16 March 2012

Rachel Corrie's legacy

Today, March 16, 2012, marks the ninth anniversary of the death in Gaza of American student and peace activist Rachel Corrie. This brave and compassionate young woman died at the age of 23 when she was crushed by a US-made Caterpillar D9 military bulldozer in Rafah while acting as a human shield, trying to stop the unlawful demolition of a Palestinian home.

Rachel's family has sued the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli Defense Ministry, and it has been a game of "he-said, she-said" in court. The bulldozer operator claims that he did not see Rachel. Her companions at the scene of her death insist that he had to have seen her.

And, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Corrie family has "accused Israel's military of failing to turn over key surveillance video taken at the Gaza Strip field where Corrie was run over by an Israeli military bulldozer."

The LA Times also notes that the judge's ruling in this case is expected next month.

Regardless of whether Rachel's death was an accident or something more sinister, and regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, I hope that her death will not be in vain. I hope her story will continue to illustrate the urgent need for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has cost all sides too many innocent lives. And I hope her story will somehow inspire those who can make a difference.

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