Remembering Rachel Corrie on the anniversary of her death

contact@ifamericansknew.org

 

 

Dear Friend,

On this day 13 years ago, American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by Israeli soldiers driving a military bulldozer. She was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. According to numerous witnesses and photographic documentation, she was killed intentionally.

Representative Brian Baird from Washington State introduced a resolution in Congress calling on the federal government to “undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation” into Rachel’s death. The bill was co-sponsored by 77 representatives, but Congress took no action. 

The Corrie family then filed a lawsuit against Caterpillar Inc in 2005, alleging that Caterpillar supplied Israelis with bulldozers even though they knew they were being used to commit war crimes. The lawsuit was dismissed.

The Corrie family’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was also dismissed. The court acknowledged that the U.S. government paid for the bulldozer that killed Rachel, but said that they didn’t have the jurisdiction to rule on the “political question” of U.S. military aid to Israel. 

In 2010, the Corrie family filed a lawsuit in Israel against the Israeli Defense Forces. Israeli officials prevented the physician who had examined Rachel’s wounds from testifying in the case. The court ruled that Rachel was responsible for her own death. In 2014, the Corrie family’s appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court of Israel, and the IDF was absolved of any wrongdoing.

Keep Rachel’s message alive by sharing her story with your community. We have cards, a booklet of Rachel’s letters, and posters available for download and order.

#SupportPalestineInDC2016

U.S. taxpayers send Israel over $3 billion a year in military aid with virtually no strings attached, and now the prime minister of Israel wants $5 billion a year.

The majority of Americans oppose taking sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict, but virtually all Democratic and Republican members of Congress continue to supply Israel with more and more weapons each year (Palestinians do not receive military aid).

American taxpayer dollars have enabled Israel to continue its decades-long illegal occupation of Palestinian land and deny Palestinians basic legal and human rights. With our money, Israeli forces have killed over 9,200 Palestinians as well as numerous international journalists and peace activists since 2000.

We are driving the violence in this region, and we must stop it.

This weekend, AIPAC kicks off its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump scheduled to give speeches. We hope you will join us this Sunday at noon at the White House to protest AIPAC’s influence on American politics and support Palestinian human rights. Your voice is urgently needed!

As always, thank for your commitment to peace, justice, and equality for all people.

The If Americans Knew team

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Quick Links

Order or download Rachel Corrie cards, letters, and posters on our site

Protest AIPAC in DC on March 20th! Join this rally spearheaded by Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

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Get involved with Israeli Apartheid Week

mail@bdsnationalcommittee.org

Want to support Palestinian freedom, justice and equality?

Join #IsraeliApartheidWeek 2016

Each year, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) takes place in more than 150 universities and cities across the world. With creative education and action, IAW aims to raise awareness about Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people and build support for the nonviolent Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In response to the impressive growth of BDS in the last few years, Israel and its right-wing allies in the west have launched repressive, anti-democratic attacks on the movement and the right to boycott, instead of fulfilling their obligations to end Israel’s violations of international law. This makes this year’s #IsraeliApartheidWeek more crucial than ever.

Support Palestinian popular resistance to oppression–join IAW 2016.

Check out apartheidweek.org and #IsraeliApartheidWeek to find out what’s happening in your area. More events in different cities are being added all the time, so do check back if there’s nothing in your city listed yet. 

Want to organise #IsraeliApartheidWeek events on your campus or in your city? Register your organisation here and you’ll receive an info pack full of ideas about how to organise #IsraeliApartheidWeek.

Dates:
UK: February 22-28
Europe: February 29-March 7
Palestine: March 1-10
South Africa: March 7-13
Arab World: March 20-26
US: various, including March 27-April 3
Latin America: April 10-24
Canada: various throughout March, check with local organisers

Stop sidelining women in Iran

#Watch4Women of Iran

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 © 2015 Human Rights Watch

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Can you imagine being arrested for entering a stadium to watch your favorite sports team, simply because you are a woman?

 

This is the harsh reality for women in Iran today.

 

Human Rights Watch needs you to join an important new campaign for women’s rights in Iran. The #Watch4Women campaign is fighting for women’s right to attend volleyball matches in Iranian stadiums.

