‘Rachel’ screening in San Francisco shows a growing movement tired of being censored about Israel

RachelposterThe following is a report from the screening of the film Rachel at the The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival this past Saturday. The screening had been controversial, and opposition to it focused on the fact that Cindy Corrie would be speaking at the event, and that two of the co-sponsoring organizations were Jewish Voice for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee. This opposition included a scathing and misinformed statement from the the Koret and Taube Foundations, two funders of the festival. A speaker from the right wing San Francisco Voice For Israel was added at the last minute to calm critics. The Castro Theatre, which holds around 1,400 people, was reportedly packed to capacity.

The flap around the film about Rachel Corrie shown at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival on Saturday, July 25 is simply another incident in the cycle of controversies that accrue to individuals and organizations who advocate for Palestinian human rights.

The Koret and Taube Foundations are part of a wide spectrum of individuals and organizations, Christian and Jewish, who attempt to enforce the axiom: there shall be no public criticism of Israel. This platitude ironically goes hand in hand with the view that ‘Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.’ Over the past several decades, self-appointed watch dogs of appropriate Israel discourse have spent hundreds of millions of dollars and poured out enormous doses of vitriol upon any individual or organization that dares to expresses even a drop of sympathy with the plight of Palestinians.

The fact that the vast majority of people in the crowd at the Castro Theatre would not let the Voice of Israel representative speak his mind without interruption reflects growing frustration with the use of pubic slander, character assassination, cancellation of speakers, firing of faculty and demand for resignations by the so-called defenders of Israel. Since when are people with views that differ from AIPAC, for instance, invited into mainstream circles to speak for five minutes before a pro-Israel speech or film? The representative of Voice of Israel was not there to dialogue. Only to chastise. The crowd refused to be chastised. When the impassioned proponent of Israel mentioned JVP and AFSC in order to condemn them as virulent anti-Semites, the crowd burst into cheers and applause to honor them instead.

The crowd at the Castro represents a growing movement of individuals and groups who believe that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can never be achieved without addressing and redressing the issue of Palestinian human rights. Resistance is sometimes rowdy. Naturally, the side of privilege and status quo demand politeness from resisters in order to maintain decorum. Well, politeness isn’t always the best way to go in a situation where you have never been given a voice in the first place. While I am a proponent of compassionate listening, I learned from people of color that interrupting the language of hatred and racism also has a place.

As an eye witness to Palestinian life since 1966, I have come to my own conclusions about the conflict. Whether Rachel Corrie’s death by a Caterpillar armored bulldozer on March 16, 2003 was accidental or intentional, there is much in the Israeli relationship to Palestinians which is not accidental. As reported by scores of Israeli NGO’s including B’Tselem, New Profile, Physicians for Human Rights, Rabbis for Human Rights and the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, and even by Israeli soldiers whose testimony about Gaza directly contradicts the official version of Operation Cast Lead, the ongoing Israeli appropriation and destruction of roads, houses, land and water from Palestinians by force is not accidental. Neither is the assault on the educational, health and cultural institutions of Palestinian life, the use of administrative detention, torture, beating and harassment of civilians, the cutting down of tens of thousands of fruit and olive trees on Palestinian land, the building of Jewish only roads to over 100 ‘illegal’ settlements and the ghettoization of Palestinian towns and cities by the Separation Barrier. One can deny the accuracy of a single story. What about ten thousand stories, one million stories, six million stories?

As a pacifist Jew I feel very comfortable as a staff person at the American Friends Service Committee. I, along with thousands of other pacifists across the globe, disavow violence and oppose war and militarism as a matter of religious principle. I feel comfortable in an organization that utterly resist the allure of violence as a redeeming force, whether perpetrated by the Israeli state or Palestinian armed resistance or the United States. I feel at home in an organization that has cultivated a relationship with the extensive Palestinian nonviolent resistant movement and the Israeli peace movement and does everything it can to support coexistence and human rights of all people.

I also feel at home as a member of the advisory council of Jewish Voice for Peace. Each organization has its place and contribution to make toward the historic struggle for peace. JVP is an important voice for freedom of discussion. History will decide the outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And history, as Martin Luther King, Jr reminds us, flows toward justice. Anyone who desires peace among Israelis and Palestinians must be an advocate for the resolution of the conflict based on nonviolence, human rights, mutuality in negotiations and adherence to international law. Our future is together, not apart. Toward that end, we will not be silent.

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb is cofounder of Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence and the Co-director of Middle East Programing for the American Friends Service Committee’s Pacific Mountain Region.

About Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb is leader of Fellowship of Reconciliation Peacewalks and Director of Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence [email protected]; [email protected]
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Gaza, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine

{ 119 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Pingback: SF Film Festival Under Fire, Screening Rachel Corrie Doc » Artists Against Apartheid - Witness the True Emancipatory Struggle

  2. Nancy K says:

    Thanks for this thoughtful piece. I especially liked this bit:

    “Naturally, the side of privilege and status quo demand politeness from resisters in order to maintain decorum. Well, politeness isn’t always the best way to go in a situation where you have never been given a voice in the first place. While I am a proponent of compassionate listening, I learned from people of color that interrupting the language of hatred and racism also has a place.”

    As a member of CODEPINK, I have learned that when polite political discourse countenances the killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians, being rude and unruly can be the correct course of action.

    • Richard Witty says:

      If it countenances the attempted killing of unarmed civilians in response, is that progress?

      Or should it be identified that the volume and rage IS the problem, and self-restraint is the making of peace?

    • American says:

      The fact is that if the Palestines hadn’t resorted to violence Palestine would have already been “disappeared” and the world would have paid no attention.
      That is an undisputable fact. The violence got attention.

