Monday, 13 August 2012

Verdict in Corrie Case Expected Aug. 28—Family Issues Call to Action

A verdict is expected August 28 in the seven-year-old civil suit brought against Israel for the killing of Rachel Corrie. In connection with that, the Corrie family has issued a call to action that includes, among other things, printing out the above image, photographing yourself holding it, and posting it to a new blog that has been set up. The following comes from the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice website:

Dear Friends,

The Corrie’s are on their way to Haifa for the verdict in their civil lawsuit later this month. We call on you to act in support. For ten years, you have remembered Rachel Corrie and followed the work of her family and many others to pursue accountability and justice in her case. You stood with the Corries when the Israeli Government failed to take responsibility for Rachel’s killing by the Israeli military in 2003. You stood with the Corries when the U.S. Government was largely ineffective despite their finding that the Israeli military police investigation of Rachel’s killing did not meet standards of being “thorough, credible, and transparent.” Seeking every possible avenue to push for transparency and accountability, and on advice of the U.S. Government, the Corrie family brought a civil lawsuit against the Israel Ministry of Defense and State.

Now, nearly 7 1/2 years since the case was filed and nearly 2 1/2 years since the trial in Haifa District Court began, we ask you to continue to stand with the Corries as a verdict is announced the morning of August 28th in the courtroom of Judge Oded Gershon.All of us at the Rachel Corrie Foundation hope the outcome will provide some measure of justice for Rachel’s killing; but regardless, the larger struggle for justice and equal rights continues. Inspired by Rachel’s work and her belief that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace with dignity and equality, we continue our efforts:
  • To seek a just peace in the Middle East and an end to the 45-year Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
  • To bring visibility to the oppression but also to the spirit and endurance of the people of Gaza and of all Palestinians.
  • To bring attention to the responsibility we all have for the continuing injustices and human rights abuses in Palestine, and for the particular culpability of corporate America and U.S. taxpayers.
  • To end Israel’s impunity regarding human rights violations, including home demolitions.

The Israeli policy of home demolitions, sometimes extending to entire villages, remains as urgent an issue now as it did when Rachel defended homes in Rafah, Gaza. Palestinians in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and Hebron Hills live daily with the threat (or reality) of their homes being confiscated or turned into rubble. More than 1,000 houses were demolished in the Naqab alone in 2011, and the Prawer Plan, approved by the Israeli Government in September 2011, will lead to further displacement of 70,000 people. We call on you individually and as organizations to mark the week of the trial verdict with actions to end the housing demolitions that deny Palestinians the basic human right of being secure in their homes.Read more

It was back in May of this year that Israel announced Aug. 28 as the date the verdict in the case would be delivered. Here is what I wrote at the time:
A verdict in the Corrie civil trial is long overdue, and if the Israeli judicial authorities were smart they would resolve this case in the family’s favor. Rachel has become a worldwide symbol of everything that’s wrong with the state of Israel, and failure to render a wrongful-death verdict here will serve no purpose other than to further “delegitimize” the Zionist state and its occupation of Palestinian lands. One might assume the nation’s leaders would be smart enough to figure this out. However, I’m not confident they are. Something about the timing here strikes me as curious. If a verdict has been reached, why wait three months to announce it? We should also remember that the identity of the soldier who drove the bulldozer has never been released. While he gave testimony at the trial, he was allowed to do so from behind a curtain. Members of the Corrie family who were present at the time were never allowed to see his face.

For more on the Corrie case see my essay, Rachel Corrie and Daniel Pearl—A Curious Comparison.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
 The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

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