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No Right to Exist: the Corrie Verdict and the Jewish State’s Belligerence






Will President Obama summon his courage and utter a timid peep of protest at the Israeli court’s ruling in the Rachel Corrie case? As I write this it has been about 13 hours since the verdict was announced, and so far we’ve heard nothing. And my guess is we won’t.

In case you haven’t heard, the Haifa District Court has come to the conclusion that the Israeli military is not in any way liable for the death of 23-year-old Rachel, who was crushed beneath a Caterpillar bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier on March 16, 2003.

Further, while allowing that her death was “regrettable,” Judge Oded Gershon asserted his view that Rachel, and Rachel alone, is to blame for what happened.

The accident was caused by the deceased,” he said.

We all know, of course, that the only reason the case got the attention it did is because Rachel was an American. Palestinians are killed virtually every day and the media barely yawn. But the verdict in this case highlights Israeli arrogance and impunity in perhaps new ways.

It was not of course as if finding in the Corries’ favor would have cost the state of Israel any money. The suit had sought a total of $1 in damages plus legal costs. So no. It was more an affirmation of Israel’s authority to steal as much land and demolish as many homes as it likes, along with the belief that no one has the right to challenge them on this.

“I reject the suit,” Gershon said. “There is no justification the state pay any damages.”

Not even one dollar.

Interestingly, just a day before the verdict came in, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz disclosed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sought to browbeat UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon into cancelling his trip to the Non-aligned Movement conference in Tehran. Reportedly the Israeli leader’s “public appeal to Ban—delivered in what staffers viewed as a condescending tone—backfired, fortifying Ban’s resolve to go.”

The story goes on to report that Netanyahu, instead of exercising discretion about his phone call with Ban, issued a press release detailing everything he had said to the UN official. The prime minister then initiated “a social media drive, calling on Web surfers to send e-mails to the UN secretary-gernal asking him not to fly to Tehran,” the story says.

At the same time, a series of Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the World Jewish Congress issued press statements harshly criticizing Ban’s plan to travel to the conference in Iran. Ban’s associates were confinced that the attacks by Jewish groups had also been directed by the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

So what does this have to do with the Corrie verdict? Probably nothing, other than it illustrates the arrogance constantly on display and emanating from the state of Israel. If you haven’t read my article Rachel Corrie and Daniel Pearl—a curious comparison, you might consider doing so. It’s an article I wrote over a year ago comparing the two cases—that of the Palestine solidarity activist and the Wall Street Journal reporter—both of whom died within 14 months of each other. In the Pearl case, justice was swift in coming. The killers were arrested less than two months after the reporter was killed. They were quickly brought to trial and found guilty, with one of them being sentenced to death. The court case was over less than six months after the crime was committed.

The Rachel Corrie case obviously did not go quite the same way. Criminal charges were never filed against the soldier operating the bulldozer, leaving the family with no other recourse than a civil suit as a means of holding the government of Israel accountable. The Corries filed their suit in 2005. It took seven years to hear the verdict we finally heard today. Seven years—just in order for a judge to say, “The accident was caused by the deceased.”

In the Jewish-dominated world we live in, justice is available to Gentiles only when it doesn’t come at the expense of a Jew. This is certainly the case in the “Jewish state,” and it is becoming increasingly so in America. As I’ve said before, apartheid will end up being Israel’s chief export to the rest of the world. This is why the struggle for justice for Palestine is so vital. It may sound ironic, but this isn’t just for the sake of the Palestinians anymore; it is for all of humanity. The creation of a Palestinian state—not just in the West Bank and Gaza, but all of Palestine—is the only way forward at this point. The Jewish state’s belligerence has repulsed people around the planet. Continuing to tolerate its disregard for international law will lead to disaster.

With the Rachel Corrie verdict the candle flame of its “legitimacy” has finally burned out; Israel has no right to exist.



In the video below, Rachel’s mother responds to the verdict:

10 Responses to No Right to Exist: the Corrie Verdict and the Jewish State’s Belligerence

  1. Ariadna Theokopoulos August 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Indeed, as Richard says, this outrage proves that Israel has no right to exist.

  2. Rehmat August 29, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    “Obama asks Netanyahu; how high he wants him to jump,” a joke from Israeli daily Ha’aretz.

    the Zionist regime always had double standards when it comes to justice, based on Talmud; one for the Jews and other for their victims.

    Last year, Dr. Steven Plaut (Haifa University) in his article ‘Welcome to Haifa, Mr. and Mrs. Corrie’, published in The Jewish Press (March 3, 2011), wrote: “Corrie has since become a sort of Mother Teresa for the radical left and apologists for Islamofascism. She is the martyr saint of the pro-terror lobby and is even celebrated by Klansman David Duke”.

    • Ariadna Theokopoulos August 29, 2012 at 2:56 am #

      I have just read your article and was unpleasantly surprised by your prayer in it, that the Israeli jews should “go back to the countries where they came from.” Why? The State for Jews is their country.

      As I as written elsewhere I strongly support “the Legitimate, Peacefully Created and Beautiful State for Jews.” Beautiful, first of all, morally.

      * It was created by the stroke of the pen by a visionary man, without shedding any blood, without displacing native population.

      * It is self-sufficient, not a parasite state

      * It is peaceful, having never waged war on its neighbors, nor having any plans to do so any time soon.

      * It is a true haven of security for jews.