      Is there anyone who thinks for a moment Israel would have capitulated to non violent protest and quit confiscating Palestine land or trying to displace the Palestine population?
      Like the scorpion that stings the frog carrying him accross the river, that is the “nature” of the zionist beast.

      No appeal to Israel or zionism on the grounds of human rights or law has ever worked or will ever work. Israel will only react to two forces bigger than they are, that being the economic or the military threat.

      Let’s hope Obama has the balls. If he doesn’t he will be the laughing stock of the world and the US reputation will go even further down the toilet.

  3. Richard Witty says:

    Terror on civilians is intentional.

    Are home demolitions still occurring?

    • tree says:

      Yes they are. They have gone on for decades and continue to occur. For someone who professes to care about the situation you are remarkably uninformed and show little interest in getting more informed.

      • Richard Witty says:

        I understood that Israel had renounced the policy of routine home demolitions. When Rachel Corrie was protesting, the home demolitions were done as punishment for related civilians associated with terror facilitators. It was punishment of a relative of a criminal rather than punishment of a criminal.

        I understood that the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that such punishment of relatives violated the Israeli primary law, and was stopped.

        It was argued that the PLO practice of granting the family of martyrs a permanent pension (even when part of Hamas or Islamic Jihad) was an active reward for terror.

        I am not enthused about either policy.

        In the respect of the repeal of the policy, Rachel Corrie’s civil disobedience succeeded.

        Do you think the ISM informed her that she might die?

      • tree says:

        Richard, you are uninformed as to the facts of this case, and yet you continue to pontificate as if you knew what you were talking about.

        What Rachel Corrie was attempting to stop in 2003 was one instance of the massive house demolitions that were perpetrated by Israel in Rafah from 2000 through 2004 and beyond. The house she was defending was not owned by a suicide bomber nor the family of one. The supposed reason for the wholesale destruction in that instance according to the IDF is the destruction of smuggling tunnels. As Human Rights Watch pointed out in Razing Rafah

        … most of the destruction in Rafah(in 2000-2004) occurred along the Israeli-controlled border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.During regular nighttime raids and with little or no warning, Israeli forces used armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to raze blocks of homes at the edge of the camp, 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 violation of international law.In most of the cases Human Rights Watch found the destruction was carried out in the absence of military necessity.

        In May 2004, the Israeli government approved a plan to further expand the buffer zone, and it is currently deliberating the details of its execution.The Israeli military has recommended demolishing all homes within three hundred meters of its positions, or about four hundred meters from the border.

        Israel engages in 3 types of house demolitions. One is excused by “security” concerns, and is done in violation of international humanitarian law to create military control and ease of operation for the IDF with no regard to the rights of civilians to their housing. One is used as punishment against those who are relatives of “terrorists”. And the last one is excused as the result of the “need” to demolish houses built without a permit, which is used to remove Palestinians from an area that Israel wishes to “Judaize”. All three are continuing to this day. Why is this a surprise to you?

        The demolition of the homes of relatives of suicide bombers was halted by Israel in 2005. One of its stated reasons for halting the demolitions was a study that called into question whether such punitive measures helped discourage such acts or if the hatred they engendered actually motivated more attacks. However, in April of 2009, Israel demolished the home of the East Jerusalemite who was killed after going on a bulldozer rampage the year before, resorting yet again to collective punishment.

      • tree says:

        Boy, I really miss that edit function.

        The last two paragraphs, starting with “Israel engages in 3 types of house demolitions, are my own words. The two paragraphs ahead of it are from HRW, and there should be an ellipses between the two paragraphs.

      • Shingo says:

        Israel also said it had stopped building settlements years ago. Of course home edemolitions are continuing.

    • By American history and precedent, terrorism directed against violent state-sponsored racism and its supporters is legitimate.

      John Brown is considered a hero in Massachusetts. Ralph Waldo Emerson raised money for Brown in Harvard Yard. Yet Brown had people like Richard Witty hacked to pieces with swords: The Last Word on Anti-Semitism.

  4. lester says:

    eitan- the lesson is israel does whatever it wants and it’s your job to stay out of their way. in other words, don’t expect normal morality or decency such as you would find in western civilization from them

  5. bluebeard says:

    And certainly don’t expect what would happen to you in an Arab country.

    • Citizen says:

      And please, please expect goy America to give you every deference while you give
      none to the natives of the Palestine Mandate.

  6. Jay Taber says:

    Modern states built on theft of indigenous homelands all exhibit psychoses due to an inability to face up to and make amends for genocide and ethnic cleansing. Israel is presently the most blatant example, but Canada and the United States are still evading this obligation. Along with Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the US comprised the only four countries in the UN to vote against the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As the indigenous of Palestine struggle to survive the malign neglect of a superimposed state, so, too, do the indigenous of North America. Maybe when America faces up to its own history, it will no longer be inclined to fund Israel’s denial of theirs.

    • LeaNder says:

      Yes, I agree, these two issues feel deeply related. It began to dawn on me reading something that felt utterly racist and arrogant on Horowitz’ FrontPageMag. Really strange convergences …

    • KatinPhilly says:

      Right on, Jay! I have always thought this, too. And by the way, the Middle East Children’s Alliance is sending a delegation of young American indigenous activists to Palestine to meet their counterparts. They need help. Go their website to learn more.

    • Jacqueline_Hyde says:

      History, schmistory! Israel claims it is at the moral center of the Universe as foretold in the ancient books. What ludicrous piffle they spew.

      • Saxon says:

        Not so. They just claim, with reasonable certainty, that they are far more moral than those such as you.

      • Shingo says:

        Exactly, and Israel prove it by killing at least one innocent Palestinian a day – sorta like the passover every day of the year, usualyl a child, to prove how moral they are.

      • Shingo says:

        No, Isrealis don;t need an excuse like Passover to kill Palestinia Children, though any excuse will do.

