Friday August 05, 2005

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Recently published comments have recalled the Berkeley City Council’s vote in September 2003 to support Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s request for an investigation into the death of a young American woman who was protesting the demolition of Palestinian homes by the Israeli army. As a member of the council majority that supported that resolution, I hope I can clarify the facts for your readers. 

Rachel Corrie, a young woman from Washington state, had been in Palestine attempting to prevent the destruction of homes by the Israeli army. Having placed herself as a human shield in front of a house that was about to be demolished, she was killed by the bulldozer. An investigation into her death by the Israeli government followed. But the Israeli government refused to release the report that resulted from the investigation, even to Rachel Corrie’s parents. 

It was this refusal to recognize a family’s need to understand the circumstances of their daughter’s death that motivated our congresswoman’s request for an American investigation and that inspired the council majority’s support for that request. These events occurred almost two years ago. I feel now just as I did when I supported the Rachel Corrie resolution. It seems clearer than ever that our energies and policies need to focus on ending the human suffering on all sides that is perpetuated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As a citizen and as a public official, I want to do what I can to forward a two-state solution, to help put an end to the tragic destruction, danger, and fear that have become all too familiar, for too long, in that conflicted part of the world. 

Linda Maio 

District 1 City Councilmember