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Greens Call For A Rachel Corrie Murder Inquiry

THE GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate release:
Friday, March 21, 2003


GREENS CALL FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER OF AMERICAN PEACE ACTIVIST RACHEL CORRIE BY ISRAELI FORCES

As Israeli military forces attack a memorial service for Corrie, Greens renew the call for suspension of U.S. aid to Israel, and warn that the Sharon government, taking advantage of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and U.N. turmoil, might try to evict Palestinians from the occupied territories.

WASHINGTON, DC -- Members of the Green Party of the United States, outraged at the murder of American peace activist Rachel Corrie and disruption by the Israeli military of a memorial service for her, demanded an investigation and decisive measures by the U.S. government to stop the Sharon government's violent treatment of Palestinian civilians, destruction of Palestinian homes and infrastructure, and illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Greens reaffirmed their support for American, European, and Israeli peace activists who continue to risk their lives in nonviolent resistance to the occupation and defense of Palestinian civilians. The Green Party has also called for an international protection force in the territories to insure the safety of Palestinian and Israeli civilians and adherence by Israel to the Geneva Conventions Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

"A simple threat to cancel all American aid to Israel would probably stop Sharon's incessant and illegal attacks on occupied Palestine and brutal treatment of the Palestinian people," said Justine McCabe, co-chair of the Green Party of Connecticut who has done relief work in Palestine. "Let the death of Rachel Corrie, who called herself a 'witness for peace,' be the occasion for the Bush Administration to cease all military aid to Israel, until Israel complies with U.S. laws governing arms transfers, U.N. resolutions, and international laws and agreements."

Corrie, a 23-year-old activist with the International Solidarity Movement, was crushed by a bulldozer on March 16 while trying to block the demolition of Palestinian homes in Gaza by Israeli forces. The driver of the bulldozer drove forward over Corrie after she had climbed down from speaking with him, which suggests that the driver probably knew she wasn't Palestinian. On March 18, a memorial service at the site of her death was disrupted by Israeli forces using teargas, stun guns, and tanks.

"The government of Israel has been evicting Palestinians from their homes, destroying their orchards and farms, restricting their access to food, schools, and medical care, imposing economic ruin and unemployment, attacking refugee camps, and visiting violence and death on children," said Holly Hart, Iowa Green, co-chair of the party's national platform committee, and member of People for Justice in Palestine. "Israel has leveled over 3,000 homes in the past two years."

"Sharon makes little secret of his desire to clear the West Bank and Gaza of all Palestinians and extend Israel's border to the Jordan River," add Hart. "Sharon is indulged at every step by the Bush Administration. Bush has ignored the fact that Sharon's Government includes the National Union, an alliance of three parties which explicitly calls for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The murder of an American citizen and disruption of a memorial service for her display new extremes of state-sponsored terrorism, and Bush must treat it as such."

Greens also warned that the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which the party strongly opposes, will cause further deterioration of the crisis in Israel and Palestine.

"It's quite possible that the Sharon government might use the invasion of Iraq and the turmoil in the U.N. as an opportunity to expel Palestinians from the occupied territories," said Stan Heller, Connecticut Green and chair of the Middle East Crisis Committee in New Haven.

"The hypocrisy of the U.S. invasion of Iraq for alleged noncompliance with Resolution 1441 is revealed by the fact that the U.S. has vetoed 41 resolutions, over the last three decades that sought to hold Israel accountable for violations of international law."

MORE INFORMATION

The Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org National office: 1314 18th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 202-296-7755, 866-41GREEN

Contacts: Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, nallen@acadia.net

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, scottmclarty@yahoo.com


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