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Rachel There have been a series of individuals and events which have opened my eyes to the realities happening in occupied Palestine, and to the horrific actions and policies being implemented by the Israeli government towards the people living there, and as well to those who actively oppose such policies.     One such individual was Rachel Corrie. Please watch this short video.    Rachel was a 23 year old activist from Washington State who had a promising future ahead.    From her early years there seemed to be something special about Rachel.    There also seemed something special about the quality of education she received, which from an early age,  focused on important social and environmental issues which seems unfortunately unique compared to the more standard education model taught in our schools today.   While most young girls are more concerned with Barbies, clothes and make up, Rachel from what I've read seemed to have much bigger concerns on her mind.     I came across a link which showed an older clip of Rachel when she must have been no older than five or six, giving a grade school speech about poverty and how it affects children in other countries.    Even at such a young age she was eloquent and poised.   It was apparent that the issue of ending human suffering was a driving force for Rachel all her life. Rachel at Capital High School, Olympia, WA When she was 23, Rachel entered the war torn world of occupied Palestine with a hand ful of other activists from the International Solidarity Movement. Chronic pain   An ISM protest in Gaza against Israel's shooting of Palestinian children. On the right, Rachel Corrie When she arrived,   Rachel and the other activists attended two days of training in non-violent resistance and essentially volunteered to protect and block Palestinian homes that were being demolished by the Israeli Defense Forces.      Rachel Corrie chats with a Palestinian friend, living in a dire situation in Rafah, Gaza. To listen to Rachel as she was volunteering in occupied Palestine only days before her death,  watch the powerful video below:   On March 16th, 2003 an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer two-stories high crushed to death 23-year-old Rachel Corrie.   According to witnesses and photographic documentation, she was killed intentionally.    Rachel Corrie stands in front of an Israeli army bulldozer wearing an orange jacket so that she can be easily identified and seen. Rachel as she stands between an Israeli bulldozer and a Palestinian physician's house in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. The Israeli bulldozer ran over her and then backed up, crushing her chest and skull. Friends try to help Rachel as they wait for transportation to the nearest hospital.   However, she was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.   With five other chronic pain nonviolent human rights defenders, Rachel had been in front of a family home in Palestine, standing in front of the property in hopes of protecting it from being destroyed.    That day the Palestinian home was not destroyed.   However the life of Rachel Corrie was destroyed by an Israeli soldier who crushed her under the weight of the bulldozer.   "Rachel and a handful of others practicing Gandhian nonviolence in the Gaza Strip had been pleading with Israeli soldiers for two hours not to destroy a Palestinian family home. Suddenly, the Israeli bulldozer operator began driving his giant bulldozer toward the home, Rachel sitting in the bulldozer’s path. Witnesses report that she then stood up on the mound of debris and dirt pushed by the bulldozer blade and looked straight at the operator through the window. He continued, and she was pulled underneath the tractor, its blade crushing her. He then backed up, running over her again, [chronic pain] burying her deeper into the dirt. "  ( ) I have been profoundly moved by Rachel's life, as have thousands of others.   Her life, and death,  have changed me. I hope Rachel may change you as well. A quote worth sharing: "Ironically, Rachel's killer was granted an honor and privilege few of us will ever know: He looked directly into the eyes of a humanitarian young woman of utter bravery, deep conviction, and selfless courage. A person who, when confronted with violence and hatred, refused to strike back to save herself or those she had pledged to protect, but relied instead on the sheer force of her spirit and her firm belief in the sacred principles of International Humanitarian Law. He saw humanity at its very best. She was a victim of humanity at its very worst. Rachel's body was fragile, no match for a US-supplied armoured Caterpillar bulldozer; it is broken now, her life extinguished. The goals and visions for which she sacrificed her life, however, are as tough and resilient as was her spirit, and not so easily expunged. May the tragedy of her death, and the nobility and courage of her life, inspire all High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to do their sacred duty and halt Israeli impunity. "


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