Break the Chain No Prize for You!

Exclusive (1/7/2002) The Internet is a tempting lure for anyone who has a cause to promote. It reaches far and wide, very quickly. Unfortunately, because it is so easy, most authorities pay e-campaigns very little attention. In, this case, the lack of a precedence for the action desired, makes it even less likely that this cause will succeed.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Subject: Revoking Arafat's Nobel

The more things change,
the more they stay insane!

Dear Friends,

This is very important and can be accomplished through the internet in a couple of minutes. A Nobel Prize Judge of the Peace Prize is trying to get enough names on a petition (through e-mail it counts) to revoke the Nobel Peace prize that was given to Arafat in 1993. They need at least a million signatures.

Please go to the following web site and lend your name
Please send this mail to all your friends.

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat As Qudwa al-Hussaeini, better known as Yasser Arafat, was one of three Nobel Peace Prize honorees in 1994 (not 1993). Also honored with Arafat were Israeli leaders Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin. Arafat's involvement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the continuing territorial struggle in Israel have led many to question the appropriateness of the award.

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Regardless of whether the award was appropriate, it's important to consider that, though there have been many requests to revoke various honorees' awards over the years, no Nobel Prize has ever been revoked, and Nobel Foundation officials have no provision for doing so.

RevokeThePrize.org was created in June, 2001, to "impress upon Mr. Arafat that continued international honor will elude him as long as he continues to disregard his promises." The founders of the site (who do not identify themselves), admit that the revocation would only be symbolic, but believe that "have a real effect on making Yasser Arafat understand that the world expects more then (sic) just words from its 'peacemakers.'"

Before it was closed, the RevokeThePrize.org Q&A web site described how the signatures on the petition would be collected and used and contained the closest thing the site has to a privacy statement. They admitted that there was no timeline for collection nor target number of signatures.

Unfortunately, e-petitions are usually ineffective. Direct letters to those who have the authority to effect the change desired are the most effective form of activism. However, since there is no provision for revocation, there is no one who has that authority in this situation. The RevokeThePrize.org provides a way for interested parties to write their lawmakers (U.S. only) and push for the cause, which may direct attention to the cause, but little more. They also provide a sample letter to send to your friends that is more informative and lacks the errors in the version above. Break this Chain.

What Do You Think?

Category: Armchair Activism
References: None

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