      Yet the only thing it lacks is Jews. The relatively few jews who live there keep calling on their co-religionaries all over the world to join them but their call falls on deaf ears. The only explanation is that most jews must be unaware of it. A worldwide campaign to popularize the State for Jews is necessary.

      I am speaking, of course, of Birobidjan. The visionary who created the first state for jews 81 years ago was Stalin, although the wikipedia entry for Birobidjan, ungratefully, does not even mention him.”
      Why should they go anywhere else? The State for Jews awaits them.

    • Ariadna Theokopoulos August 29, 2012 at 2:59 am #

      PS There is a statue of her in Beirut. NOT in the US. What a shame for the US.

  3. who_me August 29, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    “As I’ve said before, apartheid will end up being Israel’s chief export to the rest of the world. This is why the struggle for justice for Palestine is so vital.”

    it is its chief export, along with deep corruption. a palestine without israel, or jp influence, is vital for the world. without israel as a rallying tool, jp will lose much of its influence due to the tribe decentralising. jp will become “just” another fascist lobby, like the rest of the rightwing and business lobbies and lose much of their covert pull on the left.

  4. Ariadna Theokopoulos August 29, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    “without israel as a rallying tool, jp will lose much of its influence due to the tribe decentralising. ”


  5. Jonathon Blakeley August 29, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    This me was an iconic turning point, similar to the “Vivid Vietnamese Napalm-girl moment”. The day Rachel Corrie died was momentous because the sheer depth of the ethical dis-connect in Israeli society became dreadfully apparent to all with compassion,

  6. Jonathon Blakeley August 29, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    Published on Aug 29, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
    The Israeli army is not responsible for the killing of American activist Rachel Corrie. This is the verdict handed down in an Israeli court. But it is not a verdict that Corrie’s family accepts.

    Corrie was crushed to her death by a military bulldozer as the Israeli army was demolishing Palestinian homes. Her parents demanded justice for their daughter’s death and what they got is what Palestinians experience every day, a continual miscarriage of justice excused by Israel’s impunity.

  7. Blake August 30, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    In contrast, the family of James Miller, an Emmy Award-winning British filmmaker killed by Israeli forces in Rafah two months after Corrie’s death, ultimately received over $2 million in damages from the Israeli government. The government of the United Kingdom had threatened to seek the extradition of the Israeli soldiers in question.

  8. Ariadna Theokopoulos August 30, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    From Ma’an:
    “A retired 6-term congressman who represented slain activist Rachel Corrie’s district said Thursday he was unsurprised by an Israeli court verdict to dismiss a civil suit filed by the family.
    Democrat Brian Baird of Washington said the trial was undermined by Israel’s failure to conduct a transparent investigation into the 2003 killing of his constituent in Gaza.
    “The verdict was not a great surprise” because the outcome resulted from “a process that seemed designed to obfuscate the facts rather than clarify,” the ex-lawmaker said in a telephone interview from Seattle.
    “Sadly, as I’ve come to understand, this is standard operating procedure” for many complaints alleging Israeli military misconduct, he said. “The case was dismissed without proper consideration.”
    Baird, who served six terms in the US House of Representatives before retiring in 2010, was among the first officials to call for a US investigation into Corrie’s death. No American inquiry was formed, but the former lawmaker has continued to support the family’s fight for accountability in Israeli courts.”

    “Reactions to the verdict were muted in Washington. Israel enjoys considerable support from both major parties. Lawmakers are also preparing for a November presidential election.
    The PLO general delegation to the US said it was “dismayed” by the Obama administration’s silence.
    “We strongly believe that the failure of US officials to support the Corries only sustains Israeli policies of harassment, intimidation, and coercion against American supporters of the Palestinian people,” it said.

    Baird too said he regretted that the case never became a top foreign policy priority.
    “In the early days after Rachel’s death, there was extraordinary compassion,” he said, emphasizing that certain officials in the State Dept. had done an “outstanding job” in support of the family. However, he added, “There was not the same level of support from Congress.”
    Cindy Corrie, meanwhile, said the US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, had informed the family this week that the US position on Israel’s investigations remained unchanged. Shapiro was referring to remarks by a State Dept. official under the Bush administration who said Israel had failed to conduct a “thorough, credible and transparent” investigation, Corrie told reporters on a conference call.
    State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday she could not comment on a closed meeting and declined to give an official position on the verdict. But she said the US understood the family’s disappointment. “We reiterate our condolences to the Corrie family on the tragic death of their daughter,” she said.
    Baird, the former congressman, recalled being unprepared in 2003 for the extent of the antagonism he would face from Israeli officials and lobbyists after he proposed an independent investigation into the killing.
    “Representatives of the Israeli government resisted providing full information, and in some cases provided false information,” he said of the responses to his requests for information.
    In one instance, “I was personally and repeatedly told by representatives of Israel and representatives of AIPAC that the bulldozer driver was suffering from a deep depression and undergoing therapy. That was in direct contrast to the (future) hearing where he implied he had little recollection of the event.”

    “Ultimately, Baird said, the Corrie verdict put a spotlight on the many barriers to justice faced by Palestinians.
    “This is not a rare event for Palestinians. Those individuals often get far less official due process. I trust that the Corries’ motivation is partly to highlight this fundamental characteristic for Palestinians,” he said. “I admire tremendously the Corrie family for pursuing it.”