Actor Alan Rickman recently came up with a brain-child. He called it My Name Is RachelCorrie, and his play immediately seized public attention in his homeland of Britain. He is now attempting to do the same thing at The Minetta Lane Theater in New York.
As any 12-year-old (the ideal audience for this theatrical production) could have foretold, Londoners fell all over themselves as they embraced this crude, anti-Israel production. And why not? The British have been historically biased against the Jewish State. They were that way watching Arabs kill Jews when Palestine was a British mandate, and they remain that way today, with such popular figures as John LeCarre and Vanessa Redgrave leading the pro-PLO contingent.
Propagandized to the hilt, most press accounts noted that Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer during a demonstration against the Jewish State. This was in Rafah in 2003. Recruited by the International Solidarity Movement (also known as the Palestine Solidarity Movement), Corrie’s manner of demonstrating was to deliberately stood in the path of an IDF bulldozer as it cleared brush that obscured terrorist weapons smuggling tunnels.
During the time Corrie was in the Middle East, she stayed in a Palestinian house used for smuggling arms to terrorists bent on killing Jews. Naturally, her defenders stated that she had no idea what her hosts had in mind.
Now, what sort of young woman has no idea that she’s aiding terrorist actions? For that matter, how can someone attend sessions of the International Solidarity Movement (more accurately labeled called the Palestinian Solidarity Movement) and have no clue that she is being used as a pawn?
Especially when George Rishmawi, director of the ISM openly declared to the San Francisco Chronicle that “the recruitment of American student volunteers is useful to the Palestinian Movement because ‘if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.’”
Surfing the Net to gather references on Corrie, I was stunned by the numerous articles portraying her as a heroine. Page after page on Rachel, practically every link designed to eviscerate Israel and raise the pity-quotient for “disenfranchised” Palestinian terrorists.
Only a handful of pieces analyzed the photos of Rachel’s last minutes, which turned out to have been doctored. Fewer still pointed out the many Jewish victims killed in terrorist attacks by the very people Corrie was attempting to defend.
The sites had little room for victims such as Rachel Shabbo, an Israeli mother who was brutally murdered in her home by terrorist assailants. By the time the terrorist gunmen were through, Rachel and three of her children were dead, her other children seriously wounded.
Is there a play about Rachel Shabbo? No. Is there a book about her? No. Why not? Because she isn’t useful to the makers of agitprop. After all, she was an Israeli, hence useless to the Jew-baiters. A gut wrenching re-enactment of the slaughter of Rachel Shabbo and her children is far beyond the capacities of Rickman & Co. Their biases would get in the way.
But they had no trouble coming up with the Corrie story, even though they had to twist a few facts in order to avoid mentioning, for example, Rachel’s interaction with Arab children when she burned an American flag as they watched appreciatively.
For a brief period, MyName Is Rachel Corrie failed to find a New York venue. But producers were soon located, and after they righteously proclaimed that censors out to quash their production, opened their one-woman screed in downtown Manhattan.
The play was met with a mix of open arms and respectful reviews. Plus a smattering of reports that called the play for what it was: blatantly anti-Semitic trash, awkwardly composed and amateurishly performed. Terry Teachout, theater critic of the Wall Street Journal, is always a gentleman. He was kind enough to call the thing an example of “theatrical ineptitude.”
Nevertheless, they loved it in Perfidious Albion. Small wonder. Years ago, George Orwell wrote the following after interviewing various British citizens:
Milkman: “A Jew don’t do no work, not the same as what an Englishman does. ’E’s too clever. We work with this ’ere” (flexes his biceps). “They work with that there” (taps his forehead)
Intelligent woman, on being offered a book dealing with anti-Semitism and German atrocities: “Don’t show it me, please don’t show it to me. It’ll only make me hate the Jews more than ever.”
U.S. citizens are a harder sale. A few centuries back, they would have done with this specimen of British theater what they did with specimens of British tea in Boston in 1773. They would have dumped it into the harbor.
It doesn’t take much to figure out why My Name Is Rachel Corrie is closing on November 19th.
Americans are wiser now. They allow offenses to be seen by the public, because exposure is the one thing that propaganda cannot overcome. A 23 year old American may be more useful to the Jew-haters dead than she ever was when alive. But only across the pond. The Colonists still know better than the Royalists. We always will.
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