Israeli court rebuffs case of slain U.S. activist Rachel Corrie

Coming almost a decade after her death beneath the tracks of an armored Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip, the verdict in the Rachel Corrie case was the farthest thing from a surprise. By the time Israeli judge Oded Gershon gathered his robes about him and took his seat in an airy Haifa courtroom Tuesday morning, the trajectory of the proceedings had emerged across 15 court sessions stretched over two and a half years. On the day of judgment, as during the trial, His Honor stood with the Israel Defense Forces. Israelis overwhelmingly do.

“I reject the suit,” Gerhson said. “There is no justification the state pay any damages.”

What followed in the hallway outside moments later was more illuminating than most of what transpired in almost all of the testimony. As camera operators jostled for position, attorneys for the state spoke first — but only in Hebrew. The Corries’ lawyer followed in English, then Arabic, and finally in Hebrew. Everyone knew their audience, and where they could get a hearing.

The wonder is that the Corries sought theirs in Israel. The family began with Israel’s promise to Washington to conduct a “thorough, credible and transparent investigation,” something U.S. diplomats say has not occurred. But filing suit in Israel in hopes of producing firm facts meant squaring off against the IDF, the most admired institution in the country, routinely ranked far above any elected official or organ. Among Israel’s Jewish majority, identification with the military is almost total, and not only because young Jewish men are obligated to three years service in it (two years for women). The force operates under a motto that translates roughly as “purity of arms,” often put as “the most moral army in the world.” Others may note the challenge of squaring the motto with the coarsening that inevitably flows from 45 years as an army of occupation in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, which were afire with the Second Intifada at the time of Corrie’s death. But the ideal remains so firmly fixed in the Israeli mind that when an unambiguous instance of brutality emerges – like the video of a lieutenant colonel rifle-butting a Danish activist – shocked dismay occupied the public discourse for most of a week.

The Corrie lawsuit, however, challenged no one’s preconceptions. Rather it extended Rachel Corrie’s mission in life – using the privileges afforded the holder of a U.S. passport to assert rights into the courts where Palestinians rarely have standing (and from which a proposed regulation would bar them altogether). The case took more than six years to complete, and with Gershon’s verdict, appeared to end about where it began: The district court judge articulated the widespread Israeli assumption that a misguided young foreigner flirted with death, and lost. “The state did not risk the defendant,” he said. “The defendant risked herself.” Gershon described the group Corrie was with, the International Solidarity Movement, as pro-terrorist – also a common view in Israel — and insisted that “under no circumstances” were the IDF bulldozers that day aiming to demolish the Palestinian homes the nonviolent activists were aiming to protect.

The Corries (whom, for the record, my wife volunteered to assist) replied at a news conference as they had in court – with specifics that the state had called beside the point. Cindy Corrie quoted a Human Rights Watch tally of 16,000 Palestinians whose 2,500 homes were destroyed between 2000 and 2004, most of them in the area near the Egyptian border where her daughter would die. Israeli officials argued that the properties provided cover for attacks. The Corries held aloft a photo of the family whose house stood in the area behind where Rachel Corrie stood facing the bulldozer, in a fluorescent orange vest.

“We believe that Rachel was seen,” Cindy Corrie said. The heavily armored Caterpillar bulldozer may have had limited sight lines, the Corries acknowledge, but in addition to a driver, a second soldier was also in the cab, and conflicts in their assorted statements have never been reconciled. In fact, a pair of IDF investigations produced strikingly inconsistent accounts of the incident. The first was cursory at best: Investigators failed to interview any eyewitnesses except Israeli soldiers, and appeared to misidentify which of two bulldozers on the scene that day was involved. A second investigation, reached into by senior officers, strained to avoid contradicting the first, producing a muddle that the trial did little to sort through.

“I reject the idea that making these things known is somehow an attack on Israel,” said Craig Corrie, who left his job as an insurance actuary to work full time on understanding his daughter’s March 16, 2003 death. He noted the deaths of two other foreigners in the same area within weeks of Rachel’s. In a seven month period, Cindy Corrie said, the Israeli human rights advocacy group B’Tselem counted 100 civilian deaths, including 40 children.

“I’m an army veteran,” said Craig Corrie. “In 11 months in Vietnam, I was given nine medals. I think I can talk on some of this. I think that in controlling a military you have to start that before these incidents happen, and we have seen that that’s not the case. We have seen from the highest levels of this military that they thought they could kill people on that border with impunity.”

By the time Rachel was killed, around 5 p.m. the activists and the crews had been sparring on the rubble field since noon. During the trial the Corries said that, as much as anything, filing suit was a way to finally look into the eyes of the driver of the bulldozer. But he was allowed to testify from behind a screen. “I can say without a doubt that I believe my sister was seen as that bulldozer approached her,” Sarah Corrie Simpson said. “As for the intent of the driver, I hope some day he will have the courage to sit down in front of me and tell me what he saw and what he feels.”

world.time.com

  • Guest

    Only when they oppose Israel do terror supporting ISM anti-semites get called “peace activists”.  Israeli victims of Hamas should counter sue the Corries, the ISM and all other fig leaves for jihad.

    • 5thDrawer

      Why don’t you just call them Christians.

      • patriotss

        “LET HIS BLOOD BE PORED UPON US AND UPON OUR CHILDREN”

        BY THE WAY ARE U A JEW OR DO U JUST DEFEND THEM OUT OF FEAR

        • Guest

          A proud Jew like Jesus himself? And what does that have to do with anything now you dumb, racist shit?

          Pass26

          This is to remind you to respect the community. Comments that contain personal attacks or inappropriate language will be completely removed.

        • Guest

          [S]alvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22)
          “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”Matthew 15:24

          Whether the nonsense superstitious racism you were taught in some dungeon agrees or not, Christians and Jews are brothers by faith and in their struggle for their rights as natives of Lebanon and Israel. Get a clue you pawn. Are you a Christian or just afraid of Hizbullah?

          Pass26

          This is to remind you to respect the community. Comments that contain personal attacks or inappropriate language will be completely removed.

        • Guest

          [S]alvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22)
          “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”Matthew 15:24

          Whether the nonsense superstitious racism you were taught in some dungeon agrees or not, Christians and Jews are brothers by faith and in their struggle for their rights as natives of Lebanon and Israel. Get a clue you pawn. Are you a Christian or just afraid of Hizbullah?

          Pass26

          This is to remind you to respect the community. Comments that contain personal attacks or inappropriate language will be completely removed.

        • Guest

          “When in Matthew’s account the “whole people” say: “his blood be on us and on our children” (27:25), the Christian will remember that Jesus’ blood speaks a different language from the blood of Abel (Heb. 12:24): it does not cry out for vengeance and punishment, it brings reconciliation. It is not poured out againstanyone, it is poured out for many, for all. … Read in the light of faith, [Matthew’s reference to Jesus’ blood] means that we all stand in the need of the purifying power of love which is his blood. These words are not a curse, but rather redemption, salvation. Only when understood in terms of the theology of the Last Supper and the Cross, drawn from the whole of the New Testament, does this verse from Matthew’s Gospel take on its correct meaning.”
          And it’s “poured” not “pored”, hmar.

          Pass26

          This is to remind you to respect the community. Comments that contain personal attacks or inappropriate language will be completely removed.

        • Guest

          “When in Matthew’s account the “whole people” say: “his blood be on us and on our children” (27:25), the Christian will remember that Jesus’ blood speaks a different language from the blood of Abel (Heb. 12:24): it does not cry out for vengeance and punishment, it brings reconciliation. It is not poured out againstanyone, it is poured out for many, for all. … Read in the light of faith, [Matthew’s reference to Jesus’ blood] means that we all stand in the need of the purifying power of love which is his blood. These words are not a curse, but rather redemption, salvation. Only when understood in terms of the theology of the Last Supper and the Cross, drawn from the whole of the New Testament, does this verse from Matthew’s Gospel take on its correct meaning.”
          And it’s “poured” not “pored”, hmar.

          Pass26

          This is to remind you to respect the community. Comments that contain personal attacks or inappropriate language will be completely removed.

        • 5thDrawer

          None of the above … and I used soap and water on my kids. They are better for it.

          • patriotss

            IM GLADE YOU DO?

          • patriotss

            IM GLADE YOU DO?

        • Philassie

          To the moderator: your pages are replete with comments full of vicious personal attacks. Where were your warnings to those above who called me a dork and asked if I was a jew or just afraid of them?  To the one who cited the theological justification for millennia of Christian anti-Semitism out of nowhere?? There is regularly anti-semitic stuff on these pages’ comments too.

          I am more than happy to play nice IF it is fair and all play nice. Right now, it seems like a mini version of Lebanon and the rest of the Mid East (except Israel) where “rights” only apply to certain humans and duties only to the others.

        • Philassie

          Patrotss — why do you quote out of nowhere the theological justification for millenia of anti-Semitism?  And then you talk of God?  Jesus was about love and tolerance.  And he was Jewish and Israeli too.  Why this cheap reference to Anti-Semitism in response to a comment that was absolutely unrelated?  and how is that not the mark of a hmar?

      • Guest

        ’cause what I wrote has absolutely zero to do with Christians, dork. Work on your reading skills. I am a huge fan of Christians. And in any case, Christians by and large support Israel and oppose terrorists, unlike Corrie and the ISM (2 of whose “human rights activists” were suicide bombers who blew themselves up in Tel Aviv to kill big, fearsome tourists in a pub).

        • 5thDrawer

          I doubt the ‘peace activists’ support terror Pass26. That was the dorky part.
          Although I will admit they can be a pain the ass sometimes. The problem is the ‘high and mighty’ attitudes people take when ‘belief’ guides them into some silly places to be. Defending ‘peace’ must be peace for all … I think most of them feel it that way, and two wrongs cannot make a right. There must be more LOGIC with the PASSION when approaching these ‘human frailty’ subjects. Neither side seems to have much of it sometimes.

          I DO like your replies to the ‘patriotss’ … they can be a pain in the ass too, right? 😉
          Understanding the theological meanings IS important. Twisting those is the work of a devil. 😉

          Rather than swimming in blood all the time, which doesn’t really lead to a squeaky-clean feeling, the ‘patriots’ should be DONATING some to Red Crescent and Red Cross to help those – of all religions – who can still be helped. Blood never had a long self-life, after all.

        • patriotss

          pass26 
          you call me racist shit,hmar and pawn
          yet after reading all your posts i see you to be racist to all people of the middle east and making your self and the Jewish people to be the only people that deserves to live on earth?
           (sounds like you are the son of Hitler)

          one word mistake (poured) you call me h mar.
          The donkey dose not talk as much shit and babels on about his thoughts and trashy opinions as you do
          I think its the way you have been brought up or where you go to listen to such trash and hatred for others 
          i only wrote 2 lines and you caught an epileptic fit, see it didn’t take much to get you all fired up
          i think you need anger management Hitler.

          You sound very manly and strong are you like your president and prime minister, quick to drawer the gun but have no balls to pull the trigger (all bark and no bite) or do you have little man syndrome

          if you think that you and your people are the chosen ones then stand up and set the example

           Be kind and people will be kind to you.
           Show love and people will love you.         
           Be fair and people will be fair to you.
           Show respect and people will respect you.   

          Yes i am a pawn to god the blessed trinity above, but wet your the king of a board game

          Let me tell you who your master is ITS THE ONE AND ONLY MAN AND GOD THAT IS ON EVERY LETTER YOU WRITE YOU RECEIVE AND EVERY NEWSPAPER YOU READ, EVERY EMAIL YOU SEND AND RECEIVE AND THAT GOVERNS THE WORLD AND EVEN REFLECTS THE DATE OF YOUR OWN BIRTH, AND THAT IS JESUS THE SON OF GOD AND WHO IS GOD WITH THE BLESSED TRINITY (SO EVERY TIME YOU WRITE THE DATE YOU SEE THE DATE OR EVEN QUOTE THE DATE YOU REMEMBER THAT IT IS AFTER THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST 
              HE IS YOUR MASTER 
              “I AM HE WHO IS HE”

        • 5thDrawer

          Whew! Patriotss … Talk about an epileptic fit. 
          Good thing I only wrote one line about soap and water. :-)))

          (Hmmm .. beginning to think I ‘m in between two ‘southern Baptists’. Where’s that scotch …. )

        • 5thDrawer

          Whew! Patriotss … Talk about an epileptic fit. 
          Good thing I only wrote one line about soap and water. :-)))

          (Hmmm .. beginning to think I ‘m in between two ‘southern Baptists’. Where’s that scotch …. )

      • Philassie

        5th drawer i am not against genuine peace activists of course. i am against those who excuse, condone, help and justify HAMAS yet call themselves “peace activists” to manipulate the world. Corrie was one of those.  I happen to think that a real peace activist would first and foremost attack Hamas and other groups who love blood.  Just like a true Christian would.  We have no issue, you and me, except that I have no idea where your first question about Christians came from.

        • 5thDrawer

          Ok Pass .. took out the Dork. Maybe I was thinking something else at that moment … largely it seems to be some kind of Christians in those groups. And I’m sure many of those are not the ‘violently-peaceful’ types. I’m not sure this girl was. Originally I wasn’t going to comment on this sad tale at all, since it deals with a kind of ‘mind-set’ on both sides of a weird world – and a judgement either way will not have proved anything.

    • lefthanded

      Are you really calling an activist an anti-semite?

      It’s funny that every time someone that does not share your point of view, you play the anti-semite card.

      Anti semitism is wrong no discussion about that, anti zionizm on the other hand…

      • Philassie

        I am calling ISM activists anti-Semites because they are. They support Hamas and never condemn Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians. Two ISM members were actually suicide bombers who blew themselves up in Tel Aviv (not very “occupied”) in a pub and killed tourists.  

        ZIonism (the real definition, not the Arab League/conspiracy nuts’ definition) is the belief that Jews are entitled to self determination in (part of) their ancestral homeland. That is, the belief that Jews should not be second class citizens of the world or dhimmis. And so it is support for the existence of the state of Israel. That’s all it is.  

        To be anti-ZIonist is saying that only Jews don’t have the right to a state, that there cannot be even one single tiny state of Israel among 22 Arab states who we all know do so much good for the world.  It is very much anti-Semitic and to get token “Jewish” Uncle Toms to openly agree with it is even more anti-Semitic (and vulgar). It’s like getting Black people to defend slavery.  There were some who did…

        • lefthanded

          So in order to be first class citizens in your new country, you made the citizens who lived in that country second class citizens… Very classy 🙂

          Speaking about ancestral homeland, God is not a real estate dealer.

        • daber

          yu zioniste mr

        • daber

          yu zioniste mr

        • Philassie

          daber, what do you mean by “zioniste”?

          lefthanded: the Arabs in Israel have more rights than you do in Lebanon.  The Arabs in te territories have more rights than the Palestinians anywhere else. your accusation of second class is BS nothing more. keep telling yourself stories.

          And “ancestral” has nothing to do with G-d. It has to do with rock solid historical FACT.

        • Philassie

          daber, what do you mean by “zioniste”?

          lefthanded: the Arabs in Israel have more rights than you do in Lebanon.  The Arabs in te territories have more rights than the Palestinians anywhere else. your accusation of second class is BS nothing more. keep telling yourself stories.

          And “ancestral” has nothing to do with G-d. It has to do with rock solid historical FACT.

        • lefthanded

          @Pass26:disqus Hahahahaha!! You’re funny! My Italian friend is doing her thesis on democracy in Israel and Arab rights, she lived there for a few months. i will send you a copy when it’s done! Nothing in it to support your claims, her views are not biased like yours and mine 🙂

          i have one word for you, Hebron 😉

        • 5thDrawer

          Actually the biggest slave dealer was a black Queen in Africa. But that doesn’t make slavery right.

  • Pass26

    Only when they oppose Israel do terror supporting anti-semites get called “peace activists”.  Israeli victims of Hamas should counter sue the Corries, the ISM and all other fig leaves for jihad.

    • 5thDrawer

      Why don’t you just call them Christians, Dork.

      • patriotss

        “LET HIS BLOOD BE PORED UPON US AND UPON OUR CHILDREN”

        BY THE WAY ARE U A JEW OR DO U JUST DEFEND THEM OUT OF FEAR

        • Pass26

          I am a patriotic and proud Jew like Jesus himself, you dumb, racist shit. And what does that have to do with anything now?

        • Pass26

          [S]alvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22)
          “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”Matthew 15:24

          Whether the nonsense superstitious racism you were taught in some dungeon agrees or not, Christians and Jews are brothers by faith and in their struggle for their rights as natives of Lebanon and Israel. Get a clue you pawn. Are you a Christian or just afraid of Hizbullah?

        • Pass26

          “When in Matthew’s account the “whole people” say: “his blood be on us and on our children” (27:25), the Christian will remember that Jesus’ blood speaks a different language from the blood of Abel (Heb. 12:24): it does not cry out for vengeance and punishment, it brings reconciliation. It is not poured out againstanyone, it is poured out for many, for all. … Read in the light of faith, [Matthew’s reference to Jesus’ blood] means that we all stand in the need of the purifying power of love which is his blood. These words are not a curse, but rather redemption, salvation. Only when understood in terms of the theology of the Last Supper and the Cross, drawn from the whole of the New Testament, does this verse from Matthew’s Gospel take on its correct meaning.”
          And it’s “poured” not “pored”, hmar.

        • 5thDrawer

          None of the above … and I used soap and water on my kids. They are better for it.

          • patriotss

            IM GLADE YOU DO?

        • Pass26

          To the moderator: your pages are replete with comments full of vicious personal attacks. Where were your warnings to those above who called me a dork and asked if I was a jew or just afraid of them?  To the one who cited the theological justification for millennia of Christian anti-Semitism out of nowhere?? There is regularly anti-semitic stuff on these pages’ comments too.

          I am more than happy to play nice IF it is fair and all play nice. Right now, it seems like a mini version of Lebanon and the rest of the Mid East (except Israel) where “rights” only apply to certain humans and duties only to the others.

        • Pass26

          Patrotss — why do you quote out of nowhere the theological justification for millenia of anti-Semitism?  And then you talk of God?  Jesus was about love and tolerance.  And he was Jewish and Israeli too.  Why this cheap reference to Anti-Semitism in response to a comment that was absolutely unrelated?  and how is that not the mark of a hmar?

      • Pass26

        ’cause what I wrote has absolutely zero to do with Christianity, moron. And in any case, though wholly unrelated, Christians by and large support Israel and oppose terrorists, unlike Corrie and the ISM (2 of whose “human rights activists” were suicide bombers who blew themselves up in Tel Aviv to kill big, fearsome tourists in a pub).

        • 5thDrawer

          I doubt the ‘peace activists’ support terror Pass26. That was the dorky part.
          Although I will admit they can be a pain the ass sometimes. The problem is the ‘high and mighty’ attitudes people take when ‘belief’ guides them into some silly places to be. Defending ‘peace’ must be peace for all … I think most of them feel it that way, and two wrongs cannot make a right. There must be more LOGIC with the PASSION when approaching these ‘human frailty’ subjects. Neither side seems to have much of it sometimes.

          I DO like your replies to the ‘patriotss’ … they can be a pain in the ass too, right? 😉
          Understanding the theological meanings IS important. Twisting those is the work of a devil. 😉

          Rather than swimming in blood all the time, which doesn’t really lead to a squeaky-clean feeling, the ‘patriots’ should be DONATING some to Red Crescent and Red Cross to help those – of all religions – who can still be helped. Blood never had a long self-life, after all.

        • patriotss

          pass26 
          you call me racist shit,hmar and pawn
          yet after reading all your posts i see you to be racist to all people of the middle east and making your self and the Jewish people to be the only people that deserves to live on earth?
           (sounds like you are the son of Hitler)

          one word mistake (poured) you call me h mar.
          The donkey dose not talk as much shit and babels on about his thoughts and trashy opinions as you do
          I think its the way you have been brought up or where you go to listen to such trash and hatred for others 
          i only wrote 2 lines and you caught an epileptic fit, see it didn’t take much to get you all fired up
          i think you need anger management Hitler.

          You sound very manly and strong are you like your president and prime minister, quick to drawer the gun but have no balls to pull the trigger (all bark and no bite) or do you have little man syndrome

          if you think that you and your people are the chosen ones then stand up and set the example

           Be kind and people will be kind to you.
           Show love and people will love you.         
           Be fair and people will be fair to you.
           Show respect and people will respect you.   

          Yes i am a pawn to god the blessed trinity above, but wet your the king of a board game

          Let me tell you who your master is ITS THE ONE AND ONLY MAN AND GOD THAT IS ON EVERY LETTER YOU WRITE YOU RECEIVE AND EVERY NEWSPAPER YOU READ, EVERY EMAIL YOU SEND AND RECEIVE AND THAT GOVERNS THE WORLD AND EVEN REFLECTS THE DATE OF YOUR OWN BIRTH, AND THAT IS JESUS THE SON OF GOD AND WHO IS GOD WITH THE BLESSED TRINITY (SO EVERY TIME YOU WRITE THE DATE YOU SEE THE DATE OR EVEN QUOTE THE DATE YOU REMEMBER THAT IT IS AFTER THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST 
              HE IS YOUR MASTER 
              “I AM HE WHO IS HE”

        • 5thDrawer

          Whew! Patriotss … Talk about an epileptic fit. 
          Good thing I only wrote one line about soap and water. :-)))

          (Hmmm .. beginning to think I ‘m in between two ‘southern Baptists’. Where’s that scotch …. )

      • Pass26

        5th drawer i am not against genuine peace activists of course. i am against those who excuse, condone, help and justify HAMAS yet call themselves “peace activists” to manipulate the world. Corrie was one of those.  I happen to think that a real peace activist would first and foremost attack Hamas and other groups who love blood.  Just like a true Christian would.  We have no issue, you and me, except that I have no idea where your first question about Christians came from.

        • 5thDrawer

          Ok Pass .. took out the Dork. Maybe I was thinking something else at that moment … largely it seems to be some kind of Christians in those groups. And I’m sure many of those are not the ‘violently-peaceful’ types. I’m not sure this girl was. Originally I wasn’t going to comment on this sad tale at all, since it deals with a kind of ‘mind-set’ on both sides of a weird world – and a judgement either way will not have proved anything.

    • lefthanded

      Are you really calling an activist an anti-semite?

      It’s funny that every time someone that does not share your point of view, you play the anti-semite card.

      Anti semitism is wrong no discussion about that, anti zionizm on the other hand…

      • Pass26

        I am calling ISM activists anti-Semites because they are. They support Hamas and never condemn Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians. Two ISM members were actually suicide bombers who blew themselves up in Tel Aviv (not very “occupied”) in a pub and killed tourists.  

        ZIonism (the real definition, not the Arab League/conspiracy nuts’ definition) is the belief that Jews are entitled to self determination in (part of) their ancestral homeland. That is, the belief that Jews should not be second class citizens of the world or dhimmis. And so it is support for the existence of the state of Israel. That’s all it is.  

        To be anti-ZIonist is saying that only Jews don’t have the right to a state, that there cannot be even one single tiny state of Israel among 22 Arab states who we all know do so much good for the world.  It is very much anti-Semitic and to get token “Jewish” Uncle Toms to openly agree with it is even more anti-Semitic (and vulgar). It’s like getting Black people to defend slavery.  There were some who did…

        • lefthanded

          So in order to be first class citizens in your new country, you made the citizens who lived in that country second class citizens… Very classy 🙂

          Speaking about ancestral homeland, God is not a real estate dealer.

        • daber

          yu zioniste mr

        • Pass26

          daber, what do you mean by “zioniste”?

          lefthanded: the Arabs in Israel have more rights than you do in Lebanon.  The Arabs in te territories have more rights than the Palestinians anywhere else. your accusation of second class is BS nothing more. keep telling yourself stories.

          And “ancestral” has nothing to do with G-d. It has to do with rock solid historical FACT.

        • lefthanded

          @Pass26:disqus Hahahahaha!! You’re funny! My Italian friend is doing her thesis on democracy in Israel and Arab rights, i will send you a copy when it’s done! Nothing in it to support your claims, her views are not biased like yours and mine 🙂

          i have one word for you, Hebron 😉

        • 5thDrawer

          Actually the biggest slave dealer was a black Queen in Africa. But that doesn’t make it right.