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David Bedein


Rachel Corrie in front of IDF vehicle, five hours BEFORE she was crushed by another IDF vehicle
as published in Reuters and ISM website


Rachel Corrie at the time of her death

 
DAVID BEDEIN: HOW RACHEL CORRIE'S DEATH WAS MISREPORTED: A TALE OF TWO PICTURES

by David Bedein, April 29, 2012

 

[Editor's note: A Haifa District Court rebuffed a claim by the fmily of Rachel Corrie for civil damages, finding that the the US activist who was killed in disputed circumstances involving an IDF bulldozer could have avoided the dangerous situation. The judge referred to her death as a “regrettable accident,” but said that that Corrie could have avoided danger, and dismissed claims that the IDF was negligent in the incident.

In the verdict, Judge Oded Gershon invoked the combayant activities exception, noting that a country’s armed forces cannot be held liable for civil damages for physical or economic harm to civilians in an area defined as a war zone (Rafah had already been found by the Israeli Supreme Court in a prevous rulign to be a war zone) . The Court also held that the driver had not and could not have seen Corrie because the bulldozer has an obstructed view.

In regard to the case of Rachel Corrie, it is worth reprinting the piece below by David Bedein written at the time of the incident showing the initial misreporting of the incident ].

HOW RACHEL CORRIE'S DEATH WAS MISREPORTED: A TALE OF TWO PICTURES

by David Bedein ,2003

A news story which shocked the world this week dealt with the crushing of American citizen Rachel Corrie by an IDF bulldozer, who ostensibly blocked with her body a bulldozer about to demolish the home of a Palestinian terrorist in Gaza. The case involving corrie, who is an activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)has made huge headlines all over the world.

I asked to speak with the spokesman of  theInternational Solidarity Movement Mike Shaik, who passed me on to Lynn Clausen, a 24-year old resident of Washington from the Christians Peacemakers Team based in Hebron, which trains the ISM volunteers.

Shaik and Clausen sent me to speak with Corrie's friends who were with her at the time she was crushed. Corrie's friend Joe Smith described to me how Corrie sat on a mound of dirt facing the IDF bulldozer making its way to the house it was about to demolish.

"Rachel had two options", Smith said. "When the bulldozer started to dig in the dirt pile, the pile started to move, and she could have rolled sideways quickly or fallen backwards to avoid being hit. But Rachel leaned forward to climb to the top of the dirt pile. The bulldozer's digging drew her downward, and its driver could not see her anymore. So without lifting the scoop, he turned backward and she was already underneath the blade."

Smith's description is very important, since the picture published by Reuters shows Corrie standing to the left of the bulldozer, in a location where the driver can see her very clearly, as she holds a megaphone in her hand. Beneath the picture's caption is written: "Photographed before Rachel Corrie was run over by an IDF bulldozer." Everyone who looks at the picture and the text understands that the driver, who sees the American civilian standing in front of him, just kept on going, crushing her to death. But Joe Smith says that the picture was taken hours before Corrie was run over, which happened at 5:00 p.m., and not a few minutes beforehand. Smith emphasizes that at the time of the incident and during it, there were no photographers in the area.

After I checked the pictures that Reuters distributed to the world's newspapers, I noticed the difference between the colors of the sky in the picture where Corrie stands with the megaphone and the one that shows the body after the incident. The time the picture was taken also appears in text on the Internet site, saying that it was in the morning. It is not noted that the incident took place hours later.

I called Reuters's photography department and asked for an explanation.

The photography editor said that the pictures were not taken by his agency, which had no photographers in the area at all, and that the pictures came to them via ISM.

The Reuters photography editor added that he wrote clearly that the pictures had been taken by ISM.

I pointed out to him that no such notice appeared in the pictures I saw on the Reuters site. I asked the director general of Reuters in Israel, Tim Heritage, whether Reuters has a set policy of using pictures provided by political organizations, and Heritage replied that [ this practice] is widespread.

Heritage promised to check into the matter of the misleading picture that was taken before the incident and asked me to call him back in an hour.

After an hour, Heritage was no longer available to speak with me. I went into the Reuters website and was amazed to find that the pictures of Corrie had been removed.

Thus the American woman who came to protect the homes of Palestinian terrorists with her own body was wiped out twice: once by an IDF bulldozer and then by the Reuters agency, which came to "document" the incident.

The damage the agency caused still requires repair. A picture is worth a thousand words. The picture of Rachel Corrie with the megaphone, standing before the bulldozer of the "cruel Zionist occupier", who was "crushed after this picture was taken", as Reuters falsely wrote, will be engraved in the memories of those who follow events in the Middle East.

[By no strange coincidence, the web site of the International Solidarity Movement, at www.palsolidarity.org, features the picture of Rachel Corrie, holding her proverbial megaphone, with a caption which says that Rachel was in the clear sight of the bulldozer driver before he ran her over. Yes, five hours before...]

Editor's note:  On August 29, 2012 , shortly after this week's verdict in the  Corrie case Palestinian Media Watch released a statement made by the Israeli Arab lawyer  last month who represented her that shows his attitudes towards Israel in general.

In a Palestinian Authority TV interview, Abu Hussein said Israel's founding was worse than the founding of Nazi Germany because "Nazi Germany was a state based on the rule of law for a short while," whereas "the State of Israel was founded from the start on robbery and theft." He also called Israel a "giant monster" and indicated that people should take action against Israel: "We all want to step on its head, but talking is not enough. Everyone has their role."

Click to view

The  transcript of Abu Hussein's interview with Israeli Arab actor, Mohammad Bakri, who hosts the weekly PA TV show:

Hussein Abu Hussein, Israeli Arab lawyer: 

"Naz

 
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