Israeli soldiers had a “fun” time making what they called “Rachel Corrie pancakes.”
Israeli soldiers have depraved “fun” making “Rachel Corrie pancakes”
Israeli soldiers had a “fun” time making what they called “Rachel Corrie pancakes.”
Photos of the event were posted on the Facebook page of the “Heritage House,” a settlement in occupied East Jerusalem that houses so-called “lone soldiers,” men recruited from overseas to join the Israeli occupation forces.
Nesim Pesarel, one of the “Heritage House” residents, seen in a photo from his personal Facebook page.
Above the photos of young men, some in Israeli army fatigues or apparently carrying guns, is the caption “Afternoon of ‘rachel corrie’ Pancakes and fun!”
Rachel Corrie is the young American woman murdered by an Israeli soldier who crushed her to death with a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family home in the occupied Gaza Strip on 16 March 2003.
The depraved joke that these men were presumably making is a play on the English idiom “flat as a pancake.” Their celebration and joking about Rachel Corrie’s death is utterly vile and reflects the culture of dehumanization inculcated into Israeli soldiers.
Ben Packer, the director and rabbi of “Heritage House,” hit back at some negative comments about the images, posting this response:
In honor of the all the hate messages from the anti-Israel/Jewish crowd, one of our supporters has pledged $5 towards Israeli settlements (maybe for additional bulldozers) for each additional comment. keep’em coming anti-semites! We love our Israeli soldiers and will not back down in the face of those who attempt to endanger them!
Packer added, “Anti-Israel activists are all in a tizzy about these pictures! makes them even funnier!!!”
The page also appeals for donations “to support our guests and ‘lone soldiers.’” Residents of the “Heritage House” settlement also take part in colonization activities in other parts of the occupied West Bank, including Hebron.
Alex Winston is the “den mother” of The Heritage House men’s dormitory. Alex Winston is a member of the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade.
(Update: The gallery was removed shortly after the publication of this post.)
The true face of the “IDF”
The Electronic Intifada also revealed images soldiers posted on the photo-sharing site Instagram of nudity, drug use and violence and most notoriously of a Palestinian child seen through the scope of a sniper’s rifle.
This week, the army began investigating a video posted online of Israeli soldiers frying a small bird alive, an act that had no purpose but gratuitous animal cruelty.
Israeli army attempts to halt social media scandals
The “Rachel Corrie pancakes” photos provide yet another window into the Israeli army’s culture of violence and come just as the occupation forces have tried to staunch the flow of embarrassing incidents on social media that have hurt its propaganda efforts.
The campaign, which includes this YouTube video, urges soldiers to “improve their image online.”
The voiceover in the video commands:
Soldier! Improve your appearance! Always remember: You are the face of the IDF. So improve your appearance – online!
The IDF is glad to invite you to get connected, share, love, tweet, respond, and show the pretty face of the IDF.
So go into the official pages and send us pictures, videoclips, and stories. The IDF on the Internet. One army, everybody’s face.
The “lone soldiers” at the Heritage House settler-colony have clearly not got the message.
With thanks to Dena Shunra for assistance with research and translation and Benjamin Doherty for assistance with research.
Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
The deeply disturbing Israel court ruling on Rachel Corrie
The wrongful death lawsuit for Rachel Corrie was not a solution, but rather a symptom of a broken system of accountability within Israel and the U.S. government, writes guest columnist Cindy Corrie.
By Cindy Corrie*
LAST month, in a deeply disturbing ruling, an Israeli court dismissed the civil lawsuit brought by my family against the state of Israel for the wrongful death of my daughter Rachel Corrie.
Born and raised in Olympia, Rachel was a human-rights defender and peace activist killed in 2003 by an armored Israeli military bulldozer as she stood for hours, visibly and nonviolently protesting the Israeli government’s policy of civilian home demolitions in Rafah, Gaza.
The home Rachel and her friends from the International Solidarity Movement defended was eventually demolished with hundreds more in mass-clearing operations to create a buffer along Gaza’s southern border.
Our lawsuit was not a solution, but rather a symptom of a broken system of accountability within Israel and our own U.S. government. Despite a promise from Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for a “thorough, credible, and transparent” investigation and repeated calls from the highest levels of our government for such an investigation to occur, there was no diplomatic resolution. According to the U.S. State Department, its calls “have gone unanswered or ignored.”
Court testimony also confirmed a credible investigation did not occur. Investigators failed to question key military witnesses, including those recording communications; failed to secure the military video, allowing it to be taken for nearly a week by senior commanders with only segments submitted to court; failed to address conflicting soldiers’ testimonies; and ignored damning statements in the military log confirming a “shoot to kill” order and command mentality to continue work in order not to create a precedent with activists.
I had no illusions about the uphill battle we faced in Israeli court, but as I sat with my family in a packed courtroom awaiting the verdict, I held hope that, like so many observing the trial, the judge would see that evidence warranted some criticism of the military’s actions.
The room was filled with human-rights observers, U.S. Embassy officials, family supporters and a throng of media. Judge Oded Gershon surveyed the scene before reading his decision. From the halting tone of my translator and friend, and audible groans around us, I knew it was bad.
He ruled that Rachel was killed as an act of war, which, according to Israeli law, absolves the military of responsibility. He added that she alone was to blame for her own killing and then went on to commend the military police for their professionalism in carrying out such a credible investigation. The courtroom heard the judge parrot the state prosecuting attorneys’ original claims in the case, nearly verbatim.
Condemnation of the verdict was swift and decisive, ranging from President Jimmy Carter to the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others, all pointing out the climate of impunity enjoyed by the Israeli military, as well as the court thumbing its nose at the Geneva Conventions.
The verdict sends a dangerous message for future protections of civilians and human-rights observers.
The outcry was humbling, but the verdict represents a very personal challenge. With 45 days to determine whether to appeal, I weigh heavily the toll this ongoing effort takes. Our nearly decadelong search for information and a modicum of justice has turned into a war of attrition — a state versus a family.
As problematic as the process has been, our family has had access to a legal system, a basic tenet of justice most Palestinians are denied. They struggle, far harder than we, for their day in court.
Their stories are shadowed by the unjust silence that too often accompanies the word “Palestinian.”
We have sought truth, but also changes in policies Rachel came to Gaza to oppose — brutal Israeli military actions often targeting civilian populations resulting in unlawful killings and destruction of property with impunity.
An Israeli colonel testified there are no civilians in war. Rachel was in Gaza because there are civilians there with rights to be protected. No army is above the law when it comes to protection of civilians under occupation or during armed conflict.
Rachel taught us that when governments fail to act, people must step forward. When atrocities are committed in our name, we must shine a spotlight on them.
Our family will determine the next critical steps with Rachel’s spirit surrounding us. Our journey continues, alongside those who, despite the odds, pursue equal rights and nonviolence, human rights, peace and justice for all in the region and world beyond.
*Cindy Corrie is the mother of Rachel Corrie and the president of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice based in Olympia.
A poem I wrote March 16, 2008
People get shot, Rachel spoke
I am afraid, she wrote
Want to Dance
I can’t believe
and so many of her remain
in the world
in her words
in our hearts
But today, with a lump in my throat
what paces in my thought
That strange phrase from a holy book
“they plan but God is the best of planners”
Nervously I ask it to slow down
explain yourself to a refugee spirit
what do you plan for the wretched souls
Why Hiam and Marwa?
