Yesterday, I spoke at an event in New York City called Rachel's Words. Two years ago, Rachel Corrie, a human rights activist, was crushed to death by an Israeli Army bulldozer as she tried to protect the home of a Palestinian pharmacist from demolition in Rafah, Gaza Strip. She was 23. A play based on her writing, "My Name is Rachel Corrie" was scheduled to open yesterday in New York City but it's debut was postponed indefinitely, in all likelihood because of the controversy it would cause in a city with such a large Jewish audience.It is unfortunate that so many right wingers and others equate Zionism with general Jewish or American interests. Any critique of Zionist policy is often greeted with the usual litany of being anti-Semetic or pro-terrorist, both of which are completely incorrect. I am happy to see that Tasini has stepped forward to call for greater Jewish and Palestinian solidarity and happy that Rachel Corrie's sacrifice is acting as a catalyst.
As a Jew who lived in Israel for seven years and whose family still lives there and has deep roots going back more than 80 years, it breaks my heart that there is a refusal to grapple with an almost untouchable topic in our country: why does the United States have such a one-sided policy in the Israel-Palestine conflict? And it's the reason I agreed to speak at the event which honored Rachel's life and her beliefs.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Jonathan Tasini had a good post related to the Rachel Corrie issue, over at The Huffington Post. Titled "Why Jews Must Speak Up on Palestine" which starts as follows: