This wreath was laid to the memory of Rachel Corrie on 16th March, 2005, the second aniiversary of her death. The photographs were supplied by Zarina Bhatia shown with others who were there (below).Caterpillar supplies its products to the Israeli Government who use the vehicles to demolish Palestinian homes. Rachel Corrie, an American, tried to prevent one in the Gaza strip. She was crushed to death. Here there is an article by the late Edward Said who visited Rachel’s parents in Seattle. He says her father had driven caterpillars himself, but the one that killed his daughter was far bigger than anything he had seen. It had been designed specifically for house demolition. Hanan Ashrawi makes the point “The oppressive nature of a military occupation eventually victimizes the occupier much as it does the occupied.”
The political idea of “terrorist” is thrown into sharp focus by this article. The caterpillar is here a weapon used to terrorise a community. Rachel is not he only death caused in the demolition process: houses are bulldozed along with their with occupants and many innocent Palestinians have also lost their lives. As was noted in the televised series “The Power of Nightmares” the idea of “terror” has become a political tool to subdue nations. Both Bush and Blair know this. Blair did not take the opportunity to denounce this form of terror. Along with Ariel Sharon he singled out the Palestinians as the source of the terror.
Throughout Palestine, houses are being demolished and people are being killed as Israel builds it ‘apartheid’ wall. The machines used in this reign of terror include the Caterpillar Bullldozer. The Financial Headquarters in Europe of that firm are based at Hockley Heath.
Mary Brennan West Midlands PSC Press Officer
National/Regional Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Middle East Fellowship NEWS and PERSPECTIVES
March 16th, 2005
REMEMBERING RACHEL CORRIE
Two years ago today, on March 16th 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American human rights activist, was crushed to death by a Caterpillar bulldozer. By peacefully blocking the path of the bulldozer, Rachel was attempting to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home by the Israeli military. Though an American citizen was murdered by the military of a government that the U.S. has close diplomatic, economic and military ties to, no official U.S. inquiry has been launched.
RACHEL CORRIE MEMORIAL (In Santa Monica, California)
A memorial will be held for Rachel in Santa Monica on Thursday, March 17th, at 7:00 to 9:00 pm (complete event details and address are listed below). Rev. Darrel Meyers, Laila Al-Marayati and Mary Hughes will be speaking. There will also be a screening of the film “Dispatches: the
Killing Zone” (50 minutes).
Zarina Bhatia with others after they had laid the wreath in memory of Rachel
outside the European Headquarters of Caterpillar at Hockley Heath, Solihull in the West Midlands
REMEMBERING RACHEL CORRIE
Two years ago today, on March 16th 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American human rights activist, was crushed to death by a Caterpillar bulldozer. By peacefully blocking the path of the bulldozer, Rachel was attempting to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home by the Israeli military. Though an American citizen was murdered by the military of a government that the U.S. has close diplomatic, economic and military ties to, no official U.S. inquiry has been launched. Below are three reflections on Rachel’s life and tragic death.
Rachel, Full of Life
by Brook Berndt
“At the age of 23, Rachel Corrie was full of life. At the age of 23, she was a senior in college ignited by a passion for justice. At the age of 23, she traveled to the Gaza strip as an activist for peace. And, it was at the age of 23 that Rachel Corrie knelt to the ground wearing an orange fluorescent jacket as a 9-ton Caterpillar bulldozer came toward her, knocked her down, crushed her with its blade, ran her over, backed up, and ran her over again. At the age of 23, Rachel Corrie was loved by family and friends who would never see her radiant life again.
“Rachel was killed trying to prevent the demolition of a civilian home by the Israeli army. Thousands of homes had been demolished, and Rachel along with her companions from the International Solidarity Movement were seeking to prevent further destruction. Through non-violence, this group of international activists was following the lead of Palestinians struggling to end the occupation of their lands.”
Read the full Article
The Meaning of Rachel Corrie …Of Dignity and Solidarity
by Edward Said
“June 23, 2003 — In early May, I was in Seattle lecturing for a few days. While there, I had dinner one night with Rachel Corrie’s parents and sister, who were still reeling from the shock of their daughter’s murder on March 16 in Gaza by an Israeli bulldozer. Mr. Corrie told me that he had himself driven bulldozers, although the one that killed his daughter deliberately because she was trying valiantly to protect a Palestinian home in Rafah from demolition was a 60 ton behemoth especially designed by
Caterpillar for house demolitions, a far bigger machine than anything he had ever seen or driven.
