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Mar-07-2010 21:04printcomments

Rachel Corrie's Parents Seek Civil Justice From Israel Over Their Daughter's Death

Rachel Corrie was brutally killed by an Israeli military bulldozer operator; the IDF denies responsibility, but a court will decide the case's civil outcome this week.

Rachel Corrie was killed by the Israeli military while trying to stop the destruction of a Palestinian family home.
Rachel Corrie was killed by the Israeli military while trying to stop the destruction of a Palestinian family home.

(HAIFA / SALEM) - A call to action has been issued by the parents of Rachel Corrie, an Evergreen student from Washington who tried to slow Israel's wanton destruction of Palestinian homes.

Rachel Corrie is a hero. She gave her life trying to aid some of the most voiceless people in the world. Israel's intention to eventually oust every Palestinian from their land and destroy the long time homes of local Palestinian families, came to a head this day, when a dozer operator that by all witness accounts, drove over Rachel and crushed her body, as she used a bullhorn to communicate to him.

Her friends and local Palestinians say the dozer operator, who was a Russian Israeli, was extremely aware of her presence in front of his blade, and he quite obviously chose to murder the young woman who was blocking his physical destruction of a Palestinian home.

Now Rachel's parents are in Haifa to seek justice for their daughter's death, and the Israeli press is already lashing out at these people who lost their bright and courageous daughter, who even at her young age, had a plan to try to change the world. One Front Page Magazine, titled the story about Rachel Corrie's parents' visit, "A Two Person Anti-Israel SWAT Team."

The hate that reeks from these words is commonplace in Israel, but this time it is even more personal, as it involves a family from the Northwest U.S. and murder.

Rachel Corrie is a martyr now, and not just in Palestine or in the Arab world, but to millions of us here in the western world also. The link to the story I wrote about her is included below. Anyone dialed into the tragedy of Palestine's struggle for justice, knows the story of Rachel Corrie. Godspeed to her parents at this difficult time.

Tim King


MARCH 10-24, 2010


As many of you know, a civil lawsuit in the case of our daughter Rachel Corrie is scheduled for trial in the Haifa District Court beginning March 10, 2010. A human rights observer and activist, Rachel, 23, tried nonviolently to offer protection for a Palestinian family whose home was threatened with demolition by the Israeli military. On March 16, 2003, she was crushed to death by an Israel Defense Force (IDF) Caterpillar D9R bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza.

The lawsuit is one piece of our family’s seven-year effort to pursue justice for our daughter and sister. We hope this trial will illustrate the need for accountability for thousands of lives lost, or indelibly injured, by occupation—in a besieged and beleaguered Gaza and throughout Palestine/Israel; bring attention to the assault on nonviolent human rights activists (Palestinian, Israeli, and international); and underscore the fact that so many Palestinian families, harmed as deeply as ours, cannot access Israeli courts.

In order to deliver these interconnected messages as effectively as possible, we are asking for large-scale participation in the trial itself as well as in the events surrounding it. We hope you will join us for all or some of the events listed below and help us to put the call out to others.

9:00-16:00—Trial Begins in the Haifa District Court (12 Palyam St. Haifa)
A strong presence of human rights observers, legal observers, and others on the first day of the trial will send the message that this case is being closely monitored and that truth, accountability and justice matter to us all. Other trial dates are: March 14, 15, 17, 21, 22 and 24. Supportive presence at all court sessions is both welcome and needed!

13:00-15:00—Film Screening at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque (2 Shprinzak St. Tel Aviv)
Screening of the documentary film RACHEL followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Simone Bitton and the Corrie family. RACHEL is a cinematic inquiry into Rachel’s killing. It raises many of the questions that should be asked and addressed during the trial.

20:00-22:00—Memorial; Location TBA March 16th marks the seven-year anniversary of Rachel’s killing. We hope to mark this day as a “Day of Conscience” with a large gathering that calls for truth, accountability and justice, in Rachel’s case and beyond.
There will also be events in Gaza (at the Rachel Corrie Children and Youth Cultural Center in Rafah), possibly in the West Bank (TBA), and around the world.

