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Corrie: Human Shields and Western Values

March 26, 2003

When Norah Vincent blames somebody for being cynical, she should try not to be cynical herself (Commentary, March 21). I got from her commentary that cynicism means not admitting one's own conscious double standard. In the case of having a "Western" human shield, she maintains it means treating Western soldiers differently from anti-Western terrorists.

If this is true, Ms. Vincent, do not be cynical when you talk about Rachel Corrie. Recognize that she is an American hero. That she stood by her principles no matter how serious the consequences were. That this makes you nervous. That she deserves to be honored by you even if you do not agree with her. That you should apply to her the same standard you use for the heroes you like. That by being able to dialogue with the "other" -- the Muslim, the Palestinian -- Corrie was even more Western than you are.

Marco Codebo

Beverly Hills

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Thanks to Vincent for her insightful commentary. Protesters will never make a love chain around Israel or be a human shield on buses in Jerusalem because of the historical double standard concerning Jews: that Israel and the Jews should know better and always turn the other cheek. To paraphrase Shakespeare: "Don't Jews bleed too?"

Ruth Rosen

Santa Monica

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