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Rachel Corrie: Myths & Facts

Rachel Corrie: Myths & Facts

The death of an innocent civilian is always tragic, but get all the facts behind this incident.



"Rachel Corrie was murdered by Israel while she was peacefully protesting against the illegal demolition of a Palestinian home."


American Rachel Corrie was killed in the Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003, when she entered an area where Israeli forces were carrying out a military operation. The incident occurred while IDF forces were removing shrubbery along the security road near the border between Israel and Egypt at Rafah to uncover explosive devices, and destroying tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists to illegally smuggle weapons from Egypt to Gaza. Corrie was not demonstrating for peace or trying to shield innocent civilians, she was interfering with a military operation to legally demolish an empty house used to conceal one of these tunnels.

A misleading photo published by the Associated Press gave the impression that Corrie was standing in front of the bulldozer and shouting at the driver with a megaphone, trying to prevent the driver from tearing down a building in the refugee camp. This photo, which was taken by a member of Corrie's organization, was not shot at the time of her death, however, but hours earlier. The photographer said that Corrie was actually sitting and waving her arms when she was struck.56

Israel's Judge Advocate's Office investigated the incident and concluded that the driver of the bulldozer never saw or heard Corrie because she was standing behind debris that obstructed the view of the driver whose field of view was limited by the small armored windows of his cab. An autopsy found that the cause of Corrie's death was falling debris.58

The State Department warned Americans not to travel to Gaza, and Israel made clear that civilians who enter areas where troops are engaged in counter-terror operations put themselves unnecessarily at risk.

This was not the first time protestors have tried to obstruct Israeli operations, but the IDF has made every effort to avoid harming them. This case received worldwide publicity in large measure because it was the first such incident where a protestor was killed. In fact, the army had told Corrie and other demonstrators from the anti-Israel International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to move out of the way. "It's possible they [the protesters] were not as disciplined as we would have liked," admitted Thom Saffold, a founder and organizer of ISM.59 It is also possible Rachel Corrie was doing just what ISM placed her there to do. The International Solidarity Movement was spawned, largely funded and directly supervised by the PLO. American members of the organization are trained and funded by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee. Though ISM touts non-violence, in practice, it does the opposite by organizing riots by the security fences between Gaza and Israel every Friday. In the words of a spokesperson for the California ISM on al-Jazeera: "We recognize that violence is necessary and it is permissible for oppressed and occupied people to use armed resistance and we recognize their right to do so."59a

The death of an innocent civilian is always tragic, and the best way to avoid such tragedies in the future is, first and foremost, by Hamas putting an end to terror, and stopping the smuggling operations that have brought huge quantities of illegal weapons into the Gaza Strip. Activists interested in peace should be protesting the Palestinian actions. Activists also have every right to express their views about Israel's policies, but they should take care to avoid the appearance of siding with the terrorists or placing themselves in positions where they could be inadvertently caught in the crossfire of a counter-terror operation or otherwise endangered by entering an area where military operations are being conducted.

56Christian Science Monitor, (April 2, 2003).
58Jerusalem Post, (June 26, 2003).
59Washington Post, (March 17, 2003).
59aCynthia Ozick, "Martyr (A review of My Name is Rachel Corrie: Taken From the Writings of Rachel Corrie)", The New Republic, (December 7, 2006).

March 21, 2010

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 13

(12) jerome, March 23, 2010 6:10 AM

no, you dont treat an enemy with kid will only be your downfall.she and her ilk are enemies of our way of life and if they are in active combat against us in enmy territory, they are to be, it doesnt say we shouldnt rejoise when we wipe out enmies who are out to destroy us 'binfoil oivecha al tismach'; refers to personel fued enemies not mortal enemies

(11) Larry Snider, March 22, 2010 8:25 PM

Myths & Facts

I have read a great deal on Rachel Corrie that has been printed by both the left and the right and believe that it may have been in's interest to let the trial in Haifa play out before further characterizing the young women, her motivations or those of the Israeli bulldozer driver and the Israeli Judge Advocates Office. In a short period of time two ISM volunteers were killed and another was badly mamed. As much as it hurts me to say so, there is evidence that needs to be scupulously reviewed to define the actions of the IDF in Gaza during this period. Corrie was young and bright as well as naive and it must be added that in the words of Arundhati Roy; "The trouble is that once you see it you can't unsee it." I bel;ieve whether it is the impact of a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem or an IDF operation in Gaza, seeing the results is trauma inducing. While the two may be miles apart morally the pain is real and heart wrenching and it continues to generate an international response in Gaza.

Dafydd, August 1, 2016 5:30 PM

You only have to read of the relentless hatred of Israel that is harboured by the Corrie family , which obviously shaped her thinking, to see that she was not an " innocent victim" : she was also not naive, but a messenger of hatred.

(10) Beverly Kurtin, March 22, 2010 3:58 PM

This is the end result

The University of Jerusalem has issued a movie called "Crossing the Line" that illustrates beautifully what is going on. The Arabs are masters of the BIG LIE which they got from their masters: the Nazis. Tell a big lie long enough and soon it will not be a lie, it will turn magically into the truth. I am saddened by the death of Corrie because as a Jew I am prohibited from taking joy from the death or wounding of my enemy. Make no mistake, however, that gal was a radical terrorist and received her just reward directly from the hand of Hashem. For her parents, I do feel sorry; it has to be heart wrenching to hear of and then see the death of one's own child. Beyond that, she had been told to clear the area, she had been told multiple time GET OUT. But she stuck her nose in the air (figuratively speaking) and though that she was in charge.of the situation--she was not. The KKK attempted to interfere with members of the US House, spitting on some and calling some niggers. They were arrested. Others were arrested last night. What is the parallel? When A LEGAL AUTHORITY TELL YOU NO, THEY MEAN NO! We seem to have been raising a generation of sociopaths who feel that they are entitled to flaunt the law, that they know better than anyone. Obviously Corrie was of this ilk. She was used for propaganda purposes and paid the price. She was old enough to know that NO means NO. I have no idea of where her parents stood in all of this, but I have, under those circumstances to sympathize with them for the peace of Israel.

(9) Ron, March 22, 2010 2:37 PM

Realities of War

I, along with most Israeli males, served in the military. Fighting terrorists is not easy, requiring all your attention keeping yourself and your team safe. Many young Americans are taught by leftist-viewed teachers and professors. They then want to go save the world. I applaud their zeal, but hope they open their eyes to reality. Ms. Corrie was doing what she believed in, whether it was right or wrong is not for us to decide. The soldiers (who are only 18 to 21 years of age) were doing what they were supposed be doing, while trying to keep themselves safe - it is not easy. This was an unfortunate accident, and I feel strongly for the loss of Ms. Corrie. My heart goes out to her parents. But this will never be enough to fill the hole made in their hearts. Perhaps we should be looking more at what drove Ms. Corrie to join ISM and these very left-viewed thinking. Much teaching is biased - in my opinion, teachers should leave bias at home where it belongs. Let the children make up their own minds, but don't fill their heads with biased drivel, whether left or right. It's just down right dangerous. Its the young generation that does things with great zeal. We can't later say "sorry, I didn't mean for them to do that!".

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