Rachel Corrie, A U.S. Citizen,
Murdered With A Bulldozer By Israeli Soldiers
Her killing should be a
message to President Bush, who is "providing Israel with tanks and bulldozers, and
now they killed one of his own people," said Mansour Abed Allah, 29, a Palestinian
human rights worker who witnessed Corrie's death.
U.S. citizen Rachel Corrie speaks Sunday, March 16, 2003, through a megaphone to an
Israeli army bulldozer moments before she was crushed by it.
peace activists tend to Rachel after being run over by the Israeli bulldozer driver,
Rafah, Occupied Gaza, 16 March 2003.
Rachel Corrie bleeding from her nose and her mouth, is helped by colleagues in Rafah,
Southern Gaza Strip March 16, 2003.
in Najjar hospital, Rafah, Occupied Gaza. Ha'aretz newspaper reported that Dr. Ali
Musa, a doctor at Al-Najjar, stated that the cause of death was "skull and chest
Israeli military bulldozer murdered Corey on Sunday as she was protesting the demolition
of a house owned by Palestinian medical officials.
'The bulldozer put sand on her and kept crushing her,' said Nicholas Dure, a fellow member
of the International Solidarity Campaign to Protect the Palestinian People protest group.
"The American girl was lying in front of the bulldozer when
the bulldozer took sand and put it over her," Ali al-Shaar, a witness to the
incident, told Reuters on Sunday.
military official blamed Corey, pictured left, for the incident stating that she had
"acted irresponsibly by placing herself in front of the bulldozer". He further
stated there was limited visibility, especially on the ground immediately in front of the
vehicle, from the windows of the armored bulldozers used by the army.
However, as the picture above shows, the driver of the bull dozer could see Rachel Corrie
very well before he murdered her.
Joseph Smith, 20,
a student and a fellow activist from Missouri, said: She was sitting in the path of
the bulldozer. The bulldozer saw her and ran over her. She ended up completely underneath
it. He absolutely knew she was there.
Greg Schnabel, 28, from
Chicago said: "Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them
to stop," he said.
She waved for bulldozer to stop and waved. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. We
yelled 'stop, stop', and the bulldozer didn't stop at all."
"It had completely
run over her and then it reversed and ran back over her," he said.
A member of the group, who described
herself only as Alice from London, England, said she and Corrie were seated in front of
houses belonging to their friends as the bulldozers approached.
Alice said they had been seated for
three hours and the driver of the bulldozer must have seen them before driving over
Standing in the path of an approaching
military bulldozer, Corrie lost her footing as it drew close and was first hit by a
massive load of sand and debris being pushed ahead by its blade, then struck by the blade
itself, witnesses said.
"I saw her in front of the bulldozer, and suddenly she disappeared from view,"
said Palestinian physician Samir Masri, whose family had been playing host to a group of
protesters that included Corrie. "I ran out to her and saw her bleeding face, her
crushed skull. I tried to treat her, but everything was broken."
Nicholas Durie, aged 19, from Dundee,
was one of four British and four American campaigners who tried to block two bulldozers
destroying homes and farming infrastructure near an olive grove. "We were trying to
frustrate their efforts by getting in front of the bulldozers," he told The
Independent by telephone from the hospital. "One of the drivers saw Rachel and
drove towards her. She didn't get out of the way, and he didn't stop.
"She was carried up with a heap of
earth in the shovel of the bulldozer. The driver continued working. She slipped and fell
and was run over by the bulldozer. The driver saw that she had fallen, but carried her
along for another 16 feet. Only then did he back off."
In an e-mail message this month, Ms.
Corrie described a Feb. 14 standoff in which members of her group "stood in the path
of the bulldozers and were physically pushed with the shovel backwards, taking shelter in
a house." She added that "the bulldozer then proceeded on its course,
demolishing one side of the house" with the protesters still inside.
The Israeli troops "have shot over
our heads, and shot near our feet they have fired tear gas at us," said
Michael Shaik, media coordinator for the group. "But we thought we had an
understanding. We didn't think they would kill us."
After braving tear gas and gunfire,
Rachel Corrie apparently climbed before the maw of an armored bulldozer,
eyeball-to-eyeball with its driver in the volatile area near the Egyptian border.
"She was standing on top of the pile of earth, and she was wearing a fluorescent
orange jacket. She was clearly visible," said Richard Purssell, 31, one of eight
activists - four Americans and four Brits - from the peace group International Solidarity
Movement, who spent the afternoon using their bodies to block the bulldozers.
"Then she slid down the pile of earth and the bulldozer kept going. She
disappeared...and I heard her scream and then the bulldozer went straight over her
Purssell and other members of the group said Corrie was deliberately plowed over as the
army was demolishing property.
Corrie was dead of massive head and
chest injuries by the time she arrived at nearby Najar hospital in Rafah, said the
hospital's director, Dr. Ali Moussa.
Rafah: Rachel Corrie Murdered by
At about 5.20 pm today, 16
March 2003, Rachel Corrie from Olympia in
Washington State, USA died of her injuries in A-Najar Hospital in Rafah after
being deliberately run over by an Israeli military bulldozer.
Rachel had been working as an ISM activist in Rafah for seven weeks
when she was killed trying to prevent the demolition of Palestinian
homes and property in the Hi Salaam area of Rafah.
The confrontation between the ISM and the Israeli Army had been
under way for two hours when Rachel was run over. Rachel and the
other activists had clearly identified themselves as unarmed
international peace activists throughout the confrontation.
The Israeli Army are attempting to dishonour her memory by claiming
that Rachel was killed accidentally when she ran in front of the
bulldozer. Eye-witnesses to the murder insist that this is totally
untrue. Rachel was sitting in the path of the bulldozer as it
advanced towards her. When the bulldozer refused to stop or turn
aside she climbed up onto the mound of dirt and rubble being
gathered in front of it wearing a fluorescent jacket to look
directly at the driver who kept on advancing. The bulldozer
continued to advance so that she was pulled under the pile of dirt
and rubble. After she had disappeared from view the driver kept
advancing until the bulldozer was completely on top of her. The
driver did not lift the bulldozer blade and so she was crushed
beneath it. Then the driver backed off and the seven other ISM
activists taking part in the action rushed to dig out her body. An
ambulance rushed her to A-Najar hospital where she died.
Rachel joins 1,900 Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli
soldiers and settlers since September 2000,
Rachel had been staying in Palestinian homes threatened with illegal demolition, and today
Rachel was standing with other non-violent international activists in front of a home
scheduled for illegal demolition. According to witnesses, Rachel was run over twice by the
Israeli military bulldozer in its process of demolishing the Palestinian home. Witnesses
say that Rachel was clearly visible to the bulldozer driver, and was doing nothing to
provoke an attack.
Excerpts from an e-mail from Rachel
Corrie to her family on February 7, 2003.
I have been in Palestine for two weeks
and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most
difficult for me to think about what's going on here when I sit down to write back to the
United States--something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don't know if many of the
children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of
an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I'm
not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not
like this everywhere. An eight-year-old was shot and killed by an Israeli tank two days
before I got here, and many of the children murmur his name to me, "Ali"--or
point at the posters of him on the walls. The children also love to get me to practice my
limited Arabic by asking me "Kaif Sharon?" "Kaif Bush?" and they laugh
when I say "Bush Majnoon" "Sharon Majnoon" back in my limited Arabic.
(How is Sharon? How is Bush? Bush is crazy. Sharon is crazy.) Of course this isn't quite
what I believe, and some of the adults who have the English correct me: Bush mish
Majnoon... Bush is a businessman. Today I tried to learn to say "Bush is a
tool", but I don't think it translated quite right. But anyway, there are
eight-year-olds here much more aware of the workings of the global power structure than I
was just a few years ago--at least regarding Israel.
Nevertheless, I think about the fact
that no amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of
mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can't imagine
it unless you see it, and even then you are always well aware that your experience is not
at all the reality: what with the difficulties the Israeli Army would face if they shot an
unarmed US citizen, and with the fact that I have money to buy water when the army
destroys wells, and, of course, the fact that I have the option of leaving. Nobody in my
family has been shot, driving in their car, by a rocket launcher from a tower at the end
of a major street in my hometown. I have a home. I am allowed to go see the ocean.
Ostensibly it is still quite difficult for me to be held for months or years on end
without a trial (this because I am a white US citizen, as opposed to so many others). When
I leave for school or work I can be relatively certain that there will not be a heavily
armed soldier waiting half way between Mud Bay and downtown Olympia at a checkpoint-a
soldier with the power to decide whether I can go about my business, and whether I can get
home again when I'm done. So, if I feel outrage at arriving and entering briefly and
incompletely into the world in which these children exist, I wonder conversely about how
it would be for them to arrive in my world.
