Monday, March 16, 2009

Thank you, Rachel Corrie.

Rachel CorrieImage by ISM-NC via Flickr

Today is the 6th memorial day for Rachel Corrie, an American non-violence activist who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in the town of Rafah in Gaza, March 16 2008. (thanks to Nina for the reminder)

The story, in short: Rachel came to Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement, like many other young americans and people of other nationalities. Many of them, btw, are jewish.

She was killed when she tried to prevent a bulldozer from demolishing a house. Personally, I believe the story of the driver who said he was not able to see her. Usually the Israeli army has people standing outside to direct the bulldozers, but at that specific event they were afraid of Palestinian snipers and thus did not do that.

I once met her parents. Very kind and good people. I hope that they find some comfort in the support they get from around the globe (and from many Israelis too, as they assured me).

Stories like this happen all the time. Only last week another American citizen was critically wounded by Israeli fire.

What do I do about it? I ask questions, attend a play (maybe), and mainly, support Lora (who's Lora? read or pick at the end).

Let's start with the questions, I'm good at it. Billy Bragg wrote a beautiful tune with plenty of questions. One of them is: Is Rachel more important than 100 Palestinian kids we never hear of?

Bradley Burston made me think again about responsibility (English and Hebrew). The army is there to protect population. If it were an Israeli citizen, most certainly a soldier would have had to go out and make sure everybody is safe. Why was this not the case here? As Chava Alberstein asks, "The love of the homeland is a natural thing, but why should the love stop halt at the border?"

The play My Name is Rachel Corrie plays today and on the 29th in Pittburgh. The play also made some noise when the director of the original theater in NYC canceled the production a few weeks before it was scheduled to air. No reason for the censorship was given. However, shortly after it found a new home.

Last and most important is a new journey of a brave American. This time I talk about my good friend Lora, who is so many things. She is so compassionate to want go to Gaza, so brave to actually do it, and so smart to be able to go in (the Israeli governmeht still puts Gaza under blockade. Somehow Lora was able to break in.)

You can read her fascinating updates here and can follow her twits.
And most importantly, you can donate here. All money goes to rebuilding Gaza.

Thanks to all of you, to Lora, and to Rachel; love, and non-violent energy!

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  1. Hi! Thanks so much for still visiting.
    One of the things that sadden me the most is how people can say cruel and awful things about peace activists just to made every effort to deny, avoid, or negate the Palestinian reality.
    Really beautiful yet sad tune by Billy Bragg...
    And please give my best regard and appreciation for Lora.

  2. Thanks Nina. Lora is a good person... as long as she is there, we are all safe :)

  3. Today I talked with an inspiring and brilliant professor at the University of Pittsburgh about peace activism. She thanked me for reminding our team about the verity of Jewish voices in the US (I mentioned & and I end up my day, several hours later with your I want to thank you for the same reason she thanked me. Thanks for reminding us that there are many individuals (including you) that try to make the change. Let's hope they will make it one day! AMEN :)

  4. A couple of things: as mentioned in the video, Billy Bragg's song is a rewrite of Bob Dylan's masterful "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" , so the melody, and the structure, belong to Dylan. Missing, I think, from Bragg's song, is the Israeli reaction to the event. Sadly, IMHO most sadly, there was complete rejection of Rachel Corrie and the other international volunteers in Gaza at the time. Both by the Israeli press, which was unsympathetic at best, and by the IDF official spokesperson. The best that was said of her was that she was a misguided young woman.

    Additionally, last Friday, March 13, another American, Tristan Anderson was severely injured at Nil'in. This time it was a teargas cannister, not a buldozer.

  5. hey, it's been a long time no read from you. hope you and your family are doing great there.

  6. dear ido; The hard truth is that you are a jew and you will always be a jew! we dont need any help from people like you!!! allah is wakbar and he will give us a win on your people.

    from Palestinian who know the truth about you...

  7. Hey, Anonymous, thanks for reminding us that there are racist stupid people in both sides.