An Israeli court has ruled against a civil action taken by the family of International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel Corrie. According to an Israeli judge:
This was a very unfortunate accident and not an action undertaken with intent… The deceased put herself into a dangerous situation, standing in front of a large bulldozer in a place where the operator could not see her. She did not distance herself as a reasonable person would have done.
Corrie’s death, he said, was “the result of an accident she brought upon herself.”
Unsurprisingly, the verdict has made international news. The inappropriate headline of the day goes to the Daily Telegraph:
Contrary to the headline, it was not Israel absolving itself of all blame but the very credible and thorough Israeli legal system which had examined the case in great detail. There are plenty of times when Israeli judges have ruled against the state or the IDF and there is no reason to believe that the judge in this case did not come to his conclusions without prejudice.
This wasn’t enough, however, to stop Jon Snow, the UK Channel 4’s top news presenter from describing the verdict as “grim”:
Is Jon Snow expressing his distaste for the verdict? If so, perhaps he should stick to reporting the news rather than passing his own judgments.
Rachel Corrie even became part of a “cycle of violence” according to The Guardian. This part of Harriet Sherwood’s report stood out:
At the time – the height of the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising – house demolitions were common, part of an increasing cycle of violence from both sides. Palestinian suicide bombers were causing death and destruction with terrifying frequency; the Israeli military was using its mighty force and weaponry to crush the uprising.
So, according to The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood, house demolitions to prevent Palestinian weapons smuggling fall into the same category as blowing up Israeli buses or cafes; Israeli measures to protect its civilian population are of the same moral equivalence as the Palestinian terrorism that deliberately targeted Israeli civilians; the death of Rachel Corrie in a tragic accident no different to the deaths of Israeli victims of terror.
And all of this as part of a “cycle of violence”.