An open letter to the President & U.S. Congress


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On 2/27/03, American Rachel Corrie wrote a letter to her mother. She was brutally murdered 3/16/03 by being intentionally crushed to death trying to stop an Israeli tank from destroying a home in Rafah, Gaza. I want you to read these excerpts from that letter. Then, I want you to do everything in your power to enforce an immediate, permanent ceasefire. "I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here." "I thought a lot about what you said on the phone about Palestinian violence not helping the situation. Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs...three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon...make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey...what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed...I think it is maybe official now that Rafah is the poorest place in the world...What is left for people? Tell me if you can think of anything. I can’t." "If any of us had our lives and welfare completely strangled, you think we might try to use somewhat violent means to protect whatever fragments remained?...I really think, in a similar situation, most people would defend themselves as best they could." "I really can’t believe that something like this can happen in the world without a bigger outcry about it. It really hurts me, again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be. I felt after talking to you that maybe you didn’t completely believe me." "So I think when all means of survival is cut off in a pen (Gaza) which people can’t get out of, I think that qualifies as genocide. Even if they could get out, I think it would still qualify as genocide. Maybe you could look up the definition of genocide according to international law." "Anyway, I’m rambling. Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I’m witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. 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." "So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible."

▶ Created on March 18 by Sarah

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