LA Times’ Uncritical ‘Review’ of Corrie Play

In his Los Angeles Times review of the British play “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” David Gritten describes Rachel Corrie as “a relatively obscure name in her native U.S,” one of several distortions about the American who interfered in a closed military area in the Gaza Strip and was killed accidentally (“A spirit that can’t be stopped,” Oct. 26, 2005). The “obscure” Corrie has been mentioned two dozen times the Los Angeles Times, and the anniversary of her death prompted Op-Eds and features from Boston to Seattle to Charlotte. (In comparison, who has heard of 14-year-old Abigail Litle, an American murdered by a Palestinian terrorist while riding home from school, just 11 days before Corrie died? She received one reference in the Los Angeles Times.)

To describe the International Solidarity Movement, the group with which Corrie was involved, as “a nonviolent resistance group” is another serious mischaracterization. ISM’s Web site states that the group “recognize[s] the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle.” In a January 2002 Palestine Journal article, the group’s founders characterized “suicide operations,” i.e., the type of terrorist attack in which Litle was deliberately killed, as “noble.”

While readers learn about Corrie’s “passions, her foibles, her humor and her love for people,” they are left in the dark about  ISM activities which endanger Israeli lives, such as interfering with Israeli operations to uncover weapons smuggling tunnels. And, according to the Los Angeles Times, ISM activist Brian Avery explained that “the group’s main ‘actions’ … consisted of ‘being monitors and witnesses at military checkpoints’ and ‘lodging in the homes of the families of individuals who chose suicide bombing as their method of resisting the occupation'” (Oct. 26, 2003).

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