If you are not with us in Palestine/Israel, please think about how you and your group/community can be visible/audible on March 16.

We expect this to be a challenging time, but we know the friendship we have felt from so many of you over the years will help us navigate the weeks ahead. Though the course and outcome of the trial are unknown, we welcome the opportunity to raise and highlight many of the critical issues to which Rachel's case is linked. Thank you for your continuing support.

In solidarity and with much appreciation,

Cindy & Craig Corrie

Aug-02-2009: Remembering Rachel Corrie and Her Mission for Peace - Tim King

Oct-21-2009: My Name is Rachel Corrie at OSU this Week - Tim King

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Paul Green June 3, 2010 1:47 am (Pacific time)

There simply is no point in talking with these people they have only one agenda in mind. When one reads Corys emails we only hear about the PLO . What about the thousands of Israeli children murdered by rocket attacks . Or prior to the walling off of the Gaza the constant infiltrations and murders . Does anyone mention the poor woman who suffocated her 2 year old daughter while hiding as her whole family was murdered in the house courtesy of the PLO ? There is simply is no argument here . IT IS Right or wrong. Israelis tried to live in peace since day one . All States are created Jordan did not exsist and ws created at the same time as Israel. Jordan and the other 22 plus Arab countries refused to [and still do to this day allow the Arabs as there is no such thing as a Palastienin to live in their countries. Israel gave cizianship to its Arabs. They live in freedom. But what of the Jews in Iraq,Iran,Eygpet,Jordan,Syria,Morraco,Yemen all forced out or possessions taken and livingin fear . THERE US SIMPLY NOT TWO SIDES TO THIS STORY !

Editor: You can dress it up all you want but never change the facts.  We praise people in Israel who fight the oppression of the Palestinians.  The Israeli government however, is making people live like animals, it is disgusting.  

Bill Levinson March 13, 2010 10:21 am (Pacific time)

Tim wrote, "I have heard about what some of the teachings are today in Gaza, but I can't get past the 'you gave them Gaza' part." Israel captured Gaza from Egypt after Egypt had started or provoked three wars in less than 20 years. As far as I am concerned, Israel should have annexed Gaza (and Sinai) to punish Egypt and as compensation for Egypt's aggression (with the added provision that, if Egypt ever started another war, it would lose even more). It is to be noted that, at the end of the Second World War, land was taken from Germany (aggressor) and given to Poland (victim). I do not think Israel had any obligation to give up Gaza (or Sinai), but it did.  However, Israel is not wealthy because, as you contend, it steals the Arabs' resources. The average Israeli was far richer than the average Egyptian, Syrian, or Jordanian even when Israel remained in its pre-1967 borders. No Israelis are "oppressing" the oil-rich Saudis, but Israel's per capita GDP is higher than that of Saudi Arabia. The reason is not that Israelis are racially superior (many of them are in fact racially similar to Arabs, i.e. Semites) but because they are culturally superior.  By "culture" I do not mean fine or performing arts, but rather shared expectations as to how people should behave toward one another. A culture that values women as human beings instead of chattel property to be traded or killed if "devalued" by premarital sex is already twice as effective as the latter kind of society. A society that, for example, builds automated prosthetic limbs that will probably supersede wheelchairs, as opposed to figuring out ways to cut off limbs as many Arab countries do, is going to enjoy a much higher standard of living. As for that security fence, the Palestinians effectively built it themselves--the same way that Al Qaida built those TSA security checkpoints we both have to go through if we want to board an airplane.

Tim King: OK Bill,  you want to keep this alive and divided between 'us' and 'them' and once again, there are tones of bigotry scrawled all over what you sent.  Let's talk about women and Israel for a moment, and then we will talk about other sexual depravities and just plain old weird stuff tied to the Israeli people and radical aspects of the Jewish culture.  According to the documentary 'Sex Slaves', Thousands of women from the former Soviet Union are being smuggled into Israel by the Bedouin to work as prostitutes.  Sex Slaves by Journeyman Pictures

 And what of the fact that Israel only will extradite child sex offender pedophiles back to the U.S. if they raped or molested little girls.  If they did it to little boys, Israel refuses to extradite.  I'd like to hear your justification for that one Bill, and of course for the depraved Israeli sex trade highly documented in the above referenced documentary.

What about the rabbi's who bite the ends of a baby's penis off as part of their strange rituals?  (Don't believe that last one?  It is true, I will be happy to expand if I need to, links and all.  Bring it on, as they say.) 

 How about the rampant sexual abuse of Palestinian women and girls by the IDF?  This is also heavily documented.  As far as Arab and Muslim abuse of women, I abhor that and object to it just as strongly as I do in any other situation, place or culture.  

So I guess things aren't exactly as rosy as you would have them be in Israel, and perhaps they aren't anything close to what you describe, on the other side.  I guess when the land of all of these people was taken away, it set them on a course that any group would have a hard time enduring.  There are many Palestinian people who are very western in nature, and there are those who aren't.  

You do a good job Bill of creating deflections and taking pot shots at an imperfect culture, when we all hail from an imperfect culture.  Israel needs to learn to live with people, not cage them in.  And guys like you should look at the bigger picture and not just toss out your little gas bombs the way your brethren IDF soldiers chuck the non proverbial kind.  When Israel backs off, we do need to help people in this world learn to treat women with total respect.     



Bill Levinson March 11, 2010 5:42 pm (Pacific time)

Tim wrote, "Your goal seems to be to assert that all people of a particular heritage or background are all one way, and that is prejudice no matter how you slice it."

Not all Palestinians are that way. Many victims of mindless terroristic violence are in fact Palestinians, e.g. in the case of the "honor killings." The same goes for lynchings of Palestinians who are willing to live in peace with Israel. However, two-thirds of them did vote for Hamas so they must accept responsibility, just as the Germans who voted for Hitler (when they were still allowed to vote) must accept some responsibility for the violence against Germany's neighbors and the consequences for Germany itself.

My point is that the prevailing culture among the Palestinians is in fact violent, that Palestinian teachers and other role models teach children that the finest thing in the world is to kill a Jew (even at the cost of one's own life), and that Palestinians who are not willing to buy into this violent culture often become its victims. To this I would add that most victims of militant Islamic violence, spectacular exceptions like 9/11 notwithstanding, are Muslims: Muslims whose mosques are blown up for being the wrong kinds of mosques, women stoned to death for mostly imaginary crimes, children used by Iran as human mine sweepers during the war with Iraq, and so on.

What I would REALLY like for the Palestinians is for them to learn from the Israelis how to turn a desert into a garden. Henry Ford, in fact, said that war could be rendered obsolete--and his industries should have made war obsolete--when it became far easier and safer for people to create the wealth they wanted than to try to take it from their neighbors. Nazism was as much a tragedy for the Germans (of whom one in every ten was killed during the war) as for the victims of Nazism because Germany's industries made the things Hitler did to his neighbors completely unnecessary even from a position of total self-interest. The same goes for Japan, which could have traded for the resources it wanted instead of taking them from its neighbors.

Israel tried. When it handed Gaza over to the Palestinians, generous Israelis and others gave the Palestinians greenhouses in which to raise food. The Palestinians destroyed them, along with synagogues they could have turned into housing, schools, or mosques. I am not sure how Israel can deal with a group that slaps down good things that are offered to it while continuing to teach its children (even during a so-called peace process) that Israel must be destroyed and that its ultimate goal is to control pre-1967 Israel as well as the so-called occupied territories. I wish the Palestinians would choose a different set of behavioral choices that would benefit them as much as their neighbors, but it seems this is not to be.

