1 Year Later: Remembering Rachel Corrie

“More than 30 vigils and educational events, marking the one-year anniversary of [ISM activist] Rachel Corrie‘s death, are taking place in 29 cities in 19 states plus the District of Columbia. Events include a vigil at St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Helena, Montana and a demonstration at a Caterpillar dealership in Elmhurst, Illinois. Details for all of the events can be found here.”

18 thoughts on “1 Year Later: Remembering Rachel Corrie

  1. While no one disputes the existence of a small number of tunnels in Rafah that funnel weapons to militants, Israeli security claims about the need to destroy Rafah in order to find tunnels are little more than crude propaganda. Moreover, callous claims that Rachel was knowingly defending tunnels and suicide bombers illustrate the depths many Israeli sympathizers will plumb to defend the indefensible.
    First, the Israeli army has never claimed nor provided any evidence that Dr. Samir Nasrallah, whose house Rachel was defending, or anyone else in this neighborhood, were concealing any tunnels or were engaged in any attacks on Israelis.
    Second, any weapons that get through tunnels are only used in guerrilla actions against soldiers and settlers within the Gaza Strip, not against civilians within Israel. One of the main arguments Israeli officials use to justify building the barrier in the West Bank is the fact that no Palestinian suicide bombers have come from Gaza in the past three years. Gaza is surrounded by a heavily monitored 52-kilometer (30-mile) electrified fence that keeps its 1.3 million impoverished Palestinians isolated from the world. Gaza is arguably the world’s largest open-air prison, not a threat to Israeli civilians.
    Third, the primary reason Palestinian homes in Rafah are being demolished daily by Israeli bulldozers is to make way for a massive 6-meter high steel wall Israel is building along the Egyptian border with Rafah, not tunnels. According to United Nation’s officials, over the past three years Israel has destroyed nearly 900 houses in Rafah in order to create a one hundred meter “buffer zone” between Palestinian homes and the wall. Daily shelling and armed raids over the past three years have killed nearly 300 Palestinians and have left more than 8,600 people homeless.
    The fact that Israel possesses ample equipment to discover and unearth these tunnels without resorting to widespread destruction and violence makes it clear that the ultimate goal of house demolitions in Rafah is to clear land for the wall. The governor of Rafah, Majid Ghal, rejects Israel’s claims about tunnels as nonsense. “What they are doing is to carve out a buffer zone between Rafah and the border. The Israelis have always said they do not want Palestine to control its borders or to have borders with other countries. They are trying to drive people out.”
    The Israeli army denies any such motive but as The Guardian’s Chris McGreal reported on October 27, 2003, even the previous head of the military’s southern command for Gaza, Colonel Yom Tov Samya, has admitted that Israel’s house demolitions policy was an end in itself, not a by-product of a search for tunnels. “The IDF (Israeli Defence Force) has to knock down all the houses along a strip of 300 to 400 metres. It doesn’t matter what the future settlement will be, this will be the border with Egypt.”
    The massive steel wall that killed Rachel, and has destroyed the lives of thousands of Palestinians in Rafah, is being built for one reason: to protect the security of the 7,000 Israeli settlers with green lawns and swimming pools who illegally occupy 30 percent of Gaza’s land. These settlements, along with dozens of military fortresses and Jewish-only bypass roads effectively divide Gaza into 3 sealed areas or ghettos, where a powerful army, with hundreds of tanks, attack helicopters, F-16s and overwhelming firepower largely operates with impunity against the civilian population. Their mission, protect the Israeli settlements. The wall built on the border signals that Israel plans to retain most, if not all of them, regardless of any settlement.

  2. So you [mo1] are using information from the mayor of Rafah (self-interest anyone?), the Guardian (a notoriously anti-Israel paper), and Electronic Intifada. Hmm.
    Obviously the death of Rachel Corrie was a horrible mistake, but this says very little about the legitimacy of Israeli raids into Gaza in general and Rafah in particular. Your point that the weapons are not a threat to Israel is just ridiculous, especially in light of the recent double-bombing. But even without them, there is a legitimate worry that if unchecked Palestinians would bring in weapons capable of being fired over the border into Israeli towns, such as very short range missiles, mortars, etc.
    I would also like to point out that most of the last paragraph (concerning the settlements) of the article you sited is, at best, horribly out of date considering the ‘disengagement plan.’
    If, as I have posited above, it is legitimate to try and stop weapons smuggling into Gaza, and with the knowledge that neither the Palestinians nor the Egyptians will lift a finger to stop the smugglers, what would you suggest Israel do? Israel has no perfect option here. There is no option where no-one suffers and everyone is happy. If I saw one of those(which wasn’t hopelessly naive and/or impracticable), I would sing that persons praises, but until then criticism like this Electronic Intifada will continue to ring hollow to me.

  3. #1. i didn’t write that, i simply quoted it, because apparently velvel didn’t bother to read the link (which i cite in the original post) before he decided to spit on rachel corrie’s grave. (what a tzadik!)
    #2. let me get this straight–the quote by Colonel Yom Tov Samya is invalid simply because it was printed in a newspaper that you (and other rank pro-israel supporters) allege to be biased?
    #3. all the points raised about the homes being bulldozed simply to create a buffer along the border are irrelevant, simply because the author takes a position on arms smuggling you disagree with?
    do you always throw the baby out with the bathwater?
    as for my own personal position, i think people who are smuggling guns should be arrested and the tunnels sealed. i don’t think houses should be bulldozed. and again, often the reasons for bulldozing have very little to do with weapons tunnels.
    i also don’t necessarily trust ei all that much, and i noticed the last paragraph there was in conflict with recent events re: the disengagement plan. however, i will still cede valid points where they are made, and points such as these will are just not ever going to be raised in a source that any of you hawks find acceptable. the second anyone prints anything that defies the official pro-israel lobby position, you guys start screaming bias. it’s horseshit.
    rachel corrie died defending the home of a community doctor whose house was in threat of being razed. she was standing up for what, in her heart, she believed to be right. she was standing up for what she saw as just. and it’s simply sickening to me that a member of klal yisrael, could distort that image and relish in that poor girl’s death.

  4. mo1, I know you are as “pro-Jew” as I am.
    I do not believe a single fact of the Corrie case that you mentioned. You can point to all the articles from the Arab Press, AP, NY Times you want. In my opinion, I have seen far too much evidence of bias and lies on their part.
    I can’t I believe that girl was as innocent as you think.

  5. i’m not siding with the arabs, i’m siding with reason, humanity and justice.
    the implication of “just as much bias” suggests that both ethnic groups–which tend to perceive of themselves as victims–like to imagine bias against them where there is none. how could the ny times be simultaneously biased against palestinians and israelis? either group can read an article and believe it is biased against them. bias is in the eye of the beholder.
    as for your question, “why are you siding with the arabs?” when you ask a question like that, what you’re trying to do is get me to capitulate to your position by playing on my emotions. luckily, i’m not stupid, so i don’t cower in fear when someone accuses me of selling out my people simply for the fact that i don’t adorn myself with the consensus idiocy.

  6. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying each side views themselves as victims. Each side has “proof” that the other is lying and biased. I could say the same thing about “reason, humanity and justice” being on the side of the Jewish, Israeli state as I firmly believe to be the case.
    I’m not saying you’re stupid. I’m not accusing you of selling out your people. And please don’t call my position the “consensus idiocy.” To me it doesn’t seem like the I’m with the world’s consensus.

  7. you’re with the israel lobby’s consensus — that’s what i’m saying. and clearly, i’m not any longer.

  8. the very pressing on the keyboard of those words lou, is an avayrah that will cast you further from hashem in olam haba than you likely already are.

  9. Just as when one is at home, when one is in another country, it is important to obey the law.
    It is unfortunate that her failure to obey the law (illegally entering an area under military jurisdiction) resulted in an accident that cost her her life.

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