In a post yesterday, I had a few thoughts about Mairead Corrigan Maguire. Let me add a few more. Maguire is the woman from Northern Ireland who, with Betty Williams, won the Nobel Peace Prize for 1976. Maguire is now a vicious foe of Israel, one of the passengers aboard the MV Rachel Corrie (which tried to run the blockade).
I am not one to psychologize — 1) because I’m no good at it, and 2) because I don’t like it. I don’t even like it when psychologists psychologize! But let me try out a theory — I can’t prove it, but I have a strong inkling.
In the ’70s and ’80s, especially, Maguire was incredibly brave (so was Williams). Here was a Catholic woman in Belfast who told the IRA to lay down their arms. The IRA might have killed her for that — they killed for less. And they of course threatened her — both her and Williams. The ladies then went to America and told the Irish Americans to stop sending money to the IRA. The IRA might have killed them for that, too.
And I’m a little surprised they didn’t. I think the Nobel prize protected the women — that the IRA reasoned it wouldn’t pay to eliminate them, given the ensuing bad PR.
Anyway, Mairead Corrigan Maguire stuck her neck out, risked her life. She was reviled by many in her homeland — still is, I believe — as a turncoat, a traitor, a British spy, a British whore. She endured a lot. And here comes my psychologizing: I think she vowed she would never be in the non-radical camp again. I think she vowed that, whatever the most radical position was, there she would be. No more Good Miss Moderate. No more looking over her shoulder, as she went home at night. No more pleading for nonviolence. Radical chic, from now on, would be hers.
I could be full of it. I could be near the mark.
P.S. On my theory, if the Jews were cool, she’d be wrapping herself in Stars of David, rather than keffiyehs.