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Rachel Corrie Wasn’t the Only ISM Member Playing Chicken with a Bulldozer That Day (PJM Exclusive)

At least two of her colleagues had placed themselves under the tractor's maw on that day in 2003. Russian roulette was apparently the group's strategy.

by
Lenny Ben-David

Bio

March 25, 2010 - 12:00 am
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According to one of Corrie’s colleagues, whose recollections were published three days after her death (emphasis mine):

For two hours we attempted at great risk to ourselves to obstruct and frustrate the bulldozers in their work.

Another ISM colleague stated:

Our group began to stand in front of these bulldozers in an attempt to stop them. Generally they did not stop when we stood in front of them, but continued to push the earth up from underneath our feet to push us away. Several times we had to dive away at the last moment in order to avoid being crushed. This continued for about two and a half hours. … At one point, Will from the United States was nearly crushed between the bulldozer and a pile of razor wire. The bulldozer stopped at the last minute in Will’s case. If it had moved any closer he would have been impaled by the razor wire.

Besides “Will,” Newsweek’s Hammer reported on “Jenny’s” close call: 

An Irish peace activist named Jenny was nearly run down by a D9. “The bulldozer’s coming, the earth is burying my feet, my legs, I’ve got nowhere to run, and I thought, ‘This is out of control,’” she told me. “Another activist pulled me up and out of the way at the last minute.”

On that day in March 2003, the ISM internationals had decided to play a game of Russian roulette with the Israeli army, and Corrie lost.

At the trial in Haifa last week, Corrie’s colleagues testified that Rachel stood in front of the bulldozer and the driver intentionally drove over her. Israel has been saying for seven years that the driver couldn’t see her. Again, careful review of news accounts and statements made by ISMers immediately after her death prove that Corrie was squatting down amidst the rubble, thus minimizing her profile:

“When the bulldozer approached a house today,” wrote the New York Times, “Ms. Corrie, who was wearing a bright orange jacket, dropped to her knees.”

“The bulldozer drove toward Rachel slowly, gathering earth in its scoop as it went,” an ISM friend stated in 2003. “She knelt there, she did not move.”

Another colleague related: “She did not ‘trip and fall’ in front of the bulldozer. She sat down in front of it, well in advance.‎“

He added: “Corrie dropped her bullhorn and sat down in front of one of the bulldozers. She fully expected that the driver would stop just in front of her.”

The conclusion: Corrie’s ISM colleagues may have committed perjury.

The result of ISM’s aggressive actions and Corrie’s carelessness was tragically predictable. Wrote Hammer:

The IDF “makes a credible case that the operators, peering out through narrow, double-glazed, bulletproof windows, their view obscured behind pistons and the giant scooper, might not have seen Corrie kneeling in front of them.”

There’s no doubt this is well-organized “lawfare” against Israel. Craig Corrie told the Israeli Yediot newspaper last week that they cannot take their case to the International Court until after exhausting all legal measures in Israel. Father Corrie’s intention is clear.

After reviewing the case, another suit should be brought: the International Solidarity Movement should be on trial, not Israel. ISM founder George Rishmaw told the San Francisco Chronicle that Corrie was cannon fodder for the organization:

When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore. But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.

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The writer served as a senior Israeli diplomat in Washington. Today he is a consultant on public affairs and blogs at www.lennybendavid.com.
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