For Patrick Willis, a true lover of Palestine, who decided to take a Rachel poem of mine and turn it into a moving new video: In Memory of Rachel Corrie.
It is hoped that the essay presented below will serve as an introduction to this widely acclaimed video as well as a tribute to Rachel on the 8th anniversary of her death on March 16.
She was called “St. Pancake” by her killers soon after her death. It was a term of derision for a young woman determined to make a martyr of herself. She had gotten herself pancaked. Flattened. Crushed beneath the blades of a bulldozer while giving succor to terrorists.
In the words of Zionist professor Steven Plaut, Rachel is “a sort of Mother Teresa for the radical left and apologists of Islamofascism. She is a martyr-saint for the pro-terror lobby.”
16 March will mark the 8th anniversary of Rachel’s death. It’s a good time to remember her and ask ourselves what she died for. Are the Palestinians any nearer to achieving their dreams of an independent state? Are those who killed Rachel in a stronger or weaker position than they were eight years ago?
There are two versions to every major news story that comes out of Israel: the Zionist version and the non-Zionist one. These narratives never agree. They are mutually incompatible. One is the “right” version, the kosher and politically correct one advanced by organized Jewry and its hasbara agents in the mainstream media. The other is the “wrong” version, the one touted by “anti-Semites” and “conspiracy theorists”.
Rachel seen through Zionist eyes
According to the Zionist worldview, Rachel Corrie was
a clueless flag-burning undergraduate from Evergreen State College in Washington. Urged on by her radical professors, she decided to join the missions organized by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She and her comrades were sent off to the “occupied territories” to assist Palestinian terrorist groups. (See here)
Having arrived in Gaza in January, 2003, age 23, the budding terrorist had immediately been given a crash course by the ISM in how to be a thorn in the flesh to Israel. She lived among the Palestinians in Gaza, eating their food and imbibing their false values and skewed views of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Needlessly concerned about the “illegal occupation” of Palestine in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, all one hundred per cent Jewish by divine mandate, this dangerous fanatic seemed to be unaware that the Arabs had been squatters on Jewish land since the 13th century; and that this land, Greater Israel, stretched from the Nile to the Euphrates.
Here is Zionist pundit Denis Prager, telling us how unspeakably evil and misguided Rachel was:
Rachel Corrie chose to side with a society that breeds some of the cruelest murderers of innocent people in the world. [Emphasis in original]. Rachel Corrie gave her life trying to protect people whose declared aim is to annihilate another country. She was one of the many fools our colleges annually produce.
We are told repeatedly that Rachel was idealistic—as if that matters. Virtually every person who commits great evil—the Nazi, the communist, the Islamic terrorist—is idealistic.
We are told ad nauseam that Rachel Corrie was a “peace activist.” So let it be said once and for all that most of these people are moral frauds. Why? Because “peace activists” routinely protest only against peaceful countries. [They] only target peace-loving Israel and America.
Rachel Corrie and the millions marching to protect Saddam Hussein’s Iraq have never uttered a peep against Palestinian terror, Iraqi totalitarianism or North Korean gulags. Instead, they focus their animosity at the countries that confront these evils—the United States and Israel.
Grieve for Rachel Corrie’s parents, but spare us the hagiography. Rachel Corrie died fighting for the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian group dedicated—in its own words—to “armed struggle” against Israel. She ended up being a useful idiot for, and one more victim of, Palestinian terror. (See here)
On 16 March 2003, this useful idiot went too far. For two hours, she kept interfering with the work of an Israeli bulldozer trying to demolish a Palestinian doctor’s home; a doctor with terrorist sympathies whose house had tunnels built under it, through which food, medical supplies and arms were being smuggled to give aid and sustenance to “filthy Arabs”—one million of whom, as we are reliably informed by respected rabbis, “are not worth a Jewish fingernail”.
She kept on getting in the way of the good Jewish driver, taunting him through a bullhorn and skipping from mound to mound of earth in her hateful fluorescent orange jacket, making it impossible for him to kill her and pretend he hadn’t seen her.
She was certainly asking for it.
Here is Steven Plaut again, Associate Professor of Business Studies at Haifa University, offering his condolences to Rachel’s parents after the tragic death of their daughter:
Welcome to Haifa, Mr and Mrs Corrie….Your daughter was in a war zone as a belligerent, on behalf of a movement of Arab fascists seeking to destroy Israel and murder as many Jews as possible. Your daughter died while interfering with an anti-terror operation carried out by soldiers in a land in which she had no business being at all….The Jews have been battling Arab fascism and genocidal terrorism for a hundred years, before, during, and after the Nazi Holocaust of six million Jews. Your daughter was helping those who perpetrate Nazi-like atrocities against randomly selected Jews….Your daughter has become a symbol for dangerous foolhardiness. She essentially committed suicide as an empty gesture to assist murderers and terrorists. (See here)
Rachel seen through non-Zionist eyes
Let’s cut to the chase now. Having described the politically correct version of Rachel’s death, the one insisted on by organized Jewry and the mainstream media, let’s consider the politically incorrect version now, if only in the interests of balance.
