Corrie Family: Ruling 'Bad Day' for Humanity

Death of Peace Activist in Gaza Called Accidental

Day in Court: The family of Rachel Corrie arrive at an Israeli court before hearing the verdict in her civil suit.
getty images
Day in Court: The family of Rachel Corrie arrive at an Israeli court before hearing the verdict in her civil suit.

By JTA

Published August 28, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The family of American pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie expressed disappointment at an Israeli court decision that cleared the state of responsibility, calling it a “bad day” for humanity.

“We are of course deeply saddened and deeply troubled by what we heard today from Judge Oded Gershon,” Cindy Corrie told reporters following the verdict. “This was a bad day not only for our family but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel.”

A district court in Haifa dismissed all charges against the state in a civil suit brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie, an American activist killed in Gaza after being run over by an Israeli military bulldozer.

Rachel Corrie
getty images
Rachel Corrie

Corrie, then 23, was an activist with the International Solidarity Movement, which protests on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. On March 16, 2003, she was acting as a human shield for a Gaza house set to be demolished by an armored bulldozer. She became enveloped in the pile of dirt created by the bulldozer as it moved toward the house, and died soon afterwards in a hospital nearby.

Her parents sued the state for responsibility in her death, claiming that the bulldozer advanced despite knowing that Corrie was in its path.

But in his verdict on Tuesday, Judge Oded Gershon ruled that the state was not responsible for Corrie’s death. He said that Corrie entered the Gaza Strip despite knowing it was a war zone with live fire being exchanged daily. In addition, he cited a warning from the U.S. urging American citizens not to enter the Gaza Strip.

Gershon also said that because Corrie was standing behind the pile of dirt created by the bulldozer, the driver could not see her. The judge added that instead of moving away from the bulldozer as it advanced “as any reasonable person would do,” Corrie attempted to climb onto the pile of dirt the bulldozer created.

“The party put herself in a dangerous situation opposite a bulldozer when he couldn’t see her,” Gershon said. “She didn’t move away like anyone of sound mind would. She found her death even after all of the IDFs efforts to move her from the place.”

Gershon also dismissed charges that the state tampered with the evidence in an investigation into Corrie’s death.

The attorney for Corrie’s parents, Craig and Cindy, called the verdict a “failure to hold the Israeli military accountable.”

“This court has given a stamp of approval to the flouting of illegal practices that fail to protect human life,” the attorney, Hussein Abu Hussein, said.

A lawyer for the state, Nirit Kalman, said, “We showed there was no negligence.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.