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.