Here is Alison Weir, a well-respected authority on Palestine. Having read scores of different accounts of Rachel’s death, including every single eyewitness report, this is Weir’s beautifully succinct summation:
On March 16th, 2003, an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer two-stories high crushed to death 23-year-old Rachel Corrie, an American nonviolent human rights protester. According to numerous witnesses and photographic documentation, she was killed intentionally.
Rachel and a handful of others practicing Gandhian nonviolence in the Gaza Strip had been pleading with Israeli soldiers for two hours not to destroy a Palestinian family home. Suddenly, the Israeli bulldozer operator began driving his giant bulldozer toward the home, Rachel sitting in the bulldozer’s path. Witnesses report that she then stood up on the mound of debris and dirt pushed by the bulldozer blade and looked straight at the operator through the window. He continued, and she was pulled underneath the tractor, its blade crushing her. He then backed up, running over her again, burying her deeper into the dirt. (My emphasis, see here).
Weir concludes her account of Rachel’s death:
Her friends ran to her screaming. They dug her out of the dirt. One told me that Rachel’s eyes were open; her last words were, “My back is broken.” (See here)
The day after Rachel’s death there was a memorial service for her in Gaza. Many Palestinians attended this service, the men’s faces etched with silent grief, the women’s eyes streaming tears. Here was a lovely American girl in the full flower of her youth who had died for Palestine.
Not to be excluded, the Israelis decided to attend Rachel’s memorial service too. To mock and gloat. The same bulldozer that had killed her was sent in to disrupt the ceremony. And this it did.
Rachel’s Death: Its larger significance
Let’s now attempt to set the tragedy of Rachel Corrie within a wider context.
Clearly the death of this iconic figure was a public relations disaster for Israel. The effect of decades of Holocaust propaganda must have unravelled in a single instant. You bastards, you killed our Rachel! This must have been the thought uppermost in the minds of millions of Americans on hearing the tragic news of Rachel’s death. The ability to squeeze tears from non-Jewish eyes for Jewish suffering must have suffered a serious setback at this point. Why should we mourn your dead at Auschwitz when you killed our beautiful Rachel?
I confess, bad Christian that I am, that unkind thoughts such as these assailed me on the day I first heard that Rachel’s life had been snuffed out in the Holy Land. To put it mildly, the manner of her death did not increase my respect for Israel or enhance my capacity for shedding tears for Anne Frank.
I found myself buying a candle for Rachel and lighting it before a side altar in the Benedictine abbey near my home, offering up this prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, protector of the weak, let Israel come to a speedy and peaceful end and the Jews be sent on their travels again—back to the countries where they belong!”
I shouldn’t have said that. But this is how I felt. And now that I’ve confessed it, I feel better.
Consider now these significant facts:
Rachel was killed on March 16, 2003, exactly four days before the beginning of the Iraq War. Ariel Sharon, already guilty of war crimes (Sabra and Shatila massacres, 1982) was Prime Minister of Israel at that time. He it was who had said, shortly after 9-11, that Israel could more or less do what it wanted with impunity. “We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it!” he had famously boasted on Israel radio.
America said nothing on that occasion. It swallowed the insult.
Sharon must have known, on the day of Rachel’s death, that the Americans were getting geared up for their attack on Iraq four days later. They would have other more important things on their minds than the death of an obscure peace activist in Gaza. Sharon was on a roll. There is little doubt that the killing of Rachel received the green light from the Butcher of Sabra and Shatila himself.
Having spent two hours trying to demolish a house with Rachel constantly getting in his way, the bulldozer driver must have phoned for instructions from headquarters. Admittedly, this is pure speculation. The directive must have come back—so I imagine—“Kill her!” A salutary lesson needed to be set. The ISM peace activists had to be taught a stern lesson that Israel was not to be trifled with. If you throw yourself in front of a bulldozer, you can expect to get run over.
There is additional support for the hypothesis that Rachel’s death was a state-sanctioned act of premeditated murder. What “additional support”? Well, the fact that the same policy of reckless disregard for the lives of ISM peace activists was to continue unchecked in the immediate aftermath of Rachel’s death.
On April 5, a mere three weeks after Rachel’s death, peace activist Brian Avery was shot in the face by IDF forces and severely disfigured. Six days after that, on April 11, it was another peace activist’s turn. British ISM volunteer Tom Hurndall was shot in the head by an IDF soldier and left clinically brain dead, dying nine months later.
Many similar incidents followed, demonstrating that the bad publicity resulting from Rachel’s death had done nothing to galvanize Israel into taking remedial steps to improve its image.
