NEW JERSEY ACTIVISTS EXPRESS GRIEF OVER MURDER OF AMERICAN ACTIVIST IN
PALESTINE; CALL FOR ACTION AND RESPONSE
New Jersey Solidarity, a grassroots organization dedicated to resistance
and action in support of the Palestinian people's struggle for justice and
national liberation, expresses its grief at the murder of Rachel Corrie,
an American activist with the International Solidarity Movement, in Rafah,
Gaza, at the hands of the Israeli military.
Corrie, a student from Washington State who joined numerous Americans and
other international activists who traveled to Palestine to express their
solidarity with Palestinians, organize with Palestinian nonviolent
resistance groups, and serve as a protective force for Palestinians in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip, was brutally killed by the Israeli military on
Sunday, March 16. She was run over by a bulldozer on its way to
demolishing a Palestinian family's home in Rafah as she stood in front of
the bulldozer, attempting with other activists to stop the bulldozer's
path of destruction. At the time, the ISM activists and the Israeli
military had been engaged in two hours of discussion about the planned
destruction of the Palestinian home; Corrie was visible consistently
protesting before the bulldozer. After running over her with blade lowered, the operator of the bulldozer paused, and then backed
up, running over her body again.
Rachel Corrie was a brave, committed international activist who recognized
the common interest of the world's humanity in standing against Israeli
occupation and oppression in Palestine. As such, she gave her life,
joining thousands of Palestinians who have been martyred in their struggle
for freedom, as part of that struggle. As we mourn her death as a fellow
activist committed to liberation and as we mourn the deaths of dozens of
Palestinians, all murdered in recent weeks as part of the Israeli assault
upon Palestinian life, we are committed to continue her struggle.
Through the murder of Rachel Corrie, the Israeli military has demonstrated
several things - firstly, that it now views internationals as expendable,
and indeed, has begun targeting them for murder as it has long targeted
Palestinians. Internationals have served as protection for Palestinians;
their very presence, and the threat of international attention should one
be maimed or killed, has served frequently to divert or ameliorate
attacks upon Palestinians. By this action, a deliberate and brutal murder,
Israel has made clear that it can and will treat international activists
as expendable lives. Second, with the world's attention on a pending U.S.
war on Iraq, Israel is making clear that it indeed will attempt to use the
cover provided by that war in order to intensify its attacks upon
Palestinians. It is urgent that such an unjust war must be stopped before
it starts--not only for Iraqis and Americans, but also for Palestinians,
this war is an issue of life and death.
With Corrie's murder, Israel has indicated that it believes it has the
right to act with impunity against international activists as well as
Palestinians. As activists, we must dedicate ourselves to continuing
Corrie's work. Her murder will not stop international activists from
continuing to stand with their brothers and sisters in Palestine. Their
number will continue to grow, and will continue to resist, hand in hand
with Palestinians, Israeli occupation and oppression.
In addition, it is not to be forgotten that the weapon of murder in this
case--and the weapon of destruction against numerous Palestinian lives,
homes and cities--was an American-made Caterpillar bulldozer, made by a
U.S. corporation and paid for by the billions of dollars in tax-funded aid
to Israel provided by the U.S. government annually. Corrie's death is yet
another sad, brutal illustration of the imperative need for the U.S.
government to immediately cease all aid to Israel, and for U.S.
corporations to stop doing business with the state of Israel.
As activists involved in the Rutgers University Campaign for Divestment
from Israeli Apartheid, it is quite clear to us that Corrie's murder is a
direct illustration of the complicity of U.S. corporations who do business
with the racist, apartheid, murderous state of Israel. Her death is an
occassion for mourning for us also and also a call to action -- to demand
divestment now, an immediate end to U.S. aid to Israel, and increased
action, organizing and grassroots work across the country to stand against
war on Iraq and in solidarity with the liberation struggle of the
Palestinian people. As American activists, we not only mourn Rachel
Corrie's death, we also take up the example that is her life.