News Release

Israeli Court “Blames All But Who Killed Rachel Corrie”

ABC News reports: “A court in northern Israel today ruled that Israel and its military were not negligent in the 2003 death of a U.S. activist who was crushed by an army bulldozer. The judge called the death a ‘regrettable accident,’ and said Rachel Corrie ‘did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done.’ ‘She consciously put herself in harm’s way,’ Judge Oded Gershon said, adding that the driver of the bulldozer could not have seen Corrie, 23.

“She was wearing a bright-orange jacket and standing between the armored vehicle and a Palestinian home to prevent its being torn down in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. Fellow activists who were with Corrie have no doubt that the bulldozer driver saw her and went so far as to roll over her twice.

“‘I believe that this was a bad day not only for our family but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel,’ the pro-Palestinian activist’s mother, Cindy Corrie of Olympia, Wash., said.”

SIMONA SHARONI [email]
Sharoni is a professor at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh and the chairperson of its Gender and Women’s Studies Department. A citizen of Israel who served in the IDF, she worked closely with Rachel Corrie before she left to Gaza while Sharoni was teaching at the Evergreen State College. Sharoni said today: “The Corries’ lawsuit was not only designed to hold the state of Israel and its military accountable for taking Rachel’s life; it exposed the Israeli injustice system and its brutal treatment of Palestinians; it raised awareness to home demolitions and to the role played by such companies as Caterpillar — whose bulldozer killed Rachel Corrie — in perpetrating human rights violations in Palestine. As an Israeli citizen, I am deeply ashamed of the verdict that absolved Israel of any responsibility. Solidarity messages from around the world, including from peace activists in Israel, have expressed outrage at the verdict.”

HUWAIDA ARRAF, [email], @huwaidaarraf
Arraf is a founder of the International Solidarity Movement, which Corrie was a member of. Arraf, who was at the court in Haifa, said today: “The judge’s ruling today is outrageous in many ways, not least of which is the criticizing of Rachel and the maligning of the International Solidarity Movement in an effort to place blame on all but those who killed Rachel and worked to cover it up. These are the same institutions that continue to injure and kill thousands of innocent Palestinians with no accountability. Not only does today’s verdict mean that there is no justice for Rachel Corrie, but by absolving the state and military of all responsibility for Rachel’s killing, it also means that no human rights defender is safe from Israeli state violence.”

Cindy and Craig, Rachel Corrie’s parents, were on Democracy Now this morning.