A continuing series by guest author Dr. Dahlia Wasfi
I searched the Internet for everything that I could find out about Rachel Corrie—who she was, where she came from, what brought her to challenge bulldozers in Gaza.
(And I wondered, my God, what kind of courage does that take? I couldn’t even muster the strength to stand up to bigoted doctors in my workplace.)
I found a picture of her. She was so beautiful: all-American-looking, blonde, blue-eyed young woman. She was thin and beautiful, like a dancer. She even looked natural and confident in the standard over-the-shoulder shot which every high school portrait photographer makes you pose. Most of us look awkward. Rachel’s picture looked elegant.
The outlines of most human beings are dwarfed by the hulking form of a D-9 Caterpillar bulldozer, armored and used by the Israeli army for the destruction of land and homes. Rachel’s frame, in particular, appeared so delicate in the pictures I could find.
She was someone who would never experience racial discrimination based on her looks, the way I felt that I had.
What was she doing in Palestine? Like everything I else I looked at, none of this made any sense whatsoever. This tragedy must be some horrible, horrible mistake.
In the midst of my indignation, I suddenly was struck by self-loathing at what I then perceived to be more internal hypocrisy. Why was I so moved by Rachel Corrie’s death?