“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 of it 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 the fact, of course, that I have the option of leaving.”
Rachel Corrie — Rafah
February 7, 2003
Twelve years ago in that letter above, Rachel Corrie with her usual extraordinary insight posed the paradox for Americans trying to comprehend the Israeli Occupation. If we haven’t been there, we can’t know its “horror”–no matter how much we’ve read, listened, watched–and when we do come, we can’t fully understand, because we can’t fully share the “doom” faced by the people of Palestine. Americans can buy bottled water for a few days, leave, and, most important, be protected by U.S. citizenship.
Yet, more than a decade later, such protection has been betrayed; there has been no accountability for Rachel Corrie’s killing in March 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer. The U.S. government pusillanimously let the Israeli government investigate its own crime and did nothing even after Dan Shapiro, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, admitted to the Corries that our government “did not believe the Israeli military investigation had been ‘thorough, credible and transparent.” When the Corries described their quest for justice for both Rachel and Palestine to about 40 of us at OSU in November 2013, they said that Judge Oded Gershon’s verdict rejecting the their family’s wrongful death lawsuit had been most disappointing because it read “as if there had been no trial”: it merely parroted the army testimony that Rafah was a “closed military zone.”
They told us to watch for their May 21, 2014 Appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court, but even now–over eight months later–the Court has not ruled. And the U.S. government has not acted.
Rachel herself asked that if she did get hurt– “if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people–” we should “please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide … for which my government is largely responsible.”
I can’t wait to hear gentle, good Cindy and Craig Corrie again, because I am touched as all are by their benevolence and their loyalty to both the brave people of Palestine and their own dear child. As Cindy Corrie staunchly averred:
Here are details about the event:
Central Ohioans for Peace meeting – Speakers Cindy and Craig Corrie
Cindy and Craig will share some of the story of their family. Cindy and Craig Corrie are the parents of human rights activist and observer Rachel Corrie, who on March 16, 2003, was killed by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9R bulldozer in the Gaza Strip as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. Motivated by their daughter’s work and example, the Corries have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of justice and peace in the Middle East and have made numerous visits to the region. In fall 2012, they were part of Interfaith Peace-Builder delegations to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza (where they have visited five times). “Rachel wrote of the importance of making commitments to places and initiated this one to Rafah and Gaza. The commitment she made continues,” said Cindy Corrie. Copies of Rachel’s wondrous book Let Me Stand Alone will be for sale and signing (proceeds go to the Rachel Corrie Foundation). Read about the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice here.
Location: Columbus Mennonite Church, 35 Oakland Park Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. For information about COFP, visit our website.