Monday, November 23, 2020

Death of ISM activist marked by 15th anniversary

By Henry James - March 24, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Israeli army] [Gaza] [Rachel Corrie]

Rachel Corrie was killed in 2003 while trying to prevent the destruction of homes in Gaza.

She was an American activist who served with International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Corrie, a pacifist, became emblematic for the support of Palestine around the world.
This month marks the 15th year anniversary of her death.
“I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what’s going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States,” Rachel Corrie said in an email to her family in the US, February 7, 2003.
In January 2003, at 23, Rachel Corrie left with seven other American activists of the ISM for Rafah in Gaza Strip.
By doing direct and non-violent actions, ISM volunteers are conscious of the risks they will encounter. Having said this, they use the privileges of their foreign passports to show solidarity with Palestinians.
“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,” further email correspondence from Rachel Corrie, February 7.
On the March 16 2003, Rachel Corrie died when she was run over by an Israeli military bulldozer during the destruction of a house.
She was the first foreign volunteer, activist, killed by the Israeli Army in the Gaza Strip. Rachel Corrie has become a symbol of international mobilization for Palestinians ever since.
Kareem is Palestinian, has been an ISM activist for a couple of years.
Kareem explained to Palestine Monitor, that because Corrie was a peaceful protester, and an American women with blond hair and blue eyes, it has carried more importance in the “hypocritical world” than the Palestinians who die everyday.
“Non-violence resistance is always more sexy when it comes to Palestine, which we do at ISM,” Kareem said.
“Sometimes, a foreigner getting shot can be more important than a Palestinian death. Because it makes a bigger story, and the big media agency will use it and share it more. It’s the same way when three French people are getting killed in a terror attack is seen as more important than the death of 200 civilians in Yemen,” Kareem added.  
The struggle is still on going in Palestine, as Kareem told Palestine Monitor, and just like many others, people will always remember the one who died.
“Each name has their own audience, and for some it will be American women, and for others Hamas people. But for her, it’s every pro Palestine activist and organization that will salute her,” Kareem said.
What activists have learned from that is that Israeli Soldiers are capable of killing  even an American citizen and getting away with it, explained Kareem to the Palestine Monitor.

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