My name is also Rachel: exhibition aims to tell another side of the Rachel Corrie story

A pro-Israel campaigner has approached the Young Vic about telling the stories of a series of Jewish women called Rachel who have been killed in Israel by terrorists alongside their production of controversial play My Name Is Rachel Corrie


A theatre which will stage a revival of a controversial play about an anti-Israel activist has been asked to host an exhibition on Jewish victims of terror.

My Name Is Rachel Corrie opens at the Young Vic later this month.

The play is inspired by the writings of 23-year-old Rachel Corrie.

In 2003, the American activist was working in the Gaza Strip for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which describes itself as a humanitarian organisation but has been accused of using its volunteers as human shields.

Ms Corrie and other ISM members attempted to prevent Israeli bulldozers demolishing a house which the IDF believed to be hiding the entrance to terror tunnels. She was struck and killed by one of the bulldozers. An Israeli court ruled the incident was an accident, which her family and supporters have vigorously disputed.

A pro-Israel campaigner has now approached the Southwark-based theatre about simultaneously telling the stories of a series of Jewish women called Rachel who have been killed in Israel by terrorists.

Rona Hart, who formerly worked for the Board of Deputies, wrote to the Young Vic from her home in Israel.

She said the deaths of the Jewish women and girls “were not the result of any accident, negligence or misunderstanding”, but that they had been “brutally and deliberately murdered by Palestinian terrorists. They haven’t been the subjects of plays, musical events or ongoing media attention”.

She added: “The Corrie family have, understandably, sought justice and closure, and they had the opportunity of taking their case to law. There will be no apologies from the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, Islamic Jihad or similar outfits any time soon.”

Ms Hart said the Young Vic should consider displaying leaflets listing the Israeli women, who she believes have been “forgotten”.

While she has not been in contact with the victims’ families, Ms Hart has researched the women and sent details of their deaths together with pictures and tributes to theatre managers including artistic director David Lan.

The collection, which she hopes will be shown as an exhibition to paying audiences, features 19-year-old Rachel Levi, who was one of eight Israelis killed when a Palestinian crashed a bus into a crowd of people south of Tel Aviv in February 2001. The following year Rachel Gavish, 50, was killed alongside her husband, son and father when a terrorist broke into their house and shot them.

Rachel Thaler, 16, had been visiting a mall in Karnei Shomron when she became the victim of a suicide bomber in February 2002. A month later Rachel Levy, 17, died when a female suicide bomber blew herself up in Jerusalem.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Young Vic said: “David Lan is in a continuing conversation with Rona Hart. We do not have anything further to add.”

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