Showing posts with label Rachel Corrie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rachel Corrie. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

10 Years Later- Remember Rachel Corrie and Act!

From our member group Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice


Saturday, March 16th, the Rachel Corrie Foundation will mark the 10th anniversary of Rachel's stand in Gaza. It has been an extraordinary, challenging ten-year journey for our organization, for the Corrie family, and for those in our community and beyond who have worked tirelessly for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel, in the world, and at home.

Here in Olympia, we have plans for a Stand for Justice Rally, speakers, music, dance, food, reflection, remembrance, and community! See event listing here.

Now, we call on you - individuals, organizations, and communities - to join us in these actions and with your own creative, solidarity events or observances!


  • Mark this 10-year anniversary! Call out Caterpillar, Inc. now on its faulty actions and explanations! Challenge the appearance of CAT's Washington Director of Government Affairs at AIPAC! Tell CAT to own up to its business with Israel and to end its complicity in violations of human rights and international law in Israel/Palestine. See how to help here!
  • Mark this 10-year anniversary! Tell President Obama to use his March Mideast trip to see for himself, to demand compliance with U.S. laws and policies, and accountability for how U.S. tax dollars are used by Israel. See how to help here!
  • Mark this 10-year anniversary! Demonstrate your support for the rights of Palestinians that Rachel, many other internationals, Israeli activists, and Palestinians have stood to defend! Reflect, connect the dots, and strengthen your community's commitment to justice for Palestinians and peace in the Mideast. Let us know what you plan so we can share and inspire others! Send your photos for our TUMBLR. See how to help here!

Rachel Corrie wrote,

"The international media and our government are not going to tell us that we are effective, important, justified in our work, courageous, intelligent, valuable. We have to do that for each other, and one way we can do that is by continuing our work, visibly."


Let's use this March anniversary as an opportunity to make some noise and be visible in our support for equal rights for Palestinians, accountability and justice, and an end to Israeli occupation!

Let's remember, act, and celebrate together - how we (like Rachel) have stood this past decade for justice, freedom, equality, and peace in the Middle East and beyond - and let' think together about how we move ahead to make freedom for Palestine a reality.

Find a list of events taking place here

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Take Action: Verdict in Corrie Case Requires U.S. Investigation


Urge the U.S. Government to Investigate Israel’s Attacks on Rachel and Others


Rachel Corrie
Rachel Corrie was a U.S. citizen and a human rights defender committed to ending Israel’s illegal demolition of Palestinian homes. According to the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions,Israel has demolished an estimated 27,000 Palestinian structures in Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967.

Rachel was killed by the Israeli military with a U.S.-taxpayer funded Caterpillar D9 bulldozer on March 16, 2003, in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, while seeking to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition.

In August 2012, a civil case in Israeli court against the Israeli military filed by the Corrie family concluded with the presiding judge not only absolving the State of Israel of any liability, but also blaming Rachel for her own death.  This is unacceptable.  


Take action today by signing this petition launched by us and our friends at the Center for Constitutional Rights urging the U.S. government to conduct investigations into all cases of Israel severely injuring or killing U.S. human rights defenders.
The U.S. government has long maintained that the Israeli military’s investigation into Rachel’s death was not thorough, credible, and transparent. The Israeli court’s verdict has only reinforced the fact that Israel is incapable of investigating and holding itself accountable for killing Rachel and severely injuring and killing other U.S. human rights defenders. 

Click to watch a video of a member group action for Rachel
Recently, member groups around the country took action during the Rachel Corrie Week of Action surrounding the verdict, focused on building the We Divest Campaign, which calls on financial giant TIAA-CREF to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation, including Caterpillar.On Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, activists from member group Hilton Head for Peace held a vigil to honor Rachel’s life and work for justice.

In Oak Creek, Wisconsin, member group Friends of Palestine demonstrated and performed street theatre at Caterpillar’s Mining Operations Headquarter.
Member groups around the country took action for Rachel.

Other activists and member groups in Honolulu, HI; Boca Raton, FL; Houston, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Philadelphia, PA; St. Louis, MO; Eureka, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, CA; and Chicago, IL held other actions around the country outside of Caterpillar dealerships, an Israeli ConsulateTIAA-CREF offices. US Campaign members joinred others in Washington, D.C. in a demonstration outside the State Department. You can see photos of many of the actions here.

