14 May 2014

Israeli Supreme Court will hear Rachel Corrie appeal this month

Good news (hopefully):

On May 21, the Israeli Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Rachel Corrie's wrongful death in Gaza.

The background:

On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, a remarkably brave and compassionate American student and peace activist, died at the age of 23 when she was crushed by a US-made Caterpillar D9 military bulldozer while acting as a human shield, trying to stop the unlawful demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza.

Rachel's family sued the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli Defense Ministry, and it has been a game of "he-said, she-said" in court. The bulldozer operator claims that he did not see Rachel. Her companions at the scene of her death insist that he had to have seen her.

In August of 2012, a district court in Haifa ruled that the Israeli army was not at fault for Rachel's death. The court decided that her death was instead an accident. And, to further add insult to injury, Judge Oded Gershon blamed Rachel for "[putting] herself in a dangerous situation." In his mind, apparently, bravery and resolve = recklessness.


According to the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice, "[t]he Corrie family appeal focuses on serious flaws in the lower court verdict which erred by ignoring and misinterpreting essential facts and misapplying legal norms. The appeal also challenges the lower court's total disregard of international law obligations as well as procedural advantages that were regularly granted to the state during the proceedings."

I am not a lawyer, but it looks as though the Corrie family has a good case here. However, I am not optimistic, given how the Israeli authorities are famous for skirting international law. That's why Rachel was there, after all!

Stay tuned, with fingers crosssed for justice.

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