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Last updated on July 26th, 2017 at 04:08 pm
Henry di Suvero usually spends his afternoons writing “all sorts of things, including letters to the ABC protesting against its pro-Israeli news coverage.” That’s about what you’d expect from someone who, as a lawyer in the US, defended the Weathermen. Late in life, Henry has become a playwright. His latest work, pre-emptively hyped by the Sydney Morning Herald, is The Ballad of Rachel Corrie:
Corrie went to the Gaza Strip with a peace group called the International Solidarity Movement; she helped escort Palestinian children to school and wrote reports on what she saw happening in Rafah, where she was based. In March 2003 she and four other members of the movement spent the afternoon trying to stop Israeli tanks bulldozing a row of houses. Corrie was standing in front of one house, wearing an orange fluorescent jacket, as a bulldozer approached. Witnesses say it was obvious the driver and nearby soldiers could see her, but she refused to move. The bulldozer, fitted with a bucket designed specially to knock down houses, rolled on, crushing her. Its driver then stopped and reversed over her body, witnesses from the movement say.
Di Suvero has never been to Israel, but saw it all reported in the media … The Ballad of Rachel Corrie is the second of a trilogy he is writing on the issue.
“My first play really asks the question: why do the Palestinians have to keep on paying for the Holocaust? This play moves on and asks: what is the utility of non-violence? The third play, which is about refuseniks, asks the question: where are the good Jews today?”
Calculate the odds of ever seeing this line appear, without condemnation, in the SMH: “Where are the good Muslims today?” Ballad is the second Corrie play; the gal’s becoming a franchise.