Sunday, March 17, 2013

Some thoughts on the 10-year anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie

RC bulldozers
Rachel did not travel to Rafah with the intention of standing in front of bulldozers or performing direct action. In the initial years of the second intifada, international media focused on the West Bank. Rachel had heard from a friend that the suffering in the Gaza Strip, particularly in Rafah, was being ignored. She thought one way to draw more attention to the situation there was to establish a sister city relationship between her hometown of Olympia and Rafah.
My reaction when she told me her plan in the fall of 2002 was, “Why Rafah?” If she wanted to foster a sister city relationship to expose the humanity of Palestinians, why not go with a more approachable city such as Bethlehem, that would be more photogenic and easier to appeal to an uninformed public?
But it was precisely because Rafah had been so ignored, and because it seemed so unapproachable, that Rachel felt Rafah had to be the one.
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