The Rachel Corrie court case and media repercussions

IDF D9 bulldozer

IDF D9 bulldozer like the one that ran over Rachel Corrie

Rachel Corrie, an American citizen, belonged to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), volunteering in Gaza at the height of the Second Intifada. She was accidentally run over and killed by an IDF bulldozer, and the ISM and Corrie’s family have claimed ever since that the bulldozer driver ran her over on purpose, and that this was IDF and Israeli policy.  They have been relentless in pursuing the soldiers involved in the incident through the Israeli court system.

Yesterday, the Haifa District Court dismissed the Corries’ civil suit against Israel and their claim for symbolic damages.

Corrie’s family sued Israel over her death, charging that soldiers had either killed her intentionally or acted with reckless neglect. They asserted that the Israeli military was responsible for Corrie’s life even though she had knowingly placed herself in danger to thwart a military operation.

They were seeking a symbolic $1 in damages and legal fees.

Judge Oded Gershon rejected all of the family’s claims. “This was a very unfortunate accident and not an action undertaken with intent,” Gershon said Tuesday in a courtroom packed with spectators and reporters.

“The deceased put herself into a dangerous situation. She stood in front of a large bulldozer in a place where the operator could not see her. Even when she saw the mound of earth approaching her she did not distance herself as a reasonable person would have done,” he said.

Corrie’s death, he ruled, was “the result of an accident she brought upon herself.” The family’s claim that her death was intentional was “baseless,” he said.

International reaction has been entirely predictable.  For a prime example see the Guardian (for whom Corrie is somewhat of a pet project) here and here and here.  There are probably more but that’s more than enough to digest. The links are too numerous to go into in detail, but for those who are interested, here is a quick roundup (and a roundup of roundups).

Honest Reporting have produced an excellent analysis of media reaction to the judgement. Their salient point:

Those that want to believe the worst of Israel will still do so despite this Israeli court verdict. Like other icons of the Palestinian movement such as Mohammad al-Dura, the death of Rachel Corrie will continue to be a stick with which to beat Israel irrespective of the facts or the investigations.

Elder of Ziyon’s post gives detailed background to the original incident, its repercussions, and media reaction today.  His accompanying picture of a D9 bulldozer (posted above) like the one which ran over Corrie demonstrates how impossible it would have been for the driver to spot Corrie.

CiFWatch has several excellent articles: “Put the ISM on trial” by Adam Levick; the ISM’s Fauxtography by Akus; and a thorough background of the ISM and its exploitation of Rachel Corrie by Hadar Sela.

Honest Reporting mention the following article in its report, but I read it before I saw HR’s post, and anyway I feel it deserves a separate mention: Brendan O’Neill in the Daily Telegraph wrote a sharp article on the secular beatification of Rachel Corrie.

This secular beatification of Corrie, who has effectively been turned into St Rachel of the Put-Upon Palestinians, captures everything that is wrong with modern-day solidarity with Palestine.

Corrie’s cheerleaders – which includes actor Alan Rickman, who turned her writings into a hit play – seem unaware of how much their sanctification of Corrie echoes the old crusading Christian desire to save foreigners from wickedness.


The transformation of Corrie’s life and death into a black-and-white morality tale – featuring a well-off white American who was pure of heart, poor little brown people who have no hope, and a Zionist entity that is supremely evil – sums up the boneheadedness of modern-day Palestinian solidarity.


Palestinian solidarity has become creepily anthropological. It increasingly treats Palestinians, not as a people who simply need more political independence, but as a threatened tribe that must be protected from further harm by “human shields” from the enlightened west.


They are effectively going to Palestine to find themselves, to try to give meaning to their potentially shallow lives through imagining that they can “save” an entire people and halt a “genocide” by standing in front of a tank or writing some blog posts about how tragic are the lives of cute Palestinian children. It is a peculiar form of solidarity that reduces an entire foreign people to the level of child-like victims who need the likes of St Rachel to save them.

Read it all.

As an antidote to all this poison, read Tom Gross’s “The Forgotten Rachels” about all the Israeli Rachels murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

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14 Responses to The Rachel Corrie court case and media repercussions

  1. Petr Tarasov says:

    No justice in a settler-colonial court.

    • anneinpt says:

      Riiight. That same settler-colonial court that evicts settlers from Migron and Givat HaUlpana. Or do you disagree with those judgements too?

      You’re doing nothing more than talking on auto-pilot, spitting out your hate and bile as soon as you hear the word “Israel”. I suppose you can’t help it. I ought to pity you but I don’t. You disgust me.

  2. Cormac says:

    This woman would still be alive if she didn’t deliberately act as human shield for terrorists.Instead of living like a normal 23 year old she chose to go to a country on the other side of the World to be a matyr for radical leftists.How people like her find the time, energy and money to this kinda crap still baffles me.

