Rambling ...

I'm an Irish Girl, A Dubliner, with the 'Gift of the Gab' ... I like to talk & to tell you things. In Celtic times news, views and comment were carried from place to place by wandering Seanachaí ~ Storytellers ~ who relied on their host's hospitality and appreciation. I will need that from you too, as I venture to share Politics, Poetry, Laughter, Love, Life & everything in-between ... from Bog to Blog!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Devil's Night Drama!!

"Legend has it that when someone dies The Crow carries their soul to the land of the dead, but sometimes something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Sometimes the Crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right."

The first time Brandon Lee appears on screen in "The Crow"  he is climbing out of his grave. Lee's ghoulish entrance is the eeriest possible sight, of course, because he was killed by a misloaded prop gun whilst making this movie.  It is thus his epitaph!  

He howls as he stands in the mud and rain in the middle of the night playing Eric Draven, a small-time rock musician who has risen from the dead to seek justice & wreak vengence on the anniversary of his and his fiancee's murder.   The crow that accompanies Draven on his brief return to earth is his link between the worlds of the living and the dead.  In flashback scenes, fragmented and full of jumpy camera movements, we see that Draven's fiancee ~ Shelly ~ was raped and brutally murdered in their apartment on Halloween Eve, now labelled "Devil's Night", by a group of degenerates named T-bird (David Patrick Kelly), Skank (Angel David), Tin Tin (Lawrence Mason) and Funboy (Michael Massee). They dirty up the streets for their demented and cruel crime boss, Druglord Top Dollar (Michael Wincott), who runs the whole operation & who resented the couple's attempts to clean up the neighbourhood, ordering their murder.

A little girl named Sarah (Rochelle Davis), being raised by Shelly because of her mother's ~ Darla, (Anna Thomson) ~  involvement with drugs and because of the street fungus she parties with, witnesses the horrific aftermath & meets a compassionate cop named Albrecht (Ernie Hudson), who stays by Shelly's hospital bedside for 30 hours until her passing, and is one of the ones most deeply affected by the murder of this couple.  Based on a comic-book character created by James O'Barr in the early 1980's, this is definitely a dark, lurid revenge fantasy of a high order, stylish and smooth.  Its dark look of midnight terror and its skewed cityscape evoke images of the Burton "Batman" movies, but "The Crow" makes even the bleak "Batman II" seem bland.  The Crow is about fighting  the good fight, a belief in making a wrong right.  A love story ...  A magical story of two souls destined to be together in life and in death!

On his return from the dead,  Draven puts white makeup on his face and paints black lines to exaggerate his eyes and mouth. This lithe and gaunt figure is clearly a comic-book Avenger with Supernatural powers. When he is shot, his wounds heal magically. Ernie Hudson, as a policeman who saw Draven's corpse,  looks on quizzically when he notices him walking the streets, but quickly accepts the fact that a man has returned from the dead. It's just the kind of thing that happens in fantasy land. And the world of  "The Crow" is exactly that,  a dark fantasy land,  a land where good & evil exist,  just like our own world. 
"The Crow" spends much of its time showing the brutality with which Draven goes after his murderers, which is perfetly thematic ... it is a tale of revenge after all!  There are several major shootouts, a couple of explosions and one death in which Draven's victim ends up with a dozen or so hypodermic needles sticking out of his body. And the gang leader, called 'Top Dollar',  Michael Wincott has a genuinely evil rasp in his voice, a total theatrical treat!  Top Dollar seems to be sleeping with his half-sister, a Sorceress, & an eyeball collecting freak Myca (Bai Ling),  the only one who discovers the secret to ending Eric's supernatural death mission and  who will go to great lengths to achieve his power.

Sadly, Brandon Lee's premature death (three days from the end of shooting) makes this movie all the more macabre, shocking and thought provoking, and carries throughout the film the uncanny feeling that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. For here is a man who films a movie about coming back from a terrible and too soon to be taken from this world tragedy, and it is exactly what happens to him, for real!  

"The Crow" is more mainstream than it might have been, because script changes were made to soften the story after Lee's death. Sarah, a young girl befriended by Draven and his fiancee, now offers a voice-over at the film's beginning and end about preserving the memory of those you have loved.  Draven saves Sarah from her drug-addled mother. Rochelle Davis makes Sarah a sympathetic, streetwise girl, but her enhanced role merely adds a trendy death-culture gloss. It doesn't change the film's violent nature or eye-for-an-eye message. Which for me is such a good thing .... Revenge for me is a part of life. A Sweet & Satisfying denouement, a necessary corollary to 'happy ever after'!!

This movie contains stirring and fundamentally intense songs, harbouring such poetic lyrics and music, it just seeps inside your brain and takes it over, leaving you to feel the potency of those songs transcending throughout your body.  Most memorable and inspiring to me are the following artists on the sound track ~ "The Cure," "Machines of Loving Grace" "Stone Temple Pilots," "Nine Inch Nails" Violent Femmes," &  "The Jesus and Mary Chain"Hypnotic, Enchanting & a Perfect backdrop for this masterpiece of sumptous visual art!

"The Crow" is a dark picture where the over all feel of the movie's personality is heightened, by the heinous and disgusting vermin that scour the city's grimiest and most depressing sections.  There is so much hate and vulgarity, so much destruction and cheapness that feeds off the city and yet that is where this Ethereal love is found ... in the centre of all this filth and sludge.  It is Gothic to the Core.  Like Classic Bronte.  The feel of the movie is as it should be ~  Dark, Moody, Gothic, and Sinister, with the soul of the film being that of undying love shown through the eyes of Eric Draven.  Sleek and accidentally haunting, "The Crow"  is perfect gothic drama for Devil's night.  Tonight. I'm watching. Will you join me???

Friday, October 29, 2010

How Wise is a Wise guy????

 Okay, so I know I replaced my Monday Movie Review with some Merriment last Monday!! And, I know I haven't posted a review since 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' ~ I apologise for my tardiness. I was going to post 'The Breakfast Club' last Monday, a marvellous movie from one of my favourite all time directors, John Hughes. But I didn't ....... I got sideswiped by events.

Halloween is here too, so I also have a review of 'The Crow', one of my most favourite ever movies, but as tomorrow is Devil's Day, I thought it more appropriate to post it then. So, for something a little bit different for Friday ..... (I've been experiencing some Dark Days lately, & a friend who knows my prediliction for movies & my adoration of John Hughes sent me this to make me think & smile. It did both!).