They know that children in the United
States don't usually have their parents shot and they know they sometimes get to see the
ocean. But once you have seen the ocean and lived in a silent place, where water is taken
for granted and not stolen in the night by bulldozers, and once you have spent an evening
when you haven't wondered if the walls of your home might suddenly fall inward waking you
from your sleep, and once you've met people who have never lost anyone-- once you have
experienced the reality of a world that isn't surrounded by murderous towers, tanks, armed
"settlements" and now a giant metal wall, I wonder if you can forgive the world
for all the years of your childhood spent existing--just existing--in resistance to the
constant stranglehold of the world's fourth largest military--backed by the world's only
superpower--in it's attempt to erase you from your home. That is something I wonder about
these children. I wonder what would happen if they really knew.
As an afterthought to all this rambling,
I am in Rafah, a city of about 140,000 people, approximately 60 percent of whom are
refugees--many of whom are twice or three times refugees. Rafah existed prior to 1948, but
most of the people here are themselves or are descendants of people who were relocated
here from their homes in historic Palestine--now Israel. Rafah was split in half when the
Sinai returned to Egypt. Currently, the Israeli army is building a fourteen-meter-high
wall between Rafah in Palestine and the border, carving a no-mans land from the houses
along the border. Six hundred and two homes have been completely bulldozed according to
the Rafah Popular Refugee Committee. The number of homes that have been partially
destroyed is greater.
Today as I walked on top of the rubble
where homes once stood, Egyptian soldiers called to me from the other side of the border,
"Go! Go!" because a tank was coming. Followed by waving and "what's your
name?". There is something disturbing about this friendly curiosity. It reminded me
of how much, to some degree, we are all kids curious about other kids: Egyptian kids
shouting at strange women wandering into the path of tanks. Palestinian kids shot from the
tanks when they peak out from behind walls to see what's going on. International kids
standing in front of tanks with banners. Israeli kids in the tanks anonymously,
occasionally shouting-- and also occasionally waving--many forced to be here, many just
aggressive, shooting into the houses as we wander away.
In addition to the constant presence of
tanks along the border and in the western region between Rafah and settlements along the
coast, there are more IDF towers here than I can count--along the horizon,at the end of
streets. Some just army green metal. Others these strange spiral staircases draped in some
kind of netting to make the activity within anonymous. Some hidden,just beneath the
horizon of buildings. A new one went up the other day in the time it took us to do laundry
and to cross town twice to hang banners. Despite the fact that some of the areas nearest
the border are the original Rafah with families who have lived on this land for at least a
century, only the 1948 camps in the center of the city are Palestinian controlled areas
under Oslo. But as far as I can tell, there are few if any places that are not within the
sights of some tower or another. Certainly there is no place invulnerable to apache
helicopters or to the cameras of invisible drones we hear buzzing over the city for hours
at a time.
I've been having trouble accessing news
about the outside world here, but I hear an escalation of war on Iraq is inevitable. There
is a great deal of concern here about the "reoccupation of Gaza." Gaza is
reoccupied every day to various extents, but I think the fear is that the tanks will enter
all the streets and remain here, instead of entering some of the streets and then
withdrawing after some hours or days to observe and shoot from the edges of the
communities. If people aren't already thinking about the consequences of this war for the
people of the entire region then I hope they will start.
I also hope you'll come here. We've been
wavering between five and six internationals. The neighborhoods that have asked us for
some form of presence are Yibna, Tel El Sultan, Hi Salam, Brazil, Block J, Zorob, and
Block O. There is also need for constant night-time presence at a well on the outskirts of
Rafah since the Israeli army destroyed the two largest wells. According to the municipal
water office the wells destroyed last week provided half of Rafah's water supply. Many of
the communities have requested internationals to be present at night to attempt to shield
houses from further demolition. After about ten p.m. it is very difficult to move at night
because the Israeli army treats anyone in the streets as resistance and shoots at them. So
clearly we are too few.
I continue to believe that my home,
Olympia, could gain a lot and offer a lot by deciding to make a commitment to Rafah in the
form of a sister-community relationship. Some teachers and children's groups have
expressed interest in e-mail exchanges, but this is only the tip of the iceberg of
solidarity work that might be done. Many people want their voices to be heard, and I think
we need to use some of our privilege as internationals to get those voices heard directly
in the US, rather than through the filter of well-meaning internationals such as myself. I
am just beginning to learn, from what I expect to be a very intense tutelage, about the
ability of people to organize against all odds, and to resist against all odds.