    • anneinpt says:

      How people like her find the time, energy and money to this kinda crap still baffles me.

      Time: university student, giving up on studies permanently or temporarily, to fight for a “higher cause” (sarcasm intentional).

      Energy: she’s young.

      Money: presumably her doting parents and family since ISM volunteers are required to fund themselves..

      i.e. these are rich trust-fund kids with nothing better to do than incite hatred and endanger themselves and Israelis in the name of the holy Palestinians.

  3. Rob Harris says:

    One thing that struck me is that the judge stated firmly that the IDF were not demolishing houses that day. It has been a constant pro-Corrie line that she was defending a Palestinian family, her father has been going around with a picture of the six year old who is a member of that family etc. However, increasing doubt suggests otherwise so it seems likely she and the ISM were actually harassing the IDF when they were trying to clear land to improve visibility in a location that posed a great deal of risk to soldiers.

    It casts her actions in a very different light that is hardly defensible, and it wouldn’t be the first time the ISM were aiding terrorists would it?

    • cba says:

      The words “Mike’s Place” spring to mind.

      • anneinpt says:

        Thanks for that sad reminder. Here’s a link to what happened. Mike’s Place bombing.

        See the perpetrators – British Muslims who travelled to Israel specifically in order to murder Israelis. No different to the ISM, no matter what the ISM claims are its aims.

    • anneinpt says:

      However, increasing doubt suggests otherwise so it seems likely she and the ISM were actually harassing the IDF when they were trying to clear land to improve visibility in a location that posed a great deal of risk to soldiers.

      You’re much too polite and circumspect. It’s not “increasing doubt” – there is no doubt at all that this is what they were doing. They were simply trying to prevent the IDF from doing their job. And when you insert yourself into a war zone you can expect to get killed. End of.

      • Rob Harris says:

        Anne, I suppose I was erring on the side of being circumspect because as far as I know the IDF never released their report (circa 2004) into the Corrie death, even though it exonerated them and asserted they were not conducting house demolitions that day. They may have not issued it due to diplomatic sensitivity – perhaps they should do so now because much of the same content would be in the public domain as court records?

        BTW I addressed the issue of what Corrie was doing there by adding two paragraphs in the early part of an article about her on my blog. The mainstream media treated it as a given that she was protesting about demolitions so I feel the issue should be highlighted.

        • anneinpt says:

          It’s possible teh IDF didn’t publish their investigation because of security issues. But anyway, the ISM and their ilk wouldn’t accept any IDF investigation, they’d think it was biased. I’m sure the judge in this civil case read the report though, and took it into consideration.

          Thanks for mentioning your blog. I didn’t’ realize you’d written about Corrie. I’m off to read it now (or after Shabbat, whichever I manage first!)

          • Rob Harris says:

            Security could have been an issue too. Apparently Craig Corrie received a copy which he disputed, and the Guardian also saw it. They said it exonerated the IDF.

            Hope you find the article worthwhile. I noticed we cited a few similar sources and used one similar pic – great minds and all that! 😉

  4. Rob says:

    One of the strange things about the MSM coverage that I’ve seen is they didn’t cover the judge’s detailed analysis of what actually happened. This young person knelt down in front of an armoured bulldozer, whose driver could not see her, she being below his field of vision. If he could have seen her, he would have stopped, as had happened on previous occasions. Then it turned in her direction, travelling at 1 kph, pushing in front of it, on its massive blade, a mound of rubble which it had collected as part of is clearing and levelling mission. Rather than get out of the way, Corrie chose to approach the oncoming bohemoth and attempt to CLIMB that mound of rubble. Not surprisingly, as the rubble was loose, she lost her footing and was engulfed. Her ISM colleagues, seeing this, ran up to the bulldozer and alerted the driver. He stopped, and backed off. This released the rubble, which had been held roughly in place by the blade and the forward momentum of the ‘dozer, and the pile of rocks and earth then collapsed on top of her, causing the injuries that resulted in her death.

    An accident, sadly and tragically brought about by her own foolishness and her reckless determination to ascend the mound of rubble and, no doubt, shout her folly to the world.

    I daresay that sounds a bit heartless, but that’s the way it seems to me.

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you Rob for pointing out these very important details.

      I actually don’t find it at all strange that the MSM has not mentioned any of these findings. They put Israel in a good light, i.e. they clear Israel of wrongdoing. Therefore the MSM will avoid these facts like the plague.

      Furthermore the facts cause the blame to be effectively laid at the door of the ISM and Corrie herself. Yet another reason for the MSM to keep quiet. Mustn’t let facts get in the way of a good libel, er, I mean story.

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