"Ladies and gentlemen, you are such a wonderful crowd, we'd like to play a little tune for you. It's one of my personal favorites and I'd like to dedicate it to a young man who doesn't think he's seen anything good today ~ Cameron Frye, this one's for you"

Who would you rather be? Ferris Bueller? Or Cameron? The cool guy with tons of friends? Or the awkward, hypochondriac dork with only one real friend? The guy who everything seems to come to effortlessly, easily, as if the entire universe seems to bend to his will? Or the dude with the mean father, the endless issues and whose life seems to be a constant test?

Most of us, understandably, are pretty into Ferris. The awesome dude who somehow manages to lip-sync the best rendition of “Shake it Up Baby” ever created. The guy even has a movie named after him. Yeah, being Ferris would be pretty sweet.

And Cameron? No, thank you. I would rather not be the dude that has to face a stern-as-all-heck father after crashing his Ferrari through the garage and into the back yard.   None of us would be. But I’ll be honest, I was watching 'Ferris Bueller’s Day Off' for the first time in like ten years on the plane to Israel the other day & I thought of you ..... but, I couldn’t help but feel that the movie wasn’t really about Ferris. Sure, Ferris is the guy who gets to sing on the float and have the super cool gorgeous girlfriend, (I live in hope that maybe somehow, someday,  you'll marry me?????).  But it is Cameron that we really care about. It is Cameron that goes on the true (inner) journey. Ferris gets a day off. Cameron’s day is as on as it gets!!!

There is hardly a moment in the movie when Ferris is challenged or tested. He coasts through life with nar a problem. And sure, it might seem cool to us, but what’s interesting is that he also hardly grows towards the end of the movie. He’s still the same carefree dude. From beginning to end!

Cameron, though .... he faces obstacle after obstacle. And with each obstacle, with each rock placed in front of his path, Cameron steps onto it and raises himself higher and higher. Until we reach the end of the movie, the moment when Cameron says “It’s gonna be good”, at that moment when we know Cameron has a reached a new plane of existence, a world where he can begin to love and stand up for himself.

To be sure, we don’t want tests. We don’t want a G-d that makes our life difficult. To be Ferris Bueller would be nice. But this is the truth. Most of us, if we didn’t get these tests from up above, if we weren’t put in Cameron’s shoes sometimes in our lives, we would end up shallow. A pool that has never been dug to see how deep it can go. We need tests because they help us realize who we really are.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. 

Cameron, at the beginning of the movie, he seemed like a weakling. A nerd. But the truth, as we discover as the movie goes on, is that Cameron is the strongest character in the movie. Not because he can charm an entire city. Not because he can get away with whatever he wants. But because of the experiences he went through. Nerd is Cool. And so are you Nerd girl .... so, who would you rather be, tell me .... Ferris? Or Cameron?

Who would you rather be?? I know who is the wise guy. I know what is the wise choice. I know what is the easy choice ... but I also know what you are made of. Stop Suffering! You are as empathethic as you are beautiful. And Awesome. Pana Nichuirc .... you are made of Hero! 

My answer remains the same as it did last Monday ..... Any guiding hand has only guided me into pain & confusion, Chassid .... Sorry!! It's FERRIS BUELLER. All the Way!! Always!!!

What about you???? What do you think?? Who else loves this Movie????

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday's Child is Full of Woe!!

This beautiful little girl is Helga Kahn & this is the last school photograph she had taken .... ever. I'm afraid I can't tell you her story today because no one knows just what happened to her, but considering she was a Jewish girl in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1940 I'd say we could all guess her eventual demise.

And her story is not unusual. There are 1.5 million Stories just like this one out there to be told, because One and a half million Jewish children were murdered in the Holocaust and were thus prevented from growing up and fulfilling their basic lives ~ to live, dream, love, play and laugh. Some faded photographs of children under the Nazi regime remain, and their questioning, accusing eyes cry out. And I challenge you to remain dry eyed as you look at them.

From the day the Nazis came to power, Jewish children became acquainted with cruelty, first in Germany and, as time passed, in every other country the Germans conquered or forged an alliance. The parents and families of these children were unable to grant them the security and protection they needed. Jewish children were separated from their non-Jewish playmates and expelled from state sponsored schools. They saw their parents lose the right to support their families, and often witnessed the descent of the family unit into an abyss of despair. As war broke out and anti-semitic policies worsened, the suffering of Jewish children increased ... many were doomed to the horrific suffering of life in a ghetto ~ the bitter cold, the never-ending hunger and a multitude of dangerous diseases. There, cut off from the world, they lived in the shadow of endless terror and violence. As smuggling was central to survival in the ghettos, they were often forced to assume the new role of breadwinner for their disintegrating families.

Henrika Lazobert, a Jewish poet, wrote a paean to a daring young smuggler who, despite the risks, persevered in finding food for his family. The poem ends: ~

"I shall no longer come back to you [mother] …
and only on my lips will one worry freeze fast:
My beloved mother, tomorrow who’ll bring you
your piece of bread as in the past?"

When the deportations to the extermination camps began, a chasm opened up in the lives of Jewish children. Throughout Nazi Europe, they fled and hid, separated from their parents and loved ones. Some of them found refuge in the homes of decent people whose conscience would not allow them to remain passive; several were hidden in convents and monasteries and boarding schools; others were forced to roam through forests and villages, hunting for food like wild animals and relying entirely on their own ingenuity and resourcefulness. Many were forced to live under assumed identities, longingly anticipating the return of their father and mother. 

Some were so young when separated from their parents that they forgot their real names and Jewish identity. Many were forced to train themselves not to move, laugh or cry, or even talk. Upon liberation from Auschwitz, one little girl asked her mother, “Mommy, may I cry now?” (A Personal Oral recollection of my Grandmother who survived Auschwitz ~ Mrs. Pederofski was the 'Mommy' concerned!)

Of course, not all Jewish children were lucky enough to find a place of refuge, and many tens of thousands of children were caught and sent to the death camps. Their young age made most the first prey of the Nazi killing machine. More than a million and a half Jewish children were lost in those years, a whole murdered generation.  

This is Eva & Leana Munzer. Aren't they Adorable?

These two little Jewish girls have a very sad story. Their parents left them with a non-jewish family who took care of them. They were betrayed to the SS, who captured the girls and sent them to Auschwitz, where they ~ like most small children ~ were gassed upon arrival.

At first children were given lethal injections. Later they were starved or shot or bayoneted or strangled. Or used for mid-air target practice for snipers. These methods proved too much for some soldiers and too slow for the projected 'Final Solution.' Thus were born the extermination camps with their gas chambers disguised as showers. A guard at Auschwitz, testifying at the Nuremburg trial, admitted that at the height of the genocide, when the camp was killing ten thousand Jews a day, children were thrown into the furnaces alive. Never has humanity come closer to evil for evil's sake.

Children ~ dependent, vulnerable, defenceless ~ are the litmus test of our humanity. Not by accident does the Hebrew word for compassion, 'rachamim', come from rechem, meaning a womb. We Cherish our children. The world does not.  It is important to remember them. It is important to remember!

It is important to remember as anti-semitism is rising rapidly in every area of the globe, every country in the world & it could happen again.  It certainly looks like it will.  A non-Jewish friend of mine constantly chided me for answering thus (He thought I was a bad Jew)  ..... "Why would I save & not spend, why would I put off purchasing those shoes or that dress, why would I deny my daughter that doll, why wouldn't I do that right now  ..... I won't need it when they come to collect me for their Camp!!!"  

We cannot write the future. Only our children can do that. But we can teach them our History and to remember the indifferences that allowed the Holocaust to claim 1,500, 000 million childrens lives.  Can you imagine how much silent assent that takes .... the slaughter of 1.5 million children.  The Slaugher of 6 million Jews????

Let's Remember these Children today, especially as the international isolation & demonization of Israel quickens its pace & anti-semitism escalates in Europe once again. The Question of Israel is & increasingly becomes an Existential Question!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Wish is A Wish !!

Monday.  Movie Day.  (Not Now though, Review will be posted later today).   I did promise you Life, Love, Laughter .... Sooooo, Mirth.  Mirth for Monday Morning.  Enjoy!

 40 years of Marriage ..... A tale.

       A married couple in their early 60s was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in a quiet, romantic little restaurant. Suddenly, a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table.

She said, "For being such an exemplary married couple and for being loving to each other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish".      The wife answered, "Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband.". 

The fairy waved her magic wand and ~ Poof! ~ two tickets for the Queen Mary II appeared in her hands.

       The husband's turn.  He thought for a moment ..... "Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again.  I'm sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me."

       The wife, and the fairy, were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish!!!!

       So .....  the fairy waved her magic wand and poof!...the husband became 92 years old.

       And, in fine Faerie tradition, the moral of this story is .....  to men who don't appreciate their womenfolk,   please remember that ..... Fairies are Female!!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

"If you will it ... it is no Dream"

In the 17th century, the French philosopher René Descartes came up with the "explanation for it all" ..... "I think, therefore I am".  I remember this statement being the source of numerous debates in various philosophy classes in my undergraduate days.  It was the existential "which came first" story ..... the Chicken or the Egg.  The Thought or the Being.
I am a Jew. I am a Zionist. I am a Zionist because I am a Jew .....

That is true, & probably a truism too. It is almost enough for me, and maybe more than enough. I don't need any other reason. I am a Zionist because I am a Jew. I am a Jew by birth. I am a Jew by conviction. I am a Jew. I am a Zionist.

If being a "Jew" does not connote only a political or religious affiliation, then it must connote affiliation to a people or nation. So, I am a Jewish patriot just as an Irishman or woman would naturally be an Irish patriot and an Italian would be an Italian patriot. At it's simplest, Zionism is Jewish nationalism, the understanding that Jews are a people, that Judaism is not solely a religious belief or set of values, and that Israel is the Jewish homeland. I do not need any more justification for Zionism than that, and the state of Israel should not have to apologize for its existence any more than Australia or Ireland or the Czech Republic apologize for their existences. Even if I were not Jewish, I would support the right of the Jewish people to self determination just as I support the right of other peoples to self determination ~ including many, such as the Kurds and the Tibetans, whose rights have also been trampled upon by the neglect of the international community.

I think that's an important point. We do not begrudge the French their language, their nationalism, their religions, or their homeland. We do not demand to internationalize their capital city of Paris, or to give Paris to the Germans on the grounds that only Germans truly love Paris. And I could make the same comments about most other nations that we are content to allow to exist as sovereign entities. Only Israel, the Jewish State, gets held to a different standard & criticised whatever it does, or is, or seeks to become.

As one who supports human rights, I therefore obviously support Zionism. To do otherwise would be to oppose the genuine & inalienable human rights of Jews. So although I am not at all surprised or saddened by the fact that the world at large does not support Zionism, it grates against the grain that some of my fellow Jews, especially in Eretz Yisrael itself, regard Zionism as something not quite, um, kosher.

But, it's not really entirely that simple either. I wish it was, but Zionism is not a simply defined concept. There are multifarious sub categories & I constantly get asked what 'type' of 'Zionist' I am????

That to me is sort of nonsensical really, I am a Zionist. But, definitions matter to people. Definitions do matter & that is kind of the purpose of this blog anyway, to define me & my Zionism. Not to measure it mind, I am a Zionist! Period. To me that is a most important aspect of my identity. Of who I am. Of what I am made of. Of me. Pana. Jew Girl. Zionist. It has always shaped my identity ~ the entity & the essence that is me.

So, I get asked if I am a 'Secular' Zionist. And the answer there is "not really". Zionism is more than a political movement or 'secular' ideology. Zionism began with Ha'Shem. This is it's beginning, not as a philosophy but as a way of life. And a means of life & to life. So, then I get asked with incredulity .... are you a 'Religious' Zionist then???? And the answer is No. I'm not. I'm not religious anything. And, if that is a fault then I'm guilty as hell!

Israel's right to exist, and the legitimacy of Zionism, are not dependent on my moral purity ~ my behaviour has no bearing on the issue (thank goodness!). Or even the moralness or uprightness of the Jewish people as a whole. Nations have the right to statehood whether they are, to coin an Irish term, 'saints or sinners', and whether their governments are wonderful or terrible. Why would imperfections in Israeli governance be an excuse for denying me being a Jew or having the desire & right to my own homeland?? The terrible nature of governance in the Sudan does not in any way threaten the right of Sudan to be a nation-state. Nobody calls for the dissolution of Syria because of the corrupt and dictatorial regimes that have ruled that country since its independence. Or Iran. That nation remains unchallenged & unquestioned thirty plus years after it's destruction of all basic civil rights there. Nobody believes the Chinese people should be denied the right to self-determination because of rights violations in Tibet. It is just the Jewish State of Israel that is under constant scruitny. The State of Israel was not established so that the anti-Semites will disappear, but rather, so we can tell them to get lost & "butt out" of our affairs! 

"Never again will Jewish children stare in fear begging to be spared. Never again will we let our enemies determine the fate of the Jewish people and we will able to protect our sons." ~ IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi. 

