April 10, 1979
March 16, 2003
On Sunday March 16, 2003 in Rafah, occupied Gaza, 23 year
old American peace activist Rachel Corrie from Olympia,
Washington was murdered (crushed to death) by a US-made
Israeli bulldozer. As a volunteer with the International
Solidarity Movement, Rachel was in Gaza opposing the bulldozing
of Palestinian homes by the Israeli army.
Bless you Rachel
May you rest in peace.
Mark R. Elsis
Articles / Photographs / Writings
of Rachel Corrie (Audio, Video and Text)
Sues Israeli Government and Caterpillar Inc.
Two Years After She Was Crushed by Military Bulldozer
Killing Of Rachel Corrie
Amnesty International Urges Rice
To Support Independent Investigation
Family Of Protester Killed By Bulldozer Suing Caterpillar
by Elizabeth M. Gillespie
Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice
Justice Still Not Served
by Elizabeth Corrie
by Anwar Ul Haque
We Won't Forget Rachel Corrie
Uprising On The Anniversary Of A Death
by Alison Weir
Rachel, Full of Life
by Brooks Berndt
Children Mark The 2nd Anniversary Of Israel's Murder Of
US Peace Activist Rachel Corrie In Rafah, Gaza.
Day Israel Murdered Peace
One Year Later:
Rachel Corrie's Critics Fire Blanks
eyewitnesses describe the murder of Rachel Corrie
Tom Dale, Greg
Schnabel, Richard Purssell, and Joe Smith, International
Solidarity Movement, 19 March 2003
Friends call for inquiry in student's death
Statement from the
parents of Rachel Corrie
Craig and Cindy Corrie,
Press Release, 19 March 2003
Condemns Killing of Rachel Corrie
Photo story: Israeli
bulldozer driver murders American peace activist Nigel
Parry and Arjan El Fassed, The Electronic Intifada, 16
left tranquil Olympia for violent Middle East
Nuha Sweidan and Israeli war crimes
Rachel Corrie: In
her own words
Rachel Corrie, writing
from Rafah, occupied Palestine 17 March 2003
Calls for protest
over U.S. activist death
Peace activist crushed to death
Peter Bohmer, The Electronic
Intifada, 17 March 2003
of International Solidarity Movement
Michael Sheikh, International
Solidarity Movement, 16 March 2003
Statement On The
Murder Of Rachel Corrie
Of broken bodies
and unbreakable laws
Laurie King-Irani, The
Electronic Intifada, 19 March 2003
She felt it was
something she had to do
Rachel Corrie, Nuha
Sweidan and Israeli War Crimes
Steve Niva, The Electronic
Intifada, 17 March 2003
Rescuing Private Lynch
And Forgetting Rachel Corrie
Lynch and Rachel Corrie could have passed for sisters.
Two all-American blondes, two destinies forever changed
in a Middle East war zone. Private Jessica Lynch, the
soldier, was born in Palestine, West Virginia. Rachel
Corrie, the activist, died in Israeli-occupied Palestine.
was four years older than 19-year-old Lynch. Her body
was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza seven days
before Lynch was taken into Iraqi custody on March 23.
Before she went to Iraq, Lynch organized a pen-pal program
with a local kindergarten. Before Corrie left for Gaza,
she organized a pen-pal program between kids in her hometown
of Olympia, Washington, and children in Rafah.
went to Iraq as a soldier loyal to her government. Corrie
went to Gaza to oppose the actions of her government.
As a U.S. citizen, she believed she had a special responsibility
to defend Palestinians against U.S.-built weapons, purchased
with U.S. aid to Israel. In letters home, she described
how fresh water was being diverted from Gaza to Israeli
settlements, how death was more normal than life. "This
is what we pay for here," she wrote.
Lynch, Corrie did not go to Gaza to engage in combat:
she went to try to thwart it. Along with her fellow members
of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), she believed
that the Israeli military's incursions could be slowed
by the presence of highly visible "internationals."
The killing of Palestinian civilians may have become commonplace,
the thinking went, but Israel doesn't want the diplomatic
or media scandals that would come if it killed a U.S.
a way, Corrie was harnessing the very thing that she disliked
most about her countrythe belief that American lives
are worth more than any othersand trying to use
it to save a few Palestinian homes from demolition.
her fluorescent orange jacket would serve as armor, Corrie
stood in front of bulldozers, slept beside wells and escorted
children to school. If suicide bombers turn their bodies
into weapons of death, Corrie turned hers into the oppositea
weapon of life, a "human shield."
that Israeli bulldozer driver looked at Corrie's orange
jacket and pressed the accelerator, her strategy failed.
