In 2003, 23-year old human rights activist Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. Rachel’s parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, motivated by their daughter’s work and example, have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of justice and peace in the Middle East. The Corries will share their family story on Friday, April 11 at 7:00pm at The Canticle – home of the Sisters of St. Francis – 841 Thirteenth Avenue North in Clinton. This event from the Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking is free of charge and open to the public.
Cindy and Craig Corrie, both raised and educated in Iowa, have made numerous visits to the Middle East region, most recently in fall 2012 leading Interfaith Peace-Builder delegations to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. “Rachel wrote of the importance of making commitments to places and initiated this one to Rafah and Gaza. The commitment she made continues,” said Cindy Corrie.
The Corries have continued to seek accountability in the case of their daughter and to promote changes in U.S. foreign policy in Israel/Palestine through efforts with the U.S. Congress, U.S. Departments of State and Justice, the Israeli Government, the Israeli and U.S. court systems, and at the corporate headquarters of Caterpillar Inc.
It is the continuing policy of the U.S. Government that the matter of Rachel Corrie’s killing has not been adequately investigated and addressed by the government of Israel. Encouraged by U.S. officials, the Corrie family in 2005 filed a civil lawsuit in Israel in their daughter’s case. On March 10, 2010, seven years after Rachel Corrie’s killing, oral argument in the case began in Haifa District Court. It proceeded with sporadic court dates until a final hearing on July 10, 2011. In an August 28, 2012 ruling, Judge Oded Gershon absolved the Israeli military and state of all responsibility. The Corrie family has filed an appeal with the Israeli Supreme Court. A hearing is scheduled for May 21, 2014.
Rachel Corrie was a prolific and gifted writer. With their daughter Sarah, the Corries co-edited Let Me Stand Alone: the Journals of Rachel Corrie, a collection of Rachel’s poetry, essays, letters and journal entries, published by W.W. Norton & Co in 2008. The Corries speak widely of their daughter’s story and experience, and of their own work with the people of Palestine and Israel They are frequent guests at post-performance discussions of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie, co-edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner, and produced in theaters across the U.S. and world.
The Corries have resided in Olympia, Washington, for over thirty-five years where with community supporters, they now carry on the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. In December 2010, the foundation was recognized for “outstanding service for Human Rights-Unique Achievement” by the Thurston County Diversity Council. The Corries are recipients of a Human Rights Advocate of the Year Award from Seattle University’s Human Rights Network and a Pillar of Peace Award from the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Friends Service Committee. In October 2012, they accepted the LennonOno Grant for Peace on behalf of their daughter Rachel.
For more information about the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice visit http://rachelcorriefoundation.org.
The Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking was created as means for integrating Franciscan spirituality with the mission of promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking, as well as advocating for social justice issues and care for the earth. Most recently, the Center has focused on immigration reform, human trafficking, abolition of the death penalty, domestic violence and sexual assault, poverty, environmental concerns, and active nonviolence. Through special events, our weekly Action Alert Digest and website, the Center reaches out to involve the community at large. For more information about the event at The Canticle, call 563-242-7611 or visit www.ClintonFranciscans.com.