Verdict in Corrie trial another test of Israeli impunity

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 89 Comments
Photo 15  Rachel Corrie Trial
Photo of Rachel Corrie (far right, red jacket) holding a megaphone protesting home demolitions in Rafah, Gaza on the day she was killed. (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

Tomorrow, on August 28th, the the Haifa District Court will announce a verdict in the Corrie family’s civil lawsuit against the State of Israel. Rachel Corrie was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer as she protested the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah, Gaza. Her family filed this lawsuit in 2005 and it charges the State of Israel with responsibility for Rachel’s killing and failure to conduct a credible investigation in the case. There are indications that the U.S. government agrees with the family. On Friday, the Guardian reported that Dan Shapiro, the US ambassador to Israel, met with the Corrie family in Tel Aviv two weeks ago and told them the U.S. government, “did not believe the Israeli military investigation had been ‘thorough, credible and transparent.'”

Since oral testimony began in the case in March 2010, there have been 15 hearings with 23 witnesses testifying. The Corrie family has been represented by attorney Hussein abu Hussein in these hearings. Although the trial has received much attention, little has been shared with what actually took place in court. I was given access to translations of never before published legal summaries submitted to the District Court in Haifa and these documents record an emotional and heated debate over the events of March, 2003 and Israel’s occupation policies in Gaza.

The legal summaries are submitted to the court by the lawyers for the plaintiff (the Corrie Family) and the defendant (the State of Israel) and analyze the evidence and legal arguments presented in court, as well as the testimonies given during the trial. The summaries also act as an exchange of sorts between the two parties with each side attacking the arguments of the other.

These summaries reveal a callous Israeli defense which attempts to smear Corrie and the International Solidarity Movement which she was working with. More broadly, the Israeli case recounts arguments many have become familiar with following Operation Cast Lead and the attack on the freedom flotilla — namely that Israel is above the law as it fights whomever it deems a threat.

The Corrie verdict on Tuesday is yet another test of whether Israeli courts can hold its own military accountable. If the Corrie family wins its case it will show that even nearly ten years after the loss of their beloved daughter, there is a price to be paid for the actions of the Israeli military. If the State wins, it will serve as yet another indication from the Israeli legal system that Israel can continue to act with impunity in the occupied territories.

The state believes that it was proved that the activity of the IDF force is within the framework of “war activity.” . . . In addition, the state proved that the deceased willfully endangered herself and, sadly, her contributory fault stood at 100%.

– Page 177, Summaries on Behalf of the State submitted to Judge Oded Gershon in the case “The estate of Rachel Aliene Corrie vs State of Israel, Ministry of Defense”

Attacks on Rachel Corrie and the ISM

One of the Israeli government’s main tactics in the case was to attack the International Solidarity Movement (the organization Rachel was working with) and in the process blame Rachel for her own death. Here is how the Israeli government describes the ISM (From Summaries on Behalf on the State, pps. 48-49):

the ISM organization, whose ranks included the deceased and the plaintiff’s witnesses, is an anti-Israel organization that conducts illegitimate, violent activity including hunkering down in the homes of terrorists to prevent their demolition, providing refuge for terrorists, active participation in confrontations with IDF soldiers, and even standing as human shields for “wanted men” or for homes of Palestinians. The organization’s activists, backed by the organization, are
aware of the great dangers that exist in the places where they conduct their activity, but they are prepared to endanger their lives for the sake of the agenda they seek to promote.

To make its case, the State brought in a former spokeperson from the IDF, Brig. Gen. Ruth Yaron, as an “expert witness” to try to tie the ISM to terrorism. Although the state was careful never to attack Corrie explicitly, as the quotes above show, the Israeli government did say that Rachel Corrie was responsible for her own death.

The Corrie family’s lawyer struck back forcefully in his response, defending Corrie and the important work she was doing:

Scornful rejection must be the response to repugnant attempt by the defendant to label the deceased as a suicide or someone with a “death wish” and a readiness to willfully endanger her own life, and attributing this to her based on the fact of her having come to Israel and being in the Gaza Strip to protest against the demolition of Palestinian homes on the outskirts of Rafah. The defendant has tried — unsuccessfully, with all its might — and relying on an “expert” opinion, to portray the death of the deceased as somehow fitting, by virtue of her membership in the ISM. The plantiff’s ask the Court to ignore these loathsome comments disrespectful to the dead, when their sole purpose is to crush the pride of her family who do not apologize and will never apologize for the legitimate humanitarian activity of their beloved daughter.

The Corrie team criticized the use of Yaron as an expert witness because she was in fact not an outside expert, but was serving in the IDF Spokesperson’s office at the time of Corrie’s death and had been personally involved in the case itself.

“Every day a war” – Commander of IDF Southern Command Col. Pinky Zoaretz

The second pillar of the Israeli case was that Corrie chose to enter a war zone and that Israeli actions were consistent with the field of battle. The Corrie lawyers countered that there was in fact no “war activity” taking place at the time of Corrie’s death, and that the D9 bulldozer that killed Rachel was conducting routine home demolitions in Rafah in a civilian area.

The Israeli argument states (From Summaries on Behalf of the State pps. 18-22):

In the Gaza Strip in general and particularly on the Philadelphi Route, which was one of the main flashpoints of the conflict, many shooting attacks were conducted against civilian and military convoys traveling on the route. The terror activity in these areas included the firing of steep-trajectory weapons toward Israeli territory, the detonation of anti-tank bombs, the digging of many tunnels to the Egyptian city of Rafah for arms smuggling, the tossing of live grenades, sniper fire, and so on. In contending with this, and in order to eliminate and prevent terror as much as possible, the IDF had to work with combined forces (units from the Southern Command, together with the Engineering Corps) to carry out clearing missions to uncover roadside and anti-tank bombs and to locate openings of tunnels used to smuggle weaponry and plant bombs.. . .

IDF forces that operated in the area were compelled to take additional precautions, beyond those used in routine times, in order avoid causing harm to innocents. The fact that the combat activity and life-threatening dangers were daily, as noted, does not diminish the combat nature of this activity or the great danger the soldiers experienced at every moment and in every minute.

Therefore, it is clear that the position of the plaintiffs, who try to portray it as routine IDF activity, should not be accepted. It cannot be said that IDF activity is routine and without any special risk, even if the activity was repeated a number of times. Each and every time this activity was conducted, the soldiers were under real, life-threatening danger.

This point was made explicitly in the testimony given by Col. Pinky Zoaretz, who had been Commander of IDF Southern Command at the time of Corrie’s death. In his testimony, Zoaretz agreed that it was permissible to kill any person in Rafah near the Philadelphi Route (a buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt that was controlled by Israel at the time of Corrie’s death) because from the beginning of the second intifada through the time of Corrie’s death the entire Gaza Strip was considered a combat zone.

From the Updated Written Summaries on Behalf of the Plaintiffs (pps. 177-179):

According to the witness Zoaretz, the area in question is an area where there is combat every day, “and rational people do not permit themselves to roam around in the route, unless their goal is to attack our forces” (p.1186, lines 6-7 / session of July 10, 2011). He went on to claim that this situation of combat began at least with the events of 2000 and continued at least until the period when he was there as commander of the sector in 2004, and during all that period the area was defined as a closed military area for all intents and purposes (pp.1186-1187 / session of July 10, 2011).

Pinky Zoaretz exaggerated by treating the entire area of the Southern Command as a combat zone, in his words:

“Q: When you tell me – a war zone, you are referring to the entire Southern region, and not just the Philadelphi route itself.

A: All the area of the Southern Command is a very, very significant combat zone, but the Philadelphi route was the most significant of all.” (p.1187, lines 4-7 / session of July 10, 2011). In this corridor there is no situation of getting out of the vehicle (end of p. 1210, lines 1-6 / session of July 10, 2011).

He went on to argue that, in the Philadelphi route, civilians do not roam around and “it is a route where anyone roaming around is courting death.” (p.1213, lines 20-23), since “Anyone who is there, his intentions are not innocent” (p.1214, lines 1-2 / session of July 10, 2011).

