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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Corrie’

BDS Agitators Fail in ‘Rachel Corrie Country’

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

It’s been a rough day for Palestinian supporters: Yet another unversity-based divestment attempt failed dismally at the University of Washington at the same time as an Israeli court was set to rule on the latest appeal in the decade-long legal saga of local girl Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old activist who was crushed by an IDF bulldozer in 2003 when she made the mistake of standing in front of it.

Corrie, a member of the radical, terror-supporting International Solidarity Movement (ISM) was killed while serving as a human shield in a closed military area in the Gaza Strip, near the border with Egypt.  She refused to comply with IDF instructions to vacate the area, and was then crushed to death by a military bulldozer in Gaza  because the soldier driving the bulldozer could not see her from where he was seated, high up in the cab.

For the past eleven years, her parents have pursued a lawsuit in Israel’s courts to have her death declared a murder, something Israeli courts have repeatedly refused to do. Today (Wednesday) the Supreme Court will rule on the family’s  appeal of a lower court ruling absolving the IDF of culpability for the incident.

IN 2011 a lower court ruled the IDF was not negligent, nor was it responsible for Corrie’s death. Moreover, the court ruled the IDF had fully and credibly investigated the circumstances surrounding the incident. By entering a closed military zone, and attempting to block the work of military bulldozers, Corrie was responsible for her own death, the court ruled.

BDS keeps on kicking, despite rejections

Sources on campus described the UW boycott issue as one of the most heated campus debates in recent memory, with furious comments both for and against the resolution in the university’s Slog news website. “Intentional or not, BDS [movement] singles out Jews for treatment that no one else gets, even countries that behave far worse. You don’t think it would be practical to aim against Syria (hmm, when was the last time Israel gassed its own citizens?)?” responded one writer.

Ironically, the University of Washington is located not far from Rachel Corrie’s hometown of Olympia, Wash.

Following the UW campaign, The Jewish Press has learned that students at the University of South Florida are also pressuring the school’s foundation to divest from companies linked to Israeli companies based in Judea and Samaria. Students this month presented a petition with 10,000 signatures to the school’s foundation urging the school to divest from corporations such as Motorola, HP and Caterpillar.

Boycott supporters have not indicated whether-or-not they will stop using cellphone, computer and internet technologies, all of which were developed in Israel, to protest the “brutal oppression” of the world’s only “apartheid” victims with the right to vote, run for office and full access to Israel’s Supreme Court.

Court to Hear Appeal in Activist Death

Monday, May 19th, 2014

The Supreme Court is gearing up for the latest round of a 10-year-old lawsuit surrounding the death of Rachel Corrie, a radical activist who was killed by an IDF bulldozer while protesting on behalf of Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Corrie was a 23-year-old student from Olympia, Washington who had travelled to Israel to participate in International Solidarity Movement activities against Israel. On March 16, 2003, she acted as a human shield to protect an IDF bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home on the Philadelphi Road, near the Gaza border with Egypt.

The incident occurred at the height of the Oslo War (al-Aqsa Intifada), at a time when  Palestinians routinely shot at IDF troops from homes along the Philadelphi Road. Corrie was killed while protecting one of those homes.

The Corrie family claims that their daughter made eye contact with the driver during the protest, who then proceeded to ignore Rachel and instead drove the machine over her, killing her. To support their claim, the family has produced photographic “evidence” that supposedly details the sequence of events leading to her death, including images of Rachel standing in front of the IDF bulldozer, and then a photograph of the dead body behind bulldozer.

But upon close examination of the photographs, it is clear that the  pictures are not a sequence of events,but rather were shot hours apart. The family has repeatedly refused to address questions by this reporter on the matter.

Following the incident, IDF  investigators ruled that the death was an accident because the driver didn’t see Corrie, and that in any event, the army bore no responsibility for her death because she had chosen to enter a Closed Military Zone in order to interfere with military operations in a wear Zone.

In August, 2012, the Supreme Court validated that finding and ruled that the military was not to blame for Corrie’s death.

Not Exactly Ghandi-like

Although pro-Palestinian activists view the ISM as a non-violent organization, the group hardly espouses the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ISM offices in B On April 30, 2003, two ISM volunteers blew themselves up at Mike’s Place, a bar on the Tel Aviv waterfront. Three people were killed and more than 50 injured. And group leaders Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro  have written that “the Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics – both nonviolent and violent. But most importantly it must develop a strategy involving both aspects. No other successful nonviolent movement was able to achieve what it did without a concurrent violent movement…”

Even Mother Jones, a far-left magazine that is generally sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, was forced to admit that the ISM “embrac(es) Palestinian militants, even suicide bombers, as freedom fighters.”

Jennifer Gorovitz Resigns as San Francisco Federation Chief

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Jennifer Gorovitz resigned as CEO of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco.

Gorovitz, the first woman to lead a major American Jewish federation, will step down from her post on March 31, according to a Friday news release.

In a letter dated Jan. 3, Gorovitz said that after 10 “phenomenal” years with the federation, she was leaving “to pursue a more private life with my family and to my first passion and previous career as an attorney.”

Gorovitz was tapped for the top job in 2010 after serving as acting CEO since 2009. She has been with the federation for 10 years, previously serving as chief of staff and director of funds and foundations.

Six months after getting the CEO job, she was named to the annual Forward 50 list of the country’s most influential Jews.

Also in 2010, Gorovitz helped steer the federation through the controversy resulting from its decision to establish formal criteria for its funding of Israel programs. The controversy arose after the federation-funded San Francisco Film Festival screened a film about Rachel Corrie, an American activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting Palestinian home demolitions.

Mainstream Jewish Institutions Honor Anti-Zionists

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Major Jewish institutions show a marked propensity to promote and celebrate the enemies of Israel and even anti-Semites. Here are some examples, working backwards chronologically:

* Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University: Plans to give its International Advocate for Peace Award to Jimmy Carter, author of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, on April 10.

* The 92nd St. Y: Scheduled (but then postponed) a talk by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, leading exponent of artistic boycotts of Israel and purveyor of antisemitic canards.

* San Francisco Jewish Film Festival: Showed Rachel, a film hailing anti-Israel activist Rachel Corrie, and had Corrie’s mother speak at the showing.

* Brandeis University: Bestowed an honorary degree on Tony Kushner, who says “it would have been better if Israel never happened” and accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” Palestinians.

* Republican Jewish Coalition: Invited Christopher Hitchens to address it, despite his calling Ariel Sharon “vile” and Zionism a “false messiah for the Jews.”

* Cardozo Law School: Gave its International Advocate for Peace Award to Desmond Tutu who has said that “Israel is like Hitler and apartheid.”

These examples hardly exhaust the list: last month, for example, the Barrack Hebrew Academy in Philadelphia hosted Abdulaziz El Sayed Nosair, the son of El Sayed Nosair who killed Meir Kahane in 1990.

What is it about Jewish organizations that they acclaim their opponents? A belief that treating opponents generously will inspire reciprocity, even though this almost never works.

Here is a more serious example of this same impulse, concerning the Israeli government in 2000, as explained by David Wurmser in an article published a few days ago, “The Geopolitics of Israel’s Offshore Gas Reserves”:

To help the development of the Palestinian economy – which was seen as key by Israeli and American leaders to politically moderating the Palestinian population and solidifying peace – and lay to rest any potential arguments in the future over the resource, Israel carved from within the demarcation of its proposed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between itself and Gaza an indentation rather than run the demarcation line straight from the coast as is done in every other EEZ demarcation across the globe. Israel agreed to allow the line to be indented to Israel’s disadvantage so that the entirety of Gaza Marine will be included in the Palestinian Authority area. The gas, which was to be used both inside Gaza for electricity production and exported to Israel, was to help the Palestinian Authority fund itself, have resources to build up its stature among Palestinians, and by stimulating development, to encourage political stability and moderation.

Comment: One watches and waits in vain for a recognition that being nice to enemies does not solve problems.

Originally published at DanielPipes.org, April 8, 2013.

