Sunday, June 19, 2005

Rachel Corrie and the other Rachels

For those unfamiliar with her story, Washington State native Rachel Corrie was a pro-Palestinian activist who--sober minds concur on this issue--was accidentally killed in the Gaza Strip town of Rafah when an Israeli Defense Force bulldozer ran her over as she was protesting a housing demolition. Her death was an accident, albeit a tragic one, but accidental all the same. Since her death, Rachel Corrie has become a martyr for pro-Palestinian groups, such as Students for Justice in Palestine.

Rachel was a member of the International Solidarity Movement, which, according to Front Page Magazine's Discover the Network:

1) (Is a) Radical, anti-Israel organization that recruits westerners to travel to Israel under false pretenses and obstruct Israeli security operations
2) Justifies Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians

At a student activities fair on September 15, 2005, the DePaul chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine was handing out flyers that most reasonable people would deem inflammatory. Suspended DePaul professor Thomas Klocek picked up one of those flyers, and regular visitors to Marathon Pundit know the rest of the story. If you don't know it, this is a good place to start.

At least one of those flyers was about the martyr-to-the-cause, Rachel Corrie.

But in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, there are other Rachels you may not of heard about.

In the May 23rd print edition of the National Review, this article appeared in the "This Week..." column:

You may recall Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American radical who was crushed to death when she jumped in front of an Israeli army bulldozer. (The bulldozer was trying to destroy a building suspected of concealing tunnels uses for terrorist weapons-smuggling; Corrie was part of a group that declared "armed struggle" a Palestinian "right.") Corrie has since become a hero of the international Left, inspiring ongoing protests against the bulldozer-making company Caterpillar and now, a play about her life, based on her diary, is being performed at one of London's most prestigious theaters. The British press, predictably, has gushed about the play, and about Corrie's passion and apparent self sacrifice. But as our friend Tom Gross points out, forgotten are the several other Rachels who have lost their lives in the Arab-Israeli conflict--all killed by Palestinian terrorists: Rachel Chari, Rachel Gavish, Rachel Levi, Rachel Levy, Racher Shaho, and Rachel Thaler. Rachel's death was unfortunate, but more unfortunate is a Western media and cultural establishment that lionizes "martyrs" for illiberal causes while ignoring the victims those causes create.

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