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Thursday, March 16, 2006


Rachel Corrie: Memory Eternal

This is the anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death and I see from a poem of Suheir Hammad's which Amal Amireh posts that Suheir and I felt the same emotions about this lovely young woman from Olympia, Washington.

Even I, it seems, have

developed a callousness to the deaths of

Palestinians, because the murder of this white

girl from Olympia, Washington has

my heart breaking and my blood faint

Why did Rachel's death touch us so deeply? Maybe part of it was that she 'got it.' And so few people get it. She empathised with the Palestinian people who were targeted by Israel's bulldozers...she didn't judge them, and she wanted to help them, and she wanted the world to know what she found out in Gaza. And she displayed such an inordinate courage, which is not really evident much anymore. There is not one politician in Washington DC expressing any type of compassion or engaging in any positive action for the Palestinians without one eye on AIPAC.

I am always moved to tears by Rachel's words:

Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I looked at Capital Lake and said: "This is the wide world and I'm coming to it." I did not mean that I was coming into a world where I could live a comfortable life and possibly, with no effort at all, exist in complete unawareness of my participation in genocide.

"Coming here is one of the better things I've ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible."

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