Ramallah, a city with a "Stars & Bucks" cafe and, now, a street named after Rachel Corrie.
Rachel Corrie has taken a new leap into the realm of official martyrdom--at least among Palestinians. Yesterday, officials in the West Bank town of Ramallah named a street after the Olympia native, who seven years ago was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer while attempting to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes.
Corrie's parents, who are in Israel for a trial in the civil suit they have brought against the Israeli military, attended the dedication.
The street-naming got only modest play in the Israeli media, which mostly published short, factual stories. But voluminous online reader comments show that Corrie is still generating plenty of controversy.
"Corrie's parents should move to Ramallah," reads one of nearly 80 comments in the publication Ha'aretz. Another compares Corrie to "Jihad Jane," the American arrested recently and charged with supporting Islamic terrorism groups.
Still another notes that Corrie was once photographed burning a mock U.S. flag during a protest in Gaza.
Corrie was indeed highly critical of American support for Israel given its policies on the West Bank. So it's somewhat ironic that the conservative Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva, in its brief coverage of the street dedication, seemed to insinuate that the American government was pulling the strings to honor one of its own. It wrote that the announcement was made by the "American-backed" government on the West Bank.
Despite the controversy, Craig and Cindy Corrie, Rachel's parents, used the occasion to issue their support for Palestinians. "I just wanted you to know ... that you do not stand alone," Cindy told the crowd who gathered for the street naming, according to an AP report.
Shortly thereafter, the Corries departed for the Israeli city of Haifa, where an Arabic-language version of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie was being staged that evening.