Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Blog

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah. She was a 23 year old American activist who was moved into action by the assault on the humanity of Palestinians living under occupation. She was killed trying to protect a Palestinian family’s home from demolition by Israeli forces. Her eloquent, thoughtful, and moving writings have brought her back to life for many of us who never had the privilege of knowing her.

In an email to her mother only a couple of weeks before her tragic death, Rachel wrote this:

When I am with Palestinian friends I tend to be somewhat less horrified than when I am trying to act in a role of human rights observer, documenter, or direct-action resister. They are a good example of how to be in it for the long haul. I know that the situation gets to them - and may ultimately get them - on all kinds of levels, but I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity - laughter, generosity, family-time - against the incredible horror occurring in their lives and against the constant presence of death.

Rachel's exceptional nature and compassion could be seen from early on, as with this speech she gave at mere ten years old:

One of the most compelling pleas for paying attention to, and doing something about, what’s happing in Palestine can be found in another email that Rachel sent to her mother:

This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me.

We join her family and friends in mourning her loss and honoring her memory 8 years on as an incredible human being who gave up her life for justice.  For more information or to support the work her family is doing in her honor, visit the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.  

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