Put International Solidarity Movement on Trial for Rachel Corrie’s Death

This essay was originally published at The Jewish Press


International Solidarity Movement’s activists in Ni’lin, Feb. 5, 2012.

Today, an Israeli court rejected a lawsuit filed by the family of Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American who was killed by a military bulldozer nine years ago, ruling that the death was an accident for which Corrie was responsible and, further, that there was no proof the soldiers acted with intent to harm or criminal neglect.

In reports on the trial over the past few days, the media mostly ignored the role played by International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the young woman’s tragic death.

For instance, in three reports by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent about the trial, Harriet Sherwood, (herehere, and here), all Sherwood wrote about ISM were that they were pro-Palestinian activists involved in “direct action”, and that they were “accused by [the IDF] of illegal, irresponsible and dangerous” behaviour.

Sherwood, like much of the media, didn’t think it was relevant to provide her readers with even a short description of ISM’s reckless and extremely dangerous behavior – dangerous for both Israelis involved in anti-terror operations, as well as for the ISM volunteers, like Corrie, cynically exploited for “the cause”.

ISM was founded in 2001 by a group of young, extremist left Americans. According to the Terrorism Information Center, between 2001 and 2005, the years of the second intifada, ISM volunteers engaged in activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and “did not merely help the Palestinian population, but intentionally hindered IDF anti-terror activities.”

Their activities included “serving as human shields for terrorist operatives wanted by the Israeli security forces”, and “provid[ing] Palestinian terrorist operatives…with financial, logistic and moral support, hindering the razing and sealing of houses of suicide bombers.”

Since the end of the Intifada ISM activists were among the founders of the pro-Hamas umbrella ‘Free Gaza Movement’, and consistently send volunteers to protest demonstrations at focal points of Palestinian-Israeli friction, such as in Bil’in.

While ISM describes itself as “committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles”, Paul Larudee, the Northern California head of the ISM, has said that “We recognize that violence is necessary and it is permissible for oppressed and occupied people to use armed resistance and we recognize their right to do so.”

Similarly, in a 2002 article, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf wrote, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent,” adding that “[i]n actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured.”

Shapiro and Arraf lauded such deaths as “no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah.”

ISM activists and organizers have time and again justified terrorism and associated with terrorists.

In 2003 alone, for example, ISM activist Susan Barclay admitted in an interview that she worked with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jidhad; terrorists originating from UK who had attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people, had, according to an Israeli report, ”forg[ed] links with foreign left-wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)”; and senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.

(See NGO Monitor’s page documenting ISM’s terrorism associations).

IT SHOULD NOT be surprising that the 2003 incident involving Corrie took place in the “Military Installations Area,” along the Egyptian border, at the Philadelphi Route, which was considered a hostile battlefield because of the large number of attacks carried out by terrorists.

Between 2000 and March 2003, the area was also notorious for being the primary smuggling route for terrorists bringing weaponry into Gaza and the West Bank from Egypt. Terrorist activities during this period included thousands of grenade attacks, 184 anti-tank missile attacks, 147 road-side explosives, and 41 mortar attacks.

Indeed, the IDF mission on the day in question, which ISM was trying to impede, was merely an effort to level terrain and clear debris near the border in order to remove cover for future terrorist attacks.

Several ISM protestors entered the closed military zone to intentionally interfere in this routine mission. The IDF attempted to remove them with shock grenades, tear gas and warning shots, but they refused to leave the site.

The dangerous conduct of ISM activists—who ignored IDF warnings, refused to leave the area, and purposely put themselves in harm’s way— were the main factors leading to the tragic result.

Corrie’s ISM colleague and handler, Joseph Smith eulogized Corrie, chillingly justifying the sacrifice of human life for the cause, stating:

“The spirit that she died for is worth a life. This idea of resistance, this spirit of resisting this brutal occupying force, is worth anything. And many, many, many Palestinians give their lives for it all the time. So the life of one international, I feel, is more than worth the spirit of resisting oppression.”

Smith’s words and ISM’s activities make it clear that ISM callously views such “sacrifices” as “progressive” acts of resistance which are worth the human cost. It is shameful that ISM will never face serious critical scrutiny for their recklessness, despite of their well-documented record of terror-abetting extremism, which ultimately took the life of Rachel Corrie.

43 replies »

  1. It’s time for this obsessive, vindictive crusade to come to an end.

    I accept that Corrie’s parents, misguided as they have acted at times, are motivated admirably.

    Pretty much everyone else involved in the Corrie bandwagon are using her case to bash Israel. Look no further than the barely concealed indignant glee with which her ‘supporters’ have greeted today’s correct verdict.

    Long live Israel! 🙂

    • On this rare occasion, Chas, I must disagree with you. I believe that Rachel Corrie’s parents, like those of Tom Hurndall – whose ultimate death was caused by another incident in Rafeh only a month after Corrie died – simply don’t like Jews or Israel and encouraged their respective children to act as they did and probably even funded their initial trips to Israel and Gaza. After all, both families have been notoriously silent about the Jewish Israelis who continue to be murdered or who have their lives irrevocably ruined by terrorism. Further, I didn’t hear them speak up for the bereaved families of those massacred at the Munich Olympics as they campaigned for a silent tribute in their memory.