Thanks for the news I've been getting
from friends in the US. I just read a report back from a friend who organized a peace
group in Shelton, Washington, and was able to be part of a delegation to the large January
18th protest in Washington DC. People here watch the media, and they told me again today
that there have been large protests in the United States and "problems for the
government" in the UK. So thanks for allowing me to not feel like a complete polyanna
when I tentatively tell people here that many people in the United States do not support
the policies of our government, and that we are learning from global examples how to
Corrie, Nuha Sweidan and Israeli War Crimes
(PalestineChronicle) - The Israeli bulldozer that
ran over and killed American peace activist Rachel Corrie, 23, in the Gaza Strip today had
killed before. A few weeks ago, on March 3, an Israeli bulldozer killed a nine-month
pregnant Palestinian woman, Nuha Sweidan, while destroying the house next door in a
dilapidated Gaza refugee camp. Palestinian witnesses said that Mrs. Sweidan, 33, bled to
death under the rubble as she cradled her 18-month-old daughter. Her unborn baby also
Rachel Corrie and Nuha Sweidan probably
never met, but they will forever be linked as victims of Israels 35-year occupation of
Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
They are both victims of Israeli war
crimes. The Geneva Conventions expressly prohibits attacks on civilian populations
regardless of the motivation, even if in retaliation for attacks on its own civilians.
To attack civilian populations
intentionally is a war crime.
Both Rachel Corrie and Nuha Sweidan were
killed during military actions against a civilian population, in this case, during a house
Since June 2002, the Israeli army has
destroyed more than 150 houses belonging to Palestinians allegedly involved in attacks, a
policy human rights groups describe as collective punishment and which has drawn US
criticism in the past.
This past month, Israel nearly set a
record for killing Palestinians, mostly civilians, in a single month. According to the
Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli assaults killed 82 Palestinians, of them 50 in the
Gaza Strip and 32 in the West Bank, wounding an additional 616 persons. Israeli soldiers
also killed several Palestinian children and 3 medical staff as they sought to attend to
Now, they have killed an American peace
activist. In this same period, only six Israelis were killed, all of them soldiers.
Why so many civilian casualties?
These killings are the product of
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharons escalation of Israeli Army assaults on Palestinian
population centers following his re-election on January 28.
Since that time, Israeli forces have
largely focused their wrath on Gaza. They have conducted unprecedented armored military
operations in Gaza city centers, pursued suspected militants deep into refugee camps and
deployed bulldozers to destroy dozens of building and homes.
This latter type of operation led to
Rachel Corrie and Nuha Sweidans deaths.
Israeli sympathizers may object that
these assaults and civilians killings are justified in response to Palestinian suicide
bombings but international law is clear that attacks on civilians are prohibited under any
Palestinian suicide bombings are clearly
war crimes, even though some Palestinians claim they are justified in response to Israeli
massacres and the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. However, Israeli military
assaults that systematically result in civilian deaths are also war crimes, regardless of
their justification. Both are reprehensible and must be condemned.
Moreover, few independent observers
accept that Israels assaults on Palestinian civilian centers in the past two months
correlate as responses to suicide bombs.
These operations began nearly a month
after the January 5 suicide bomb that killed over 20 Israelis in Tel Aviv. The only other
suicide bomb this year came on March 5, well after the Israeli campaign in Gaza was
Furthermore, in both cases the suicide
bombers came from the West Bank, not Gaza.
The reality is that Rachel Corrie and
Nuha Sweidan will also be forever linked as victims of the extremist Israeli leader Ariel
Sharons relentless war on Palestinians on behalf of Israeli settlements and his vision of
a Greater Israel that seeks total control of all of historic Palestine.
The escalating assaults on Gaza over the
past month indicate that Ariel Sharon is preparing the way for an invasion and reconquest
of the Gaza Strip to complement his reconquest of the West Bank last April.
With the West Bank now firmly under
Israeli control, Gaza has become the sole remaining area of armed Palestinian resistance
It stands in the way of Sharon imposing
a settlement on the Palestinians that will assign them small, disconnected Bantustans
surrounded by hundreds of Israeli settlements.
Ariel Sharon was the original architect
of the massive expansion of settlements after 1978 and continues to be their main patron.
Sharon is well known for his cold,
calculating, tactical acumen, both as a General and as a politician. He is also known as a
ruthless fighter and has been accused of crimes against humanity for his role in the
massacre of nearly a thousand Palestinian women, children and elderly people in Beirut in
He is well aware of the sympathy Israel
has received in response to the brutal suicide bomb attacks over the past few years.
