Saturday, March 10, 2007

Local Art for Rachel Corrie

To read the article, double click on pictures or see text below (thanks, Judith)

The Barrytown Gazette (March 2007)

Vol. 1 Number 1 Editor: Henry Christopher (845) 633-3264

Doris Soroko fights for the rights of Palestinians in Israel

Photo: Ms. Soroko sets up “Occupation Ain’t Kosher” sign in her front yard, so that traffic on River Rd. in Barrytown can get the message

River Rd., Barrytown, NY — Doris Soroko’s home on River Rd. has one of those million dollar views city folks dream of when they look for their second home in the countryside … vast, rolling fields and forest with the majestic Catskill Mountains rising up to seemingly stunning heights. The lighting at different times of day can take your breath away.

Ms. Soroko could spend her days in a rocking chair on her porch, reading a book, or just gazing dreamily at the beauty before her.

But she usually is found indoors at her computer, putting in long hours searching through the web for stories and facts detailing the long suffering of the Palestinian people in Israel, which she sends to friends.

Tied to a tree in her front yard with barbed wired, is a large sign which reads, “Occupation Ain’t Kosher,” expressing her outrage at the callous and often inhumane ways in which the Israeli government treats the Palestinians, with the aid, she says, of the US government.

The most visible sign of this abuse of the Palestinians she says, is the wall Israel has been building around the West Bank, which Ms. Soroko calls the “Apartheid Wall.”

“It’s a land grab, because they are putting it on occupied territory.

They are cutting off the Palestinians from their farms. Imagine if I owned the field across the way with almond, apricot and olive trees, and suddenly the Israeli government puts up this wall between my house and farm. In some places it’s four stories high. It’s a monstrosity,” she says.

Stacks of printed material from the web and other sources are piled high on tables and chairs in her living room. One pamphlet tells the sad and tragic story of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American human rights worker who was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer. She was trying to stop the Israeli army from destroying the home of a Palestinian doctor and his family in the town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

Ms. Soroko lived in Israel in the 1950s where she studied Hebrew and worked at a kibbutz. She married the late Igal Mossinsohn, Israeli writer and playwright.

Mossinsohn was beloved in Israel for writing children’s adventure stories. But it was his play, “Casablan” which most impressed her for its depiction of intolerance and snobbery within the Jewish community between the European and Middle Eastern Jews.

Ms. Soroko wrote the poem below in 2003 a month after Rachel Corrie was killed:


Do not bend your knees before the bulldozer

Baby, cuz his heart’s been turned by zeal and burnt by brutishness

And his mind is made by jack-knives spin-split into territory

His mid is made — instead of created by thought, by reason, by logic

His mind’s been made up for him

like a bed in an army barracks

Inspection — looks good, yes sir

Please don’t look under the carpet…

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