The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The Left-leaning London Guardian reports:
The family of the American activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza seven years ago, is to bring a civil suit over her death against the Israeli defence ministry.

The case, which begins on 10 March in Haifa, northern Israel, is seen by her parents as an opportunity to put on public record the events that led to their daughter's death in March 2003. Four key witnesses – three Britons and an American – who were at the scene in Rafah when Corrie was killed will give evidence, according the family lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein.

In 2006, on the anniversary of her tragic death, I wrote about Rachel Corrie in this blog. In the post, I quoted the story of a Vietnam-era protester, related by Lee Harris. In the story, the protester recognized the counterproductive elements of his disruptive protests, but continued them because “in his words, [it was] good for his soul.”

Harris went on the suggest that people like the protester live by a “fantasy ideology” in which they are taking part in a revolutionary struggle to free the “oppressed” from the oppressor (almost always a western democracy). Those who live the fantasy ideology use “political and ideological symbols and tropes … not for political purposes, but entirely for the benefit of furthering a specific personal or collective fantasy."

In my post I wrote:
I contend that Rachel Corrie and the tens of thousands of angry Left “activists” who lionize her are fulfilling a fantasy ideology. To paraphrase Harris, the Israeli bulldozers were, for Rachel, “there merely as props, as so many supernumeraries in [her] private psychodrama. The protest for [her] was not politics, but theater; and the significance of [her] role lay not in the political ends [her] actions might achieve, but rather in their symbolic value as ritual. In short, [she] was acting out a fantasy.”

Obviously, a harsh and tragic reality intruded on Rachel Corrie. Unlike those on the far right, I am saddened by her death.

But I am also saddened by those who choose to define victims and oppressors without regard to any objective truth; those who immediately assume that countries with democratic (Western) values are always wrong, while murderous “oppressed” regimes and those who support them are always right; those who lord their perceived moral superiority over those who take (dare I say it?) a more nuanced view of the world.

I predict that the left-leaning MSM will present the lawsuit breathlessly, demonizing Israel as they typically do. So be it. But just remember that despite the claims that you’ll hear, Rachel Corrie was living out her own fantasy ideology as she “protected” a house—not people—that once harbored terrorists and smuggling tunnels.

I closed my original post with this comment.
Like Rachel Corrie, you can choose to live by a fantasy ideology, or you can view the world through an undistorted lens. Neither approach is perfect, but I contend that the former leads to narcissism while the latter leads to truth.

It is indeed sad that Rachel Corrie chose a path that led to her death. Her parents might be better served to focus their anger on those who teach and encourage the young to adopt a fantasy ideology.