FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel, We Won’t Forget Rachel

As predicted, “the fog of war” is being used to obscure an Israeli atrocity — a circumstance of potentially enormous consequence if it continues.

On March 16th, an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer two-stories high crushed to death 23-year-old Rachel Corrie, an American nonviolent human rights protestor. According to numerous witnesses and photographic documentation, she was killed intentionally.

Rachel and a handful of others practicing Ghandian nonviolence in the Gaza Strip had been pleading with Israeli soldiers for two hours not to destroy a Palestinian family home. Suddenly, the Israeli bulldozer operator began driving his giant bulldozer toward the home, Rachel sitting in its path. Witnesses report that she then stood up on the mound of debris and dirt pushed by the bulldozer blade and looked straight at the operator through the window. He continued, and she was pulled underneath the tractor, its blade crushing her. He then backed up, running over her again, burying her deeper into the dirt.

Three friends ran to Rachel and dug her out. According to an eye-witness report by Joe Smith of Kansas City: “Her body was in a mangled condition, she said ‘my back is broken!’ but nothing else her eyes were open and she was clearly in a great deal of pain.” A Palestinian ambulance made it through Israeli forces, and took her to the hospital, where she died. Reports are unclear whether it was her fractured skull or the suffocation caused by crushed lungs and being buried in the dirt that caused her death.

George Bush has yet to condemn this atrocity by an “ally” who receives more US funding than any other nation on earth, over $10 million per day. Congress has yet to pass a resolution condemning this use of American tax money to kill an American citizen. The U.S. State Department has yet to impose any diplomatic sanctions whatsoever against a government whose “apology” for one of its soldiers crushing a young, peaceful American student has consisted of calling it “regrettable,” and blaming Rachel for the Israeli soldier’s decision to kill her.

The American media have yet to accord this horror the attention it would normally merit, if it had been done by any other country on earth, including the U.S. government. We heard about Chandra Levy for many months. We read about the students in Tiananman Square for years. We heard news reports about Rachel Corrie for approximately two days. Apart from her hometown Washington state newspapers, there were virtually no follow up stories ­ no stories about the memorial service held the next day in Gaza that was broken up by an Israeli tank, while the bulldozer that killed her drove slowly, exultantly past. No stories about Israeli forces blocking the ambulance carrying her remains from exiting Gaza. No stories about Rachel’s grieving parents and siblings, about their inability to travel to Palestine. No stories.

This erasing of Rachel, her message, and her death is unconscionable. It is also extremely dangerous. Such silence is giving Israel a green light to escalate its killing of civilians, of peaceful protesters, of young girls. The day after Rachel was killed the Israeli military killed another 9 Palestinian civilians, including three children, the following weeks still more.

Israel has killed Americans before. On March 29, 2002, Israeli forces killed a 21-year-old American in Ramallah as she held her baby on her lap. She was Palestinian-American, so perhaps that’s why mainstream media largely failed to report this death. On June 8, 1967, Israeli forces attacked a US Navy ship, the USS Liberty, killing 34 American servicemen, injuring 172. And nothing happened. The story was universally buried, the attack unmentioned in history books and reports on the Middle East. The families of those killed were given moderate sums for the loss of their young sons, husbands, brothers, fathers. After many years of finagling, Israel finally paid the US a minute fraction of the value of this ship ­ with no interest for the years it had delayed.

Historians have since written that the fact that Israel was able to attack a US ship and kill and maim American servicemen, with virtually no consequences, convinced Israeli hardliners that Israel could, whenever it wanted, get away with murder.

Rachel Corrie’s death may prove to be another pivotal point of escalation. If the world — in particular, if Americans — allow this incident to go virtually unnoticed, then our lack of outcry will give a green light to an Israeli regime known for its brutality: If Israel can get away with using an American financed, American-built bulldozer to kill a young American woman, then it will feel it can get away with anything.