He knows that the world is focused on
the impending war in Iraq.
Thus, he has calculated that the time is
right to set in motion the reoccupation of Gaza, even if it provokes further suicide
bombings because he can use them as a pretext for even larger actions.
Menachem Klein, an Israeli political
scientist at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv, outlined the logic of Sharons actions in a
recent Christian Science Monitor article (13 Mar 2003).
"These raids can be a kind of
rehearsal, with the idea to arrest someone, but also to see how to get in and out, what
tactics to use. A rehearsal on live people. And the thinking is that if the world gets
used to these short-term reoccupations, it will digest the long-term one."
Rachel Corrie, Nuha Sweidan, over a
hundred Palestinians and scores of Israeli civilians are the victims of this live
It is true that Palestinian suicide
bombers have helped contribute to this cycle of violence through their own vicious acts. I
Indeed, they have murdered women,
children and innocent civilians as well.
However, this is not a symmetrical
conflict. Israel dominates the lives and land of over 3 million Palestinians through
massive military assaults, imprisonment of thousands, torture and systematic starvation
policies that have lead to a major humanitarian crisis in many areas of the West Bank and
In fact, Rachel had been working with
other members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to defend a newly dug water
well from Israeli attempts to destroy it before she was killed.
Moreover, since his return to power two
years ago, Ariel Sharon has systematically escalated Israeli military assaults and
assassinations in search of a military solution, despite the waves of suicide bombings, in
order to achieve a very clear set of political objectives.
At the top of the list has been the
destruction of any base of Palestinian political and military resistance to Israeli
settlements and permanent control of the land Israel occupied in 1967. Gaza is his last
There is no "balance" in this
conflict. It is time to call Israel into account for its war crimes and time to stop Ariel
Sharon from imposing his violent dream of Greater Israel on Palestinians.
It is time to stop the needless deaths
of Rachel Corrie, Nuha Sweidan and others, whether Palestinian or Israeli, or now,
Steve Niva is a Member of the Faculty,
The Evergreen State College. He teaches international politics and Middle East studies. He
met with Rachel Corrie before she left for Gaza in January and is deeply saddened by her
tragic and unnecessary death.
by Peter Bohmer
March 17, 2003
Rachel Corrie was an incredibly good
person. I mourn and am very saddened by her death earlier today, 3/1/6/03, killed by a
bulldozer as the Israeli military ran over her as she was protesting the destruction of
Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip. . She grew up in Olympia, Wa. I originally met her
when she was a student in the options program at Lincoln school around 1989. We talked a
lot the last two years. Rachel was a totally caring and gentle person who was outraged by
oppression wherever it took place and had become very active working for social justice
and peace. Rachel was a very modest and responsible person who was the heart and soul of
the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, a group she had originally beginning working
with as part of her study in the Local Knowledge program taught by Anne Fischel and Lin
Nelson. Rachel was very active in opposing the U.S. "war against terror" and
U.S. militarism. One project she threw her mind and body into was a September 11th, 2002
day against the U.S. war in Afghanistan and repression at home at Percival Landing. She
got a lot of elementary school kids to participate. So it is very fitting that the vigil
tonight (is Sunday, March 16th at 7 P.M.) against the war in Iraq and to honor and mourn
Rachel, will be at Percival landing.
Rachel was a very reflective person who
constantly thought about how to link together various groups working for justice, e.g.,
the labor movement and the peace movement. She volunteered at the Evergreen Labor Center
and played a major role in organizing a conference dealing with networking and strategies
for justice and peace last spring, 2002. Another major concern of hers was to involve the
local Olympia community that was not connected to Evergreen to the anti-war and economic
and social justice issues and groups. Besides going to school, Rachel also worked at BHR,
a local mental health clinic.
Justice for the Palestinian people was
one of many issues Rachel felt deeply about. She opposed the Israel occupation. For
Rachel, feeling deeply always meant also doing something. She had studied Arabic at
Evergreen and decided to go to Gaza in occupied Palestine for winter quarter. Part of her
reasoning was that it was important to have international observers there as Israeli
aggression was likely to increase when the U.S. attacked, bombed and invaded Iraq. Rachel
was aware of the dangers and risks of going to Gaza.. Rachel left Olympia around January
20th of this year, went to the West Bank and then Gaza, threw herself fully into human
rights activism and solidarity with the Palestinian people. She had planned to return to
Evergreen for spring quarter.