Other U.S. activists focused on social media. On the day of the verdict and the day after, #RachelCorrie and #divest4justice trended among the top ten most popular hashtags. And more than one hundred individuals worldwide posted photos in solidarity with Rachel and her family on this Tumblr blog
Whether or not you were able to take action during the Week of Action, please take action today by signing this petition calling for a U.S. investigation now.
Click here for a terrific round-up of the international Week of Action by Rochelle Gause of the Rachel Corrie Foundation, which ends with these poignant words:
“I don't think that Rachel should have moved. I think we should all have been standing there with her,” said Cindy Corrie in response to Judge Gershon's comment that Rachel should have moved out of the way of the Caterpillar bulldozer.  Rachel wrote from Gaza, “The international media and our government are not going to tell us that we are effective, important, justified in our work, courageous, intelligent, valuable. We have to do that for each other, and one way we can do that is by continuing our work, visibly.” May we continue to take Rachel’s words to heart, find ways to successfully mobilize ourselves, strengthen our networks, utilize new forms of communicating to affirm the just cause of the Palestinian people and stand with the movement for universal human rights in Palestine and Israel.
Please honor Rachel’s life and legacy by signing this petition today. 
Together we’ll deliver the petition to the State Department next month. Help us reach our goal of 10,000 signatures by signing right now and spreading the word!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Israeli Court Fails to Provide Justice in Killing of Rachel Corrie

Human Rights Advocates Intensify Call for Divestment as Israeli Court Fails to Provide Justice in Killing of American Peace Activist 

The
We Divest Campaign, a national coalition demanding pension fund giant TIAA-CREF divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands, is intensifying its call for divestment from Caterpillar Inc. in the wake of an Israeli court ruling today siding with the government in the civil court case brought by the Corrie family. The case alleged that the State of Israel was responsible for the killing of 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by a Caterpillar bulldozer as she attempted to use nonviolent civil disobedience to stop the destruction of Palestinian homes by the Israeli army in Gaza in March 2003. The court’s decision followed an Israeli investigation that the US ambassador to Israel recently criticized as lacking credibility. 

In a series of actions timed to coincide with the issuing of the verdict, human rights advocates in cities across the US will protest in front of local TIAA-CREF offices this week and deliver
a letter urging trustees to divest fully from Caterpillar and other companies that profit from Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories. The We Divest Campaign is supported by the Corrie family and the Rachel Corrie Foundation

“At the time of her death, Rachel was trying to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes by Caterpillar bulldozers,” said Riham Barghouti, a member of the We Divest National Coordinating Committee. “Israel’s illegal policy of destroying Palestinian homes in the occupied territories, sometimes extending to entire villages, remains as urgent an issue today as it was when Rachel was killed. In Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and Hebron Hills, Palestinians continue to live with the daily threat of their homes and property being confiscated or demolished by Israeli authorities. If TIAA-CREF trustees want to live up to their motto of investing ‘for the greater good,’ they must stop profiting from companies such as Caterpillar that are enabling Israel to carry out such gross human rights violations.” 


While TIAA-CREF recently dropped $72 million worth of Caterpillar shares from its social choice funds, following the lead of ethical investment ratings agency MSCI, which downgraded Caterpillar in February in part
over concerns about the use of the company’s products by the Israeli military, it continues to invest over $1 billion in Caterpillar through its general fund.

The We Divest Campaign is a national coalition initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace in July 2010 and includes the American Friends Service Committee, Adalah-NY, Grassroots International, the US Palestinian Community Network, and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Call to Action: Rachel Corrie Verdict

US Campaign member group The Rachel Corrie Foundation has requested worldwide action against Israeli occupation and home demolitions to mark the August 28th verdict in the Corrie family's civil suit against the Israel Ministry of Defense. The case, over 7 years in the making, seeks some measure of justice for the 2003 death of American peace activist Rachel Corrie at the hands of the Israeli military in Gaza.  Please support this call, which is rooted in the Foundation's mission: "Inspired by Rachel's work and her belief that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace with dignity and equality."




CALL TO ACTION

Mark the Verdict in the Corrie Civil Case in Israel - August 28th!

August 10, 2012

Dear Friends,

The Corries are on their way to Haifa for the verdict in their civil lawsuit later this month. We call on you to act in support. For ten years, you have remembered Rachel Corrie and followed the work of her family and many others to pursue accountability and justice in her case. You stood with the Corries when the Israeli Government failed to take responsibility for Rachel's killing by the Israeli military in 2003. You stood with the Corries when the U.S. Government was largely ineffective, despite their finding that the Israeli military police investigation of Rachel's killing did not meet standards of being "thorough, credible, and transparent." Seeking every possible avenue to push for transparency and accountability, and on advice of the U.S. Government, the Corrie family brought a civil lawsuit against the Israel Ministry of Defense and State.

Now, nearly 7 1/2 years since the case was filed and nearly 2 1/2 years since the trial in Haifa District Court began, we ask you to continue to stand with the Corries as a verdict is announced the morning of August 28th in the courtroom of Judge Oded Gershon.
All of us at the Rachel Corrie Foundation hope the outcome will provide some measure of justice for Rachel's killing; but regardless, the larger struggle for justice and equal rights continues. Inspired by Rachel's work and her belief that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace with dignity and equality, we continue our efforts:
  • To seek a just peace in the Middle East and an end to the 45-year Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. 
  • To bring visibility to the oppression but also to the spirit and endurance of the people of Gaza and all Palestinians. 
  • To bring attention to the responsibility we all have for the continuing injustices and human rights abuses in Palestine, and for the particular culpability of corporate America and U.S. taxpayers. 
  • To end Israel's impunity regarding human rights violations, including home demolitions. 

The Israeli policy of home demolitions, sometimes extending to entire villages, remains as urgent an issue now as it did when Rachel defended homes in Rafah, Gaza.  Palestinians in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and Hebron Hills live daily with the threat (or reality) of their homes being confiscated or turned into rubble. More than 1,000 houses were demolished in the Naqab alone in 2011, and the Prawer Plan, approved by the Israeli Government in September 2011, will lead to further displacement of 70,000 people. We call on you individually and as organizations to mark the week of the trial verdict with actions to end the housing demolitions that deny Palestinians the basic human right to be secure in their homes.


For those in Palestine/Israel:

We are inspired by the incredible work Israeli and Palestinian activists do to challenge home demolitions and confiscations. We encourage any actions organized the week of the verdict to include Rachel's memory and spirit. You can include Rachel's image by printing this poster of her in Rafah, Gaza Strip. Register your planned action here and we will post it to our website. Send photos or videos of your action to info@rachelcorriefoundation.org.

For information about further actions planned, contact Jen atdonkeysaddle@gmail.com.

For those in the U.S.:

We can impact home demolitions by removing support from companies that profit from Israel's occupation and home demolition policies. The We Divestcampaign to pressure investment firm TIAA-CREF to divest from such companies is a promising effort to end U.S. complicity in the occupation. Caterpillar Inc. is one of these companies. It profits from destruction wreaked upon Palestinian families, their farms, and their economy using CAT equipment. Rachel was killed beneath a Caterpillar D9 weaponized bulldozer as she tried to protect the home of a Palestinian family. While TIAA-CREF recently removed CAT in its Social Choice accounts, it still holds over a billion dollars of CAT stock. 

Please take the following actions:

  1. From Sunday, August 26th until Sunday, September 2nd, deliver letters to TIAA-CREF offices, and remember Rachel as you do. Combine this with a larger event, or designate a few people to do the delivery. Register your planned action here so we can post it to our website, and we will e-mail you a poster to use of a Palestinian family impacted by demolitions using CAT equipment. Can you help us exceed our goal of delivering letters to half of the 60 TIAA-CREF offices? Download a copy of our sample TIAA-CREF letter. Send us photos and videos from your actions, and we will launch a nationwide social media campaign with images that show the level of support for TIAA-CREF divestment. 
  2. Print this image of Rachel. Photograph yourself with it, and post it on our new Tumblr blog. Deliver the photo to the nearest Israeli Consulate demanding accountability and an end to home demolitions. We will gather images worldwide and also send them to the U.S. Department of State. 
  3. Take part in a live conference call with the Corrie family, Wednesday, August 29th, 6:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time/ 9:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. To participate in the call, RSVP to rochelle@rachelcorriefoundation.org. Host a house party or community gathering for those who want to join the call. 
  4. Sign this petition in support of the campaign to pressure TIAA-CREF to divest. 