Why Faris and Al-Durra?
And who is this divine?
In us all?
Do I learn something on this fifth anniversary
of death of another innocent
Is it misery and pain?
Love and action?
Questions or answers?
Or will all I am left with is that smell of the air of Palestine
and the soil, that soaked soil
that Rachel’s last breath took in
to give us the Spring
of our understanding.
Rachel’s mother: Clearing the Israeli army in this murder is a bad day for :my family, for human rights, and for humanity”
Video shows it was cold blooded murder
Jewish Voices for Peace deplores verdict
Worthewhile rereading Rachel’s letters
What has become of our nation? Netanyahu regime has destroyed our livelihood, dreams, values and future; turned Israel into racist, violent state by Yael Gvirtz
Two days ago, a Haifa court ruled that Corrie was responsible for her own death. That was a sad day for justice and for international law, and as her parents said; it should also be a sad day for Israel. It is the IDF’s duty, we must recall, among other things, to defend civilians in an occupied area. Even if the driver of the bulldozer and the soldier sitting next to him did not see Corrie, and did not deliberately run over her, as the court found, the IDF did not do enough to prevent her being killed.
Behold, Rachel, behold
The message from the Rachel Corrie verdict is clear: Israel doesn’t want people of conscience at a time when it is doing mischief. They are risking their lives.
The spring of 2003 was an atrocious spring. An intifada was raging in the streets of Israel; explosives were going off next to the Gaza-Egyptian border, along the Philadelphi Route, and in Rafah, bulldozers mowed down hundreds of Palestinian homes, many of them belonging to innocent people. A few months earlier, a young American woman had arrived in Rafah from Olympia, Washington.
Rachel Corrie had met a youth of Palestinian origin at her school and through him was exposed to the suffering of his people. At the age of 23, she decided to take some action. She joined the International Solidarity Movement and left for Gaza. During her first few weeks she witnessed the acts of the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza, reported them to her family and friends, and decided to act as a human shield.
At that same time, two British citizens also arrived in Gaza – Tom Hurndall, another peace activist, and James Miller, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who came to make a film about what was happening in Gaza. He called it “Death in Gaza.” Within a number of weeks, all three of them had been killed by the IDF.
Corrie was run over trying to save a house, with her own body, while a bulldozer tried to “expose” it. Miller was killed by a sniper when he came out of a house holding a white flag. After the first shot hit him, he still managed to shout out to the soldiers, “We are British journalists” – as can clearly be heard in the video filmed there in the dark; and then, in response, a second sniper shot was fired and killed him. Hurndall was killed while trying to serve as a human shield for a group of children that had entered an area where there was shoting. A British jury established that Miller had been murdered intentionally, but only the soldier who killed Hurndall was tried and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment, then released after six years. No one was tried for the killings of Corrie and Miller.
These three international activists were courageous people of conscience which any moral society would be proud of – shining examples of young people who are involved and care. While their friends spent their time at parties and doing nothing especially important, they came to the site of a humanitarian disaster. They did not endanger the soldiers of the IDF in any way but the army didn’t want them there. They got in the way of the army, in their attempt to prevent war crimes with their own bodies and to document them with their cameras. For those very same reasons that the IDF did not want them there, they had to be there.
Two days ago, a Haifa court ruled that Corrie was responsible for her own death. That was a sad day for justice and for international law, and as her parents said; it should also be a sad day for Israel. It is the IDF’s duty, we must recall, among other things, to defend civilians in an occupied area. Even if the driver of the bulldozer and the soldier sitting next to him did not see Corrie, and did not deliberately run over her, as the court found, the IDF did not do enough to prevent her being killed.
The spirit of the commander that could be sensed then (and now ) indicated that those volunteers must be chased away from the area. This ill wind also blew this week during the court ruling; its chill made its way to the solidarity movement and in this way indirectly sanctioned the killings.
Corrie has become an international icon. It’s a shame there aren’t more Israeli youngsters like her. Her organization is not pro-Israel – far from that – its members are often dogmatic but that is their prerogative. The least that can be expected from Israel after she was killed, intentionally or by accident, was to bring those involved to trial, at least for negligence, to apologize and to pay compensation. In the case of Miller, perhaps the most obvious case of intentional killing, Israel paid a huge sum in compensation but, as was said, no one was brought to trial.
This week, the judge in Haifa added his verdict to a long and embarrassing list of court rulings aimed at sanctioning almost every kind of improper act committed by the IDF. The message is clear: Israel doesn’t want people of conscience at a time when it is doing mischief. They are risking their lives.
And the message to the soldiers is: It is permitted to kill them; nothing bad will happen to you. When the IDF acts in this way, it is perhaps possible to understand it, but when the judicial system sanctions this, it is depravity. Behold, Rachel, behold – your death was not in vain. It at least revealed , once again, that the Israeli judicial system is a partner to the foul deeds.
From Vas …
Israeli court: U.S. activist Rachel Corrie’s death was an accident
Family of Corrie, who was crushed by an IDF bulldozer during a pro-Palestinian protest in Gaza in 2003, filed lawsuit in Haifa accusing Israel of intentionally killing their 23-year-old daughter.
The Haifa District Court rejected on Tuesday accusations that Israel was at fault over the death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a 2003 pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza.
Corrie’s family had accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter, launching a civil case in the northern Israeli city of Haifa after a military investigation had cleared the army of wrong-doing.
In a ruling read out to the court, judge Oded Gershon called Corrie’s death a “regrettable accident”, but said the state was not responsible because the incident had occurred during what he termed a war-time situation.
At the time of her death, during a Palestinian uprising, Corrie was protesting against Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
“I reject the suit,” the judge said. “There is no justification to demand the state pay any damages.”
He added that the soldiers had done their utmost to keep people away from the site. “She (Corrie) did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done.”
Corrie’s death made her a symbol of the uprising, and while her family battled through the courts to establish who was responsible for her killing, her story was dramatized on stage in a dozen countries and told in the book “Let Me Stand Alone.”
“I am hurt,” Corrie’s mother, Cindy, told reporters after the verdict was read.
Corrie came from Olympic, Washington and was a volunteer with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement.
Senior U.S. officials criticized the original military investigation into the case, saying it had been neither thorough nor credible. But the judge said the inquiry had been appropriate and pinned no blame on the army.
Rachel never died
By Aisha Aijaz
Rachel Corrie, beautiful soul, born in Olympia, Washington was no ordinary child, no ordinary 23 year old student and no ordinary human being. And people, who are extraordinary, never die. They live for ever in the hearts and minds of their followers. They give direction to many and because of them, hope never dies. Because of such crazy and courageous, the ugliness of injustices is exposed.
Her 5th grade speech ‘I am here because I care’ revealed no small dreams. At such a tender age, she talked of the oppressed, the poor and hungry and resolved to eradicate the ugly realities by the year 2000. As a student, she was different and wanted to explore the world especially after 9/11, year 2001. Ditching a beautiful and colourful American dream which she could have lived like many of her age, she travelled thousands of miles to Gaza to act as a human shield, where mercy and humanity is butchered every day and night, where men, women and children are murdered as a part of ethnic cleansing program, where houses are bulldozed, olive trees are cut, help including food and medicines from the rest of the world is denied and flotillas travelling to help humanity are attacked.
