Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 152- Rachel Corrie

Dear Mr. President,

Another ship is heading toward Gaza. Israel has vowed, once again, to stop it with force. Right now, today, this moment is when you need to personally intervene. You can't tell me that you didn't see the earlier tragedy coming- any one with even a casual engagement in the region saw the calamity rushing towards the Mavi Marmara and its crew with the speed of an IDF helicopter. The Rachel Corrie and her crew will be facing the same calamity, soon. Israel will not hesitate to react the same way. We can express regret at the loss of life, call for investigations and demand resolution to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza all we want; but we must first call on Israel not to use deadly force against another humanitarian vessel and the brave souls on board. Outrage will not bring back the 9 dead, but swift, decisive political action could save lives when (and not if) the next confrontation occurs. The siege of Gaza must end, the blockade will be broken, and no amount of bloodshed now will deter further attempts. Israel is now discovering the power of peaceful, determined civilians willing to give their lives to ease the suffering of others; fear of that power could lead to more irrational violence.

Perhaps it is fitting that this ship is named after Rachel Corrie. I wonder, sometimes, if she was surprised when the soldier driving the bulldozer didn't stop, and, had she known, would she have stood her ground? I think she would have. I think the ship that bears her name is full of people who, knowing full well that the helicopters and the commandos will come, that the bulldozer will not stop, are standing up to stop the destruction. They deserve our respect, our support, and, God knows, our protection. Mr. President, you may not have been able to save the 9 dead aboard the Mavi Marmara, but you can save the crew of the Corrie. You, alone, can wield the diplomatic influence to have any hope of stopping an attack on this ship.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that people shouldn't have to die trying to bring supplies to Gaza. People shouldn't have to die trying to protect homes from being destroyed. The International community, and especially the United States, should make the consequences for these kind of human rights abuses so debilitating that no nation would dare conduct itself in this manner and still call itself our ally. These brave people are taking on the responsibility that should belong to all of us, as citizens of this planet. We should stand with them; Israel should be made to know that an attack against the Rachel Corrie is an attack against the United States of America. Don't make them stand alone, Mr. President.

Respectfully yours,


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