The real Rachel Corries

There’s something terribly wrong about the fact that Rachel receives all of this international attention and talk of justice in her name while Israeli victims of terror remain utterly ignored

Family and friends mourn a victim of the suicide bombings in Bulgaria
Marc Goldberg
On 29 August 2012 09:27

Rachel Corrie, an American volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement, was a 23 year old woman run over by an Israeli D9 bulldozer on the 13th of March 2003 in Gaza.

She was killed after a standoff with the IDF that lasted several hours; the D9 bulldozer she was standing in front of ran her over and killed her while she attempted to use her body to prevent it from moving forward. She was wearing a high visibility jacket and standing on a mound of mud. This occurred in an area that saw Israeli troops regularly come under fire and killed.

After an internal IDF investigation and now a civil case against the Israeli Defence Ministry in the Haifa District Court, the name Rachel Corrie is all over the international media. The famous documentary maker Michael Moore called the verdict that exonerated the Ministry of Defence “shameful” and one activist tweeted “With the #RachelCorrie verdict, Israel has moved one step closer to erasing the idea that Palestinians and their supporters are civilians”.

It’s almost needless to say that the death of Rachel Corrie has garnered a rather large amount of attention, certainly a lot more than the death of Zion Boshirian.

He was an Israeli shot to death 6 days after Rachel died because he just happened to be driving his car at the wrong time in the wrong place. I wonder when his family’s day in court will come? Where are the legions of activists campaigning with disgust at the fact that someone can be murdered simply for driving their car?

I wonder what lawyer would accept a case from his family when they said they wanted to sue the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade for killing their relative.

Rachel has also garnered a lot more attention than Gabi Pedatzur who was clubbed to death while hiking in a forest exactly a month after Rachel died. Gabi’s name has never trended on Twitter, his family has never had an international campaign, complete with British and American broadsheets demanding justice for him. Despite the fact that the only decision he made that day was to go out for a walk. Where’s the justice there?

When Rachel Corrie died I was at the funeral of another volunteer whose choices had ensured that his life reached a premature end. Sergeant Major Asaf Fuchs was not killed by an IDF bulldozer but by Islamic Jihad’s bullets; the closest he ever got to a media campaign was his name amongst the dead in the paper and a picture on the wall of our army unit.

While people are screaming righteous indignation in the name of Rachel Corrie, I’m wondering about some other people. People who wouldn’t have thought to put on a high visibility jacket because all they were doing was going to the supermarket and yet they ended up dead nonetheless.

I am thinking about the people who would never even consider putting on a high visibility jacket because all it would do was mark them out as a civilian and therefore a target. I’m thinking about the people who go to sleep, in their own homes, only to never see the next day because they have their throats slit in the middle of the night.

When will their day in court come? When will they get the attention they deserve?

Rachel Corrie died after taking her life into her hands; she died for the cause that she believed in and is still, 9 years later, the subject of an international campaign that bears her name.

When an Israeli civilian is blown up or otherwise murdered in a terror attack we bury them, then we move on. There is no international outcry, no Twitter campaign, no righteous outrage and no one to mount a legal campaign against. We say a stoic prayer for the dead, clean up the mess quickly, bring justice to the people responsible and then get attacked for it by anyone who has an axe to grind.

So while you’re thinking of the injustice of Rachel Corrie, an American activist who chose her path towards danger, why not spare a thought for the victims of terror who were killed through no actions of their own? For the people who were killed just because they happened to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, in the wrong shop or on the wrong bus.

Think of those people who didn’t go to a warzone on the other side of the world specifically to interfere with the operations of an army, who didn’t make a series of decisions to put themselves in danger but simply went out to buy milk.

There’s something terribly wrong about the fact that Rachel receives all of this international attention and talk of justice in her name while Israeli victims of terror remain utterly ignored. 

Marc Goldberg is a freelance journalist 

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