Israeli court rejects Corrie family lawsuit; calls Rachel Corrie’s death ‘regrettable accident’
by Adam Horowitz
August 28, 2012Note the quote from Judge Gershon in the following Haaretz report which blames Rachel for her own death:
Judge Oded Gershon has ruled in favor of the state of Israel in the Corrie family wrongful death lawsuit. Rachel Corrie was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer as she protested the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah, Gaza. (for more on the case seehere).
The Haifa District Court rejected on Tuesday accusations that Israel was at fault over the death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a 2003 pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza. . .Corrie family attorney Hussein Abu Hussein issued the following statement following the verdict. The ruling marks yet another victory for Israeli impunity in the occupied territories:
While not surprising, this verdict is yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairness. Rachel Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting home demolitions and injustice in Gaza, and today, this court has given its stamp of approval to flawed and illegal practices that failed to protect civilian life. In this regard, the verdict blames the victim based on distorted facts and it could have been written directly by the state attorneys.Omar Barghouti sent out the following reaction to the verdict, putting it in the broader context of the Israeli legal system's "structural flaws" that were criticized in the Goldstone Report:
It's a sad day for humanity, for the Corries, for Palestinians, for all people of conscience around the world ...Activists in the U.S. have announced plans to redouble their efforts to push for divestment from Caterpillar in the wake of the verdict. From the We Divest campaign:
The We Divest Campaign, a national coalition demanding pension fund giant TIAA-CREF divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands, is intensifying its call for divestment from Caterpillar Inc. in the wake of an Israeli court ruling today siding with the government in the civil court case brought by the Corrie family. The case alleged that the State of Israel was responsible for the killing of 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by a Caterpillar bulldozer as she attempted to use nonviolent civil disobedience to stop the destruction of Palestinian homes by the Israeli army in Gaza in March 2003. The court’s decision followed an Israeli investigation that the US ambassador to Israel recently criticized as lacking credibility.Jewish Voice for Peace has also condemned the verdict. It includes a statement from Rachel Corrie's parents. Excerpts:
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is deeply disappointed by the verdict read by Judge Oded Gershon this morning in the civil court case brought by the Corrie family against the State of Israel...
In response to the Judge Gershon’s verdict, Cindy and Craig Corrie, Rachel’s parents said: "We are deeply saddened and troubled by what we heard today in the court of Judge Oded Gershon. This was a bad day, not only for us, but for human rights, for humanity, the rule of law, and the country of Israel. From the beginning, it was clear that there was a system to protect the military and soldiers, to provide them impunity. This extends to the courts. The diplomatic process failed us. The Israeli court system demonstrated that it failed us too. Rachel was a human being who deserved accountability, and we as her family deserve that too."
Sydney Levy, Director of Advocacy at Jewish Voice for Peace said: "We at JVP deplore Judge Gershon’s verdict, and we applaud the Corrie family and their legal team for successfully putting on trial Israel’s flawed justice system. This verdict is yet another flagrant disregard for international law by Israel, which is obligated, as are all countries, to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians from the dangers of military operations. The Israeli military undoubtedly violated this principle in the killing of nonviolent human rights activist Rachel Corrie."