  7. AM says:

    excellent! I do hope that this momentum keeps building up.

  8. Jake in Jerusalem says:

    Your “rabbi” Lynn states that some complain that “there shall be no public criticism of Israel”.

    This is a typical MondoLie. That it comes from a “Jewish rabbi” or an imposter to being one is also typical of MondoLies.

    No one demands that there be no criticism of Israel at all. I criticize Israel all the time. It is only through constructive criticism that things improve. The Arab world is a wonderful example of someplace that doesn’t allow criticism – and doesn’t improve.

    What opponents to your propaganda complain about is the LIES AND DISHONESTY of the hyper-critics of Israel.

    Legitimate criticism is WELCOME. Indeed, Israelis are edtremely harsh self-critics. However, presenting lies (like the “Palestineans” being indigenous to Israel when there is NO evidence to support this very recent claim) isn’t designed to improve Israel but rather to destroy it. And your “rabbi Lynn” and her girlfriend will live happily ever after in San Francisco after Israel is destroyed, so she doesn’t really care.

    • Jacqueline_Hyde says:

      Fuck Israel. The “Jewish State” can’t even abide by Jewish law.

      • Saxon says:

        Too bad you have no understanding of Jewish law.

      • Jake in Jerusalem says:

        I wrote: “Legitimate criticism is WELCOME.”

        Jacqueline_Hyde wrote: F Israel.

        There is no point in conversing with you and your Jew-hating comrades. Thanks for clarifying things for us.

    • lysias says:

      Ben Gurion was writing in the 1920′s that the Palestinians were descended in large part from the ancient Hebrews. That’s how “recent” the idea is that the Palestinians are indigenous.

    • Shingo says:

      “I criticize Israel all the time.”

      Where and when Jake? When you get a speeding ticket as you hurl along the Jewish only roads in the West Bank?

    • Peter says:

      “No one demands that there be no criticism of Israel at all. … What opponents to your propaganda complain about is the LIES AND DISHONESTY of the hyper-critics of Israel. Legitimate criticism is WELCOME.”

      Jake, I was at the screening at the Castro last weekend and heard Dr. Harris, the speaker from San Francisco Voice For Israel. Dr. Harris’s objection was NOT that the Rachel film contained “LIES AND DISHONESTY”. He was quite explicit in saying that his objection was simply that the film was anti-Israel. He said that a Jewish film festival should not include any film that put Israel in a bad light, because Israel is “the only Jewish state in the world”. So it just isn’t true that he welcomed legitimate criticism of Israel at the film festival.

      Dr. Harris’s argument makes as much sense as saying that a Japanese film festival should not screen a film that portrays the Japanese government negatively because Japan is the only Japanese state in the world. If a Japanese film festival in San Francisco invited a Japanese-American to make such a statement before the screening of an anti-Japan movie, we’d rightfully think that something was seriously messed up.

    • American says:

      “”"However, presenting lies (like the “Palestineans” being indigenous to Israel when there is NO evidence to support this very recent claim) ..”"”"

      Holy christ…where do you get your history lessons? Your ignorance is astounding.
      You need to study something beside zionist myth.

      • Shingo says:

        Yo’ll have to forgive Jake American,

        You see, he’s never read a book. Besindes, there’s no room in his head for facts, with all that Zionist myth.

        Otherwise he’d know that the fact that the the “Palestineans” being indigenous to Palestine was obvious to even Bnen Gurion.

  9. v... says:

    “…the use of pubic slander, character assassination, cancellation of speakers, firing of faculty and demand for resignations by the so-called defenders of Israel.” This is swiftly going to come to a close, unless of course, they want to wake up to no future in the various organizations.

  10. Oscar says:

    Would like to also hear more about Cindy Corrie, and the audience response to her, as well as the reviews of the film itself. Is it a gamechanger?

    • tree says:

      Yes, I would like to hear more as well.

    • Jack Fertig says:

      “Game changing” is incremental, but the audience was generally very open and receptive to Cindy Corrie. In fact I think almost everyone in the audience already had their minds made up and little if anything was changed, except that the large turn out demonstrated that there was indeed support for such a film at the SFJFF. This is a signifcant opening. The fact that the SFJFF stood up to pressure also shows an opening for more honest dialogue about Palestine in the Jewish community.

      One man in the audience, after expressing his sympathy for Rachel’s death asked if Mrs. C. had met with the mothers of fallen IDF soldiers. She replied that she had met with the mothers of slain soldiers, the mothers of victims of suicide bombings, and the mothers of slain Palestinians, and addressed the general issue of violence on all sides. Her larger presentation was very precise on facts, and very dignified and gracious. It was easy to see where Rachel learned her courage and her commitment to justice and human rights.

    • Saxon says:

      Tell any one of her lies that you’d like.

      • Un-Natural Growth says:

        Saxon, someone should take you to a theater, put you in a straightjacket, make sure your eyeballs are glued open and force you to watch endless re-runs of the play “My Name Is Rachel Corrie.” I’d pay good money to watch you squeal in agony!

  11. Jacqueline_Hyde says:

    Democracy is fine, if you have the muscle. For instance, Mexico and Canada are being flooded with US firearms. The American people have spoken and the guns will fly free and there’s nothing Canadians or Mexicans can do about however they vote.

  12. Jacqueline_Hyde says:

    Democracy is fine, if you have the muscle. For instance, Mexico and Canada are being flooded with US firearms. The American people have spoken and the guns will fly free and there’s nothing Canadians or Mexicans can do about it whatever their “votes”.

