Rachel Corrie

I don’t know as much about Rachel Corrie as I would like to. But she was killed ten years ago this weekend, and that’s important.

It is because of who she was that we know who she was. If Rachel had been Palestinian and not American, we wouldn’t remember her. We wouldn’t ever have heard of her. She’d just be another number.

And she knew that. She knew that her privilege made her visible. Made her someone seen as more important, and that was what she used. From her emails:

You just can’t imagine it unless you see it – and even then you are always well aware that your experience of it is not at all the reality: what with the difficulties the Israeli army would face if they shot an unarmed US citizen, and with the fact that I have money to buy water when the army destroys wells, and the fact, of course, that I have the option of leaving. Nobody in my family has been shot, driving in their car, by a rocket launcher from a tower at the end of a major street in my hometown. I have a home. I am allowed to go see the ocean. Ostensibly it is still quite difficult for me to be held for months or years on end without a trial (this because I am a white US citizen, as opposed to so many others). When I leave for school or work I can be relatively certain that there will not be a heavily armed soldier waiting halfway between Mud Bay and downtown Olympia at a checkpoint with the power to decide whether I can go about my business, and whether I can get home again when I’m done. So, if I feel outrage at arriving and entering briefly and incompletely into the world in which these children exist, I wonder conversely about how it would be for them to arrive in my world.


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.

I also think it’s important for people in the United States in relative privilege to realize that people without privilege will be doing this work no matter what, because they are working for their lives. We can work with them, and they know that we work with them, or we can leave them to do this work themselves and curse us for our complicity in killing them. I really don’t get the sense that anyone here curses us.

Here’s what her parents have to say on the 10th anniversary of their daughter’s murder:


One thought on “Rachel Corrie

  1. Such a complex mess, one not of a will to find solutions. Both sides in this mess get down and dirty, both commit atrocities, both are disinclined to give it up and live together. Pathetic, because it is in fact so easily solvable if people are of a mind to get it done.

    You are right, many die and know one hears of the tragedy, yet each loss strikes at a heart somewhere, and none are less than any other.

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