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From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Before you write a column / Go get yourself a clue. M Shahid Alam, a professor of economics at Northeastern University, kicks off his column in Al Ahram by stumbling over a misquotation from Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall,” and goes downhill from there. He notes how “tragic” it is that “the Zionists in Israel and their allies in the US -- both Christians and Jews -- have responded to ICJ's ‘advisory opinion’ with hollow clichés.” Of course, he then pulls out a tried-and-true mega-whopper cliché par excellence: Nazis!!! “Is there a danger that the world may begin to look upon Israel as the moral equivalent in our own times of a Nazi Germany?” Oho, Nazis, eh? Sheesh, speaking of “unsophisticated.”

Among other things, the professor also thinks that the British awarded the Palestinians’ country “to the Zionists, as the British after occupying Palestine allowed European Jews to settle in the country, form militias and prepare to drive out the Palestinians.” Um, right. Anyway, since no country called Palestine has ever existed, then or ever, one can only wonder what “country” the professor thinks the British supposedly handed over those Zionists. Inquiring minds would, uh… like to know, or something.

Of course, who ever needed facts, much less proper quotes, to write a column about Israel for Al-Ahram?

Robert Frost once suggested that writing free verse is like playing tennis with no net. I’m beginning to suspect that writing columns about Israel for Al-Ahram is like playing tennis with no balls. Flailing impotently at thin air, one ends up looking ridiculous. Yet it never seems to get old.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Jews’ Lack of Loyalty: A Fact that History has Proved Again and Again. A typically convoluted, in terms of both facts and logic, editorial courtesy of Arab News notes that “Sharon’s invitation to French Jews and their response have underlined a fact that history has proved again and again —the lack of loyalty Jews have for the countries they live in and whose nationals they are.” This execrable drivel about Jewish “disloyalty” and such is an historical trope of antisemitism—just ask Mordechai and Queen Esther, for example—and so it’s hardly surprising to see the millennia-old smear being spread by Arab News.

In another similarly challenged editorial, Arab News whines that Ariel Sharon and those nefarious, sneaky Zionists “have alarmed French Jewry so that these 200 new immigrants to Israel are unlikely to be the last,” as if French Jewry weren’t already perfectly aware of the atmosphere and incidents in France.” Arab News also complains that a second ramification of the immigration of these 200 people “is that Israel will be boosting its population and, by extension, the number of soldiers it can deploy against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.” Uh, right.

In other news, Harvard Divinity School will give back a $2.5 million cash gift from the president of the United Arab Emirates.

Harvard froze the donation in spring 2003, before a professor had been named, after some students raised concerns over the activities of the Abu Dhabi-based Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up. The center was officially the think tank of the Arab League, but was funded and hosted by the United Arab Emirates and named after the president.

Yesterday Rachel Lea Fish, the former divinity student who led the protest and presented school officials with 130 pages of research about the center’s activities, praised the return of the money.

Smart move on the part of Harvard Divinity School, and kudos to Rachel for spearheading this effort.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Arab News seems to be getting in some digs at a certain unnamed "former Managing Editor" at the esteemed Saudi daily. Hmmm, I wonder who.

Former Arab News Editor Under Investigation for Pedophilia
JEDDAH, 24 July 2004 — A former Managing Editor of Arab News is currently under investigation for pedophilia and the solicitation of male minors for sex. While these alleged crimes occurred during the editor’s tenure at the paper, he has since resigned and relocated to another country.

Arab News is conducting its own internal inquiry, while a criminal investigation is being carried out by the proper authorities. Pedophilia is a crime in the Kingdom and violates the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Although “Pedophilia is a crime in the Kingdom,” it’s perfectly dandy for a 64-year-old geezer to marry a 13-year-old girl. Go figure.

