Rachel Corrie died two years ago today.
It matters to me for the way the aftermath of her death discouraged me. Palestinians die in Palestine all the time at the hands of the IDF, and the world doesn’t seem to care. When Rachel died, I felt sick, but also I thought, finally – now this situation will be understood. She was pretty, young, white and American – the most cynical committee couldn’t have designed it better. But it didn’t take. It didn’t stick. Even this.
It matters to me for the sickly, mocking hatred thrown at her by so many of those opposed to justice for Palestine. If there is anything that demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of the progressive movement’s foes, it is this. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking these voices are the extreme – they are not, at least not in the USA – there they are the overwhelming, mainstreamed voice of right-wing political discourse. Remember: they operate from false premises. Remember: we are right and these people are wrong. And remember: we are better than them.
It matters to me most of all for the human being on show in the emails she wrote. She speaks for every non-Palestinian who cares about Palestine, and every person who cares about justice movements around the world. She’s just like any of us. She’s just like you.
“Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I’m witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop.”
Justice won’t come by itself. Start thinking about what you can do.
Then stop thinking, and do it.