According to Zoaretz, in that route there is a war going on:

Q: There is a war going on there.
A: Yes.
Q: And anyone who comes to the route, his blood is on his own head.
A: Absolutely. And much more so at night.
Q: But also in the daytime.
A: Also in the daytime.
Q: And on the level of principle, a person who comes to this route in the daytime, it is permissible to kill him.
A: Affirmative.”
(p.1237, lines 8-23 / session of July 10, 2011).

And according to the witness:

“A: …On the level of the State of Israel, we are in a limited confrontation. On the level of the combat soldier, who gets up in the morning at his post, he gets up every
morning to a war, he is in a war. Up to the level of the division in Gaza, the division
was in a war situation. Every day we were fighting a war.
Q: Every day a war.
A: Yes.
Q: From when to when?
A: From September, when it began, until the disengagement they were in a war.”
(p.1238, lines 7-9).

According to the witness, from September 2000 the entire state was in a situation of limited confrontation between Israel and organized terrorism, but in a war situation in the southern sector.

In essence, Zoaretz was claiming that Israeli attempts to combat the second intifada, which began in September 2000, constituted a war, and thus Corrie’s presence in Rafah “was not innocent.” In addition, because the IDF considered Gaza an open-ended war zone starting in September 2000, Zoaretz believed Rafah in effect became a free fire zone where any Palestinian, or international, could be killed with impunity.

The Corrie team responds:

Pity the ears that heard the words of Colonel (Res.) Pinky Zoaretz, who headed the Southern Brigade at the relevant time, who saw the southern region – including the [Philadelphi] route – as a war zone in every way beginning in 2000 and until 2004, and that every person by being there is marked for death and may be killed, never mind that person’s identity, age, gender or reasons for being in the corridor. For this reason, in Zoaretz’ opinion, if someone were to fire from a tank and kill 15 foreigners, according to him this behavior would be consistent with the open-fire instructions and with the orders (p.1232, lines 13-21 / session of July 10, 2011). Zoaretz’s position ignores the reality in the occupied Palestinian territories, and contradicts the directives of international humanitarian law, intended to protect civilians in situations of armed conflict.

By contrast, S.R. [Ed Note: These initials indicate a witness whose identity was not make public], commander of the operational force that protected the force at the site that date, had a different opinion on this subject. This witness was unable to answer whether there was an order prohibiting the entry of the foreigners to the route (p.929, lines 1-6 / session of April 3, 2011). . .

It is hard not to distinguish the difference in tone between the warlike tone of Pinky Zoaretz, and the tone of S.R., for Zoaretz sees the route as being in a state of war, not only the Corridor but the entire southern brigade area and the Gaza Strip from the year 2000 at least through his leaving his position in 2004, and harming someone who is in the Corridor – without any consideration – even unto death – is permitted.

In the end, although there are not criminal charges being weighed, this trial will cast judgement on the actions, and worldview, of those like Zoaretz who view Israel in a state a perpetual war and believe any action – “even unto death” -  is permitted.

Finally, the verdict tomorrow will serve as another chapter in the incredible legacy that Rachel Corrie has left behind. A true martyr, Rachel’s death has stood as an inspiration, lightning rod and beacon of moral clarity. Further, the persistence, strength and grace of the Corrie family has a power all its own, and has moved everyone who has had the chance to meet them as they have struggled for accountability these past nine and a half years. Regardless of the verdict, tomorrow’s announcement will not represent justice, but it may offer respite, and a long overdue acknowledgement of what was done to Rachel. Either way, Rachel Corrie’s legacy and example will live on. 

The lawyer representing the Corries captured the beauty and force of the family in his ending of the Plaintiffs’ Response to Defendant’s Summaries. Abu Hussein finishes his argument by quoting Mahmoud Darwish, and uses the poet’s words to imagine how Rachel might address the soldiers who took her life:

Finally, we wish to quote the thoughtful words of the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish of blessed memory in his poem “Think of Others, on the premise that these are the words the deceased would have addressed to the soldiers who were involved in precipitating the end of her young life:

Think of Others

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
  (do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
  (do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
  (those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
  (do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
  (those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
  (those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
  (say: If only I were a candle in the dark).

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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89 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    August 27, 2012, 10:03 am

    Who has any questions about this? The state of Israel will win. That was written in stone from the beginning.

    • seafoid
      August 27, 2012, 4:12 pm

      The victories get harder. They can make up whatever BS law they like but the goys are figuring it all out. Even if they can buy congress they can’t determine the trend of conversations
      in the kitchens of Galut. They have an existential fear of BDS and they know that Goy support is time limited. They can’t stop the settlers. It is easier now to pretend nothing is wrong but Rachel Corrie did not die in vain.

  2. CitizenC
    August 27, 2012, 10:23 am

    Zionist justice is to justice what Jewish democracy is to democracy

  3. Blake
    August 27, 2012, 10:43 am

    Great in depth article many thanks. I have heard Petitions are being organized to rename the aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan the USS Rachel Corrie. The ship would remain on station in the Mediterranean near the spot the USS Liberty was attacked in 1967.

    Does anybody know of such a petition? I would love to sign it.

    • radkelt
      August 29, 2012, 10:59 pm

      Heh Bro, where can I get some of that sh*t you smokin?

      • Blake
        August 30, 2012, 9:15 am

        Perhaps after you get an education.

  4. seafoid
    August 27, 2012, 11:13 am

    I can only imagine what Rachel Corrie’s parents have learnt through this process. The lies and brutality of Zionism directed against them personally- did they expect what was thrown at them? The intimidation, the slander, the character assassination.

    Surely there must be an opening for an “I survived the Ziobot experience” association. Anyone with experience of Shimon Peres lying or common or garden Israeli brutality and bad faith could join .

  5. Hostage
    August 27, 2012, 11:21 am

    Rachel Corrie was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer as she protested the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah, Gaza

    There’s a legitimate question as to whether or not an Israeli court has the final say over events happening in Gaza in 2003. The US and the signatories of the Montevideo Convention have affirmed in Article 3 of the treaty that, even before recognition, the state has the right to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts. http://www.jus.uio.no/english/services/library/treaties/01/1-02/rights-duties-states.xml

    The majority of the Montevideo signatories have recognized the State of Palestine. In principle, nothing would prevent the Corrie family from obtaining a civil judgment in a Palestinian Court that can be enforced in those or other countries which recognize the State of Palestine.

    Last year, Michael Sfard noted that it is the Palestinians who will ultimately decide what the legal framework is that is binding in their territory. See “The legal tsunami is on its way” http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-legal-tsunami-is-on-its-way-1.358758

    Prof. Errol Mendes served as a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court and wrote an advisory opinion for the Office of the Prosecutor on the subject of jurisdiction in the occupied territories. He noted that the international community had endorsed the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence. He also noted:

    “There is an element of irrationality for anyone to suggest that the Palestinian State can not even declare independence after the Oslo Accords expired on September 13, 2000”.

    — See page 30 http://uclalawforum.com/media/background/gaza/2010-03-30_Mendes-Memo.pdf

    The international community subsequently endorsed the 1988 Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence again when it admitted Palestine as a member state of UNESCO. There’s no doubt that the Palestinians and a majority of UN member states view Palestine as an entity that’s entitled to the status of a non-member permanent observer state.

    The bottom line is that Israel does not have undisputed personal, territorial, or subject matter jurisdiction over events that occurred in Gaza in 2003.

    In addition, because the IDF considered Gaza an open-ended war zone starting in September 2000, Zoaretz believed Rafah in effect became a free fire zone where any Palestinian, or international, could be killed with impunity.

    The DoD stopped using “free fire zone” in its fire control lexicon due to the common misconceptions that surrounded its intended meaning. In many situations there was a risk of casualties from crossfire originating from adjacent friendly forces. So prior coordination was required before units could safely open fire on any military objective. Free fire zones did not imply any authorization to violate the laws and customs of war which prohibited attacks on unarmed civilians or persons who were hors de combat. They simply allowed valid military objectives to be targeted in isolated areas without further coordination between the unit and a higher echelon or South Vietnamese fire control center.

