Before you mourn Rachel Corrie
What is the best way to remember someone who could objectively be called anti-American and pro-terrorist? Some would celebrate her life in a play.
Planet Madison is the latest stop for the play, “My Name Is Rachel Corrie.” Rachel Corrie was killed when she attempted to stop an Israeli bulldozer from destroying tunnels used for weapons-smuggling for terrorists in the Gaza Strip (not protecting a Palestinian home as has been often mis-reported). Despite being a young radical who kept herself warm by burning the American flag while waiting to participate in anti-Israel propaganda, her myth – her supposed martyrdom – has resulted in a play.
Forgotten are the victims of the Rachel Corries of the world. After all, as they give aid to terrorists, the terrorists have leave to strike at the “other Rachels” that will not be so fortunate to become international martyrs, have plays written about them and leftwing foundations named after them.
Tom Gross remembers the other Rachels, tragically cut short by those celebrated and defended by the Rachel Corries of the world.
RACHEL Thaler, aged 16, was blown up at a pizzeria in an Israeli shopping mall. She died after an 11-day struggle for life following a suicide bomb attack on a crowd of teenagers on 16 February 2002.
Even though Thaler was a British citizen, born in London, where her grandparents still live, her death has never been mentioned in a British newspaper.
…But Rachel Thaler, unlike Rachel Corrie, was Jewish. And unlike Corrie, Jewish victims of Middle East violence have not become a cause célèbre in Britain. This lack of response is all the more disturbing at a time when an increasing number of British Jews feel that there has been a sharp rise in anti-Semitism.
Thaler is by no means the only Jewish Rachel whose violent death has been entirely ignored by the British media. Other victims of the Intifada include Rachel Levy (aged 17, blown up in a grocery store), Rachel Levi (19, shot while waiting for the bus), Rachel Gavish (killed with her husband, son and father while at home celebrating a Passover meal), Rachel Charhi (blown up while sitting in a Tel Aviv cafe, leaving three young children), Rachel Shabo (murdered with her three sons aged 5, 13 and 16 while at home), Rachel Ben Abu (16, blown up outside the entrance of a Netanya shopping mall) and Rachel Kol, 53, who worked at a Jerusalem hospital and was killed with her husband in a Palestinian terrorist attack in July a few days after the London bombs.
Corrie’s death was undoubtedly tragic but, unlike the death of these other Rachels, it was almost certainly an accident. She was killed when she was hit by an Israeli army bulldozer she was trying to stop from demolishing a structure suspected of concealing tunnels used for smuggling weapons.
Unfortunately for those who have sought to portray Corrie as a peaceful protester, photos of her burning a mock American flag and stirring up crowds in Gaza at a pro-Hamas rally were published by the Associated Press and on Yahoo News on 15 February 2003, a month before she died. (Those photos were not used in the British press.)
Today we’re living in the aftermath of the most recent attack on civilians in Israel whose only crime was to be in the wrong place in the wrong time. A Palestinian gunman attacked a rabbinical seminary in Jerusalem that killed eight students and wounded nine others. Among the wounded is a 14-year-old Canadian citizen, Nadav Eliayahu Samuels.
Nadav Eliayahu Samuels was shot several times in Thursday’s attack on the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, the CBC’s Peter Armstrong reported Friday from Jerusalem.
Samuels — who holds Israeli, Canadian and British citizenship — is listed in critical but stable condition with multiple gunshot wounds and is heavily medicated, Armstrong said.
…Samuels’ father said the boy was in the library at the time of the attack and hid under something.
He said the boy was shot in the feet and legs, while the hospital said he suffered gunshot wounds all over his body, including the stomach.
The gunman was later shot and killed by an army officer on the scene.
Israeli officials said the victims, who were laid to rest Friday, were aged 15 to 19 except one, who was 26. One of the victims was identified as 16-year-old Avraham David Moses, an American citizen whose parents moved to Israel in the 1990s.
Will someone write a play about young Avraham David Moses? Surely 16 is more tragic than 23, and he had no choice in the matter. How widely will he be mourned beyond Israel? After all, he was an American, too.
They carried the body of Avraham David Moses, 16 years old, on a stretcher down the slope of the vibrant green cemetery here, shaded by tall pines, overlooking a valley, in utter silence.
The boy was wrapped in a black-and-white prayer shawl, and as the pallbearers slipped him into the grave on Friday, the long silence was broken by quiet weeping and occasional sobs.
Men recited psalms and Naftali Moses, the boy’s father, his garments torn in grief, said the Hebrew prayer for the dead, his voice breaking, before moving back up the slope to the parking lot, through a somber line of mourners, men on one side, women on the other.