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Palestine

Memorial for Rachel Corrie
by David Hanks/Global Exchange ( david [at] globalexchange.org )
Tuesday Mar 18th, 2003 1:39 AM
Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was killed on March 16 when she was run over by an Israeli bulldozer. Rachel was trying to stop the bulldozer from demolishing the home of a Palestinian doctor in the Gaza Strip. Over a hundred people gathered outside the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco to remember her.
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Another Victim
§Photos of Rachel Corrie
by David Hanks/Global Exchange ( david [at] globalexchange.org ) Tuesday Mar 18th, 2003 1:39 AM
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Jess Ghannam, Free Palestine Alliance
§Mourning the Death of a Friend
by David Hanks/Global Exchange ( david [at] globalexchange.org ) Tuesday Mar 18th, 2003 1:39 AM
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Eric Klein, Elzza Nyiri, and David Taylor - friends of Rachel Corrie. David stated, "Rachel was an amazing friend and a beautiful person and she went to Palestine to stand up against the injustice of the Israeli Government. And a bulldozer, paid for by our tax dollars, ran her over then backed up over her again. She was trying to protect people and they killed her. I don't want my friends to be martyrs. I don't want more people to die -- whether they're Americans who I knew and loved -- whether they're Israeli or Palestinian -- this madness has to stop...

"She said in her email she had the privilege to do this--that they'd never dare kill an American -- and they did... We give billions of dollars a year to the Israeli Government. They're the largest recipient of foreign military aid that comes from this country. The tanks and the bulldozers that destroy villages and in this case destroyed Rachel come out of our paychecks. Until we resist this government and stand up to it we're going to continue to support the military and genocide in Palestine. It just so happened that this time our tax dollars killed one of our own, even though they kill Palestinians every day. We have to stand up and say enough is enough--without having our loved ones be killed to fight the injustice that's being funded by this government!"

§Reading from an Email
by David Hanks/Global Exchange ( david [at] globalexchange.org ) Tuesday Mar 18th, 2003 1:39 AM
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Carolyn Arnold read an email that Rachel wrote on February 7, 2003

Statement of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee:

Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was killed on March 16 when she was run over by an Israeli bulldozer. Rachel was trying to stop the bulldozer from demolishing the home of a Palestinian doctor in the Gaza Strip.

ISM is a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian and International activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. ISM utilizes nonviolent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies.

The confrontation between the ISM and the Israeli Army had been under way for two hours when Rachel was run over. Rachel and the other activists had clearly identified themselves as unarmed international peace activists throughout the confrontation.

The Israeli Army is attempting to dishonor Rachel's memory by claiming that she was killed accidentally when she ran in front of the bulldozer. Eye-witnesses to the murder insist that this is totally untrue. Rachel was sitting in the path of the bulldozer as it advanced towards her. When the bulldozer refused to stop or turn aside she climbed up onto the mound of dirt and rubble being gathered in front of it wearing a fluorescent jacket to look directly at the driver who kept on advancing. The bulldozer continued to advance so that she was pulled under the pile of dirt and rubble. After she had disappeared from view the driver kept advancing until the bulldozer was completely on top of her. The driver did not lift the bulldozer blade and so she was crushed beneath it. Then the driver backed off and the seven other ISM activists taking part in the action rushed to dig out her body. An ambulance rushed her to A-Najar hospital where she died.

While this horrific incident might seem shocking, it is a daily reality for Palestinians living under a brutal Israeli occupation that completely dehumanizes them. It is further testament to the institutional terror and indiscriminate killing that Israel practices every day. The incident illustrates that the Israeli army is ready to kill international peace activists to frighten others away. Israel can then continue to carry out more crimes against Palestinians with impunity and without witness, a matter that is particularly dangerous with the attention shifting to the impending war on Iraq.

Statement from Rachel Corrie's parents

March 16, 2003

"We are now in a period of grieving and still finding out the details behind the death of Rachel in the Gaza Strip.