For those in other parts of the world:

We encourage you, too, to use your creativity to take a stand against home demolitions now. Register your planned action here so we can post it on our website. Please send photos and videos of your action toinfo@rachelcorriefoundation.org.


We invite all our friends and allies to share reflections on Rachel's stand on twitter with the hashtag #RememberRachel.

Together, we can seize the moment. We can tell Rachel's story. Most of all, we can cry out with her message of equality and human rights and for her call to end home demolitions and the Israeli occupation!

Thank you for your support as together we build the global movement for Palestinian human rights!

The Staff and Board of Directors 
Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice
Olympia, Washington


For info about Rachel Corrie...

For info about the trial in Israel...

For info about home demolitions...

For info about divestment...



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On the 9th Anniversary of Rachel's Stand in Gaza

The following is a letter written by Cindy and Craig Corrie. 

Dear Friends,

It has been nine years today since our daughter Rachel was crushed to death under an Israeli driven, U.S. funded and built, Caterpillar D9 bulldozer in Gaza. In March 2003, the news was full of talk of war with Iraq - a preemptive war to protect the west, particularly the U.S. and Israel, from the weapons of mass destruction then alleged to have been amassed by Saddam Hussein. When Rachel traveled to Gaza that year, the world was not watching. According to Human Rights Watch, from September 2000 until September 2004, 1,600 Palestinian homes in the city of Rafah were destroyed by the Israeli military as it occupied the Gaza Strip. One-tenth of the population lost their homes. Rachel chose to be in Gaza when the ground attack against Iraq broke out. She feared an escalation of the violence and a tightening of the isolation against people there, as the world looked to the northeast and watched the carnage in Iraq. It did not happen as immediately as some expected, but with the Israeli military attack on Gaza of November 2008 through January 2009, the violence became overwhelming, and the tightening of the seige initiated in 2006 by Israel to remove Hamas, made the isolation nearly complete.

In 2003, Rachel wrote: "I went to a rally a few days ago in Khan Younis in solidarity with the people of Iraq. Many analogies were made about the continuing suffering of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation and the upcoming occupation of Iraq by the United States - not the war itself - but the certain aftermath of the war. If people aren't already thinking about the consequences of this war for the people of the entire region then I hope they will start."



Now, in 2012, we listen to similar news - calls for bombing Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. The preemptive war has already begun with the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. Our government tells us sanctions against Iran will pressure their government to abandon any program to develop these weapons, but experience tells us sanctions only increase the defensiveness of repressive regimes and tighten their control over their populations.

The news from our politicians is discouraging and even frightening, but in the meeting places and streets in our communities, we are making the kind of change that Rachel envisioned. It is happening in Olympia with continuing support for the Olympia Food Co-op's boycott of Israeli products until the rights of Palestinians are addressed. Throughout Puget Sound this week, we have successfully challenged efforts by the Israeli government to use members of the Israeli gay community to distract from the continuing oppression of Palestinian people. Churches in our region are conversing about divestment from corporations like Caterpillar Inc. for their refusal to address their continuing participation in human rights abuses and the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

In 2002, Rachel wrote, "I think it's important for people who oppose war and repression to speak about who we are as a community in addition to speaking about war and racism and injustice. We are not outside. I think it's important that human rights and resistance to oppression be included in the way we define ourselves as a community..."  As the threat of war with Iran, the disintegration of the situation in Afghanistan, and the bombing of Gaza continue, the work we are all doing in our hometowns at the grassroots level is powerful and critical. Today, as we remember Rachel's stand nine years ago, we encourage our friends across the country and world to strengthen your own communities, educate, educate, educate, support each other in taking action, and walk with peace, love, and forgiveness in your hearts as you work for change.


Cindy and Craig Corrie
March 16, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Non-Violent Way to Justice

Cindy & Craig Corrie
Cindy Corrie is president of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, which is a member of the US Campaign's nationwide coalition of more than 380 groups.

Emel, a monthly print publication with 100,000 subscribers in more than 60 countries, describes itself as: "The Muslim lifestyle magazine. Emel is for the reader who wishes to combine an ethical outlook to life with evolving ideas and modern lifestyle."

The mother of a U.S. citizen crushed by an Israeli bulldozer recollects her daughter’s passion for justice. 

