The city of Haifa is still recovering from the trauma of the summer of 2006, when it, along with the rest of northern Israel, was targeted by thousands of Katyusha rockets, fired from southern Lebanon by Hizbullah terrorists. Haifa has also been targeted by several suicide bombers who carried out mass murders against civilians in buses and restaurants.
Now Haifa is about to become the victim of yet another indignity. It is to be the scene for a legal assault by the parents of Rachel Corrie.
Rachel Corrie, you may recall, was a clueless American-flag-burning undergraduate from Evergreen State College in Washington. Urged on by her radical professors, she decided to join the missions organized by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She and her comrades were sent off to the “occupied territories” to assist Palestinian terrorist groups.
ISM openly endorses Palestinian “armed struggle” against Israel – which in realistic terms means terrorism against Jews. It was the goal of Corrie and her friends to stop Israeli anti-terror operations – an act that by its very implication would have made it easier for Hamas and its clones to murder Israeli civilians.
Members of ISM are foolishly allowed by the Israeli government to enter the country, where they often serve as human shields for terrorists. In at least one case, weapons hidden on behalf of terrorists were discovered in ISM offices. In another notorious example of collaboration, two British Muslim terrorists blew up the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2003, killing three Israelis and wounding 50. The terrorists had just before this been hosted by ISM members and they pretended to be in the country to lay wreaths on the grave of – who else? – Rachel Corrie.
Shortly before that attack, on March 16, 2003, young Rachel was part of a group of ISM activists who were attempting to prevent an Israeli earth-mover from demolishing a home sitting atop a Hamas smuggling tunnel in Rafiah. Corrie knelt down in front of the Israeli military bulldozer. The driver insists he would have stopped had she been visible.
Corrie died after being taken away for care in a Palestinian medical facility, possibly from medical incompetence. Her behavior that day in Gaza resembled that of a teenager playing chicken with vehicles on the New Jersey Turnpike in the dark.
Corrie has since become a sort of Mother Teresa for the radical left and apologists for Islamofascism. She is the martyr saint of the pro-terror lobby and is even celebrated by Klansman David Duke.
When Reuters reported that Gaza Palestinians “honored” Rachel after her death in a “symbolic funeral” by flying U.S. flags, the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto wryly remarked that if Corrie were still alive, she’d no doubt have burned those flags.
The columnist Dennis Prager wrote: ” grieve for Rachel Corrie’s parents, but spare us the hagiography. Rachel Corrie died fighting for the International Solidarity Movement dedicated, in its own words, to ‘armed struggle’ against Israel. She ended up being a useful idiot for, and one more victim of, Palestinian terror.”
Corrie’s death quickly became the focus of an anti-Israel propaganda passion play titled “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” which has been staged in London and other cities. Attempts to stage it in New York City at the New York Theatre Workshop failed in the face of public opposition, but it later ran for a while at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village.
Since Corrie’s death, her parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, have traveled the planet as a two-person anti-Israel propaganda SWAT team. Not content with mourning their daughter’s tragic death, which resulted from her own foolhardiness, the Corries have devoted themselves to demonizing Israel and supporting Israel’s enemies. They made a special pilgrimage to Yasir Arafat in September 2003 to present him with a large poster of their “martyred” daughter.
The Corries blame Israel for their daughter’s death. But as Israel’s Ynetnews service reported, “An IDF investigation determined that the soldiers were not to blame and said the driver of the bulldozer had not seen her and did not intentionally run her over. The army accused Corrie and the International Solidarity Movement of ‘illegal, irresponsible and dangerous’ behavior.”
Nevertheless, the Corries run the Rachel Corrie Foundation, which disseminates anti-Israel political propaganda. And they share their daughter’s enthusiasm for Hamas “resistance.”
The Corries claim Rachel was just an innocent peace protester, doing nothing more than showing her concern for the human rights of Palestinian civilians. But even the ferociously anti-Israel British newspaper the Guardian confirmed (February 23, 2010) that Corrie was serving as a human shield for terrorists.
The Corries are now suing the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces in Israeli court. They and their Arab lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, a radical activist (involved in the movement for a world boycott of Israel), filed a civil suit in Haifa court and the first hearing is scheduled for March 10.
The Corries are also suing the Caterpillar company because it sold the bulldozer to Israel that injured their daughter. They are trying to get terror supporters from around the world to boycott the Caterpillar company for the crime of selling bulldozers, some of which are used to fight terror, to Israel. Corrie supporters regularly show up at Caterpillar stockholder meetings to demand that it boycott Israel.
Ironically, the Corries were themselves briefly kidnapped in Gaza by Hamas terrorists in January 2006, when they were in town to show the local jihadis their support. The Jerusalem Post, the British Daily Telegraph and other media outlets reported the incident. Here’s how MSNBC described it:
Palestinian gunmen burst into a Rafah house early Wednesday and tried to kidnap the parents of Rachel Corrie, who was killed in 2003 as she protested the impending demolition of a house in the southern Gaza town, according to a witness.
The five gunmen appeared to be affiliated with the Fatah movement, according to Samir Nasrallah, the Corries’ host. The gunmen eventually relented after being told who their targets were, he said.
According to the Telegraph, “The gunmen wanted to kidnap the couple as bargaining chips to secure the release of a militia leader, Alaa al-Hams, arrested on suspicion of ordering the kidnap of the British human rights activist Kate Burton and her parents .”
