Court Rules Israel Is Not at Fault in Death of American Activist

An Israeli judge ruled on Tuesday that the state bore no responsibility for the death of Rachel Corrie, the young American woman who was run over by a military bulldozer in 2003 as she protested demolition of Palestinian homes in Gaza Strip. The lengthy verdict in civil case, read in part to a courtroom in Haifa packed with supporters of Ms. Corrie’s family, called the death a “regrettable accident”, a characterization that Ms. Corrie’s allies strongly disputed. “She chose to put herself in danger,” said judge, Oded Gershon. “She could have easily distanced herself from danger like any reasonable person would”. Since her death, Ms. Corrie has become an international symbol of the Palestinian resistance. A play based on her writings has been performed in 10 countries, and a ship in an attempted aid flotilla to Gaza bore her name. Books, documentaries and songs have recounted how Ms. Corrie, 23-year-old student, dressed in an orange vest and wielding bullhorn stood between a bulldozer and home of Palestinian family in March 2003 during the height of the second intifada, or uprising. Hussein Abu Hussein, the lawyer who brought the wrongful-death suit on Corrie family’s behalf, said he would appeal the ruling within 45 days to Israel’s Supreme Court. At a news conference after the verdict, he showed pictures of Ms. Corrie taken the day of her death, saying “anyone could have seen” her bright garb. “It’s a black day for activists of human rights, people who believe in values of dignity,” Mr. Hussein said. “We believe this decision is a bad decision for all of us, civilians first of all, and peace activists.” In his ruling, Judge Gershon said the military’s mission that day “was not, in any way, to destroy homes,” to clear brush and explosives “to prevent acts of hatred and terror.” He said the bulldozer was moving slowly, about 1 kilometer per hour, and the driver could not have seen Ms. Corrie, finding “no base to the plaintiff’s claim that the bulldozer hit her on purpose.” Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, called verdict a “vindication” of nation’s military and court systems. “I empathize for the family, they’ve lost a loved one, who as the judge said was killed in a tragic accident”. He dismissed as “simply without foundation” accusations that Israeli courts are not independent, impartial and do not hold the highest professional standards. Ms. Corrie, a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., joined International Solidarity Movement in January, 2003, and spent the last weeks of her life in Rafah, Gaza town that borders Egypt. In a Feb. 27, 2003, e-mail home, she wrote that 600 homes had been destroyed there since the start of the intifada. On March 16 she and seven other American and British activists acted as human shields, dropping to their knees between the bulldozers and a home they believed were marked for destruction. Verdict came more than a year after last of 15 sessions of oral testimony, which began in March 2010. Some of the witnesses, including drivers and commanders of 2 bulldozers that were operating in the area, testified from behind screen to protect their identities. Corrie’s parents or sister attended every session of trial, spending $200.000 on travel, translating about 2.000 pages of documents, and other expenses (…..)



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5 Responses to Court Rules Israel Is Not at Fault in Death of American Activist

  1. Bella Center: In 2002 ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf stated, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent…Yes, people will get killed and injured,” but these deaths are “no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah”.

  2. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: According to Wikipedia, Charles de Gaulle after the Six-Day War in 1967, “France had freed itself … from the very special and very close ties with Israel and nastily adding that Jews were “an elite people, sure of itself, and dominating”.

  3. Edward: “Charles de Gaulle after the Six-Day War in 1967 “France had freed itself … from the very special and very close ties with Israel and nastily adding that Jews were “an elite people, sure of itself, and dominating.” I guess De Gaulle never heard of irony.

  4. Jack: During WWII, following their disgraceful surrender to Germany, the French began rounding up and deporting its Jews even before the SS had the opportunity to ask them to do so. Nobody should be surprised to learn that de Gaulle withdrew his support from the Jewish state and aligned France with the Arab countries trying to destroy it. (Nor should we be surprised to learn that Vichy French foces fired on American and British soldiers as they tried to liberate France.)


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