  13. tree says:

    For those who don’t know the background to this:

    From the summary of Human Rights Watch’s October 2004 Report on the massive home demolitions in Rafah conducted by the IDF over 4 years:

    Based on interviews with the IDF, Rafah residents, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), members of Palestinian armed groups, and independent experts on clandestine tunnels, Human Rights Watch concludes that the IDF has consistently exaggerated and mischaracterized the threat from smuggling tunnels to justify the demolition of homes.There is no dispute that tunnels exist to smuggle contraband, including small arms and explosives used by Palestinian armed groups, into the Gaza Strip.But despite the tremendous burden that demolitions have imposed on the civilian population, the IDF has failed to explain why non-destructive means for detecting and neutralizing tunnels employed in places like the Mexico-United States border and the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) cannot be used along the Rafah border.Moreover, it has at times dealt with tunnels in a puzzlingly ineffective manner that is inconsistent with the supposed gravity of this longstanding threat.The report makes three main points:

    * Shafts vs. Tunnels. Israeli officials claim to have uncovered approximately ninety tunnels in Rafah since 2000, giving the impression of a vast and burgeoning underground flow of arms into Gaza.When pressed about these claims, the IDF admitted the figure refers to tunnel entrance shafts, some of which connect to existing tunnels and others of which connect to nothing at all.Rather than digging new tunnels, an IDF spokesman told Human Rights Watch, smugglers are often trying to connect to cross-border tunnels that already exist.This is possible in part because, until 2003, the IDF did not seek to close the tunnels themselves, but merely demolished the Rafah homes in which tunnel entrance shafts operative or inoperative were found.This tactic caused much destruction and homelessness while leaving tunnels largely intact.Soldiers have been venturing inside tunnels since 2003, though an IDF spokesman told Human Rights Watch that the military does not have the technology to collapse lateral portions of tunnels.In response to an inquiry from Human Rights Watch, the IDF refused to specify how many tunnels versus entrances had been discovered and destroyed.The IDF’s approach namely, the use of ineffective methods for two years, followed by unclear improvements contrasts sharply with alarmist Israeli statements on tunnels and the flow of arms.

    * Inoperative Tunnels. In at least three cases, the IDF has destroyed houses containing inoperative tunnels.In July 2004, residents discovered and reported to the PNA an incomplete shaft in an empty house.A few days later, the IDF destroyed the house and seventeen other houses nearby, leaving 205 people homeless as well as a factory.Human Rights Watch’s onsite assessment just after the incursion, as well as interviews with eyewitnesses and a representative of a Palestinian armed group, indicated that the destruction was militarily unnecessary; even in the home with the tunnel entrance, demolition of the whole house was an excessive response to an incomplete shaft that could have been effectively sealed with concrete.Human Rights Watch documented two other cases in which the IDF appears to have destroyed houses with tunnel shafts that had already been sealed by the PNA.The IDF claims that PNA closures are incomplete.

    * Alternatives to Home Demolition. According to tunnel experts consulted by Human Rights Watch, a number of less destructive alternatives exist for the effective detection and destruction of smuggling tunnels.No one method is guaranteed to work in all situations, but different techniques can compensate for each other’s shortcomings, and overall conditions in Rafah favor the IDF: Only four kilometers of the border run alongside Rafah, and tunnel depth is limited by the water table approximately forty-five meters in the camp.In this environment, the IDF could install an array of underground seismic sensors along the border.Known as an “underground fence,” this method has successfully detected digging activity on the U.S.-Mexico border.Other methods, such as electromagnetic induction and ground-penetrating radar, could be used to detect tunnels at the point where they cross the IDF-controlled border, and detection is more likely if the tunnels contain electrical wires, lights, and pulley mechanisms, as the IDF claims. Once the IDF detects tunnels underneath the border, it could dig down and neutralize them with concrete or explosives, obviating the need for incursions into Rafah that result in destroyed homes and sometimes loss of life.

    Israel in all likelihood has access to such sophisticated technology, either domestically or through the U.S. government, its closest ally.But the IDF insists it has exhausted all alternatives, and that the current tactics are the only effective way of dealing with the tunnel threat.Despite three requests from Human Rights Watch, the IDF declined to explain the alternative methods it has attempted to detect tunnels and why they did not work.While some information regarding tunnels may be sensitive, the enormous impact on the civilian population of demolitions places the burden on Israel to make the case as to why the only way of dealing with tunnels that run underneath IDF positions is to demolish houses deeper and deeper into the camp.

    link to hrw.org

    Rachel Corrie was attempting to prevent the demolition of one of these houses. After she died, and after the house was demolished, there were NO tunnels found under the house of any kind. It was simply demolished because the IDF wished to created a wide no-man’s land between the edge of Rafah and the border, in violation of international humanitarian law.

  14. tree says:

    For those who don’t know the background to this:

    From the summary of Human Rights Watch’s October 2004 Report on the massive home demolitions in Rafah conducted by the IDF over 4 years:

    Based on interviews with the IDF, Rafah residents, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), members of Palestinian armed groups, and independent experts on clandestine tunnels, Human Rights Watch concludes that the IDF has consistently exaggerated and mischaracterized the threat from smuggling tunnels to justify the demolition of homes.There is no dispute that tunnels exist to smuggle contraband, including small arms and explosives used by Palestinian armed groups, into the Gaza Strip.But despite the tremendous burden that demolitions have imposed on the civilian population, the IDF has failed to explain why non-destructive means for detecting and neutralizing tunnels employed in places like the Mexico-United States border and the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) cannot be used along the Rafah border.Moreover, it has at times dealt with tunnels in a puzzlingly ineffective manner that is inconsistent with the supposed gravity of this longstanding threat.The report makes three main points:

    * Shafts vs. Tunnels. Israeli officials claim to have uncovered approximately ninety tunnels in Rafah since 2000, giving the impression of a vast and burgeoning underground flow of arms into Gaza.When pressed about these claims, the IDF admitted the figure refers to tunnel entrance shafts, some of which connect to existing tunnels and others of which connect to nothing at all.Rather than digging new tunnels, an IDF spokesman told Human Rights Watch, smugglers are often trying to connect to cross-border tunnels that already exist.This is possible in part because, until 2003, the IDF did not seek to close the tunnels themselves, but merely demolished the Rafah homes in which tunnel entrance shafts operative or inoperative were found.This tactic caused much destruction and homelessness while leaving tunnels largely intact.Soldiers have been venturing inside tunnels since 2003, though an IDF spokesman told Human Rights Watch that the military does not have the technology to collapse lateral portions of tunnels.In response to an inquiry from Human Rights Watch, the IDF refused to specify how many tunnels versus entrances had been discovered and destroyed.The IDF’s approach namely, the use of ineffective methods for two years, followed by unclear improvements contrasts sharply with alarmist Israeli statements on tunnels and the flow of arms.

    * Inoperative Tunnels. In at least three cases, the IDF has destroyed houses containing inoperative tunnels.In July 2004, residents discovered and reported to the PNA an incomplete shaft in an empty house.A few days later, the IDF destroyed the house and seventeen other houses nearby, leaving 205 people homeless as well as a factory.Human Rights Watch’s onsite assessment just after the incursion, as well as interviews with eyewitnesses and a representative of a Palestinian armed group, indicated that the destruction was militarily unnecessary; even in the home with the tunnel entrance, demolition of the whole house was an excessive response to an incomplete shaft that could have been effectively sealed with concrete.Human Rights Watch documented two other cases in which the IDF appears to have destroyed houses with tunnel shafts that had already been sealed by the PNA.The IDF claims that PNA closures are incomplete.

    * Alternatives to Home Demolition. According to tunnel experts consulted by Human Rights Watch, a number of less destructive alternatives exist for the effective detection and destruction of smuggling tunnels.No one method is guaranteed to work in all situations, but different techniques can compensate for each other’s shortcomings, and overall conditions in Rafah favor the IDF: Only four kilometers of the border run alongside Rafah, and tunnel depth is limited by the water table approximately forty-five meters in the camp.In this environment, the IDF could install an array of underground seismic sensors along the border.Known as an “underground fence,” this method has successfully detected digging activity on the U.S.-Mexico border.Other methods, such as electromagnetic induction and ground-penetrating radar, could be used to detect tunnels at the point where they cross the IDF-controlled border, and detection is more likely if the tunnels contain electrical wires, lights, and pulley mechanisms, as the IDF claims. Once the IDF detects tunnels underneath the border, it could dig down and neutralize them with concrete or explosives, obviating the need for incursions into Rafah that result in destroyed homes and sometimes loss of life.

    Israel in all likelihood has access to such sophisticated technology, either domestically or through the U.S. government, its closest ally.But the IDF insists it has exhausted all alternatives, and that the current tactics are the only effective way of dealing with the tunnel threat.Despite three requests from Human Rights Watch, the IDF declined to explain the alternative methods it has attempted to detect tunnels and why they did not work.While some information regarding tunnels may be sensitive, the enormous impact on the civilian population of demolitions places the burden on Israel to make the case as to why the only way of dealing with tunnels that run underneath IDF positions is to demolish houses deeper and deeper into the camp.

    Razng Rafah

    Rachel Corrie died attempting to prevent the demolition of one of these houses. After she died, and after the house was demolished, there were NO tunnels found under the house of any kind. It was simply demolished because the IDF wished to created a wide no-man’s land between the edge of Rafah and the border, in violation of international humanitarian law.

    • Mattie says:

      Eitan is INCORRECT. Tree is CORRECT. Absolutely NO tunnels were ever found under the Nasrallah home, the home that Rachel rightly tried to save from demolition. Had tunnels been found surely the Nasrallahs would never have been given visas to the U.S in 2005 or been allowed to travel throughout the country giving informational talks that summer. (link to rebuildingalliance.org).
      If Eitan needs further proof he could just contact the IDF for verification that NO tunnels were ever found, particularly since he has direct connections to them, what with the protection he needs for his illegal settlement building. You know Eitan, they’re the same IDF that destroyed the crime scene where Rachel Corrie died BEFORE the investigator arrived to investigate her death (wasn’t that convenient) and the same guys that ultimately did demolish the Nasrallah home – no good reason needed, or ever given.

  15. D.. says:

    “The Koret and Taube Foundations are part of a wide spectrum of individuals and organizations, Christian and Jewish, who attempt to enforce the axiom: there shall be no public criticism of Israel.”

    Rabbi Gottlieb, I can understand the impulse to spread the blame evenly, but can you give us the name of a Christian organization that behaves like this?

  16. Mooser says:

    Is there anything in this whole wide wonderful world more passive-agressive than a Zionist supporter?
    And, as the article indicates, the final stage has come. People are laughing at them and their accusations of anti-Semitism.
    Zionism, I tell you, can handle a lot of things, but being laughed at is fatal to it. Along with BDS, of course!

  17. obu says:

    no one ever dies there is just transmission of energy. rachel’s beautiful reflection is continuing to permeate through us all.

  18. Jacqueline_Hyde says:

    Don’t boot hasbara! They are useful as an index of desparation, an IOD, if you will.

