Sunday, October 15, 2006

For What Purpose?

A new play opened off-Broadway today. It's not one that I have any intention to watch. You see, it's about the life and times of Rachel Corrie from her own point of view.

Who's Rachel Corrie? Well, it's not a pretty picture.

The photo in the paper edition is a basic glamour shot of Corrie (perhaps a college photo?). It's not the one that shows Corrie in her true light - the one we know well - her screaming into a camera while burning an imitation flag.

Here's a flavor of the writeup in the Bergen Record:
The real-life title character, and heroine [ed: heroine?! Are you kidding me? She's a useful idiot for terrorists whose mantra is the annihilation of Israel!], of "Rachel Corrie" -- a solo show performed by Megan Dodds -- is an American activist who was killed in 2003, at the age of 23, while standing in front of an Israeli Army bulldozer in Gaza that was either a) about to level a Palestinian house, or b) clearing brush. She was either purposely killed or died in a tragic accident.

Accounts of who she was, what she was doing and how she died differ in almost every particular, depending on which of the dozens of Web sites devoted to Corrie you read. It's hard to find a persuasively objective viewpoint on a subject that, like almost everything else in the Middle East conflict, is colored by political fervor.

The play, with a text using Corrie's own words, doesn't aim to clear things up. It makes no pretense of being balanced or impartial, although that doesn't prevent another tricky issue from being raised: Is its purpose to illuminate an unusual young woman's life, or to use it to make a political statement?

Katharine Viner, the features editor of Britain's Guardian newspaper, who "co-edited" Corrie's e-mails, journals and letters into a script, said the work is meant to give Corrie a voice.

"I was staggered by the quality of the writing," she said. "It just happened that what she wrote about was the Middle East."
The play makes no mention of Corrie burning US flags, or hanging out with Hamas and Fatah terrorists. No mention of the fact that the Israelis were clearing terrorist tunnels, and that the house she was defending was a terror hangout.

You see, as part of the International Socialist Movement, Corrie was supporting and assisting terrorists in Hamas and Fatah in their activities, which included smuggling weapons and manpower into Gaza in tunnels. She died protecting one such location.

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