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The Rachel Corrie Verdict

The Rachel Corrie Verdict

An Israeli court rules the bulldozer death an accident. The media continues to promote a libel.


It was a horrible tragedy. In March 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American, was hanging out in Gaza, trying her hand at “pro-Palestinian activism.” One day, as an Israeli bulldozer was dismantling tunnels used by Gazans to smuggle weapons, Corrie decided to protest. She positioned herself in a trench, in a spot invisible to the Israeli bulldozer driver, and was accidentally crushed to death.

Testifying under oath, the bulldozer driver said he did not realize he had run over Corrie until he heard what had happened over the radio network.

Pro-Palestinian activists seized the opportunity to promote Corrie’s death as a blood libel, accusing Israel of intentional murder. As George Rishmawi, director of the group that sponsored Corrie’s stay in Gaza, told the San Francisco Chronicle (July 14, 2004): Placing American students in danger is good for the Palestinian cause because “if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.”

On Tuesday, an Israeli civil court ruled that Rachel Corrie's death was indeed an accident.

"The death of Rachel Corrie is without a doubt a tragic accident," the state prosecutor's office said in a statement. "As the verdict states – the driver of the bulldozer and his commander had a very limited field of vision, such that they had no possibility of seeing Ms. Corrie and thus are exonerated of any blame for negligence."

Explaining the court's ruling, judge Oded Gershon said Corrie's death was "the result of an accident she brought upon herself." Corrie was in closed military area, with entry forbidden to civilians. The area was the site of daily gunfire by snipers, missile fire and IED explosions. The United States government had issued a travel warning against American citizens visiting the Gaza Strip.

"She did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done," the judge ruled.

Yet the media is refusing to let go of the “intentional murder” canard. In reporting the court’s verdict, NBC News published this photo showing Corrie standing in plain view of an Israeli bulldozer, with a megaphone in hand.

Rachel Corrie on megaphone

U.S. citizen Rachel Corrie, 23, speaks through a megaphone to an Israeli army bulldozer before she was killed in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003. (NBC News / Reuters)

Objectively speaking, this photo makes it difficult to believe that the Israeli driver did not see Rachel Corrie. Indeed, the wording of the caption – “before she was killed in Rafah” – emphasizes the idea that at the moment she was crushed, Corrie was clearly visible, standing with a megaphone.

But that is one huge pack of lies.

The truth is that this photo was taken hours before the incident. At the time of the accident, Rachel Corrie was without a megaphone and was in a hidden position.

This second photo, taken minutes after the accident, shows Corrie bleeding on the ground:

Rachel Corrie after death

Any honest journalist can see that the second photo shows a different bulldozer. Note the large rust stain on the right side of the bulldozer’s blade, in contrast to the megaphone photo. Additionally, this second bulldozer has more narrow, double-glazed windows and an 8-foot-tall bulldozer blade that greatly obscures driver visibility.

This cannot be passed off as merely an honest mistake. The exact same "mistake" was made nine years ago and the media was called out on it. CNN's original 2003 report used the "creative chronology" – and I got them to issue a retraction. The Christian Science Monitor took the false chronology one step further by distributing the earlier photo of Corrie with the megaphone, claiming that the photo was taken "moments before it ran her over."

So while this photo fraud has been well-documented, the media – due either to anti-Israel bias, or to pure sloppiness – continues to promote the blood libel of Israel intentionally murdering Americans.

The end of the story" Two days after I complained to NBC News, I was contacted by an editor at NBC News saying they'd changed the caption from "before she was killed" to "on the day she was killed."

Yet by this time the damage was done and NBC readers had already moved on. So while truth prevailed in the Israeli court, we await the day when the truth will likewise triumph in the court of world opinion.

August 28, 2012

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Visitor Comments: 80

(48) Anonymous, September 9, 2012 9:53 PM

World Hates Not His Own

The ever seeping animosity to the Jews into the widespread social fabric of the world, is currently even treated as a fad by blind followers .. errr, emotionally incited lot, are deemed ending as helpless bigots, helpless in their misdirected passion. Rachel Corrie was one of them, a sorry hap of youth who fell into wrong sentiments. So sad indeed for this accident, taking her life.

(47) Laura Paloheimo, September 6, 2012 11:48 AM

more of this kind of corrections and truthful accounts

Thank you for this report. Just another fact I can quote to some of my leftist friends

(46) Anonymous, September 4, 2012 10:51 PM

Objectivity or Subversive Influences??

We should judge without partiality whether: Jewish or American, Palestinian or Jew. - Deut.1:16-17; 16:18-20. In the first picture there are two bulldozers. The bulldozer with the rust spot is to the back left of the first photo, easily identifiable. This asserts that the operator of the second bulldozer had a window of elapsed time to easily spot the protestors in the dist. Please note the dist. and the open unobstructed field to Carrie and the other protestor. Also note that the since the first bulldozer came in almost direct contact, with Carrie. Upon the first picture, the first operator should have reported, the obvious danger and implications. If he did and nothing was done, it's negligence, and if he didn't negligence still applies. Why wouldn't the the first operator notify the bulldozer behind him about the possible bodily obstruction, or protestors oncoming for avoidance? Next, we have Carrie at first wearing the red safety vest in the first picture per the first bulldozer encounter. Then per the second she has removed this reflective safety vest. So we should inquire of her intentions. But we can't lose sight of where she and the fellow protestor are crouching. They are in the middle of the tread route in the safest place of the bulldozer where it presses dirt up and not down. So they weren't crouching literally in the tread wear path which would be deadly. They could still be in harm by the blade. The pictures don't provide a clear ability to measure blade size to ensure the articles suggested differences there. Why weren't the protestors removed by military police or civilian police? Why weren't they pushed back to a safe distance? Take into consideration a real non violent protest demands a challenge physical and mental that endangers those protesting. It does this while seriously invoking conscientious: insight, thought, and interaction to the: principles, laws or persons being protested against.

(45) Robert Klein, September 2, 2012 10:15 PM

Yashar koach on pursuing the networks! And your conclusion is spot on.

Yashar koach on pursuing the networks! And your conclusion is spot on. P.S. Hello from a former Netzach Yisrael dormer!

(44) chaya, September 2, 2012 8:55 AM

I feel sorry for the Corrie's for this tragic event. If Rachel loved those PALs so much, she should have protested from that side of the map and be "safe". Let's face it, she was used by these terrosists as human shield same as they use their own women and children. We have enough troubles from those terrorists , we do not need rachels and flotillas entering our borders! What we need are journalists with high moral values to start reporting the truth !

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