#WCW Rachel Corrie, Symbol of Palestinian Resistance

This week, on March 16th, 2003, 23 year old American activist Rachel Corrie stood between an Israeli armored bulldozer and the home of a Palestinian pharmacist.

Witnesses say Rachel kneeled to prevent the armored vehicle from razing the home.

An ISM activist using the name “Richard”, saying he had witnessed Corrie’s death, told Haaretz:

There’s no way he didn’t see her, since she was practically looking into the cabin. At one stage, he turned around toward the building. The bulldozer kept moving, and she slipped and fell off the plow. But the bulldozer kept moving, the shovel above her. I guess it was about 10 or 15 meters that it dragged her and for some reason didn’t stop. We shouted like crazy to the operator through loudspeakers that he should stop, but he just kept going and didn’t lift the shovel. Then it stopped and backed up. We ran to Rachel. She was still breathing

She was crushed to death.
Rachel became and continues to be a symbol of Palestinian resistance. The Israeli military stated the bulldozer operator, an immigrant from Russia, could not see Rachel. Her family has challenged Israel’s version of events in an Israeli court, symbolically suing for ONE U.S. DOLLAR.
The court cleared the government of all wrongdoing in the “regrettable accident”.
This month, the Israeli court upheld that decision.
Human Rights Watch called the decision “dangerous” with “disturbing implications”.
The anniversary of her death this week comes with the re-election of PM Netanyahu, who promised the world in an interview earlier that an independent Palestinian state would never be established under his leadership, against the official stance of the United States and the United Nations for a two-state solution. However, although Israel is supposedly the only democracy in the Middle East, 4.5 million Palestinians under its control cannot vote. Can a state that ignores the rights of non-Jews be a democracy?
Netanyahu deliberately undermined Israel’s democratic and human rights principles by allowing open-ended discrimination against Israeli Arabs in jobs, housing, funding for schools, infrastructure and the overall economic development of predominantly Arab villages and towns.
On the Palestinian front, he systematically pursued the expansion of settlements, expropriated increasing swaths of Palestinian land, enforced a brutal occupation regime and simply exploited Palestinian cooperation on security matters only to serve his own narrow interests. To make matters worse, he waged two wars against Hamas at extraordinary human and material cost, especially on the Palestinian side.
Moreover, his discriminatory policy toward the Palestinians and the continued occupation gave rise to increasing anti-Semitism around the world, making Israel appear ever more as a pariah state with no scruples about human rights violations, defying both the international community and Israel’s own moral principles on which the state was built.
Tragically, Netanyahu has caused immense damage to relations with the United States, the most indispensable supporter of Israel on all fronts — militarily, economically and politically — without which Israel as we know it could not possibly survive.

-Alon Ben Meir, NYU Center for Global Affairs

The best strategy at this point for Palestine is to appeal to the international forum, since peace negotiations or an independent Palestinian state are out of the question. And the Palestinian Authority has done just that. In recent years, it turned to international forums to put pressure on Israel. It has won admission to a number of U.N. bodies, official recognition from a host of Western governments, and may even try to take Israel to the International Criminal Court over its construction of settlements in the West Bank, which is considered a violation of international law. Especially after this past summers attack on Gaza, the world is beginning to sympathize with the Palestinian cause. And Netanyahu’s recent move of speaking to Congress without consent of the President, and accusing Iran of a pretend nuke program that he lied about 20 years ago, did not help much. Worldwide, Jews are saying Bibi does not represent them.

Israel is on a road of isolation, and Netanyahu, as the destructive leader he is, is the best person to take them there.

Inshallah both Israel and Palestine will be on the road to peace, as Rachel Corrie envisioned.

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