‘’Anyway, I’m rambling. Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I’m witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my co-workers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment! I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me.’’ (28.02.2003)
On the day she died (16.03.2003), she was 23, dressed in a fluorescent orange vest and with a megaphone in her hand she was trying to stop the demolition of a Palestinian home where she lived with the children who were considered family by her and vice versa. She was mercilessly crushed under a military Caterpillar bulldozer which came towards her, knocked her down, crushed her with its blade, backed up, and ran her over again and she died shortly afterwards. ’My back is broken’ were her last words.
What did she have in common with the Palestinian; faith, ethnicity, skin colour, language, social background? Absolutely nothing! What was common was humanity. She had eyes that could appreciate the truth, mind that wasn’t closed because of any bias, heart that would cry on injustice and brutality and a soul that would feel the pain of Nazi-style genocide.
“I think, although I’m not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere. An eight-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.)”
In 2003, Rachel’s news opened a new aspect of Palestinian cause to me. I learnt humanity existed above the boundaries of faith, ethnic origins and languages. I came to learn there are people on this earth who would risk their lives and everything for some other people despite absolutely no worldly strings attached between them. And it’s to date that I have explored a world that is cruel, unjust and merciless, but such people are a reason to live and resist. They give you direction, motivation and energy to challenge the ugly forces of the world.
For me Rachel Corrie is not the name of a person. It’s a phenomenon which embodies humanity, resistance, courage and craziness. Yes, she was as crazy as it needs to be to shake the world and stir the plans of the handful of unjust men ruling this world. And it’s this craziness and madness which is the ultimate requirement to challenge falsehood and malice. Human beings live and die, but phenomena, missions and ideas never die. They’re like beacons of light for generations to come. Rachel Corrie, an American, a peace activist and a trailblazer, will always be my hero.
“Love you. Really miss you. I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anaesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here’..”When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I’ve ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible. “I love you and Dad…” Email to parents ~ 27.02.2003
|Rachel Corrie (b. 1979) was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She went to occupied Gaza during the Second Intifada and joined protesters there. She died on 16th March, 2003.|
It is a sunless day
with light harsh on the dog tags of uniformed youths
and young Corrie’s watch-glass – with the sand running out.
It is she who is standing her ground
before a home to be flattened.
It belches into the blue
into suburban quiet,
and on plated tracks treads to
her on mound, erect, ten thousand miles from mother,
conspicuous from the cab.
She can see his face at the window
young soldier at the gears
hoping for a week-end pass
thinking of the girl in his pocket – the one his mother likes –
and of a larger future
with this woman in the way.
He’ll frighten her to make her move
with time to brake
and in the evening weep at his levity.
Or would he see her die
in duty’s line
all-pliant to Authority
and having served as soldiers must
shrug away responsibility?
Or is his an obscured view?
Now it’s one tread too late
the earth’s moving
and Corrie’s gone
then buried without box
on a demolition job.
Storied houses are razed
dust’s thick in the air
and when it’s clear – ground zero:
prostrate concrete, frenzy of wires,
a wilderness without distinction
except that Rachel’s there
raised in insurrection
her spirit risen
*Antony Johae, Ph.D. is British; he lives in Lebanon where he is writing freelance. Previously, he taught Literature in England, Ghana, Tunisia and Kuwait. “Rachel in Rafah, Gaza” comes from a recently completed collection entitled Poems of the East.
To Rachel with love – A Poem
By Zahra Pilavdzic
[From the point of view of Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) killed by an Israeli army bulldozer.]
First they came for the land
They come for the mothers
Bleeding women who clutch the air
They come for the fathers
Then they come for the tears..
I tried to stop them!
They came for me,
The flag I burned only yesterday!
They came for Palestine;
So foreign and menacing…
My blood: American!
The Rachel Corrie myth
Op-ed: Killed ‘peace activist’ one of the most powerful tools in anti-Israel propaganda campaign
yet Obama just keeps sending more…..
American Citizen Among Dead Flotilla Nine
Authorities from Istanbul and Washington have confirmed that one of the nine people killed during an Israeli commando raid on the Gaza flotilla this week was a United States citizen of Turkish descent.
As the funerals of Turkish citizens concluded today, June 3, 2010, the U.S. now faces a more complicated diplomatic position as the international community and the United Nations vent more frustration with Israel’s raid on the six ships’ foray trying to break a three-year-old naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Nine bodies accompanied hundreds of activists that had been under Israeli guard since the detention of the ships on Monday, as Israel quickly released all of the detainees in an effort to quell the fervor of growing angst over the raid and sent them home by airline.
Their efforts to rehabilitate the incident fell on deaf Turkish ears.
“Turkey will never forgive this attack,” President Abdullah Gul said on national television. “Turkish-Israeli relations can never be as before from now on.”
Although one of the dead has been identified as an American, senior official declined to publically identify him by name. Washington has confirmed that the victim was American. The Turkish press however has identified Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old, U.S. born citizen, who moved to Turkey after turning four.
Dogan’s brother, Mustafa, said his parent had given the young activist their blessing before leaving with the flotilla, according to the Turkish daily Zaman.
“We didn’t expect him to come back like this,” Mustafa said. “However, we were not sorry to hear that he fell like a martyr.”
According to another news agency, Dogan suffered a shot in the chest and four bullets fired into his head from close range.
On Thursday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement that all the activists had been deported besides those requiring additional medical help. In addition, one of the injureds wife and two more that have been held for documentation abnormalities.
The incident ignited early Monday morning when Israel sent its military commandos into international waters to stop the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid, including construction materials, toys and used clothes, to Gaza. The commandos boarded five ships without incident, but when they swooped in from helicopters onto the largest, the Mavi Marmara, soldiers opened fire when they said they were attacked by its passengers with chains, knives, bars and clubs.
Another American family that knows the pain issued a statement as well…..
“We are heart-sick and outraged about the brutal attack launched by the Israeli Military on the Free Gaza Movement’s flotilla of boats,” Cindy and Craig Corrie said in a statement.
“The boats were carrying civilian passengers and humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, and were clearly in international waters when this illegal attack occurred, in violation of international law,” they said.
The number of dead and injured are still unconfirmed, but lowest figures reported are nine killed and 34 injured. Israel has not released their names. Over 700 citizens from nearly 40 countries were on board.
Rachel Corrie’s family takes case to court in Israel
Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to protect Palestinian homes. Her family has been met with hostility while pursuing a civil suit after calling the investigation a ‘whitewash.’
Reporting from Haifa, Israel – The American parents sit stoically in a sky-lit courtroom, listening to testimony about how an Israeli military bulldozer crushed their daughter to death seven years ago.
Now her parents, calling an Israeli investigation that found no fault a “whitewash” and suspecting that the bulldozer driver deliberately ran over their daughter, are pursuing a civil lawsuit against the government. It opened this month in Haifa.
“We need to know what really happened,” said Cindy Corrie, mother of the 23-year-old college student from Olympia, Wash.
