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Sunday, April 17 2005

The other Rachels

CorrieplayA new play profiling the life of Rachel Corrie has opened in London's Royal Court Theatre -- here's a glowing review from The Guardian.

Tom Gross and Robin Stamler put together a response -- the Rachels you won't see lionized on a prestigious London stage: My name is Rachel Levy...

UPDATE: The Jerusalem Post's Yaakov Lappin has a review from London.



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» My Name is Rachel Levy, Thaler, Levi, Gavish, Cha from Elder of Ziyon
Here, Honest Reporting shows some of the lives of real heroines named Rachel, those who sacrificed their lives to live in a country with their people. Their heroics were that they continued to go to stores and schools and restaurants despite the cons... [Read More]



Well done to Tom Gross and Robin Stamler. However, their work should not stop there. Surely, we can find a skillful playwright who can workshop a play entitled "Our Name is Rachel" and run it in direct oppositon to the play about Corrie in whatever town the original goes to. I'd like to think that such a play can be written deftly and without going into the ugliness of the politics of the Rickman play so that it would therefore show up the other for the propaganda piece that it is.

I am game-let me know if you want help with this.

The Guardian review is both interesting and instructive. Michael Billington realises that the play is little more than a propaganda piece and dismisses its obvious biases by particularising this as a moving personal testimony thereby allowing the facts around the story to be brutalised completely.

For a peace activist, Corrie’s acceptance of Palestinian violence is limp. "If we lived where tanks and soldiers and bulldozers could destroy our homes at any moment and where our lives were completely strangled, wouldn't we defend ourselves as best we could?" Unfortunately, Rickman and Viner aren’t all that interested in the fact that "the best we could" involves blowing up kids in school buses and in pizzerias for that is what the ISM, an organisation that "supports the Palestinian armed struggle" is all about.

And that’s also where the play falls over completely. The context is all wrong. Why is the IDF there? Why is it knocking down houses? What about the tunnels underneath those houses that are used to smuggle arms to kill the other Rachels and their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children?

This review was published in the Guardian. Am I surprised that the play was co-edited by Katharine Viner, editor of Guardian Weekend Magazine? Hell no, but I wonder if the Guardian would also give rave reviews to a play that was sympathetic to Adolph Hitler but failed to mention his warring activities, the gas chambers and the holocaust?

Post script: I like the idea of a play about the other Rachels. I hope that it gets off the ground and tells the real story about these so called peace activists who are a blight for those Palestinians and Israelis who want to live together in peace.

A play might be worthwhile, interesting and instructional, but it isn't essential. It would be a good thing simply to print up the Rachels' page as posters and put it on the walls wherever the Corrie agitprop piece is performed. It would at least give playgoers a little balance and context.

Rxcellent rebuttal by Tom Gross and Robin Stamler. Problem is who will see it.

The contrast is remarkable. On the one hand we have a Rachel who was working to protect those with murderous intent and who was warned not to enter a war zone. And on the other hand there are the Israeli Rachels who were doing nothing more than going about their normal family business. Steven Spielberg are you listening?

I'm already working on the rebuttal play's themesong:

"Doze Were the Daze"

To be played in "C" flat.

You want to see the review of the play on the BBC's website! 4455549.stm

The Royal Court Theatre website forum has a great post from "Gideon"

London from which as the Holocaust grew and raged in fury decisions were made to close Israel to the Jews, from which came the orders to disarm the Jews living in remote villages surrounded by arabs across Israel to prepeare the way for their massacre. London which tore away as much of Israel as it could to give to the arabs, on whose throne a Nazi sympathizer briefly sat has a new play.

London, from which Jews were twice expelled. London where Jews were stoned and burned at the coronation of Richard the Lionheart. Shakespeare's London where the story of a Jew held hostage to give a pound of flesh became the story of an evil Jew demanding a pound of flesh. London where Dickens equally repugnant anti-semitic stereotype Fagin roamed the streets in search of gentile boys to corrupt, hosts another anti-semitic play now.

Much as the Passion Plays depicted the evil Jews torturing and tormenting Jesus, in the footsteps of the Merchant of Venice and Oliver Twist (which Dickens staged as a theatrical production playing the part of Fagin himself with vehemence and spite before perishing of a heart attack); a new play depicts the evil Jews torturing the saint of western terrorist sympathizers, Rachel Corrie depicted below burning the American and Israeli flags at a Hamas rally.