Shave Your Head for Palestine. Or: Hey, Mom! Look At Me! Joe Carr, whose lyrics about Rachel Corrie you may remember, has sent the following astounding and grammatically garbled email (all grammar and spelling errors are his):

Hello All.
Tomarow at 12 noon, our group in training with the Christian Peacemakers
Teams is doing an action at the Israeli Consolate in Chicago. We will be
protesting the Wall Israel is building in Palestine ( www.stopthewall.org
for more info on the wall).
I, along with 7 others, will be shaving our heads in solidarity with
Palestinians who's land the Israeli Military is systematically destorying
for the wall. Palestinians refer to this destruction as "shaving" the
land, so bald I will become.
We have also erected a mock wall that transforms into a bridge, and the
theme of the action is the quote from Pope Jean Paul III, "What the holy
land needs in bridges not walls".
Some of us will attempt to deliver our hair to the consolate and ask to
pray with him. I am not planning to be arrested, but one never knows what
can happen in this situation. I ask for your thoughts and prayers as I
make this sacrifice and act of public witness.
I will send out pictures and a report of the action on saturday.
much love and peace
-Joe

I think he means Pope John Paul II, not Pope Jean Paul III, but who knows?

Saturday, July 17, 2004

On Thursday morning green paint graffiti was found sprayed on the Columbus Jewish Federation and Beth Jacob Synagogue. The graffiti included the trenchant commentary that “Jews killed Jesus.” There was a similar incident last summer.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I don’t know what the Blue Devils did to deserve it, but it appears that Duke University will be joining the ranks of the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University by having the Fourth National Student Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement foisted on its campus next October 15-17. The website for the 2004 conference appears to be a slightly updated rendition of the one used for last year’s conference at OSU. It appears that they’re still updating the site, and most (all?) of the “committee” and “contacts” emails are the same

Ah, but I notice they've gotten rid of the fake Desmond Tutu "quote" that was flaunted throughout the OSU website. Speaking of a fake quote and other such rhetorical quackery, if anybody's interested in reading my account of the 2003 conference’s opening session, let me know.

Well, I'm sure everybody will enjoy all the progressive anti-Zionist fun and games. Yaaawn.

Anyway, I notice that as of May 18, 2004 the “DukeDivest” petition has garnered a whopping 251 signatures, including those of noted Marxist critic Fredric Jameson and muscleman/novelist Frank Lentricchia. The rest of the DukeDivest webpage includes the usual, predictable garbage about Israel’s “violations” of U.N. resolutions and international law, and so on and so forth. Interestingly enough, the words terror, terrorists, and terrorism respectively occur not once, not twice, but zero times throughout the entire webpage. Shabbot Shalom!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, looking exceptionally smug and self-satisfied, signs his name on a mock reconstruction of Israel's Nefarious Apartheid Wall set up in Whitehall, London. The message at bottom left appears to have been written by noted social critic and MP Jenny Tonge, who was recently sacked from her own party for asinine comments about self-detonating Palestinian suicide bombers. When such folks criticize you, it’s generally an indication that you’re doing the right thing. But, gosh, what a jolly good photo-op. Anyway, this picture is just dying to be photo-shopped, if anybody’s interested.
Being P.C.: 57 Years of Zionist Apartheid Occupation. Some interesting items from the latest edition of The Forward, including a nice editorial on the International Court of Justice’s spurious advice regarding Israel’s West Bank security structure:

[T]he world court affirmed that Israel "has the right, and indeed the duty to respond to the numerous and deadly acts of violence directed against its civilian population." It affirmed Israel's right "to protect the life of its citizens." Like the Israeli court, the world court held that in charting the course of the fence, Israel must balance its own right of self-defense against the rights of the Palestinians. Both courts ruled that the current course of the fence violates those rights, and both ordered the fence moved.
……
Ironically, the court's own ruling prejudges those future negotiations. It assumes that all territory beyond the pre-1967 border is presumptively sovereign Palestinian land and subject to their self-determination. That is what the negotiations are supposed to decide.
……
The world court, by contrast, only created new problems. In agreeing to take up the case of the fence, the court injected itself into a diplomatic dispute that it had no business entering. Israel and the Palestinians have been engaged in a negotiating process — slow, painful but nonetheless real — for more than a decade. The decision by the Palestinians to bring the fence before an international tribunal was nothing more than a stunt, aimed at gaining diplomatic advantage. In accepting the suit, the court made itself their stooge.

