Rachel Corey in Gaza: it takes an American death.....

In 1979, the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza was bombing and massacring his own people in a desperate effort to cling to power in the face of a popular revolution. Through most of this period, President Jimmy Carter, “Mr. Human Rights,” supported him. It was only after Somoza’s National Guard was caught on tape murdering CBS cameraman Bill Stewart on June 17, 1979, that America stopped supporting the butcher.

This incident was fictionalized in the movie “Under Fire” with Gene Hackman, Nick Nolte and Joanna Cassidy. After Nick Nolte escapes with the film of the murder, the Nicaraguan nurse who is sheltering him says, “30,000 Nicaraguans have died, and the world is silent. One American dies, and the world is outraged…we should have killed an American a long time ago.”

I cannot help but wonder if this twisted dynamic will come into play after the death of Rachel Corey, especially considering the still-unanswered questions about it.

Rachel is not the first U.S. citizen to die in the current conflict. I seem to remember that a Palestinian woman with U.S. citizenship was shot and killed at a checkpoint, and of course it is very possible that some of the Israelis who have died were U.S.-born. However, Rachel is the first member of the International Solidarity Movement to be killed.

The International Solidarity Movement consists of activists who deliberately put themselves in the middle of the conflict in the hope that this will provide some protection and/or publicity for the plight of the Palestinians. It is the same strategy that led civil rights workers to go to Mississippi in 1964, Witnesses For Peace to Nicaragua in the 80’s, and “human shields” to Iraq today. It is a form of pacifist direct action with a lot of honorable tradition and precedents behind it.

Hundreds of Palestinian non-combatants have been killed so far, including hundreds of children. On the Israeli side, of course, there have also been many children killed by snipers and bombs. I blame Sharon’s policies for starting and continuing this vicious cycle, and I blame Bush for letting him continue this way. Is it possible that the death of an American protester will finally get America and the world to do something to stop the violence? It seems sad and cruel to say this, but I hope so. Rachel undoubtedly knew she was getting into a dangerous situation, and she would have wanted her death to mean something.

P.S. If there are any wretched specimens of humanity here who would post something like, “ha ha ha, she deserved it,” please pack up your vitriol and hate and shuffle off to the Pit. Even if you may not have agreed with what Rachel was doing, she was doing what she thought was right in a spirit of sacrifice and in the face of personal danger, much like the guy who stood in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square. You can read her own words here. I would have been proud to call her my friend.

Five americans were killed last year at the bombing at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Americans have been killed by the palestinians for thirty years and the war is still going on. It doesn’t seems like one more american being killed will make a difference.

I don’t think you are accurately describing US policy. Doing nothing? That is the alternative to “something.”

What caused the suicide bombings, shootings, and rocket attacks before Ariel Sharon and GWB took power?

These one-sided takes on the Middle East “If Israel would just stop …” don’t seem very fair to me.

Oh, and no, I don’t think one more death will change the situation over there. Far be it from me to criticize the poor girl who was crushed. But, don’t think her tragic death - after thousands on every side - is going to significantly alter the political landscape.

Just over a week ago a 14-year-old American (Baptist) girl named Abigail Litle was one of 16 people killed by a suicide bomber on a schoolbus. According to this document, 39 American citizens have been killed by Palistinian terrorists since 1993.

Yeah, why exactly is it that you aren’t outraged by Americans murdered by Palestinian terrorists? And why exactly do you blame Sharon for Palestinian terrorist attacks? Sharon started the second Intafada?

You know, I believe that there is a very serious form of racism at work here. You feel that Palestinians are like children, not responsible for their actions. Instead, you feel the Israelis are responsible for the actions of the Palestinians. As if Palestinians aren’t capable of making decisions, only reacting to Israeli decisions. I see this all the time, denying agency to third world people. It is very sad.


I doubt this will have the polarizing affect you are hoping for, because the news has failed to spin it that way. Rachel Covey’s death was tragic and avoidable, but news coverage was quick to explain the effort she went through to get herself in front of that tank. And in this case, the Israeli army went through a lot to stop her from getting out into that situation, and could been seen as taken all reasonable measures to avoid this incident. IMHO, if I ran out onto the highway, for whatever reason, it may not be reasonable to expect you to stop.