    • Hostage
      August 27, 2012, 11:48 am

      P.S. Although this is a civil case, the testimony of an official IDF spokesman or commander that it was permissible to indiscriminately kill unarmed civilians in a buffer zone near the Philadelphi Route would be admissible evidence of murder in the ICC. Murder is one of the specific crimes against humanity listed in Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

      • Fredblogs
        August 27, 2012, 2:56 pm

        Yeah, except the ICC has no jurisdiction. And it was an accident, not murder.

      • Hostage
        August 27, 2012, 11:09 pm

        Yeah, except the ICC has no jurisdiction. And it was an accident, not murder.

        Fred Article 4 of the Rome Statute says:

        The Court may exercise its functions and powers, as provided in this Statute, on the territory of any State Party and, by special agreement, on the territory of any other State.

        The Palestinian Authority filed an ad hoc declaration with the Registrar of the ICC on behalf of the government of Palestine in accordance with Article 12(3) of the Statute. It allows States not Party to the Rome Statute to accept the jurisdiction of the Court. http://uclalawforum.com/media/background/gaza/2009-01-21_Palestinian_National_Authority_Declaration.pdf

        The Registrar of the ICC acknowledged receipt of the written declaration and noted that it had triggered the application of the rules for State Parties in Section 9 of the Statute to the situation in Palestine pending a judicial determination on the applicability of Article 12 paragraph 3 to the Palestinian correspondence. http://www2.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/74EEE201-0FED-4481-95D4-C8071087102C/279778/20090123404SALASS2.pdf

        The Court has never ruled on the question of jurisdiction yet. The former Prosecutor’s last periodic status update to the UN simply said that he felt that he lacked the statutory authority to determine if Palestine is a State or not. He noted that either the Secretary General, acting as depositary, or the ICC Assembly of State Parties could make a binding legal determination. http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/C6162BBF-FEB9-4FAF-AFA9-836106D2694A/284387/SituationinPalestine030412ENG.pdf

        The Prosecutor seemed to be unaware of the fact that the Secretary-General is legally obliged to accept deposits for the Rome Statute under the “All States” formula from any state member of a UN specialized agency, like UNESCO, in accordance with the much more strict “Vienna” formula. The latter was established by the UN Conventions on the Law of Treaties and Diplomatic Relations which govern international agreements, like the Rome Statute, that serve as the constitution of an international intergovernmental organization. The upgrade of Palestine’s observer status would be dispositive, but legally unnecessary.

      • radkelt
        August 29, 2012, 11:24 pm

        (applause) (riotous applause) I love this site, mind bending insights,
        impeccable references, straight poop, glorious commentary (especially
        from Mooser) go Adam, Phil!!

  6. mudder
    August 27, 2012, 11:26 am

    What happened to the MW piece this morning titled “Judith Butler responds to attack: ‘I affirm a Judaism that is not associated the state violence'”?

    • Adam Horowitz
      August 27, 2012, 12:53 pm

      Sorry, it went up a bit early and we had to take it down. Will go back up as soon as possible. Apologies.

  7. mondonut
    August 27, 2012, 11:27 am

    / If the State wins, it will serve as yet another indication from the Israeli legal system that Israel can continue to act with impunity in the occupied territories./

    Why is this the obvious conclusion? How about if the State wins it is an indication that the State was not guilty of the charges?

    • Mooser
      August 27, 2012, 1:00 pm

      “How about if the State wins it is an indication that the State was not guilty of the charges?”

      See the comments by “Hostage” above.

      • mondonut
        August 27, 2012, 2:33 pm

        /See the comments by “Hostage” above./
        Saw it, but it does not change the fact that the State of Israel could indeed be innocent. That possibility does not appear to be acknowledged around here.

      • Hostage
        August 27, 2012, 6:14 pm

        Saw it, but it does not change the fact that the State of Israel could indeed be innocent. That possibility does not appear to be acknowledged around here.

        The preponderance of the evidence rules out that proposition. Israeli officials have publicly acknowledged their policies of using home demolitions as a form of punishment and their intention to reserve its use in the future, e.g. See “Israel to revive razing of homes as form of punishment” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9250368/Israel-to-revive-razing-of-homes-as-form-of-punishment.html

        A policy of willfully or wantonly killing civilians is a grave breach the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949 and a war crime (Article 147). That’s also true of Israel’s policy of systematically using home demolitions and extensive destruction of private property as punitive measures unrelated to any actual state of necessity. Even if the armed forces of the State of Israel had killed Rachel Corrie by accident in the course of and in furtherance of such a crime, Israel would still be responsible for committing an internationally wrongful act of state. http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/draft%20articles/9_6_2001.pdf

        The UN and the international community of states, working through the UN and the International Red Cross treaty bodies had already condemned Israel’s policies regarding punitive home demolitions and extensive expropriation and destruction of property for the creation of buffer zones as violations of Israel’s international obligations and war crimes. The General Assembly had also called on states to take legal steps to force Israel to comply with its obligations under the Geneva Conventions. See
        *A/48/376, 30 September 1993, para 4 reference to legal assistance in connection with punitive demolitions http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/42FC625913F2833D852560EB00546476

        *General Assembly Emergency Special Session resolution A/RES/ES-10/2
        25 April 1997 and the report of the Secretary-General A/ES-10/6 & S/1997/494, 26 June 1997 finding that the home demolitions and destruction of property were considered violations of international law
        # http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/252EECA3D55D2213802564AC00374540
        # http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/C3D9EB822B03CB11802564C6002FD3E7

        *The Commission on Human Rights fact finding report E/CN.4/RES/S-5/1, 19 October 2000 on the uprising which reported “widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the Israeli occupying Power, in particular mass killings and collective punishments, such as demolition of houses and closure of the Palestinian territories, measures which constitute war crimes, flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity.
        http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/5E0A5C4A07784BC885256A0200645731

        *The condemnation of the methodical destruction of homes and confiscation of land being systematically wrought by Israeli military forces by the UN Special Rapporteur on housing and land rights 7 August 2002 http://www.un.org/apps/news/storyAr.asp?NewsID=4398&Cr=palestin&Cr1

        *The Human Rights Committee report CCPR/CO/78/ISR, 21 August 2003 which reported the punative nature of home demolitions; the violation of right to due process; and violation of prohibtions against torture and collective punishment. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=CCPR/CO/78/ISR

        *The ICJ Advisory Opinion stating that 1) Israel could not rely on a right of self-defense or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of its actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (paragraph 142); 2) Israel was under an obligation to compensate persons whose homes, agricultural holdings had been harmed or destroyed; and 3) under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is under an obligation to search for and bring before its courts persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, grave breaches of international humanitarian law. (paragraph 145). http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf

        *The Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, E/CN.4/2005/29, 7 December 2004 stating that the use of demolitions and property destruction to create buffer zones was not justified by a state of military necessity. http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/9C172354FE3C565785256F8E006F3988

      • mondonut
        August 27, 2012, 8:26 pm

        /Hostage says: The preponderance of the evidence rules out that proposition./

        You do know that this is a wrongful death civil suit? Your LENGTHY diatribe against home demolitions is entirely off topic. She was not wantonly killed, she was not a protected person and she was not protecting homes that day.

      • Hostage
        August 28, 2012, 11:45 am

        You do know that this is a wrongful death civil suit? Your LENGTHY diatribe against home demolitions is entirely off topic.

        The petitioners only need to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence in a civil suit. They presented witnesses who testified that Rachael was killed while demonstrating against a home demolition. The lengthy diatribe establishes that a reasonable person would have concluded that homes in that vicinity were in danger from the IDF’s operations based upon Israel’s past and on-going illegal behavior.

        She was not wantonly killed, she was not a protected person and she was not protecting homes that day.

