Judge blaming Rachel Corrie for her own death highlights Israel’s impunity, family says
The Haifa District court ruled earlier today that the Israeli military is not responsible for killing American activist Rachel Corrie, and that Corrie was to blame for her own death. [...] The Rachel Corrie case has highlighted the lack of accountability that Israeli soldiers are held to when they commit crimes against Palestinians. Earlier this month, an Israeli military court didn’t hold anyone accountable for the killing of two Palestinian women in Gaza during Israel’s attacks on the Palestinian territory in 2008-09. The women were killed when an Israeli soldier opened fire on them as they stood waving white flags.
“The Israeli military received strong evidence in dozens of cases that its soldiers killed Palestinians unlawfully during Israel’s ‘Operation Cast Lead,’ yet the military has indicted only four soldiers, and jailed none on such charges,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. More here.
In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
Sending IDF American-made Caterpillar bulldozers to demolish Palestinian homes in Gaza or anywhere in the Occupied Territories is a war crime. To what degree Israel ignores, violates and distorts international law was particularly evident in the testimony of Pinhas “Pinky” Zuaretz, the brigade commander who supervised the illegal “clearing” of Palestinian homes from that area of Gaza. “There are no civilians in military conflicts,” he testified, directly contradicting one of the most fundamental principles of international law, the duty to protect non-combatants.
When justice and law become separated as they have in Israel, the law is demeaned and becomes merely another tool of oppression. As a human rights defender, a status articulated and defended by the UN, Rachel Corrie had every right – even a responsibility – to intervene in the violation of universal human rights. It is incumbent on governments, courts and concerned individuals alike to ensure that human rights are enforced, especially when those being oppressed have no power to defend themselves. The attempt of this Israeli court to present Rachel’s death as the consequence of the irresponsible actions of a person who should not have been defending Palestinian human rights in the first place denies both the culpability of a state engaged in illegal activities and the duty of citizens to work for universal justice. More here.