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Father of Corrie: ‘Investigation not thorough or credible’

August 28th, 2012
05:06 PM ET

From Frederik Pleitgen, CNN

Haifa, Israel (CNN) - Nine years after an American activist was crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer, an Israeli civil court ruled Tuesday that Rachel Corrie's death was an accident.

Corrie, 23, was killed in 2003 while trying to block the bulldozer from razing Palestinian homes.

Her parents filed suit against Israel's Ministry of Defense in a quest for accountability and sought just $1 in damages. But Judge Oded Gershon ruled

Tuesday that the family has no right to damages, backing an earlier Israeli investigation that cleared any soldier of wrongdoing.

"I believe this was a bad day not only for our family, but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel," her mother, Cindy Corrie, said after the verdict. 

Memorializing Rachel Corrie in football

"Rachel's right to life and dignity were violated by the Israeli military," she said, adding that her daughter and her family deserve "accountability."
"A civil lawsuit is not a substitute for a credible investigation, which we never had. This lawsuit was our only recourse as a family," Cindy Corrie explained.

But the state prosecutor's office said the driver of the bulldozer couldn't see Corrie.

"The death of Rachel Corrie is without a doubt a tragic accident," the office said in a statement. "As the verdict states - the driver of the bulldozer and his commander had a very limited field of vision, such that they had no possibility of seeing Ms. Corrie and thus are exonerated of any blame for negligence."

Hussein Abu Hussein, the Corrie family attorney, regards the decision as a "bad ruling" for the family and all activists. He said the Corries intend to appeal to Israel's Supreme Court.

Corrie was nonviolently protesting the demolition of Palestinian civilian homes in Rafah, Gaza, when she died. She was working with the Palestinian-led International Solidarity Movement at the time.

Corrie's parents say they have searched for answers in their daughter's death for years.

"The more we found out, the more likely that the killing was intentional, or at least incredibly reckless," father Craig Corrie said in 2010.
"As a former soldier, I was even in charge of bulldozers in Vietnam. ... You're responsible to know what's in front of that blade, and I believe that they did."

Craig Corrie said the soldiers, too, are victims. He does not view them with disdain.

"So I'm not full of hatred for this person, but it was a horrendous act to kill my daughter, and I hope he understands that."

In 2010, the Israeli soldier who drove the bulldozer testified publicly for the first time - from behind a partition.

The driver's identity has never been revealed, and he was not charged after a monthlong Israeli investigation found that no Israeli soldier was to blame. Corrie's parents cannot take him to court because the Israeli Supreme Court has upheld a decision to shield him.

The driver testified repeatedly that he did not see Corrie before he struck her, saying there was a pile of rubble impeding his vision.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee and head of the PLO Department of Culture and Information, also condemned the ruling. She said that the evidence shows Corrie was "deliberately murdered" and that the Israeli court has victimized her again.

"We must make sure that Rachel Corrie's death is not a senseless incident," Ashrawi said in a statement. "It must be stressed that Israel's habit of blaming the victim and exonerating the criminal is not (only) applied to Palestinian victims, but also it has extended its reach to international solidarity activists and victims of Israeli violence."

Since Corrie's death, soccer players in Gaza have honored the activist with an annual memorial tournament.

"Rachel Corrie: The Palestinian People Won't Forget Their Highly Respected Friends," a wall near the makeshift concrete soccer field reads.

"There's never closure," Cindy Corrie said, "when you have a family member killed in such a way."

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soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Cecil Nixxon

    It was an accident. She was just a stupid, naive girl. Like the 34 U.S. sailors on the U.S.S. Liberty who were stupid enough to believe Israel wouldn't torpedo an unarmed ship and strafe its crew when the boarded the life rafts. And before you go off all "friendly fire happens," read up on the incident. It wasn't friendly by any means.

    Play with venemous snakes and you may get bit. America is just taking its sweet time waking up to reality.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      If you believe that the attack on USS Liberty was deliberate you shoud have no troubles to explain the tremendous benefits Israel gained from it. I'm all ears...

      August 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • Angelica

        I just looked it up USS Liberty incident, Israel paid $ to US – oops sorry I was shooting at that person but shot you by mistake. The attack was deliberate they just didn't know who they where attacking.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Mike

      How does the LIberty relates? It dosn't but for a clear Jew hater the idea of bringining an incident that happended in 1967 during ta time of war, more then 40 years ago, is legitimate.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
      • Angelica

        Just shows it is nothing new. There is a pattern here. I don't think you have to be a Jew hater to talk about bad action. You can like men but be horrified by rape and murder which some men do. This was a bad action, period. Don't play the Jew Hater card... weird.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Stuart Weinstein

      And no doubt you figure that the downing or an Iranian airliner by an F-14 was also on purpose too?