        You need to brush up on your international humanitarian law. All civilians in any territory that has been placed under the control of an IDF commander are protected persons in accordance with customary law. The testimony of the IDF commander and the UN fact finding missions regarding the IDF rules of engagement make it absolutely clear that civilians were targeted and killed wantonly.

        I think it would be a much better idea for the Corrie family to try and get a default judgment from a PA Court in Gaza that can then be enforced in other countries that recognize Palestine.

        Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has frozen Libyan, Iranian, and PLO assets in the US and other countries. What’s fair for the goose is fair for the gander.

    • ritzl
      August 27, 2012, 1:01 pm

      If this was being decided by a jury of Corrie’s peers, people might see a verdict as worth discussing.

      As it is, the judge, defense attorney, and 10 key witnesses for the defense are all “cousins.” What’s to question about that?

      • mondonut
        August 27, 2012, 2:29 pm

        /As it is, the judge, defense attorney, and 10 key witnesses for the defense are all “cousins.” What’s to question about that?/
        By cousins do you mean Jews? Is that the problem you see? Too many Jews?

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 2:49 pm

        “By cousins do you mean Jews? Is that the problem you see? Too many Jews?”

        Hey, don’t blame ritzl. He got the idea from the best possible source, the NYTs! In a recent editorial, the NYTimes decried the influx of “Ultra-Orthodox” and “non-secular Jews” in Israel. Go argue with the Newspaper of Record.
        And by the way, my kosher legal eagle, this is a civil trial. I don’t think you get “guilty” or “innocent” out of a civil trial you get some kind of judgement on responsibility or liability.
        All you know is that somebody is talking bad about your precious, your lover, your Israel.

      • ritzl
        August 27, 2012, 7:49 pm

        First of all (and directed at no one in particular): Fuck Off, Asshole!

        Second, pointing out that the Israeli “justice” system (certainly in this case) is made up of Jewish-Israelis (yeah, I did mean Jewish-Israelis) employed by a right wing and worse, Jim Crow state bent on maintaining that advantaged status quo by staunching any outcome that might change that condition is NOT wishing for fewer Jews in the world. It’s akin to observing that a black man being arrested for speeding in Prattville, MS where the police, judge, prosecutor, and jury are all white people named Pratt, is not going to get a fair hearing.

        Use of such a wormhole-like “logic” leap to accuse someone who points out that intrinsic corruption of wanting Jews to disappear stinks so completely of desperation hasba-rot that I can smell it from here.

      • mondonut
        August 27, 2012, 8:18 pm

        /I don’t think you get “guilty” or “innocent” out of a civil trial…/

        Corrie’s father, Craig Corrie, who served as an engineer with the US military in Vietnam, said after a 2011 hearing that the family would “like to find a verdict of guilty.”

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 10:58 pm

        What’s your point? This is not a criminal trial. It is a civil case. If you are trying to stress that even in the case of a verdict favorable to Israel, there still might be somebody guilty of murder, I very much agree with you.

  8. radii
    August 27, 2012, 11:28 am

    Shapiro’s earlier comments to the Corrie family only matter if he (and our government) are prepared to forcefully condemn a verdict that finds in favor of israel – no justice is served unless the ruling comes out in favor or Corrie or the U.S. clearly calls out israel for this type of state murder and cruelty

    • Philip Munger
      August 27, 2012, 12:52 pm

      When the Israeli judge announces on Tuesday that Rachel Corrie was 100% negligent on March 16th, 2003, Hillary Clinton will say nothing. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland will characterize the court verdict as “troubling.” That will be the end of it, except perhaps Ambassador Shapiro’s words to the Corrie family, which will no doubt be sincere, but will also be very cautious.

      The ICC is the venue for this matter, not the Israeli civil court system.

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Do you think the Corrie’s will try to bump it up a notch? Met Cindy Corrie at the Occupy Aipac gathering in D.C. this spring. What a strong and gentle soul. Walked down the street in front of the convention center holding her hand for awhile. Felt like I was walking with an angel of justice. So calm, clear and determined. No need to wonder where her dear daughter got her admirable commitment to peace and justice from.

      • Philip Munger
        August 27, 2012, 2:04 pm

        I agree about Cindy. This has been a long, extremely vexing battle for them. Both Cindy and Craig have made thousands of friends in their quest for justice for their daughter, and for human rights in Palestine and elsewhere.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “bumping up a notch,” but there are many cases regarding Gaza and the West Bank that deserve to go to the ICC for justice, this being one of them.

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2012, 5:01 pm

        “bump it up a notch” Take it out of the realm of the unjust Israeli legal system and to the ICC.

  9. Citizen
    August 27, 2012, 12:16 pm

    From Veterans Today:
    At a hearing in the court in 2010 Richard Purssell, a British activist in the pro-Palestinian ISM, described how he had watched in horror as Ms Corrie was dragged four metres by the bulldozer moving forward at a “fast walking pace”.

    The full investigation was promised in a telephone call to the then US President George W Bush by Ariel Sharon, who was Israeli Prime Minister at the time, in the immediate aftermath of Ms Corrie’s death. But no action was taken against the bulldozer driver or any other military personnel present at the time.

    The US embassy said yesterday (8/24/’12) it would not comment on what was said at a private meeting held by the ambassador. But his remarks appear to reaffirm the letter written to the family in 2004 by Lawrence Wilkerson, an aide to then Secretary of State, Colin Powell, saying that Israel had failed to carry out the “thorough, credible, and transparent” investigation promised by Mr Sharon.
    Ms Corrie’s sister, Sarah Simpson Corrie, said yesterday that the lack of such an investigation had caused a “mounting battle” for the family in bringing the civil suit. Saying that she continued to look to the US government to press the case for a transparent investigation, she added: “You can’t really expect the family to resolve the issue of a diplomatic promise. That is a matter for the governments – our’s and Israel’s.”

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2012, 1:01 pm

      Lawrence Wilkerson has demonstrated that he is trying to be a man of conscience.

  10. LanceThruster
    August 27, 2012, 12:38 pm

    The little bit I know about her and her commitment to peaceably working for justice makes me miss her dearly and wonder what a compelling voice she be had she been allowed to live. It also highlights why the forces of Zionist oppression had to exterminate/eradicate her.

    I sincerely hope she is able to achieve in death what she strove to achieve in her too short life.

    • Philip Munger
      August 27, 2012, 1:57 pm

      I sincerely hope she is able to achieve in death what she strove to achieve in her too short life.

      Back in September of 2003, six months after Rachel Corrie’s death, Joshua Hammer somehow got the job of putting the last nails in Corrie’s coffin. His hit piece on her for Mother Jones concluded with this line:

      Corrie herself has faded into obscurity, a subject of debate in Internet chat rooms and practically nowhere else.

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/09/death-rachel-corrie

      Mondoweiss contributor Phan Nguyen countered Hammer’s BS in an essay for Counterpunch, appropriately titled “Mother Jones Smears Rachel Corrie Specious Journalism in Defense of Killers.” Along with slamming Hammer for some serious plagiarism (charges which Hammer has chosen to never answer), Nguyen wrote:

      Hammer concludes the article with his thesis that Rachel Corrie died for nothing. He claims that “momentum has faded for a U.S. congressional investigation,” which is incorrect. House Concurrent Resolution 111 started out with 11 sponsors and has grown to 49 sponsors in the House, with the latest two having signed on September 3 (Congress was out of session in August), so the resolution is still gaining sponsors. And on September 9, the Berkeley City Council voted to endorse Resolution 111. The reason the resolution has not moved is not because “momentum has faded,” but because action is required by the House Committee on International Relations, which, under control of Henry Hyde, is failing to address it.

