October 02, 2012
The deeply disturbing Israel court ruling on Rachel Corrie
Cindy Corrie [Rachel's mother] in The Seattle Times:
The home Rachel and her friends from the International Solidarity Movement defended was eventually demolished with hundreds more in mass-clearing operations to create a buffer along Gaza’s southern border.
Our lawsuit was not a solution, but rather a symptom of a broken system of accountability within Israel and our own U.S. government. Despite a promise from Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for a “thorough, credible, and transparent” investigation and repeated calls from the highest levels of our government for such an investigation to occur, there was no diplomatic resolution. According to the U.S. State Department, its calls “have gone unanswered or ignored.”
Court testimony also confirmed a credible investigation did not occur. Investigators failed to question key military witnesses, including those recording communications; failed to secure the military video, allowing it to be taken for nearly a week by senior commanders with only segments submitted to court; failed to address conflicting soldiers’ testimonies; and ignored damning statements in the military log confirming a “shoot to kill” order and command mentality to continue work in order not to create a precedent with activists.
I had no illusions about the uphill battle we faced in Israeli court, but as I sat with my family in a packed courtroom awaiting the verdict, I held hope that, like so many observing the trial, the judge would see that evidence warranted some criticism of the military’s actions.
The room was filled with human-rights observers, U.S. Embassy officials, family supporters and a throng of media. Judge Oded Gershon surveyed the scene before reading his decision. From the halting tone of my translator and friend, and audible groans around us, I knew it was bad.
He ruled that Rachel was killed as an act of war, which, according to Israeli law, absolves the military of responsibility. He added that she alone was to blame for her own killing and then went on to commend the military police for their professionalism in carrying out such a credible investigation. The courtroom heard the judge parrot the state prosecuting attorneys’ original claims in the case, nearly verbatim.
Posted by S. Abbas Raza at 02:11 PM | Permalink