Rachel Corrie Died for Her Parents' Sins
by Abraham H. Miller, PJ Media, September 3, 2012
After a lengthy trial, an Israeli court found that the death of International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel Corrie was an accident. Rachel Corrie's death was an accident, but it was not a tragedy. The tragedy is to be seen in the deaths of all the other Rachels — there are about a dozen of them — and the hundreds of other innocents who died at the hands of the people Rachel Corrie was trying to protect. Rachel Corrie was a willing and active accomplice helping people bent on committing mass murder. If her intended victims were not Jews, the world would not be beatifying her as some sort of saintly peace activist.
The entire Rachel Corrie episode is an encounter with the absurd. Corrie joined the anarchist International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which takes naïve leftists like Corrie and puts them in dangerous situations with the hope that their death or injury will make them poster children for the Palestinian cause. The ISM does not support a two-state solution. The only outcome it envisages to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is the destruction of the Jewish state and, of course, with it, the Jews. The ISM makes no secret of its goals and aspirations. When Corrie signed on to go to the war zone known as Gaza and stand in front of Israeli bulldozers that were destroying tunnels and homes being used to smuggle and store arms and munitions designed to kill Jews, she knew she was helping mass murderers.
Corrie stood in front of a bulldozer whose uplifted blade made it impossible for the driver to see her. She was simply too close to the bulldozer to be in the field of vision, like being too close to an SUV backing up in reverse. By the time Corrie realized that the bulldozer was not going to stop, she started moving backward and fell into a trench, which the bulldozer drove over causing her to be crushed by the falling dirt. Her death was exactly the kind of event the ISM wanted: an American student dying at the hands of a bulldozer operated by the Israeli Defense Forces.
Since her death, Corrie's activist, militant, and Israeli-bashing parents have transformed her death into a cottage industry. The Corries can be seen making the rounds of the liberal churches talking about the Palestinian cause and how the Israelis maliciously killed their daughter. For audiences predisposed to hate Israel and support the Palestinians as an oppressed people, the Corries and their "martyred" daughter comprise a saga that reinforces their jaundiced views.
It is not just the liberal churches that venerate the Corries. Yasser Arafat, too, showered them with adulation for donating their daughter to the cause. Just as their daughter put her life at risk to help mass murderers, the parents stand for photo ops with people who speak of past crimes against Jews and openly boast of those they are about to commit.
The Corries have learned nothing from their daughter's experience. Mrs. Corrie openly brags of two nieces who are active members of the ISM, and she hopes their activism will emulate her daughter's.
Clearly, the Corries are trying to expiate their own guilt. What parents encourage their daughter to go into a war zone to stand before bulldozers that are trying to protect innocent people by destroying tunnels and buildings used to transfer munitions for suicide bombers? What parents encourage their child to join an anarchist organization that thrives on placing the naïve in harm's way while lusting after the inevitable and ensuing propaganda benefit from their death and injury? Did the Corries hate Jews more than they loved their child?
It is as if through speaking engagements and appearance at cinema and stage performances about their daughter, the Corries have not only helped perpetuate the myth of Saint Rachel, the peace activist, but also absolved themselves of any responsibility for their daughter's death.
Rachel's parents filed a suit in Israeli court against the Israeli Defense Forces for being responsible for their daughter's death. Now, let's think a moment about this picture. Is there any other country in the Middle East, or in the world for that matter, where your daughter can stand in a war zone and have no expectation that harm will come to her? The ISM has sent no one to Syria to protect its citizens from the murderous Bashar Assad. The ISM has sent no one to Egypt to protect Christians and secularists from the murderous zealotry of the Muslim Brotherhood. The ISM does not stand in the streets of Saudi Arabia and campaign for an end to gender apartheid. The ISM is not standing in the streets of Tehran demonstrating against Iran's nuclear program. Only in Israel does the ISM believe it has a right to enter a war zone and interfere with a country's military operations. And only in Israel does it somehow have a right to go into court and sue the state for conduct that would earn it a bullet in most Middle East countries. To add insult to injury, it is Hillary Clinton's State Department that is assisting the Corries in this exercise in the absurd.
I doubt if the Corries ever thought they had a case. The trial and the verdict were merely a means for the Corries to do what they do best — to mobilize the Israel-bashing left and its sycophants in the press to further attack the Jewish state. If an Israeli court ruled against the IDF, which it indeed has done in some cases, then that would have been a further testimony to the beatification of Rachel Corrie. And if, as predicted, the court ruled against the Corries, that would have provided a means to further push Saint Rachel into the headlines and for such rags as the Guardian to spill their anti-Semitic bile. Indeed, the Guardian condemned the verdict, calling it a further whitewash of the tragedy. The Guardian's Harriet Sherwood brought to her analysis the fatuous, progressive cliché about the cycle of violence, as if destroying a house that stores weapons and munitions for killing civilians is the moral equivalent of using those weapons and munitions to blow up a pizza parlor.
It would seem to me that if you go out in a combat zone and stand in front of a bulldozer, especially one with its blade raised, maybe you're responsible for your own stupidity and the harm that comes to you. And, perhaps, the militant and activist parents who encouraged you to be there are also responsible.
What are the Corries due? They're due the same concern and compassion they have shown to the victims of the suicide bombers their daughter was enabling. To date, that has been nothing, not so much as an iota of regret, compassion, or condolence. And of the dozen or so Jewish Rachels that have been killed by suicide bombers, the leftist media has not found one worthy of the adulation that it has conferred on the naïve girl who stood in front of a bulldozer to enable mass murderers to carry out their operations.
If the Corries want to comprehend who really is responsible for their daughter's death, they should start by first looking in the mirror and then convincing their nieces not to follow in Rachel's footsteps. Of course, we know that would be terribly unlike the Corries, for it would deny them the veneration they have discovered for themselves and which they so desperately need to give some meaning to the death of a daughter who sought to enable mass murderers.
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science and a former head of the Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association.