Rachel Corrie will not be coming back
but maybe we can all take a moment to reflect on what each of us can do to carry on a
little her legacy by doing a little more to further justice, equality and peace in the
Middle East, around the world and in the U.S.
Statement On The Murder Of Rachel
Monday, 17 March 2003, 6:00 pm
Press Release: International Solidarity
In Rafah, Gaza Strip today Rachel
Corrie, a 23-year old American woman from Olympia, Washington, who was a volunteer with
the International Solidarity Movement, was killed by the Israeli Army. Rachel was standing
in the path of the bulldozer as it advanced towards her. When the bulldozer refused to
stop or turn aside she climbed up onto the mound of dirt and rubble being gathered in
front of it wearing a fluorescent jacket to look directly at the driver who kept on
advancing. The bulldozer continued to advance so that she was pulled under the pile of
dirt and rubble. After she had disappeared from view the driver kept advancing until the
bulldozer was completely on top of her. The driver did not lift the bulldozer blade and so
she was crushed beneath it. Then the driver backed up - effectively running over her
The Israeli Army consistently bulldozes
Palestinian homes, particularly in Rafah, where over 100 homes have been demolished in the
last two years. The International Solidarity Movement - both Palestinian and international
citizens - calls upon the international community to break the silence around Israel's
grotesque human rights abuses. International civilians are in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories attempting to protect Palestinian human rights and lives precisely because
formal international bodies have refused to take action to do so. Dozens of Palestinian
civilians are being systematically murdered weekly, and today, a beautiful, conscientious
American defender of human rights was killed trying to protect the home of a Palestinian
This murder, along with Israel's
continued destruction of Palestinian homes must be strongly condemned by the United States
and the United Nations and they must insist that Israel abide by international law and UN
Resolutions. The International Solidarity Movement also calls upon the United States
government to conduct its own independent investigation into this incident and to take
responsibility for the manner in which the Israeli government is using the $2.2 billion in
military aid that we grant to Israel per year. This money and US-made weaponry is daily
being used by the Israeli military to harm innocent civilians. The bulldozer that killed
Rachel Corrie was an American-made Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer.
The murder of Rachel Corrie was clearly
NOT an accident. Eyewitnesses report that the bulldozer driver was able to see Rachel, and
that they were shouting to the driver to stop. The Israeli government and army continue to
blame the victims of violence carried out by the Israeli Army for their own suffering.
Israel must be accountable for this criminal act and all criminal acts it is carrying out
on a daily basis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The International Solidarity Movement
greatly mourns the loss of Rachel Corrie and extends its heartfelt condolences to her
family and friends. We pledge to continue actively working for the ideals of freedom and
justice that Rachel died for.
Woman Killed in Gaza Protest Remembered
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Mourners said prayer in the
Muslim, Jewish and Christian fashion as they remembered an American student and peace
activist who was killed last week in a Palestinian refugee camp.
More than 1,800 family, friends and faculty
attended the memorial Saturday for Rachel Corrie at The Evergreen State College, from
which the 23-year-old senior had been on leave.
Corrie was an international observer and
activist for the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinan-led group that uses
nonviolent methods to challenge the Israeli occupation.
She died March 16 when a bulldozer driven by an
Israeli soldier ran over her as she protested in front of a Palestinian home he was
demolishing. The Israeli Army said it was an accident, but Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news
sites) told President Bush (news
sites) that Israel will investigate thoroughly.
A long line of speakers spoke of Corrie as an
artistic student, social activist and friend who showed that anyone can improve conditions
locally and abroad.
"She challenged us with her questions. She
delighted us with her words, her art, her humor," said her mother, Cindy Corrie.
"She nurtured us with her tender, empathetic heart."
At a news conference, Cindy and her husband,
Craig, displayed photos they described as 286 children who have died in Israel and the
disputed occupied territory in the past two years. They deserve as much notice as Corrie
on the morning news, she said.
Evergreen President Les Purce spoke of a world
divided, a nation at war and a woman who will be remembered.
"For people all over the world, Rachel's
loss has become a powerful symbol, spiritually, politically and emotionally," said
Purce. "Rachel's loss, Rachel's life, were personal to many of us. It was an
On the Net:
International Solidarity Movement: http://www.palsolidarity.org/
Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace: http://www.omjp.org/
Evergreen State College: http://www.evergreen.edu
ADDITIONAL ARTICLES BY JUDITH HANEY
AND BUSH'S RHETORIC
ISRAEL's EXPIRED MORAL AUTHORITY