In our world of today Zionism is definied by solely by the Arab world's bloody hostility to the Jewish State of Israel. That's wrong!

To stick to this definition is so to miss the wonder that is everyday life in Israel, the millions who are able to live and learn, laugh and play, in security in the Middle East's only democracy. To do so is to underestimate the power of Zionism, a gutsy and visionary movement that has outlasted the Twentieth Century's other grander and seemingly 'permanent' revolutions such as Bolshevism, Nazism, Fascism and Communism. Arabs have demonized Zionism as the modern 'bogeyman', and many have clumped Zionists, along with all Jews, Americans and most Westerners, as the 'Great Satans'.

The United Nations libel equating Zionism with racism continues unabated & mostly unchallenged. The media too, including CNN, the BBC, the New York Times, & many, many more have played along with dramatic anti-Israeli libels. In Israel, a small but influential group of intellectuals fancy themselves to be 'post-Zionists', whilst a negligible but voluable minority of Jews in the Diaspora please man-bite-dog opinion page editors by proudly proclaiming themselves Jewish anti-Zionists. Zionists must not allow their enemies to define and slander the movement!

No nationalism is pure, no movement is perfect, no state ideal, but today Zionism remains legitimate, inspiring, relevant, & important to me and to most Jews. And so much more moral than any other 'ism' I could randomly name. A Century ago, Zionism revived pride in the label "Jew" .... today, Jews must revive pride in the label "Zionist". I am so proud to be a Jew & to be called a Zionist. It's a badge I wear with a grin & a huge sense of pride. It is part of who I am, my identity, the girl that is me! 

My Zionism is natural, just like it is natural for me to be a girl, a woman & a mother. My Zionism is not measured by the size of my davening list or my charitable donations, by the neighbourhood where I live, my reading matter or by the party I will be voting for. It was born a long time before me, on a snowy street in the camp in Terezin, Czechoslovakia, where my mother stood as a young child and attempted, in vain, to understand why the entire world was trying to kill her. That's my personal connection. Actually Zionism as a movement was born much, much earlier than that. Zionism originated with Ha'Shem. And, the history of Zionism begins in Torah. The History of the Jewish people is in fact the History of Zionism.

The wanderings of Avraham as prompted by Ha'Shem, the exodus & desert trekking of Moshe & the wandering Israelites are examples of Zionism in action. As surely as the 'Zion Fighters' building in the Shomron Sunshine today are examples of Zionist action. Zionism is as old as the Jewish nation & an integral part of what it means to be a 'Jew'.  

 My favourite definition & indeed description of what Zionism is comes from Rabbi Meir Kahane & I'm going to indulge myself now in his words .....  

"Jewish History! That whirlpool of tragedy, drama, and courage, whose richness and color dazzle anyone who plunges into its depths...... Listen, you who begin to believe in inanities and who begin to doubt the legitimacy of a Jewish State. You who weep for the oppressed Arabs and gnash your teeth at the ‘fascist’ Zionists. You who waver in support of Israel and who suggest that she lie down and die. Listen.

You are too young to remember the day. It was a moment in May, the 14th day of that loveliest of months, and they stood in the streets. They, the Jews; they, your people; they, the Zionists. The year was 1948, but to Jews it was 1878. One thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight years since the long exile began. You see, that is how your people count history.

Beholding the old men, and the rapturous women and the glorious youth, one might easily have been moved to consider them the farmers and tailors and housewives and mechanics and students ~ and Auschwitz survivors ~ they claimed to be.

And as they stood, they listened to a proclamation that tolled an end ~ and a beginning ~ of an impossible dream come true. The words entered their ears, filling the minds, choking their throats, gripping their hearts, flooding their eyes ....

“We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called ‘Medinat Yisroel, ’ the State of Israel…”

And as the last words drifted off into the cloudless mid-eastern skies, the ‘fascists’ of Tel Aviv burst into song, the song. The words were written a mere sixty years earlier; the idea was 1, 878 years old.

Israel came into being because it never came out of being. Israel came back to life because it never died. It was the Jewish State in the days of Joshua; it was the Jewish State when there were Pharaohs; it was the Jewish State when Assyrians and Moabites and Edomites and Philistines and Babylonians and Persians and Hellenes and Romans drifted through history and passed out of it again. It remained Jewish because Jews never left it and there was never a time when Jewish communities did not remain in Zion.

Do you think Theodore Herzl created Zionism? Not so! Zionism came into being the day that Jews went into exile and was nurtured by every religious law and custom. Every Jew who practiced his faith and every Jew who observed his tradition was a Zionist. Herzl was merely a man whose time had come, and Jews simply put into practice the goal and dream and aspirations of two millenia. Had there been no Balfour Decleration ~ there would still have arisen the State of Israel. Had there been no United Nations ~ there would still have come into being a Jewish State".  

I could go on. I won't. You get the point & I won't labour it any further. That brings me back to the chief reason why I am a Zionist. I am a Zionist because I am a Jew, because it seems to me that Zionism is the only meaningful expression of Jewish identity in the modern world, or any world.

I believe that the Jewish people established itself in the Land of Israel, albeit somewhat late. Had it listened to the alarm clock, there would have been no Holocaust & no pandering to Arab claims of 'palestinian' nationhood & 'displacement'. I do not support the 'right' of the 'palestinian' people to self determination because this is a fraud, the brainchild of Yasser Arafat in the 1960's & I will explain this in a separate blog. It does not belong here. Suffice to say for now it is not a valid claim, & believing, apologizing, or rationalizing the lie of displacing a "Pal-est-in-ian" Arab community is not something Zionism has to consider. Frankly, to buy this fabrication of 'Zionists victimizing the Arabs' is to turn history on its head. The UN ratified a partition plan in line with the mandate's original articles for the establishment of the Jewish State, the Zionists accepted it, the Arab leadership rejected it with a genocidal rage and the Mandatory, (the British) refused to carry out their duties to the Jews, who deserved much better than they ever got from their 'protectors'!!!

So, why am I a Zionist?? ..... I am a Zionist quite simply because I can't not be ..... As Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism said in an idle boast that has become a cliche .... "If you will it, it is no dream."  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Herzl's History !!

"If you will it ... it is no Dream"

I originally posted this piece as part of my 'Heroes of Israel'  Photo series a while back on my public Page in Facebook .... JEWS NEWS!!    It took off, as sometimes happens & I have had it suggested a lot that I blog it. I do want to look at the question of 'Why Am I a Zionist??' So, today this fits.

