Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old peace activist killed by a bulldozer driven by an Israeli army soldier. The time, day and place of her death are known, but, the question of whether she was murdered or whether her death was an accident continues to be as controversial today as it was when it happened March 16, 2003. With her death Corrie became an international symbol in the struggle against the Israeli occupation ofPalestinianlands.
(Rachel Corrie-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. ”
“No amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here ”
“I know that the situation gets to them – and may ultimately get them – on all kinds of levels, but I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity – laughter, generosity, family-time – against the incredible horror occurring in their lives and against the constant presence of death”
These was Rachel’s words Just after two weeks of her arrival to Palestine.. describing the incredible situations they live in.. and after a few hours of writing these words… she was run over and killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza, while defending a Palestinian home from demolition.. while she was just 23 years old.. She was a college student and human rights activist from Olympia, Washington as well as a gifted writer. she left behind a series of diaries and emails from an early age which were crafted into a play by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner. While the United States government in its annual human rights report describes Rachel as “a US citizen peace activist” and designates her as a human rights observer,2 this is often obscured by the fog of misinformation and myths surrounding her.. And after a long trip between her words, fears, wishes… I picked you this few sentence.. they really summarize a lot about what is going on there…in Palestine…
(Rachel Corrie) “I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances – which I also haven’t seen before. I think the word is dignity.”….
(Rachel Corrie) “I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here. Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded.
I was terrified to think that this man felt it was less of a risk to walk out in view of the tanks with his kids than to stay in his house. I was really scared that they were all going to be shot and I tried to stand between them and the tank.”…
(Rachel Corrie) “Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs. Of these 600, many have moved, because the three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon (the closest city in Israel) make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey. In addition, what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed – the Gaza international airport (runways demolished, totally closed); the border for trade with Egypt (now with a giant Israeli sniper tower in the middle of the crossing); access to the ocean (completely cut off in the last two years by a checkpoint and the Gush Katif settlement). The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border. I think it is maybe official now that Rafah is the poorest place in the world. There used to be a middle class here – recently. We also get reports that in the past, Gazan flower shipments to Europe were delayed for two weeks at the Erez crossing for security inspections. You can imagine the value of two-week-old cut flowers in the European market, so that market dried up. And then the bulldozers come and take out people’s vegetable farms and gardens. What is left for people? Tell me if you can think of anything. I can’t.”..
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