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Cindy Corrie following the verdict: ‘I don’t think that Rachel should have moved. I think we should all have been standing there with her.’

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The Corrie family and their attorney Hussein Abu Hussein at a press conference after the verdict was announced. (Photo: Leehee Rothschild)

Almost ten years after Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American peace activist, was run over by a bulldozer in Gaza while trying to prevent the demolition of a house in which a family was hiding, Israel’s First District Court in Haifa handed down its ruling in the civil lawsuit filed by her parents. Judge Oded Gershon cleared the Israeli army from any responsibility in Corrie’s death.

Gershon accepted the IDF’s arguments that Rachel and her friends were protesting in a combat area, despite the fact that no combat was taking place in the area on that day, and there was no closed military zone order presented in court. Judge Gershon decided that Rachel’s death was a sorry accident resulting from her refusal to clear from the area, and not, let’s say, from the insistence of the army to clear an area in which people were protesting with an armored bulldozer. He also ruled that the army held a full and thorough investigation of the matter, even though it was managed by a team of 19-year-old inexperienced boys, who never interrogated a single Palestinian or non-military witness.

This decision is yet more proof to the fact that the Israeli courts are but another arm of the occupation and apartheid regime, which fortifies oppression instead of striving for justice. In a press conference with Rachel’s family and lawyer held after the hearing, Cindy Corrie, her mother, said “This is a sad day, not only to us, as a family. This is a sad day for Israel, a sad day for human right activists, a sad day for international law, a sad day for justice.”

While not holding their hopes high, the family is intent on pursuing the case and appealing to the Israeli Supreme Court. The Corries are seeking to draw attention to the story through the process and they feel obliged to continue promoting Rachel’s message of “building connections” through all possible means, among which the legal system is but one.

“We started this trial seeking truth, but we also seek changes,” Cindy said. And throughout the conference Rachel’s family stressed that their struggle for acknowledgment is inseparable from the Palestinian struggle. They put Rachel’s presence in Rafah that day in the context of 16,000 who had lost their homes, in the prior months, as well as the family of Rachel’s friends, amongst them children, who were hiding behind the walls of the house that Rachel was protecting. They emphasized the fact that many more Palestinians killed by the IDF cannot seek justice in the Israeli court systems, as they do, and that their struggle for justice is done in the name of Palestinians as well.

Another major point highlighted both by the family during the press conference, as well as by a dozen or so Israeli activists who held a protest vigil outside the court, was the need to put an end to Israel’s impunity. Cindy openly stated “My family and I personally, as well as the Rachel Corrie Foundation are in full support of BDS”, as a means to this end. She specifically voiced her support for the campaign targeting Caterpillar, manufacturers of the D9 bulldozer that killed Rachel, with whom the family has tried to communicate throughout the years, to no avail.

The last question that Rachel’s family was asked before the conference concluded was how they feel about the fact that the judge in one out of many victim-blaming phrases in his ruling said that Rachel should have moved out of the bulldozer’s way. To that Cindy Corrie replied “I don’t think that Rachel should have moved. I think we should all have been standing there with her.”

Leehee Rothschild
About Leehee Rothschild

Leehee Rothschild is an Israeli BDS activist.

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37 Responses

  1. CitizenC
    August 28, 2012, 8:28 pm

    “I don’t think that Rachel should have moved. I think we should all have been standing there with her.”

    I’ve heard the Corries speak a few times, and saw the play from Rachel’s letters. They are class acts.

    • seafoid
      August 29, 2012, 5:55 am

      They are. Rachel didn’t get it from nowhere. Incredibly principled people who fight for justice and who understand the Zionist regime more than most Americans.
      They remind me of Cindy Sheehan.

      It is amazing that they have done since Rachel was murdered. Back in 2005 it looked as though the bots would shut down the play “my name is Rachel Corrie”

      But they never yielded.

      Does anyone have a link to any rabbi who draws the parallels between Jewish history and the persecution of the Corrie family ?

  2. ToivoS
    August 28, 2012, 8:54 pm

    Rachel’s parents are quite amazing. They are just not letting this story drop. Almost a decade after that horrible day, the story today is on the front pages of MSN in Europe and the US. I recall clearly what happened in the days and weeks after the murder, saw the Israeli and US State Dept stonewalling and simply assumed the story would just blow over. As did the PR spin artists in Israel and the US.

    But no. The story is alive and well in the minds of many millions throughout the world a decade later. And it looks like the Corries are now working on moving the story another notch further. Of course, no one expects justice. Though we can expect even more exposure of Israeli and US injustice in covering up Zionist crimes.

    • Kathleen
      August 29, 2012, 9:31 am

      The Corrie’s are amazing. As I have shared before had the amazing honor to walk and talk with Cindy Corrie at the last Occupy Aipac gathering in DC. Held her hand while we were walking and talking. I held back my tears as I felt the presence and listened to the words of a mother who had lost her child from the actions of a brutal regime. A child who she had taught the meaning of human rights and social justice. As others have said Rachel came from gracious and loving parents

      Toivos can you point out some of the U.S. MSnewspapers that you have seen the Israeli courts decision on the front page of. Have not seen any

      • ToivoS
        August 29, 2012, 2:13 pm

        K I saw it in the NYT and was surprised by that. You are right, it was not on the front page but in its world section as it was in the LATimes.

  3. MRW
    August 28, 2012, 9:17 pm

    See Rachel standing in front of the bulldozer, in clear view of the cab. She was holding a megaphone. Cat D9 cabs have speakers inside them to hear what going on outside, and they’re radio ready.

    • Kathleen
      August 29, 2012, 9:35 am

      He saw her. Read that there are visual tapes of what the driver could and could not see and those were not allowed to be entered

    • ritzl
      August 29, 2012, 1:33 pm

      Thanks. Tweeted.

  4. Mndwss
    August 28, 2012, 9:20 pm

    Strange name for the hotel.

    “The Colony Hotel Haifa”

    At least they didn’t bomb at the King David Hotel, like Romney…

    They just lit the fuse of justice….

  5. Kathleen
    August 28, 2012, 9:49 pm

    The Corrie family remarkable people. Clear, committed and soulful. Please contact the ICC ask them to pick up this case of injustice.

  6. Blake
    August 28, 2012, 10:56 pm

    I have so much respect for this family. They have not let the zionist usurping regime which thinks they are above international law get away with the murder of their beautiful child.

    • etominusipi
      August 29, 2012, 7:38 am

      yes, people like Rachel Corrie and her parents are a shining beacon of hope. and by comparison the Israeli ‘justice’ system appears dark and murky indeed. this decision by ‘judge’ Gershon is far from the wisdom of Solomon. it is a tawdry institutional equivalent of the lack of remorse shown by a psychopathic individual who has no idea of any difference between right and wrong, between good and evil. at least Rachel’s sacrifice has not been in vain. the sheer inhumanity of this self-serving verdict, and the vast length of time the matter took to come to this stage of process through the ‘legal’ system, shows very clearly the rogue nature of the Israeli state and its functionaries. they mimic the ‘institutions’ of a ‘mature democracy’, but this is mainly sham – a Disneyland mask over the nasty and brutal features of the coercive apartheid state that is the real face of ‘Israel’. service in the IDF deliberately brutalises young people to make them complicit in criminal actions – that way of instilling loyalty is the trademark of criminal gangs and tyrannies, but what decent, honest person would wish to live in a country built on lies, racism and thuggery? and who would wish to grant such a state membership of the community of nations?

  7. traintosiberia
    August 28, 2012, 10:59 pm

    “I don’t think that Rachel should have moved. I think we should all have been standing there with her.”

    I hold this belief to my heart that Rachel Corrie had forgiven us for that collelctive failures on that fateful day just like Jeus did on the cross while the soldiers looked on with disdain and arrogant contempt.

  8. RebuildingAll
    August 28, 2012, 11:52 pm

    I struggle to find words to express my sadness over the decision issued by Judge Oded Gershon in Israel’s Haifa District Court in response to the civil suit brought by the Corrie family. With Rachel Corrie’s case he could have bridged the divide, he could have pressed for accountability and so safeguarded the lives of civilians and strengthened Israel’s rule of law. Instead the world became yet again more dangerous today.

    In 2009, when we testified in Abir Aramin’s case before the State Department, Israeli Human Rights attorney Michael Sfard said, “Some may think it will all go away if one does nothing in response to a violation of human rights. But instead, when doing nothing, it gets worse.”

