Yesterday the Star Tribune ran an article (from the Associated Press) on the civil trial currently going on around the death of pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie in 2003. The article highlighted some important points that often go unmentioned when this issue is discussed, so I wanted to share those points with you. This is the letter I sent to the Star Tribune in response to their article.
I’d like to thank the author of Thursday’s article, “Parents of slain US activist hear testimony of Israeli bulldozer driver who crushed her,” for highlighting several crucial points that too often get ignored.
As the article noted, the International Solidarity Movement’s activists “often position themselves in hotspots between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.”
Furthermore, as the article highlights, “thousands of foreign activists like Corrie recklessly choose to risk their lives in a conflict zone where they could be harmed by soldiers who themselves often feel under assault.”
There’s only so much we can ask of soldiers in battle. My heart breaks for Ms. Corrie’s parents. But isn’t there a point where people who purposely, consciously place themselves in the middle of a war zone, and actively interfere in the midst of a violent conflict, must be held at least a little responsible for their own well-being?
Palestinian terrorists have certainly never stopped their acts of violence because there are civilians present. If you stand in the middle of a military battle, and essentially say “you can’t get here, I’m a civilian, and I’m going to stand here until my side wins,” sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt.
This is certainly tragic, but a 23-year old adult should know better. We cannot ask other 19- and 20-year old soldiers, who are themselves under attack, to both do their jobs, and babysit every American who decides the middle of a war zone is the best place to go on vacation.