Tim King: I have heard about what some of the teachings are today in Gaza, but I can't get past the 'you gave them Gaza' part.  How on earth do you believe that it was Israel's to give?  Let's talk about history for a moment.  The Muslims never believed in charging interest, this is a phenomena directly connected to Judaism.  Sure the grass is greener in Israel, the former Palestine.  You choke their resources, build fences in the West Bank directly through their farm fields and then the soldiers shoot at them like cowards from afar.  Each thing I detail here is something we have specifically reported about.  How do you justify the different laws for Palestinians?  I know that you are probably a good person Bill but I think you know I am also.  Back to the mullahs, I read the work of a Palestinian woman the other day who documents the actions of the IDF, toward her as much as anything as she is a very attractive woman who dresses western.  She says she can not go anywhere without being hassled by horny soldiers who have no respect because she is Palestinian.  She did talk about how in recent years the mullahs got ahold of the boys there.  But Bill this is a response.  Hamas is elected, so is your Uncle Neti.  Hamas is one of the only governmental groups with the guts to stand up against this oppression you justify.  




Bill Levinson March 11, 2010 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, I see that you did not post my material that supports my contention that the Palestinians exhibit depraved indifference to human life: specifically honor killings of women, and their treatment of gay people. This is similar to my experience with Indybay, which hid my postings about Palestinian violence against gay people and women--which is valuable intelligence information because it tells me that the Palestinians have no defense against these arguments whatsoever. I also pointed out that a behavioral choice is not a race, so condemnation of those choices is not racist. To this I will add mullahs and imams who tell Palestinian boys (not much younger than Rachel) with more testosterone than good sense that they will get 72 virgins if they blow themselves up. The mullahs and imams are of course in no hurry themselves because they are cowardly filth who send others to die for their cause--the same way the ISM let Rachel Corrie die for its agenda. Re: "Israel is the absolute forerunner of military groups that use women in combat." Rachel Corrie did not sign up for combat. She signed up to engage in peaceful protest and nonviolent civil disobedience. Her "friends," however, allowed or encouraged her to kneel in front of a bulldozer so she could be killed for propaganda purposes.

TIm King: Bill, if you knew my work and how I rant and rave about radical crazies who are Islamic, you would know that I am not a fan of any religious extremism, of any kind.  But all kinds of people represent Palestine, just the same way that Israel and the U.S. are diverse.  I might have believed you if I hadn't spent time in the Islamic world, deeply in that world, to learn from the people how they see it.  There are huge problems, but the bulldozing of homes is terrible, and not related to any of the things you mentioned.  Your goal seems to be to assert that all people of a particular heritage or background are all one way, and that is prejudice no matter how you slice it.  I always take the time to mention the fantastic people in Israel who are frustrated, I love people of all cultures, it just so happens that Israel is the only place where these issues of expansion continually disrupt any hope of peace.  You can deny it, but from a statistical point of view, there is little doubt that Israel has been and continues trying to eradicate a population that lived there en masse until the formation of the Jewish state.  Israel simply has not been fair.  It is living out a scenario similar to the U.S. Cavalry during the Indian Wars.  The thing is we all learned to live together; different cultures, same place.  Israel is partly a reaction in the first place to the horrible genocide that the Nazi's were responsible for, and everyone understands this.  I am choosing specifically not to name a whole boatload of cultural based problems that I could tie to Israel.  Nobody is perfect, the settlements must eventually stop and land has to be restored.  In the end the crazy mullahs talking about 72 virgins are the exact same people preaching Zionist domination. 

stan squires March 11, 2010 10:58 am (Pacific time)

I am from vancouver,canada and i wanted to say that it is about time that this case came to court.The gov. of israel has been trying to cover this up for a long time.Hopefully the gov. of israel will be severly punished for this crime.

Bill Levinson March 10, 2010 4:48 pm (Pacific time)


When someone joins our Armed Forces, especially a combat arm like the Marines, he or she is aware of the physical risks and accepts those risks. Rachel joined an organization she thought was going to engage in peaceful and relatively safe protest activity. Furthermore, a Marine officer does not order or encourage an enlisted man to do something he or she isn't willing to do personally. He says "Follow me," does it first, and the enlisted men follow him. That is why they went through 2nd lieutenants pretty quickly during WWII. Joseph Smith's role in encouraging Rachel to take a risk he was apparently unable to take himself would make any officer of our Armed Forces sick. I won't get into what a real officer and gentleman would call a man (I use the term loosely) who would allow or encourage a woman to take a risk he is unwilling to take himself, and then stands by taking pictures when things go bad.  SIXTY years of Israeli occupation seems to reveal your true position--not that Israel should return to its 1967 boundaries and return the occupied territory, but that Israel should not exist at all. Thank you for making that clear.

Tim King: Well that is an interesting perspective Bill, because Israel is the absolute forerunner of military groups that use women in combat.  I'm sure you know this.  In fact every single woman in Israel like every man, is part of a massive military conscription program.  I can not figure out how that setting could in any way hold up your point.  I love women, I open doors for them, and I respect the Hell out of them.  Rachel Corrie had more courage in her little finger than most people do in their lives.  Fighting injustice is not something that breaks down over the lines of gender.  Start worrying about people outside of your own culture, that is what I am doing.  And for your last comment, you really can't write something without using your repetitive paranoid lie.  Nobody whose name appears on wishes harm to any group of people.  We mostly want Israel to stop the killing and discrimination.  We are working with Israeli people to accomplish this.  There are many good people in Israel.  Your suggestions are preposterous at minimum, but you have no real ammunition in your guns, yours are loaded with blanks unlike your IDF brethren.    

Bill Levinson March 10, 2010 1:47 pm (Pacific time)

Re: hateful comments about Rachel Corrie. I do not agree with or condone these in any manner. Rachel did nothing to "deserve" death or serious injury, unless we go by Robert Heinlein's admonition that poor judgment is a capital crime, with the sentence being carried out by Nature with no chance of appeal to any human authority.  What can we say of ISM member Joseph Smith's statements that Rachel's death is good public relations for the Palestinian cause? It sounds like she is a lot more useful to the ISM dead than alive. Joseph Smith: "The spirit that she died for is worth a life. This idea of resistance, this spirit of resisting this brutal occupying force, is worth anything. And many, many, many Palestinians give their lives for it all the time. So the life of one international, I feel, is more than worth the spirit of resisting oppression." "'We knew there was a risk,' Smith said, 'but we also knew it never happened in the two years that we (the ISM) have been working here. I knew we take lots of precautions so that it doesn't happen, that if it did happen it would have to be an intentional act by a soldier, in which case it would bring a lot of publicity and significance to the cause.'" Right; Joe Smith KNEW there was a risk, but he allowed or encouraged his "friend" Rachel to take that risk anyway (instead of taking it himself) and he has stated on two occasions just how useful her death is for public relations purposes. When Craig and Cindy Corrie learn about this, I can imagine what they will do to the ISM in the court of public opinion and possibly in a court of law.  Here is a really sensitive comment by George Rishmawi of the ISM, made about a year after Rachel's death: ""When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore," Rishmawi said. "But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice." This from a would-be Palestinian snuff producer: "'If only they'd had a video camera,' one Palestinian journalist lamented. 'A film of the Israelis killing an American in cold blood would have ended the intifada.'"  He is not sorry that Craig and Cindy Corrie lost a daughter, he is sorry that he couldn't make a snuff movie of her death. If you want URLs for the quotes, just Google on them--I posted them on a pro-Israel Web site, which includes links to the original sources.

