Today’s dismissal of the lawsuit filed by the family of Rachel Corrie against the State of Israel leads the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and our partners in the We Divest Campaign to renew our demand that TIAA-CREF divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation and human rights abuses.

Take action by joining the We Divest Campaign and supporting efforts to hold accountable those responsible for abuses.

Background

The ruling by the Haifa District Court came in a civil lawsuit filed in 2005 by the family of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old U.S. peace activist killed in Gaza in 2003. Rachel was crushed by a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer while trying to stop the Israeli military’s demolition of Palestinian homes. 

The suit alleged Israeli government’s responsibility for Rachel’s killing and accused Israel of failing to carry out a thorough investigation into her death. This ruling is consistent with other rulings by the Israeli military and civilian courts which support impunity over accountability in cases where civilians have been killed or injured by the Israeli military. 

Amal Sabawi, AFSC’s program director in Gaza says, “Rachel Corrie is remembered by Palestinians as a committed, articulate, and immensely brave advocate for Palestinian rights. She chose to leave the safety of her country and gave her life while helping others defend their rights, homes, and lives. Rachel will remain in our hearts, and we will honor her by continuing to struggle against oppression and injustice.” 

Unfortunately, since Rachel’s death the injustices which she opposed have continued. Over 200 Palestinian families’ homes were demolished during 2011 leaving more than 1,000 people homeless. In July, the Israeli military announced plans to raze eight villages, home to over 1,500 Palestinians, in the South Hebron Hills area of the West Bank. Over the last decade regular home demolitions have left tens of thousands of Palestinians homeless. 

These actions must stop.

Take Action

One way to help stop these actions is to pressure corporations such as Caterpillar Inc. to end their complicity in, and support for, ongoing Israeli home demolitions and human rights violations. 

The Corrie family and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice have asked that supporters join the We Divest Campaign in demanding that TIAA-CREF divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation. This includes Caterpillar Inc. in which TIAA-CREF has invested over $1 billion. 

Actions you can take include:

  1. Signing and asking others to sign the We Divest Campaign petition, which demands that TIAA-CREF divest from companies that support occupation and violence.
  2. Delivering a letter to TIAA-CREF offices before Sept. 2. A sample letter can be downloaded from the Rachel Corrie Foundation’s website.   
  3. Printing this image of Rachel. Photograph yourself with it, and post it on the Corrie Foundation’s Tumblr blog. Deliver the photo to the nearest Israeli Consulate demanding accountability and an end to home demolitions. These images will be gathered by the Corrie Foundation and sent to the U.S. Department of State.