This may have already begun. Several months ago over 1,200 American and Israeli professors wrote: “We are deeply worried that “the ‘fog of war’ could be exploited by the Israeli government to commit further crimes against the Palestinian people, up to full-fledged ethnic cleansing.” Now, following Rachel’s death, Israel seems to have begun a trial run in Tul Karem, rounding up 1,000 to 2,000 Palestinians. Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe reports [April 2]: “Under the cover of the Iraqi war it seems that the Israeli government is stepping up its preparations for major operations against the population in the occupied territories.”

It is time for the world to send an unequivocal message: No more. This time we will stop it.

It is time for Americans to turn the light bright red:

Israel, we will not forget Rachel Corrie. No longer will we look the other way. No more may you use American money to kill children, American money to kill Americans, American money to crush young women to death, American money to kill peace.

No more.

ALISON WEIR, the founder of If Americans Knew, is a freelance journalist who traveled throughout the Palestinian Territories in winter, 2001. She is the mother of a daughter born the same year as Rachel Corrie.

Posters of Rachel Corrie may be ordered by emailing ifamericansknew@yahoo.com.

We are making these available at cost in the hope that groups and individuals will post them by the thousands.

Today’s Features

William S. Lind
The Pitfalls of War Planning

Jorge Mariscal
Latinos on the Frontlines, Again

Paul de Rooij
Arrogant Propaganda

Jo Wilding
From Baghdad: “I Am His Mother”

Tarif Abboushi
Operation Embedded Folly

Lee Sustar
Labor’s War at Home

Akiva Eldar
Israeli Dreams of Iraqi Oil

Bernard Weiner
The Vietnam Connection

Robert Fisk
The Graveyard at Baghdad’s North Gate

Steve Perry
War Web Log 04/01

Keep CounterPunch Alive:
Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Today Online!

home / subscribe / about us / books / archives / search / links /

More articles by:

Alison Weir is executive director of  If Americans Knew and president of the Council for the National Interest. An excerpt of her book was published in the March 21-23, 2014 issue of CounterPunch. Upcoming book talks can be seen on the book’s website.

August 16, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
“Don’t Be Stupid, Be a Smarty”: Why Anti-Authoritarian Doctors Are So Rare
W. T. Whitney
New Facebook Alliance Endangers Access to News about Latin America
Sam Husseini
The Trump-Media Logrolling
Ramzy Baroud
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break the Siege
Larry Atkins
Why Parkland Students, Not Trump, Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize
William Hartung
Donald Trump, Gunrunner for Hire
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Morality Tales in US Public Life?
Yves Engler
Will Trudeau Stand Up to Mohammad bin Salman?
Vijay Prashad
Samir Amin: Death of a Marxist
Binoy Kampmark
Boris Johnson and the Exploding Burka
Eric Toussaint
Nicaragua: The Evolution of the Government of President Daniel Ortega Since 2007 
Adolf Alzuphar
Days of Sagebrush, Nights of Jasmine in LA
Robert J. Burrowes
A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival
August 15, 2018
Jason Hirthler
Russiagate and the Men with Glass Eyes
Paul Street
Omarosa’s Book Tour vs. Forty More Murdered Yemeni Children
Charles Pierson
Is Bankruptcy in Your Future?
George Ochenski
The Absolute Futility of ‘Global Dominance’ in the 21st Century
Gary Olson
Are We Governed by Secondary Psychopaths
Fred Guerin
On News, Fake News and Donald Trump
Arshad Khan
A Rip Van Winkle President Sleeps as Proof of Man’s Hand in Climate Change Multiplies and Disasters Strike
P. Sainath
The Unsung Heroism of Hausabai
Georgina Downs
Landmark Glyphosate Cancer Ruling Sets a Precedent for All Those Affected by Crop Poisons
Rev. William Alberts
United We Kneel, Divided We Stand
Chris Gilbert
How to Reactivate Chavismo
Kim C. Domenico
A Coffeehouse Hallucination: The Anti-American Dream Dream
August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Versus Journalism: the Travails of Fourth Estate
Wim Laven
Honestly Looking at Family Values
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail