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Jewish World Review March 25, 2003 / 21 Adar II, 5763

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager
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Grieve for Rachel Corrie's parents, but spare us the hagiography | Rachel Corrie, the Olympia, Wash., college student killed trying to protect a Palestinian house -- a house, remember, not even a human being -- against an Israeli bulldozer, will probably not merit a footnote in history books. That's too bad, because her life and death, the way she has been portrayed in some media, and the reactions of her college are powerful examples of an America with many morally confused individuals.

A Seattle Times columnist described her as a martyr. Her hometown paper, The Olympian, published numerous pictures of a sweet-looking woman from childhood on. It omitted the one photo of Rachel Corrie that USA Today, to its credit, published -- Corrie screaming anti-American invective while burning an American flag in Gaza.

Anyone with a heart must extend the deepest condolences to Rachel Corrie's parents. But anyone with a conscience must regard Rachel Corrie's activities with contempt. One hopes that it is not asking too much of people to entertain simultaneously two conflicting emotions -- grief for the parents and contempt for the daughter.

Rachel Corrie chose to side with a society that breeds some of the cruelest murderers of innocent people in the world. Rachel Corrie gave her life trying to protect people whose declared aim is to annihilate another country. In the name of saving children's lives, Rachel Corrie chose to defend a society that teaches its young children to blow themselves up and which deliberately targets children for death. And Rachel Corrie went to America's enemies to burn her country's flag.

She was one of the many fools our colleges annually produce. Evergreen State College is reputed to excel in such production. Is anyone aware of a single student or faculty member who repudiated her activities?

We are told repeatedly that Rachel was idealistic -- as if that matters. Virtually every person who commits great evil -- the Nazi, the Communist, the Islamic terrorist -- is idealistic. Idealism is morally neutral. It is good only when directed to good ends. But in young people, idealism is at least as likely to lead to bad as to good because few young people are wise -- and idealism without wisdom is very dangerous.

We are told ad nauseam that Rachel Corrie was a "peace activist." So let it be said once and for all that most of these people are moral frauds. Why? Because "peace activists" routinely protest only against peaceful countries. Has there been one Evergreen State or other "peace activist" in Sudan during its Islamic government's slaughter and enslavement of millions of blacks? Are there any "peace activists" in Tibet to protect its unique culture from being eradicated by the Communist Chinese? Did you notice any "peace activists" trying to save the millions of North Koreans dying at the hands of their lunatic government? Of course not. Rachel Corrie and other "peace activists" only target peace-loving Israel and America.

Why do they do so?

Here is one answer.

The world is filled with evil, and young idealists like Rachel Corrie don't like it. Which is lovely. But they don't confront real evil because they know they will get hurt. That's one reason there are no "peace activists" or "human shields" confronting Islamic terror, North Korean totalitarianism, or Chinese Communist despotism.

So, what's an idealist to do if she refuses to confront real evil but wants to feel good about herself? Ironically, confront those who fight real evil. That's why Rachel Corrie and the millions marching to protect Saddam Hussein's Iraq have never uttered a peep against Palestinian terror, Iraqi totalitarianism, or North Korean gulags. Instead, they focus their animosity at the countries that confront these evils -- the United States and Israel.

So, Olympia, grieve for Rachel Corrie's parents, but spare us the hagiography. Rachel Corrie died fighting for the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian group dedicated, in its own words, to "armed struggle" against Israel. She ended up being a useful idiot for, and one more victim of, Palestinian terror.

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JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to visit his website and here to comment on this column.


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© 2002, Creators Syndicate