But it’s a cause that has been met in Israel with indifference or, more often, hostility.
When the Corries arrived for the trial opening, University of Haifa professor Steve Plaut called them a “two-person anti-Israel SWAT team.” On his website, the right-wing commentator likened Rachel Corrie to a Nazi sympathizer and accused her parents of exploiting the “suicide death of their clueless daughter” to launch a “pogrom” against Israel.
One newspaper columnist called Rachel Corrie a “propaganda treasure.” Most Israeli media have ignored the trial altogether.
On the streets outside the courtroom, there’s little sympathy. People point to the many Israelis who also have died, from suicide attacks and rockets.
Foreign activists “live in a bubble,” said Haifa student Yehuda Efraim, 26. “They romanticize reality. But they don’t live in our reality.”
Even in the U.S., pro-Israel activists sometimes picket the family’s public appearances. Last summer, opponents lobbied unsuccessfully to cancel Cindy Corrie’s participation in a panel at the San Francisco screening of the documentary “Rachel.” A New York production of the play “My Name Is Rachel Corrie” was delayed because of protests.
Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), who represents the Olympia area, said the family had been subjected to an ugly counter-campaign for pursuing their daughter’s case. He and others say it’s a pattern that’s increasingly common.
“Any questioning of Israel is met with hostility, no matter who asks the questions — a congressman, a journalist or even the president of the United States,” said Baird, adding that his support of the Corrie family had cost him campaign donations.
Mark Regev, an Israeli government spokesman, said much of the criticism in Israel is directed at the International Solidarity Movement, the pro-Palestinian protest group with which Rachel Corrie worked.
“It’s more about ISM, not about her,” he said. “The idea that they would send young activists into ground zero of a war zone is criminally reprehensible. But of course, no one is taking them to trial.”
In fact, some of the Israeli hostility toward the case may reflect how Palestinians have embraced the young woman as a hero. They dedicated a street in her name. Her parents started a foundation to support Palestinian causes.
Baird compared her courage to that of the Tiananmen Square protester who faced down a Chinese tank in 1989.
Many thought Corrie’s death would be settled out of court, given the close U.S.-Israeli relations and disturbing circumstances. But diplomatic efforts to resolve the case failed and Israel’s government insists that it bears no responsibility. An internal military inquiry concluded that the driver did not see Corrie and that the young woman should never have put herself in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Corries accuse the Israeli government of stonewalling their case. The full military report, including video evidence, has never been publicly released, they say. This month, they learned that an Israeli autopsy doctor took tissue samples from Corrie’s body without authorization and then lost track of them.
U.S. officials had to intervene when the Israeli government refused to allow key witnesses to enter the country to testify, officials said. Last week, the family learned that legal proceedings might be delayed until next year.
“Our family never wanted to file a lawsuit,” said Sarah Corrie Simpson, Rachel’s sister. “But we need some level of accountability taken by the Israeli government for what happened to Rachel.”
Family members say Israel has never apologized. Shortly after the incident, an Israeli consul in the U.S. phoned the family and offered condolences, Cindy Corrie said. A few days later, he called to retract them, clarifying that he was speaking only personally.
For Cindy Corrie, the hardest part has been the vilification of her daughter by critics who often portray the woman as an anti-Semitic supporter of violence.
Simpson, who first learned about her sister’s death from a television news ticker, said the family tries to take the verbal attacks in stride. “My sister being killed is the worst pain you could ever give to this family,” she said. “Everything else that is said or done just pales in comparison.”
In Her memory and all fallen victims of Israel’s crimes,
light the flame of freedom, boycott Israel, end apartheid!
Her name is Palestinian
Her dress and sorrow Palestinian
Her kerchief, her feet and body Palestinian
Her words and silence Palestinian
Her voice Palestinian
Her birth and her death Palestinian
The ceremony was attended by Palestinian anti-fence protesters as well as members of the International Solidarity Movement, the organization to which Rachel Corrie belonged.
Later on Tuesday, Rachel Corrie’s parents were in Haifa to watch a biographical play about their daughter on the seventh anniversary of her death.
The Corries were joined by dozens of others taking in the performance that tells the story of the young American woman who chose to disengage from her quiet life in the town of Olympia, Washington and travel to the southern Gaza Strip as a human rights activist.
Corrie died on March 16, 2003 after she was trampled by an IDF bulldozer. Her family is in Israel to sue the state and the IDF over her death.
The play, which is based on Rachel’s diary entries and e-mails she wrote since she was 10 years old, was first staged in London in 2005.
The director of the play, Riad Masarwa, saw the London production and afterward contacted the rights holders, edited the script, and staged an Arab-language version of the play in 2007.
“This is a personal story and a tragedy of a young girl who presented a challenge before each and every one of us,” the director said yesterday. “Particularly among the Palestinian people and the Arab world.”
Cindy Corrie, who noted that the play has already been staged in many countries, including the United States, said she found comfort in the fact that her daughter’s memory is being kept alive by means of words she herself wrote.
Autopsy doctor admits to violating court order in Rachel Corrie autopsy
|Today 14 March 2010 the Haifa District Court saw the second full day of testimony in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel Corrie, an American human rights defender from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer. She had been nonviolently demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions with fellow members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct action methods and principles.
In today’s hearing:
Today’s hearing also included the conclusion of Tom Dale’s testimony, a fellow ISM activist and eyewitness to Rachel’s killing.
Today’s hearing was attended by several observers, including Andrew Parker, the U.S. Embassy Consul General and human rights representatives, including Lawyers without Borders, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).
Testimony will continue on March 15 from 9am-1pm, and on March 17 from 9am-4pm.
Rachel Corrie Foundation
Eye witness testifies: Israeli military investigator tried to influence my statement
Today, March 15, 2010, the Haifa District Court saw the third day of testimony in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer. She had been nonviolently demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions with fellow members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct action methods and principles. Today’s only testimony came from British citizen Alice Coy, a nurse, who was an eyewitness to the killing. The state spent most of the day trying to establish that contrary to all eyewitness accounts and human rights reports, the Israeli Military had no intention of demolishing homes in the area on the day Rachel was killed.
Ms. Coy testified that:
– She first visited Israel in order visit Israeli family members.
– When the Israeli Military interviewed her on April 1st about Rachel’s killing, the soldier who documented her testimony refused to record her statement that she believed the bulldozers were going to destroy civilian homes.
– She believed the Israeli Military was planning to demolish homes on the day Rachel was killed because the Israeli Military had been demolishing homes on the Philadelphi Corridor in the days and weeks prior, and because they had already begun to demolish a house earlier that day by damaging its porch.
– She had spoken with many Palestinian families in the area where Rachel was killed whose homes had been demolished by the Israeli Military.
– She believed the bulldozer driver who killed Rachel could see her.
– She described her view of her work with ISM as promoting peace for the whole region.
The home Rachel Corrie was protecting, that of Dr. Samir Nasrallah, was in fact demolished by the Israeli Military later that year.