Theodor Herzl has been credited with being the founder of Zionism. He wasn't. Zionism began in Torah. The History of the Jewish people is in fact the History of Zionism. What Herzl could be credited with, however, is the founding of Modern Political Zionism. By this definition he deserves inclusion in this history of Israeli heroes.

He was born in Budapest in 1860, and educated in the spirit of the German ­ Jewish Enlightenment, as a secular Jew, though his grandfather had been a friend of Rabbi Yehudah Alkalai, a Zionist of an earlier era. In 1878 the Herzls moved to Vienna, where Theodor Herzl studied law in the university of Vienna, graduating in 1884. However, rather than studying law, Herzl became a writer, a playwright and a journalist, acting as Paris correspondent for influential liberal Vienna newspaper Neue Freie Presse.

In 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was falsely accused and convicted of treason. Mobs shouted “Death to the Jews” in France, the home of the French Revolution .... and Herzl became convinced that the Jews needed a country of their own!

Herzl witnessed the Dreyfus affair as a newspaper correspondent. According to conventional accounts, his Zionism resulted from contemplating the persecution of Dreyfus. According to some others, he may have been more influenced by the election of the anti-Semitic Karl Luger as mayor of Vienna. Herzl concluded that anti-Semitism was a stable and immutable factor, which assimilation would not solve, and which it was futile to combat. Despite ridicule from Jewish leaders, he published The Jewish State (Der Judenstaat) in 1896 in which Herzl claimed that the Jews could gain acceptance in the world only if they stopped being an anomaly among nations. He asserted that the scattered Jews are one people, whose plight could be transformed into a positive force by the establishment of a Jewish state guaranteed in international law.

Herzl proposed to collect funds from Jews around the world by a company which would work toward settling Jews in Palestine. and securing a state. Eventually this idea was transformed into the Zionist Organization, the Jewish National Fund and other organizations. He also continued to publish & issue Zionist literature.

Herzl's ideas were rejected in Western Europe. Herzl was turned down by Jewish magnates such as Baron Hirsch and Baron Rothschild. Herzl then appealed to the people, organizing the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland, on August 29­31, 1897. The congress was historic not just for founding the Zionist movement, but because it was the first time an organized body , representing at least the Jews of the Western world, had been convened since the exile nearly 2000 years ago.

Herzl's ideas found mass support from the poor Jews of Eastern Europe and Russia. At Basle, the Zionist movement resolved to " establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law.” The Basle congress also resolved to set up a political organization and financial institutions to carry forward the Zionist idea. The World Zionist Organization was established, and Herzl was elected president. Herzl wrote in his diary, "At Basle, I founded the Jewish state... If not in five years, then certainly in fifty, everyone will realize it."

Herzl presided over six Zionist Congresses between 1897 and 1903, setting up the Jewish Colonial Trust, the Jewish National Fund and the movement's newspaper 'Die Welt'. After Herzl's death, the movement continued to meet every year except during war. In 1936 the centre of the Zionist movement moved to Jerusalem.

Herzl Street, Haifa, Israel 1950.
Despite his Zionist intentions, Herzl had some strange ideas ... The Kishinev Pogrom in 1903 caused Herzl to realize the urgency of finding some shelter for the Jews of Russia. He travelled to Russia in 1903 & entertained a British idea of "Uganda" as a temporary refuge ~ a "night shelter" for Jews, at the Sixth Zionist Congress in 1903. Herzl made it clear that this program would not affect the ultimate aim of Zionism, which was settlement in "Eretz Yisrael" . However, the proposal aroused great anger, not surprisingly ... it always made me laugh out loud!!

So, Herzl was not the founder of Zionism, Ha'Shem is ... but he did manage to raise it's status & encouraged the first trickling of Jewish immigration as the move towards the formation of Nation States occurred on the anti-semetic European continent.

Even after the Jewish state was established, however, Herzl’s prophecy of an end to anti-Semitism went unfulfilled. He believed that once Jews won recognition as a nation, the individual Jew would finally be able to live in peace & the Diaspora become assimilated. Yet what actually happened was quite different as we know. And in fact, the fashionable portrayal of Israel by many Europeans as the principal threat to world peace, a “Nazi state,” the archenemy of human rights ~ this is precisely the kind of demonization previously directed at individual Jews. And because individual Jews living in Europe are an easier target for violence than Israel, the terror war against Israel of the last four years has awakened the spectre of classical anti-Semitism throughout Europe, giving rise to a renewed wave of violence against Diaspora Jewry.

It would seem, then, that we have come full circle ~ the old anti-Semitism now takes the form of anti-Zionism. In fact, the present wave of anti-Semitism in Europe has proven once and for all that there is no difference between the two, that the perceived distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is an illusion. As far as the world is concerned, the Jews are Israel and Israel the Jews. But this means that every Jew, in turn, must define themselves with respect to the Jewish state of Israel, either for or against. And, the embracing of Zionism should lead to Alyiah, at least in my opinion.

And what does Zionism mean to me?? That is the subject of tomorrow's blog "Why I am a Zionist"!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Breakfast At Tiffany's!

Monday. Movie Day. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a beautiful,  captivating movie  I watch whenever I need to feel better about myself ....... Fantasy movies are my forte, & Breakfast at Tiffany's is still first and foremost a fantasy.  An undeniably romantic tale of a 'damaged' girl finding love despite herself.

The use of Henry Mancini's magnificent  "Moon River" cements the dreamy atmosphere which is introduced at the beginning of the film with establishing shots of a New York City that never was.  This is not the real world ... it's another sort of place, a fantasy construct, where Mafia dons are nice men, disappointed suitors react with grace, improbable lovers can overcome the odds and girls like me live life happily ever after.  And Holly Golightly is a product of this environment.   Although Holly at first appears to be little more than an airheaded,   jet-setting socialite, the more we get to know her, the more we understand the pain and loss that have led her to embrace her current lifestyle. Holly has low self-esteem and a sordid past, and she has surrounded herself with bright, gaudy things in an effort to give herself a level of comfort.  I am Holly Golightly !!!!

Set in then present-day 1961 (as opposed to during World War II as in Truman Capote's novella, the inspiration for the movie), the film introduces us to a sparkling Audrey Hepburn, 'Holly' as she strolls home early one morning in her 'little black dress' and sunglasses after yet another all-night bender during which she likely doled out small favours to amorous older gentlemen in exchange for rent money. Pausing in front of Tiffany’s, Holly munches a danish and sips coffee as she admires the jewellery in the window. It’s an iconic movie moment. Holly sees herself as a free-spirit, a party girl, someone who, as she puts it, won’t be "put in a cage". It’s a lonely life, but it pays the bills.