It turns out that the lives of some U.S. citizenseven
beautiful, young, white womenare valued more than
others. And nothing demonstrates this more starkly than
the opposing responses to Rachel Corrie and Pvt. Jessica
the Pentagon announced Lynch's successful rescue, she
became a hero, complete with "America loves Jessica"
fridge magnets, stickers, T-shirts, mugs, country songs
and an NBC made-for-TV movie. According to White House
spokesman Ari Fleischer, President George Bush was "full
of joy for Jessica Lynch." Her rescue, we were told,
was a testament to a core American value: as West Virginia
Senator Jay Rockefeller said to the Senate: "We take
care of our people."
they? Corrie's death, which made the papers for two days
and then virtually disappeared, has met with almost total
official silence, despite the fact that eyewitnesses claim
it was a deliberate act. President Bush has said nothing
about a U.S. citizen killed by a U.S.-made bulldozer bought
with U.S. tax dollars. A U.S. congressional resolution
demanding an independent inquiry has been buried in committee,
leaving the Israeli military's investigationwhich
cleared itself of any wrongdoingas the only official
ISM says that this non-response has sent a clear, and
dangerous, signal. According to Olivia Jackson, a 25-year-old
British citizen in Rafah: "After Rachel was killed,
[the Israeli military] waited for the response from the
American government and the response was pathetic. They
know they can get away with it, and it has encouraged
them to keep on going."
there was Brian Avery, a 24-year-old U.S. citizen shot
in the face on April 5. Then Tom Hurndall, a British ISM
activist shot in the head and left brain dead on April
11. Next was James Miller, the British cameraman shot
dead while wearing a vest that said "TV." In
all of these cases, eyewitnesses say the shooters were
is something else that Jessica Lynch and Rachel Corrie
have in common: both of their stories have been distorted
by the military for its own purposes. According to the
official story, Lynch was captured in a bloody gun battle,
mistreated by sadistic Iraqi doctors, then rescued in
another storm of bullets by heroic Navy SEALs. In the
past weeks, another version has emerged. The doctors who
treated Lynch found no evidence of battle wounds, and
donated their own blood to save her life. Most embarrassing
of all, witnesses have told the BBC that those daring
Navy SEALs already knew there were no Iraqi fighters left
in the area when they stormed the hospital.
while Lynch's story has been distorted to make its protagonists
appear more heroic, Corrie's story has been posthumously
twisted to make her, and her fellow ISM activists, appear
months, the Israeli military had been looking for an excuse
to get rid of the ISM "troublemakers." It found
it in Asif Mohammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif, the two
British suicide bombers. It turns out that they had attended
a memorial service for Corrie in Rafah, a fact the Israeli
military has seized on to link the ISM to terrorism. Members
of ISM point out that the event was open to the public,
and that they knew nothing of the British visitors' intentions.
the past two weeks, half a dozen ISM activists have been
arrested, several deported, and the organization's offices
raided. The crackdown is spreading to all "internationals,"
meaning there are fewer people in the occupied territories
to either witness the abuses or assist the victims. On
Monday, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East
peace process told the Security Council that dozens of
U.N. aid workers had been prevented from getting in and
out of Gaza, calling it a violation of "Israel's
international humanitarian law obligations."
June 5 there will be an international day of action for
Palestinian rights. One of the demands is for the U.N.
to send a monitoring force into the occupied territories.
Until that happens, many are determined to continue Corrie's
work. More than 40 students at her former college, Evergreen
State, in Olympia, Washington, have signed up to go to
Gaza with the ISM this summer.
who is a hero? During the attack on Iraq, some of Corrie's
friends e-mailed her picture to MSNBC asking that it be
included on the station's "wall of heroes,"
along with Jessica Lynch. The network didn't comply, but
Corrie is being honored in other ways. Her family has
received more than 10,000 letters of support, communities
across the country have organized memorial services, and
children from the occupied territories are being named
Rachel. It's not a made-for-TV kind of tribute, but maybe
that's for the best.
Klein's most recent book is Fences and Windows. This article
first appeared in The Guardian, May 22, 2003. ©Guardian
Newspapers Limited 2003. Reprinted with permission.