Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Resurrected: The Rachel Corrie Libel

September 2, 2012 5:23 pm 5 comments

Rachel Corrie St. in Ramallah. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

It was a horrible tragedy. In March 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American, was hanging out in Gaza, trying her hand at “pro-Palestinian activism.” One day, as an Israeli bulldozer was dismantling tunnels used by Gazans to smuggle weapons, Corrie decided to protest. She positioned herself in a trench, in a spot invisible to the Israeli bulldozer driver, and was accidentally crushed to death.

Testifying under oath, the bulldozer driver said he did not realize he had run over Corrie until he heard what had happened over the radio network.

Pro-Palestinian activists seized the opportunity to promote Corrie’s death as a blood libel, accusing Israel of intentional murder. As George Rishmawi, director of the group that sponsored Corrie’s stay in Gaza, told the San Francisco Chronicle (July 14, 2004): Placing American students in danger is good for the Palestinian cause because “if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.”

Last Tuesday, an Israeli civil court ruled that Rachel Corrie’s death was indeed an accident.

“The death of Rachel Corrie is without a doubt a tragic accident,” the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement. “As the verdict states – the driver of the bulldozer and his commander had a very limited field of vision, such that they had no possibility of seeing Ms. Corrie and thus are exonerated of any blame for negligence.”

Explaining the court’s ruling, judge Oded Gershon said Corrie’s death was “the result of an accident she brought upon herself.” Corrie was in closed military area, with entry forbidden to civilians. The area was the site of daily gunfire by snipers, missile fire and IED explosions. The United States government had issued a travel warning against American citizens visiting the Gaza Strip.

“She did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done,” the judge ruled.

Yet the media is refusing to let go of the “intentional murder” canard. In reporting the court’s verdict, NBC News published this photo showing Corrie standing in plain view of an Israeli bulldozer, with a megaphone in hand.

U.S. citizen Rachel Corrie, 23, speaks through a megaphone to an Israeli army bulldozer before she was killed in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003. (NBC News / Reuters)

Objectively speaking, this photo makes it difficult to believe that the Israeli driver did not see Rachel Corrie. Indeed, the wording of the caption – “before she was killed in Rafah” – emphasizes the idea that at the moment she was crushed, Corrie was clearly visible, standing with a megaphone.

But that is one huge pack of lies.

The truth is that this photo was taken hours before the incident. At the time of the accident, Rachel Corrie was without a megaphone and was in a hidden position.

This second photo, taken minutes after the accident, shows Corrie bleeding on the ground:

Any honest journalist can see that the second photo shows a different bulldozer. Note the large rust stain on the right side of the bulldozer’s blade, in contrast to the megaphone photo. Additionally, this second bulldozer has more narrow, double-glazed windows and an 8-foot-tall bulldozer blade that greatly obscures driver visibility.

This cannot be passed off as merely an honest mistake. The exact same “mistake” was made nine years ago and the media was called out on it. CNN’s original 2003 report used the “creative chronology” – and I got them to issue a retraction. The Christian Science Monitor took the false chronology one step further by distributing the earlier photo of Corrie with the megaphone, claiming that the photo was taken “moments before it ran her over.”

So while this photo fraud has been well-documented in my book David & Goliath, the media – due either to anti-Israel bias, or to pure sloppiness – continues to promote the blood libel of Israel intentionally murdering Americans.

Last week an Israeli court of law spoke the truth. We await the day when the truth will likewise prevail in the court of world opinion.

5 Comments

  • You wrote lies to justify Israeli crimes!

  • Who is the appropriate contact at CNN for forwarding this article, completely demolishing CNN’s self proclaimed fairness lie.

    Cheers
    Alex

  • I also would like to see more of this type of reporting, to clarify all the misinformation that’s out there. Please continue to post here and keep us up to date! Continued success to you and the Algemeiner!

  • Thank you, Rabbi Simmons, for clarifying this situation. Yes, from what I have read in the press it did seem that it was intentional and I’m glad to now know the facts. I’m sure there are a great many more untruths published regarding Israel. I hope this site will continue to offer the factual circumstances which you seem to have a handle on.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    JNS.org – Sonnenallee, a street in Berlin’s Neukölln district, looks like it comes straight out of an Arab city — so much so that it goes by the nickname “Gaza Strip.” Kebab and bakery shops are advertised in Arabic; men sit in men-only coffee shops; and bridal shop windows showcase glittery, not-so-stylish gowns. But take a random turn, and you’ll find a swath of bars, burger joints, and Indian restaurants where hip Berliners announce that they have arrived to urban coolness. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot engages in fierce action sequences in the new Wonder Woman trailer, which Warner Bros. premiered during the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. The nearly 3-minute trailer, the first to debut for the superhero film, shows scenes of Diana, princess of the Amazons, fighting alongside men in the battle against the world’s toughest enemies. The first shot of the video shows Wonder Woman discovering a man, Steve Trevor (played by actor Chris Pine), washed ashore. The clip then takes viewers to the all-female island where Wonder Woman was born. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    Is diplomacy worthwhile, even if the end result isn’t what we hoped for? That is the question, among many others, posed by the new play Oslo, by J.T. Rogers. Making its New York debut at Lincoln Center, the play examines the secret diplomatic process that led to the historic 1993 peace accords. The character of Shimon Peres makes an appearance onstage — and he, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, tower over the proceedings. But they mainly do so in absentia. Instead, […]

    Read more →
  • Spirituality/Tradition Sports Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    JNS.org – Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition. Koufax — who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history — decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. “I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview. Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    The famed lead guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, encouraged Jewish singer-songwriter Adam Lambert to perform in Hebrew during their upcoming joint concert in Israel, an entertainment industry advocacy organization reported on Tuesday. During a recent interview with Israeli television personality Assi Azar, May was played a 2005 video of Lambert singing the popular song Shir L’Shalom, (Song for Peace). May was so impressed by Lambert’s singing of the Hebrew track that he told the American singer, “We have to do that. Let’s […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    JNS.org – Kenyan-born marathoner Lonah Chemtai is expected to compete for Israel at the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next month after gaining a last minute approval. “I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters. Chemtai, who grew up a rural village in western Kenya, first came to Israel in 2009 to care of the children of her country’s ambassador to Israel. The 27-year-old runner recently gained […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    To date or not to date? That is not the question for most Modern Orthodox singles in New York. The question is when will they find their future spouses, and when will their families stop nagging them about having babies? Inspired by the success of the Israeli show “Srugim,” Leah Gottfried, 25, decided she would create and star in her own show, “Soon By You.” “Dating is so serious already,” Gottfried said. “We wanted to take a lighter approach and laugh at the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli actress Moran Atias said that playing a Muslim woman in the hit FX series Tyrant has changed her outlook. “Educating myself about a different culture has made me more hopeful and humble, that we’re all the same,” the Jewish actress, 35, said during an interview with AOL Build. Atias plays Leila Al-Fayeed, the strong and politically minded wife of the president of Abbudin, a fictional Middle Eastern country run by a dictatorial family. The Israeli-born former model, who earned the title of Miss Globe International […]

    Read more →