I need mention only a few names: Tristan Anderson (American), Emily Henochowicz (Jewish-American), Tove Johansson (Swedish), Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire (Irish). I leave it to the reader’s imagination to picture the horrific injuries often sustained by Israel’s many victims: blindness, brain damage, disfigurement, mutilation, paraplegia, pain.
Facts and Figures
The number of foreigners killed and injured in Israel are a mere miniscule fraction of the number of Palestinians put through the mad mangle. More than 45,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel within the last ten years. Countless more have been injured.
Consider these horrific statistics: between four and five Palestinian children have been killed on average every week for the last ten years by Israeli forces, more than one every second day. (Based on figures found here).
Despite the fact that Israel has violated 65 UN resolutions, the US government continues to give this parasitic pariah state $8.2 million per day. Total “direct” aid to Israel has been conservatively estimated at $140 billion. It is interesting to note that, when indirect aid is added to this enormous sum, the total cost to the American taxpayer is a staggering $3 trillion — the identical amount, by the way, that Rabbi Dov Zakheim managed to “lose” or “misplace” when he was Chief Financial Officer at the Pentagon a few years ago.
If you’re wondering what $3 trillion looks like, imagine a stack of $100 bills piled up to 340 times the altitude of Mt Everest—or a money tower of $100 bills 3037 miles tall. (Based on figures found here and here).
Conflicting Stories: Who is lying?
As I mentioned earlier, there are always two sides to any question involving the state of Israel. There is the non-Zionist (or anti-Zionist) narrative which is usually harsh and condemnatory, accusing Israel of bad behaviour, and there is the Zionist narrative which is invariably self-exculpatory and seeks to present Israel as spotlessly innocent. We have seen this drama enacted repeatedly. There is little new here.
There was the USS Liberty incident in 1967, for example. (Here is a survivor’s detailed eyewitness account). On that occasion, a United States Navy research ship, USS Liberty, moving through international waters, was attacked by the Israeli Air force and Israeli Navy torpedo boats. Thirty-four American crew members were killed and 170 injured. There is more than enough evidence to show that this was a false flag act of terrorism committed by Israel against America.
As one might have expected, the Israelis claimed it was all a tragic accident, and the US government was happy to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Only last summer, there was the Gaza flotilla incident in which Israeli paratroopers attacked six ships in international waters on their way to Gaza on a humanitarian mission. Nine peace activists, mostly Turkish, were killed, and about fifty injured. On this occasion, turning logic on its head, the Israelis claimed they had been acting in self-defense when their own unprovoked violence had produced the inevitable resistance. (See here)
As usual, two conflicting accounts: the Israeli version and the world’s version.
Perhaps the most striking example of these polarities of viewpoint can be seen in the case of the Gaza War that took place in the winter of 2008-9 (‘Operation Cast Lead’). This led to massive disproportionate casualties on the Palestinian side, amounting to a massacre—a ratio of over 100 to 1 killed—together with the almost complete destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure; and it was concluded later, after an international investigation led by Judge Richard Goldstone, himself a Zionist Jew, that Israel had been guilty of serious war crimes.
Despite these findings by a panel of world-renowned legal experts, Israel was to be let off the hook completely. It investigated itself and found that its behavior had been irreproachable. The AIPAC-enthralled American government reached a similar conclusion. Many neoconservatives went even further and suggested that the only “criminal” here was Judge Goldstone himself, an incorrigible anti-Semite and Hamas sympathizer!
What Israel says, our media repeat. What Israel demands, our government gives. What Israel wants, its well-greased lobby delivers. — Alison Weir, We Won’t Forget Rachel Corrie
So much for truth and justice in an Alice in Wonderland world turned upside down.
We won’t forget
Poor Rachel! What did you die for? Who is there to mourn you now except the Palestinians and those who love Palestine?
We shall not forget you, Rachel. We shall carry you in our hearts like a hidden flame. In your lovely innocence and idealism, you will remain to us always the perfect symbol of our people—and a reminder of what awaits us all in the days of tribulation to come.
Amnesty International condemned the killing of Rachel in the most emphatic terms. She is our role model, our icon, our symbol of sacrifice. Neither Israel nor its American backer paid the slightest attention.
Christian Bustany, Amnesty International’s US representative, lamented the fact that our dear Rachel, the flower of our race, had been so callously killed and nothing done about it.
As Rachel Corrie was an American citizen, the US government has a particular responsibility to ensure thorough, proper and impartial investigation of her death. US-made bulldozers have been ‘weaponized’. Their transfer to Israel must be suspended.
The killer bulldozers are still shipped out to Israel in vast numbers, courtesy of the American taxpayer, demolishing houses every day, uprooting olive trees, and running amok amid a terrified people.
The day after Rachel’s death, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians, including three children.
It was business as usual.
Dr Lasha Darkmoon (email her) is an academic, age 32, with higher degrees in Classics. She is also a published poet and translator whose verse can be sampled here. “Lasha Darkmoon” is a pen name.
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