      • I have to agree.

        In any case, imagine parents who are so neglectful that they don’t teach their child the basics of road safety.
        Inevitably one day the child is killed on a road.
        The parents must take their share of blame.

    • Really, OyVaGoy?

      Myself, I believe that, like any bereaved parents they are looking for answers and perhaps need people to blame and the ISM is cynically exploiting that so as to get the publicity.

      Brendan O’Neill puts it excellently in the Daily Telegraph at

      when he says, “This secular beatification of Corrie, who has effectively been turned into St Rachel of the Put-Upon Palestinians, captures everything that is wrong with modern-day solidarity with Palestine.”

      He is actually describing the nauseating and suffocating co-dependency which has useful idiots like Corrie fawning over “poor Palestinians” whose dupes they subsequently become because they themselves are dependent on that unhealthy relationship. They are admittedly more dangerous than the woman I read about here on CifWatch, who was demonstrating in favour of BDS outside a supermarket, and who implied that she was glad that she had found a worthwhile cause since she had left the Labour Party, but the psychological drivers are the same and are equally dysfunctional.

      And the ISM now has its hooks into her parents. I read somewhere that they are liable for the costs of their failed action, and yet, hostile to reality, they plan to mount an appeal! Perhaps they are very rich and can afford all this but I would bet money I don’t have that the ISM has been and is bankrolling their legal actions and would demand the money back if they stopped.

    • Down with the terrorist jew regime. Long live the memory of Rachel! We are Irish, we are proud, we are anti Christian, and never a slave to Jews!

  2. It is time to get the Oz squad on these people and deport them. This should not be a great problem. Yesterday.

  3. It’s interesting to see the pro-Palestinian protesters mimic Palestinian leadership by taking a death “on the battlefield” as the rally cry for more overt, anti-Semitic, denialist drek to enter the discussions of “peace and compromise.”

    Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the ISMs and Ben Whites of the planet won’t find any self-satisfaction (other than the Schadenfreude of the battlefield) at anytime over the next 64+ years. I, for one, would wish them a long and healthy futile existence if they weren’t so damn stupid and annoying.

    • What are looking to prove little boy, that there are abuses in the IDF? Show ONE army one earth that isn’t guilty of that. Remember places called Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo? Of course in those situations it’s just dismissed as single individuals, whereas if it’s anything to do with Israel, libero-fascists like you look for angles to bash.

    • You are defending the Palestinians

      The Palestinians use their own children as suicide bombers.

      You are defending the use of child suicide bombers.

  4. The tragedy for the Jewish people isn’t the death of a crazy anti-semite like Corrie but the proliferation of Jewish traitors among the Jewish population!
    Traitors like Adam Shapiro who are a disgrace to their ancestors and to the Jewish people are the real problem!
    There needs to be a system put in place in Israel where those who threaten the Zionist State are excommunicated from the Jewish, global community and denounced for being the scum they are! Any Jew who plays the role of traitor by using his lineage against the Zionist State by proactively seeking its destruction should be handled like Corrie. We should rejoice at the Court ruling as finally the Jews have declared their right of self-defense!
    Long Live the Zionist State of Israel through victory over its enemies!

    • 1. You really think threatening folks with excommunication would work? The genuine nuts would wear it like a badge of honor.

      2. No,we cannot make being an asshole activist an offense punishable by being killed in a bulldozer accident. For several reasons.

      3. Calm the heck down.

  5. I find the actions of the ISM utterly repugnant. They are essentially mimicking the leaders who send young, naive jihadis to their deaths with a bomb strapped on them. Like the jihadi leadership at Hamas etc. , who take care to preserves their own lives in the USA, UK, Damascus (till recently), Gaza or Ramallah , and so forth, they sit in the USA and send the Rachel Corries to their deaths hyped up with college-age indignation and no concept of what is really going on – that that there is an actual war, not a police action, going on between Israel and Hamas, Fatah, and their deadly sub-groups.

    • AKUS,
      Spot on. This touches upon the wider topic of many more people having a strong anti Israel drive without actually ever having spent any time or near enough time here. Also of course all the arm chair ME experts who know exactly what is going on AND know even better precisely how to end the conflict. This without speaking Arabic or Hebrew and knowing nothing about Hebrew history. But after reading a few books and after attending a few church meetings they have it all figured out. Easy. And if that t-shirt doesn’t work I’ll simply stand in front of a 20 ton infantry vehicle in a hot combat zone to get my pacifist point across.
      How easy all this peace business is can be seen by the on off inter Arab slaughter over the last sixty years. Plus of course the one million dead of the Iran Iraq war.

  6. I’m sorry to say that she was a revolting person engaged in revolting acts who then, being stupid did something stupid and got squashed.

    Her parents are fools.

    Good riddance.

