By Barry Sommer
I agree with Jack Dresser’s March 29 guest viewpoint, “Rachel Corrie’s story is one America needs to know, too.”
The story is indeed one to be known, but with all the facts presented, not just the biased hatred of Israel and America presented by the Lord Leebrick Theater Co.’s production of the play, “My Name Is Rachel Corrie.”
First, what is the International Solidarity Movement to which Corrie belonged, and what does it stand for?
It was founded by an American couple, Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, along with Canadian-Israeli Neta Golan, with the goal of sending anti-Israeli activists to Gaza and the West Bank. Another mover in the ISM is George Rishmawi, head of the Grassroots International Protection for Palestinians. He coordinates and trains ISM volunteers once they arrive in the Palestinian areas.
The ISM has a long history of association with groups such as Islamic Jihad, the military wing of Fatah and the genocidal Hamas, whose charter calls for the death of the Jews and the destruction of the state of Israel. Corrie, as idealistic as she was, let herself be drawn into the ISM. Her hatred of Israel was the driving force she nurtured, and the ISM was the group that would help her achieve the dream of stopping the “Israeli occupation.”
Corrie was recruited to stand in front of a bulldozer, ostensibly to stop it from tearing down a home of a Palestinian. In reality, she was protecting the home of a known terrorist, and that home was above a network of tunnels used to smuggle weapons that were then fired against innocent Israelis.
Whether she knew this we will never know. We only know that she died in service of her Palestinian masters.
Corrie’s death is a tragedy, not only a loss of a young life but also a loss of perspective on the issues that foment this kind of behavior.
The ISM is not the kind of organization that sees both sides and acts accordingly. It brews its own brand of anti-Semitism and inculcates the minds of the idealistic protesters to believe there is only one path to redemption: Give your life for the greater good.
The dead protesters gain nothing. It is the ISM that benefits the most, using their deaths as propaganda to recruit more visionaries to the cause.
The claim that the ISM is a nonviolent group, akin to Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr., is a lie, presented only to convince us that it really wants peace and will do everything short of violence to achieve it. Unfortunately history shows that in March 2003, Israeli troops raided the offices of the ISM in Jenin in the West Bank. The Israeli Defense Forces captured Shadi Suqiyeh, a senior member of the fundamental group Islamic Jihad, who was known to have planned numerous foiled attempts against Israel. In April 2003, two suicide bombers from Britain met with ISM members before blowing themselves up in a Tel Aviv pub.
Are these the nonviolent approaches the ISM champions, in the tradition of Gandhi or King?
As one of the ISM leaders said on Al-Jazeera recently, “We recognize that violence is necessary and it is permissible for oppressed and occupied people to use armed resistance, and we recognize their right to do so.”
Corrie’s tragic tale is part of the decades-long animosity between two different ideologies: Judaism and Islam. Her telling of the conflict, based in her own biases and prejudices, reflects only one small part of the terror that all sides experience.
The propaganda against Israel, presented with no context, serves only to demonize, not to educate. There are always at least two sides to every story, and it is a shame the play about her life as an activist shows only hate-mongering against a people deserving of more than derision and scorn.
Corrie did not die to protect Palestinian children. She died to advance the program of Islamic genocide against Jews, through the ISM. She died not a martyr’s death, but the death of an innocent who knew not the real story.
Barry Sommer of Eugene is the author of “From the Mouths of Our Enemies,” producer and host of the cable television show “Islam Today” and founder of Oregon Patriots Against Sharia.
Published: (Monday, Apr 11, 2011 05:00AM)