Keep in mind that Rachel Covey was not targeted by the Israeli military, she was not taken hostage, she was not blown up while sitting in a café or while taking her child home from school on the bus, and she was not executed (as in Nicaragua). There are effective forms of peaceful demonstration, and this was not one of them. And unlike the Tiananman Square, she just seems to have done this wrong.

She was wearing a fluorescent jacket and held a megaphone and they still ran her over. Have a look at the photos. There is no way they “missed” her or did it “accidentally.”

If they wanted to bulldoze the house and avoid killing her, they could have run up to her with a gun, handcuffed her, and dragged her off.

They didn’t. They ran her over with a bulldozer.

Forget whether this death has any greater significance or representativeness of Israeli military policy. Just look at it for what it is: an abomination. An avoidable abomination.

Rachel made a decision, and she faced the consequences of her decision. I am sorry she is dead, but didn’t she make her bed?:rolleyes:

So ThoughtPolice she deserved to be run over because she tried to stop the IDF from illegally demolishing a house :rolleyes:

Another American protestor who was there, said not only did the bulldozer run her over, it went into reverse to run her back over again. It could of been accident, but from the evidence I’ve seen so far it looks more like murder.

Does anyone know what she was shouting at the man driving the bulldozer? If you stand in front of any vehicle—a cab, an SUV, a Harley—and yell abuse at the driver, chances are he’s gonna snap and run you over, political situation aside.

I’m not saying it’s right, or that she should have been run over—but that’s human nature, y’know. Poke someone with a stick long enough . . .

Eve what you are saying is very speculative.

This article contains a few eye-witness accounts:



Wouldn’t most people call the police, drive off, or get out and shout back at the guy (thump him at a pinch?)

Would most people really actually run them over?

I wouldn’t.

Of course it is—that’s why it had a question mark at the end of it, and not an exclamation mark.

I doubt the driver even saw (not to mention heard) her - This is what she was facing. Not exactly a Wildcat.

As for going out and getting her: stepping out of the armored vehicle in an unsafe environment is just asking for Mr. Sniper to announce his presence. As far as the troops knew, it was all a trap. This is war, folks. The old civil disobedience code doesn’t apply.

A reasonable person wouldn’t even think of running over another human being, no matter how angry they were. But we’re not talking about a car or motorcycle here, we’re talking about a bulldozer. I might also add that jail would be immediately waiting for the driver.

I looked at that site—all it said was that they were “communicating” for three hours with the bulldozer drivers through bullhorns. Doesn’t say what they were saying, though, which would have a large impact on the driver’s state of mind and reaction.

Note: I am not saying he should have run her over. I’m just saying that he might have snapped after three hours of what might have been verbal abuse.

The bulldozer had to be positioned in such a way that the tracks(?) ran over her, otherwise she would have been uninjured.

You know- no one forced her to lie down in front of that 'dozer. She made that choice, knowing the dangers. It was an unfortunate incident, but hardly “murder”. You lie down in front of enough vehicles, and sooner or later you’ll get run over.

Bill Stewart was actually murdered- on purpose. Not even a chance of it being “accidental”.

MC- why was the house being demolished by the IDF “illegal”? Isreal hasn’t the right to bulldoze buildings in it’s territory? Heck, Redevelopement does the same here in SJ every month.

Not a case of martyrdom; just natural selection in action. There will be plenty of bulldozers and tanks still available for those who wish to emulate her suicide.

Alessan, murder is still murder. From everything I’ve read it seems that the driver must’ve known that she was there, she had a fluorescent jacket, a loud speaker and was standing in that spot from when the bulldozer was 30m away.

Yes, Eve but there is no indication at all that she was abusing the driver, from what I know of the volunteers out there, they try not to behave in a provocative manner. Just last week someone I know doing humanitarian work in Palestine was threatened with being shot by an IDF sergeant with very little provocation.