The damage to the court's reputation will be considerable. For starters, consider the scene last week, when the decision was read aloud by the president of the court. The chief judge, Shi Jiuyong, is a representative of the People's Republic of China, which has illegally occupied neighboring Tibet since 1951, been credibly charged with acts of genocide there and moved millions of its citizens there in violation of international law. Before joining the world court Shi was the ranking legal adviser to the Chinese Foreign Ministry and a participant in its policy-making. What was he thinking last week?

Another justice, Vladlen Vereshchetin, has been one of Russia's top experts in international law for decades, helping to advise the Kremlin during the Soviet and post-Soviet eras while it struggled to maintain its murderous grip on Chechnya. What could he have been thinking?

What was any of them thinking? Did they not imagine the precedent they were creating, putting the International Court of Justice into the business of sticking its nose into contentious ethnic and border disputes? What will they say when the court is approached by Tibetans or Chechnyans, Kurds, Basques, Corsicans or Quebecois seeking justice? "Sorry, we only serve Palestinians"? Who will believe them again? And what will be left of the court when China, Russia or France becomes its enemy?

In other news, courtesy of The Forward, leaders of Presbyterian Church (USA), a mainline Protestant church that boasts nearly 3 million members, have “officially equated the Jewish state with apartheid South Africa and have voted to stop investing in Israel.” In addition, they “approved several other anti-Israel resolutions at their gathering in Richmond, Va., and also refused to halt funding for ‘messianic congregations’ that target Jews for conversion.” I suppose P.C. (USA) will undoubtedly be divesting from countries like Russia and China, seeing as their human rights records are far worse than Israel’s (see above). Or perhaps they’ll divest from Saudi Arabia, a country with entire cities that are off-limits to anyone who does not belong to the country’s official religion (speaking of Apartheid) and where it’s illegal to buy a bible. Oddly enough, the P.C. General Assembly did not address a single resolution regarding those human rights violators, although the Assembly did find time to discuss several resolutions that pertained to Israel. Go figure.

At the Middle East Briefing, which was sponsored by the Worldwide Ministries Division, the Rev. Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran pastor from Bethlehem, spoke.

Said Raheb: “I wish I could say… That American troops came to liberate us from Saddam and the Iraqi occupation. Unfortunately, I cannot say that about American troops. And you know why? Kuwait is oily. Palestine is only holy.” Raheb went on: “We continue to live under the longest ongoing occupation in history,” referring to the 57-year-long Israeli occupation — and now, the 27-foot security wall the Israeli army is building across the West Bank, which is swallowing up Palestinian orchards, farms and homes as it goes. Both subsidized by U.S. dollars.

In the same breath, Raheb told his audience not to stop speaking up, but rather to raise its voice. “I wish you would challenge both Bush and Kerry to be as courageous as Ronald Reagan,” he said, recalling the former president's speech at the Brandenburg Gate during the Cold War.

“Tell them to tell Sharon to tear down this wall that is surrounding the little town of Bethlehem,” he said (sic)

57 years of Israeli occupation, eh? And the longest ongoing occupation in history, too, although various Kurds, Tibetans, Native Americans, and Pakistanis (among other folks) might beg to differ.

Update: Another article on the PC USA’s website mentions Bishop Riah Abu-Assal, the Episcopalian Bishop of Jerusalem.

Abu-Assal is proposing that U.S. churches help émigré Palestinians return home — just as the Israelis help Jews establish themselves in Israel. “We need to do exactly what the Jews do … Pay for their travel. Give them (money) to begin over. Provide them housing. Try to find them a job. I think we can do the same. But we cannot do it alone.”

Abu-Assal says the Episcopal Diocese owns vacant property, but doesn't have money to build on it. He envisions shelter not only for émigrés, but for Palestinians who would otherwise be cut off from Jerusalem by the wall.

