On March 30, the Washington Post published the last e-mails of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer driver, on 16 March 2003 in Gaza. On April 19, the Post published a letter by CAMERA director Eric Rozenman, entitled “Last E-Mails of an Indoctrinated Activist”, attacking Corrie. Adam Shapiro, organizer of the International Solidarity Movement that Corrie worked with in Gaza, responded with this letter to the Post, published on 25 April 2003.
Eric Rozenman uses isolated words in Rachel Corrie’s last e-mails to her family to misrepresent her as an extremist and accuses her of “justify[ing] terrorism,” when she did no such thing. Corrie — according to her own words — was motivated by an informed and admirable desire to confront Israel’s well-documented violence against Palestinian civilians.
Rozenman portrays Israel’s 1967 military occupation as an act of “self-defense.” Thirty-six years into this occupation, one wonders how long it would take for Rozenman to acknowledge it as the means by which Palestinian land continues to be offensively colonized daily — a coordinated, government-led process that does great violence to land and people and undermines the future livelihood of the Palestinian people. One also wonders why his claims about the “benefits” of this occupation do not accord with statistics compiled by international monitoring organizations.
Family, friends and colleagues of Rachel Corrie remember a thoughtful, committed activist who responded admirably to compensate for our failings as a nation to seek justice in this conflict.
Rozenman’s attempts to generate suspicion that Corrie was “misled” or “recruited” by dark forces and to discredit her eyewitness testimony as “hysterical” are nothing less than a second bulldozing of Corrie.
Adam Shaprio is an organizer of the International Solidarity Movement