      The US never informed the Israelis that the US had a ship in the war zone. For all Israel knew, it could have been an Egyptian ship flying false colors. Like that never happened before eh?

      Let me guess, you don't think men ever landed on the moon either?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Reply
    • freeamerican7

      Never Forget USS Liberty.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:23 am | Reply
  2. panskeptic

    Rachel Corrie was in a closed military zone. There was a war going on.

    This is not going down to the local courthouse to wave signs in front of TV cameras. Rachel Corrie went in harm's way, and it found her.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  3. Thinker23

    Someone should explain to Mr. Corrie that for the driver of the bulldozer to see her standing in front of the blade his dauighter would have been at least 10 ft tall.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • Angelica

      When I saw the pictures and video it looked like an open field she had on a bright jacket. Those caterpillars don't go that fast... he could of seen her.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Reply
      • Thinker23

        Angelica... For thre driver of te bulldozer to seee Rachel in front of the blade she would have to be at least 10 ft tall. Wearing a bright jacket is not enough. Furter, you're right that bulldozers are not that fast, they move at about 2 MPH at most... and if you think that the driver could see Rachel you will hopefully agree that Rachel could see the approaching bulldozer.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  4. Cameron

    Accident my ass. They were after "terrorists" and they didn't give a crap about the innocents in their path. Israel is a rabid dog that needs to be put down. Yes, America does need to wake up to reality and realize that putting a Jewish apartheid in the middle of an Islamic ME is most possibly the most retarded thing in human history.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Can you elaborate on this, your ass? I'm interested to know your definition of "apartheid" and the reasons you believe Israel is a "Jewish apartheid" if you don't mind...

      August 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • uncle joe mccarthy


      i dare you...i double dare you to take a trip to israel...stand in the center of jerusalem and repeat those words

      August 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • Stuart Weinstein

      Lets see..

      Do Israeli Arabs vote in any and all elections? Yes.

      Serve in the Knesset? Yes.

      Get the same health care? Yes.

      Get schooling? Yes. (Arab speaker of the Knesset trained MD in Israel)

      Serve in the IDF? Yes

      I can only conclude sir, that you have a private definition of Apartheid. Would you mind telling the rest of us what it is?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  5. uncle joe mccarthy

    mr corrie served in nam

    how many womena dnd children did he murder? and why does israel have to be the brunt of his horrible guilt

    do the right thing mr corrie....take the pipe and leave the jews alone

    August 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • Angelica

      You are an idiot.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  6. uncle joe mccarthy

    did corrie, the war criminal, actually say that the investigator didnt get the cctv tape of rachel's death until a week after her death?


    investigation took a month

    August 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  7. uncle joe mccarthy

    cnn...credible news source? why does cnn at 1142 of piece use a debunked, photoshopped pic of corrie in front a dozer

    August 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  8. Angelica

    I guess i should be more specific uncle joe mccarthy –> you are an idiot , that's better

    August 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  9. freeamerican7

    Israel's Court just kicked Colony(Settlement) construction sand in the eyes of Lady Liberty (Rachel Corrie) !
    The real culprits are our POLITICIANS (Republicans and Democrats) (Elected or Defeated) who are more Israelis than Americans who favor the FOREIGN COUNTRY Israel by giving away more than TEN Million Dollars a day EVERY DAY(Foreign Aid) while cutting funds to American Born BABIES....check the WIC Program .....
    The last thing we need is to take food out of the mouths of vulnerable US mothers, US babies, and young US children.

    Here's the LINK and get EVEN by voting out Israel's STOOGES in Congress/Senate/Courts/State Dept/Justice/etc...


    August 29, 2012 at 1:04 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      freeamerican: Do you have any reasons to believe that te Palesinian Arabs have more right to build colonies in the West Bank than Israeli Jews? If so WHAT ARE THESE REASONS except racism?

      Angelica: calling everyone idiot is a sure proof that you can produce nothing better than that to support your claims.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:01 am | Reply
  10. More ppl like Rachel Corrie

    It is utterly deplorable that the Israeli court should call Rachel's death an accident.... the same thing happened in tiannamen square in 1989 and there was international outrage over the innocent man being run over by the tank... yet not even a syllable has been uttered by any of the nations.... if a Jew was killed in that way- it would have been on the news for months...

    there is no way that the bulldozer didnt see Rachel- everybody saw her.... and for the driver to be shielded by law- well that would never happen in any other country in the world except Israel...not even in the US... it is absolutely revolting...

