Rachel Corrie in Palestine…and in San Francisco
by Iqbal Tamimi
On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year old American peace activist, was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer that was preparing to raze the home of a Palestinian pharmacist in the Gaza Strip. Corrie's death prompted a raft of journalistic inquests, all ostensibly concerned to sift through the competing claims of her activist colleagues, who say she was killed on purpose, and Israel, which prefers to call the bulldozer driver's action a "regrettable accident." A new film by Israeli-French director Simone Bitton is the most thorough and credible investigation to date. Is the film's content the reason why the official Jewish organizations of the Bay Area were so outraged by its screening at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival this summer? Or is it that the power of these organizations to mark the boundaries of "acceptable discourse" in the American Jewish community is fading?
Joel Beinin reflects upon "Rachel Corrie in Palestine...and in San Francisco," now in Middle East Report Online:
(Joel Beinin is Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History at Stanford University and a contributing editor of Middle East Report.)
More information about the Rachel controversy is at the website of Jewish Voice for Peace.
The question-and-answer session with Cindy Corrie is available online (first of five parts -- follow the links at the right to view the remaining four).
The pre-film speech of Michael Harris is available online.
For more about the power of film vis-à-vis the question of Palestine, see Ursula Lindsey, “Shooting Film and Crying,” Middle East Report Online (March 2009).
See also Lori Allen, “Paradise Now’s Understated Power,” Middle East Report Online (January 2006). (To read in full please visit Palestinian Mothers...)