We have raised all our children to appreciate the beauty of the global community and family and are proud that Rachel was able to live her convictions. Rachel was filled with love and a sense of duty to her fellow man, wherever they lived. And, she gave her life trying to protect those that are unable to protect themselves.

Rachel wrote to us from the Gaza Strip and we would like to release to the media her experience in her own words at this time.

Thank you. Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie

Excerpts from an email from Rachel on February 7, 2003

I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what's going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States--something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don't know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I'm not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere. An eight-year-old was shot and killed by an Israeli tank two days before I got here, and many of the children murmur his name to me, "Ali"--or point at the posters of him on the walls. The children also love to get me to practice my limited Arabic by asking me "Kaif Sharon?" "Kaif Bush?" and they laugh when I say "Bush Majnoon" "Sharon Majnoon" back in my limited Arabic. (How is Sharon? How is Bush? Bush is crazy. Sharon is crazy.) Of course this isn't quite what I believe, and some of the adults who have the English correct me: Bush mish Majnoon... Bush is a businessman. Today I tried to learn to say "Bush is a tool", but I don't think it translated quite right. But anyway, there are eight-year-olds here much more aware of the workings of the global power structure than I was just a few years ago--at least regarding Israel.

Nevertheless, I think about the fact that no amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can't imagine it unless you see it, and even then you are always well aware that your experience is not at all the reality: what with the difficulties the Israeli Army would face if they shot an unarmed US citizen, and with the fact that I have money to buy water when the army destroys wells, and, of course, the fact that I have the option of leaving. Nobody in my family has been shot, driving in their car, by a rocket launcher from a tower at the end of a major street in my hometown. I have a home. I am allowed to go see the ocean. Ostensibly it is still quite difficult for me to be held for months or years on end without a trial (this because I am a white US citizen, as opposed to so many others). When I leave for school or work I can be relatively certain that there will not be a heavily armed soldier waiting half way between Mud Bay and downtown Olympia at a checkpoint--a soldier with the power to decide whether I can go about my business, and whether I can get home again when I'm done. So, if I feel outrage at arriving and entering briefly and incompletely into the world in which these children exist, I wonder conversely about how it would be for them to arrive in my world.

They know that children in the United States don't usually have their parents shot and they know they sometimes get to see the ocean. But once you have seen the ocean and lived in a silent place, where water is taken for granted and not stolen in the night by bulldozers, and once you have spent an evening when you haven't wondered if the walls of your home might suddenly fall inward waking you from your sleep, and once you've met people who have never lost anyone-- once you have experienced the reality of a world that isn't surrounded by murderous towers, tanks, armed "settlements" and now a giant metal wall, I wonder if you can forgive the world for all the years of your childhood spent existing--just existing--in resistance to the constant stranglehold of the world's fourth largest military--backed by the world's only superpower--in it's attempt to erase you from your home. That is something I wonder about these children. I wonder what would happen if they really knew.

As an afterthought to all this rambling, I am in Rafah, a city of about 140,000 people, approximately 60 percent of whom are refugees--many of whom are twice or three times refugees. Rafah existed prior to 1948, but most of the people here are themselves or are descendants of people who were relocated here from their homes in historic Palestine--now Israel. Rafah was split in half when the Sinai returned to Egypt. Currently, the Israeli army is building a fourteen-meter-high wall between Rafah in Palestine and the border, carving a no-mans land from the houses along the border. Six hundred and two homes have been completely bulldozed according to the Rafah Popular Refugee Committee. The number of homes that have been partially destroyed is greater.

Today as I walked on top of the rubble where homes once stood, Egyptian soldiers called to me from the other side of the border, "Go! Go!" because a tank was coming. Followed by waving and "what's your name?". There is something disturbing about this friendly curiosity. It reminded me of how much, to some degree, we are all kids curious about other kids: Egyptian kids shouting at strange women wandering into the path of tanks. Palestinian kids shot from the tanks when they peak out from behind walls to see what's going on. International kids standing in front of tanks with banners. Israeli kids in the tanks anonymously, occasionally shouting--and also occasionally waving--many forced to be here, many just aggressive, shooting into the houses as we wander away.

In addition to the constant presence of tanks along the border and in the western region between Rafah and settlements along the coast, there are more IDF towers here than I can count--along the horizon, at the end of streets. Some just army green metal. Others these strange spiral staircases draped in some kind of netting to make the activity within anonymous. Some hidden, just beneath the horizon of buildings. A new one went up the other day in the time it took us to do laundry and to cross town twice to hang banners. Despite the fact that some of the areas nearest the border are the original Rafah with families who have lived on this land for at least a century, only the 1948 camps in the center of the city are Palestinian controlled areas under Oslo. But as far as I can tell, there are few if any places that are not within the sights of some tower or another. Certainly there is no place invulnerable to apache helicopters or to the cameras of invisible drones we hear buzzing over the city for hours at a time.

I've been having trouble accessing news about the outside world here, but I hear an escalation of war on Iraq is inevitable. There is a great deal of concern here about the "reoccupation of Gaza." Gaza is reoccupied every day to various extents, but I think the fear is that the tanks will enter all the streets and remain here, instead of entering some of the streets and then withdrawing after some hours or days to observe and shoot from the edges of the communities. If people aren't already thinking about the consequences of this war for the people of the entire region then I hope they will start.

I also hope you'll come here. We've been wavering between five and six internationals. The neighborhoods that have asked us for some form of presence are Yibna, Tel El Sultan, Hi Salam, Brazil, Block J, Zorob, and Block O. There is also need for constant night-time presence at a well on the outskirts of Rafah since the Israeli army destroyed the two largest wells. According to the municipal water office the wells destroyed last week provided half of Rafah's water supply. Many of the communities have requested internationals to be present at night to attempt to shield houses from further demolition. After about ten p.m. it is very difficult to move at night because the Israeli army treats anyone in the streets as resistance and shoots at them. So clearly we are too few.

I continue to believe that my home, Olympia, could gain a lot and offer a lot by deciding to make a commitment to Rafah in the form of a sister-community relationship. Some teachers and children's groups have expressed interest in e-mail exchanges, but this is only the tip of the iceberg of solidarity work that might be done. Many people want their voices to be heard, and I think we need to use some of our privilege as internationals to get those voices heard directly in the US, rather than through the filter of well-meaning internationals such as myself. I am just beginning to learn, from what I expect to be a very intense tutelage, about the ability of people to organize against all odds, and to resist against all odds.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by grieving
Tuesday Mar 18th, 2003 10:14 PM
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Why did it have to happen to her? How can anyone not see her passion for Peace and Justice? Hate was something alien to her.
by memorial in Berkeley Mar.27
Wednesday Mar 19th, 2003 10:55 AM
If you want to share your grief and reassert your determination to carry on her mission to end the racist Zionist- US backed ethnic cleansing of non-Jews from their own homeland, please join us at Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship at 1924 Cedar St. @ Bonita in No. Berkeley off Shattuck, on Mar. 27, a Thursday nite, doors open at 7pm, program starts at 7:30. Feel free to bring flowers and notes for an alter/shine in her honor. God bless her soul.
by candles, flowers, notes
Wednesday Mar 19th, 2003 11:09 AM
Other ideas for the shrine we will make to honor Rachel: bring candles, flowers, notes of love. It will be kind of like an alter in the Mexican tradition of Dios de las Muertes.

By the way, the Orthodox Jews of the Neturei Karta conducted Israeli flag burning ceremonies around the world yesterday to commemorate Purim and show their complete rejection of the racist, Zionist state of Israel.
For more info http://www.netureikarta.org or http://www.jewsnotzionists.org or http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com.
by James Lance
Wednesday Mar 19th, 2003 11:43 AM
Hi. I'm a zionist. A zionist is some who believes that the Jewish people deserve a safe homeland on this planet. It has nothing to do with anything other than that. Safety for a people. Political means to make that happen are a different story.

I feel badly about Rachel Corrie. That's really horrible.

I know that her organization also protected actual Hamas militant palestinians in the past, and I don't approve of that, but that does not excuse what occured the other day.

It should be noted that saying "The Israeli army" killed her isn't really accurate. One Israeli Army bulldozer driver killed her. It is not policy to do such a thing. Such an event does not benefit Israel in any way.

I feel badly that the leaders of the Palestinian people, for about 40 years now, cared more about destroying Israel, one Jew at a time if necessary, than the well-being of their own people. And I feel badly that the Israeli army, when hunting for terrorists, manages to also sometimes kill innocent people. I'm also sorry that Arab countries that made war with Israel didn't accept Palestinian refugees, like Israel accepted Jewish refugees from arab countries.

I believe the #1 goal of Israel is to continue to exist. It will do just that. THe only question is whether Palestinians get their own state or not. Unfortunately, regardless of how innocent some are, or some aren't, Arafat has been a horrible, horrible leader, and Hamas are only making Israel to respond more strongly.

When JOrdan fought with Palestinians (see "BLack September, 1970's,) King Hussein didn't do what Israel does (hunt specific individuals, occasionally hurting innocents in the process). King Hussein of Jordan just said "screw this, the palestinians have pissed me off" and he went and killed tens of thousands of them in the span of a month or two. Perhaps Israel's biggest mistake was not taking the same approach long ago. Maybe the problem would be solved by now. Beause Palestinians stopped messing with Jordan after King Hussein did that.

War is ugly.

I want a safe Israel, and I would like the Palestinians to get their own state, but only if it's run by responsible leaders who really, really want peace. There is no way anyone familiar with the lifetime history of Arafat can believe that he is that man. And Hamas are the most extreme of them all.

When Palestinians are better represented, and Hamas are destroyed or broken up, and there is less terrorism, Israelis will vote for moderate leaders, as they have just a few years ago, and things will progress.
by John K Sharpe
( sharpejkev [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday Mar 19th, 2003 10:08 PM
Beyond her politics, Rachel Corrie should be remembered for incredible courage. This was the kind of courage that could only have come from an intense love of humanity. I wish she had not had the undeniable impulse to throw herself into the front of the collective conflict of mankind. What was she thinking? That she could hold back generations of hatred by the shear force of her will? There must be a better method of being heard than to be crushed by a bulldozer.

I suppose that her and I would have disagreed on a number of things especially tactics. But there would have been no disagreement about outcome.

She was a wonderful writer. Her words bleed all the emotion she felt as she wrote them. I felt and believed every word she wrote. It’s sad to think that maybe her best option to give voice to the people she wanted to help so desperately was right under her nose but she never realized it. I think she would have, had she lived. Sadly, we'll never get to read it.
by Zionism will soon be a thing of the past
Wednesday Mar 19th, 2003 10:36 PM
For every movement where changes are desired, some will make the ultimate sacrifice. I will NEVER forget Rachel Corrie and neither will millions of people all around the world of all races, religions and sexes.
Just as Jesus Christ died for our sins, so did Rachel Corrie. Just as the activists of the Civil Rights Movement and even JFK died for our sins, so did Rachel Corrie. Just as MLK died for our sins, so did Rachel Corrie. Just as the lead character in Braveheart George Wallace died for FREEDOM, so did Rachel Corrie.
LONG LIVE RACHEL CORRIE IN OUR HEARTS AND SOULS! SHE WILL ALWAYS LIVE! SHE WILL ALWAYS ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED AND REVERED! SHE IS BETTER THAN 99% OF PEOPLE LIVING TODAY! SHE IS WAAAAY BETTER THAN ANY OF OUR PUBLIC SERPENTS!
by ..........
Thursday Mar 20th, 2003 2:27 AM
"Zionism will soon be a thing of the past "

If only we could say that about Islam and the facism that is often being cloaked under the labels of socialism and communism by some (not all) supposed peace activists.
by JA
Thursday Mar 20th, 2003 3:38 AM
(Political) Zionism is a [racist] nationalist ideology. Islam, like Judaism or Christianity or Buddhism, etc, is a RELIGION. There are liberal--even progressive--and fundamentalist versions of at least Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