Like all anti-semitic stories, like all blood libels, the story will be simple. Rachel Corrie was an idealistic young student working for peace. Based on her diaries, the play will make no mention of her support and affection for terrorists that appears in her diary. The photos will show her westernized with blond hair and smiling gently into the camera, not with her face contorted with hate in a burqa. After all it does not do to show up saints for the rabid haters they really are.

The true victims, those murdered by Rachel Corrie's comrades will not be remembered at that play. The true victims, those murdered by the weapons smuggled through tunnels that Rachel Corrie fought to keep open, will not be paid tribute to by the somber faces and fat jowls sitting as their ancestors sat while the Jews on stage killed Jesus, demanded their pound of flesh and abused poor Oliver. These are the other Rachels. London may not remember them but G-D surely will.

And true to form the administrator of the Royal Court Theatre website forum gave his/her "post of the week" award to someone who put up a fawning little piece on this poor excuse of a play that painted Rachel Corrie as having girl guide like qualities. I just wonder what would happen if they ever produced a play about Mother Theresa?

I read Gideon's post on the Royal Court website and to be frank I did not find it wholly productive. While I understand the anger that lay behind his points and sympathise with that anger, overstating the case is not helpful in my humble opinion.

Yes it is true that anti-semitism is a charge which can be laid at elements within British society going back centuries, it is also true that it was a Briton Lord Balfour who helped to lay the foundations of the modern Israel.

It is also true that Britain's foreign policies, dictated as they were by Ernest Bevin, a known anti-semite, hobbled Israel's efforts to become a state. Nevertheless David Ben-Gurion acknowledged at the time that despite all the difficulties which Britain had posed, on balance she was to be considered an ally.

Turning to Rachel Corrie. I believe she was motivated by the idea of supporting the underdog. Her error was to be taken in by both her Palestinian friends and the ISM. She was right to fight injustice, but she saw it through a distorted mirror.

In her view she saw big tanks and little people. What she did not see was the bigger picture of small country holding off more populous unscrupulous enemies.

Rachel Corrie was correct in her view that the Palestinian people have been deprived. What she got wrong was that the deprivation of money, education and above all truth, was in fact perpetrated by the Palestinian leadership for its own morally bankrupt purposes.

I'm still trying to figure it out!
Let's say my intelligent well-meaning (=support the right to blow up civilians) friend keeps leaping in front of a bulldozer! The driver of the bulldozer is very evil and probably wants to run my friend down - his hands r at the controls but his hands r useless (perhaps he's new at it). Again and again, when he sees she's leapt in front of him, he stops the bulldozer- swerves, reverses, goes another way. Again and again she leaps in front. This goes on for some hours. She keeps leaping in front of the bulldozer till eventually she gets run over (Obviously the evil man has finally figured out the controls by now).
Who is to blame (I mean, who should we sue)?

A. The evil Israeli driving the bulldozer
B. All Israelis.
C. The brutal Israeli army.
D. The bulldozer
E. All bulldozers
F. The Caterpillar company that made the bulldozer
G. All caterpillars
H. The organization which sent her to a war zone to repeatedly leap in front of bulldozers
I. The Palestinian mass-murderers and weapon-smugglers she was trying to protect.

Alvin you are right of course. I wrote to The Independent on this very point. That letter didn't get published but another one did so I guess its 15 all.

My point was that she was in the same position as a child warned not to play on the highway but who persists but then when run down her parents sue the manufacturer. What a chutzpah THAT is!

Lionising Rachel Corrie who was at best mistaken and at worst a contributor to Israeli suffering is more than misguided. It is malevolent. Whether you call it anti-semitic or not is incidental. It is anti-democratic and anti-civilisation.

Where were these "tunnels"? The Israeli army did not find any under Dr. Nasrallah's house, and while we all agree there are tunnels used in weapons smuggling, how can destroying a house be instrumental in destroying a tunnel?

Well, the tunnel requires cover. A house is a perfectly fine one. When a house hides an arms smuggling tunnel, it becomes a military site and it's destruction is legitimate. Without the cover of the house, the tunnel becomes rather useless.
Ofcourse, those who consider that Palestinians have an inherent right to smuggle arms or blow up Israeli civilians are upset and feel Israel is wrong in stopping them regardless of the manner in which it is done. As the anonymous poster above recognises, the ISM and its fanatic (and dim) supporters could hardly give a damn whether a house hosts a weapons smuggling tunnel or not. Their complaints remain. Recently they demonstrated for Israel to release Palestinian terrorists from prison! You see? Even holding them in prison is somehow all wrong and evil. As for Rachel Corrie, show them a weapons tunnel and they'll hardly say "ok, no problem then". Instead they'll opt "but you murdered her, you murdered her!" which is the real crux of the matter really.