“What do we need here?” he says. “We need to bring back those who've emigrated. Otherwise, I fear for the Christian presence in the area.”
……
The Lutheran Bishop of Jerusalem, Munib Younan, told the Presbyterian News Service that he'd also like to see housing for Palestinians built on Lutheran-owned property on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

You mean, like… gasp, settlements?! And no article about Israeli Apartheid would be complete without a requisite reference to how Israel’s Apartheid is even worse than South Africa’s, grrrr.

Palestinian leaders often liken the situation in Palestine to that in South Africa under apartheid. “The situation here is worse than in South Africa,” Abu-Assal says, yet the international church equivocates instead of acting.

Worse than in South Africa? As Ian Buruma once noted in The Guardian, “the comparison with South Africa is intellectually lazy, morally questionable, and possibly even mendacious.” Indeed, Israel has one of the most multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and politically engaged societies in the world. To compare Israel to a system of Apartheid is a disservice not only to that country’s democracy but also to the tens of millions of people who suffered under real Apartheid. Further, this so-called “Apartheid state” is one of the few countries in the region where women can vote and gay citizens openly serve in the legislature and other political assemblies. If Bishop Abu-Assal thinks Israel’s so-called “Apartheid” is not only bad but even worse than South Africa’s, perhaps he should take a short flight to, say, Saudi Arabia and see how the Christian citizens (especially the evangelists) of that country are faring. Maybe he could even meet with the head of that country’s Episcopalian community. Oh, wait…

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Neighborhood Bully. The International Court of Justice, at the behest of a minority of member states in the United Nations, has addressed the following question regarding Israeli measures to protect its citizens from being blown up and otherwise mutilated, maimed, and murdered:

What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?

So: In honor of the International Court of Justice’s disgraceful and self-degrading, albeit nonbinding, decision regarding Israel’s anti-terrorism “wall,” I post below the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Neighborhood Bully.” It’s not his best song, to be sure, but it addresses and even predicts (twenty years in advance!) the issue fairly well. The court’s decision, like the Sex Pistols’ flowers in the dustbin, will quite rightly end up in the garbage pile of history, along with all the other execrable “international” condemnations and cluck-cluckings directed at Israel over the years. These pathetic and hypocritical condemnations against Israel through the years have ranged from everything to Israel’s capture and subsequent trial of Nazi genocidist Adolph Eichmann to Israel’s bombing of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor to the non-massacre in Jenin and the infamous “Zionism = Racism” U.N. Resolution. But so it goes, and this latest example will hardly be the last.

For those crowing about the decision, do keep in mind several things. Israel was not a defendant in the proceedings; this was an advisory hearing, nothing more and nothing less. The proceedings did not address the legal status of the West Bank (or of Israeli settlements therein), and the pronouncement carries no binding requirements for Israel or for anyone else. Also, please note that the above question to which the ICF so valiantly addressed itself refers exclusively to “the construction of the wall being built by Israel.” As such, since much—perhaps most—of the structure that Israel has been constructing to protect its citizens from self-detonating Palestinians and other vicious terrorists is not a wall but a fence, the court’s decision neither applies to nor addresses the entirety of Israel’s anti-terror structure.

Remember, also, that while the case was not only rejected by over thirty democratic countries, it also failed to garner the support of even half the countries in the United Nations Generally Assembly. In fact, of the 191 countries that vote in the General Assembly, 101 of them opted not to vote in support of bringing the question before the court. Of course, among those who did (predictably) endorse this polemical political stunt were the world’s mavens of dictatorship and tyranny, from Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt to Syria, China, and the Palestinian Authority. Sudan, home of the world’s foremost current genocide, gave its moral imprimatur to the reindeer games. It’s lovely company, to be sure, this minority of countries that voted for the proceedings, but it hardly constitutes any sort of progressive moral mandate.

Neighborhood Bully

Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man,
His enemies say he's on their land.
They got him outnumbered about a million to one,
He got no place to escape to, no place to run.
He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive,
He's criticized and condemned for being alive.
He's not supposed to fight back, he's supposed to have thick skin,
He's supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in.
He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land,
He's wandered the earth an exiled man.
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn,
He's always on trial for just being born.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.
The bombs were meant for him.
He was supposed to feel bad.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he'll live by the rules that the world makes for him,
'Cause there's a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac.
He's the neighborhood bully.

