Guy Gelbart’s explanation of the facts leading to the death of Rachel Corrie is much appreciated, as is his discussion of the aftermath of disinformation that was intended to trash Israel and especially the IDF (“Anti-Israel cynics led Corrie to tragic death,” AJP, 9/21/12).
He also states that Rachel took part in burning a U.S. flag and in demonstrations against the United States and Israel. As he indicates, she was aiding the International Solidarity Movement, a group known for assisting terrorists in weapons smuggling. In my opinion, the fact of her activism with the ISM made her a terrorist as well, since, as Mr. Gelbart undoubtedly knows, weapons of terror assassinated many innocent Israeli Rachels — including Rachel Thaler, 16, blown up in a pizzeria; Rachel Levi, 19, murdered while waiting for a bus; Rachel Levy, 17, blown up in a Jerusalem grocery store; Rachel Charhi, 36, blown up in a café, Rachel Gavish, 50, killed with her husband and son while at home; Rachel Kol, 53, murdered with her husband in a Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade drive-by shooting; Rachel Ben Abu, 16, killed by a suicide bomber in a shopping mall; and Rachel Shabo, 40, murdered with her three sons while at home.
Rachel Corrie was not an innocent teenager. She was an adult who made her choices willingly and acted in perfect knowledge of the consequences of her actions. I believe the household she grew up in was one that most likely instilled hatred of Israel and in addition, fostered anti-Semitism. I have seen a photo of her parents sitting with Yasser Arafat, displaying a picture of Rachel. Mr. Gelbart’s sympathies for her parents would ordinarily be in order, but in this case these same parents likely set the groundwork for their daughter to grow up in an atmosphere of hatred. When they were sitting with Arafat, did they care how many Israeli Rachels were murdered for the “crime” of being Israeli? Did they care about the mothers and fathers of those Israeli Rachels? I am horrified that Mr. Gelbart wrote about wanting to hug the Corries, the ones who probably poisoned their daughter’s mind, the ones who set the scene for her to waste her life in criminal actions and become a martyr for bloody deeds. Hug them? I think not, Mr. Gelbart.
— Olga Cohen