By Cindy Corrie
Emel Magazine, December 2011 issue

My daughter Rachel Corrie brought me to the Palestinian/Israeli issue. Ours was a family and community that generally thought about the world and its inhabitants in a loving, curious way. We connected, as comfortable Americans do, through following and discussing the news, attending events, and making donations to support those in third world countries—but there was never any intention of sacrifice. In 2003, Rachel travelled to Gaza to join the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a group of Palestinian and international activists who use non-violent, direct-action methods to confront the Israeli occupation. Why did she go? Rachel was motivated by her family and community experiences, by her questions about US foreign policy that arose after 9/11 shattering our nation’s sense of security and self-satisfaction, and simply by whom she was as a human being.

Once in Gaza, Rachel documented when the Israeli military destroyed Palestinian olive orchards, gardens, and greenhouses and harassed Palestinians at checkpoints. She worked with women and children and planned for a sister-city project to connect people in Rafah with those in Olympia, her hometown. Through phone calls and e-mails, she introduced family and friends to life in Occupied Palestine: “I don’t know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank shell holes in their walls, and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I’m not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere. An eight-year-old was shot and killed by an Israeli tank two days before I got here, and many of the children murmur his name to me —Ali—or point at the posters of him on the walls.”

Rachel stayed with civilian Gazan families whose homes were threatened by widespread military clearing demolitions. On 16th March 2003, while working with seven international activists, she was crushed by a military Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer as she stood to protect a threatened Palestinian home.  The family who owned it watched from inside their garden wall, as the bulldozer approached.

The horror of learning what happened that day is etched in my memory—a searing pain like nothing I had experienced before, and hope never to experience again. The loss is encompassing and forever—and from a parent’s perspective, the price too dear. But there is another cost too much to bear—that of discouraging a child from being all they can be. We are sometimes asked why we did not stop Rachel from going to Gaza. Her father’s response is, “Why weren’t we all there?”

I have connected with families of others lost to the non-violent struggle in Palestine, and to those injured—Palestinians, Israelis and others. Despite the pain, I am struck by their continued conviction about the rightness of the cause, and the methods of resisting. In 2005, Gene Sharp, an expert on non-violent resistance, stated at a Bethlehem conference, “None of this is safe. None of this is easy. But these are the tools for those struggling for liberation and for those of us who work with them.”

With her writings from Gaza, Rachel charted our path: “This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benetar, and have boyfriends and make comics for my co-workers. But I also want this to stop.” In the eight years since Rachel was killed, I have witnessed the injustice in the West Bank and Gaza but, also, the imagination and determination of Palestinian activists—and the resilience of all Palestinians who, despite occupation, act with dignity, and with determination not to be silenced. They continue to ask us to visit, and to stand in solidarity with them in Palestine and back home. Israeli Jewish and Palestinian activists challenge their country’s policies and actions, but tell me they cannot succeed alone. They need the rest of us.

International solidarity can take many forms. We can make the journey to Israel/Palestine in person, through the internet, or by connecting to efforts in our own communities. Whatever the path, we must follow the news, share the stories, be visible, and strategically challenge policies that allow the injustice to continue. Rachel was compelled to live meaningfully. She made the journey to Palestine because (as an American) she felt implicated in Israel’s actions and felt a responsibility to challenge them.

Books of Mahatma Gandhi were on Rachel’s shelves. She knew that suffering and sacrifice in some form is one element of non-violent resistance. She also knew from Gandhi that “a small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” Our actions are cumulative; our numbers are increasing; and our struggle is for our own universal human rights. To achieve and maintain those for everyone, we must continue to stand with the Palestinians.


Cindy Corrie, guest comment writer, is the President of the Rachel Corrie Foundation.

SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Col. Pinhas Zuaretz Will Testify on July 10 in Final Hearing in Corrie Trial


The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice is a coalition member of the US Campaign.

Corrie Family and Legal Team to Hold Press Conference Monday, July 11, at American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem

(Haifa, Israel - July 7, 2011) - Former Gaza Division's Southern Brigade Commander, Colonel Pinhas (Pinky) Zuaretz - the final witness in the case - is scheduled to testify Sunday, July 10, in the Corrie civil trial against the State of Israel.