    Rachel Corrie’s bravery brought us together in ways we could not have imagined: Rebulding Alliance responded with heart when Rachel was killed. I lived with the remarkable family she sought to protect, and they became part of all our families as they blogged with us through many years. With your help, we brought them to the U.S. to join the Corries, speaking in seven states and telling Rachel’s and their own stories — and that U.S. visa approval confirmed their integrity.

    So many of you donated to raise funds to rebuild a home for the Nasrallah family. We built that home — despite the early blockade — as we dreamed and planned the rebuilding of hundreds of Palestinian homes in the Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza. When we could no longer open the blockade to rebuild the 2200 demolished homes in Rafah, Rebuilding Alliance tested the waters and International maritime law by sending school supplies and cement on the Irish ship that bore Rachel Corrie’s name in the Free Gaza Flotilla — only to see the Israeli Navy attack and kill passengers on the Mavi Marmara. When Israel invaded Gaza in Operation Cast Lead, Rebuilding Alliance held worldwide Free Conference Call briefings with direct lines to Palestinian and Israel Peace-makers as we mobilized policy makers and humanitarian aid. President Carter personally thanked us for linking him with Gaza’s Non-Governmental community. And when we could not end the siege, we learned how to help as best we could to simply level soccer fields to bring children and neighborhoods together for Ramadan Soccer Tournaments in Rachel Corrie’s name.

    In an article today by Leehee Rothschild on Mondoweiss, the last question that Rachel’s family was asked before the conference concluded was how they feel about the fact that the judge in one out of many victim-blaming phrases in his ruling said that Rachel should have moved out of the bulldozer’s way. To that Cindy Corrie replied “I don’t think that Rachel should have moved. I think we should all have been standing there with her.”

    We stand with the Corrie family. As gently, compassionately, and courageously as we can, we stand with Rachel Corrie.


    Donna Baranski-Walker
    Founder of Rebuilding Alliance

  9. American
    August 29, 2012, 12:15 am

    “I don’t think that Rachel should have moved. I think we should all have been standing there with her.”


    • Kathleen
      August 29, 2012, 9:44 am

      This statement wraps it up. Even though I was amazed by the hundreds of thousands of people who marched, lobbied, were even arrested before the invasion of Iraq.of people accumulative numbers in the millions across the nation. I was also amazed and terribly disappointed in some of my friends who did nothing. Did not respond, did not march..did nothing to stop that invasion let alone do anything about the human rights abuses that continue in Israel and the Palestinian territories…a country that we send billions to. These are folks who were involved in protesting against Vietnam and who have become terribly complacent, self consumed and comfortable in their own lives. One friend said “these types of wars have always taken place always will” What a horrible attitude. I watch friends use facebook (which could be used to change the world and help people become more active) as a forum to beat off about their own lives in such a superficial way. The neocons of the world bet on this complacency.

      • MLE
        August 29, 2012, 12:10 pm

        I remember having a friend who supported the war because maybe there’s a chance they’re telling the truth. She’s not my friend anymore.

  10. Kathleen
    August 29, 2012, 12:31 am

    Amy Goodman’s interview with Cindy and Craig Corrie is just heartbreaking (unable to link)

  11. Elisabeth
    August 29, 2012, 2:58 am

    Anonymous comments are always more extreme than normal, but I was stunned at the comments on the Corrie trial in English language newspapers in Israel. Almost without exception very agressive, gloating often. How representative of the general public can they be?

  12. Cliff
    August 29, 2012, 3:09 am

    I remember when Dr. Abuelaish spoke with the press following his daughter’s murders by the IDF.

    I cannot imagine what the Corrie’s are going through. I cannot imagine what the families of Palestinians and Israelis are going through (and of course, the Palestinians to a much LARGER extent).

    But to have some jerkoff heckler burst in like that? Absurd.

    I think the Corries’ response to the question was beautiful, but it makes me wonder why that question was asked and what the tone was…it seems disrespectful IMHO..

  13. Citizen
    August 29, 2012, 8:37 am

    What has the American government done to support Rachel, her family, and the other Americans who were murdered for protesting, the Turkish American young man, his family? The Jewish American artist young woman, who lost her eye to the IDF, her family? There are others too. As much as the American government has done for the dead and surviving crew and their families re the USS Liberty. Never even a proper investigation by the US congress. Nobody in the mainstream media has ever pushed for making Israel accountable for the death and maiming of US civilians or military by the IDF. It’s disgusting.

