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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

A Tribute to Rachel Corrie:
Thanks for showing us what "peace" really means

from today's Wall Street Journal Editorial Page, by Ruhama Shattan

Today is the first anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death. I want to thank Corrie for the explosives that flow freely from Egypt to Gaza, via the smuggling tunnels under the Gaza homes that she died defending.

Perhaps it was these explosives that in the year since her martyrdom--oops, death--have been strapped around suicide bombers to blow up city buses and restaurants in Israeli cities, particularly in Jerusalem, killing men, women and schoolchildren (two of them classmates of my daughter and her friend in the February 22, 2004 bombing) and leaving hundreds more widows, orphans and bereaved parents.

On the first anniversary of her death, I want to thank Rachel Corrie for showing Palestinian children how to despise America as she snarled, burned an American flag, and led them in chanting slogans, and as she gave "evidence" at a Young Palestinian Parliament mock trial finding President Bush guilty of crimes against humanity.

Perhaps her help in fanning the flames of violent anti-American sentiment led to the October 2003 bombing of the Fulbright delegation to Gaza to interview scholarship candidates, killing three. There will be no new crop of Palestinian Fulbright scholars this fall.

On the first anniversary of her death, I wanted to thank Rachel Corrie for providing her organization, the Palestinian-sponsored International Solidarity Movement, with the opportunity to release a manipulated photo sequence "showing" an Israeli military bulldozer deliberately crushing her. (I would also like to thank the Associated Press and the Christian Science Monitor for taking up the baton and immortalizing this cynical ISM stunt.)

On the first anniversary of her death, I want to thank Rachel Corrie for showing the way to all those who seek peace in the Middle East. Unfortunately, Corrie's peace, as anyone familiar with the Palestine Liberation Organization, Fatah, Hamas and Hezbollah organizations that she defended with her life knows--or as anyone familiar with the weekly rants of the Friday preachers in the Palestinian mosques is aware--means not peaceful coexistence but the elimination of the state of Israel, and death to those they call "the usurping Jews, the sons of apes and pigs."

Thank you, Rachel Corrie, of Evergreen State University, where the profs wear khakis and kaffiyehs at graduation ceremonies, for showing us what peace really means.
UPDATE 3/19: I added my two cents to the Reader Responses:
It's noted at the end of Ms. Shattan's piece that she has lived in Israel since 1976. To my mind, this alone entitles her to be as cynical as she likes. After all, Corrie was trying to protect the very people who every day threaten Israeli lives and in fact, seek to destroy the entire nation of Israel.

On the other hand, it bears mentioning that the authors of recent articles seeking to glorify Rachel Corrie and her death (such as those in the Seattle Times and Post-Intelligencer) may have spent a vacation or two in the disputed territories, but live in the relative safety of the United States.

Corrie's good intentions ceased to matter when she misplaced her loyalties. If other young people can learn from her folly, and reject these terror advocacy groups who prey on the combined idealism and ignorance of youth, then perhaps some good will have come of her wasted life after all.

It's the only way I can see where she might truly have protected someone.