A new low point in the history of American protection for Israeli impunity: State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland yesterday refused to criticize the Israeli court decision saying there was nothing wrong with an Israeli army tank crushing an American protester to death while she was trying to protect children in a Gaza house in 2003.
A reporter asked Nuland specifically about the statement ascribed to American ambassador Dan Shapiro:
Israel’s investigation into the death of American activist Rachel Corrie was not satisfactory, and wasn’t as thorough, credible or transparent as it should have been, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told the Corrie family this week.
And Nuland seeks to retract this statement, implying that it was simply a form of “private” “support,” like grief therapy:
QUESTION: An Israeli court today ruled against the family of Rachel Corrie, the American who was killed by a bulldozer in Gaza. Is the U.S. satisfied with that investigation, and is the U.S. disappointed that the Israeli military hasn’t taken responsibility for her death?
MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, we reiterate our condolences to the Corrie family on the tragic death of their daughter, Rachel. As you know, we’ve worked with the family all through this process, and we will continue to provide consular support. We understand the family’s disappointment with the outcome of the trial. Under Israeli law, the family has the right to appeal the verdict, and we’ve seen reports that they are considering doing that. So we will see how this proceeds going forward.
QUESTION: Can I follow up on that?
MS. NULAND: Yeah.
QUESTION: There are reports that her family at a press conference said that Ambassador Dan Shapiro told them that he found the – he was finding the investigation not to be transparent. Do you have any comment on that?
MS. NULAND: I was asked this question earlier this week. Beyond saying that we have met with the family regularly, that we have provided consular support, I’m not going to get into our private discussions with the family.