media and thought I could have missed an announcement. Ramzi, a musician I have known for many years, had also come intending to take part in a demonstration. He said he kept obsessively checking Facebook and found nothing.

“There were no mobile phones during the first intifada when I was a boy of 10 in the Amari refugee camp, yet I remember that people knew when to assemble and what to do,” he said.

He noted the scarcity of young participants at the gathering. “Some people,” he said, “feel they can stay home and yet consider that they’re taking part; they think they can have virtual participation.”

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