The Rachel Corrie Legacy – A radio talk by those who knew her

WNN – Radio on Air

Rachel Corrie after she received fatal wounds from being hit and run over by an Israeli contractor's bulldozer
Rachel Corrie lies on the ground after she received fatal injuries from being hit and run over by an Israeli military contractor’s bulldozer that was tearing down Palestinian homes in Rafah, Gaza March 16, 2003. Image: Joe Carr

(WNN) Olympia, WASHINGTON, U.S.: The story of the activism of slain 23-year-old activist Rachel Corrie highlights the death of an activist who was working on what she loved to do – be part of an nonviolent campaign to help people who are suffering. She chose through her actions to help the people of Gaza. This radio show interviews those who worked with, knew and loved Rachel Corrie.

Corrie traveled to Rafah, Egypt in early 2003 on the northeast border of the Gaza strip as a humanitarian excited to be part of a college student program with the goal of connecting the town of Rafah with her home town of Olympia, Washington. Her hopes of finalizing an approval vote for a sister-city project were never fulfilled.

As a member of an American student delegation who were members of the ISM – International Solidarity Movement, Rachel Corrie was crushed to death March 16, 2003, by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer while nonviolently protesting demolition of Palestinian civilian homes in Rafah, Gaza.

The lawsuit, filed in 2005 on behalf of the Corrie family by attorney Hussein abu Hussein, charged the State of Israel with responsibility for Rachel’s killing and failure to conduct a full and credible investigation in the case, but the case did not win in its final August 2012 court session in Israel.

“I had no illusions about the uphill battle we faced in Israeli court, but as I sat with my family in a packed courtroom awaiting the verdict, I held hope that, like so many observing the trial, the judge would see that evidence warranted some criticism of the military’s actions,” said Rachel’s mother, Cindy Corrie in a September 2012 op-ed for The Seattle Times

“Condemnation of the verdict was swift and decisive, ranging from President Jimmy Carter to the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others, all pointing out the climate of impunity enjoyed by the Israeli military, as well as the court thumbing its nose at the Geneva Conventions,” continued Cindy Corrie.

“The verdict sends a dangerous message for future protections of civilians and human-rights observers,” added Rachel’s mother.

LISTEN TO THIS RADIO SHOW NOW:


WINGS – Women’s International News Gathering Service


Host/Producer: Honna Veerkamp with Frieda Werden

Featured guest:  Cindy Corrie – Rachel’s mother; Julie Levesque from the Center for Research on Globalization – passenger on the Spirit of Rachel Corrie; Eva Jasiewicz – journalist, union organizer and coordinator with the Free Gaza Movement; Huwaida Arraf – co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement and the Free Gaza Movement and current chair of the Free Gaza Movement. Rachel Corrie (archival audio). And a clip from an Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman.

Series Producer: Frieda Werden / WINGS

Original Recording Date: 3 Sep, 2012

Length: 28:48

BACKGROUND:

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the early 20th century. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between the Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman and then British rule. It forms part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements. Palestinian freedom of movement and finding a resolution to the refugee question. The violence resulting from the conflict has prompted international actions, as well as other security and human rights concerns, both within and between both sides, and internationally. In addition, the violence has curbed expansion of tourism in the region, which is full of historic and religious sites that are of interest to many people around the world.

Many attempts have been made to broker a two-state solution, involving the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside an independent Jewish state or next to the State of Israel (after Israel’s establishment in 1948). In 2007 a majority of both Israelis and Palestinians, according to a number of polls, preferred the two-state solution over any other solution as a means of resolving the conflict. Moreover, a considerable majority of the Jewish public sees the Palestinians’ demand for an independent state as just, and thinks Israel can agree to the establishment of such a state. Numerous Palestinians and Israelis view the West Bank and Gaza Strip as an acceptable location of the hypothetical Palestinian state in a two-state solution. However, there are significant areas of disagreement over the shape of any final agreement and also regarding the level of credibility each side sees in the other in upholding basic commitments.

Within Israeli and Palestinian society, the conflict generates a wide variety of views and opinions. This highlights the deep divisions which exist not only between Israelis and Palestinians, but also within each society. A hallmark of the conflict has been the level of violence witnessed for virtually its entire duration
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Credits for this radio show include: Production and interviews by Honna Veerkamp; Cindy Corrie, via Christian Science Monitor; Rachel Corrie archival clip on YouTube attributed to Middle East Broadcasting Company; film excerpt from documentary Rachel, produced by Simone Bitton and distributed by Women Make Movies. Music is from Mavi Marmara Massacre by Muslimgaze, and is creative commons licensed.

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