Capote has no interest in telling a typical boy-meets-girl love story. The relationship between Holly and Paul, (whom she calls Fred in honour of her brother), evolves in unusual ways, especially as we learn that Paul/Fred is guilty of the same kind of shady behaviour that he finds so unattractive in Holly. While many of the book's broad strokes (and even a few of the details) were retained in Axelrod's script, changes were instituted to make the movie more palatable to a mainstream audience. Chief of these is the nature of the relationship between the two leads, which results in a new, different, and more optimistic finale. This is it's Hollywood touch.

Paul Varjak (George Peppard), who is sort of gay in the novel but quite straight & indeed, manly here, an aspiring author with a bad case of writer's block, is the new tenant in her building. The two meet on the morning Paul moves in, when he drops by to use Holly's phone. Her cat, named appropriately, Cat, a major character in his own right, watches all this with disdain. One night, when a drunk man is banging threateningly on Holly's door, she climbs the fire escape and slips into Paul's apartment. As thanks for 'rescuing' her, she invites him to a party, which swings like Sixties parties should. Paul is fascinated by Holly & soon after they become friends.

She inspires him to start writing again. And, for one memorable day, they go out on the town together doing things that they have never before done, .... 'Firsts' for both of them, like shopping at Tiffany's (new for him) and checking out a book from a library (new for her). Ultimately, their feelings end up running more deeply than normal friendship, but, when Paul confesses his love, Holly rebuffs him. She has set her heart on marrying a rich South American (Villalonga) so that she will have enough money to support herself and her brother, whose tour of duty in the army is almost over. 

Neither Holly nor Paul is a model citizen. In order to finance her wasteful lifestyle, Holly accepts a weekly payment of $100 to visit an ex-mob boss in prison and carry a verbal message to his 'lawyer'. It's a subtle form of prostitution with no sex involved. The same isn't true of Paul, who could be called a gigolo & a gentleman.  His lover (the elegant & terrifying Patricia Neal) is a well-to-do woman with a much older husband. She sneaks out to see Paul whenever she gets the opportunity, and in fact this latest apartment is a gift from her. Every time she departs from his bed, she leaves behind a 'care' package of $$$$$$$$. 

During the scene where Holly first realises Paul is in the same business as herself, both are semi-naked; Paul asleep in bed, Audrey wearing a flimsy nightgown. Stripped of sartorial armour they are exposed to each other for what they really are ... two people who sell themselves for money. She teases him about the cash on the dresser, but what she is really saying is 'I understand, because I’m there myself'. Such affinity allows her to be vulnerable & to show her vunerability.  This is the moment when Holly falls for Paul.

But who is Holly anyway? Where has she come from? Why, Paul wonders, does she travel to Sing Sing prison on a weekly basis to visit a jailed mobster? She’s not the type to dwell on unpleasantries, & the second half of the movie finds Paul unraveling her many mysteries with the help of a surprising out-of-town visitor who knows much more about Holly’s past than she would like to make public.

Two particular attributes set Breakfast at Tiffany's apart from the overfamiliar continuum of romantic comedies. The first is character depth, particularly where Holly is concerned. Despite her name and her lighthearted disposition, she is actually a troubled individual, a 'damaged' girl. Orphaned at an early age, she married the kindly Doc Golightly at the age of 14, then abandoned him for a stint in Hollywood. As played by Buddy Ebsen, Doc appears to be a genial elder gentleman, but there's something ambiguous and less-than-wholesome about his relationship with Holly. There's also a question about the status of their marriage. She claims it was annulled long ago, but her tendency to live in a world of her own creation brings that into question. For the most part, Holly has done her best to forget the past, but there are instances when it creeps into her mood, turning her sad and wistful.

Capote had always envisioned Marilyn Monroe in the part, and felt betrayed by the studio when Hepburn was cast. Yet the choice was inspired. Hepburn holds the movie together. Her chic, uncluttered, effortless style and fragile beauty give Holly a disarming artlessness. She looks fabulous in her sophisticated clothes, waves a long black cigarette holder around, and spouts odd little bits of French (calling one aggressive suitor "quel beast"). Yet she seems to float untouched above the seamier aspects of her life, only occasionally letting us see her vulnerability and loneliness. She's irresistible. And despite all the glamourous party clothes, she's just as charming wearing a pair of jeans and a simple shirt when she sings the movie's hit song,"Moon River".   Clothes are often employed as a separate discourse for Holly. Early on during the party sequence Audrey wears a white silk wrap and then minutes later changes into a plain black evening gown with upswept hair, huge jewelled necklace and ludicrous cigarette holder. This informs her transformation from lucid, charming Holly to tipsy, man hungry Holly on the prowl.

Audrey’s Givenchy fashions are still a talking point forty years on and the movie produced lasting icons of American fashion.  The little pink cocktail dress she wore in one scene sold not long ago for $192,000. The 'little black dress' she wore to go visit Sally Tomato in the pen has ever since been a staple of the chic female wardrobe. And the black Givenchy gown she wears in the opening scene was auctioned for $800,000 in London in 2006.  The outfits are distinctly Givenchy, lots of satin and big hats and buttons, yet Audrey bestows distinctly Audrey touches. The tight wrapping and not fastening her belts for example. Emphasising her tiny waist, Audrey knew how to spotlight herself on film without altering character or narrative (she is meant to be ‘skinny’ after all, as Doc heeds with disdain).

Then there's the dialogue, which, although neither sparkling nor 'peppered' (ha, ha .... pun intended!) with scintillating one-liners, is nevertheless solidly written and enjoyable to listen to. The key to its effectiveness is that conversations do not feel truncated ~ they are allowed to run on naturally. The film's best scenes involve Holly and Paul doing nothing more complicated than talking to each other. Over the years, strong dialogue has been an important characteristic of all the great romantic comedies, up to & including another favourite of mine, Richard Linklater's 'Before Sunrise'.

For a movie made in the early 1960s,  Breakfast at Tiffany's is surprisingly bold.   Audrey Hepburn is shown in a number of provocative and revealing costumes (the trailer trumpets that the film offers the actress "as you've never seen her before"), and the screenplay includes several forthright lines with a clear sexual connotation. There also isn't any beating around the bush when it comes to the nature of Paul's secondary profession.

Breakfast at Tiffany's most glaring fault was not considered a problem during the movie's initial release. However, looking back through a 40 year window, the inclusion of the stereotyped Asian character of Mr. Yunioshi (played by Mickey Rooney) borders on offensive. Mr. Yunioshi's sole purpose is to provide cheap comic relief, but, what might have been funny in 1961 has long since lost its humourous edge. The character's presence is a double blow to the Asian community ~ not only is he fatuous & uncomplimentary, but he is played by a Caucasian actor in heavy makeup. Fortunately, Mr. Yunioshi is a background character, and his scenes are not plentiful enough to spoil an otherwise lovely movie.

