NAIMA SHAYER: [translated] On that last day, she didn’t want to leave our house. She’d get to the door and then rush back to hold and kiss us goodbye again. I asked her, “What’s wrong? Do you think you’re going to die today?” She did this a few times, as if she didn’t want to leave us.
That evening, my niece told me that Rachel Corrie had been killed by an Israeli bulldozer and had watched it on television. I didn’t believe her at first and thought she must have been lying.
All of us in the house were crying. She had stayed with us for over twenty days. I remember, whenever she was late, she’d call and apologize. If she got later than 7:00, she’d let us know. Once she got stuck at a checkpoint and called so we wouldn’t worry. She was just like one of us, a member of our family. She was so good to us.
ABU JAMEEL: [translated] Very few people live up to Rachel’s example. Honestly, even today, I remember her. I can see her: slender, fair, beautiful, wearing a kafia. She was graceful and so courageous, never afraid.
My house was near an Israeli watchtower near the wall. She’d be there with her megaphone, shouting, “Please, don’t fire. There are children here.” She had an open spirit, a pure spirit. She was a great person, irreplaceable. Rachel’s life should be recorded in history.
At the conference on the idea of communism in London three days before, organiser Slavoj Zizek urged his audience:
We must resist the temptation to act. We must refuse being told that children are dying of hunger in Africa or in the slums of India, for this is the philosophy of the present times. They don’t want us to think.
Oh yes that terrible temptation to act, which plagues that audience, stalks it everywhere with its blandishments and meretricious seductions, from which they know not where to hide. But one must be strong, be firm, one mustn't play into their hands, you see. Like Rachel Corrie, the hysterics of Seattle and Genoa, the antiwar protesting puppets of Bush, the shoe hurling journalists of Iraq, Free Gaza, or the millions of French strikers today.
The charismatic theorist's urgent appeal will no doubt be scrupulously obeyed. In fact it was already being obeyed before it was even made. But now, intransigent refusal to act can be self-righteous too, its protagonists can congratulate themselves, how brave and strong we are to resist the temptation to which weaklings and dupes like Corrie succumb.