He got no allies to really speak of.
What he gets he must pay for, he don't get it out of love.
He buys obsolete weapons and he won't be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he's surrounded by pacifists who all want peace,
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease.
Now, they wouldn't hurt a fly.
To hurt one they would weep.
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Every empire that's enslaved him is gone,
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon.
He's made a garden of paradise in the desert sand,
In bed with nobody, under no one's command.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon,
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on.
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth,
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health.
He's the neighborhood bully.

What's anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin', they say.
He just likes to cause war.
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed,
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed.
He's the neighborhood bully.

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers?
Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill,
Running out the clock, time standing still,
Neighborhood bully.

Valiant freedom fighters from the Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, the armed branch of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, bravely bombed a public bus filled with civilians, including children, a little while ago. (Just out of curiosity, what are the unarmed branches of Fatah? Just wondering.)

In Israel, since the weekend is generally considered to be Friday and Saturday, bombing a bus on a Sunday morning in Tel Aviv is like bombing a bus on a Monday morning here. That is, during Monday morning rush hour, when people will be on their ways to work, to camp, to school, etc.

Well, one must be awfully desperate and oppressed to deliberately bomb a public bus. Why, just ask all the desperate and oppressed Tibetans and Sudanese who, like Palestinians, have been detonating themselves in crowded public areas and bombing civilian targets for years now.

Of course, if any of the International Solidarity Movement folks or other “peace activists” who are currently in Israel protesting The Nefarious Apartheid Wall—the same wall, incidentally, that has prevented myriad attacks like today’s—happen to make it into the Muqata for a meeting with Arafat, I’m sure they’ll voice their indignation to him about this latest bombing executed by “the armed branch” of his own party. Maybe they’ll even use one of their megaphones. After all, if they’re indignant over a wall that hasn’t killed anyone, imagine how upset they must be over yet another a rush-hour bus bombing that has.

Friday, July 09, 2004

The War Against Judeo-American Domination: Coming to European Capitals Soon, Probably! Arab News, operated by our progressive allies the Saudis, publishes yet another bigoted rant of breathless ding-battitude by Robert David, er, Israel Shamir. David, I mean, Shamir, retches up any number of putrid falsities, and even manages to simultaneously glorify and minimize self-detonating Palestinian suicide bombers: These putrid manifestations of indomitable spirit are “hardly more than a nuisance from military point of view,” you understand. Among other things, he unleashes a peculiar but nonetheless particularly bigoted (and paranoid) smear that “the Jews have a powerful secret weapon at their disposal — their readiness to ruin the land.”

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s interesting that the same publication that (quite rightly) criticizes bigoted characterizations of Muslims nonetheless shows little hesitation, if any, in publishing vile depictions of “the Jews.”

Shamir then proves his own incompetence and/or dishonesty as a journalist with the asinine claim that “Every Israeli man and woman serves in the army, and his or her military exploits are the necessary requirement for any career, from minister to hairdresser.”

Well, no, dummy. Various Orthodox Jews, children, the elderly, and Arabs are but some of the Israelis who don’t serve in the army. The rest of the article goes downhill from there. That Saudi Arabia sees fit to regularly publish this sort of deceitful, bigoted garbage speaks volumes about our “allies.” With friends like this…

Not surprisingly, a Google search for “Judeo-American” turns up some of the usual suspects who, like David/Shamir, employ such rhetoric.
At Al-Ahram Weekly, it’s another week, another Nazi swastika (Israel, you understand). As usual, the dripping blood is a nice touch, if not de rigueur. To paraphrase Voltaire, if Israel did not exist, Al-Ahram would have to create it to avoid losing so much of its content.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Another charming cartoon from Arab News: notice how the only person smiling is the grinning, black-hatted Jew (time sensitive link). It's interesting, though, that the same publication that (quite rightly) criticizes bigoted characterizations of Muslims nonetheless shows little hesitation, if any, in publishing despicable and Der Sturmer-esque depictions of Jews.
In The Land of Scary Guys. Joe Carr, one of the International Solidarity Movement members who witnessed Rachel Corrie’s death, has composed a song about her, entitled “A Dove’s Last Song.” If you like, you can listen to it here.