Colonel Zuaretz was the commanding officer of the Israeli military's Gaza Division's Southern Brigade in 2003, when American peace activist Rachel Corrie was killed. Troops under his command were responsible for the actions resulting in her killing. Zuaretz is the highest ranking officer called as a government witness in the civil trial who had command responsibility in Gaza. He is possibly the highest such officer ever to face cross examination in a civil suit regarding the actions of the Israeli military against civilians in Gaza during the second intifada. His testimony is expected to shed light on the Israeli military's failures as an occupying power to protect civilian life and property in the region.

The lawsuit, filed in 2005 by Attorney Hussein abu Hussein, charges the State of Israel with responsibility for killing Rachel in Rafah, Gaza in 2003. Since the trial opened in March 2010, 14 hearings have been held, with over 2000 pages of court transcripts recorded from 22 testimonies - including that of 14 Israeli Military personnel, and four peace activist eye-witnesses with the International Solidarity Movement. Most government witnesses for the State of Israel were identified only by their initials, and many testified while hidden behind a screen. Each hearing was attended by officials from the American Embassy, numerous observers from legal and human rights organizations, and members of the Corrie family.

Craig and Cindy Corrie, Rachel's parents, will hold a press conference on Monday, July 11, at 11:00 AM at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem to discuss the conclusion of this phase of the case, as well as next steps in their efforts to seek accountability for their daughter's killing. They will be joined by their other daughter, Sarah Corrie Simpson and Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein. The press conference will be held in English, with attorneys available at the conclusion for brief interviews in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Court proceedings on Sunday, July 10, will begin at 12:00 noon in the courtroom of Judge Oded Gershon, 6th floor, Haifa District Court, 12 Palyam St., Haifa, Israel.

SEE ORIGINAL AND GET FUTURE UPDATES HERE...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Guardian publishes Cindy Corrie on U.S. complicity in collective punishment


The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice is a coalition member of the US Campaign. The US Boat to Gaza--The Audacity of Hope--is also.

US collusion in the Gaza blockade is an affront to human rights 


My daughter's death shows the cruelty of an America that won't protect its own and is complicit in harming Palestinian civilians

By Cindy Corrie, in The Guardian
July 8, 2011

When Greek authorities prevented the US ship the Audacity of Hope leaving its port in Athens this week, they dealt a blow to a group of brave and principled Americans who were trying to carry thousands of letters from US citizens to those who wait on Gaza's shores.

I know many of the people who were on this boat, and my family's letter was part of their cargo. In 2003 my daughter Rachel Corrie made her journey to Gaza and was run down and killed by a US-made Israeli military Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer. She was trying to protect a Gazan family and their home, one of thousands illegally destroyed in Israeli military clearing operations.
Now my family is on a parallel journey with those activists as we return this week to Israeli court to confront Colonel Pinhas Zuaretz, the commanding officer of the Gaza Division's Southern Brigade in 2003. His testimony should shed light not only on actions of troops responsible for Rachel's killing but also on the Israeli military's broad failures as an occupying power to protect civilian life and property.

ARTICLE CONTINUES...

Friday, May 27, 2011

In court, IDF's latest "expert" witness vilifies nonviolent accompaniers

By Cindy & Craig Corrie, of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice, a US Campaign member organization
May 25, 2011

The lengthy civil trial in Israel in the case of Rachel Corrie continued Sunday, May 22, with former IDF spokeswoman Ruth Yaron attacking the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Cindy Corrie commented:
"In this so-called 'expert' testimony that drew largely on highly questionable hearsay and secondary sources, it was again deeply troubling to see the length to which the state of Israel is willing to go in its attempts to justify killing a nonviolent, unarmed civilian acting to defend Palestinian human rights."
Based on information that has surfaced during the trial, the Corrie family has asked the Obama Administration to address the Israeli government's failure to comply with its 2003 promise to the Bush Administration to conduct a "thorough, credible, and transparent" investigation.

GET TRIAL UPDATES...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Show Caterpillar it can run, but it can't hide

By Anna Baltzer, National Organizer
May 19, 2011

For the past seven years, the US Campaign and many of our coalition member groups, including Chicagoans Against Apartheid in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, have dominated Caterpillar's annual Chicago-area shareholder meetings by organizing creative protests inside and outside the meetings, like these actions in 2009 and in 2010 (click to learn more).




Above: Activists protest outside a Caterpillar shareholder meeting. (click image to enlarge).