While Breakfast at Tiffany's probably would have been a more powerful and moving story had it stuck to Capote's original storyline, there are advantages to the film's approach. The central struggle of the movie is whether Holly & Paul can accept happiness and possible poverty together, or continue their attempts to 'trade up' to a loveless monied union. The ending is evocative and over-the-top, but, in the way of all great romantic finales, it culls a smile and a somewhat wistful sigh from 'everyone in the audience'. (I hope the non Irish among you understand that!!). 

Capote’s hip & heartless New York City is not a place where love comes easily, but maybe these two can find it. And, Holly so deserves a happy ending.

Perhaps Dinner at Macy's.?????

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The "Forgotten" Rachels ...

It is ironic to reflect that there have been many victims of the palestinian 'Intifada' & jihadi violence called Rachel ~ but it is harder to believe that the world media have only heard of one of them. Rachel Corrie's death was a tragic accident .... She was killed after unlawfully entering an area where Israeli forces ~ seeking to protect Israeli civilians who had been terrorized by repeated rocket attacks ~ were destroying tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists to smuggle arms illegally from Egypt into Gaza. Rachel Corrie wasn't shielding innocent civilians, rather, she was interfering with the Israeli army's efforts to demolish an empty house used to conceal one of these tunnels. According to an autopsy report, Rachel Corrie wasn't crushed by a bulldozer, as widely alleged; she was killed (no less tragically) by falling debris.

All these other Rachels died within a few months of Rachel Corrie, but ~ unlike her ~ in circumstances that weren’t disputed. They were all deliberately murdered ....

 Rachel Thaler, aged 16, was blown up at a pizzeria in an Israeli shopping mall. She died after an 11-day struggle for life following a suicide bomb attack on a crowd of teenagers on 16 February 2002. 

But Rachel Thaler, unlike Rachel Corrie, was Jewish. And unlike Rachel Corrie, Jewish victims of Middle East violence have not become a cause célèbre around the globe. This lack of response is all the more disturbing at a time when there has been a sharp rise in anti-Semitism in almost every country in the world.

Thaler is by no means the only Jewish Rachel whose violent death has been entirely ignored by the mainstream media. Other victims of the Intifada, or palestinian violence include .....

Rachel Levy (aged 17, blown up in a grocery store), 

Rachel Levi (aged 19, shot while waiting for the bus),

 Rachel Gavish (aged 50, killed with her husband, son and father while at home celebrating a Passover meal), 

Rachel Charhi ( aged 36, blown up while sitting in a Tel Aviv cafe, leaving three young children), 
Rachel Shabo (aged 40, murdered with her three sons aged 5, 13 and 16 while at home), 

Rachel Ben Abu (aged 16, blown up outside the entrance of a Netanya shopping mall)

Rachel Kol, 53, who worked at a Jerusalem hospital and was killed with her husband in a Palestinian terrorist attack in July 2007, a few days after the London bombs.

Rachel Corrie's death was unfortunate, but she had to have known of the risks of entering a military zone off-limits to civilians. In other words, she chose to put her life in danger for a cause in which she believed. By contrast, the forgotten Rachels ~ and Sarahs and Rivkahs and Devorahs ~ didn't choose to have their lives cut short by Palestinian terrorists.

Their deaths occurred during the deadliest wave of Palestinian terrorism in Israel's history. More than 1,000 Israelis, most of them civilians, were killed in terrorist attacks between 2000 and 2004 during what is commonly known as the second Palestinian Intifada. Far from being the "peace activist" that her supporters have since made her out to be, Corrie was acting on behalf of the virulently anti-Israel International Solidarity Movement, which openly endorses violence as a means of achieving Palestinian goals. The ISM, moreover, has ties with the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas, whose charter unabashedly calls for the destruction of Israel. And, anyone with a conscience must regard Rachel Corrie's activities with contempt.

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.

We are told repeatedly that Rachel was idealistic as if that mattered. Virtually every person who commits great evil ~ the Nazi, the communist, the Islamic terrorist ~ is idealistic. Idealism isn't a moral position. It is good only when directed to good ends.

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 "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 in the whole of the middle east is Israel, the only democracy in that region.  Rachel Corrie died fighting for the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian group dedicated ~ in its own words ~ to "armed struggle" against Israel.

It is tragic that she ended up being used by, and becoming one more victim of, Palestinian terror!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Cult of Rachel Corrie!!

Rachel Aliene Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement & a left-wing terror advocate who suffered a major deficit of common sense on March 16, 2003, when this 24-year-old Student got herself killed as she stood in front of an Israel Defence Forces bulldozer conducting anti-terror operations in Gaza. This operation was engaged in destroying tunnels used for weapons smuggling in a bid to boost security for Israeli Citizenry.   The army was searching for explosives in the border zone when Corrie was "struck as she stood behind a mound of earth that was created by an engineering vehicle operating in the area and she was hidden from the view of the vehicle's operator who continued with his work. Corrie was struck by dirt and a slab of concrete resulting in her death ... The finding of the operational investigations shows that Rachel Corrie was not run over by an engineering vehicle but rather was struck by a hard object, most probably a slab of concrete which was moved or slid down while the mound of earth which she was standing behind was moved," (The Guardian, April 14, 2003). 

Her death was ruled an accident by the Israeli Coroner, who proved that she was hidden from view of the driver by a large dirt mound & that in the cab of his Caterpillar with regulation ear protection,  he would have been oblivious to the whole sorry incident.  Just last Sunday, Israel's Defense Ministry said in a statement that it regretted "the incident in which Rachel Corrie was mistakenly hurt."

Within the coming week, her parents will be proceeding with a civil suit in Israel's courts against the IDF, Craig and Cindy Corrie, who have spent years trying to sue all & sundry are seeking an "apology" and the chance to "look their daughter's killer in the eye". Corrie's parents and her rabid supporters dispute the IDF's claim that her suicidal behaviour & consequent death was an accident.

On June 26, 2003, the Jerusalem Post quoted an Israeli military spokesman as saying that Corrie had not been run over and that the driver had not seen her:

"The driver at no point saw or heard Corrie. She was standing behind debris which obstructed the view of the driver and the driver had a very limited field of vision due to the protective cage he was working in... The driver and his commanders were interrogated extensively over a long period of time with the use of polygraph tests and video evidence. They had no knowledge that she was standing in the path of the tractor. An autopsy of Corrie's body revealed that the cause of death was from falling debris and not from the tractor physically rolling over her. It was a tragic accident that never should have happened."

