The Playgoer: Juan Cole on Bulldozers

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Juan Cole on Bulldozers

MidEast expert/blogger Juan Cole is definitely no friend of the Israeli government, and even less a friend of the Bush administration. But those qualifications aside, I found this two-year old post of his on a different protestor-victim of an Israeli bulldozer pretty informative of the human rights issues at stake in the Rachel Corrie story.

While political opponents of "Rachel Corrie"--the play and the person--go on about "the tunnels" as if the sheer existence of Palestinian terrorism closes off a free-speech debate, I hope others will consider the larger picture of human rights campaigns, as well as the ramifications of the resounding defeat last week of hard-liner Likuds at the Israeli polls...and ask whether maybe it's time for the New York stage to join the rest of the world in coming to this whole issue with a more open mind. In such a context, the politically mild My Name Is Rachel Corrie really, really isn't that radical. Or should not be in a free society, of course.

And in that context, I would welcome the Brian Lehrers of the culturati to descend on the play's politics and defend Israel. After they've seen it, of couse.

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