Israeli Court Whitewashes Killing of U.S. Peace Activist
• The Talmud, the Jewish holy book, justifies the killing of non-Jews who interfere with crimes of Jews
By Ralph Forbes
Rachel Corrie, the young American girl, “put herself in a dangerous situation,” so it was her fault she was crushed to death by an armored Israeli D9 bulldozer on March 17, 2003. Miss Corrie could have saved herself if she had not protested the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home—and moved out of the zone of danger “as any reasonable person would have done.”
Or so said Israeli Judge Oded Gershon, of the Haifa district court, as he callously tossed out the lawsuit filed by Cindy and Craig Corrie, the grieving parents of Rachel Corrie, “as a last resort to get justice” for their murdered daughter. No price can be put on a human life slaughtered so horrifically, especially one as beautiful as Miss Corrie’s. So, to get into court, Miss Corrie’s family only claimed a symbolic shekel—worth about a quarter in Israel—in damages and legal expenses for the unlawful, intentional killing of Miss Corrie by the Israeli military.
The 62-page ruling ignored American and British eyewitnesses who saw the brutal murder. They watched in horror as the bulldozer driver, under the approving eyes of Israeli troopers in armored personnel carriers, ran over her, then scooped up the still breathing Miss Corrie in the bucket of the earth mover and then dumped her on the ground and ran over her two more times.
Likewise, the fact that other peace activists barely escaped with their lives when they were nearly run down by Israeli bulldozers operating in the area was not relevant. Nor was the fact that Miss Corrie was targeted routinely by Israeli snipers. Or that “in rapid succession, Israeli troops shot three more foreign civilians. . . .” On April 5, 2003, Brian Avery, a 24-year-old American, was shot in the face by an Israeli sniper. On May 2, 2003, James Miller, a 35-year-old Briton filming an HBO documentary, was shot in the neck and killed while walking under a white flag toward an Israeli armored personnel carrier. On Jan. 13, 2004, a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier tore through the back of 21-year-old Tom Hurndall’s skull as he stooped to carry two Palestinian girls to safety.
The Israeli court ruled that Miss Corrie’s death was not caused by the negligence of the Israeli state or army or the driver of the military bulldozer. Even U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said Israel’s investigation into the death of Rachel was “not sufficiently credible.” The military’s investigation was “careless and shoddy.”
The Corrie family was “deeply saddened and deeply troubled” by the ruling. The Israeli state has a “well-heeled system” to protect its soldiers and provide them with immunity, said Cindy Corrie.
“This verdict is yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairness. Rachel Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting home demolitions and injustice,” said the Corries’ lawyer.
No one mentioned that the Talmud, the Jewish holy book, justifies the killing of non-Jews who interfere with crimes of Jews.
Ralph Forbes is a freelance writer based in Arkansas. He is also a member of AFP’s Southern Bureau. Contact him at [email protected]