  19. Pingback: MuzzleWatch » San Francisco Jewish Film Festival: What happened on Saturday?

  20. cheryl says:

    I am glad that Eitan reminded me that the phrase “in the area” was a phrase used frequently by the Israelis. The Philadelphia Route or Corridor is a fairly narrow road the Israelis were given control over in order to patrol the Rafah border. In the film the Israelis released they pan the camera to this border and one can see people and traffic. Obviously, this is not where Rachel was killed. Where Rachel was killed was over 100 meters from the Philadelphi Route, in front of the Samir house. The Israelis use the phrase “in the area” to allow the reader to believe the bulldozing was occurring on the Philadelphi Route. Per Oslo, they have legal right to be on the Route. But per Oslo, the Palestinians have jurisdiction over the city street that the Samir house stood on.
    What the Israelis must have known was that no one was going to track down exactly where Rachel was killed. As the investigator in the film states, the site was destroyed and he never visits it. Point of fact is that Rachel had the right to be in front of the Samir home, and the Samir family had the right to be in their own home. The IDF should not have been off of the Philadelphia Route. Per Oslo, the Israelis had the right to be on the Philadelphi Road or “in the area” so to speak but Oslo did not give them the right to move into Palestinian streets which is the area Rachel was actually killed at. As in occupation the Israelis did not have the right but they had the power to be pushing dirt immediately in front of the Samir home.

  21. obu says:

    if you stand in front of a column of chinese tanks you just might survive….. but if you dare to step in front of an israeli bulldozer you must prepare to die.

  22. cheryl says:

    In the film “Rachel” pathologist Yehuda Hiss states he was aware that the Israeli court had stipulated that an autopsy could be accomplished only if an American was present. He performed the autopsy without an American present. In googling Professor Hiss this report from the Jerusalem Post appeared:

    Headline: Police: Abu Kabir chief pathologist sold body parts Byline: DAN IZENBERG Edition; Daily Section: News Page: 05

    Friday, November 15, 2002 — Following a year-long investigation, the National Fraud Unit has concluded that Prof. Yehuda Hiss, director of the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, violated the Anatomy and Pathology Law by selling the body parts of corpses without prior written permission.

    The police investigation findings have been submitted to the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether or not to indict …

    I have not found anything about indictment. Eitan, do you have any info about this?

  23. cheryl says:

    . The point is that Professor Hiss ignored an Israeli court order. I wonder why. He knew of the order. His reasons didn’t ring true.

  24. lovelyisraelis says:

    I urge all of you to encourage the moderators to get eitan the sewer filth off the site.

    • Saxon says:

      There has been no mass slaughter of Palestinians. Their population has grown from 1.5 million to over 10 million in 60 years.

      • able tuno says:

        saxon I am saving a place for you in the single file line to the chambers for supporters

  25. Pingback: Gaza Digest | PINKtank

  26. peacemaker36 says:

    “Anyone who desires peace among Israelis and Palestinians must be an advocate for the resolution of the conflict based on nonviolence, human rights, mutuality in negotiations and adherence to international law. Our future is together, not apart. Toward that end, we will not be silent.”

    Hamas dress code aims to make Gaza more Islamic
    link to google.com

    When the same people who advocate for Israel to adopt progressive policies can call on the anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist elements to do the same with equal fervor, then I will join you.

    • tree says:

      I’m not sure that I’m in any hurry to be joined by someone who equates enforced modesty dress codes, however repressive they may be, with large scale house demolitions, land theft and ethnic cleansing and the denial of fundamental human rights, and who refuses to condemn the later until and unless others join in their tune.

      However, if you truly do consider forced modesty codes unacceptable I’m sure you will be willing to criticize them in Israel as well, no? Especially when they are accompanied by violence against women.

      Police fail to stop Ultra-Orthodox ‘modesty patrols’

      The young woman exudes strength and independence. But she bears the sign of a head fracture and scars on her face. One night, a few months ago, men broke into her apartment through the front door. They beat her up and humiliated her, knocking her head against the floor. They threatened to tear gas her if she tried to interfere with their rummaging through her possessions. And they left her bleeding on the floor.

      To whom could she go for help? Her family turned its back on her when she chose to divorce her ultra-Orthodox husband; her children were taken away from her; and the neighbors in her building cold shoulder her. Now it transpires that the authorities can’t help either. The investigation that began with a great deal of media fuss, has ended in failure. That, of course, took place far from the public eye.

      And here’s another case, Woman beaten on Jerusalem bus for refusing to move to rear seat

      And another, ‘Modesty patrol’ suspected of spilling acid on teenage girl

    • lovelyisraelis says:

      another awesome tree post.

      Indeed, women are often attacked and even stoned for praying at the wailing wall, an illegal act according to doctrinaire judaism, one of the most violently misogynist creeds going.

      oh yeah..they also attacked a crippled man for the offense of using an electrified wheelchair—forbidden on the sabbath.

      Mulah Omar, eat your heart out!

  27. Pingback: Fourth World Eye » Blog Archive » Facing History

  28. Frances says:

    Are some of these people posting on this site who make such nonsensical statements in defense of Israel’s slow-motion holocaust against the Palestinians, actually paid Israeli agents? Israel has an “internet warfare team” in their budget, and that would explain a lot about these comments. Consider the following report:

    Internet users paid to spread Israeli propaganda
    Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 22 July 2009

    The passionate support for Israel expressed on talkback and comment sections of websites, internet chat forums, blogs, Twitter and Facebook may not be all that it seems.

    Israel’s foreign ministry is reported to be establishing a special undercover team of paid workers whose job it will be to surf the internet 24 hours a day spreading positive news about Israel.

    Internet-savvy Israeli youngsters, mainly recent graduates and demobilized soldiers with language skills, are being recruited to pose as ordinary surfers while they provide the government’s line on the Middle East conflict.

    “To all intents and purposes the internet is a theater in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we must be active in that theatre, otherwise we will lose,” said Ilan Shturman, who is responsible for the project.

