Friday, March 12, 2010

Thoughts on Early Coverage of the Rachel Corrie Civil Trial in Israel

(Craig Corrie, Cindy Corrie, Philip Munger, in London - November 3, 2005)

Nobody who is aware of the history of U.S. media coverage of the death, on March 16, 2003, of American college student and peace activist, Rachel Corrie, on the eve of the beginning of our Iraq invasion, is surprised at the scant and somewhat biased attention to the early phase of the civil trial in Israel, that seeks to compensate the Corrie estate for wrongful death.

Of the flagship U.S. print media, the New York Times has so far only published a story gleaned from the Associated Press. The Washington Post also relied upon Shira Rubin of the Associated Press.

Additionally, the Washington Post reprinted a fairly short, very biased article from Reuters, that ends up giving the last word to Israeli rightwing slanderer, Steven Plaut (who was one of many to slander me back in 2004 and 2005 for my work dedicated to Corrie, The Skies Are Weeping). Although the Washington Post web site doesn't name the author of the Reuters piece, apparently it was written by Allyn Fisher.

There is a daily digest of coverage of the trial at The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.

Ma'an News Agency's English Language page is linking to articles in their "Latest News" niche.

If you haven't watched Amy Goodman's interview on Democracy Now from the beginning of the week, of Rachel Corrie's parents and sister, you probably should. It is not only quite detailed, it fully shows the amazing warmth and humanity of the Corrie family.

Philip Weiss' influential, high-quality blog, mondoweiss, has been looking at the trial from several different perspectives this week. This morning, Rachel Corrie's aunt helped commenters understand some of the details that have emerged in the pre-trial phase.

I have been following this case since mid-March 2003. I was fairly convinced from then until this week that Corrie's death was most likely an unfortunate accident. But from what her parents and U.S. officials have been able to glean from what little evidence the Israeli government has handed over to them, I am beginning to have my doubts about the accident scenario.

The entire morning of bulldozer operations against which Corrie and other International Solidarity Movement volunteers were acting, was photographed, videotaped and recorded in color and high quality audio. All of it. The Corries have only received a few minutes of grainy, black-and-white footage. Five minutes before Corrie was killed, orders were given to the bulldozer driver who apparently killed Corrie, to change his tactics. And the cameras were briefly turned away from directly monitoring that bulldozer during the time Corrie was struck and killed.

One writer I would like to see come back to this story, and perhaps vindicate himself, is Joshua Hammer. His September 2003 article for Mother Jones, The Death of Rachel Corrie, was pathetic and very, very unprophetic.

The pathetic aspects of Hammer's article were covered back then by Evergreen College professor Phan Nguyen, in his article, Mother Jones Smears Rachel Corrie - Specious Journalism in Defense of Killers.

The unprophetic nature of Hammer's 2003 article, might best be summed up by quoting him:

Five days after her death, Rachel Corrie's body was shipped home to Olympia. The idf has since pulled out of the northern part of Gaza, but demolitions along the Pink Line continue. The inquiry promised by Ariel Sharon cleared the soldiers of any wrongdoing, and momentum has faded for a U.S. congressional investigation. A skeleton staff at the ISM Rafah office spends most of its time attempting to revitalize Corrie's sister-city project. And Corrie herself has faded into obscurity, a subject of debate in Internet chat rooms and practically nowhere else.[emphasis added]


Makabit Bat Guriel said...

Yes, let's put people on trial because she sat down in front of a bulldozer so large it drawfs a man standing 6 feet tall.
Gusty you and the the ilk you hang with really dig for bull crap to hang a Jew in Israel, don't you?
Are you going to delete this one also?

Philip Munger said...

I should, particularly because of the libelous statement you made, "you and the the ilk you hang with really dig for bull crap to hang a Jew in Israel, don't you?" It is hurtful and dishonest, Judith.

Anonymous said...

it was not an accident

rachel corrie committed suicide and was assisted in this act by her pali handlers and medical staff.

there are videos of corrie telling stories of bloodthirsty israeli troops shooting children and unarmed civillians

yet, we are supposed to believe that this girl knew that israelis were compassionate enough not to run over a bystander with an armored tractor.

so which is it?

i say it is the latter

and when corrie realized that the tractor would not purposefully hurt her, she sat down out of the sight line of the driver and let him run her down.

this isnt the act of a martyr, but a sadly disturbed young woman

there is no case

akbright said...

I don't think Rachel was the one disturbed.

Philip Munger said...

bacci40 - uh, a link to this video, please?

Makabit Bat Guriel said...

Get a hanky Gusty!

And if you (collective) aren't trying to hang a Jew in Israel then what do you call it?
The dumbo sat her rear-end down in front of a extremely large piece of equipment and under-estimated her ability to get out of the situation.

I dare you to do the same with one of your buddies at the wheel and see how things progress. I'd bet you would be very surprised!

don't make me laugh because it's pathetic.

Dan said...

Suicide by bulldozer? Right. And all those murdered with bullets and bombs were also suicides I suppose? The willingness to steal land and bulldoze homes -as well as kill- stems from the faulty premise that we are separate. We are one. Any people which feels superior to another, whether Jew, Christian, Muslim, white, black, etc., is deluded and the result is misery for all.

We shall not evolve further until we unite as one. Until then we shall continue to suffer in the delusion of duality.

oscar said...

God forbid the American public should learn about the murder of Rachel Corrie, a young American idealist seeking to uphold American and universal humanitarian values against the rogue state of Israel, enabled by US tax dollars, and epitomized in its bulldozing of native homes because they committed the sin of being born Arabs. We are still waiting for the US congress to uphold the US tradition of a full congressional hearing on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty ship, and why Johnson allowed it to continue without regard for the murder of so many of our navy boys, and why the survivors were muzzled for decades. Thank you for maintaining scrutiny on the Corrie trial, a very patriotic thing to do!