Tuesday, March 11, 2014
"Things Fall Apart" - The Al-Aqsa Intifada - CPT
"On March 16, 2003, an Israeli military bulldozer crushed ISM [International Solidarity Movement] activist Rachel Corrie as she was trying to prevent it from demolishing a Palestinian home. Corrie, 23, from Olympia, Washington, had been part of an ISM team in Rafah (Gaza strip) for the previous two months. Israeli forces in Jenin shot American ISM volunteer Brian Avery in the face on April 5, 2003 - as he stood with other ISMers in front of an Armoured Personnel Carrier - for which he required several reconstructive surgeries. Five days later, Israeli soldiers shot British International Solidarity Movement volunteer Tom Hurndall in the head. Hurndall had been shepherding a group of Palestinian children out of a narrow passage where they had been playing when shooting started. Soldiers opened fire from a tank-mounted machine gun. Hurndall had just taken the hand of a little girl when the bullet hit him in the head. He remained comatose until his family disconnected him from life support in January 2004. Corrie, Avery, and Hurndall were all wearing fluorescent orange or red vests identifying them as human rights accompaniers when the Israeli military killed or injured them.
These attacks hit everyone who had worked on the [Christian Peacemaker Team] Hebron team hard. Corrie, Avery, and Hurndall had all participated in the trainings led by the Hebron team. Furthermore, many Hebron team members, as well as their Israeli, Palestinian, and International friends, had stood between bulldozers and their designated targets as part of their work.
An Urgent Action put out on April 12, 2003, quoted Le Anne Clausen as saying.
'It feels like open season on peace activists. It's been open season on Palestinians all along, now the lack of accountability in the Israeli military has reached a new level. For Palestinians, the threat of 'transfer' (ethnic cleansing) looms large; the Israeli attacks on human rights workers accompanying them seem to be part of a move by Sharon administration in this direction. If the internationals can be chased away, what will happen to the Palestinian civilians?'
"In Harm's Way: A History of Christian Peacemaker Teams" by Kathleen Kern.