From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Palestine | San Francisco | Media Activism & Independent Media
Rachel Warmly Applauded at Packed Castro Theater
by =
Saturday Jul 25th, 2009 6:35 PM
The 1400 seat Castro Theater was packed with virtually every seat taken by the mostly supportive crowd at the Jewish Film Festival on July 25, 2009 for the movie on Rachel Corrie, "Rachel,", and there was no mass picket by the Zionists outside. The movie was excellent and deserves all awards possible.
It is playing again Tuesday, August 4 at 6:30 pm at the Roda Theater in Berkeley, 2015 Addision Street, the home of the Berkeley Repertory Theater near the downtown Berkeley BART station, seating 600 people, and everyone who has not seen it should pack that theater too, so the Zionists censors finally learn to stop censoring as it then becomes the forbidden fruit that we all must have and of course, we all can hardly wait to exercise our First Amendment right to see any movie we wish to see.

Congratulations to the Jewish Film Festival for standing up to the censors, thus guaranteeing very broad support for the survival of this important cultural institution.

The movie was preceded by a pathetic young medical doctor who gave a rambling speech complaining about the deaths of various Israelis and internationals in Israel but failing to mention the deaths of Palestinians and failing to mention the most important fact that Israel exists due to $6 billion given to it by the American taxpayers, including the Caterpillar and the Israeli military that killed Rachel Corrie. He was so stupid that after attacking groups like Jewish Voices for Peace, which cheered at the mention of their name as they had many people in the audience, then attacked the audience, a sign that he failed public speaking, basic essay writing and basic logic. I would not want him as my medical doctor. Unfortunately, his irrational Zionist mentality is all too common among the middle class, including medical doctors.

The movie was very well crafted with various people important to Rachel's life reading from her writings as well as making their own statements. Two that were particularly outstanding were (1) the young Israeli whose grandparents were Communist Party members who dedicates his life to the struggle because he claims he has no hope, but understands that one must resist and (2) the young American who provided a final rousing chant at the end as the credits rolled that was both a tribute to Rachel Corrie and a description of the propaganda machine in Israel that teaches young people to kill Palestinians and their supporters like Rachel Corrie.

The lies of the Israeli military were apparent with every word they uttered in defense of the obviously deliberate murder of Rachel, as well as of the coroner's office, which had the unmitigated gall to state that Rachel's body had minor injuries and she died of suffocation when in fact, as Rachel's mother, Cindy, stated after the film, every bone in Rachel's body was broken by the Caterpillar.

The bullet-ridden homes of the Palestinians, whom the Israeli military admits they shoot at, while people are inside, as a prelude to their bulldozing of these homes in an obvious land grab, are the eyeopener all Americans need to see as we pay for all this devastation.

The audience gave the movie a standing ovation at the end and warmly welcomed Cindy Corrie, the mother of Rachel Corrie, to the question and answer session after the movie. Cindy Corrie is very intelligent and articulate and gave us a good description of the many legal remedies the Corrie family has pursued and continues to pursue. Not much has been achieved by these legal actions but the exposure of the US/Israeli war machine with such movies as "Rachel," is helping us all to realize the goal that Rachel wanted: To put an end to this madness in Palestine, perpetrated by our tax dollars, and that is why the Zionists did not want this movie at the Jewish Film Festival.

The resistance to the Zionist censors was a milestone in the struggle and demonstrates the decline of US imperialism and its propaganda machine. May we see many more movies like "Rachel" at the Jewish Film Festival. For more on Rachel Corrie, see

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by will be FREE
Saturday Jul 25th, 2009 8:25 PM
Yes, resist.
by Mara
Sunday Jul 26th, 2009 8:03 PM
It was a victory in that the Festival organizers did not back down and withdraw the film, and that the audience also showed that the Jewish establishment obfuscators of what is really going on in Israel, in order to rubberstamp its inhumane policies toward the Palestinians, can no longer pretend to speak for all Jews. And that opponents of these policies refuse to be characterized as anti-Semitic, self-hating Jews, or anti-Israel.

The audience did not behave as politely as Peter Stein requested, when hearing the Voice for Israel leader claim that the house of the druggist was bulldozed because he harbored terrorists and his house concealed a tunnel used to smuggle weapons into Gaza, and other such obviously false rationalizations. And they cheered when he, trying to smear the American Friends Service Committee, or was it ISM?, and the Jewish Voice for Peace. No, it was not just many members of JVP cheering themselves - it was its many Jewish supporters who also want to end the occupation.
by =
Monday Jul 27th, 2009 7:26 AM
Yes, most of us in the audience cheered at the mention of Jewish Voices for Peace and most of us are not members of this group. The audience also had many people in the audience who were not Jewish and were not white as of course this festival is open to everyone. It was embarrassing then to hear one young woman get up and precede her question with the whine that she is embarrassed as a Jew that people hissed and booed. First, no one hissed but some booed at the obvious insults of the reactionary idiot on stage, as they should, and it was all very restrained. Second, and most importantly, this attitude reflects a very reactionary, master race mentality as sitting in silence in the face of outrageous garbage has nothing to do with belief in any superstition (my ancestors believed in the same superstition), but demonstrates that most of the Jewish community has no workingclass base and is at least 2 generations removed from their workingclass ancestors. It is this master race mentality (Yiddishe Kopf, what is proper for Jews, our duty to change the world and all other garbage) that is the ideological basis for the Zionist imperialist settler colony now best known as the US military base called Israel. The reactionary idiot should have been booed off the stage, and that would certainly have happened if this were a workingclass audience. When I left the theater and took public transportation home, the contrast of the non-white workingclass community that is San Francisco to the Jewish Film Festival was glaringly obvious. I passed a mostly non-white very workingclass drum band at Powell and Market playing for money to keep their band going as this country has nothing for the workingclass and was struck by their no nonsense style of performance. That is similar to the no-nonsense Jewish community I was raised in; not this bourgeois Babbitt tolerance for fascism. I am glad we won and therefore saved the Jewish Film Festival's existence but there needs to be a broadening of perspective and an active campaign against this elitist nonsense of what Jews do and do not do. Ethics are universal, and fascists should always be booed off the stage.
by Mara
Monday Jul 27th, 2009 2:06 PM
I also want to add that the well known conservative Goldberg asked during the question period that Peter Stein admit that showing Rachel was a big mistake and that SFJFF promise that they would never show such a film again. (It is scheduled to be shown in Berkeley - go to SFJFF).
In the context of a huge audience supporting of opposition to Israel's immoral persecution of Palestinians and who were opposing the attempt at censorship he was trying to enforce, he and his faction looked really bad, ridiculous, and marginalized!

And I did think the level of protest at the theater was very powerful, if not more obstreperous. We were trying to respect Peter Stein's strategy of showing we were receptive to different points of view, but the outrage at lies and obfuscations was palpable, as people gasped, booed statements, and cheered for AFSC and JVP when the first speaker was trying to smear them. It said it all, without violence.

In the book Doing Democracy, different types and stages of activism are identified. The Rebel is one role, and all of the 4 roles can be carried out in an effective or ineffective way. There are other strategies which have their place, and may be effective. Ineffective Rebel tactics can be indistinguishable from those of the agent provocateur, used to discredit and destroy a movement.
Strategizing is important.