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The deeply disturbing Israel court ruling on Rachel Corrie

THE SEATTLE TIMES – by Cindy Corrie

Special to the Times: Op-Ed

Last month, in a deeply disturbing ruling, an Israeli court dismissed the civil lawsuit brought by my family against the state of Israel for the wrongful death of my daughter Rachel Corrie.

Born and raised in Olympia, Rachel was a human rights defender and peace activist killed in 2003 by an armored Israeli military bulldozer as she stood for hours, visibly and nonviolently protesting the Israeli government’s policy of civilian home demolitions in Rafah, Gaza.

The home Rachel and her friends from the International Solidarity Movement defended was eventually demolished with hundreds more in mass-clearing operations to create a buffer along Gaza’s southern border.

Our lawsuit was not a solution, but rather a symptom of a broken system of accountability within Israel and our own U.S. Government. Despite a promise from Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for a “thorough, credible, and transparent” investigation and repeated calls from the highest levels of our government for such an investigation to occur, there was no diplomatic resolution. According to the U.S. State Department, its calls “have gone unanswered or ignored.”

[link to full article at The Seattle Times]

Posted by on Sep 29, 2012

News and Updates, Trial »

Carter Center Calls for Accountability After Corrie Verdict

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 29, 2012
Contact: Deborah Hakes 1-404-420-5124

Carter Center Calls for Accountability After Corrie Verdict at The Carter Center website.

The Carter Center

The Carter Center

(Atlanta) On Aug. 28, the district court in Haifa, Israel, ruled that the State of Israel was not responsible for the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old U.S. peace activist who was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer as she attempted to nonviolently prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. Israel’s policy of home demolitions has been widely criticized by human rights organizations as a form of collective punishment. It violates Israel’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions. The Corrie family had requested $1 in symbolic damages and legal expenses.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and human rights groups and have criticized Israel’s investigation of the case for a lack of thoroughness, transparency, and credibility.

“The killing of an American peace activist is unacceptable,” said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. “The court’s decision confirms a climate of impunity, which facilitates Israeli human rights violations against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Territory.”

Approximately 94 percent of Israeli military investigations of soldiers suspected of violent criminal activity against Palestinians and their property end without indictments, according to the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din. 91 percent of investigations into crimes committed by Israeli civilians against Palestinians in the Occupied Territory also end without indictment. In this case, the district court judge ruled that the drivers of the bulldozer could not see her, despite eyewitness testimony to the contrary.

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012

Cindy and Craig's Blog, Family Reflections, Trial »

Video Statement by Cindy Corrie

Oral Response to Verdict from the Press Conference at the Colony Hotel, Haifa, Israel.

(Haifa, Israel – August 28, 2012)

My name is Cindy Corrie. My family has asked me to make a few comments to you before we open it up to questions and at that time you will be able to hear from all of us.

First of all, we all want to thank our friends and supporters, who are here in Israel, in the West Bank, in Gaza, at home in Olympia, Washington, across the United States, and across the world. You all know who you are. You have held us in your hearts for all these years and have helped us in so many different ways. And, we would not be here without that support.

Our family wants to especially thank our legal team, headed by Hussein abu Hussein, and all who have supported us in the many different efforts to get us to this point here today. The commitment, the knowledge, the generosity, the kindness, and the patience that has been extended to us in this process by all of you, is immeasurably important to us and will never be forgotten.

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012

News and Updates, Trial, Trial Press Releases »

Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein’s statement on verdict in Corrie wrongful death lawsuit

(Haifa, Israel – August 28, 2012) – While not surprising, this verdict is yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairness. Rachel Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting home demolitions and injustice in Gaza, and today, this court has given its stamp of approval to flawed and illegal practices that failed to protect civilian life. In this regard, the verdict blames the victim based on distorted facts and it could have been written directly by the state attorneys.

We knew from the beginning that we had an uphill battle to get truthful answers and justice, but we are convinced that this verdict distorts the strong evidence presented in court, and contradicts fundamental principles of international law with regard to protection of human rights defenders.

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012

Projects, Trial »

Call to Action: Mark the Verdict

Read “call to action” released in advance of verdict.

See photos from the response that occurred. Continue to send your photos to  info@rachelcorriefoundation.org.

[Released: August 8, 2012]

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.

(Click here for Palestine/Israel, US, and International specific information) 

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.

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012