I refer to my questions above, regarding someone who keeps leaping in front of a bulldozer for hours. Options A - I, which do you choose?
The ISM (I think) and Corrie's family (certainly) chose C and F (and may have had a go for A) as well.

I've read so many hysterical ISM claims regarding Corrie, including stating that she (who was in Rafah, at the southern tip of Gaza) was run over by a bulldozer busy building the nefarious WALL for creating apartheid. Ofcourse, the security barrier (most of which is not a wall) isn't anywhere near Rafah.

I've read completely conflicting ISM eye-witness accounts of what happened, of when the photos of Rachel were taken (hours before or seconds before) and of whether she died immediately, in the ambulance or in hospital 20 minutes later.

But hey, it's all good news for the ISM. After all, here we all are, discussing this fine good woman (so good she even was in favor of mass murder of Israeli civilians, part of the "palestinian struggle" which the ISM are proud to support. No feeble condemnations of suicide bombings from That corner, thank you very much).

Just as well, otherwise we might get around to devoting as much attention to each of the other Rachels.

A public service announcement to remind us what Rachel Corrie said and stood for. In her own words:

I would also like to ask you, and those to
whom you pass this on, to think about the
relative positions of the fighters and occupiers
in this monumentally unequal struggle. While the
huge force of Israelis have every technical aid
invented by the US war machine, the few young
fighters have NOTHING BUT THEIR WEAPON (and this
not the most modern) - no helmet, bullet proof
vest, radio contact or other protection. No back-
up, no plane, helicopter, tank, APC,
searchlight, dogs, flares, ambulance or refuge -
put all the Israeli/American propaganda aside
for a few minutes and try to imagine, please,
the courage it requires to do what these young
fighters do, knowing that the odds are against
escape and that, every time they do succeed in
evading death, the odds against a further
survival are shortened. Even if the operation is
a success the price is always high.

Courage And More Martyrs, by Rachel Corrie

I spit on her grave. Rot in hell, Rachel Corrie, with the rest of them.

IS that yr idea of shyness??:)
I mean, HEY! Come on - why don't you consider the COURAGE? Why always focus on the Israelis? Why consider their possible courage at getting into a car which is then gunned down by the BRAVE PALESTINIANS? Why consider the possible courage of Israelis who get on a bus, not knowing if they'll live to get off or if their limbs will be amputated when, instead, you can gush about the COURAGE of the PALESTINIAN ATTACKER?

So, Rachel Corrie was a Very good human being, so good that she even believed in the Palestinians inherent right to massacre Israeli civilians - plus, she thought of the wonderful courage it requires! You just cannot find a better human being.

I really like Robert's approach. If we could all be civil and reasonable in our arguments those whose motives are primarily hatred will be seen clearly as such.

While the
huge force of Israelis have every technical aid
invented by the US war machine, the few young
fighters have NOTHING BUT THEIR WEAPON (and this
not the most modern) - no helmet, bullet proof
vest, radio contact or other protection. No back-
up, no plane, helicopter, tank, APC,
searchlight, dogs, flares, ambulance or refuge.
(by Rachel Corrie)

Well if the Palestinians have no weapons apart from sticks and stones, then how have the Palestinians killed over 1000 Israelis? They must be very good killers to kill so many with so few sticks and stones. And Israel with all it's thousands of tanks sophisticated F15, F16 Fighters, gunship helicopters, thousands of artillery cannons, and missiles you would have thought that with that amount of weapons not 3000-4000 Palestinians have been killed but 300,000-400,000 should have been killed by Israel. That of course isn't true because allthough the weapon itself is a killing machine the person operating it isn't and that is what that matters, where as the Palestinians according to the ISM only have sticks, stones and a few assault rifles are used by killing machines.

It doesn't matter what weapon you have or how much you have, it matters how you use it and to what extent. Just imagine how many Israelis would have been killed if the Palestinians had F15, F16 and thousands of tank and not just sticks and stones?

i just bought more caterpillar stock

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