      Hammer continues: “Corrie herself has faded into obscurity, a subject of debate in Internet chat rooms and practically nowhere else.” Once again, reality contradicts Hammer’s world-view. Her letters from Rafah have now been published in mainstream English-language media such as Harper’s and The Guardian. They have been translated into numerous other languages and have been reprinted in publications throughout the world. In the Arab world, her name continues to resonate as a reminder that not all Americans support the policies of their president. Documentaries have been made about her in the US, Japan, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Around the world, including in Israel, songs and poems have been written about her. Participation in ISM has risen as a reaction to her killing. Memorials, scholarship funds, and humanitarian centers are being established in her name and in her honor. ISM has even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, with special recognition of Corrie, Brian Avery, and Tom Hurndall. Arab parents are naming their children after her. Veterans for Peace has awarded her with a posthumous membership. Susan Sontag recognized her as she presented the Rothko Chapel Oscar Romero Award to Ishai Menuchin of Yesh Gvul, and Israeli conscientious objectors have evoked her name when they explain their refusal to serve in the Occupied Territories.

      http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/09/19/mother-jones-smears-rachel-corrie/

      That was back in the autumn of 2003. Anyone who has followed the saga of Katharine Viner and Alan Rickman’s monologue, My Name is Rachel Corrie, knows how powerful Rachel’s words have become. Zionists attempted to thwart the play’s production at every turn, succeeding from time to time. Philip Weiss’ compelling article about the play for The Nation (and other outlets) may have been one of his brave acts that got him to decide he had to go independent.

      http://www.alternet.org/story/33669/rachel_corrie%3A_too_hot_for_new_york

      But efforts to keep the play from being produced failed utterly. It has now been produced worldwide, in many languages. A play that was once turned down by many actresses, fearing it might be a career-destroying move, is now used as a vehicle to show both their talent and their social responsibility, let alone professional courage.

      Googling “images of posters of My Name is Rachel Corrie” leads one to several pages of pictures of posters, actresses and articles about worldwide productions.

      http://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+posters+for+my+name+is+rachel+corrie&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=prM7UO2eDobNiwLTh4CABw&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1039&bih=635

      Boats, small ships, parks, buildings, public meeting rooms and chapters of peace organizations have been named after Rachel Corrie. Many of the organizations honoring Corrie in these kinds of ways are Jewish.

      Her parents and family have set up a foundation with a growing endowment, dedicated to peace and justice.

      Rachel Corrie lives on.

      Vibrantly.

      • LanceThruster
        August 28, 2012, 1:31 pm

        Rachel Corrie lives on.

        Vibrantly.

        That was most heartening. Thank you providing the details, Philip.

  11. talknic
    August 27, 2012, 1:48 pm

    NOTHING gets the bile ducts of the Greater Israel adherents overflowing like the mention of Rachel Corrie. No doubt because she was a brave, sensitive, morally upright and determined woman who challenged, not a piece of machinery, but the system by which Israel brutalizes those it occupies.

    It takes courage to challenge a bulldozer operator to adhere to best practices for operating heavy machinery, i.e., shut down when unauthorized personnel are in the area and wait until they are removed (even if by through arrest and/or force of arms). The driver failed, miserably. The IDF failed miserably.

    That he couldn’t see someone jumping up and down in a brightly coloured jacket, yelling through a megaphone, PURPOSEFULLY trying to be seen, is laughable. HTF did he see to work? Through a haze of ziocaine induced hatred?

  12. Erasmus
    August 27, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Re: Article text
    …….If the State wins, it will serve as yet another indication from the Israeli legal system that Israel can continue to act with impunity in the occupied territories……..

    …. and that the independence of the judiciary in the “democratic and Jewish State of Israel is NOTHING BUT a FARCE!!
    Truely, truely the Israeli judiciary has long mutated to a hooker,prostituting itself to the Zionist settler ideology.

    And no rare exception changes anything of this bitter truth.

  13. justicewillprevail
    August 27, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Those who are interested can read a piece about Cindy Corrie and what she has been through:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/26/rachel-corrie-mother-not-end

    What Israel does not seem to realise, in its unceasing attempts to drag out the process, gerrymander the verdict and smear everybody involved save themselves, is how this plays out to the rest of the world. The arrogance, the indifference, the barefaced lies and obfuscation, the quite staggeringly stupid attempts at creating a transparently false narrative, and worst of all, their great standby, blaming the victims of Israeli crimes for getting in their way. Chuck in some gratuitous lies and hysteria about defenceless Palestinians, label them all as terrorists, make vile inferences about their supporters, and you have the standard Israeli line about everything they are involved in. Complete hogwash, an insult to anyone’s intelligence, and another nail in the coffin of Israeli mythology. Why would anyone believe them after reading the details of this case, and their futile attempts to attack everyone involved in it?

  14. Phan Nguyen
    August 27, 2012, 2:06 pm

    In 2003, soon after Rachel was killed, Col. Pinky Zoaretz was asked about civilian deaths in Gaza. Zoaretz explained that “sometimes people get in the way of the bullets.”

    (I’m going by memory here, but it’s a near-exact quote. You can view the full response in the UK Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, “The Killing Zone.”)

    • Philip Munger
      August 27, 2012, 3:03 pm

      Today, Amira Hass has written a second article for Haaretz on the upcoming verdict. It concludes with this:

      Pinhas Zuaretz was the southern brigade commander of the Gaza Division on the day the IDF bulldozer crushed Corrie to death. He came to Israel to testify from the United States, where since his discharge from the army he has served as deputy national director and director of development of the Friends of the IDF. In court, he stated categorically that Corrie and her friends were “either negligent or naive, cynically sent to the front by terrorists,” because anyone wandering around the Philadelphi Axis was “doomed to death … because their intentions were not innocent … ” and, of course, that is precisely where the activists were gathered.

      Still, the soldiers in their briefing were told not to harm them, he said in his testimony, and therefore were equipped for dispersing demonstrations. In response to a question, he said that the place Corrie was killed was in the suburbs of the city of Rafah.

      Abu Hussein asked him if he had any idea how many Palestinians were killed during his tenure as brigade commander, between August 2002 and March 2003. Irit Kelman Brom, attorney for the state, objected, asking “why is that relevant?”

      Hussein Abu Hussein replied: “In the Rafah area alone, 101 people were killed, including 42 children aged 10-18.”

      Zuaretz: “What is the source of your data?”

      Abu Hussein: “My data is based on B’Tselem data.”

      Zuaretz: “Awesome.”

      Abu Hussein: “Excuse me?”

      Zuaretz: ” (… ) Your data is far from the truth. I have no idea what makes this relevant, like. Are you B’Tselem’s representative here? What’s all this nonsense?”

      [emphases added]

      behind the paywall:http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/what-can-we-learn-from-the-rachel-corrie-case.premium-1.460874

      • tear-stained uzi
        August 27, 2012, 4:49 pm

        Typical smug, Ziopathic arsehole: “Awesome.”

        What a piece of excrement this ‘Pinky’ is (and what’s with all the cutesy Israelofascist names?!)

      • seafoid
        August 28, 2012, 4:46 am

        From the link

        The state had declared that Corrie was responsible for her own death.

        Tikkun Olam 2012

        In reality it’s about the exercise of power. If they give in on Rachel the logic of the occupation, the logic of the regime is threatened. The IDF can’t afford that. Otherwise the Zionist sheeple will ask questions and cashflows may be threatened.

        Same with the US with Bradley Manning or Russia with Pussy Riot.

  15. American
    August 27, 2012, 3:04 pm

    Does anyone have a link to any or pictures of this?
    I seem to remember seeing some pictures taken as this happened.

    • Fredblogs
      August 27, 2012, 6:29 pm

      Of the death? There is video, but it is poor quality, taken from a distance and rather unedifying. There is a still picture of her in front of a bulldozer with both in front of a house. That was an admitted photoshop job. There is also a picture of her in front of a much smaller bulldozer. She has a megaphone in that one, but that was earlier in the day.

      • talknic
        August 27, 2012, 8:17 pm

        Fredblogs August 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm

        “There is a still picture of her in front of a bulldozer with both in front of a house. That was an admitted photoshop job.”

        Uh huh. Source of this “admitted photoshop job”? A diseased brain warped further by liberal doses of ziocaine?