The Corries later issued a statement in which they denied they had been kidnapped at all. They had just been hosted at gunpoint. But the simple truth is that the Corries were released once the terrorists realized they were a far more valuable asset for Hamas if they were running around free.
That might have been a marvelous opportunity for the Corries to learn firsthand just what Palestinian terrorism is all about and just why Israel needs to fight terrorism with a variety of means at its disposal, including bulldozers. But it wasn’t to be. The Corries went right on churning out their anti-Israel propaganda, much of it carried on anti-Semitic and pro-jihad websites.
Meanwhile, ISM has a track record of using Israeli courts whenever one of its human shields gets injured or arrested.
In one well publicized case, an ISM volunteer named Tom Hurndall from the UK was injured in the head while he was serving as a human shield for terrorists engaged in a firefight with IDF troops. It turned out Hurndall was shot by an Israeli Bedouin Arab soldier (a fact the anti-Israel British media ignored in their coverage of the case). The heroic Bedouin was returning fire at Hamas terrorists shooting at Israelis. Hurndall’s family sued Israel in Israeli court. So did Orange County ISM activist and lawyer Radhika Sainath.
And now the Corries are coming to Haifa to continue their daughter’s war of aggression against Israel. They are suing Israel as a way to try to revise in court the facts surrounding their daughter’s death. I am hoping some Im Tirtzu students show up with photos of all the Jewish women named Rachel who were murdered by the terrorists the Corries support.
In the name of the embattled citizens of Haifa, I would like to offer the Corries an appropriate welcome to our city, in the form of the following letter:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Corrie,
You are coming to our lovely town to sue Israel, claiming that your daughter was “killed by an Israeli bulldozer.” But you neglect to mention the circumstances under which she was so killed (nor the fact that she died from her injuries while under Palestinian medical care).
You have stated, “She had been working in Rafah with a nonviolent resistance organization, the International Solidarity Movement, trying to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes and wells.”
Homes and wells, huh?
Well, she was not. Rachel was trying to prevent the demolition of tunnels used to smuggle weapons for Palestinian terrorists seeking to murder Jewish civilians. ISM openly endorses Palestinian “armed struggle” against Jewish children and civilians and openly collaborates with terrorists. It has hidden wanted terrorists and their weapons in its offices. It is an accomplice in murder. Lying is not the best way to drum up sympathy for your daughter.
You say your daughter died trying to protect an “innocent house.” Again, this is not the truth. That “innocent house” was camouflage for a not-so-innocent terrorist smuggling tunnel, and the residents of that innocent house knew all about the tunnel.
Your daughter was in a war zone as a belligerent, on behalf of a movement of Arab fascists seeking to destroy Israel and murder as many Jews as possible. Your daughter died while interfering with an anti-terror operation carried out by soldiers in a land in which she had no business being at all.
You demand that we feel your pain at the loss of your daughter, yet your daughter conscripted herself as an accomplice for those seeking to murder my children. You feel no pain for the scores of martyrs in my own city of Haifa murdered by those same terrorists.
Your daughter put herself in harm’s way by challenging a large bulldozer and positioning herself where the operator could not see her. You know quite well that the bulldozer operator was not seeking to harm her.
You have written, “We had not understood the devastating nature of the Palestinians’ situation.” Of course, youhave never expressed any interest in the devastating nature of the Jews’ situation. The Jews have been battling Arab fascism and genocidal terrorism for a hundred years, before, during, and after the Nazi Holocaust of six million Jews. Your daughter was helping those who perpetrate Nazi-like atrocities against randomly selected Jews.
You smugly praise the propaganda play about your daughter, which ignored all the other Rachels – the Jewish victims of terror in Israel who were murdered by genocidal terrorists.
Your daughter, and apparently you as well, never had any understanding of the Middle East conflict. The Middle East conflict is not about the right to self-determination of Palestinian Arabs, but rather about the right to self-determination of Israeli Jews.
For a century the Arabs have attempted to block any expression of Jewish self-determination, using violence, armed aggression, and terrorism. The Arabs today control 22 countries and territory nearly twice the size of the United States. They refuse to share even a fraction of one percent of the Middle East with Jews, even in a territory smaller than New Jersey.
The Arab countries invented the Palestinian people and their “plight” as a propaganda ploy in imitation of the German campaign on behalf of Sudeten self-determination in the 1930s. Just as the struggle for “Sudeten liberation” was nothing more than a fig leaf for the German aggression aimed at annihilating Czechoslovakia, so the struggle for “Palestinian liberation” is nothing more than cover for a jihad to destroy Israel and its population.
Your write, “Clearly, our daughter has become a positive symbol for people.”
I am afraid you are mistaken. Your daughter has become a symbol for dangerous foolhardiness. She essentially committed suicide as an empty gesture to assist murderers and terrorists.
You want the world to mourn for your daughter, who died while working with monsters out to murder our children. On the pages of anti-Semitic propaganda web magazines you denounce Israel, but you do not have a single word of sympathy for the families of the thousands of innocent Israeli victims of the terrorists with whom your daughter chose to ally herself.
On behalf of the citizens of Haifa, all of whom your daughter’s Hamas friends are trying to murder, I remain,
Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.