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Mar-17-2013 18:49printcomments

The Tenth Anniversary of Rachel Corrie's Death

Ten years later Rachel's fight to end injustice continues by others and will continue until the end of the occupation of the Palestinian Territory and the realization of Palestinians’ right to national self-determination.

Rachel Corrie
Rachel Corrie

(SAN FRANCISCO) - Rachel Corrie, a 22-year old peace activist from Washington State, was killed on March 16, 2003 by a Caterpillar bulldozer operated by the Israeli military while trying to stop a Palestinian family’s home from being destroyed. Some witnesses claimed she was struck deliberately, but an Israeli inquiry found her death to be an accident.

According to the March 3, 2013, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Report, "Israel's Policy of Demolishing Palestinian Homes Must End," to the to the UN Human Rights Council, Israel has destroyed more than 24,000 Palestinian homes since 1967 and more than 1,500 orders exist for future demolitions in East Jerusalem alone.

I highly recommend "Rachel," a 2009 documentary about the 2003 incident. The film depicts the circumstances surrounding her death. The documentary is not just about Corrie's death. It is also about activists who fight injustice without hope of winning, but do so without despair.

The film is also about the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which stretches back to the creation of Israel in 1947. Then, the United Nations partitioned the land, allotting the Jews 55 percent of Palestine. The Arabs did not agree to this partition. In the 1948 “war of independence” (called the “El Naqua,” the catastrophe, by the Arabs), Israel ended up with 78 percent of the area of Palestine. This war displaced 750,000 Palestinians and over 450 Arab villages were erased.


In the war of 1967, the remaining Palestinian territory was captured by Israel. Out of this captured land, Israel created the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by chopping up the land into isolated enclaves surrounded by Jewish settlements and Israeli occupation forces. The Palestinians lost 78 percent of their land to Israel and are left with 22 percent. Israel has erected a wall or fence, which cuts deep into Palestinian territory, joining large Jewish settlement blocks to Israel, further confining the Palestinians to isolated enclaves. Israel continues to establish new settlements (called outposts), demolishing homes and uprooting plantations in the process. And the Israeli-Palestinian conflict goes on and on.

It would be a fitting remembrance of Corrie's death if theater companies would stage the play "My Name is Rachel Corrie," which is composed from Rachel Corrie's journal entries and e-mails. The play was edited by Katherine Viner and Alan Rickman and directed by Rickman. It had a successful run in London at the Royal Court Theatre where it went on to win the Theatregoers' Choice Awards for Best Director and Best New Play, as well as Best Solo Performance for actress Megan Dodds. The play has been performed around the United States and the world.

Ten years later Rachel's fight to end injustice continues by others and will continue until the end of the occupation of the Palestinian Territory and the realization of Palestinians’ right to national self-determination.

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Salem-News.com writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many Salem-News.com writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address stonere@earthlink.net

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Project Humanbeingsfirst.org March 17, 2013 11:01 pm (Pacific time)

I just wanted to leave a link to Rachel Corie re-rememberance piece I had composed on the fifth anniversary of her becoming the selfless teacher of Moral-Activism for people of conscience. http://humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2008/03/reremembering-rachel-corrie-2008.html This was the concluding passage: May you rest in peace dear Rachel Corrie, for surely, those continually suffering under the jack-boots of your brethren and cursing all those who know and remain silent bystanders, must make you restless even in 'Walhalla'! You did attempt to salvage, with the sacrifice of your own youthful and precious life, 'humanity' that has today become lost to human beings from the clutches of the Zionocons. You indeed showed once again that Zionism is the antithesis of the moral law of Moses, and everything that is decent. You demonstrated by your sacrifice that the Zionists have hijacked even the good name of Judaism for their nefarious agenda of 'Eretz Yisrael' – for none of their conduct as an oppressor reflects the high ideals of Jews as an ancient peoples who have carried the weight of thousands of years of history and know suffering more than any other peoples on the face of the Earth today. You showed by your supreme sacrifice, the hollowness of your murderers claims to being Jews. And you have certainly laid threadbare the inhumanity of us silent bystanders as well. All this is at least several lifetimes worth of achievement condensed into a mere 23 years. Now it is for us, those still living, and pathetically “looking from the side”, to wakeup to the grotesque reality of perpetual war on 'the Grand Chessboard' – that aims to create a “Zion that will light up all the world” through 'Noble Lies' – all of which is constructed precisely with devilishly orchestrated “revolutionary times”, and do our small bit. You now rest in peace, dear Rachel Corrie!

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