"The International Solidarity Movement, to which Corrie belonged, was directly responsible for illegal behavior and conduct in the area of Corrie's death and their actions directly led to this tragedy." An IDF spokesman said “there is nothing wrong with legitimate protests. But this was simply dangerous and irresponsible. This is a combat zone. We are really sorry about what happened.”

In fact, these terror supporting activists claim she was killed deliberately & have adopted Corrie as a symbol of what they consider Israel's harsh repression of protest to "occupation". Wikipedia says that "After flying to Israel on January 22, 2003, Rachel Corrie underwent a two-day training course at ISM West Bank headquarters, before heading to Rafah to participate in ISM demonstrations.  During her training, Corrie studied tactics of "direct action."    Need I say more ..... Rachel, like thousands of other foreign 'activist's', recklessly chose to risk her life in a conflict zone where she could be harmed by soldiers who themselves are often under assault, or violent threat. I will only mention Gilad Shalit in passing here!

The Corries have suffered a setback in their quest as an Israeli judge has declined one of their key requests. The driver and his commander, who are expected to testify in the family's civil trial against the Israeli government in the coming weeks will be screened from view during testimony. Their identities have not been made public.  This is a good decision,  as I imagine the driver has suffered prolonged nightmares as a result of the media attention & international furore over the past seven & a half years,  when after all he was just 'doing his job'. 

The family has petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the decision ~ they say seeing the bulldozer driver and his commander face-to-face would help them "feel more compassion".  ?!?!?!?!?!?   They have also tried unsuccessfully to sue Caterpillar Inc., the U.S. company that manufactured the bulldozer. They claimed the company was liable for aiding and abetting "human rights violations". The Corries have lobbied U.S. officials to pressure Israel to re-open the investigation into Rachel's death.   And if the Supreme Court doesn't rule in their favour, the Corries say the will resume lobbying U.S. officials.

Rachel Corrie appears to have been duped by ISM. In published e-mails to her family, she claimed that she was “in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.”  Subsequent propoganda has ignored or minimized the role of the International Solidarity Movement, which recruited Corrie to be a “human shield” in Gaza. 

On the day she died, Corrie and other ISM recruits repeatedly obstructed Israeli military bulldozers working along the Gaza-Egyptian border. In this area the Israel Defence Forces frequently uncover tunnels used for weapons smuggling. Bulldozers raze buildings that hide the entrances or serve as cover for snipers, and detonate explosives planted by Palestinian terrorists. This hyperbole parallels the language of “human shields” in Iraq to protect Saddam Hussein’s regime. In fact, when Corrie was in Gaza, the current Palestinian terror war against Israel was in its 30th month. Of the approximately 1,700 Arabs who had died in the violence up to then, 53 percent were combatants, another 13 percent Palestinians killed by other Palestinians. But of the 650 Israeli dead, 78 percent were civilians. The side deliberately targeting non-combatants ~ a war crime, not what Corrie, echoing the International Solidarity Movement, called “resistance” ~ was the Palestinian!!

ISM claims to emulate peacemakers like Martin Luther King Jr. But according to NGO Monitor, a joint project of B’nai B’rith International and Jerusalem’s Institute for Contemporary Affairs scrutinizing non-governmental organizations, “the International Solidarity Movement’s blatant support for Palestinian incitement and rejectionism is the antithesis of a human rights organization.”   Before Corrie’s death, co-founders Adam Shapiro and his wife, Huwaida Arraf, characterized “suicide operations” as “noble” and wrote that non-violent opposition made a good public relations supplement to “armed struggle.” In one such “noble operation,” just 11 days before Rachel Corrie died, a Palestinian suicide bomber murdered 17 people riding a bus near Haifa. One was 14-year-old Abigail Litle, daughter of an American Baptist minister. Her death was not an accident but a crime. The death of Rachel Corrie was a tragedy, a tragedy rooted in activism manipulated by ISM to supplement terrorism.

The simple truth: ~ where she died was a closed military operations area. The ISM, group she was with, played "chicken" with IDF bulldozers .... imagine as I do that in a war zone playing "chicken" is not the smartest thing to do.  This accident was then hi-jacked and her story misrepresented since, and, as time has worn on,  so have the outrageous lies about her death also grown.  Corrie's parents, for their part, have for years been demanding "justice" in Israel's courts, while simultaneously standing up for the palestinian cause and bringing attention to what they regard as "Palestinian suffering."

Here's Rachel Corrie burning a mock American flag in Gaza at a Hamas Rally, her face contorted with rage. It's a photo that never seems to accompany sympathetic articles about this pro-Palestinian radical in the mainstream media.   Many of the articles about Rachel are not really about this young American girl who died in such tragic circumstances. They are instead about promoting a hate-filled and glaringly one-sided anti-semetic view of Israel.  The International Solidarity Movement (ISM), the group with which Corrie was affiliated, is routinely described as a “peace group” in the media. Their agenda or 'proposals for peace' are very simple ..... Wipe the Jewish State of Israel off the Map!!

According to the “media co-ordinator” of the ISM, Flo Rosovski, “‘Israel is an illegal entity that should not exist” while Armed Struggle” is a palestinian “RIGHT”.   
This, at any rate clarifies the ISM’s idea of 'Peace'. 

Craig & Cindy Corrie travelled to Ramallah to accept a plaque from Yasser Arafat on behalf of their daughter whilst they get yet another hearing in an Israeli courtroom.   Israel's courts, for their part, appear to be bending over backwards to accommodate the Corries, which is ironic given Rachel Corrie's hatred of Israel, the Middle East's only democracy.

The hypocrisy of Rachel Corrie, her parents, and their devoted supporters; not to mention the anti-Israeli bias of the mainstream media in respect to its coverage of Rachel Corrie have had very deadly consequences ..... partly because of the efforts of Corrie’s fellow activists in the ISM, the Israeli army was unable to stop the flow of weapons through the tunnels near where she was demonstrating. Those weapons were later used to kill Israeli children in the town of Sderot in southern Israel, and elsewhere. 

Imagine parents whose daughter was murdered by Palestinian authorities getting a comparable level of justice in a court room in the West Bank or Gaza.

Tomorrow I will post part two to this blog .... 'The Forgotten Rachel's', detailing some Victims of 'palestinian' terror, which I suppose is what Rachel Corrie actually is. 

And yet the Cult of Rachel Corrie continues ....