 

Volleyball is a hugely popular sport in Iran and a great source of national pride. Among the longstanding, serious rights abuses and discrimination women face in Iran, women and girls are barred from entering sport stadiums.

Ending the ban preventing female spectators from entering stadiums would be a symbolically important step toward greater gender equality in Iran and should be a top priority for the International Volleyball Federation.

 

Our ask is simple: The International Volleyball Federation, the FIVB (think of it as the FIFA for Volleyball), should uphold its own rules and announce that Iran can NOT host future tournaments—unless they allow Iranian women to attend.

Tweet the FIVB now

Paste our #Watch4Women animation in their Facebook post comments

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ninL7CmqBqg

 

Stand with Human Rights Watch and the women of Iran. Visit www.hrw.org/watch4women to find out how you can pressure the FIVB to ban Iran from hosting until they stop banning women.

 

With much gratitude,

Resources & Project Development Coordinator: Association For Arab Youth-Baladna

Job description

Responsibilities include writing fundraising proposals, reporting to donors about various Baladna initiatives, maintaining and developing donor relations, researching and applying for new funding opportunities and participating in planning and developing projects.

Required Qualifications:

-Previous fundraising experience

-Native-level English fluency

-Proficiency in Microsoft word

-Excellent English writing and editing skills

-Ability to work flexibly and independently

-Good communication skills

– Strong organizational skills and the ability to multi-task under pressure

Preferred Qualifications:

-Knowledge of Israel/Palestine

-Arabic and/or Hebrew

-Prior work with youth

Deadline: 17.3.2015

About Baladna: Baladna is an Arab youth organization founded to give Arab youth in Israel a non-partisan, comfortable forum for youth activities and informal education, centering on a discussion of identity. A registered non-profit organization, Baladna aims to strengthen Arab youth’s understanding of democracy and gender equality, to foster pluralism and tolerance, and to enable a discussion and debate about Arab Palestinian history, grievances and culture.

Suitable candidates should e-mail their CV and a letter of motivation to:nadem@baladnayouth.org

Only suitable candidates will be invited for interview

How to apply

Suitable candidates should e-mail their CV and a letter of motivation to:nadem@baladnayouth.org

Location

18 HaBankim, P.O.BOX 99604, Haifa, Haifa District, 31996, Israel

Details

Application deadline
March 17, 2015
Education requirements
Employment type
Full time
Part time
Professional level
None specified
Job function
Areas of focus

A Stranger in Haifa

Ding, the elevator doors open and I’m met by a woman in her fifties with frizzy brown hair and a shopping cart full of food. Still unable to get out of this elevator due to this Frizzhead’s assertion to maintain her position, I finally push against her cart, signalling her black and white, striped shirt, wearing self that she must allow me to get out before she can get into the elevator. She doesn’t move her cart, but I move it for her, she’s aware of my existence, but doesn’t blink her grey eyes, hiding behind her thin-framed glasses.

I walked passed Frizzhead and followed my aunt out of the elevator, watching her wobble her rotund way to the empty shopping cart area. The grey-haired security guard, wearing a neon-yellow vest, stared at my aunt with a look of disgust. My aunt paid no mind, but I stared at him until he finally stopped staring at my aunt. His eyes met mine, as I boiled with fury, and he immediately looked away. He didn’t search us, he didn’t speak to us, but it was the look. I knew he thought less of us, I knew he wanted us gone.

My aunt continued to walk back and forth looking for an empty shopping cart to claim, with no luck, and the security guard’s eyes followed my aunt with suspicion. ‘Just check our bags and get it over with,’ I thought, frustrated and willing to do anything to keep his prying, hateful, blue eyes away from my aunt. Away from us. But he didn’t search our bags, instead he stared at us, sneered at us, huffed at us. He stood there, arms crossed, and ground his teeth. Oh how I wish his teeth cracked open in excruciating pain– what beautiful karma that would be.

My aunt finally accepts that there are no empty carts and she says, “We’ll just get one or two things.” She heads towards the vegetable section and mumbles, “Over there’s the organic vegetables, but organic is all a joke.” I say nothing. I stay silent. I speak when I’m spoken to and only when I’m asked a yes or no question. Not because I don’t want to speak or because I can’t speak, but the scenes before me leave me speechless.

To my right is a man using his hand as shovel, scooping up olives to shove in his greedy mouth. Before me is a line of women at the cheese counter, yelling at each other and at the counter lady in Hebrew. Behind me is a woman in her sixties, incapable of accepting her true age, wearing short-shorts and a tight black, low-cut top, her wrinkly boobs peeking from the top. Her eyes are lined with messy black eyeshadow and her face resembles that of a heroine addiction warning pamphlet. She bosses about her male companion, who is wearing black slacks, a white button down top, with the top FIVE buttons undone, showcasing his full chest of hair. He begrudgingly caters to her every beckon and whim, handing her coffee packets and sugar. Two women push each other at the cold-cuts counter and another woman eyes the vegetable bags and stuffs them in her purse. To my left, a grocery store employee sneezes into his hands and handles the watermelons. Two aisles over I can hear a family of adults and children yelling at one another.

My aunt makes her way to the butcher’s counter and I tail behind, taking in the sight, the chaos. How was it that Haifa became filled with ill-mannered people. How could such a beautiful city be so ugly?

At the butcher’s counter, my aunt takes notice of the chicken cutlets, but there is no one behind the counter to take her order. She waits patiently, as I find a corner to back myself into. I felt angry and I wanted a nice dose of Karma to find these people and a supernanny to slap some manners into them. They don’t know how lucky they are to be in Haifa and they take advantage of it and abuse it.

A crowd begins to form at the butcher counter and the crowd begins to argue about who came first, my aunt tries to stick up for herself, but they yell over her. Out came the butcher and he ignores my aunt and begins to take an order from the Israeli customers. My aunt interrupts in Hebrew and demands her first place in line. After a minute of arguing with the crowd and the butcher, they give in and allow my aunt to go first, but no one seemed satisfied with that outcome, rolling their eyes and huffing in her direction.

My aunt collects the chicken and walks over to me, smiling awkwardly. This was her normal.

I kept my silence, fearing speaking would cause my anger to bubble up and result in tears. I grinned back at her and followed her through the supermarket to our next grocery challenge. She went to the bread aisle, stood herself in front of the bread shelf and began to use the tongs provided to collect bread and put it into a plastic bag she had just picked up, when a tall thin Israeli man wearing jeans and a blue polo, wedged his way between my aunt and the bread shelf. My aunt swiftly steps away from his closeness, accepting her fate. She tried to continue to reach for the bread, but the man kept changing his positioning to block my aunt out. We waited as he got his pick of the best loaves and left, looking back on us and giving us the up-and-down. My aunt said nothing and spoke nothing of the man’s behaviour. She took the last left-over loaf of bread–hard as a rock and says, “Yalla,” as she signals with a nod of her head that we keep walking on.

We then made our way to the cashier. Again we are met with the unwelcoming eyes of the security guard, staring at us, disgusted by the sight of us, clenching his fists, wishing he could be rid of us. I wanted so badly for the earth to devour this man and his foul intentions.

I glared at him, locking my sights on him until he could no longer take it, until he caved and began to pace in a hunched over position. My aunt, tired, decides to claim an empty shopping cart that has magically appeared beside the security guard. We piled our few items into the shopping cart and walked passed the security guard, his eyes fixed on our grocery items, analysing our purchases. He hissed at us like an angry goose.

Moments later, we make our way into a packed elevator to put our groceries in the car. Walking through the parking lot and navigating through all the abandoned shopping carts, on the way to our car, we hear a familiar sound– Arabic. For the first time during this trip, we heard and saw people we had never met before, but felt a comradely compulsion to greet them and wish them a goodnight.

Silently, we approached the white car, littered in scratch marks, and my aunt smiled. The same awkward and accepting smile she regularly wore in public.

Moments after unloading the groceries into the trunk of my aunt’s car, my aunt says, “Let’s go return the shopping cart, we don’t want anyone thinking we’re messy people.” Here we are, having to prove ourselves to people who had disrespected us, fought us, pushed us, hissed at us and were less-mannered than us.

We made our way back to the elevator, got in and went up to the first floor of the grocery store, where the carts were to be returned. As the door opened, the security guard, this glorified shopping cart attendant, took a step towards us, reached his left hand out to signal ‘stop.’ He pulled the shopping cart towards himself with his right hand and signalled with his left for us to shoo.