In my opinion, it is the fundamentalist versions--or fundamentalist interpretations--of each of these religions that are potentially the most arrogant, oppressive, conservative, sexist/patriarchal, or violent. Zionism is, itself, a version of Jewish fundamentalism (a cross between political and religious fundamentalism)--and is just as militant and/or violent as any other religious fundamentalism--Christian or Islamic--can be.
by JA
Thursday Mar 20th, 2003 4:04 AM
Fascism and socialism are not the same thing (although they are purposely conflated in American primary and secondary schools, as well as by American politicians and media.

There have been many socialist govts, as sometimes in France, in Western Europe and Scandanavian countries. The countries with the highest standard of living for the majority of its citizens have had socialist govts or socialist govt'l programs. (Countries like the Scandanavian countries--or even Germany, which, of course, was once fascist.) The U.S. has socialist programs too, like its school system, medicare, welfare, social security, home mortgage subsidies, college financial aid grants, etc.. The U.S. even has socialist programs (which, of course, it never *calls* socialist) for "capitalist" corporations and major investors: those programs are called subsidies or bailouts!! In fact, MLK called American capitalism "socialism for the rich"!
by Straightedger
( our2stupiddogs [at] aol.com ) Thursday Mar 20th, 2003 4:18 AM
In response to what the person named "grieving" said concerning seeing nothing but "Peace and Justice" within Rachel, and the fact that "Hate was alien to her," open your eyes. Don't you see the hatred she has tearing up that fake flag? Good thing she croaked. We need less negative influences like her passing off as heroes and martyrs!

X-edger
by THE TRUTH
Thursday Mar 20th, 2003 6:07 AM
What she was tearing up was the ignorant mindset (of America) that people like you have.You should take all that hateful energy and get an education you stupid redneck !
by sar
( sreda02 [at] sprintpcs.com ) Thursday Mar 20th, 2003 1:18 PM
http://www.redaart.com/rachelcorrie.html
by Hamid Yildirim
Thursday Mar 20th, 2003 10:16 PM
Almost all people live for themselves but only frontiers for others. I appreciate Rachel Corrie for sacrificing herself for people whom she never met. I will maintain her photo on my table among my family members and never forget her rememberance. God bless her.
by Jason
( stopmksense [at] yahoo.com ) Sunday Mar 23rd, 2003 4:45 AM
It is much more noble to die for a cause than to kill for a cause. Running people over with bulldozers does not contribute to "security" or "defense" in any way. You can call Rachel Corrie irresponsible all you want. When our collective conscience can reconcile murder, the very future of humanity in trouble. I actually started crying when I read the story of Rachel's death... crying for our future.
by Jim
Sunday Mar 23rd, 2003 3:13 PM
We hear much talk this week of how our troops in Iraq are "our finest". While we can support our troops, and pray for their safe return, it is when I look upon a picture of Rachel Corrie that I truly am seeing America's Finest.
by Tom
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 2:04 PM
Rachel Corrie lived and died by the word of God. She stood up for those who were repressed, spoke for those who have no voice. She died helping the oppressed, obeying Christs' teachings to the end.
Whether she knew and believed in Him or not, she is with Him in heaven, along with every other martyr for human rights and justice in this cruel and inequitable world.
The Palestinian struggle will continue and succeed, because God is one of justice, and the Palestinian struggle for freedom is just. To compare this struggle to 'terrorism' is wrong- the suicide bombers do NOT represent the Palestinian people, or the ISM or any other group that yearns for justice. Without the israeli occupation of palestine, they probably wouldn't even exist either.
Christ said:
'Blessed are those who thirst and hunger for justice'
'Blessed are those who suffer for doing what God requires'
God bless the family and friends of Rachel. She is with the Lord.
God bless the ISM.
God bless all those who struggle for human dignity and freedom, everywhere in the world.

