The Haifa District Court on Tuesday ruled against the family of Rachel Corrie, the American pro-Palestinian activist struck and killed by a bulldozer in Gaza.YNet adds:
In the verdict, Judge Oded Gershon invoked the principle of the combatant activities exception, noting that IDF forces had been attacked in the same area Corrie was killed just hours earlier.
Reading a summary of his 62-page decision, the judge described Israel's investigation into the incident as appropriate and said it had no mistakes.
Israel haters didn't even wait for the verdict before revealing their game plan: to disparage Israel's legal system, ignore the voluminous decision's contents, and to rally around a single sound-bite the same way that they organize Twitter hashtags to gain trending topics.
In a ruling read out to the court, Judge Oded Gershon called Corrie's death a "regrettable accident", but said the state was not responsible because the incident had occurred during what he termed a war-time situation.
Corrie in front of a different bulldozer
At the time of her death, during a Palestinian uprising, Corrie was protesting against Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
"I reject the suit," the judge said. "There is no justification to demand the state pay any damages."
He added that the soldiers had done their utmost to keep people away from the site. "She (Corrie) did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done."
He rejected a claim of negligence explaining that the bulldozer's driver had limited vision unlike Corrie. "She consciously put herself in harm's way," Gershon said. The accident had been self inflicted, he added.
Judge Gershon pointed to three entry bans and noted that the Philadelphi route had effectively been a war zone formally declared a closed military zone at the time of the accident. He mentioned that the US had issued an Israel travel advisory warning its citizens to avoid Gaza and the West Bank.
The judge added that the organization where Corrie worked "abuses the human rights discourse to blur its actions which are de facto violence. He claimed that it specialized in disrupting IDF activity. "This included an army of activists serving as 'human shields' for terrorists wanted by Israeli security forces, financial and logistical aid to Palestinians including terrorists and their families, and disruption of the sealing of suicide bombers' houses."
Judge Gershon also rejected the Corrie family's claims that Military Police had not done its best to investigate the incident.
In this case, the keyword they decided upon was "impunity." And they chose that word before the verdict was even read.
Yesterday, the anti-semitic and Israel-bashing Mondoweiss site started the campaign with a pre-emptive article called "Verdict in Corrie trial another test of Israeli impunity."
Ben White in Al Jazeera simultaneously wrote "Whatever the judge's decision, this case has shed light on Israel's grave breaches of human rights and the impunity enjoyed by its military."
Since then, that keyword has been used all over.
The Corrie's lawyer said "While not surprising, this verdict is yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairness."
Cindy Corrie: "From the beginning it was clear that there is a system to protect soldiers and provide them with impunity at the cost of civilians. Now we know that the protection for soldiers extends to the court."
The anti-Israel pundit crowd came aboard next in this campaign:
Mya Guarnieri tweeted: "Not surprised that Israeli judge has ruled Rachel Corrie's death an accident... it is part of the Israseli army's culture of impunity. Better said, the Rachel Corrie verdict points to the state of Israel's culture of impunity."
Joseph Dana: "Israel might want to consider changing its name to 'impunity' after this verdict in the Rachel Corrie case."
Max Blumenthal: "Further confirmation of army impunity & occupation law in Israel's justice system."
In other words, not a single one of these critics- respected in the mainstream media - have read the actual verdict, nor has a single one given any proof that the judge here is ignoring facts or twisting the legal system, or that Israel's legal system is inherently biased. They are just asserting it because they have determined Israel's guilt ahead of time. Their comments reflect their hate, not any actual facts. And in this case, it appears that they are acting in concert as a semi-organized campaign, not even doing original analysis, and using the same playbook to maximize their campaign's effectiveness.
(We can expect HRW and Amnesty to come out with similar statements any hour now, as they are known to give their opinions disparaging the Israeli justice system before even reading their actual words. It will be very interesting to see if they also use the word "impunity.")
You can bet that not a single one of Israel's critics will do an exhaustive, credible critique and analysis of the 62-page legal opinion.
Because they are not after the truth.
They are after Israel.
UPDATE: the verdict (in Hebrew) is online (h/t Yenta)