Of course, Israel is bound to come in for criticism whichever way this verdict went. Rachel Corrie has become a powerful weapon in the hands of anti-Israel activists seeking to portray Israel as a brutal aggressor with little regard for human life. Had a judge ruled in favor of the Corrie family, this would have merely reinforced the views of the Israel haters. Instead, this verdict will most certainly be offered as proof that Israel will not own up to her crimes.
As Con Coughlin writes in the Daily Telegraph:
So far as rabid anti-Zionists are concerned, the fact that the law suit brought by Miss Corrie’s distraught family has been dismissed after due consideration by Israel’s judicial system – which is based very much on the principles of British law – will not prevent the howls of protest emanating from those who simply cannot accept that Israel is a democratic country based on the rule of law.
But rather than criticising the Israeli judicial system, perhaps these detractors should first consider why Miss Corrie was standing in front of an Israeli army bulldozer in the first place.
Also blogging for the Daily Telegraph, Brendan O’Neill sums up the secular beatification of Rachel Corrie:
The ruling will not please Corrie’s supporters. Over the past decade they have elevated her to saintly status, turning her into a paragon of virtue who wanted merely to “protect Palestinians” from Israel’s raging war machine. They have long depicted her death as a simple case of “murder” by the marauding forces of the Israeli state, which apparently is not only happy to kill uppity Palestinians but also virtuous white Americans who want only to “help Palestinians”. This secular beatification of Corrie, who has effectively been turned into St Rachel of the Put-Upon Palestinians, captures everything that is wrong with modern-day solidarity with Palestine.
Those that want to believe the worst of Israel will still do so despite this Israeli court verdict. Like other icons of the Palestinian movement such as Mohammad al-Dura, the death of Rachel Corrie will continue to be a stick with which to beat Israel irrespective of the facts or the investigations.
Image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com, flickr/steakpinball.