Rachel Corrie Died In “An Accident She Brought Upon Herself”

UPDATE 9 am Israel time Wednesday:

Six more Qassam rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza struck southern Israel yesterday–the last two coming at 10:01 last night. And once again, there has been no IDF response.

A member of the Jewish community of Ma’ale Levona in Samaria was attacked by an axe-wielding Palestinian terrorist yesterday while filming illegal Palestinian construction in Khan Luban. The terrorist was subsequently captured by the IDF and the community member was hospitalized with “moderate” injuries. 


On a breezy Spring afternoon in 2008, your humble servant along with his wife, youngest son, and a good friend stood in front of the Federal Building in Sacramento, California waving our Israeli flags, holding our signs praising Israeli democracy, and urging people to “honk” if they supported Israel. We had decided to organize our small, 4-person demonstration to counteract the monthly “Rachel Corrie” demonstration in front of the same building by self-proclaimed northern California “human rights and peace activists.”

It was an interesting hour. The “activists” repeatedly came up the street (half a block away) to where we were standing waving their Palestinian flags and signs in our faces–signs which bore Rachel Corrie’s picture and fraudulently accused Israel of “apartheid” and “occupation”.  What they seemed most annoyed about was the literature that we were distributing that told what had really happened to Rachel Corrie–that and the fact that by the time most motorists reached their position they were honking and shouting their support for Israel.

That literature described what your humble servant has always thought about Rachel Corrie–that she was nothing more than a common, garden variety, criminal terrorist. As a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Corrie was part of a still-active pro-Palestinian group which infiltrates its “activists” into Israel so that they can undermine and interfere with the Israel Defense Forces as they try to protect Israeli citizens.

Corrie was sent specifically by the ISM to the Philadelphi route area in southern Gaza near Rafah which had seen, in the two and a half years between September 2000 and the day of her death, 6000 hand grenades thrown at IDF soldiers, as well as 1400 Palestinian shooting attacks, 150 IEDs, 200 anti-tank rockets, and 40 mortar assaults against our troops. In an attempt to stop these withering attacks on our soldiers, the IDF finally decided to bulldoze all of the vegetation in the area which the terrorists were using as hiding places from which to launch their assaults and to dig up any possible IEDs.

Rachel Corrie shortly before her death: note the bulldozers--with their lights on-- in the background. The one nearest Corrie is pushing an ever-increasing mound of dirt. No Palestinian houses were being demolished; no one was in any danger. Why Rachel Corrie decided to position herself in front of one of these bulldozers is anyone's guess.

And so it was, at sundown on the afternoon of March 16, 2003 that Rachel Corrie (wearing her ever present Palestinian keffiyeh) placed herself in front of an IDF bulldozer operating with headlights that was pushing a mound of dirt and debris, got into a position where she could not be seen by the bulldozer driver, and ended up getting run over by the bulldozer–and “somehow” passed into “human rights” lore.

Well not really “somehow”.  Corrie’s death became the subject of books, plays, skits, performances, speeches, television programs, and even a movie.  Her parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie have traveled far and wide to ensure their daughter’s “legacy.” Her hometown of Olympia, Washington has become ground zero in the United States for boycotting Israel–an action that the Rachel Corrie Foundation established by her parents tirelessly promotes.  In the process of all of this, Rachel Corrie became the symbol of the so-called “Palestinian rights” movement.

In 2005, after a military investigation had cleared the IDF of any wrongdoing, Corrie’s parents filed a civil suit in Haifa District Court alleging that the military investigation was flawed, Israel had intentionally and unlawfully killed their daughter, and the IDF was guilty of “gross negligence” in her death. The lengthy trial began in 2010.

Yesterday, at the trial’s conclusion, Judge Oded Gershon rejected every argument presented by the Corries and their attorney. In a 62 page written decision which he delivered orally in court, Judge Gershon said “I reject the suit. There is no justification to demand that the state pay any damages.”

He then outlined the reasons for his decision:

1. To begin with, Corrie had ignored a ban on travel to the Gaza region issued by the U.S. State Department and had intentionally entered a formally declared “closed military zone.” Furthermore, Corrie repeatedly ignored efforts of IDF soldiers to keep her out of harm’s way.  Judge Gershon summed up her actions:

“She did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done.”

2. Judge Gershon then described how Corrie had engaged in ISM activities “which abuse the human rights discourse to blur its actions which are de facto violence.” Judge Gershon elaborated that Corrie and her fellow activists in the International Solidarity Movement were “an army of activists serving as ‘human shields’ for terrorists wanted by Israeli security forces, [providing] financial and logistical aid to Palestinians including terrorists and their families, and [disrupting] the sealing of suicide bombers’ houses.”

3. As to the incident that caused her death, Judge Gershon ruled that Corrie had every opportunity to back up and avoid the bulldozer’s path, but had positioned herself (either intentionally or otherwise) in such a way that the bulldozer driver could not see her. Judge Gerson ruled her death was “the result of an accident that she brought upon herself.”

After the decision, Cindy Corrie ‘peacefully’ told the throng of reporters outside the courthouse that she and her husband were “deeply saddened and deeply troubled” by the ruling. Then she launched into a scathing denunciation of Israel:  “I believe this was a bad day not only for our family but for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law, and also for the country of Israel. The Israeli [judicial system] is a well-heeled system to protect the Israeli military and the soldiers who take action in that military and provide them with impunity.”

The actual truth is that the decision of the court was a wonderful day for human rights, for the rule of law, and for the country of Israel.  Of course it will not bring closure to the Rachel Corrie circus as it continues to make its media appearances all over the world, but the judge’s opinion (a lengthy version of that literature that we distributed in Sacramento back in 2008) is an affirmation of what we already knew: Rachel Corrie was no victim, and her death was self-inflicted. 

Addendum: U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (the same Victoria Nuland who refuses to recognize that Jerusalem is in Israel) offered this absurd statement to the Corries this morning:  “We understand the family’s disappointment with the outcome of the trial and reiterate our condolences over [Rachel’s] death.” Nuland went on to suggest that the Corries should and will appeal the decision.

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