Evergreen State — a Total Immersion Experience

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Recently I wrote a couple of posts about Rachel Corrie (here andhere). I was particularly interested in what prompted her to go to Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a group which sends idealistic young Westerners to serve as human shields for Hamas or PLO guerrillas in the front lines of the low-intensity Arab war against the Jewish state.

A few of these ‘internationals’ have been seriously hurt, or, like Corrie, killed, sacrifices on the altar of anti-Israel propaganda.

How does it happen that young people are prepared to risk everything for a cause which, by any logic, is not theirs; and which, as causes go, is not especially pressing (the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza or Judea/Samaria are better off in every way than Palestinians in Lebanon, Copts in Egypt, Sunnis in Syria, etc.)?

The answer is that there are well-tuned systems set up on many of our campuses which recruit, process and send students off in service of the Palestinian Cause. These machines have a permanent nucleus of a few dedicated faculty members, which is orbited closely by student organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Student Association, Jewish Voice for Peace, and more.

There are also peripheral groups that support the projects of the central players, usually because of a perception of shared ‘colonial oppression’ — this sometimes includes LGBT groups, immigrants’ rights organizations, etc.

Students drawn into these psycho-political cyclotrons are insulated from all other voices, and what begins as a concern for human rights is amplified by contact with more and more extreme expressions of anti-Israel ideology until they fly off, completely one-dimensional, often white-hot with hatred for the Jewish ‘colonialists’, prepared to cooperate if need be with murderous terrorists because of their perception of the overwhelming justice and need of their Cause.

The Evergreen State College [TESC] of Olympia, Washington, where Rachel Corrie was recruited, has provided a disproportionate number of ISM volunteers. As I wrote before, faculty members Steve Niva and (former faculty) Simona Sharoni were mentioned several times in Corrie’s diaries as important influences on her decision to go to Gaza.

If we look at the overall environment of Evergreen, perhaps we can understand the way today’s Corries are submerged in the Palestinian narrative and Israel-hating ideology. A student group called “TESC Divest!” — which, for some reason does not appear in the list of official student organizations on TESC’s website — is the center of several boycott-divestment-sanctions [BDS] projects, as well as various “informational” activities and events.

TESC Divest! probably represents the majority of the students and faculty at Evergreen. For example, in 2010, Evergreen students voted to pass two BDS resolutions with huge majorities, both over 70%. And here is a list of faculty and staff that endorsed them:

Anne Fischel, Ph.D, Communication Anita Lenges, Ph.D, Curriculum and Instruction Bob Woods, M.F.A. Sculpture Carolyn Prouty, D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine Davi Zielinski Koska, Evergreen Staff, Community Activist E.J. Zita, Ph.D., Physics Elizabeth Williamson, Ph.D., English Literature Erik Thuesen, Ph.D., Biological Sciences Gillies Malnarich, Co-Director of the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education Jean Eberhardt, Evergreen Staff — [advisor mentioned in Rachel Corrie Diaries -- ed.] Jon Davies, Ed.D Jose Gomez, J.D. from Harvard Law School Judith Gabriele Larry Mosqueda, Ph.D., Political Science, Laurie Meeker, M.F.A., Film Production Lin Nelson, Ph.D., Spanish Liza Rognas, M.A., Information Resources and Library Science, Lori Blewett, Ph.D., Speech Communication Marianne Hoepli Michael Vavrus, Ph.D., Instructional Development and Technology Paul McMillin, M.L.I.S., Library and Information Science Peter Bohmer, Ph.D., Economics Ruth Hayes, M.F.A., Experimental Animation Sarah Ryan, M.A., Labor and Industrial Relations Savvina Chowdhury, Ph.D., Economics Susan Preciso, M.A., English Ted Whitesell, Ph.D., Geography Therese Saliba, Ph.D., English; Fulbright Scholar, 1995 Tony Zaragoza, Doctoral Studies, American Studies Zahid Shariff, Doctor of Public Administration Zoltan Grossman, Ph.D., Geography And here are student organizations that also endorsed the resolutions:

Student of Color Union (SOC-U) — [because we are all colonized -- ed.] Black Student Union (BSU) — [because Palestinians aren't racists -- ed.] Native Student Alliance (NSA) Women of Color Coalition (WOCC) Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) Synergy Evergreen Bike Shop — [because Palestinians are green -- ed.] Counter Point Journal (CxPJ) Mideast Solidarity Project (MSP) Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO) Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) Developing Ecological Agriculture Practices (DEAP) Women’s Resource Center (WRC) — [because Palestinians are feminists -- ed.] Evergreen Queer Alliance (EQA) — [because Palestinians are LGBT-friendly -- ed.] Hip Hop Congress Evergreen State College is a total immersion experience — immersion in anti-Israel propaganda.

Rachel Corrie and Evergreen State

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

I recently wrote about the tragedy of Rachel Corrie (it’s always tragic when a young person dies, more so when she dies for a mistaken cause, and even more when she is cynically brainwashed by a group like ISM which is directly connected to terrorist groups).

Rachel was a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, when she proposed an independent study project for her senior year to establish a sister-city relationship between Olympia and Rafah, a town that lies directly on the border between the Gaza strip and Egypt, a nexus of conflict between the IDF and terrorists smuggling weapons into Gaza.

Evergreen is a paradigm of the progressive cause-based model of education, where you can get what author Howard Jacobson (The Finkler Question) called a “modular degree.” For example, the home page for the “Gender and Sexuality: History, Culture and Politics” program includes this bemusing note:

Enrollment is open to any Evergreen student with sophomore through senior standing. It is likely that many students will have a sexual or gender identity, but this is not a prerequisite for enrollment. If you have such an identity, switching it out at any time is also perfectly fine.

Hmmm… everyone that I know has a “sexual of gender identity,” although they don’t “switch it out” too often (not that there would be anything wrong with that).

Among the many courses in gender and ethnic studies, activism, etc., I did not find anything like a course in Western Civilization. The closest to one in American History was “The Formation of the North American State,” described thus:

This program will examine the movement of the North American colonies in their separation from Britain to the emergence of the United States through the election of 1800. It will investigate the conflict; the social, racial and class divisions; and the distinctly different visions of the proper social, economic and political system that should predominate in the new nation. Much conflict surrounded the separation of the settler colonies from Britain, including a transatlantic revolutionary movement, development of slave-based plantations and the birth of capitalism. Capitalism was not a foregone conclusion….

I just bet it wasn’t.

Rachel didn’t get her sister-city project off the ground, although it is presently being pursued in her name. What she did do on arrival was join up with several ISM activists (Olympia and Evergreen have provided a disproportionate number of members to the ISM) for a training session, then traveled to Gaza, where she did her (unfortunately effective) best to throw herself against the machine of Occupation.

Shockingly, Evergreen State College is proud of her, and offers an annual scholarship in her name:

Rachel Corrie, a lifelong Olympia resident, Evergreen student and community activist was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza, on March 16, 2003, while defending the home of a Palestinian family against unlawful demolition.

This [$2,000] scholarship is for students dedicated to gaining a better understanding of the Middle East and to working locally or internationally to further Middle East peace. Applicants must show how they will use their studies to promote human rights and social justice through community activism and/or political advocacy.

Areas of interest related to the Middle East may include: Arab culture and Arabic language, U.S. Policy in the Middle East, and peace, justice and conflict resolution studies.

There has been some speculation about the faculty members who encouraged her and perhaps approved her “independent study.” Simona Sharoni, who called Rachel her “beloved student and friend,” and Steve Niva, who “met with Rachel Corrie before she left for Gaza,” appear to have been among them.

Sharoni is aggressively anti-Zionist. Now department chair of Gender and Women’s Studies at SUNY Plattsburgh, she coined the term “compassionate resistance” as she

struggled to reconcile my grief, frustration and anger with the empathy, love and compassion I felt for people who put their bodies on the line to resist oppression.