Christus Regnat!!!
by RH paCe (Abu Salaam)
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 8:04 PM
weep. Israel, for you are exposed!
Yor supposed moral high ground has entered the place where your murder victims go-it is called gone!
Demographically, it is only ween the river and the seaa matter of time before you zionist idiocy becomes a tiny minority amoung peoples who live between the famous river and you widening sea. With no friends anywhere outside of terror usa, you cannot long stand. You have certainly had yopur way about things, tell us: ARE YOU HAPPY? I didn't think so. All of your miserable life you must now look forward only to the disgust and derision from all the worlds' rational nations. You are alone with your sick, bloated patron and a few sad bulldozers. Tell me where Mr. Belfour is buried, his flowers and shrubbery need moisture.
by Ender
Friday Apr 25th, 2003 5:06 AM
I was driving today in Israel to visit some Druze friends in the galil (Today is their bigget holyday - Nebi Sueib)

Anyhow, on one of the roads that was a Catrepiler D-9 working - this was the civilian version the one that has more visiability (and less protection to the driver) sso I checked it out - do you guys want to guess how visiable is the ground from the driver seat ?

I'll save you the guess - for at least 20 feet the driver can not see nothing. If the blade is lifted he can not see for 40 feet or more
by T
Thursday May 15th, 2003 1:24 PM
If the Israeli army had not been bulldozing the homes of innocent Palestinian civilians, Rachel Corrie would have been alive today. If she wasn't there and the bulldozer made another Palestinian family homeless, would that have been OK?
Regardless of how you look at it, the IDF is a criminal army, which preys on unarmed civilians whenever it can.
Blaming the bulldozer is like stabbing somebody and then later saying 'if the butcher knife wouldn't have been so sharp maybe I wouldn't have killed him/her'. If you don't stab people with butcher knives then you shouldn't worry about such things. If the IDF wasn't comitted to victimizing the Palestinians, they wouldn't have to worry (not that they do!) about killing brave people like Rachel who wasn't afraid to stand up for the victims.


by spyder
( spyderrow [at] aol.com ) Monday May 19th, 2003 12:09 PM
In this time of incestuous politics, obscene profiteering and self-agrandizing demagogues and demons.... Rachel shines forth for America as a shining beacon of light.... the 'last real Christian'... those in power beat their chests and wail their prophets' 'truths', yet fail on every level to attain love, honor, sacrifice.

Our Rachel is America's only Christian representative... no army, no missionary, no love is more superior and honorable than hers... I was at the pictured impromptu memorial in front of the Israeli embassy in S.F.... the crushing loss only makes the oppressed and those suffering these viscious injustices stronger. More determined.

Long live the ISM... long live the fight for all that is right... for those ideals that Christ once illuminated and yet are forgotten... and Praise Rachel in every breath. I have her picture on my front window, on the window of my car... and in my heart. spyder
by circus dog
Monday May 19th, 2003 12:40 PM
Rachel Corrie's grave should feature an eternal flame- with an American flag suspended above it.
by Correction
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2003 3:21 PM
Someone above stated: "Regardless of how you look at it, the IDF is a criminal army, which preys on unarmed civilians whenever it can."

That is BLATANTLY FALSE. If the IDF preyed on unarmed civilians whenever it could, there would be 1000 times the daily deaths there are. It is an absurd, dishonest claim that the IDF just goes around killing anyone they feel like or "as many as they can."

Strange how the anti-israel people insist on telling blatant lies instead of sticking to the truth.

We Israel defenders would not lash out so much if you would stick to being honest and realistic.

Thank you.

As for Rachel Corrie, how come her death is so much more important to you than other American activists who have been killed in the past? Is it because a Jew killed Corrie and that's why you feel the need to highlight it so? How come when a Jew does something wrong you highlight it like it's the event of all events, but Muslims or others can do whatever they want and you say nothing?

Is this a defense of the asshole bulldozer driver? No. But it's amazing how something like this happens and you all go completely crazy highlighting it as much as possible above everything else on earth. Anything a jew does wrong, you trumpet to the world. Things that Muslims do wrong you utter nary a word.