Two events arrive next month on the American political calendar: The annual AIPAC Policy Conference, and the anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s death.
These two events are related the way yin relates to yang, a concept from Asian philosophy which “is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn”. (Wikipedia)
“March 16, 03. Rachel nonviolently blocks Israeli bulldozers from destroying Palestinian homes along the Rafah/Egyptian border along with nine other International Solidarity Movement volunteers. Photo from earlier in the day”
I have referenced this connection before, and it continues to resonate, for me, in the complex interconnection of contrasting approaches to political action.
Rachel Corrie was killed March 16, 2003, by an Israeli soldier who drove an American-built Caterpillar bulldozer over her. When she died, Rachel, a 23-year old American from Olympia, Washington, was wearing a clearly visible orange vest. She was shouting at the driver through a bull horn, asking him to stop.
She was crushed to death by the bulldozer.
The Israeli government, which rarely acknowledges the deaths of Palestinian civilians killed during its military operations, went into damage-control mode. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised President Bush a “thorough, credible, and transparent investigation.” Later Israel declared the killing a “regrettable accident” and blamed it on overzealous Corrie and the other activists working as human shields.
Subsequent calls for Congress to investigate Rachel Corrie’s death were ignored. A civil lawsuit brought by her family against the Israeli military, has been in Israeli courts since March 15, 2005. A final verdict on the suit is expected this spring.