Monday, August 27, 2012

Archives: Lenny Ben David with the straight facts on Rachel Corrie

Rachel Corrie Trial Restarts.
Key Questions Need Repeating
[For illustrations: ]
Monday, September 6, 2010

The Rachel Corrie trial restarted in Haifa yesterday. Her parents, Craig and
Cindy Corrie, are using the civil trial to confront and vilify Israel. It is
perfectly in character: in May Craig Corrie blessed the naming of one of the
Gaza flotilla ships after his daughter Rachel. She had been a member of the
Palestinian-led International Solidarity Movement, and the radical group was
of the sponsors of the Gaza flotilla.

[Later this week ISM founder Adam Shapiro will be speaking at Stanford
University. He is touted as a "co-founder of the International Solidarity
Movement (along with this wife, Huwaida Arraf), Board member of the Free
Gaza Movement, and organizer of the U.S. Boat to Gaza project."]
1. Where did the Rachel Corrie bulldozer incident take place?

Few people recall that the IDF's ground-clearing operation was carried out
only 50 meters from the Egyptian border -- near the infamous Philadelphi
road. [See map and diagram. All graphic material is from IDF sources.] Up
until Corrie's death, the IDF had uncovered more than 40 tunnels from Egypt
used to smuggle weapons and terrorists into Gaza. In recent years, after the
Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the number of tunnels approached 1,000.
Why was the ISM trying to block the bulldozers seven years ago? Presumably,
they were attempting to protect Hamas' tunnels.
2. Couldn't the bulldozer driver see or hear Corrie?
The noise generated by the bulldozer is deafening, and Corrie had a
megaphone only at an earlier confrontation with the Israel Defense Forces.
It was not with her the afternoon she died.
The field of vision on the armored bulldozer is exceptionally limited (as
the chart on the left indicates), and the driver could not see her.
Corrie's comrades claim that she was standing in front of the bulldozer --
and she was not -- but even if she were, the driver's line of vision is
limited as the diagram shows.
The fact is, witnesses at the time of the incident reported that Corrie was
“When the bulldozer approached a house today,” wrote the New York Times,
“Ms. Corrie, who was wearing a bright orange jacket, dropped to her knees.”
“The bulldozer drove toward Rachel slowly, gathering earth in its scoop as
it went,” an ISM friend stated in 2003. “She knelt there, she did not move.”
Another ISM colleague related: “She did not ‘trip and fall’ in front of the
bulldozer. She sat down in front of it, well in advance.‎“ [Emphasis added.]
3. Was there a deliberate attempt by the IDF to kill Corrie, as her parents
Indeed there was a plan to escalate the confrontation between the bulldozers
and the "peace activists." But it was the ISM members who decided to
escalate, as described by Newsweek writer Joshua Hammer in a lengthy article
in Mother Jones. Why? One possible reason was because of the sexual tension
that was hurting their relations with the local Palestinians.
"An anonymous letter was circulating," Hammer reported, "which referred to
Corrie and the other expatriate women in Rafah as 'nasty foreign bitches'
whom 'our Palestinian young men are following around.' That morning [of
Corrie’s death], the ISM team tried to devise a strategy to counteract the
letter’s effects. 'We all had a feeling that our role was too passive,' said
one ISM member. 'We talked about how to engage the Israeli military.' That
morning, team members made a number of proposals that seemed designed only
to aggravate the problem. 'The idea was to more directly challenge the
Israeli military dominance using our international status,' said the ISMer."
4. But why was Corrie singled out?
She wasn't. At least two ISMers had to be pulled out from under the
bulldozers' blades after they started acting in accordance with their more
aggressive policy. Newsweek’s Hammer reported on “Jenny’s” close call: "An
Irish peace activist named Jenny was nearly run down by a D9. 'The bulldozer’s
coming, the earth is burying my feet, my legs, I’ve got nowhere to run, and
I thought, ‘This is out of control,’ she told me. 'Another activist pulled
me up and out of the way at the last minute.'”
5. Does anyone believe this story that the ISMers were suicidal?
They should believe that the International Solidarity Movement is homicidal.
The ISM has a long record of putting its members, particularly young Western
women, into harm's way. Some are unbelievably naive and just plain dumb.
Like Corrie, they were encouraged to confront the Israel Defense Forces. Not
surprisingly, some were injured and killed:
* On 2 April 2002, Australian Kate Edwards was shot and wounded in Beit Jala
near Jerusalem from where Palestinians were firing on the Jewish
neighborhood of Gilo. She and other volunteers marched on Israeli lines to
protect their Palestinian friends. The clearly logic-challenged Edwards
complained, "I never thought for a moment that they would fire live
ammunition at us."
* In April 2002, Irish ISM member Caomhe Butterly served as a human shield
in Yasir Arafat's compound in Ramallah during the intifada. Later, on
November 22, 2002, she inserted herself as a human shield again and was
wounded during an IDF operation in Jenin. One of her admirers described how
Butterly "would walk up to a tank and place her hand over the muzzle."
Butterly was an organizer and spokesperson aboard the 2010 Gaza flotilla.
* April 13, 2003, ISM member Thomas Hurndall was shot and killed when he
challenged an Israeli tank force in Gaza.
* On April 24, 2010 Bianca Zammit, a Maltese national, joined a group of
Palestinians who charged the security fence between Gaza and Israel. That
area of the fence has often seen terrorist attacks. Zammit was shot through
the thigh by a sniper, but was back to her comrades an hour later (pictured,
* On May 31, 2010, Emily Henochowicz, an American Jewish ISMer, lost her eye
after she was hit by a tear gas grenade that ricocheted off a highway
divider during a violent demonstration near Qalandia in the West Bank. She
had been a regular at Palestinian demonstrations at Sheikh Jarrah, Bilin,
Nilin and Nabi Saleh.
As the Haifa trial proceeds, it is clear that the International Solidarity
Movement should be the one on trial for reckless endangerment. Yet, when
young Western women are injured, arrested or killed, the media pays
Maybe Rachel Corrie wasn't so dumb, after all. She wrote to her mother about
the possibility of an American activist's death as a propaganda tool: "You
just can't imagine it unless you see it, and even then you are always well
aware that your experience is not at all the reality: what with the
difficulties the Israeli Army would face if they shot an unarmed U.S.

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