Tuesday, October 31

New York Magazine Shreds 'My Name is Rachel Corrie' Play

"Though there’s still time for a protester or counterprotester to do something really dumb, l’affaire Corrie seems, finally, to be at an end...the play develops no cumulative power. For all the gravity of the material, her observations feel curiously weightless, offering no sense of why these bad things are happening all around her. In fact, the play is so thin that anybody who might have told Nicola not to proceed because of its politics seems misguided. For the love of John Stuart Mill, are these journal entries really damning enough to merit suppression? The e-mails of a young outsider who says “I’m really new to talking about Israel-Palestine” don’t seem terribly hard to refute, if you’re so inclined.

More than once, Corrie takes an oddly detached view of Palestinian violence, doubting that it could have “any impact” on the Israelis—a surprisingly clinical tone for such a sensitive advocate of social justice, as if it’s the body count incurred in a bus bombing that matters. I didn’t pick the example at random. While Corrie was in Gaza, a suicide bomber destroyed a bus in Haifa, killing fifteen people—mainly children—including an American girl even younger than Corrie, one involved in a program to reconcile Arab and Jewish students. There’s something poignant in the ways these two sad stories parallel each other and diverge. I can even imagine a drama using their deaths to tell us something new about the conflict, or help us better understand its whole horrible complexity. This play doesn’t."

Full review at New York Magazine

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