Needless to say, Carr’s lyrical rendition of Corrie’s final song/dance/showdown before a Caterpillar “diesel death machine” differs somewhat from his earlier eyewitness testimony. A poetic license, of sorts, I suppose. Since I’ve already wasted time transcribing the song’s lyrics I don’t feel especially inclined to comment on it any further, although there’s hardly much else to say about it. And, anyway, this sort of quasi-lyrical, aestheticized rhetoric tends to speak for itself.

The suggestion that Corrie, supposedly inspired in no small part by the terrorist attacks of 9/11, was waging some sort of “personal war” “to stop terror” is a bit rich. Indeed, less than a year-and-a-half later she was attending a demonstration, organized in part by the ISM, that featured such renowned terrorist groups as Hamas and the PFLP. Good times, I’m sure.

Here are the lyrics, as accurately as I could transcribe them. There are a few ellipses [ … ] where I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying.

A Dove’s Last Song

So let me tell you the story of a gory glory
One grand last stand in the land of holy
Rachel gave her life defending native rights
And we will never see her legacy die

When the planes hit the towers on 9-1-1
She knew that her personal war had begun
She sought to stop terror where it may be
And her eyes turned towards Washington, D.C.
And to the army of Israel, the I.D.F.
Exhaling death with each breath ‘til there’s nothing left

They kill, capture, and cripple women, children, and men
Whose only crime is that they’re Palestinian

See, Rachel learned about Rafah, the forgotten town,
With I.S.M, the only internationals around

The world’s fourth strongest power hides our eyes from it all
While they create a prison state with guard towers and walls
It’s the most impoverished place in all of Palestine
And it’s the site where the most folks fight and die

It’s one of the poorest and most deadly cities in the world
No tourist trap for ordinary college girls
She thought her Western white privilege could do some good
As could other caring people in her neighborhood

So she sought to set up a relationship
An Oly sister-city project in the Gaza Strip

So at the tip of January she said her goodbyes
And hit the skies for the land of scary guys and cries
And when her plane hit the ground
The word got around
That Rajah, the blonde American was in town

She found a promise [ … ] for the people and they cherished her so
A white flower in the desert budding peace and hope
Her lighthearted spirit was a breath of fresh air
In this war zone full of poverty and despair

The children were her favorite and she tried to play a game of football on the pavement almost everyday
When she wasn’t off protecting workers fixing wells or networking and connecting NGOs

I could tell her initiative and organizing skills were ample
She was the best kind of leader, she led by example
I’ll never forget her dedication and commitment
To solidarity and the spirit of resistance

It was this firm stance that opened the door to her final dance opposing hatred and war
Her final dance that rocked me to my core

On the 16th of March she walked to the field
To lessen demolition with her body as shield
Yeah, we took on Goliath but instead of stone we had fluorescent orange jackets and a megaphone

Our known passports projected aid and our pale white skin
We thought we protected from racist violence
But Rachel was the first to prove that we were wrong
When she knelt in her pew to sing her final song
When she raised her voice and sang her final song
Protecting the home of Dr. Samir
The family of whom she’d grown to hold dear

Well, she couldn’t let the dozer crush their hopes and dreams
So she pleaded with the soldier, “Go home, please, just disobey your commander and just leave the people be
Or if you remain you’re gonna have to deal with me

I plead my words you’ll heed
And I won’t concede ‘til you recede
I won’t leave ‘til this family is freed
And I won’t concede ‘
‘Til you recede.”