According to an October, 2004 Human Rights Watch report, Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip (http://www.hrw.org/en/node/11963/section/11), between 2000 and 2004, the Israeli Military demolished over 2,500 Palestinian houses in Gaza, nearly two thirds of which were located in Rafah, resulting in more than 16,000 people – over 10% of Rafah’s population – losing their homes. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, in its 2004 report Through No Fault of their Own, found that contrary to Israel’s claim that prior warning is given before a home is demolished, occupants were given prior notification in a mere 3% of the cases.
The Human Rights’ Watch report further documented that most of the destruction in Rafah occurred along the Israeli-controlled border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt known as the Philadelphi Corridor, the area where Rachel was killed. During regular nighttime raids and with little or no warning, Israeli forces used armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to raze blocks of homes, incrementally expanding a “buffer zone” that is currently up to three hundred meters wide.The pattern of destruction strongly suggests that Israeli forces demolished homes wholesale, regardless of whether they posed a specific threat, in stark violation of international law.
The trial will resume on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, at 9 a.m. at the district court in Haifa.
Following the letter from Rachel’s parents is a video bringing you up to date with the situation….
As many of you know, a civil lawsuit in the case of our daughter
Rachel Corrie is scheduled for trial in the Haifa District Court
beginning March 10, 2010. A human rights observer and activist, Rachel,
23, tried nonviolently to offer protection for a Palestinian family
whose home was threatened with demolition by the Israeli military. On
March 16, 2003, she was crushed to death by an Israel Defense Force
(IDF) Caterpillar D9R bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza.
justice for our daughter and sister. We hope this trial will illustrate
the need for accountability for thousands of lives lost, or indelibly
injured, by occupation—in a besieged and beleaguered Gaza and
throughout Palestine/Israel; bring attention to the assault on
nonviolent human rights activists (Palestinian, Israeli, and
international); and underscore the fact that so many Palestinian
families, harmed as deeply as ours, cannot access Israeli courts.
Download this letter: Call To Action: Corrie Trial in Israel
(pdf, 89.03 KB)
possible, we are asking for large-scale participation in the trial
itself as well as in the events surrounding it. We hope you will join
us for all or some of the events listed below and help us to put the
call out to others.
9:00-16:00 – Trial Begins in the Haifa District Court (12 Palyam St.
A strong presence of human rights observers, legal observers, and
others on the first day of the trial will send the message that this
case is being closely monitored and that truth, accountability and
justice matter to us all. Other trial dates are: March 14, 15, 17, 21,
22 and 24. Supportive presence at all court sessions is both welcome
13:00-15:00 – Film Screening at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque (2 Shprinzak
St. Tel Aviv)
Screening of the documentary film RACHEL followed by a Q&A with
filmmaker Simone Bitton and the Corrie family. RACHEL is a cinematic
inquiry into Rachel’s killing. It raises many of the questions that
should be asked and addressed during the trial.
TUESDAY, MARCH 16
20:00-22:00 – Memorial; Location TBA
March 16th marks the seven-year anniversary of Rachel’s killing. We
hope to mark this day as a “Day of Conscience” with a large gathering
that calls for truth, accountability and justice, in Rachel’s case and
beyond. There will also be events in Gaza (at the Rachel Corrie
Children and Youth Cultural Center in Rafah), possibly in the West Bank
(TBA), and around the world.
you and your group/community can be visible/audible on March 16.
We expect this to be a challenging time, but we know the friendship
we have felt from so many of you over the years will help us navigate
the weeks ahead. Though the course and outcome of the trial are
unknown, we welcome the opportunity to raise and highlight many of the
critical issues to which Rachel’s case is linked. Thank you for your
Cindy & Craig Corrie
British activist saw Rachel Corrie die under Israeli bulldozer, court hears
Richard Purssell describes ‘shocking event’ in Haifa court on first day of civil suit brought by Corrie family against Israel
Richard Purssell, who was also a volunteer activist in Rafah at the time, seven years ago, described the “shocking and dramatic event” in an Israeli court in Haifa on the first day of a civil suit brought by Corrie’s family against the Israeli state.
Twenty-three-year-old Corrie, from Olympia, Washington, in the US, went to Gaza for peace activism reasons at a time when there was intense conflict between the Israeli military and the Palestinians.
The Corrie family lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, said he would argue that her death was due either to gross negligence by the Israeli military or that it was intended. If the Israeli state were found responsible, the family would press for damages.
Purssell, a Briton, now working as a landscape gardener, said he volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to witness events in the occupied Palestinian territories for himself. In Rafah he had been hoping to prevent the Israeli military from demolishing Palestinian homes. The organisation was strictly non violent, he said. “Our role was to support Palestinian non-violent resistance.”
On the day of her death, 16 March 2003, Corrie was with seven other activists, including Purssell, in Rafah, close to the Israeli-guarded border with Egypt. They saw an Israeli military armoured Caterpillar D9 bulldozer approaching the house of a Palestinian doctor.
Purssell described how the bulldozer approached at a fast walking pace, its blade down and gathering a pile of soil in its path. When the bulldozer was 20 metres from the house Corrie, who like the others was wearing an orange fluorescent jacket, climbed on to the soil in front of it and stood “looking into the cab of the bulldozer”.
“The bulldozer continued to move forward,” Purssell said. “Rachel turned to come back down the slope. The earth is still moving and as she nears the bottom of the pile something happened which causes her to fall forward. The bulldozer continued to move forward and Rachel disappeared from view under the moving earth.”
The bulldozer continued forward four metres as the activists began to run forward and shout at the driver.
“It passed the point where Rachel fell, it stopped and reversed back along the track it first made. Rachel was lying on the earth,” Purssell said. “She was still breathing.” Corrie was severely injured and died shortly afterwards.
The Israeli military says it bears no responsibility for Corrie’s death. A month after her death the military said an investigation had determined its troops were not to blame; the driver of the bulldozer had not seen her and had not intentionally run her over. It accused Corrie and the ISM of behaviour that was “illegal, irresponsible and dangerous”.
Hussein will argue at the Haifa district court that witness evidence shows that the soldiers did see Corrie at the scene, with other activists well before the incident, and that they could have arrested her or removed her from the area before there was any risk of injury.
Before the hearing began, Craig Corrie, Rachel’s father, said the family had been on a “seven-year search for justice in Rachel’s name”. He added: “I think when the truth comes out about Rachel the truth will not wound Israel, the truth is the start of making us heal.”
Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s mother, said the family was still waiting for the credible, transparent investigation Israel first promised regarding her daughter’s death. “I just want to say to Rachel that our family is here today trying to just do right by her and I hope that she will be very proud of the effort we are making,” she said. She said the family had met the staff of US vice-president Joe Biden on Tuesday to talk about the case.
Three other witnesses, two more Britons and an American, who were all at the scene in Rafah when Corrie was killed will give evidence at the Israeli court. It is not clear if any Israeli military officials will speak.
The hearing is scheduled to run for at least two weeks.
Source (including video)
Rachel Corrie Family Finally Puts Israel in Dock
By Jonathan Cook
|Seven years after Rachel Corrie, a US peace activist, was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza, her family was to put the Israeli government in the dock today.
A judge in the northern Israeli city of Haifa was due to be presented with evidence that 23-year-old Corrie was killed unlawfully as she stood in the path of the bulldozer, trying to prevent it from demolishing Palestinian homes in Rafah.
Corrie’s parents, Craig and Cindy, who arrived in Israel on Saturday, said they hoped their civil action would shed new light on their daughter’s killing and finally lead to Israel’s being held responsible for her death. They are also seeking damages that could amount to millions of dollars if the court finds in their favour.
An internal army investigation was closed shortly after Corrie’s death, exonerating both the bulldozer driver and the commanders who oversaw the operation.
Three Britons and one US citizen, who were standing close to Corrie when she was killed, are expected to challenge Israel’s version of events, arguing that the bulldozer driver knew Corrie was there when he ran her over.
The Israeli government had sought to block the activists from entering Israel for the hearing but finally relented three weeks ago, when Britain and the US exerted strong pressure.
The four, like Corrie, belonged to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which brings activists to Israel to resist the occupation non-violently alongside Palestinians.
Cindy Corrie, from Olympia, Washington, said: “My family and I are still searching for justice. The brutal death of my daughter should never have happened. We believe the Israeli army must be held accountable for her unlawful killing.”
For many observers, Rachel Corrie’s death in March 2003 rapidly came to symbolise the injustices of Israel’s occupation. Diary entries, many of them written while she was living with Palestinian families, were adapted into a play that has been performed around the world.
However, as one Israeli commentator noted in the liberal daily newspaper Haaretz on the first anniversary of her death: “In Israel, her name has been all but forgotten.”
Corrie’s family hopes the court case will rectify that.
Rachel, a film released last year about her life and the events in Rafah, is due to be screened in Tel Aviv on March 16, on the seventh anniversary of her death and in the midst of the legal proceedings.
Until the court case in Haifa, the Corrie family had run into a series of administrative and legal brick walls in trying to get their daughter’s death independently investigated and to hold those responsible to account.
Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister at the time of Corrie’s death, promised a “thorough, credible and transparent investigation” would be conducted.
But an internal military inquiry clearing the two soldiers operating the bulldozer was widely criticised, including by US officials. Human Rights Watch said it “fell far short of the transparency, impartiality and thoroughness required by international law”.
The army’s report claimed that Corrie had been “hidden from view” behind a mound of earth and that the bulldozer had never come into contact with her. It concluded that “Corrie was struck by dirt and a slab of concrete” as earth slipped on top of her.
The four former ISM activists due to appear in court this week have been told not to comment before giving their testimonies.
But previous witness statements, backed by photographic evidence, have questioned the army’s account. Photographs show Corrie, wearing an orange fluorescent jacket and holding a megaphone, confronting the bulldozer over several hours. They also show the bulldozer’s track marks over Corrie’s body moments after she was crushed.
Tom Dale, a British activist who was next to Corrie when she was killed, wrote two days later that she had climbed on top of a mound of earth as activists nearby shouted at the bulldozer driver to stop.
The bulldozer, he wrote, “pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit. They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time.”
In 2007 a US court denied the Corrie family the right to sue the Caterpillar company, which supplies the Israeli army with the special D-9 bulldozers that killed their daughter and that Israel regularly uses to demolish Palestinian homes.
This week’s hearing is the outcome of a private lawsuit filed by the Corries in March 2005, at the suggestion of the US state department.
Mrs Corrie said: “We hope this trial will also illustrate the need for accountability for thousands of lives lost, or indelibly injured, by the Israeli occupation and bring attention to the assault on non-violent human-rights defenders.”
Mr Corrie added that the family had had to endure “lies and misrepresentations” about the circumstances of their daughter’s death. The family also accused Israel of resorting to procedural delays to drag the case out.
Although Israel has agreed to let in the four ISM witnesses, it has refused to allow Ahmed Abu Nakira, a doctor in Gaza who treated Corrie, to attend the hearing or to be questioned over a video link.
The lawsuit accuses the Israeli government of being responsible either for Corrie’s intentional killing or for the negligent conduct of its soldiers towards unarmed demonstrators.
Israel claims it is not liable because the army’s actions were “acts of war” and because Corrie recklessly endangered herself.
Around the time Corrie was killed, three Britons — Iain Hook, Tom Hurndall and James Millar — were fatally shot by Israeli soldiers. Only in the case of Hurndall, another ISM volunteer who was shot in Rafah a month after Corrie, did an investigation lead to a soldier being found guilty and jailed.
Hussein Abu Hussein, the Corrie family’s lawyer, said they were seeking $324,000 compensation for specific costs related to Corrie’s death, including the funeral, legal expenses and flights. In addition, the family will ask for general compensation for their suffering and Rachel’s loss of earnings, and punitive damages from the state.
In recent weeks the ISM’s office in the West Bank has been raided several times by the Israeli army, with computers and documents taken.
Mr Abu Hussein said he would be arguing in court that the D-9’s manual specifically states that work must not be carried out with civilians nearby, and that the state ignored a judicial decision that a US embassy representative be present at Corrie’s autopsy.
Also view this short video….
Call to Action: Corrie Trial in Israel, March 10-24, 2009
As many of you know, a civil lawsuit in the case of our daughter Rachel Corrie is scheduled for trial in the Haifa District Court beginning March 10, 2010. A human rights observer and activist, Rachel, 23, tried nonviolently to offer protection for a Palestinian family whose home was threatened with demolition by the Israeli military. On March 16, 2003, she was crushed to death by an Israel Defense Force (IDF) Caterpillar D9R bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza.
The lawsuit is one piece of our family’s seven-year effort to pursue justice for our daughter and sister. We hope this trial will illustrate the need for accountability for thousands of lives lost, or indelibly injured, by occupation—in a besieged and beleaguered Gaza and throughout Palestine/Israel; bring attention to the assault on nonviolent human rights activists (Palestinian, Israeli, and international); and underscore the fact that so many Palestinian families, harmed as deeply as ours, cannot access Israeli courts.
In order to deliver these interconnected messages as effectively as possible, we are asking for large-scale participation in the trial itself as well as in the events surrounding it. We hope you will join us for all or some of the events listed below and help us to put the call out to others.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10
9:00-16:00 – Trial Begins in the Haifa District Court (12 Palyam St. Haifa)
A strong presence of human rights observers, legal observers, and others on the first day of the trial will send the message that this case is being closely monitored and that truth, accountability and justice matter to us all. Other trial dates are: March 14, 15, 17, 21, 22 and 24. Supportive presence at all court sessions is both welcome and needed!
FRIDAY, MARCH 12
13:00-15:00 – Film Screening at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque (2 Shprinzak St. Tel Aviv)
Screening of the documentary film RACHEL followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Simone Bitton and the Corrie family. RACHEL is a cinematic inquiry into Rachel’s killing. It raises many of the questions that should be asked and addressed during the trial.
TUESDAY, MARCH 16
20:00-22:00 – Memorial; Location TBA
March 16th marks the seven-year anniversary of Rachel’s killing. We hope to mark this day as a “Day of Conscience” with a large gathering that calls for truth, accountability and justice, in Rachel’s case and beyond. There will also be events in Gaza (at the Rachel Corrie Children and Youth Cultural Center in Rafah), possibly in the West Bank (TBA), and around the world.
If you are not with us in Palestine/Israel, please think about how you and your group/community can be visible/audible on March 16.
We expect this to be a challenging time, but we know the friendship we have felt from so many of you over the years will help us navigate the weeks ahead. Though the course and outcome of the trial are unknown, we welcome the opportunity to raise and highlight many of the critical issues to which Rachel’s case is linked. Thank you for your continuing support.
In solidarity and with much appreciation,
Cindy & Craig Corrie
The city of Haifa is still recovering from the trauma of the summer of 2006, when it, along with the rest of northern Israel, was targeted by thousands of Katyusha rockets, fired from southern Lebanon by Hizbullah terrorists. Haifa has also been targeted by several suicide bombers who carried out mass murders against civilians in buses and restaurants.
Now Haifa is about to become the victim of yet another indignity. It is to be the scene for a legal assault by the parents of Rachel Corrie.
Rachel Corrie, you may recall, was a clueless American-flag-burning undergraduate from Evergreen State College in Washington. Urged on by her radical professors, she decided to join the missions organized by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She and her comrades were sent off to the “occupied territories” to assist Palestinian terrorist groups.
ISM openly endorses Palestinian “armed struggle” against Israel – which in realistic terms means terrorism against Jews. It was the goal of Corrie and her friends to stop Israeli anti-terror operations – an act that by its very implication would have made it easier for Hamas and its clones to murder Israeli civilians.
Members of ISM are foolishly allowed by the Israeli government to enter the country, where they often serve as human shields for terrorists. In at least one case, weapons hidden on behalf of terrorists were discovered in ISM offices. In another notorious example of collaboration, two British Muslim terrorists blew up the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2003, killing three Israelis and wounding 50. The terrorists had just before this been hosted by ISM members and they pretended to be in the country to lay wreaths on the grave of – who else? – Rachel Corrie.
Shortly before that attack, on March 16, 2003, young Rachel was part of a group of ISM activists who were attempting to prevent an Israeli earth-mover from demolishing a home sitting atop a Hamas smuggling tunnel in Rafiah. Corrie knelt down in front of the Israeli military bulldozer. The driver insists he would have stopped had she been visible.
Corrie died after being taken away for care in a Palestinian medical facility, possibly from medical incompetence. Her behavior that day in Gaza resembled that of a teenager playing chicken with vehicles on the New Jersey Turnpike in the dark.
Corrie has since become a sort of Mother Teresa for the radical left and apologists for Islamofascism. She is the martyr saint of the pro-terror lobby and is even celebrated by Klansman David Duke.
When Reuters reported that Gaza Palestinians “honored” Rachel after her death in a “symbolic funeral” by flying U.S. flags, the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto wryly remarked that if Corrie were still alive, she’d no doubt have burned those flags.
The columnist Dennis Prager wrote: ” grieve for Rachel Corrie’s parents, but spare us the hagiography. Rachel Corrie died fighting for the International Solidarity Movement dedicated, in its own words, to ‘armed struggle’ against Israel. She ended up being a useful idiot for, and one more victim of, Palestinian terror.”
Corrie’s death quickly became the focus of an anti-Israel propaganda passion play titled “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” which has been staged in London and other cities. Attempts to stage it in New York City at the New York Theatre Workshop failed in the face of public opposition, but it later ran for a while at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village.
Since Corrie’s death, her parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, have traveled the planet as a two-person anti-Israel propaganda SWAT team. Not content with mourning their daughter’s tragic death, which resulted from her own foolhardiness, the Corries have devoted themselves to demonizing Israel and supporting Israel’s enemies. They made a special pilgrimage to Yasir Arafat in September 2003 to present him with a large poster of their “martyred” daughter.
The Corries blame Israel for their daughter’s death. But as Israel’s Ynetnews service reported, “An IDF investigation determined that the soldiers were not to blame and said the driver of the bulldozer had not seen her and did not intentionally run her over. The army accused Corrie and the International Solidarity Movement of ‘illegal, irresponsible and dangerous’ behavior.”
Nevertheless, the Corries run the Rachel Corrie Foundation, which disseminates anti-Israel political propaganda. And they share their daughter’s enthusiasm for Hamas “resistance.”
The Corries claim Rachel was just an innocent peace protester, doing nothing more than showing her concern for the human rights of Palestinian civilians. But even the ferociously anti-Israel British newspaper the Guardian confirmed (February 23, 2010) that Corrie was serving as a human shield for terrorists.
The Corries are now suing the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces in Israeli court. They and their Arab lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, a radical activist (involved in the movement for a world boycott of Israel), filed a civil suit in Haifa court and the first hearing is scheduled for March 10.
The Corries are also suing the Caterpillar company because it sold the bulldozer to Israel that injured their daughter. They are trying to get terror supporters from around the world to boycott the Caterpillar company for the crime of selling bulldozers, some of which are used to fight terror, to Israel. Corrie supporters regularly show up at Caterpillar stockholder meetings to demand that it boycott Israel.
Ironically, the Corries were themselves briefly kidnapped in Gaza by Hamas terrorists in January 2006, when they were in town to show the local jihadis their support. The Jerusalem Post, the British Daily Telegraph and other media outlets reported the incident. Here’s how MSNBC described it:
Palestinian gunmen burst into a Rafah house early Wednesday and tried to kidnap the parents of Rachel Corrie, who was killed in 2003 as she protested the impending demolition of a house in the southern Gaza town, according to a witness.
The five gunmen appeared to be affiliated with the Fatah movement, according to Samir Nasrallah, the Corries’ host. The gunmen eventually relented after being told who their targets were, he said.
According to the Telegraph, “The gunmen wanted to kidnap the couple as bargaining chips to secure the release of a militia leader, Alaa al-Hams, arrested on suspicion of ordering the kidnap of the British human rights activist Kate Burton and her parents .”
The Corries later issued a statement in which they denied they had been kidnapped at all. They had just been hosted at gunpoint. But the simple truth is that the Corries were released once the terrorists realized they were a far more valuable asset for Hamas if they were running around free.
That might have been a marvelous opportunity for the Corries to learn firsthand just what Palestinian terrorism is all about and just why Israel needs to fight terrorism with a variety of means at its disposal, including bulldozers. But it wasn’t to be. The Corries went right on churning out their anti-Israel propaganda, much of it carried on anti-Semitic and pro-jihad websites.
Meanwhile, ISM has a track record of using Israeli courts whenever one of its human shields gets injured or arrested.
In one well publicized case, an ISM volunteer named Tom Hurndall from the UK was injured in the head while he was serving as a human shield for terrorists engaged in a firefight with IDF troops. It turned out Hurndall was shot by an Israeli Bedouin Arab soldier (a fact the anti-Israel British media ignored in their coverage of the case). The heroic Bedouin was returning fire at Hamas terrorists shooting at Israelis. Hurndall’s family sued Israel in Israeli court. So did Orange County ISM activist and lawyer Radhika Sainath.
And now the Corries are coming to Haifa to continue their daughter’s war of aggression against Israel. They are suing Israel as a way to try to revise in court the facts surrounding their daughter’s death. I am hoping some Im Tirtzu students show up with photos of all the Jewish women named Rachel who were murdered by the terrorists the Corries support.
In the name of the embattled citizens of Haifa, I would like to offer the Corries an appropriate welcome to our city, in the form of the following letter:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Corrie,
You are coming to our lovely town to sue Israel, claiming that your daughter was “killed by an Israeli bulldozer.” But you neglect to mention the circumstances under which she was so killed (nor the fact that she died from her injuries while under Palestinian medical care).
You have stated, “She had been working in Rafah with a nonviolent resistance organization, the International Solidarity Movement, trying to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes and wells.”
Homes and wells, huh?
Well, she was not. Rachel was trying to prevent the demolition of tunnels used to smuggle weapons for Palestinian terrorists seeking to murder Jewish civilians. ISM openly endorses Palestinian “armed struggle” against Jewish children and civilians and openly collaborates with terrorists. It has hidden wanted terrorists and their weapons in its offices. It is an accomplice in murder. Lying is not the best way to drum up sympathy for your daughter.
You say your daughter died trying to protect an “innocent house.” Again, this is not the truth. That “innocent house” was camouflage for a not-so-innocent terrorist smuggling tunnel, and the residents of that innocent house knew all about the tunnel.
Your daughter was in a war zone as a belligerent, on behalf of a movement of Arab fascists seeking to destroy Israel and murder as many Jews as possible. Your daughter died while interfering with an anti-terror operation carried out by soldiers in a land in which she had no business being at all.
You demand that we feel your pain at the loss of your daughter, yet your daughter conscripted herself as an accomplice for those seeking to murder my children. You feel no pain for the scores of martyrs in my own city of Haifa murdered by those same terrorists.
Your daughter put herself in harm’s way by challenging a large bulldozer and positioning herself where the operator could not see her. You know quite well that the bulldozer operator was not seeking to harm her.
You have written, “We had not understood the devastating nature of the Palestinians’ situation.” Of course, you have never expressed any interest in the devastating nature of the Jews’ situation. The Jews have been battling Arab fascism and genocidal terrorism for a hundred years, before, during, and after the Nazi Holocaust of six million Jews. Your daughter was helping those who perpetrate Nazi-like atrocities against randomly selected Jews.
You smugly praise the propaganda play about your daughter,which ignored all the other Rachels – the Jewish victims of terror in Israel who were murdered by genocidal terrorists.
Your daughter, and apparently you as well, never had any understanding of the Middle East conflict. The Middle East conflict is not about the right to self-determination of Palestinian Arabs, but rather about the right to self-determination of Israeli Jews.
For a century the Arabs have attempted to block any expression of Jewish self-determination, using violence, armed aggression, and terrorism. The Arabs today control 22 countries and territory nearly twice the size of the United States. They refuse to share even a fraction of one percent of the Middle East with Jews, even in a territory smaller than New Jersey.
The Arab countries invented the Palestinian people and their “plight” as a propaganda ploy in imitation of the German campaign on behalf of Sudeten self-determination in the 1930s. Just as the struggle for “Sudeten liberation” was nothing more than a fig leaf for the German aggression aimed at annihilating Czechoslovakia, so the struggle for “Palestinian liberation” is nothing more than cover for a jihad to destroy Israel and its population.
Your write, “Clearly, our daughter has become a positive symbol for people.”
I am afraid you are mistaken. Your daughter has become a symbol for dangerous foolhardiness. She essentially committed suicide as an empty gesture to assist murderers and terrorists.
You want the world to mourn for your daughter, who died while working with monsters out to murder our children. On the pages of anti-Semitic propaganda web magazines you denounce Israel, but you do not have a single word of sympathy for the families of the thousands of innocent Israeli victims of the terrorists with whom your daughter chose to ally herself.
On behalf of the citizens of Haifa, all of whom your daughter’s Hamas friends are trying to murder,
Read what my Sister at Irish 4 Palestine had to say about the above HERE
Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in Court
On March 10, in the Israeli city of Haifa, American peace activist Rachel Corrie will get her day in court. Rachel’s parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, are bringing suit against the Israeli defence ministry for Rachel’s killing by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza in March 2003.
Four key American and British witnesses who were present at the scene – members of the International Solidarity Movement – will be allowed into Israel to testify, despite having been barred previously by the Israeli authorities from entering the country. This reversal by the Israeli authorities is apparently due to U.S. government pressure, the Guardian reports. (Three cheers for any U.S. officials who contributed to this pressure. What else could you make the Israeli government do?)
A Palestinian doctor from Gaza who treated Corrie after she was injured has not been given permission by the Israeli authorities to leave Gaza to attend. (This would seem to be important testimony concerning the nature of Rachel’s injuries – did U.S. officials exert pressure for his appearance?)
This case isn’t just about accountability for Rachel’s death. It’s a test case for the power of the rule of law in Israel, when the rule of law comes into conflict with the policies of military occupation.
When the rule of law in Israel comes into conflict with the policies of occupation, the rule of law often loses. But it does not always lose, particularly when the rule of law gets a boost from vigorous protest and political agitation. This month, Reuters reported, Israel began rerouting part of its “West Bank barrier” near the village of Bilin – the site of many Palestinian, Israeli, and international protests – in response to a petition filed in 2007 by Palestinians whose land was confiscated for the project. This was only a partial victory, because it only affected a minority of the confiscated land. But it shows that the rule of law in Israel is not totally impotent against the occupation, particularly when the rule of law is aided by protest and agitation.
It’s also a test case for the power of nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. It’s a commonplace among some poorly informed commenters – Edith Garwood of Amnesty International cites Bono, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and President Obama as recent examples – that Palestinians should “find their Martin Luther King.” But this commentary is foolish and retrograde, as Rahm Emanuel might say. A necessary condition for the ascendance of a King or Gandhi -type movement in Palestine is that if Palestinian nonviolence activists are killed by the Israeli occupation, the government of Israel pays a significant price for that killing. If the Israeli government can kill an American peace activist and pay little price, what chance do the Palestinian Kings and Gandhis have?
It’s instructive to do a press search on the recent developments in the Rachel Corrie case. Searching on Yahoo News, I found Israeli and Palestinian press, Jewish and Arab press, British and Australian press. But outside of the Seattle Weekly – Rachel is from Olympia, and Brian Baird is her Representative – I found no general US press. Isn’t it remarkable that we Americans have to read the British press to find out about developments in the case of our compatriot? Isn’t this state of affairs something that Bono, Nicholas Kristof and President Obama ought to reflect on, especially given the fact that they have significant ability to do something about it?
The persistence of Rachel’s case as a thorn in the side of the Israeli occupation authorities recalls the 1960s Costa-Gavras docudrama “Z,” about the political fallout from the assassination by the U.S. – supported Greek government of the Greek parliamentarian and peace movement leader Gregoris Lambrakis. There is a powerful scene in the movie in which one of Lambrakis’ associates visits Lambrakis’ widow to deliver the news that four high-ranking military police officers have been indicted in the killing. On the way to meet her Lambrakis’ associate passes a group of Greek students painting the letter “Z” on the sidewalk, meaning “he (Lambrakis) lives.” Marveling at the students’ determined activism in the face of mounting repression, Lambrakis’ associate says, “It’s almost as if he were alive.”
They murdered her, and yet she dogs them. It’s almost as if she were alive.
Originally appeared AT