Together, we've challenged the corporation for supplying Israel with D9 bulldozers -- which Israel misuses to demolish Palestinian homes, uproot olive trees, construct Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall, and kill and maim unarmed civilians -- at Caterpillar's most important annual gathering.

Apparently CAT has had enough of us all dominating their annual shareholder meeting. Recently, it announced that it is moving its meeting on June 8th to Little Rock, Arkansas. CAT can run 700 miles away for its meeting this year, but we're still watching.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak explained in a recent interview in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz that:

"BDS [boycott, divestment, and sanctions]... will start coming at us like a glacier, from all corners."

Our joint corporate accountability campaign to challenge CAT's role continues from all corners: from shareholder activism, to targeting the U.S. government's Foreign Military Sales Program D9 deliveries, to student divestment campaigns and CAT-free campuses. Only with your help in targeting CAT from "all corners" will this campaign continue to grow!

Here are some updates and ways for you to advance our collective "Stop Caterpillar" campaign:

Last October, media reports stated that CAT would not deliver bulldozers to the Israeli military during the civil trial brought by Cindy and Craig Corrie against Israel for the 2003 killing of their daughter Rachel by its military with a weaponized Caterpillar D9 bulldozer as she nonviolently tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.

Click here for trial updates from the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, a US Campaign member group.

We need to maintain pressure on the Obama Administration and on CAT to make sure no D9 bulldozers -- destined to destroy Palestinian homes and lives -- are delivered ever! In the lead-up to CAT's shareholder meeting...

Show CAT it can run but it can't hide!
Join nearly 15,000 people in signing our petition to the Obama Administration demanding the end of D9 Caterpillar bulldozer deliveries to the Israeli military, and an investigation into Israel's violations of U.S. laws committed with Caterpillar equipment.

2.



Above: Video by Earlham College students (click to watch).


This spring has brought a surge of campus divestment campaigns targeting Caterpillar and other corporations profiting from Israeli occupation and apartheid. Students at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, which declared itself CAT-free last year, have joined with campuses like the University of Arizona (UA) in a "Mock Wall" movement coinciding with the launch of a resolution to divest from Caterpillar and Motorola. Likewise, students in a new US Campaign member group, BDS Earlham, are calling for divestment from Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett Packard.

Show CAT it can run but it can't hide!
Click here to show your support for the Earlham College resolution to divest from Caterpillar.

3. Dozens of groups around the country, including member groups Jewish Voice for Peace, Grassroots International, and the Palestine Solidarity Committee at UT-Austin, are building campaigns to get TIAA-CREF, one of the largest financial services providers in the United States, to divest more than $250 million from Caterpillar (along with holdings in other occupation-profiteers).

Show CAT it can run but it can't hide!
Click here to call for TIAA-CREF's divestment and to find out how you can become a local organizer on this fast-spreading campaign.

Let's prove Ehud Barak right by using all possible avenues to end Caterpillar's complicity in Israel's occupation and apartheid policies!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

State Again Reschedules Testimony of Col. Pinky Zuaretz

The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice is a member of our coalition. The Corries are presently in Israel for the latest phase of their court case for Israeli military accountability for the death of Rachel in 2003.