  16. Fredblogs
    August 27, 2012, 3:05 pm

    What it comes down to is that this is a wrongful death tort case, and like any wrongful death tort case one of the defenses that the defense will use is that it was partly or entirely the decedents fault that they are dead. In this case, the decedent stood in front of a bulldozer with limited visibility, the driver couldn’t see her and she was killed. Since the driver couldn’t see her, the person with the last clear chance to avoid this death was Rachel Corrie herself. Of course it was her fault. This is the case regardless of whether she was right or wrong to try to stop the bulldozer, that at the time of her death was clearing debris, not threatening a house.

    • Woody Tanaka
      August 27, 2012, 4:09 pm

      If that’s your idea of a legal argument, Fredo, I hope you are an attorney and I hope all your clients are Zionists. You’ll bleed them dry in no time.

    • tear-stained uzi
      August 27, 2012, 4:43 pm

      Shorter Freddy: “Of course it was her fault! The bulldozer was kosher!”

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 5:23 pm

        “Shorter Freddy: “Of course it was her fault! The bulldozer was kosher!”

        Of course, posting people with intercoms who could warn the driver of hard-to-see obstacles, like we do when we move heavy loads which can obscure the driver’s vision, must not be Kosher.
        And oh yes, the driver was one well-qualified, stable fellow, as I recall.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 27, 2012, 5:31 pm

        “Shorter Freddy: ‘Of course it was her fault! The bulldozer was kosher!'”

        That’s exactly right. The funny thing is that even with Fredo’s grotesque recitation of the facts, he states that the pig driving the dozer had limited vision. There is also no question that he knew there were people in the area. What he should have done was to stop operating the vehicle until such time as the people were not there. Any decent society would expect no less.

        We’ll see what this society permits when the verdict comes down.

    • Kathleen
      August 27, 2012, 5:00 pm

      Fred over and over again you prove that you are inhumane and on the wrong side of justice

      • tree
        August 27, 2012, 5:26 pm

        Fred over and over again you prove that you are inhumane and on the wrong side of justice

        That’s our Fred. He’s the poster boy for the banality of evil.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 9:58 pm

        “He’s the poster boy for the banality of evil.”

        I don’t think he deserves the “b”. It’s more accurate without it.

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 28, 2012, 12:14 am

        “He’s the poster boy for the banality of evil.”

        Simply, a Zionist. It goes with the condition. You don’t build a country like Israel with qualms of consciousness or scruples getting in the way. It has proven its efficiency well beyond expectations. Why change it now?

      • eljay
        August 27, 2012, 5:36 pm

        >> Fred over and over again you prove that you are inhumane and on the wrong side of justice

        Fraudblogs and OlegR: Hateful and immoral Ziosupremacist birds of a feather.

    • justicewillprevail
      August 27, 2012, 5:34 pm

      You have no idea what the bulldozer driver could see. Witnesses have a far better idea and have testified that he could. So shut up with your pathetic excuses and feeble attempts at sounding grown-up and ‘legal’. Just read the first page of ‘Law for Dummies’ have you?

      • Fredblogs
        August 27, 2012, 9:54 pm

        Well, the “witnesses”, other than the driver, who testified he couldn’t see her, weren’t in the cab of the bulldozer and have no knowledge of what he could and couldn’t see. I’ve seen video from the inside of the cab of one of those bulldozers, visibility is very limited. Which isn’t usually a problem because they move so slowly that it is easy to get out of the way of one.

      • radkelt
        August 30, 2012, 12:11 am

        contemporary accounts, lost in the mists of the electronic netherworld,
        mentioned alcohol as a possible factor

    • MRW
      August 27, 2012, 6:03 pm

      In this case, the decedent stood in front of a bulldozer with limited visibility, the driver couldn’t see her and she was killed.

      Ahh…you ever sat in a D9? Bulldozers need to see what they are bulldozing, pal. There are mirrors on the lift cylinders and trial evidence (2010) specified there were no bars on the cab windows.

      • Fredblogs
        August 27, 2012, 9:57 pm

        Sat in, no, seen video of, yes.

    • talknic
      August 27, 2012, 8:12 pm

      Fredblogs August 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      “one of the defenses that the defense will use is that it was partly or entirely the decedents fault that they are dead.”

      Yep. That’s what Israel did. Blamed the victim

      “Since the driver couldn’t see her”

      In a brightly coloured jacket, leaping up and down yelling through a megaphone TRYING TO BE SEEN? How did he see to work?

      “the person with the last clear chance to avoid this death”

      ….. was the driver for failing to adhere to heavy machinery safety procedure when unauthorized people were in the vicinity.

      • eljay
        August 28, 2012, 8:25 am

        In a brightly coloured jacket, leaping up and down yelling through a megaphone TRYING TO BE SEEN? How did he see to work?

        The bulldozer driver was most likely wearing Zio-supremacist glasses, which enabled him to see clearly the vision of “Greater Israel” while obscuring all obstructions – such as morality, justice, Palestinians and even peaceful protesters like Ms. Corrie – that he was tasked with wiping off the map and pushing into the sea (or simply grinding to dust underneath the treads of his “Jewish State” machine).

      • eljay
        August 28, 2012, 8:25 am

        In a brightly coloured jacket, leaping up and down yelling through a megaphone TRYING TO BE SEEN? How did he see to work?

        The bulldozer driver was most likely wearing Zio-supremacist glasses, which enabled him to see clearly the vision of “Greater Israel” while obscuring all obstructions – such as morality, justice, Palestinians and even peaceful protesters like Ms. Corrie – that he was tasked with wiping off the map and pushing into the sea (or simply grinding to dust underneath the treads of his “Jewish State” machine).

    • LanceThruster
      August 28, 2012, 5:08 pm

      the driver couldn’t see her and she was killed.

      I think Fredblogs is on to something.

      All people whose lives mean nothing to the established order are INVISIBLE. Their deaths are only mentioned (if mentioned at all) in the passive voice. They only become visible in death as a body count (until being swept under the rug – or literally, bulldozed into a ditch or mass grave)

      Let’s see where else this works. The soldiers didn’t see any war crime and were just following orders and doing their jobs. People walked into the showers and died. If they didn’t want to die, all they had to do was not breath poison gas.

      What it comes down to is that in a wrongful death tort case (provided one even concedes these deaths were in any way wrongful/snark off), and like any wrongful death tort case one of the defenses that the defense will use is that it was partly or entirely the decedents fault that they are dead.

      Wow! Just wow, I wonder how long it will take the Fourth Reich to latch on to this legal maneuver and rise up from the ashes?

      What? There’s actually someone using this already? What ashes did they rise up from? No sh!t? Really?

      I bow before your para-legal genius, Fredblogs.

  17. DICKERSON3870
    August 27, 2012, 4:20 pm

    RE: “One of the Israeli government’s main tactics in the case was to attack the International Solidarity Movement (the organization Rachel was working with) and in the process blame Rachel for her own death.” ~ Adam Horowitz

    MY COMMENT: And sadly, it’s not just the Israeli government that blames Rachel Corrie for her own death.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Rachel Corrie]:

    [EXCERPT] . . . According to The Boston Globe, “Corrie… has been praised as a heroic martyr and denounced as a misguided, ill-informed naïf.”[50] In a review of Simone Bitton’s documentary “Rachel”, Salon noted that Corrie was subjected to “shocking verbal abuse” on right-wing bulletin boards and Web sites, including “grotesque sexual fantasies and elaborate conspiracy theories”.[51]
    Journalist and Middle East commentator Tom Gross has referred to “the cult of Rachel Corrie.” In an article called “The Forgotten Rachels” republished on his website, Gross refers to six other women called Rachel, Jewish victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict whose deaths, he wrote, received little, if any, coverage outside Israel.[52] Gross went on to argue that “Partly thanks to the efforts of Corrie and her fellow activists, the flow of explosives from Egypt into Gaza continued – and were later used to kill children in southern Israel.” The article prompted a National Review editorial arguing that “Corrie’s death was unfortunate, but more unfortunate is a Western media and cultural establishment that lionizes ‘martyrs’ for illiberal causes while ignoring the victims those causes create.”[53]
    In March 2003, the University of Maryland, College Park’s campus newspaper “The Diamondback” published an editorial cartoon by Daniel J. Friedman, depicting Rachel Corrie sitting in front of an approaching bulldozer, with two definitions of the word “stupidity” from the American Heritage Dictionary, along with an additional self-created third line “sitting in front of a bulldozer to protect a gang of terrorists,” resulting in student sit-ins and protests at the University of Maryland the Wednesday after the cartoon appeared.[54] The group Palestine Media Watch published the e-mail addresses and phone number of Diamondback editors, urging readers to contact the newspaper to secure an apology,[55] and thousands of e-mails and hundreds of phone calls were received by the paper in protest. Describing the cartoon as “indecent and anti-American,” over 60 student protesters staged a sit-in at the newspaper’s offices (with 10 staying overnight), demanding that the paper apologize and “publish an article honoring Corrie’s life”.[56] The newspaper refused to apologize, “though many staff members objected to the cartoon’s viewpoint” while “the newspaper had received thousands of e-mails and hundreds of telephone calls protesting the cartoon”, citing the First Amendment. While Friedman did not return the telephone call and e-mail by The Associated Press, editor-in-chief Jay Parsons (who had initially objected to the cartoon when it was first submitted) commented, “The decision was about freedom of speech, and that made the decision easy.”[54] . . .

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Corrie#Criticism_of_Corrie.27s_actions

    • seafoid
      August 28, 2012, 4:54 am

      Rachel Corrie was murdered in 2003. In the 9 years since, Gaza has been reduced to a state of planned misery beyond anything that she saw in her time. This is deliberate Israeli policy, supported fully by the EU and the US.

      Israel may twist the law to exonerate the caterpillar driver who killed Rachel Corrie but they won’t be able to hold back the story of what they are doing in Gaza from the world. . A new strain of MRSA is just the start .

      Israel’s treatment of the refugees of Gaza goes deep into human darkness.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/un-report-gaza-won-t-be-liveable-by-2020-if-urgent-action-not-taken-1.461031

      “Gaza will no longer be “liveable” by 2020 unless urgent action is taken to improve water supply, power, health, and schooling, the United Nations’ most comprehensive report on the Palestinian enclave said on Monday.
      A lack of clean drinking water is the greatest immediate concern, said Jean Gough of the UNICEF. The report projects a 60 percent increase in the enclave’s water needs, while urgent action is already needed to protect existing water resources.

      By 2016, Gaza’s aquifer may become unusable, she said. Palestinians are already drilling deeper and deeper to reach groundwater “

      • LanceThruster
        August 28, 2012, 5:50 pm

        How sad and horrifying to read these words. I guess there is no phrase meaning “sunk to a new low” in Hebrew, but I imagine there is a term for “bottomless pit.”

  18. DICKERSON3870
    August 27, 2012, 4:33 pm

    RE: “In essence, Zoaretz was claiming that Israeli attempts to combat the second intifada, which began in September 2000, constituted a war, and thus Corrie’s presence in Rafah ‘was not innocent’.” ~ Adam Horowitz

    REGARDING “Israeli attempts to combat the second intifada”, SEE:
    “The Dogs of War: The Next Intifada”, By Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 9/03/11

    [EXCERPT] . . . The second (“al-Aqsa”) intifada started after the breakdown of the 2000 Camp David conference and Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative “visit” to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians held non-violent mass demonstrations. The army responded with selective killings. A sharpshooter accompanied by an officer would take position in the path of the protest, and the officer would point out selected targets – protesters who looked like “ringleaders”. They were killed.
    This was highly effective. Soon the non-violent demonstrations ceased and were replaced by very violent (“terrorist”) actions. With those the army was back on familiar ground. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/02/the-next-intifada/

  19. Philip Munger
    August 27, 2012, 5:31 pm

    From Thayer Hastings’ article on the Lawsuit’s impending conclusion for The Alternative Information Center:

    The verdict arrives in the context of massive ongoing home demolitions by the Israeli state. The recently approved Prawer Plan threatens 70,000 Bedouin Israeli citizens in the Naqab with forced displacement. Under immediate threat are another 5,000 Palestinians living in West Bank ‘Firing Zones’. Furthermore, the frontline of displacement is in East Jerusalem, where home demolitions are a continuous part of the landscape.

    “If it’s this hard for a family of an American to get accountability in Israel, what’s it like for a Palestinian family,” asked Sarah. Headed by Attorney Hussein abu Hussein, the Corrie legal team emphasized the ability an American’s lawsuit has for highlighting issues that would otherwise go underreported or ignored.

    The Corrie family has found sympathy and understanding among local Palestinian families who have experienced home demolitions and flagrant killings; such understanding is unavailable in their Pacific Northwest home. “People here have been extremely supportive,” said Sarah.

    In return, the Corries’ lawsuit may have broader implications for recurring Israeli abuses.

    To mark the verdict, the Rachel Corrie Foundation is calling for “actions to end the housing demolitions that deny Palestinians the basic human right of being secure in their homes.”

    In the past week protests in the West Bank villages of Beit Ommar, Ni’lin, Bil’in and al Ma’sara commemorated Rachel Corrie. A demonstration to bring attention to the Rachel Corrie case is planned outside the court on Tuesday morning. South Hebron Hills residents are also planning a solidarity event in the village of Mufaraqa at the same time the verdict is to be read.

    http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/news/news/5135-rachel-corrie-lawsuit-an-example-of-international-solidarity.html

    A number of solidarity demonstrations in Palestine are coming up on twitter over the past couple of hours.

  20. aware
    August 27, 2012, 6:28 pm

    Adam,

    You wrote:

    “The Corrie verdict on Tuesday is yet another test of whether Israeli courts can hold its own military accountable. If the Corrie family wins its case it will show that even nearly ten years after the loss of their beloved daughter, there is a price to be paid for the actions of the Israeli military. If the State wins, it will serve as yet another indication from the Israeli legal system that Israel can continue to act with impunity in the occupied territories.”

    Here is something I cannot understand:
    It sounds to me that you have already reached the conclusion that the IDF buldozer driver was guilty of manslaughter. If that was true, then the lengthy court case would have been unnecessary.

    In this case each side is conceived of their “rightness”, and each side will blame the court if they loose.

  21. aware
    August 27, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Adam,

    Having thought more about this, I believe that the real conflict is between the two perceptions:
    1. Israel is a legitimate Jewish national state, which has the right to exist and defend itself against all threats internal and external.
    2. Israel is illegitimate state, that has no right to exist as a Jewish national state, and therefor those who work to weaken, and ultimately defeat it are right, and the Israeli who try to maintain their Jewish state, are wrong.

    Perhaps I have not formulated it very well, as I am not a writer, but I hope that the point is very clear: What is most needed is the in depth discussion of
    the justness, legitimacy and the need for existence of the Jewish state.

    To me it is entirely clear that once a position is taken in the above discussion, then the perception of every action is seen through this lens: People who believe that existence of Israel is both legitimate, moral and just, will see Corrie as assisting terrorist. On the other hand people who see Israel as illegitimate, immoral, and unjust, will see Corrie as a hero, a martyr and Israel as a criminal bully.
    This is all to predictable, and not resolvable on this level. Of course we can vent our indignation, but this is not going to change anything.

    Hence I’d be most interested in arguments for and against the morality, legitimacy, and justness of the existence a Jewish state, or Jewish National Home in “Palestine”/ “Land of Israel”

    • Mooser
      August 27, 2012, 10:04 pm

      Hence I’d be most interested in arguments for and against the morality, legitimacy, and justness of the existence a Jewish state, or Jewish National Home in “Palestine”/ “Land of Israel”

      All of that has been extensively covered at Mondoweiss. See the tabs at the top of the page. But it is irrelevant.

      You can take your pilpul home and play with it. I do believe none of this happened in Israel, it happened outside of Israel, in Gaza.