Tim King: Bill, you know how I am going to respond to this, do you realize what a disrespectful stretch this all is?  So every U.S. Marine that dies fighting for a cause he or she believed in, was somehow deserving of their death because somebody knew there was risk in it?  The Israelis have held their deaths out in front of the world, soldiers of an occupational force, Rachel Corrie tried to make a differene and they knew risk was involved.  The place is so steeped in death thanks to sixty years of Israeli occupation that death is about all people have left to judge something by.  You have taken everything else away from them.  So, pro-Israeli means pro-occupation to me.  It is so low to resort to trying to suggest that somebody was out to get a snuff film, totally disgusting.  But then you back the merciless slaughter of these people in a genocical fashion, so nobody is surprised at your cruel assessment of this situation.  If Rachel's parents read this, which I'm sure they will, I am sorry.    

Gwendolyn March 9, 2010 7:07 pm (Pacific time)

My prayers are with Corries parents. Thanks SN

Vic March 9, 2010 5:57 am (Pacific time)

Bill...I am "citing" the US State Department..."That pretty much speaks for itself"

Bill Levinson March 8, 2010 4:51 pm (Pacific time)

I also see that Vic March, who is bashing Israel, cites the Jeff Rense Show. That speaks pretty much for itself.

Bill Levinson March 8, 2010 4:49 pm (Pacific time)

Craig and Cindy Corrie should be aware that two members of the International Solidarity Movement expressed motives for wanting their daughter to die in a confrontation with Israel's security forces. "Recently, the Director of the Solidarity Movement, George Rishmawi, explained to the San Francisco Chronicle that the recruitment of American student volunteers is useful to the Palestinian Movement because "if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice."" From Joseph Smith, who was present when she was killed and whose chief priority was apparently to take pictures as opposed to trying to pull her out of the bulldozer's path, ""The spirit that she died for is worth a life. This idea of resistance, this spirit of resisting this brutal occupying force, is worth anything. And many, many, many Palestinians give their lives for it all the time. So the life of one international, I feel, is more than worth the spirit of resisting oppression."  A Palestinian journalist is meanwhile on record as lamenting that no one had a video camera to record Rachel Corrie's death. It sounds to me like he was more interested in making a snuff film with a young American college student as its star than any concern for her welfare or that of her family; a position consistent with the Palestinians' callous indifference to human life.

Tim King: Bill, do you really think anyone is buying your cruel thinking?  How dare you allow yourself to personify such a low point in humanity?  Here is the thing, and everyone reading this, take note of his last paragraph.  It sums up the whole problems in a sentence.  Bill is a racist, a bigot, in the USA he would be 'Archie Bunker', a person against minorities and 'silly' notions like peace and nonviolent resistance.  

The statement, "a position consistent with the Palestinians' callous indifference to human life." which I highlighted in red, is pure no holes barred racism.  Bill is trying to tell us in a sentence that all people of a particular culture are 'bad'.  Well my little friend, you are indeed the pot that calls the kettle black.  It is so damned sad that you and the vast majority of your contrymen share this thinking.  I wear the colors of Palestine every day.  Rachel Corrie was a thousand times the person that you or anyone who thinks like you will ever be.  Her parents suffered the loss of a daughter who could have done anything with her life, but she chose to help the beleagured people of Palestine who Israel has been trying to drive into non existence since 1948.  Your policies are very similar to what Hitler did, you profess hate toward a race and encourage violence.  You insult parents who lost a hero.  You know Rachel Corrie was.  With people like you in the mix, it is no wonder things are where they are. 

Vic March 8, 2010 11:57 am (Pacific time)

729 ...that is Israel's country of origin # that is either just above or below the bar code on a product. It would be the first three digits. Boycott everything Israeli-made..Morality, international laws and common decency seem to make no difference to the Israelis, but money does. For a list of companies and products made in Israel, go to . The funny thing is, is that it is ILLEGAL for a US company to boycott Israeli products..they can boycott US products but not Israeli products. The penalty can be up to TEN years in prison !! See this link for more on this...

gp March 8, 2010 4:04 am (Pacific time)

Thanks SN, I saw the hateful piece by David Horowitz attacking Corries parents and implying her death was caused by the Palestinian medical establishment. These folks have terrible insult adding to the worst injury of all, the loss of a child.

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