MARCH 16, 2004
March 16 was the first anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie, an American college student killed by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip.
It has been anything but “a year of silence,” as Elizabeth Corrie, Rachel’s cousin, recently alleged (“A year of silence since Rachel Corrie died,” Views, March 4).
On the day she died, Corrie and other International Solidarity Movement recruits repeatedly obstructed Israeli military bulldozers working along the Gaza-Egyptian border. In this area, the Israel Defense Forces frequently uncover tunnels used for weapons smuggling. Bulldozers raze buildings that hide the entrances or serve as cover for snipers, and detonate explosives planted by Palestinian terrorists.
But on March 16, 2003, the International Solidarity Movement interference in a closed military area caused the Israeli Army to repeatedly halt its heavy machinery. Solidarity movement members would sit or stand in front of the machines and, when they began to inch forward, jump to safety. The last time, Corrie apparently fell into the rubble.
Last June, a military investigation by the Israel Defense Force’s Judge Advocate’s Office concluded that Rachel Corrie’s death was accidental. The investigation included extensive interrogation of the driver and his commanders, with use of polygraphs and video evidence.
International Solidarity Movement claims to emulate peacemakers like Martin Luther King Jr. But according to NGO Monitor, a joint project of B’nai B’rith International and Jerusalem’s Institute for Contemporary Affairs scrutinizing nongovernmental organizations, “the International Solidarity Movement’s blatant support for Palestinian incitement and rejectionism is the antithesis of a human rights organization.”
Eric Rozenman, Washington Washington director of Camera, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America