American radicals court tragedy, get it, and then proceed to blame the tragedy on others. U.S. student activist Rachel Corrie went looking for trouble in the Gaza Strip and found it. Don’t blame her death on Israeli “radicals”; blame it on American ones.
Like John Walker Lindh, Corrie was a product of a left-coast radicalism which treats reality as a fantasy and game subject to juvenile manipulation. Corrie imbibed this radicalism at Evergreen State College, which is known as a “hippie school” built inside a rain forest in Washington state.
The professors denouncing Israel for Corrie’s death should look themselves in the mirror: You are the fools who encouraged her self-destructive protest.
Members of the International Solidarity Movement, to which Corrie belonged, don’t run away from Israeli bulldozers in the Gaza Strip. They run at them. This is why Corrie got crushed.
According to Israeli officials, the bulldozer driver tried to avoid the protesters earlier in the day. But they followed him. Operating with limited vision, the driver didn’t see Corrie below him.
Corrie’s school lionizes her for “trying to stop a bulldozer from tearing down a building in a refugee camp in Gaza.” (Israel says it is tearing down the buildings to clear away Palestinian explosives.) Her parents, meanwhile, are “appalled by the reports of the Israeli government accusing her of ‘acting irresponsibly, putting everyone in danger’ as she attempted to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes by the Israeli military.”
Sorry, but she did act irresponsibly, as did her elders who sent her off to a combat zone to play at faux radicalism.
An honest radical accepts the inevitable price of his radicalism; the fake radicalism which yuppie parents and profs underwrite ignores that price and then demands that others carry it.
Was the choice Corrie made well-informed? No, because older heads who could have informed it — by simply saying, “If you go play chicken with bulldozers in a war zone, you will probably die” — didn’t. They considered it wonderfully idealistic that she had joined a group which serves as a “human shield” for Palestinians.
Evergreen State College, which grew out of the bomb-throwing activism of the 1960s, breeds the narcissism that leads to self-inflicted tragedies. The school doesn’t give grades or offer majors and academic departments, instead encouraging “personal engagement” with the “real world,” after which students “work with a faculty advisor to create a SUMMATIVE SELF-EVALUATION, reflecting on their entire undergraduate experience, and their achievement of their own learning goals.” It aims to produce graduates who will “struggle for a more just world” and “will assume responsibility for your actions.”
But no sooner had Corrie died before her supporters at the school began shifting responsibility for her actions to the Israeli government. A case of straightforward stupidity now rises to the level of an international incident.
Like bums who run out in front of cars then sue the drivers, the protesters who encouraged the self-destructive protest are using its tragic consequences to foment more audacious protests.
Samia El-Moslimany, vice chairperson of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Seattle Chapter, says the Bush administration must condemn Israel for the death of Corrie, and Congress must reject a recent $12 billion Israeli aid request.
“We are here today to not allow Rachel’s death to be in vain,” she told the Washington state press. “Rachel’s message of nonviolent peace activism must be remembered.”
Amnesty International says that “U.S.-made bulldozers have been ‘weaponized’ and their transfer to Israel must be suspended.”
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