    The existence of an “internet warfare team” came to light when it was included in this year’s foreign ministry budget. About $150,000 has been set aside for the first stage of development, with increased funding expected next year.
    link to electronicintifada.net

  29. Pingback: ‘Rachel’ showing marks ‘major shift’ in U.S. Jewish attitudes to Israel

  30. Pingback: Cindy Corrie on the SF Jewish Film Festival’s important choice

  31. Pingback: An article on reformist opposition to re… « Talk Islam

  32. Pingback: An article on reformist opposition to re… | Marriage Blog

  33. lysias says:

    Time will tell whether Rachel Corrie lost.

    I very much suspect it will show that she won in the end.

  34. Citizen says:

    Ah, the Germans taught the Jews that lesson very well. Stuka party anyone?

  35. Jacqueline_Hyde says:

    Kiss ass philosopher: don’t resist and you won’t get hurt.

  36. Colin Murray says:

    Don’t play tag with a bulldozer. You will lose.

    That’s as utterly obnoxious as someone saying “Don’t play tag with a suicide bomber. You will lose.” Would you not be offended to hear that if your daughter had been killed by a suicide bomber? You have spoken the rhetorical equivalent of kicking a corpse. What the hell is wrong with you?

  37. David says:

    Thank you for an elegant response.

  38. Yoni C. says:

    Lysias, she’s dead, i would consider that a total loss.

  39. tree says:

    Keep it up, eitan. Do you have any idea what a horrid and bigoted example of a zionist you are? Probably not.

  40. ... says:

    i think she brings attention to a horrific aspect of present day tactics of israel.. for that i’m sure you wish it was different, but instead it is gaining increasing attention… violence to the point of death to someone protesting in a non violent manner is not something to be proud of as an israel citizen.. violence isn’t what israeli’s want, but they appear willing to serve it up quite regularly… you need to get on side with which side you’d like to support – violence, or non violence?

  41. Chauncey says:

    Eitan you were begat by a SOW!

  42. gnu says:

    She wasn’t one of the Chosen people. Most Goyim should know that they are sub-human to the Great race of Israel. Rachel didn’t.

  43. ... says:

    … the driver didn’t see her….. you don’t appear to see anything of her either… collective amnesia?

  44. ahmed says:

    by eitan’s logic, the holocaust was also an example of Darwinism?

  45. tree says:

    I try not to insult other posters but you are such an idiot its hard to refrain.

    A 23-year-old American woman, Rachel Corrie, a college student from Olympia, Washington who belonged to the International Solidarity Movement in the territories, was killed yesterday by an IDF bulldozer during a house demolition in Rafah.

    From Haaretz

    The IDF doesn’t use D9′s to “clear dirt”. They use them to demolish houses. They admitted that was what they were doing when Corrie was killed.

  46. gnu says:

    Real bright comment, fruitcake.
    Is that what your father told you?

    You should look these things up
    and not always believe your family, sweetboy.

  47. v... says:

    Yes Eitan, and the soldiers that are there are just running around for target practice. The jokes are so bad regarding this, because the soldiers always claim they “shot into the air.” The standing “joke” is that the Palestinians must fly, they are hit so often by soldiers that only fire into the air. Give it a break

  48. Saxon says:

    But Corrie didn’t resist. She commited suicide.

  49. Shingo says:

    The Jews who went to their deaths in Germany didn’t resist either. I guess they all commited suicide too right Yoni?

  50. able tuno says:

    the perps of the murder, one of so many countless done by occupation will all meet a nice mushroom cloud and the atomic bomb off the coast of florida will be detonated as well and the jewnighted states will be ablaze and all jews brought to their knees and done in where they stand, none will be saved, if the facts are not being put to the public as they are carried out by the illegal occupation then all must pay, I appriciate the mondo cru but they could just be a plant for the targeting of all whom write on these sites….prove me wrong !!!

  51. Saxon says:

    Which is a step up from your alleged mother.

  52. andrew r says:

    I guess the hand of God blinds those who drive heavy machinery into people who burn American flags.

  53. Shingo says:

    Build away Eitan,

    The Palestinians wil need those homes when they move in.

  54. Oscar says:

    Eitan, man, are you even from the Planet Earth? Oh, and by the way, can you kindly refund our $3 billion in taxpayer dollars?

  55. pung shwey says:

    Well said. you’re quite an intellectual.

  56. cheryl says:

    It truly is in the focus. She was actually standing in front of a home on a Palestinian street and standing in front of the children who were in that house. The bulldozer approached her from a fairly long distance. I wonder what the commander of the dozer was doing as he sat several inches above the driver in order to better do his job – observe the area and direct the driver….and of course the three heads in the APC on site must have been turned elsewhere as observation was also part of their job…..but, oh well…..the Israelis must have been confident that no investigation would ever have enough light shed on it to ask those questions. Still, it makes one wonder if you have stopped your work and gone back to the border where you were supposed to be in the first place and then are told that the work is not to stop for any reason and you know that the ISMers are in the area you are working in, it makes me wonder if the commander or the APC personel even considered if they should open their eyes

  57. tr says:

    It’s useful to compare Rachel Corrie with the Tiananmen Square protestor who captured the world’s imagination by facing down a column of tanks in 1989. The most obvious similarity is that both risked their lives to deliberately obstruct the actions of an army. The most obvious difference is that the Chinese army swerved to avoid killing in this case – while the most moral army in the world didn’t.

  58. IrishWhiskey says:

    Do you remember the TV footage of a Chinese man holding a plastic bag standing in front of a line of Chinese tanks? They stopped, rather than squash a fellow human being.
    He wasn’t even wearing a fluorescent vest.

  59. natie says:

    Actually, she stood in front of a home. And it was not fucking or hiding any tunnel.
    Anyone who reads her correspondence knows she was intelligent, a gifted writer, and above-all, well-informed. The one piece of information she really needed was the fate
    of the USS Liberty, but her government hid that piece of data.

