Wednesday, March 19
'You Just Can't Imagine It'
Rachel Corrie, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, March 19, 2003
Editor's note: The parents of Rachel Corrie, the American woman killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza this week, released excerpts of an e-mail message Corrie sent them Feb. 7. This material is taken from that e-mail.
I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what's going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States -- something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don't know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I'm not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere. An 8-year-old was shot and killed by an Israeli tank two days before I got here, and many of the children murmur his name to me, Ali -- or point at the posters of him on the walls. The children also love to get me to practice my limited Arabic by asking me "Kaif Sharon?" "Kaif Bush?" and they laugh when I say "Bush Majnoon," "Sharon Majnoon" back in my limited Arabic. (How is Sharon? How is Bush? Bush is crazy. Sharon is crazy.) . . . . There are 8-year-olds here much more aware of the workings of the global power structure than I was just a few years ago -- at least regarding Israel.
Nevertheless, I think about the fact that no amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can't imagine it unless you see it, ..[...]