To the parents of Rachel Corrie,
I am sorry for your loss. In 2003, your daughter Rachel became one of the many victims of the struggle between Jews and Arabs in the land of Israel, AKA (between 1917 and 1947) as "Palestine." I am sure that you love your daughter as much as every one of the bereaved parents and relatives of victims of the conflict loved their children. Your daughter was killed, apparently by accident, by a civilian bulldozer driver. I wish that Israel would open a full investigation of the matter and issue an apology, even if the death was purely accidental. As an Israeli, I apologize, but I can only do so as an individual.
But the other victims of the conflict are as dear to their parents and loved ones as Rachel was to you. Here for example, are Rachel Thaler (left) age 15, killed in a suicide attack on a pizzeria, and by her side is Rachel is Rachel Levi, age 19, killed in a suicide attack while waiting for a bus.
There is also Carlos Chavez
. I call him "the other Rachel Corrie." He is the Rachel Corrie nobody will remember. He was a volunteer, like Rachel. He was harming nobody. He was working on a kibbutz near the Gaza border. He came all the way from his home in Ecuador to do that. He was murdered intentionally by Palestinian Arab terrorists, not accidentally.
Rachel was with the ISM people in Gaza. Several others also stayed with the ISM people, including Asif Muhammad Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif, British citizens, like Rachel Corrie. They were volunteers too. Their volunteer task was to blow up Mike's place, a cafe in Tel Aviv, murdering three civilians and wounding fifty. Here is a picture of one of those victims, Ran Baron, age 24, who studied piano.
Thanks to his ISM "scholarship," Ran Baron is playing with the angels. Every casualty has a name and a face and a past and parents who loved them. Some were killed purposely, like Ran Baron and Carlos Chavez, like Rachel Thaler and Rachel Levi. Others were killed accidentally. Some were killed while minding their own business, others were killed because they were involved in terror attacks or supporting them.
The first casualties of this struggle were Jewish. They were killed in riots that took place in 1920, 1921, 1929 and between 1936 and 1939. Their deaths were used some people for political purposes, to fuel hatred and racism and to justify indiscriminate attacks on civilians in order to cause more deaths. Others, who have a different approach to life, used the deaths of their loved ones as a means to promote peace and reconciliation. Yitzhak Frankenthal's son was murdered by the Hamas. He founded the Bereaved Parents association, and later he founded the Arik Peace institute.
How do you want Rachel to be remembered, and how do you want to use your grief? Your Web site links to Electronic Intifada. Mr Abunimah, who runs that Web site, wants to eliminate the state of Israel. He insists that Jews have no political rights here. My family has lived here since the 1880s. My people have lived in this land for 3,000 years. I cannot accept that we have no rights here. Rachel's letters and memory are also exploited by Counterpunch and Alison Weir, who likewise want to ensure that the Jewish people have no political rights in our own land. Please don't let them use Rachel's death in order to create more Rachel Corries, more Rachel Thalers and more Rachel Levis.
I am sorry for the death of your daughter, as I am sorry for the death of Carlos Chavez, Rachel Levi, Rachel Thaler and hundreds of other victims. However, I can't hide the fact that I would be sorrier for the deaths of my own children. Please don't make me choose.
Please don't add more hate to the Israeli-Arab conflict. We have quite enough of that without imports.
Note - According to their Web site, you can write to Rachel Corrie's parents at Rachelsmessage@the-corries.com. Cards and condolences to the family can be mailed to: Rachel Corrie and Family, PO Box 12149, Olympia, WA 98508. Please be considerate.
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Replies: 2 Comments
this is SILLY.
Stanley, Wednesday, April 9th
Good post, Ami. But as surely as Rachel Corrie's form of "peace activism" wouldn't put her on the same status as Carlos Chavez, or seeking truth in the way that Daniel Pearl attempted to, Rachel's parents are not "humanitarians" of the same order as Judea and Ruth Pearl.
As a parent, I can appreciate the Corries' bereavement, but as a parent, I can also find issue with their blindness as to what kind of mission their daughter was sent on and by whom. Members of a church that is part of the "divestment" movement, they will likely spend the rest of their lives persuing Caterpillar and the Israel government for redress instead of the ISM and the college their daughter attended that promoted such "peace activism" for its students. Lee Kaplan, a journalist from San Franscisco has spent a lot of time investigating the ISM on US campuses and it is my understanding that some US colleges actually give education credits to students who go on ISM "missions" for learning Arabic.
Lynne T, Thursday, April 3rd
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