“Two things struck me about my brief visit with the Corries. One was the story they told about their return to the US with their daughter’s body. They had immediately sought out their US Senators, Patty Murray and Mary Cantwell, both Democrats, told them their story and received the expected expressions of shock, outrage, anger and promises of investigations. After both women returned to Washington, the Corries never heard from them again, and the promised investigation simply didn’t materialize. As expected, the Israeli lobby had explained the realities to them, and both women simply begged off. An American citizen was willfully murdered by the soldiers of a client state of the US without so much as an official peep or even the ‘de rigeur’ investigation that had been promised her family.”
Read the full Article
Rachel Corrie Joins Palestinians in Longing for Justice
by Hanan Ashrawi
Excerpt: “When Israeli troops ruthlessly murdered Rachel Corrie, she became the victim of both Israel’s brutal occupation and the full force of its “spin machine.” It is a common trait of the cowardly to malign the victim, in this case, accusing her of having brought about the deserved cruelty of the crime. A ruthless campaign was pursued to distort the truth, despite irrefutable evidence, resulting in the total dehumanization of the victim and the elimination of her most basic rights and attributes as well as claims to protection.
“Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old student from Olympia, Washington, was murdered while attempting to prevent an Israeli army bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home near the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Despite being dressed in a bright colored orange vest, with reflective stripes, and carrying a bullhorn in broad daylight, Israel claimed the soldier driving a 52 ton D-9 bulldozer “could not see” his victim, as he mercilessly crushed her…
“Rachel Corrie was the first US citizen to fall victim to Israel’s indiscriminate lethal force; her death remains ruled as an accident, without any objections from the American government. In fact, the
perpetuation of the most brutal (and last remaining) military occupation in history “enjoys” the cover of impunity provided by its strategic alliance with the US, which has produced an alarming formula for
lawlessness, radicalization, violence, and destabilization.”
Read the full Article
Women in Black – Los Angeles presents…
A Special Event Commemorating Rachel Corrie
Rachel Corrie, a young human rights activist from Olympia, Washington, was killed on March 16th, 2003. She was trying to prevent a family home in Gaza from being demolished, when an Israeli bulldozer ran her over.
“Dispatches: The Killing Zone”
Dr. Laila Al-Marayati – Media’s whitewashing of this crime
Rev. Darrel Meyers – Presbyterian Church’s divestment decision
Mary Hughes – Witnessing the situation in Palestine
Date and Time: Thursday, March 17th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Venue: Liberty Hill Foundation, 2121 Cloverfield Boulevard, Suite 113
Santa Monica, CA 90404 (NE corner Cloverfield & Pico – Free parking on
Speaker bios below; no admission charge; free literature available
For more information, see www.wib-la.org or e-mail email@example.com
This event co-sponsored by:
Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, If
Americans Knew, and Middle East Fellowship.
Dr. Laila Al-Marayati is the spokesperson and past president of the Muslim Women’s League, an organization dedicated to disseminating accurate information about Islam and women and to strengthening the role of Muslim women in society. As an American of Palestinian descent, Dr. Al-Marayati frequently speaks about the rights of Palestinians, and has worked to address the health and educational needs of Palestinian children living in the West Bank and Gaza.
Rev. Darrel Meyers is retired Pastor at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Van Nuys. He is a cofounder of the Middle East Fellowship, and has served as one of its chairpersons since 1969. Darrell is also a board member of the Friends of Sabeel-North America and makes frequent visits to the Middle East. He holds a Masters degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Mary Hughes is a British-American grandmother, and retired TV writer. Her interest in the Middle East was sparked bv a research assignment for a documentary film about Gamal Abdul Nasser and David Ben Gurion in the 1960’s. She has been to Palestine 3 times during the past 3 years, and once to Iraq, with the Christian Peacemakers Team and the International Solidarity Movement.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I think freedom for Palestine could be an incredible source of hope to people struggling all over the world. I think it could also be an incredible inspiration to Arab people in the Middle East, who are struggling under undemocratic regimes which the US supports… I also think it’s important for people in the United States in relative privilege to realize that people without privilege will be doing this work no matter what, because they are working for their lives. We can work with them, and they know that we work with them, or we can leave them to do this work themselves and curse us for our complicity in killing them.”
~Rachel Corrie, in an e-mail to her parents, February 2003
Middle East Fellowship (MEF) is a North American non-profit committed to launching strategic humanitarian initiatives in the Middle East by partnering with indigenous organizations in the region. We are also committed to bringing a greater awareness of issues pertaining to the Middle East to the general American public through grassroots mobilizing efforts, online educational projects and travel programs.
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