The Playgoer: "Rachel's Words"

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

"Rachel's Words"

Today, March 16, is the third anniversary of the death of the real-life Rachel Corrie, and many events have been planned around the country and the world, paying tribute to her. Naturally the cancellation of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie has inevitably become a rallying point for many of these and added visibility to the movement to honor her.

I have deliberately not entered the fray on the real Rachel's story. My concern has been the right of a particular play (once it has been selected and committed to by a theatre) to not be pulled based on controversial political content--no matter what that content is. The abstract principles are important here don't require a thorough discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Such a complex discussion would in fact be one of the main benefits that would ensue from producing the play.

Having said all that, I do want to pass on this info to help other get more involved on that end if they wish. As far as events in New York go, I do think it is certainly good for the cause of the play if New York Theatre Workshop has to contend with demonstrations, etc. in Rachel's name. It's important that they hear from another constituency other than those who opposed the play. It's important they know a lot of people--especially young people, an audience they have aggressively courted--care about this, for all sorts of reasons.


Alison Croggon said...

I suppose one should say, tiredly, that the above post is a canard. It is well and authoritavely documented that Corrie was defending the home of a Palestinian pharmacist, Samir Nasrallah, and his family (the house was subsequently destroyed). There is no evidence that this family had anything to do with terrorism.

The respected Israeli human rights group, B'TSelem, which was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists and Knesset members, has more meticulously gathered and sifted information about the human rights violations of the Occupation.

Alison Croggon said...

PS - Useful background on the "Israel lobby" and its influence on US foriegn policy can be found in this recent London Review of Books article here.