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Rachel Corrie

March 16, 2010

We have got to understand that they dream our dreams and we dream theirs.
We have got to understand that they are us. We are them.  Rachel’s Words

American peace activist Rachel Corrie was killed in Palestine 7 years ago.  She was 23 years old.  She was bulldozed by the IDF.  Israel have refused to take responsibility for her death. 

Richard Purssell, a British activist with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM), said he watched in horror as Ms Corrie was dragged four metres by the bulldozer moving forward at a “fast walking pace”.

He told how her fluorescent orange jacket became invisible beneath a pile of earth churned up by the blade of the 56-tonne D9 Caterpillar machine. Mr Purssell explained that he and two other ISM volunteers had been summoned from the Rafah neighbourhood of Tel Sultan earlier in the day to help five activists prevent bulldozers from carrying out what they feared would be the demolition of Palestinian homes. The five, including Ms Corrie, were in the suburb of Hai Salaam, close to the border with Egypt.

 This is part of the evidence that Rachel’s parents, Cindy and Craig, have have had to hear in the civil law suit they have brought against Israel which is currently being heard.

The most obvious way to honor Rachel is to continue working on issues that mattered to her. Peace and justice for the Palestinian people is probably at the top of that list. We should also pursue a thorough investigation of Rachel’s death and demand accountability by the Israeli army. Finally, we can donate money to organizations dealing with issues that mattered to Rachel [listed at the link above].

Khaled Nasrallah, 40, lived in the home that Rachel died defending.

“Rachel really changed our fundamental ideas,” Nasrallah said. “Sometimes we believed that Western people were fully supporting the Israeli side and did not have feelings for us … . [My family] didn’t do anything against any party, but the Israeli Defense Forces gave the innocent and the guilty the same treatment. I hope the trial will give hope to the next generation.”

Palestinian Anees Mansour, 28, joined the work of Corrie and her fellow activists because he felt “they were doing something good — they were fighting the occupation by peaceful ways.” He held back tears as he recalls running to the hospital and viewing Rachel’s body in disbelief. “This is the life here,” he whispered. “She is still in our hearts. I call the day she was killed the black day.”

A month after Corrie’s death, Mansour was just three feet away when a British member of ISM, Tom Hurndall, was killed by an Israeli Defense Forces sniper while trying to rescue children caught in gunfire. The soldier was convicted of manslaughter and obstruction of justice and sentenced to eight years in prison, which he is currently serving. The soldier told the military tribunal that the Israeli army “fires freely in Rafah.”

“I decided that nothing works to end the occupation — peaceful ways or the armed way,” Mansour says. “[Israel] doesn’t respect the peaceful. They don’t respect anyone. They don’t care if Tom or Rachel are internationals. They will do whatever they want.”

Rachel Corrie:  Myths & Facts

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