Sunday, July 10, 2011

US Collusion in Gaza Blockade an Affront to Human Rights

Veterans Today, July 9, 2011

My daughter’s death shows the cruelty of an America that won’t protect its own and is complicit in harming Palestinian civilians

By Cindy Corrie

When Greek authorities prevented the US ship the Audacity of Hope leaving its port in Athens this week, they dealt a blow to a group of brave and principled Americans who were trying to carry thousands of letters from US citizens to those who wait on Gaza’s shores.

I know many of the people who were on this boat, and my family’s letter was part of their cargo.

In 2003 my daughter Rachel Corrie made her journey to Gaza and was run down and killed by a US-made Israeli military Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer. She was trying to protect a Gazan family and their home, one of thousands illegally destroyed in Israeli military clearing operations.

Now my family is on a parallel journey with those activists as we return this week to Israeli court to confront Colonel Pinhas Zuaretz, the commanding officer of the Gaza Division’s Southern Brigade in 2003. His testimony should shed light not only on actions of troops responsible for Rachel’s killing but also on the Israeli military’s broad failures as an occupying power to protect civilian life and property.

 This week’s flotilla was travelling to Gaza, as Rachel did, to stand with Palestinians against oppression and illegal occupation and for a just, enduring peace.

Some liken the action to those of “freedom riders” who 50 years ago journeyed bravely to the American south to oppose racist laws that kept blacks and whites from sitting together on buses.

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