Court Canceled April 27 - Witness Now Slated to Testify on Original May 22 Date

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Haifa, Israel) - In another round of last minute maneuvering, attorneys for the State in Corrie vs. State of Israel requested that testimony from their highest-ranking witness be postponed. Former Brigade Commander Colonel Pinhas (Pinky) Zuaretz, who was scheduled to testify on April 27, will not testify until May 22.
The witness was originally scheduled to testify on May 22, but on April 17, just before the court recessed for Israel's Passover holiday, the State filed an emergency request to move Zuaretz's testimony forward by nearly a month. Haifa District Court Judge Oded Gershon granted the government motion, without hearing from the Corrie family's lawyers, citing availability of the witness as the main factor in his ruling.
Only after the court granted this request did the State provide Corrie family lawyers with Zuaretz's five-page witness affidavit, though the document was signed nearly three weeks earlier.
Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein, who represents the Corrie family, opposed the State's April 17 request and filed motion for reconsideration, citing due process violations. He indicated there was inadequate time to prepare for the witness given the expanded scope of the newly acquired affidavit and the delay in receiving it. The court denied his motion and granted the State's request for the hearing to occur Wednesday, April 27.
However, the day before he was to appear, the State again requested a change from the court, citing the witness' lack of availability due to a new scheduling conflict; an appointment with hired home movers. Judge Gershon rescheduled Zuaretz's appearance for the original May 22 date. Such last-minute maneuvering is not unusual in the case.
In 2003, Colonel Zuaretz was the commanding officer of the Gaza Division's Southern Brigade. Troops under his command were responsible for military actions on March 16, 2003, that resulted in the killing of American peace activist Rachel Corrie in Rafah. Zuaretz is the highest ranking officer called as a government witness and is, possibly, the highest ranking Israeli military officer to face cross examination in a civil suit regarding Israeli military actions against civilians in Gaza during the second intifada. His testimony is expected to shed light on the Israeli military's failures as an occupying power to protect civilian life and property in the region.
Please visit the Trial Update page of the Rachel Corrie Foundation website for updates, changes to the court schedule, and related information.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Corrie Trial Resumes in Haifa Court with Testimony of Bulldozer Unit Commander

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Trial Spotlights Israeli Accountability For Unlawful Killing of Nonviolent Protester

(Haifa, Israel - March 29, 2011) - After a five month recess, the Haifa District Court will resume hearings Sunday, April 3, in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza on March 16, 2003. Rachel was an American student activist and human rights defender who was crushed by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer while nonviolently protesting the demolition of Palestinian homes.

The commander of the unit that killed Rachel is scheduled to testify. Known to the court as S.R., he oversaw the bulldozer work from an armored personnel carrier at the scene. While numerous military witnesses in the case have been permitted to testify behind a screen to protect their identity - a highly unusual security measure - S.R. is expected to do so in the open because his identity is already known to the public.

The civil trial began over a year ago in March 2010 with testimony from four of Rachel’s colleagues from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who witnessed her killing. In a second phase that began on September 5, the government presented nine witnesses who included the lead military police investigator in the case and the driver and commander of the bulldozer that struck and killed Rachel.

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Rachel Corrie’s story is one America needs to know, too

Following is a remarkably thorough and statistics-heavy op-ed published in today's Register Guard newspaper (Eugene, Oregon) by Jack Dresser, PhD, who is national vice chairman of the Veterans for Peace working group on Israel/Palestine and co-director of Al-Nakba Awareness Project, one of 339 member organizations within our coalition.

By Jack Dresser
Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011

Nicole Trobaugh as Rachel Corrie.
Photo: LLTC
Lord Leebrick Theatre Co.'s production of "My Name Is Rachel Corrie" recently ended, ably directed by Carol Dennis with Rachel's role well-performed by Nicole Trobaugh. We thank the theater for staging this important work, now translated into some half-dozen languages and staged in over a dozen countries to date.

We agree with Craig Weinerman's March 9 guest viewpoint that more context for the events leading to Rachel's death was needed, and we provided some basics on one-page handouts to theater-goers at each performance. On the first two nights our handouts corrected misinformation on the theater's website and playbill, which managers agreed to remove after speaking with the Corries.

Following this, what Weinerman described as our "aggressive and defamatory anti-Israel advocacy" on new handouts included the mission statement of the International Solidarity Movement with which Rachel worked, which describes itself as "a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli apartheid in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles."

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Take Action: Help Stop Delivery of CAT Bulldozers to Israel

For more than five years, we've been working to hold Israel, Caterpillar, and the United States accountable for Israel's misuse of Caterpillar bulldozers to commit human rights abuses of Palestinians. These bulldozers are provided to Israel as U.S. taxpayer-funded military aid. Earlier this week, we learned from Israeli media that Caterpillar has decided to delay the delivery of tens of D9 bulldozers--the same kind that the Israeli military used to kill U.S. peace activist Rachel Corrie as she nonviolently tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in the occupied Gaza Strip in March 2003. Together with the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), and Jewish Voice for Peace, we are pressing the Obama Administration to make sure that the delivery of these bulldozers does not go through. Help up reach our goal of collecting 10,000 signatures by next week.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Josh Ruebner, Amer Shurrab, and Cindy Corrie testify at Chicago Hearing

Check out testimony from US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner, introducing Amer Shurrab and Cindy Corrie, at this past weekend's Chicago Hearing on U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine: