Israeli Court Blames Rachel Corrie For Own Death, Says IDF, State Not Responsible – OpEd


An Israeli court ruled that neither the State nor the IDF is responsible for the death of Rachel Corrie.  In fact, the judge claims that she herself was responsible.  This is a case brought by Corrie’s parents, Craig and Cindy, in which they sought damages from the Israeli State for the negligence of the army in killing her when a bulldozer ran her over as she was protecting a home in Gaza from demolition.

Here is but one eyewitness report of what happened:

“She was standing on top of a pile of earth,” fellow activist and eyewitness Richard Purssell, from Brighton, said at the time. “The driver cannot have failed to see her. As the blade pushed the pile, the earth rose up. Rachel slid down the pile. It looks as if her foot got caught. The driver didn’t slow down; he just ran over her. Then he reversed the bulldozer back over her again.”

Israeli–Palestinian Conflict: Central Israel next to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Israeli–Palestinian Conflict: Central Israel next to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

It will come as small comfort that the judge ruled that the Corries will not have to pay the costs of the State in defending the case.

Israel-cheerleader and U.S. ambassador Dan Shapiro has publicly discussed the weakness of the Israeli investigation, though his statement appears to be more throwing a sop to the family than actually taking a meaningful position.  In that regard, the British government after the murders of Tom Hurndall and James Miller actually threatened diplomatic sanctions against Israel if it did not pursue a settlement and punishment of those who killed their citizens.  The result was a court case in which one killer was tried (and acquitted) and another civil case in one of the families was paid handsomely for their suffering.

Not in a million years will Shapiro or Obama take any similar position on behalf of the Corries.  But I would urge them to try.  This government is a sham.  A sham of justice.  A sham of pro-Israel sophistry.  Even Tony Blair’s government and a Jewish attorney general wouldn’t stand for their nation to be insulted by Israel’s murder of its citizens and the resulting mock investigation (or should I say mockery investigation). Obama could care less.  He’s got bigger fish to fry.  To win an election.  To stop a war (maybe).  What does the suffering of one family matter?

To any reader who thinks to fulminate here about Corrie’s responsibility for her own death, over the coming days I’m going to be writing at least one and perhaps more posts recounting the depositions of those IDF officers responsible for Rachel’s death.  Even if Israeli justice will absolve them, I won’t.   History won’t.  Most of you readers won’t.

This article appeared at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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