Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Forgotten Rachels – We Remember Them

Carsten, Norasia Attika, Manya and Linda. They’re the previous names of a 68.4 metre long, 1,800 tonne ship which was built in Germany in 1967. Last 30 March she was sold at auction in Ireland for €70,000 to the Irish arm of the Free Gaza Movement. And after outfitting in Ireland, on 12 May she was launched as MV Rachel Corrie. The rest you know: on 31 May she sailed for Gaza, and on 5 June the Israeli navy peacefully diverted her to Ashdod where her cargo was unloaded. [1]

Rachel Corrie (1979-2003), a US member of the International Solidarity Movement, was killed in Gaza by an IDF bulldozer when she was acting as a human shield attempting to prevent the demolition of a house during the creation of a security zone. At the time, the location was a declared closed military area. By any standard, Corrie’s death was tragic and regrettable. In the subsequent seven years, the Corrie saga’s been commemorated by memorial events, artistic tributes, films and websites. [2, 3]

All but publicly forgotten, however, are other Rachels – Israeli Rachels killed in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists, not whilst protesting in closed military zones, but whilst going about their daily lives. They haven’t been made posthumously famous like Corrie’s been. They aren’t the subject of events, tributes, films and websites. And they haven’t had ships named after them. Until now. Here’s the Jewish Virtual Library’s moving tribute, titled The Forgotten Rachels – We Remember Them [4].

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