      SO basically, if America is a legitimate state (by the way, that’s an oxymoron, there is no legit/illegit distinction, there is just states) and we agree that it is, if it decided, for security or military reasons, to kill all of its Jews, you would be okay with that?

      • Fredblogs
        August 28, 2012, 1:36 pm

        A ridiculous comparison since Israel is not killing even a significant fraction of the Arabs in Israel or in Gaza and the West Bank.

      • Hostage
        August 28, 2012, 6:33 pm

        A ridiculous comparison since Israel is not killing even a significant fraction of the Arabs in Israel or in Gaza and the West Bank.

        No its not. Israel has repeatedly reserved to right to kill Arabs without limitation on the basis of its own security psychosis. If you think that the destruction it inflicted on Lebanon was a sane response to the abduction of three soldiers, then you’re nuts too.

    • American
      August 28, 2012, 12:03 am

      ‘What is most needed is the in depth discussion of
      the justness, legitimacy and the need for existence of the Jewish state’..aware

      There was never any justice in creating Israel in Palestine because it was established on other’s land at their expense, the lose of their own homes and property.
      The UN legitimized this injustice. But has since censored it 259+ times.
      The need for Israel as a safe haven has been disproven.
      Israel has now delegitimize itself by it’s own criminal actions.
      And the last thing needed is any more pilpul discussions by zionist on the justice in, legitimacy of or need for Israel.
      It has been discussed to death.
      The closest Israel will ever get to being ”legitimate” is to return to the original parcel accorded them by the UN and accept the right of return of the Palestines they forced out and pay reparations to Palestine government for all the damages to their infrastructure over the years and the theft of their water resources.
      And after that the Israelis should shut up, stay in their little fiefdom, mind their own business and not let the world hear a freaking peep out of them.

    • Hostage
      August 28, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Adam, Having thought more about this, I believe that the real conflict is between the two perceptions

      Well the civil trial was an example of putting the cart before the horse. Some of us here were discussing civil liability for an example of the crime of aggression carried out against an occupied civilian population. That’s why Rachel Corrie was in Gaza in the first place. The International Military Tribunals established that “aggression is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

      An individual Israeli can’t be held responsible for crimes against the peace and security of mankind in the absence of aggression committed by the State, such as Israel’s policy of carrying-out punitive home demolitions and population displacement in the territory it occupies. Similarly, an individual agent of the State should not be held civilly liable for carrying out state policy in the absence of a wrongful act of State.

      The problem here is that Israel deliberately employed a public policy of punitive home demolitions, expropriations, destruction of private property, and population displacement for a number of years in flagrant violation of international law. Israel did that in the face of unanimous condemnation from the international community of states, the UN, and international peace activists. Those are not merely political or philosophical issues, those are war crimes and crimes against humanity for which no statute of limitations applies.

    • Djinn
      September 6, 2012, 1:31 am

      [i]Having thought more about this, I believe that the real conflict is between the two perceptions[/i]

      I always thought the real conflict was between the occupied & oppressed and the occupiers & oppressors. Silly me, ’tis all perception.

  22. talknic
    August 27, 2012, 9:50 pm

    aware August 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    em>”I believe that the real conflict is between the two perceptions:
    1. Israel is a legitimate Jewish national state, which has the right to exist and defend itself against all threats internal and external.
    2. Israel is illegitimate state, that has no right to exist as a Jewish national state, and therefor those who work to weaken, and ultimately defeat it are right, and the Israeli who try to maintain their Jewish state, are wrong”

    There is a third perception.

    3). Israel is the legitimate Jewish national state, which has the right to exist within it’s recognized borders and defend itself from all comers. It does not have the right to begin wars, illegally acquire territory by war, illegally annex territory, illegally settle territory, illegally prevent the rightful return of refugees, illegally dispossess people, illegally institute Israeli civil law outside of Israel, illegally administer collective punishment, illegally ignore Conventions it has ratified, illegally ignore Customary International Law, illegally ignore International Law, illegally ignore the UN Charter, ignore UNSC resolutions, illegally commit extrajudicial assassinations, illegally use the passports of other countries in order to commit illegal extrajudicial assassinations, illegally commit extrajudicial assassinations on the soil of other states, illegally violate the airspace of neighbouring states. It does not have the right to LIE about the acceptance of UNGA res 181, LIE about not having borders, LIE about “defensible borders”, LIE about UNSC resolutions. It has a duty to protect the people of the non-self governing territory of Palestine. It has a duty to write a constitution so that a Government can be legally elected for once. It has a duty not to lie to its citizens about all of the above as it has for 64 years.

    “People who believe that existence of Israel is both legitimate, moral and just, will see Corrie as assisting terrorist. On the other hand people who see Israel as illegitimate, immoral, and unjust, will see Corrie as a hero, a martyr and Israel as a criminal bully” … add the 3rd perception and Rachel Corrie was a brave individual standing for justice according to the Laws and UN Charter Israel obliged itself to uphold

    ” I’d be most interested in arguments for and against the morality, legitimacy, and justness of the existence a Jewish state, or Jewish National Home in “Palestine”/ “Land of Israel” “

    Israel was declared as the Jewish National home, completely independent of any other entity, including what remained of Palestine. There is no Jewish National Home in “Palestine”. An independent state cannot be in or a part of a non-self governing territory such as Palestine. As for the “Land of Israel”, it was accepted declared and recognized beginning 11 minutes after the declaration came into effect, BEFORE Israel first claimed territory 31st Aug 1949 the Israeli Government had previously acknowledged, on the 22nd May 1948, was “outside the State of Israel”

    • Mooser
      August 27, 2012, 10:14 pm

      Sorry talknic, I didn’t see your extensive reply before I wrote mine. I just love the way “aware” is trying to channel the discussion into irrelevancy. He’s so clever.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2012, 11:02 pm

        If Israel is “legitimate” than Israel was just doing it job of self defense. If Israel is illegitimate, well, then you’re an anti-Semite!

  23. Walid
    August 28, 2012, 2:36 am

    Shame on Israel one more time with the “not guilty” verdict. Did anyone really expect it to be otherwise?

    • Woody Tanaka
      August 28, 2012, 8:59 am

      “Did anyone really expect it to be otherwise?”

      Exactly, Walid. The reason that banana republics set up kangaroo Courts is to give the appearance of justice, not to actually bring about justice.

      When the israeli government endorses the view that non-Jews are nothing but beasts of burden, and hands out 45-day sentences for murdering women who are holding up white flags or don’t even prosecute a carpet bagger from Russia who murders a man execution style after he’s already been shot, it just tells you the level of people we’re dealing with and it yet again fill me with admiration for the Palestinians fighting for their freedom against this evil, reflecting on the fact that they’ve been doing so for generations.

    • Woody Tanaka
      August 28, 2012, 8:59 am

      “Did anyone really expect it to be otherwise?”

      Exactly, Walid. The reason that banana republics set up kangaroo Courts is to give the appearance of justice, not to actually bring about justice.

      When the israeli government endorses the view that non-Jews are nothing but beasts of burden, and hands out 45-day sentences for murdering women who are holding up white flags or don’t even prosecute a carpet bagger from Russia who murders a man execution style after he’s already been shot, it just tells you the level of people we’re dealing with and it yet again fill me with admiration for the Palestinians fighting for their freedom against this evil, reflecting on the fact that they’ve been doing so for generations.

    • seafoid
      August 28, 2012, 10:34 am

      Haram khaalis

  24. seafoid
    August 28, 2012, 11:22 am

    Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset

    Corrie’s parents have not received justice, but their quest reveals the lie of the IDF’s claim to be the world’s ‘most moral army’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/28/rachel-corrie-verdict-exposes-israeli-military-mindset

  25. radii
    August 28, 2012, 11:34 am

    okay President Obama, Dan Shapiro, Hillary Clinton, et al … time to make an official statement of rebuke against this whitewash of vicious state-murder by apartheid zioscum of a little American girl

  26. American
    August 28, 2012, 1:51 pm

    Here’s the bbc coverage on verdict…surprise, surprise.

    Israel Not guilty

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19391814

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