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Rachel Corrie Update
Monday, March 17, 2003   By: Juan Paxety

Peace activist's death politicized

Rachel Corrie died on Sunday after confronting an Israeli Army bulldozer. She had previously made the news by teaching Palestinian children in Gaza to burn American flags.

Rachel Corrie, at the time of her death, was working with The International Solidarity Movement. On it's webpage, the ISM posts this photo that it says is of Rachel trying to stop the bulldozer (caption from the ISM website.)


A clearly marked Rachel Corey, holding a megaphone, confronts an Israeli bulldozer driver attempting to demolish a Palestinian home, Rafah, Occupied Gaza, 16 March 2003. (ISM Handout)

Reports from witnesses quoted on the ISM site give this description:

Rachel was sitting in the path of the bulldozer as it
advanced towards her.  When the bulldozer refused to stop or turn
aside she climbed up onto the mound of dirt and rubble being
gathered in front of it wearing a fluorescent jacket to look
directly at the driver who kept on advancing.  The bulldozer
continued to advance so that she was pulled under the pile of dirt
and rubble.  After she had disappeared from view the driver kept
advancing until the bulldozer was completely on top of her.  The
driver did not lift the bulldozer blade and so she was crushed
beneath it.

The photograph doesn't seem to match the description. I don't see any "mound of dirt and rubble" for Rachel to stand on.

A Paxety Pages Update - Bigwig takes a look at the above photo and some others, then comes to the conclusion that the ISM is making political hay from Rachel's death.

And David e-mails a link to an Israeli article about Rachel that says the protesters receive money from the ISM and from 12 (unnamed) Jewish organizations. FWIW

Yet another update - the folks at Indymedia have more photos - and more discussion of their legitimacy.


The above photo is supposed to be one showing Rachel's body.

As a photographer, I have to say the photos don't look like they were all taken at the same place. The top photo shows a quite different background than the photos directly above - different tree lines - different buildings in the background. Even the roofline of the bulldozer appears to be different.

Also, in the Indymedia discussions, some ask why there are before and after photos, but no photos of Rachel being run over.  I spent 15 years in the TV news business and over that time looked at many, many amateur photos and videotapes. Almost always the photographer would lower or turn off the camera when the shocking event happened - only to turn it back on and resume shooting after the shock wore off a bit. That could well be what happened here. Or, we could have photos of two events - the photo above happening at some earlier time -and the photos of Rachel's body happening at another.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren