by Steven Plaut
I doubt there are any people who are not aware of the fact that Rachel Corrie committed suicide as part of her campaign for the “right” of Palestinian terrorists to murder Jewish civilians in Israel. Corrie was part of a team sent to Gaza by the openly pro-terror International Solidarity Movement (ISM). There they assisted terrorists, stored weapons for them, hosted and hid them, and attempted to interfere with Israeli military anti-terrorist operations. In one such incident Corrie herself decided to play “chicken” with a massive military earth mover. The driver of the bulldozer could not see her and struck her as she was trying to stop his destruction of hidden terrorist smuggling tunnels. She was taken by a Palestinian ambulance to a Gaza Hamas medical facility, where she died of her injuries, possibly as a result of medical incompetence.
Rachel herself was an America-hating, flag-burning, anti-Jewish extremist. Her death was clearly an ideologically-motivated suicide, a bit like someone running in the center lanes of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles as a protest against global warming who gets struck down by an 18-wheeler. Corrie and her ISM comrades want to protect the right of Hamas terrorists to infiltrate Israel and blow up school buses and cafes. As a result Corrie became the matron saint of the pro-terror Left. She is celebrated by David Duke and the neo-Nazis, as well as neo-Stalinists. Corrie’s own parents went on a jihad against Israel, publishing bash-Israel materials on the worst jihadist anti-Semitic web sites on earth. They also tried to file a civil suit for damages against the Israeli government, but their suit was tossed out as frivolous.
As part of the beatification of Corrie, an idiotic “play” was staged, “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” which attempted to deconstruct the young terrorist as a golden-haired lover of peace and poetry, striving for love and beauty in a world beset with pain. It was first performed in the UK in 2005, after two Londoners, actor/director Alan Rickman and journalist Katherine Viner, edited Rachel’s “diaries” into a 70-minute propaganda play. The play’s pro-jihad agitprop was about as morally compelling as would be a similar play about Horst Wessel. Can a play entitled “My Name is Osama” be far behind? One that protests the criminal execution of Bin Laden, the peace activist? How about a play about the sufferings and moral ponderings of the bloke who shot up the school in Newton, Connecticut?
The “Rachel play” then metastasized to other countries. In New York and in some other cities, protests against the pro-terror and anti-Semitic theme of the “play” resulted in cancellations.
All of the above just makes the newest development even more mind boggling. After all the years of exposing the true nature of ISM, the Corries, and the “play” that promotes them, along comes the Israeli radical Left and stages a performance of “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” smack in the holy city of Jerusalem in a national theater, one funded by taxpayers.
Let me step back for a moment. The radical leftist fringe in Israel might as well call itself the Jews for a Second Holocaust. These are leftist extremists who simply hate their own country and seek its annihilation. Some of them cheer on Arab terror attacks against Jews. Some of them endorse the so-called “Palestinian right of return,” meaning the right to annihilate Israel in a deluge of millions of Arabs from various countries pretending to be “returning Palestinian refugees.” Some of them collaborate with open anti-Semites. Almost all of them oppose freedom of speech for critics of the Left.
The radical Left in Israel is led by the daily newspaper Haaretz, which I consider to be a Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew. It is anti-Zionist and only uses the word “terrorist” to refer to Jewish teenage vandals who write anti-Arab graffiti on walls, while Arab suicide bombers are “activists.” Hamas rockets fired at Jews are symbolic protests. A few days ago Haaretz insisted that imprisoned Palestinian mass murderers were the moral equivalents of Nelson Mandela when he was on Robben Island. MSNBC in the US is a balanced professional news agency when compared with Haaretz. Sure, MSNBC makes “Rev Al” Sharpton into one of its regular correspondents, but he is a towering intellectual and moral giant compared to most of the columnists at Haaretz.
Israel has long wrestled with what to do with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish manifestations in the “arts.” Leftist film producers regularly churn out bash-Israel movies in Israel, some that accuse Jews of being the new Nazis, and these are seen by almost no one while the films get made thanks to governmental subsidization. The anti-Israel agitprop gets funded even when the conservative Likud is in office and in charge.
Bash-Israel propaganda is of course protected speech in Israel, even when it is openly treasonous. Unlike criticism of leftist traitors, which is libel. The matter becomes a question of public policy the moment the arts use public funds. You can stand on a corner in Israel and scream all you want that Israel is an apartheid regime in need of annihilation. But the moment my taxes are used to pay for your doing so, I want heads to roll.
In a very different controversy, but one having some lessons for us here, there has long been harsh opposition in Israel to performances of the works of composer Richard Wagner. The problem is not their musical quality or even the fact that Wagner was an anti-Semite. Almost all musical and literary figures in Germany were anti-Semites. But Wagner was the grand promoter of racialist anti-Semitism, claiming that Jews were racially sub-human and deserving of extermination as vermin. And for that reason he was the inspiration of Adolf Hitler.
Now along comes the radical Left in Israel and stages an Israeli theater presentation (in Hebrew) of “My Name is Rachel Corrie.” That play is to be performed in the Jerusalem Khan Theater, a sort of national theater owned by the Jerusalem Municipality. Note the caveat on the page of the theater that reads: “The Khan Theatre is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Sport, The Jerusalem Municipality.” This means Israeli tax money is being used to pay for the propaganda. For its poster, the producers of the theatrical atrocity even use the now-notorious photoshopped hoax photo that shows Rachel in her orange vest standing in clear sight in front of the bulldozer (see it here). The problem is that it is not a real photo of Corrie but an ISM fabrication.
The “star” of the theater performance is an airheaded Israeli bimbette named Sivan Krechner, who has been active in a lesbian-homosexual theater in Tel Aviv (she says she is straight). She denies with a straight face that the show has a political message at all. “I am innocent just like Rachel was innocent,” she bleats, and she openly identifies with Corrie’s persona and “mission.” She sees nothing wrong with prettifying a pro-terror activist, while at the same time she insists she would never be part of any theatrical production that presented in a positive light the “Price Tag” vandals, that small group of Jewish teenagers who paint anti-Arab graffiti on buildings we mentioned above, the kids dubbed “terrorists” by Haaretz. After all, they are evil. Krechner tells about how flattered she is that her friends in Gaza support the staging of the play. She is very critical of the Israeli court for tossing out the lawsuit by the Corrie parents.
As Israelis learn that their taxes are being hijacked to finance pro-terror agitprop in Jerusalem, increasing demands are being heard to defund the show. Members of parliament, the Jerusalem mayor, and some journalists are livid with anger and demanding that Israel’s Minister of Culture, who is from the Likud party, stop national funding for the “play” immediately. Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor called for a consumer boycott of the theater if it stages the “show,” the same theater his own municipality props up.
And predictably, the fascist Left, which has never met a non-leftist it believes should be allowed to exercise freedom of speech, is running around the globe screaming about this new round of Israeli censorship and suppression of democracy. A far-leftist website in Israel funded by European anti-Israel forces denounced the “censorship,” moaning that “Hatred for Rachel Corrie knows no limits, as a Jerusalem municipal official demonstrates by trying to ban a play about the ‘Israel-hater tourist.’”
In Israel, like most other places, the self-proclaimed cultural elite is predominantly leftist. And in Israel, like other places, ordinary consumers cannot go to see any play that commemorates any of those other Rachels, the Israeli Jewish women named Rachel who were brutally murdered by the Palestinian genocidal terrorists so beloved by Rachel Corrie, the ISM, and the radical Left.
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