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remembering Rachel Levy

Tomorrow it will be 5.5 years after Rachel was blown to bits.

At 17.

In a food market in Jerusalem, filled with IDF soldiers, also shopping for Shabbat food. Who were the real targets. Rachel was coming into the doorway at the worst possible second.

Also blown in pieces: Ayat al-Akhras, 18, three months before her wedding. Who was wearing the bomb on her waist and gripping the plunger. On the way in, when she got stopped at the door by Security.

Rachel was a photojournalist in her high school, Ayat was a straight-A student headed to college in September.

Reportedly, Ayat had been totally pissed off when a neighbor in her refugee camp was killed in combat action. Hamas turned her down for enlistment. Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades did not.

Glyn O'Malley wrote a play in their memory, produced in NY at the Kirk Theater in March 2005: the set decoration featured a line of photos of some of those killed in the fighting, staring out at you... a terrible range from infants to 90-year-olds. One of the scenes featured Rachel and her Mom praying in Temple as the light changed so they were ringed by a large green circle with rangefinder crosshairs: images burned permanently into my memory.

Their futures ended at 17 and 18 and ours did not [most of us, anyway, who are reading].

Although our noble King George also has a future that went on longer, and he has killed far more Middle Easterners than has Ayat, he observed that "When an 18-year-old Palestinian girl is induced to blow herself up and in the process kills a 17-year-old Israeli girl, the future itself is dying..."

Easily the best comment he's ever made.

===============================================

Short stories about the girls are at Wikipedia, with good external links.

Longer: Ayat = http://www.robincmiller.com/articles/a15.htm

O'Malley = http://www.nyte.org/pp06int_omalley.htm

O'Malley ran into lots of censorship and opposition in Ohio where he tried to produce in 2003, and I feel kindred to that because of a firestorm of censorship / opposition to an exhibit I'm staffing here, by Peter Schumann: it says some very strong things about the Israel - Palestine problems, and about Rachel Corrie, but it's still being kept open, on schedule, for one last weekend ...

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