  7. While the ISM should face legal action for their role in the death of Rachel Corrie.
    They, and the Corrie family, should face legal action for the vindictive and malicious prosecution that the machine driver and his IDF colleagues have had to endure over the last few years. While carrying out their duty they have been accused of the most heinous crimes and made to suffer an ongoing process of examination and trial.
    Time for ISM and the rest of the useful idiots to be made aware that abusing the legal system in Israel, or any other democratic country, carries a price, and time to demonstrate that those carrying out their duty such as the machine driver and his colleagues in the IDF can and should be protected against malicious and vindictive legal action.

  8. Anyone remember the man who stood in front of the tank in Beijing 1989, after the Chinese government’s violent crackdown? After the tank repeatedly attempted to go around, rather than crush the man, the tank instead stopped its engines. He is considered by most a hero. Internationally, the image of the lone man, standing in front of the tank, has come to symbolize people without a voice; sad just how so many fail to see the similarity to Rachel.
    Self-righteously blaming a victim is never acceptable.

  9. Corrie is the perfect martyr for the Guardian. An America hating American leftist who gave her life to the struggle.

    The ISM of course sent her into her death, wanting her to die or be hurt so that they can, like their Hamas/PLO buddies parade her corpse for the cause.

    I think her death had a positive effect. Since then Western activists have been more careful when directly confronting the IDF during operations.
    Had she lived, every IDF tank would have to steer clear of leftist activists during operations. The circus of the absurd has been avoided.

    As for her parents. I sympathize with any parent losing a child. But I find it shocking that they seem to not place any blame on the ISM. That says a lot about their values and views. Sad.

  10. This morning BBC radio broadcast a moving piece about a Western woman who volunteered to travel to a conflict-striken Middle Eastern country, to help people wounded by a barbaric militaristic regime that slaughtered civilians without restraint.

    Her name was Rachael Craven. She is a nurse who volunteered for MSF to help with its operations in Syria.

    Rachel Corrie died a needless death in a stupid accident, having travelled to a war-zone whose politics she failed to comprehend. There’s nothing more to be said.

    • Not only did Rachel understand the politics, she understood the racist Jew quite welll, and they proved it when the Jew terrorists killed her.

  11. In her writings, Rachel corrie bragged about being at a rally of terrorists groups, including the especially vicious PFLP.

    • She bragged about what? These groups are not designated as terrorist by the u.n. council, in fact they are called freedom fighters. You are an ignorant racist Jew, and you can live with Jewish terrorists if you’d like, ill seek justice, and watch the house of David crumble from its own corruption.

  12. I have personally seen the pictures of the bucket dump on her head before the kike killed her. The world will know the truth about this incident. We will continue to show the world the pictures of the terrorist attack on an American peace activist. Slander her and risk being cast from the white race as a discard. If you support worldwide Jewish terrorism and Jewry, you risk your own children suffering at the inhuman hands of the Jewish oppressor and his Christian lie ally. You have been warned, and we will not look back as your masters ( the Jews )enslave you for their amusement. We watch for infiltration by the mossad, and see quite clearly how badly they want to make us break laws so they can rape and torture us in their American prison state, but we will not falter to ideological subversion, nor shall we give up on international justice.

    • Frederick,
      The Jews know who you are. The Jews know where you live. If you don’t like caterpillar’s you need to start packing and book a ticket to a far away place. You have been warned.

      • If you want to know a bit more about Frederick Joseph Lombardi aka Fredederick1337:

        …This case upper level officials are meant to look attached to the “Illuminati” that secretly control media exposure to influence policy and therefore politics as a whole in order to maintain their lineage passed down power, whereas the Jews involved are meant to look as if they are rewarded for influencing and controlling media….The Hebrews involved are made to look in this instance as if they are being rewarded with high level incomes for their complicity in controlling the media exposure that led to the anti-discrimination policy and securities that were later used to control political affluence. American Beauty was picked up by Dreamworks and their biggest partner happens to be a Hebrew we all know very well, Steven Spielberg who’s religion is Judaism….
        …This fact becomes even more obvious, when in knowledge that this tactic used by the law enforcement agencies such as the F.B.I., isn’t used in cases involving other religious cultures like Hebrews or Christians, and in fact is only used to seemingly create hatred for Muslims within the United States….
        …My name is Frederick Joseph Lombardi and I have been attacked my whole life by corruption in the states due to my disability. My mind however is not disabled. I have most recently been criminalized for being poor. A crime of status that is clearly forbidden by the constitution of the United States….

        • Peter you have my admiration for being able to wade through this sewage.
          Remind me to buy you a strong drink the next time you pass through South Wales.

        • Oh no! I “risk being cast from the white race as a discard”. Freddie-boy, I’ve got news for you. If you are representative of the “white race”, I can’t wait to be discarded from it.

          Yours sincerely

          A proud “kike”.

      • Feel silly for calling me a Nazi when you’ve got the real thing above?

        If you had a shred of decency you’d leave this website.

        • But pretzel he’s only criticising the politics of the Israeli government and the settlers…