Planned House resolution to call for investigation into Rachel Corrie killing

Right, parents of murdered Washington State college student Rachel Corrie, Craig and Cindy Corrie, greet protestors at a vigil in Washington DC, 18 March 2003. (Ali Hadjarian)

This morning the Corrie family held a press conference on Capitol Hill. Rachel’s Congressman, Brian Baird’s office arranged the press conference, in which the congressman participated and announced his plan to introduce a resolution in Congress later this week.

Though we don’t yet have the text of the resolution, the Congressman plans to call for an independent US investigation into Rachel’s death, measures to be taken to prevent such violence committed against all unarmed, nonviolent civilians, and calling for an end to the kind of policies that led to Rachel’s death.

I am forwarding the text of the family’s statement, in addition to some bullets regarding some important points/statements that were made in the question / answer period.

  • Congressman Brian Baird stated that after reading the eyewitness reports and seeing the pictures, he didn’t think that the bulldozer driver made a mistake.

  • He was asked, that in light of the pro-Israel stance of the US Government, whether or not he expected action to be taken? To this, the Congressman responded that “just because we are a supporter of a country, that doesn’t mean we look the other way when the country does something wrong.”

    He further stated that since the US is the biggest supporter of Israel, morally and financially, that it must be our policy to make sure that Israel’s policies don’t allow for these kinds of actions. “And this is not just about Israeli policy. It’s about Israeli conduct against an unarmed American citizen engaged in nonviolent action.”

    To that, Congressman Jim McDermott added: “We must look at this event in the tradition of Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. A girl took action against a policy that needs to have the light of day shone upon it. She wasn’t just there and got run over by a bulldozer.” (He added more but I don’t have his exact words)

    The ISM believes strongly that the US must conduct an independent investigation and not simply accept an Israeli investigation into Rachel’s death. Because Rachel was an American citizen, this is not out of the ordinary, nor too much to ask.

    At the same time we strongly believe (and we know that Rachel would have wanted) that action must be taken to stop the Israeli policy that she died fighting against — the destruction of Palestinian homes.

    We don’t yet know if we will be able to get this kind of language inserted into a congressional resolution. We will, however, continue to resist this policy in Palestine, work to draw worldwide attention to the illegality and inhumanity of this policy, and we call on our supporters across the world to lobby your members of parliament to speak out against the demolition of Palestinian homes.

    Huwaida Arraf
    International Solidarity Movement