Friday, August 31, 2012

Rachel Corrie's Legacy: 
"Nonviolent resistance is no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation."

"A few minutes after the publication of the verdict, [Corrie’s] family and their lawyer, Hussein Abu-Hussein, were interviewed for TV. Into the airways,  beautiful words were tossed, about democracy, peace, human rights. To the “New York Times” the celebrated advocate said the following words:

“It’s a black day for activists of human rights and people who believe in values of dignity,” Mr. Hussein said. “We believe this decision is a bad decision for all of us — civilians first of all, and peace activists.” Honeyed words. Even though I do not agree with Abu-Hussein I contemplated offering him  friendship on Facebook.

But I was too hasty. “Palestinian Media Watch” exposed the fact that only last month Abu-Hussein was interviewed for the Palestinian Television. The interviewer, and that’s no less significant, was our old acquaintance, Mohammad Bakri, of “Jenin, Jenin” infamy. So we are speaking here about constitutive text.

Abu Bakri: “You live in an abnormal state … sometimes you lose cases not because you are not a good lawyer but because of judicial tyranny, racial discrimination within the law.”

Abu-Hussein: “The Nazi state was also a state of law. It found refuge in the law from which it committed its most horrific crimes against humanity. Nazi Germany was a state of law for a very short time and found refuge in the law, [but] the state of Israel was founded on theft and dispossession… we suffer from a great injustice. The great monster attacks us every day and gnaws at our flesh… Every day they gnaw at out flesh.”*

Mohammad Bakri, [Israeli Arab actor]:
"I want to step on the head of this monster."

Hussein Abu Hussein, [Israeli Arab lawyer]:

"We all want to step on its head, but talking is not enough. Everyone has their role."
Baki and Abu Hussein are not the representatives of the Arab minority in Israel. They are its disaster. They are agitators and inciters. The subheading under Corrie’s photos on Channel 10 declared she was a  human rights activist.  That’s about as correct as designating her lawyer as a peace activist. On the other hand, there is no doubt he is the best representative of Rachel Corrie, her family and her way."


* The full quote in PMW translation: “"Nazi Germany was a state based on the rule of law for a short while and it found refuge in the law. [However,] the State of Israel was founded from the start on robbery and theft of a nation's homeland. Actually, the correct and true legal definition of what happened to the Palestinians is homeland theft... We suffer from a great injustice from the giant monster. This monster attacks us daily and bites into our flesh in the Negev, the Galilee, the Triangle [region in Israel], Jerusalem, and the occupied territories, the West Bank and Gaza. Every day it bites into our body."


I have written in the past a few times how I think of Rachel Corrie . Here it is, again:

 Corrie aligned herself sentimentally and seamlessly with suffering Palestinians, reserving for them her absolute anger and attendant pity to the extent that suffering Israelis merited nothing but a sneering hatred from her. Corrie’s idealism did not proceed from love but from ideologically induced hatred. She was a de-facto apologist for Palestinian terrorism, and she died trying to prevent the work of an Israeli bulldozer, which was searching for munitions buried in the ground . Contrary to Palestinian reports and what is generally claimed, the bulldozer was not there to demolish a house, (though houses used as cover for weapon-smuggling tunnels were demolished by the IDF, but not on that particular day). Any which way you slice it, those munitions were there to be utilized in attacks against innocent civilians. Corrie died protecting terrorist weapons. She was completely indifferent to the deaths these weapons spelled at a time when suicide bombings were a matter of daily, sometimes hourly, occurrence in Israel.

Btw, when I look at this photo of Corrie what strikes me is less her complete self-abandon to mindless hatred. What I notice is the difference between her semi-crazed demeanor and the baffled and smiling faces of the Palestinian kids, who surround her. What can it mean?

I left my comments on a website "Socialist Unity" where you can hear reverberations of the same kind of fundamentalist and constitutive hatred that is so easily  proclaimed in the dialogue between Bakri and Abu-Hussein


Compare and contrast:

Look at this youtube of Rachel Corrie as a fifth grader speaking about caring:

And then look at this picture of her, at age 23 in Gaza:

What happened in the years that passed between that idealistic and innocent young girl and the woman we see in the photos?   

I'll tell you what I think happened: She was seduced into abandoning her humanitarian better self by the cynical, quasi-demonic, calculated, cognitively-dissonant, stratagems of  ISM.   Here is how they define their mission:

" As enshrined in international law and UN resolutions , we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle. However, we believe that nonviolence can be a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and we are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance. [-]
The ISM does not support or condone any acts of terrorism – which is not legitimate armed struggle. The ISM does not associate, support, or have anything to do with armed or violent resistance to the occupation. The ISM does not assist or engage in any kind of armed resistance, no matter what form it may take.

This right to resist occupation applies not only to the Palestinian people, but to all peoples who are faced with a military occupation. The ISM regards all people as equals with equal rights under international law. We believe that nonviolent action is a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance.[4]
During a CNN interview, Paula Zahn with Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf asked about an article they had co-authored which stated: "Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both violent and nonviolent. But most importantly, it must develop a strategy involving both aspects. Nonviolent resistance is no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation."

Mr.  and Mrs. Corrie  need to demand justice for their daughter's death and explanations from the organization/cult that hijacked their giddy and suggestible daughter's being, brainwashed her, and then sent her to face a giant Israeli bulldozer, operated by an Israeli driver who could not see or hear her, playing into her fantasy that what she was doing amounted to caring about human rights and resisting non-violently the forces of occupation.

 I will repeat this: She died in her "non-violent" attempt to prevent Israel from unearthing munitions that were meant for shredding Israeli kids. She fulfilled in her body and destiny ISM's mission statement to the letter.


Later, addendum:

This old post of mine is tangentially relevant to the point I'm trying to make:  Argumentum ad misericordiam:


At 9:25 AM EDT, Blogger Rebecca said...

The difference between her and the Palestinian children surrounding her is striking. She's the only one with the enraged face.

At 9:54 AM EDT, Anonymous Marcia Miner said...

I never thought the bull dozer was guilty of anything. He didn't see her, that's all. As for Corrie, she was simply an idealistic and naive young woman who saw only one side of a conflict. She was not an evil person, not a heroine, and certainly not worth all the adoration or condemnation. She didn't create that. Her death was used by her advocates and her detractors. That her parents acted defensively is not surprising. Yet, while alive I suspect they simply accepted her accounts as truth. Unlike my parents, though, when I was an anti-war activist in the 60s, her's apparently didn't debate or play devil's advocate with her about what she was doing. I was older and still think my parents' appraisal was wrong , but my parents never pushed their agendas on me, nor agreed with me without question. We debated and discussed our differences and very hotly. I did not support those who wanted plays about Corrie stopped, but supported their right to express their objections. While this whole Corrie thing is full of controversy, I do think more often than not, the passion of the young does influence change.


Post a Comment

<< Home