LONDON (Reuters) April 21, 2005 – A new play tracing the journey of Rachel Corrie from comfortable American home to death in a Gaza refugee camp paints the young peace activist as neither a traitor nor a saint.
The 23-year-old campaigner was killed in 2003 trying to stop an Israeli army bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home in the Rafah camp in the Gaza strip. A personal testimony, the show makes no pretense of impartiality.
Corrie’s death made her a hero of the four-year-old Palestinian uprising, while critics attacked her as naive, an idiot and a traitor.
The show at London’s Royal Court theater runs to the end of this month.
Political theater in London is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, partly fueled by public opposition to the Iraq war. Plays like last year’s “Guantanamo,” about prisoners at the U.S. naval base, have enjoyed big success.
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That fire kept Corrie scribbling plans, dreams and opinions constantly in her diary and obsessively making lists. One reads: “Five people to hang out with in eternity: Rainer Maria Rilke, Jesus, ee cummings, Gertrude Stein, Zelda Fitzgerald.”
Her philosophical musings on death, faithless boyfriends and improving the world become urgent, intense dispatches to friends and family after she arrives in the Middle East in January 2003.
Corrie’s parents, in London to see Rickman’s show, described it as an authentic portrait of their daughter. “It helps to explain what took her to Rafah, it very powerfully explains what she found there,” Corrie’s mother Cindy told Reuters.
Many beautiful diaries have been published at dKos – worthwhile to reread about a young woman who stood up for her ideals and paid such a cruel price in doing so, in circumstances she not fully understood.
But who ever claimed Jeanne d’Arc wasn’t naive? There are so many persons with ideals that are “bulldozerd” in daily life by markt conformity and calls for proposition being “contrary” to interest -read profits- of our corporation.
Reading some of the many personal life stories published in recent diaries here at BT, a great diversity in background, education, life’s experience, family unity, religion, ambition and life’s expectancy became clear. I wonder what is the common factor that binds this community – my answer is IDEALS.
I would appreciate your own views on ideals in near future, worthwhile to be active in pursuit. They do not necessarily have to be politically based, but I expect to see a lot in common for the BooMan Tribune contributors.
PS All Good News stories are welcome.
APPENDIX – REFERENCES
Two years after the killing of American peace activist Rachel Corrie in Jenin [I believe it was Rafah, Gaza near Egyptian border – Ed] two law suits have been filed against Israel and Caterpillar, the company that manufactured specially designed bulldozers so Israel Defence could effectively bulldoze the homes of suspected terrorists and their extended families. See…
Palestine: ISM Update Remembering Rachel Corrie
Scoop Report: A Memorial to Rachel Corrie
NATIONAL DISGRACE: Family of Rachel Corrie Forced to Plead With Ariel Sharon
by krag Wed Jan 12th, 2005
The family of American peace activist Rachel Corrie has had a letter hand-delivered to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon by Rep. Adam Smith. The letter asks for an independent investigation into her death. Corrie was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer, while attempting to halt the demolition of the house of a Palestinian doctor in March of 2003, just as the Iraq war was launched. Seven eyewitnesses have signed sworn affidavits insisting Corrie was murdered.
Sometimes mentioning Rachel Corrie can get you in deep trouble at dKos —
Rachel Corrie and dKos temperament
Oui – Liberté – Egalité – Fraternité