Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Study in Contrasts: The Deaths of Rachel Corrie and Andres Muscara Chavez

On March 16, 2003, a woman who had gone to the Gaza Strip to support Hamas in its terror war against Israel was killed when she apparently slipped, fell behind a pile of rocks and was accidentally crushed as a bulldozer was clearing debris.

On January 14, 2008, a young man who had gone to Israel to volunteer on a kibbutz was murdered by a sniper as he worked in a potato field.

The woman was Rachel Corrie, one of numerous Americans and other foreigners who have died in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Her death differed from almost all the others in two significant ways: her death was an accident and, although indirectly, her death came from an Israeli action.

The man was Andres Muscara Chavez. His death, unlike Corrie's, was in the category of most of the others: it was deliberate and it came at the hands of Palestinian Arab terrorists.

Corrie's accidental death instigated an avalanche of anti-Israel propaganda. Her diary and other writings have been published and a propaganda play produced and run in London, New York and other venues.

In contrast, it's unlikely the death of Andres Muscara Chavev will attract much more attention than the deaths of Rachel Charhi, Rachel Gavish, Rachel Levi, Rachel Levy, Rachel Shabo and Rachel Thaler.

Most people know the name Rachel Corrie, but hardly anyone knows about any of these other Rachels.

Rachel Charhi was blown up by a Palestinian Arab terrorist while sitting an a cafe. Her three young children are now orphans.

Rachel Gavish was killed with her husband, son and father while celebrating Passover.

Rachel Kol was 53 when she and her husband were murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists.

Rachel Levi was just 19 when she was shot while waiting for a bus.

Rachel Levy was just 17 when she was blown up by a Palestinian Arab terrorist in a grocery store.

Rachel Shabo was murdered along with her three young sons by a Palestinian Arab terrorist in her own home.

Some may argue the murders of those Rachels didn't attract as much attention because they were Israeli.

Rachel Thaler was a British citizen, born in London, who was just 16 years old when she was blown up by a Palestinian Arab terrorist February 16, 2002 at a pizzeria.

Some may argue Rachel Thaler's murder didn't attract as much attention here because she wasn't American.

There have also been dozens of American citizens, including some from Connecticut, murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists while in Israel; none of them have attracted a fraction of the attention here as has the accidental death of Rachel Corrie.

Unlike Rachel Corrie, Andres Muscara Chavez did not burn American flags at Hamas rallies.

Unlike Rachel Corrie, Andres Muscara Chavez did not promote the transfer of weapons and explosives to terrorist groups.

Unlike Rachel Corrie, Andres Muscara Chavez did not lie to immigration officials to get into Israel under false pretenses.

Unlike Rachel Corrie, Andres Muscara Chavez was helping to bring life into the world when he was deliberately murdered in cold blood by a Palestinian Arab sniper.

Rachel Corrie's life was glorified by those seeking to make propaganda hay of her accidental death.

I did not know Andres Muscara Chavez and have no idea of whether, in his too short life, he did anything worth glorifying.

One can only hope we learn from his death and recognize the difference between those like the Israelis who choose life and those who glorify death.

One can only hope some people understand why there has been so much hullabaloo about he accidental death of someone who was helping the very terrorists who took credit for the murder of Andres Muscara Chavez and so much silence about the murders of Andres Muscara Chavez, all those other Rachels, countless Israelis and dozens of Americans.

And one can only hope the parents of Andres Muscara Chavez learn to live with the grief from which no parent should ever suffer.

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