this is the story of rachel corrie

A very different kind of American liberator was tragically killed, days before the Iraq war began.

Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old student from the state of Washington, was murdered by an Israeli bulldozer driver in Gaza. She was part of a courageous group of activists who have come to Palestine from all over the world to provide non-violent assistance to the Palestinian people.

During the past few years, these peace activists have: placed themselves between Israeli tanks and Palestinian demonstrators; worked to stop Israeli bulldozers from destroying Palestinian homes; and provided eye-witness testimony to Israeli behavior at checkpoints and other human rights violations.

Without any official support and often times ignored even by the international media, this band of civilian liberators has bravely risked their lives to support the Palestinian people's struggle for freedom.

Rachel, who had taken six months off from her college work to go to Gaza, became the first of these international peace activists to be the victim of what appears to be a cold-blooded murder. The Israeli bulldozers had arrived in Rafah to demolish the home of the Samir family. After a two-hour argument and standoff between Rachel and the vehicle's driver, Rachel sat down refusing to allow the bulldozer to move on the house. The driver drove right over Rachel and then reversed and drove over her again. Her body was crushed and though rescued by her colleagues-she died from massive injuries a short while later.

The story of Rachel spread like a wildfire throughout the United States. Newspapers featured the story and websites of dozens of organizations showed pictures of this young woman's courageous standoff with the machine that ended her life.

Many of these websites have carried Rachel's extensive writings about her experiences in Gaza and her growing understanding of the Palestinian situation.

She was an extraordinarily, perceptive young woman and gifted writer.

-Dr James J Zogby

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