Not In My Name, a predominantly Jewish organization, which, since November 2000, has been working to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, shares the world's grief and horror at the violent death of Rachel Corrie in the Occupied Gaza Strip refugee camp of Rafah on Sunday, March 16, 2003. Rachel, 23, working as a member of the International Solidarity Movement, was attempting to prevent the illegal demolition of a Palestinian home when she was killed.
According to ISM Media Coordinator Michael Shaikh, "Rachel was sitting in the path of the bulldozer as it advanced towards her. When the bulldozer refused to stop or turn aside she climbed up onto the mound of dirt and rubble being gathered in front of it wearing a fluorescent jacket to look directly at the driver who kept on advancing. The bulldozer continued to advance so that she was pulled under the pile of dirt and rubble. After she had disappeared from view the driver kept advancing until the bulldozer was completely on top of her. The driver did not lift the bulldozer blade and so she was crushed beneath it. Then the driver backed off and the seven other ISM activists taking part in the action rushed to dig out her body. An ambulance rushed her to Al-Najar hospital where she died."
While the Israeli Defense Forces called the death of this brave American citizen, "a regrettable accident," Not In My Name considers this to be yet another in a long line of Israeli war crimes. It was no "accident" that the Israeli Defense Forces were engaged in their long-standing policy of demolishing Palestinian homes. This very policy is a violation of international law and is therefore a war crime.
In keeping with President George Bush's pledge of March 17, 2021 to pursue all perpetrators of war crimes, we call on the U.S. Administration to pursue the perpetrators of these war crimes. We also demand that the Unites States immediately suspend all military aid to Israel, until its Occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem ends.
While the United States attacks Iraq for its violation of 16 U.N. Security Council Resolutions, it continues to reward Israel with $3 billion in annual military aid in spite of the fact that Israel has violated scores of U.N. Resolutions, some for over 35 years.
In addition, we note that on the same day Rachel was kill, the Israeli army shot and killed 11 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including two teenagers and a 2-year old girl, cowering inside her home. The grief and sorrow is never ending, and is shared by all.
May Rachel Corrie's courage and humanity always be remembered and honored. May her life be an inspiration to all those who seek justice. May the day come when courage like hers will not be needed to defend a defenseless people from oppression.