And she didn’t cede but neither did he
As the dozer came closer she climbed the mound
And met the soldier at his shoulders for a final showdown

And too terrified to join her I raised my lens
And now these few famous photos document the event

She centered into his eyes but he continued to drive
And pushed her down into the ground until she was [ … ]
And now the favorite of our band holy crushed by holy land
Holy crushed by holy land

And I can still see her hand sticking out of the sand
I still reach for her hand extending out of the sa—aa—and

The man had seen her there pleading but he didn’t see a human being
A life to be valued, of true compassion and feelings
She was concealing terrorists in his twisted mind-frame
But somehow he messed he was doing the same

He’s gotta do what he’s told, turn his hard heart into cold
He’s been required to kill since 18-years-old
He chose a victim of oppression from religion and war
No excuse for his aggression but a reason for it

His duty was to drive a diesel death machine
With the treads of terror and the blade of pain
Calibrated by hatred and fueled by fear
With the blend of blood and money that oils the gears
Made here, American supplied and designed and dyed green
Modified for the Israeli military machine

The Caterpillar Corporation is the nation’s biggest fan
They make a killing off the filling of the destruction of man

It was a Caterpillar killer that killed her
They made the Caterpillar kill her
He made the Caterpillar kill her that killed her
It was a Caterpillar that killed her

As her song was censored and her dance denied
We waved and raved, “She’s underneath!” we cried
But he put it in reverse and cursed her again
Dragging the blade over serrated skin
And torn inside and horrified we rushed to her side
And tried to keep her alive ‘til more help could arrive

And the EMTs were an all-too experienced crew
They rushed her to the hospital but what the hell could they do?
Her spine was snapped and her chest was smashed
Her skull was cracked and her lungs had collapsed
[…] It surpassed what the understaffed doctors could fix

They said, “Allaq al-Hamra” at 20 past six
They wheeled her out, a white sheet shading her head
“It’s over,” my comrade Mohammed said

I couldn’t believe it, and I cried to his chest
I still can’t conceive her soul is really at rest
No, I still can’t conceive her soul is really at rest

But we had services and ceremonies, demonstrations
We did hundreds of interviews and presentations

The world was aware of the vicious attack
Just as Bush and Blair began bombing Iraq
But no distraction, the world rose up and took action
And at anti-war demos we honored her memory
Inspired by her fire now forever burning in me

Yeah, Rachel’s dedication made the nations fight war
And more have come to Rafah than ever before
And ISM recruits have gone through the roof
As so many pro-freedom and pro-peace groups

And we see troupes of doves in the yearly Oly street procession
And Rachel Corrie Memorial Center for Children

Rachel’s vision of the sister city has been realized
Olympia and Rafah will forever be tied
All her Oly family will keep it alive
And we will never see her legacy die
No matter how hard they try

They may have crushed her body and crushed her bones
But they’ll never crush her spirit that lives on and on
On and on, from dawn to dawn
A crescendo never ending freedom song

And now every time I walk down a block town in the street
Every time I write a media or theater piece
Every time I build a puppet or deliver a speech
And every time my mind’s on Palestine and all the Shahid

Every time a freedom fighter dies for a cause
Or we ride with [ … ] who don’t abide by their laws
Every time we push our limits and make cultural ties
Every time we lose our privilege to a system denied
Every time we take a stand for another man’s strife
We honor Rachel Corrie and continue her life
Yeah, we will never see her legacy die

Her life is documented in verses and prose
We read the details in her emails to her folks and her bro’s
And from her journals we can learn all of her thoughts and ideas
We can study testimony of her family and peers

Like, we hear she was a healer who worked in mental health
An Oly girl and Greener who loved to teach herself
She was an artist, writer, painter, a creator of beauty
We know she was a leader who heeded her duty

Yeah, a maker of peace who didn’t cease ‘til the end
She was a daughter, a sister, a mother, and a friend
She was a martyr, a true shahida

She had died for freedom
She had come to Rafah to stop the tanks
That were built, bought, and brought by her brothers the Yanks
And though they’re stronger than ever they won’t be forever

Extend your hands to Rachel’s and we’ll stand here together

Yeah, we’ll never see her legacy die
No, no, no, no, no.

‘Cause true solidarity is such a rarity
And she shared it with me with such clarity

Graffiti writing in Rafah reads her glory

Rachel Corrie, an American citizen with Palestinian blood
An American citizen with Palestinian blood
An American citizen with Palestinian blood
An American citizen with Palestinian blood

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