    • MLE
      August 29, 2012, 12:08 pm

      They won’t do anything, at least not as long as they get free summer vacations in Israel and campaign funding from Israeli lobbying groups.

    • American
      August 29, 2012, 12:31 pm

      Citizen says:
      What has the American government done to support Rachel, her family, and the other Americans who were murdered for protesting”

      Nothing much. Rachel’s congressman or senator, I forget which one, did a resolution or bill condemning Israel’s murder of her but it didn’t get many co-sponsors, 4 0r 5 I think and never passed.

      • radkelt
        August 29, 2012, 1:52 pm

        see my comment elsewhere in MW regarding the late California
        Congressman Tom Lantos’s efforts to quash the inquiry into
        Corrie’s death.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      September 10, 2012, 8:43 am

      “What has the American government done to support Rachel, her family, and the other Americans who were murdered for protesting, the Turkish American young man, his family? ”

      They’ve done nothing. The zionists puppet masters have the American government under their control. Until we can destroy that evil ideology or get the money out of politics, the US government will not do anything to help the Palestinians fighting for their freedom from this vile occupying force.

  14. Kathleen
    August 29, 2012, 9:37 am

    Please contact the Diane Rehm show, Talk of the Nation, Washington Journal, Rachel Maddow, Up with Chris Hayes and any other MSM outlets and request that they have Craig and Cindy Corrie on their programs to discuss this decision and what their next steps will be.

  15. MLE
    August 29, 2012, 12:07 pm

    I’m glad to see they’re proud of her. Whenever zionists say it was her fault for hanging out with the Arabs or getting involved in the conflict to begin with, it reminds me so much of the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights movement. Young adults who decided to pursue what was right even though they had no direct connections to the victims and were putting their lives in danger because it was right.

  16. Binyamin in Orangeburg
    Binyamin in Orangeburg
    August 29, 2012, 12:12 pm

    If anyone doubts the veracity of the Corrie claim, read this testimony from a D-9 dozer operator during the 2002 siege of Jenin:
    “For three days, I just destroyed and destroyed. The whole area. Any house that they fired from came down. And to knock it down, I tore down some more. They were warned by loudspeaker to get out of the house before I come, but I gave no one a chance. I didn’t wait. I didn’t give one blow, and wait for them to come out. I would just ram the house with full power, to bring it down as fast as possible. I wanted to get to the other houses. To get as many as possible. Others may have restrained themselves, or so they say. Who are they kidding? Anyone who was there, and saw our soldiers in the houses, would understand they were in a death trap. I thought about saving them. I didn’t give a damn about the Palestinians, but I didn’t just ruin with no reason. It was all under orders.”

    • Kathleen
      August 29, 2012, 1:13 pm

      How many Palestinians have been trapped or killed under the rubble of their homes destroyed by the systematic Apartheid Israeli government?

  17. davidcarroll
    September 4, 2012, 11:20 am

    A song I wrote in memory Rachel, Tom and the other young activists who gave their life fighting for peace. I am shocked by this court ruling but sadly not very surprized.

  18. JenniferProkhorov
    September 9, 2012, 4:55 pm

    I am raised Quaker, via which I am slowly discerning fighting for peace has too much contradiction inside the concept to really be viable. Communication falls apart first. Reading this article, most especially the sad comments from everyone who posted here, started me wondering what else other than suicide people who want peace could do. I have too often been made aware of the algorithm, (a) do not know what to do therefore avoid communication while praying for God to intervene, or (b) judge harshly the ones who are responsive to difficult situations, rather than accepting responsibility for addressing difficult situations. While being raised Quaker, I used to be unaware of the existence of a minority portion of our hominid population worldwide that simply wants to destructively fight anyone anywhere about anything without a sense of responsibility or guilt – those extreme greedy few thankfully form a real minority, with the vast majority of us preferring communication. Maybe it was incorrect of Quakers to raise me with the idea that the extreme minority I described has hypothetical absence of existence, since pretending them away differs from having people everywhere develop abilities to perceive resource-monopolizing extreme greedy few. Maybe the problem in this instance which has us all feeling sad is a human problem more so than a religious or Israeli government problem. What would it take for us to have our lives occur inside a human species who habitually replaces gratuitous violent prejudice based on little information with human communication?

    • Citizen
      September 10, 2012, 7:12 am

      Well, yeah, Animal Farm was not really about farm animals.

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