A Des Moines church tonight (Tuesday) will host a presentation by the parents of Rachel Corrie, the young American peace activist killed in March 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip. Since then her mother Cindy Corrie says they’ve come to understand what she was doing.
At one point, Cindy went looking to see if there was something else Rachel could do, a project in India, where they had family connections, that she could work on. “I didn’t understand how really deeply connected she already was to Middle East issues.” The couple has strong Iowa links and both attended Drake University.
“Neither Craig nor I felt that it was our place to try to dictate to our 23-year-old,” Cindy says, though they had concerns. Craig Corrie says what goes on in the Middle East affects us all. “We fund what’s going on in the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands. That’s largely U.S. tax dollars,” Craig says. He says this country sends four to five-billion dollars a year to Israel. Far from being isolated from international concerns like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Craig Corrie says Iowans are deeply involved in such world issues.
Craig and Cindy Corrie both grew up in Iowa, he in Des Moines and she in Denison. Contrary to our image of being in the heart of the country, he says, “You’re not far from a border. Denison has many people that speak Spanish as a first language.” He says when they return to Iowa today, it’s clear to them “how international Iowa’s become.” The couple will give a presentation that includes readings of their daughter’s words, and will tell about work they’ve done to advance the hopes of peace with justice for Palestinians and Israelis.
Their presentation is tonight at the Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines, and the couple has a website, “Rachel Corrie Foundation” with information about their cause, their daughter, and a new play about her that’s opened in New York.
Related web sites:
Rachel Corrie Foundation