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Rachel Corrie

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American activist from Olympia, Washington who went to Gaza in 2003 with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).  ISM describes itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.”

On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie was in Rafah, on the Egypt-Gaza border, where the IDF was bulldozing shrubbery in an area known for its weapons-smuggling tunnels. Corrie apparently thought she was protecting the nearby home of a Palestinian pharmacist. She knelt in front of the bulldozer behind a pile of dirt, and was crushed to death.  The ISM alleged that Corrie was intentionally hit and killed;  an Israel Defense Forces investigation concluded that the driver could not see her and that her death was a “tragic accident,” blamed on the “irresponsible and dangerous conduct of ISM activists.”

Corrie’s writings were compiled and published in a book and a play, both titled “My Name is Rachel Corrie.”  The play opened in London in April 2005 amid controversy.  When it was staged in Seattle in March 2007, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle published an ad in the show’s playbill to provide some balance to theatergoers.  A group of local activists created another ad as well as a handout and a Web site (, no longer active), aiming at educating and offering additional background and resources about the ISM and Corrie’s death.