  60. ... says:

    eitan, your hardened heart is showing.. when one hardens their heart they essentially cut themselves off from others… that is what you are doing here.

  61. Shingo says:

    So etian celebrates the murder of an innocent girl who was protesting for what she believed was right.

    So it’s official. Eitan is an advocate for murder and celebrates such crimes.

  62. andrew r says:

    Huh, that post is kinda awkward without the post it was retorting to. Good riddance anyway.

  63. annie says:

    Corrie was the tipping pt. thousands apon thousands of people have died in this war and it took one young beautiful idealistic american girl to lay down her life for the world to witness the big ugly symbol of israeli and idf violence roll right over her and quash the life out of her as if she had no more significance than a weed.. it was in the context of this backdrop the gaza slaughter of 08 began.

    she will go down in history and israel will live with that stain on its image til people like eitan curse the day that bulldozer ran over her. i’d say corrie has just begun. her star has only begun to rise and it shines brighter by the day. worth it? i’d say.

    and there is nothing you can do about it eitan. the more you resist her the brighter and higher she shines. don’t believe me? check back in a year. try 10. many people have just begun to see the real face of israel, because of rachel.

  64. ... says:

    how about some macabre holocaust jokes too while yer at it eitan…

  65. Shingo says:

    “There isn’t much of a market for crushed communist skulls these days… ”

    Your a sick man Eitan. Not your fault. Zionism is a disease of the mind.

  66. Shingo says:

    Burning American flags is not against the law in any part of the word. In fact, many a baby boomer took part is that activity.

    It’s just a lie to suggest Corrie was trying to curry favor with the arabs. Eevn in Israel, drivers of bulldozers learn to look where they are going and are not deaf eitehr. Only a sick mind woudl suggest that she has become a blood libel against Jewish people. It was Isrel that killed her, not Jewish people.

  67. Saxon says:

    So, you are supposing that she was quite alive and would have made it had not the ISM member deliberately move her head, causing her death?

    Very interesting. After all, the only one who benefits from her death is the ISM.

  68. Shingo says:

    No, like any good little IDF assassin, the drives of the bulldozer drove back over her body toi confirm the kill, then drove off.

    Israel made sure that the autopsy was botcched and inconclusive.

  69. tree says:

    The final autopsy did.

    The claim of the “operational investigation” that Corrie was not killed by a bulldozer is directly contradicted by the findings of the final autopsy report, conducted only four days after Corrie’s death released on April 24 at Israel’s National Center of Forensic Medicine. The author of the autopsy report stated:“Based on the results of the autopsy which I performed on the body of RACHEL ALIENE CORRIE, age 24, I hereby express my opinion that her death was caused by pressure on the chest (mechanical asphyxiation) with fractures of the ribs and vertebrae of the dorsal spinal column and scapulas, and tear wounds in the right lung with hemorrhaging of the pleural cavities.”271

    From Human Rights Watch report Promoting Impunity: The Israeli Military’s Failure to Investigate Wrongdoing

    None of those severe injuries could have been caused by the weight of debris alone. Only the force of the bulldozer on her could have cause such injuries.

  70. Saxon says:

    It is hard to believe that you made that story up on the spot., Cheryl. Did you have help? The pictures show her nowhere near a house.

  71. Saxon says:

    The major difference was that there was no war zone in China, there was no military objective, and the chinese fellow was a citizen.

    Rachel “Pancake” Corrie was a foreign criminal attempting to phyically stop the military in their mission of saving the lives of the citizens of Israel.

    That is the obvious difference

  72. Shingo says:

    There’s no war in Paelstine either. A war requires 2 sides to be a threat one another. The Israel Palestin edispute is an occupation and an ongoing program of ethnic cleasing. It’s like what China are doing to Tobet, onyl much worse and for much longer.

    There are other similarities though. Neither China nor Israel are democracies. though one pretends to be.

  73. Shingo says:

    Etian,

    You have defended and rationalixed the mass slaughter and enthic cleansing of the Palestinian people. You are in no positon to complain.

  74. Shingo says:

    She was not in a closed military zone. She was in a Zone that Israel had agreed they were not to enter, outside the Phildelphia corridor. The bulldozer was carrying out a terrorist operation.

  75. Shingo says:

    “They bulldozer was clearing dirt. ”

    And you complain about Israelis being referred to as cockroaches?

  76. teuton says:

    Mature German steam train seeks idealistic young Jewish females for long rides, walks in
    a special park, a very special relationship; goodies include free food, healthy outdoor exercise area, a snug bed, and lovely music. I am pursuing a career in urban living while engineering how to make real peace on earth.

  77. Saxon says:

    Where shall I send the $5 you contributed?

  78. Saxon says:

    There has been no mass slaughter of Palestinians.

  79. lovelyisraelis says:

    But look whose posts were REMOVED!

  80. Saxon says:

    Of course there is a war. Hamas, the genocide party of the Palestinians, was elected on a platform wherein they promised to slaughter the Jews.

  81. Un-Natural Growth says:

    The same way Nicole Brown Simpson committed “suicide” by plunging her body repeatedly into O.J. Simpson’s knife, right, Saxon?

  82. Un-Natural Growth says:

    Saxon, you and your countrymen are destined to be isolated from the rest of the world with your Semitic-superior and subhuman perspective. Your brand of arrogant exceptionalism is ultimately self-defeating. It’s you against the whole wide world, isn’t it? Must be tough to sleep at night, having that burden on your shoulders.

  83. lovelyisraelis says:

    well said, mr. un-natural. I wish I could share your optimism. The israelis have been at this for awhile. It’s pretty hard to argue that they are losing right now. They bombard and massacre people with no means of defense and no one seems to have a clue as to how to stop the united states from supplying them with the means and encouragement to continue their abominations.