On the Eve of Verdict in Rachel Corrie Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Israel, US Ambassador Slams Israeli Government Corrie Investigation
On August 28th, Israeli judge Oded Gorshen will read the verdict in the civil lawsuit brought against the Israeli government for wrongful death, when young Rachel Corrie was killed in Gaza by an Israeli army bulldozer:
The lawsuit, filed in 2005 on behalf of the Corrie family by attorney Hussein abu Hussein, charges the State of Israel with responsibility for Rachel’s killing and failure to conduct a full and credible investigation in the case.
The lawsuit is just a small step in our family’s nearly decade-long search for truth and justice,” said Craig Corrie, Rachel’s father. “The mounting evidence presented before the court underscores a broken system of accountability – tolerated by the United States in spite of its conclusions that Israel’s military investigation was not ‘thorough, credible, or transparent.’”
Yesterday, the American ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, restated a position that the US Government has long held:
Israel’s investigation into the death of American activist Rachel Corrie was not satisfactory, and wasn’t as thorough, credible or transparent as it should have been, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told the Corrie family this week.
The U.S. government’s position is not new to the Corries, but their attorneys said that hearing it only a few days before the verdict was “important and encouraging,” because it signals to the Corrie family that the U.S. government will continue to demand a full accounting from Israel about their daughter’s killing, regardless of how Judge Oded Gershon rules.
Throughout the trial, which has lasted about a year and a half, Israeli government witnesses have brought out disturbing aspects of why ambassador Shapiro might be so concerned. The Israeli government has withheld key video and audio evidence from the operational area at which Corrie was killed. The coroner assigned by the IDF to perform the autopsy on Corrie’s body turned out to be a character from a panel in a Hieronymus Bosch painting. All of the non-IDF witnesses clearly testified to what appears to have been gross negligence on the part of the Israeli soldiers and commanders that morning.
Here are the trial archives at the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. The archives contain most of the important articles and press releases through the course of the trial.
Here’s my diary at MyFiredoglake at the conclusion of trial testimony, which gives a short history of important aspects of the proceeding.
I’m not optimistic about the verdict. Israel is rapidly descending into a pit of racist hatred, military hubris and religious weirdness that is even worse than what is going on in our own country.