In photos: On eve of Obama visit, Rafah children remember Rachel Corrie and protest US aid to Israel

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
on 8 Comments
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Rafah, Palestine, The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth Commemoration Vigil March 16, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)

On Saturday, Palestinian children held a vigil in Rafah to commemorate the death of American activist Rachel Corrie in the Gaza Strip border town a decade ago.

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Rafah, Palestine, The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth Commemoration Vigil March 16, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)
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Rafah, Palestine, The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth Commemoration Vigil March 16, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)

Corrie was crushed by a Caterpillar bulldozer while attempting to block its use by the Israeli army to demolish a Rafah home on March 16, 2003. Rafah’s Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth, named after her by the Union of Health Work Committees, holds an annual vigil on March 16. This year the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, founded by her parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie, organized similar commemorations worldwide to mark the tenth anniversary. 

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Rafah, Palestine, The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth Commemoration Vigil March 16, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)
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Rafah, Palestine, The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth Commemoration Vigil March 16, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)

Twelve-year old Heba Saqir read a letter to US President Barack Obama, due in Tel Aviv, asking that the president “sincerely speak out against military occupation, demand an end to the siege, don’t send more guns to Israel, and don’t oppose our unity. Please don’t empower those who have tormented my family and me for so long.”

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Rafah, Palestine, The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth Commemoration Vigil March 16, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)
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Rafah, Palestine, The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth Commemoration Vigil March 16, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)
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Rafah, Palestine, The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth Commemoration Vigil March 16, 2013 (Photo: Joe Catron)
About Joe Catron

Joe Catron is a US activist in Gaza, Palestine, where he works with Palestinian groups and international solidarity networks, particularly in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and prisoners' movements. He co-edited The Prisoners' Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag, an anthology of accounts by detainees freed in the 2011 prisoner exchange, blogs at joecatron.wordpress.com and tweets at @jncatron.

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8 Responses

  1. Citizen
    March 19, 2013, 3:17 pm

    Obama has publicly equated his own children with (1) Jewish Israeli children, and (2) the black youngster in a mutually disputed crime of self-defense with a non-black guy.

    It’s telling, isn’t it? He uses his kids to score political points–definitely not above that sort of thing, so it’s good to know what triggers his (sincere or crocodile?) tears. Either way, isn’t it instructive?

  2. hophmi
    March 19, 2013, 5:00 pm

    Where’d they get the signs from?

    • Annie Robbins
      March 19, 2013, 5:14 pm

      it looks like the kids made some of them. when i was in gaza there were public mentions of rachel in many places. on the sides of walls, murals, things like that. she’s very well loved there. i think everyone knows who she is, including all the school children i would imagine.

      they probably printed the rest of the signs themselves. why do you ask?

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 19, 2013, 6:52 pm

      “Where’d they get the signs from?”

      Some of them are hand made, and some of them were probably provided by The Rachel Corrie Center for Children and Youth, given that it’s a vigil at The Rachel Corrie Center for Children and Youth, and contain the initials RCCCY, which one can guess stands for The Rachel Corrie Center for Children and Youth.

    • eGuard
      March 19, 2013, 7:47 pm

      Where from? They asked for Anne Frank signs. You blame the kids?

  3. justicewillprevail
    March 19, 2013, 6:29 pm

    Sweet. Rachel Corrie – a proper American hero.

  4. kalithea
    March 20, 2013, 12:09 am

    The very last thing on Obama’s mind will be the plight of the children of Rafah. As a matter of fact they’ll be non-existant in his mind. Let’s not forget his pathetic reaction to the hundreds of children being slaughtered in Gaza during Cast Lead. Lots of children have been slaughtered under his watch though; but Obama lives in a sanitized world.

    Of course, these children should address him nonetheless; his conscience deserves no peace. I hope it keeps him up at night.

  5. crypticvalentin
    March 21, 2013, 1:22 am

    for Rachel
    link to vimeo.com

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