    although should we even be surprised of the verdict? everyone knows that Israel is above any international law- the US cower back to their cage the moment Israel utters a syllable

    those people who are on the Israeli's courts side should be ashamed of themselves... imagine if it happened to a member of your family.... Rachel's parents are only asking for those responsible to be held accountable – as all parents would

    and Angelica i agree with you.. thinker23 you are an ass ..a gigantic ass

    August 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  11. Thinker23

    I can assure you that the bulldozer did not see Rachel for the simple reason bulldozers do not have eyes. The DRIVER of the bulldozer did not see her for a no less simple reason he had the body of the bulldozer and its 9-ft-high blade shileding her. Further, I can assure you that Jews are being killed in vehicular and other accidents every day and most of these tragic accidents are not mentioned in the news. Still further, I can assure you that about 40,000 Americans are being killed in vehicular accidents every year and that NOT in every case the driver is found guilty. Finally, I would suggest you to GET A CLUE of what you're talking about. You'll make a fool of yourself not on every occasion possible.

    August 29, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
  12. More ppl like Rachel Corrie

    have you got nothing else to do but degrade everything anyone else has to say? ......this is not another vehicular accident- this is the MURDER of a young innocent woman wearing a brightly covered vest trying to stop the Israeli soldiers from illegally bulldozing anything and everything that comes in their way....

    are you trying to tell me that those in the bulldozer cant see where they are going or what is in front of them? in that case, they should be bumping into every building, tree and lamp post that got in their way...... there is no way they did not see Rachel Corrie.....

    i cant believe there are people get brainwashed so easily by Israeli propaganda..... you are the most gullible person in the world..... where is your sense of humanity you heartless guttersnipe!

    August 29, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      The driver of the D-9 bulldozer can not see what is in front of the blade because of the laws of physics and geometry. Our eyes see LIGHT. Light rays propagate at STRAIGHT LINES. Therefore, the driver can not see anything in front of his machine that is below the straight line going throught his eyes and the top of the blade. Anny object just in front of the blade that it lower than the top of the blade will be invisible to the driver... and I can assure you that while math and physics agree with "Israeli propaganda" the Jews are not entirely responsible for these laws.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  13. Unit34AHunter

    The USA needs to stop supporting Israel in every way. If Iran would put ten megatons over tel aviv, they'd be doing the US a favor by getting that stinking, neofascist albatross off of America's collar.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Max67


      It seems that you are the fascit

      August 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  14. Max67

    It is now official. Rachel Corrie, the patron saint of the pro-terror radical Left and its Islamofascist allies, essentially committed suicide in order to assist Palestinian terrorists. She was not killed by Israel. Israel had no particular reason to want her dead (as opposed to deported).

    Corrie had been sent to Gaza as part of a Solidarity-with-genocidal-Hamas-murderers delegation organized by the pro-jihad “International Solidarity Movement” or ISM. The ISM openly endorses Palestinian mass murder of Jews and has collaborated with terrorists, including in hiding their weapons and sheltering wanted murderers. The ISM notoriously hosted two terrorists the day before they murdered several Israelis at the “Mike’s Place” tavern in Tel Aviv in 2003.

    Corrie entered Gaza to serve as a human shield for Hamas mass murderers. On March 16, 2003 she decided to play chicken with a large Israeli earth mover. The irony is that the driver would have stopped and capitulated to Corrie’s shenanigans if he had seen her. But he did not and struck her. She later died while in Palestinian medical facilities, probably due to medical incompetence by the staff. There have been rumors that her bulldozer stunt was designed to draw Israeli soldiers out in the open to be targeted by Palestinian gunfire.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
    • Max67

      More on:

      August 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  15. Max67

    Be sure to watch the movie 2016. It is about Obama; what motivates him and what he is planning to do

    August 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  16. Max67

    This is time to stop the Arab occupation.

    Jews have been living in the Land of Israel for thousands of years; even during of times that most of the Jewish people was at exile, and before the Arab occupation and colonization of the land.

    It is mind boggling how people are willing to accept this ongoing occupation, just because they think Arabs lived there sine dinosaurs time.

    Most of the Arab immigrated there parallel to the Zionist immigration in the new era. Read the Ottoman census, the British census and understand the Arab names and origins.

    Take a look at the big picture; a huge part of the globe is Christian, another huge part of the globe is Muslim. There is a little tiny piece of land for the Jews, and the Liberals of the free world want to take it away.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  17. Thinker23

    It makes little difference if the Arabs lived in the area for hundreds or even thousands of years. The idea that the Arabs somehow are the EXCLUSIVE owners of the land and have the right to FORCE others (in this case, the Jews) out is mind boggling Racism.

    August 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  18. Doron Matmor

    Jews haters... that's all it is... using the media, CNN, The Guardian , as well as BBC and others to bash Israel...
    I don't see this movement demonstrating now in Syria... 30,000 civilians murdered by their own government... will go down in history as another antisemitism plot. shame !!!

    September 2, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply

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