Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rachel Corrie, Political Tourist - Modern Crusader

Lee Smith explains:

Groups like the International Solidarity Movement, then, act as a sort of tour agency for a particular kind of Western adventurer, searching for a level of raw political engagement and ideological commitment that simply doesn’t exist in the United States. The obvious advantage that Israel offers is that, compared to the rest of the Middle East, it is relatively safe. Corrie herself implicitly acknowledged this fact when she walked into the middle of a war zone to mount a protest. No sensible person could similarly assume the mercies of, say, the Syrian regime were he to walk into the middle of that war zone to complain of government atrocities.
Branden O'neill adds:

Corrie’s cheerleaders – which includes actor Alan Rickman, who turned her writings into a hit play – seem unaware of how much their sanctification of Corrie echoes the old crusading Christian desire to save foreigners from wickedness. Corrie is treated as a uniquely good Westerner whose sole motivation was to “save” Palestinians, especially Palestinian children, from what Corrie herself described as Israel’s attempt to “erase” them. So one writer praises Corrie’s purity of soul, the fact that she eschewed “having a good time experimenting with drugs, booze and sex”, and even turned her back on her “Ivy League University”, in the name of travelling thousands of miles and “giving her life to save Palestinian homes and families”. Here, Corrie is turned into a kind of Christ-like figure, rejecting the shallow joys of Western privilege in favour of venturing into the desert to “give her life” for others.

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