I could find no expression of empathy, love or compassion in her writing for the Jewish victims of Palestinian terror, except insofar as she sees them as misguided. Indeed, she criticizes left-wing Israelis who are involved in dialogue with Palestinians because they don’t sufficiently understand that the needs of the occupied Palestinians take priority over those of the Jewish occupiers, even leftist anti-occupation types.

So How Exactly did Rachel Corrie Die?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

So what actually happened the day Rachel Corrie died? Here’s the judge’s determination of the facts:

e. I hereby determine that, on the day of the incident, the two bulldozers and the armored personnel carrier were occupied with the clear military operational task of clearing the land in a dangerous area which posed a significant risk. The force’s action was designed to prevent acts of terror and hostility, i.e. to eliminate the danger of terrorists hiding between the creases of land and in the brush, and to expose explosive devices hidden therein, both of which were intended to kill IDF soldiers. During each act of exposure, the lives of the IDF fighters were at risk from Palestinians terrorists. As aforementioned, less than an hour before the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit, a live hand-grenade was thrown at the IDF force.

….

f. On March 16, 2003, the decedent and her fellow ISM activists arrived at the location where the IDF force was working to clear the land. They did so, they claim, in order to prevent the IDF force from demolishing Palestinian houses. They did so illegally and in contradiction of the military directive declaring the area a “closed military area”. They held signs, stood in front of the bulldozers and did not allow them to carry out their mission. The IDF soldiers informed the activists that they had to distance themselves from the area, threw stun grenades towards them, fired warning shots towards them and used methods to disperse demonstrations. All without avail.

The IDF force was very careful not to harm the Organization’s activists. Because of the activists’ interference, the force repeatedly relocated to continue carrying out their mission.

g. Based on the evidence presented to me, including the testimony of the expert for the prosecution, Mr. Osben, I hereby determine that at approximately 17:00, the decedent stood roughly 15 to 20 meters from the relevant bulldozer and knelt down. The bulldozer to which I refer was a large, clumsy and shielded vehicle of the DR9 model. The field of view the bulldozer’s operator had inside the bulldozer was limited. At a certain point, the bulldozer turned and moved toward the decedent. The bulldozer pushed a tall pile of dirt. With regard to the field of view that the bulldozer’s operator had, the decedent was in the “blind spot”. The decedent was behind the bulldozer’s blade and behind a pile of dirt and therefore the bulldozer’s operator could not have seen her.

The bulldozer moved very slowly, at a speed of one kilometer per hour.

When the decedent saw the pile of dirt moving towards her, she did not move, as any reasonable person would have. She began to climb the pile of dirt. Therefore, both because the pile of dirt continued to move as a result of the pushing of the bulldozer, and because the dirt was loose, the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt and fell.

At this stage, the decedent’s legs were buried in the pile of dirt, and when her colleagues saw from where they stood that the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt, they ran towards the bulldozer and gestured towards its operator and yelled at him to stop. By the time the bulldozer’s operator and his commander noticed the decedent’s colleagues and stopped the bulldozer, a significant portion of the decedent’s body was already covered in dirt.

The decedent’s entire body was not covered in dirt. In fact, when the bulldozer backed up, the decedent’s body was seen to free itself from the pile of dirt and the decedent was still alive.

The decedent was evacuated to the hospital and after 20 minutes, her death was declared.

I hereby determine unequivocally that there is no foundation to the plaintiffs’ claim that the bulldozer struck the decedent intentionally. This was a very unfortunate accident and was not intentional. No one wished to harm the decedent. I was convinced that the bulldozer’s operator would not have continued to work if he had seen the decedent standing in front of the bulldozer, as he and his colleagues acted in similar circumstances earlier that day, when they moved from location to location because of the disturbances caused by the members of the Organization.

h. Because I find, as aforementioned, that the decedent was accidentally killed in the framework of a “war-related activity” as defined in The Civil Wrongs Ordinance, and in light of the instructions laid out in Article 5 of the aforementioned ordinance, the State bears no responsibility for the damages inflicted on the plaintiffs resulting from a war-related action.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/so-how-exactly-did-rachel-corrie-die/2012/08/29/

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