Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Rachel Corrie & The Bulldozer: The Photo That Falsely Fuels A Blood Libel

Shraga Simmons, an ordained rabbi who founded HonestReporting.com, is one of the foremost experts on media bias against Israel.  Of Simmons's book David and Goliath, published earlier this year, another expert, Professor Richard Landes of Boston (who incidentally coined the term "Pallywood") has written:
"Simmons has produced an invaluable book on one of the most serious problems of the 21st century, the almost perverse and pervasively wrong-headed way that our western mainstream news media (MSNM) report the Arab-Israeli conflict. Not only are the problems he so thoroughly details critical as a problem of both epistemology and journalistic ethics, but the implications for the well-being of the civic polities which create and depend on a free press are dire... This book should be required reading in Journalism 101. Alas, I'm not holding my breath."

In the wake of an Israeli court's verdict in the Rachel Corrie case, Simmons tells afresh why this photo, still being widely used in press reports (I saw it used last evening on CNN, for example, when Mark Regev was being grilled) gives the misleading impression that the bulldozer's driver had Ms Corrie in plain view when she was killed.  As Shraga Simmons explains, the photo was taken hours before the tragedy, and when the latter occurred Ms Corrie was hidden.  He also shows, as evidenced in another photo, that a different bulldozer was involved.

Incidentally, during the interview with CNN Mark Regev said that contrary to press reports Ms Corrie was not obstructing a house demolition but the clearance of shrubs and small trees used as "sniper positions".  He also pointed to the extremist nature of the International Solidarity Movement (remember this exposé?) to which she was affiliated, reminding his interviewer that the ISM believes Israel has no right to exist.

20 comments:

  1. The BBC showed both photographs as well. I'm not even sure that they realised the differences. You see what you want to see.

    And as for Jeremy Bowen, probably the less said the better. That man should come with a health warning. He is bad for your blood pressure, your stomach, your temper, your mental state....aagh!

    I feel sorry for the Corrie family whose grief has been cynically exploited by evil people.

    If I didn't have faith, I would despair.

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    1. hanks, Ian. I only caught part of the 10pm BBC News and saw only part of their report, but I did see Jeremy Bowen (unfortunately).

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  2. sorry - the T fell off the Thanks!

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  3. I don't remember the Fogel family getting much sympathy from the BBC.

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    1. Hi Steve. No, and of course Louise Mensch (Bagshawe as she then was) MP protested their non-coverage. Shame she's quitting Parliament.

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    2. That girl's got more cojones than most of the men in parliament. She will be missed.

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  4. The BBC is using a demonstrably fake photograph on their website Rachel Corrie: Court rules Israel not at fault for death A labelled version showing the Photoshopping is now up at Rachel Corrie resources on Five Minutes for Israel

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    1. I've just this second been looking at Al Beeb's website - had to leave because I felt apoplexy coming on.

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    2. CIF Watch has a bit more on Fauxtography
      http://cifwatch.com/2012/08/28/international-solidarity-movements-fauxtographic-record-of-rachel-corries-death/

      The Age printed the two pix of bulldozers side by side, there are a lot of differences. I doubt most Age readers would notice.
      http://www.theage.com.au/world/the-mother-who-never-gave-up-20120827-24wf0.html

      Elder is looking into whether ISM trips to Gaza would get you college credit!

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  5. Unsurprisingly, the US had never pushed the case for trying the KNOWN murderers of Americans in Israel when the murderers were Arabs. For example, Koby's law has languished for years. Klinghoffer has no justice. And the more than 50 Americans killed in the al Aqsa war, well they're not even mentioned.

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  6. And then there are these "forgotten Rachels" (a term coined by Tom Gross http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/TheForgottenRachels.html ) who died cruel deaths:

    http://muqata.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/the-forgotten-rachels.html

    http://www.weizmann.ac.il/home/comartin/israel/unsung-hero.html

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  7. A sensible editorial in today's The Times(London:

    "There can be no worse fate for a parent than to suffer the premature and entirely unforeseeable death of a child. For it to be the result of an accident only compounds the tragedy. Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American, was killed in 2003 during the second intifada, while protesting in Gaza against the Israeli Defence Force’s demolition of Palestinian homes. In its verdict in a civil case brought by Corrie’s family, Haifa District Court ruled yesterday that the Israeli State did not bear responsibility for the death.

    That will be a hard decision for Corrie’s parents to bear. But the judgment accords with sense and compassion. Corrie lay in the path of a bulldozer whose cab was several feet off the ground. Though she was wearing a bright orange jacket, Corrie would still have been hard for the driver to spot. The probability of an horrific accident in those circumstances was high.

    It is to Israel’s credit that it has undertaken a military investigation and heard a civil case. Corrie’s family say they will appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court. If the Court confirms the verdict, it will not be for want of scrupulousness on the part of Israel’s legal system. It is possible to oppose the tactics of collective punishment of the relatives of terrorist suspects while still considering that the Corrie family have received justice.

    Israel has an obligation to protect civilian lives in a combat zone, but also to defend its own citizens. The International Solidarity Movement, which organised the protest in which Corrie died, does not declare solidarity with Israeli civilians at risk from suicide terrorism. Its main activity is to endanger its own volunteers. Tragically, Corrie was a victim of that insouciance."

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  8. Thanks to Shirlee for this link, which has a relevant chart of the driver's line of sight:
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/159367#replies

    "A Haifa court ruled Tuesday morning that Rachel Corrie caused her own death by intentionally remaining in front of an IDF bulldozer. Her lawyer said he will appeal the decision in the civil lawsuit.

    Judge Oded Gershon supported the IDF claim that the driver of the bulldozer could not see Corrie, who was protesting the 2003 demolitions of structure in Rafiah, Gaza.

    The court noted that the case of Corrie is sad but that the young woman, who was 23 years old, was fully aware that she was in danger and that she could have prevented her own death by moving out of the path of the bulldozer.

    Judge Gershon found the IDF free of blame and said it did not act recklessly.

    Corrie was protesting with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), whose members have often worked with Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to help them hide from Israeli security personnel...."

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    1. Here's the verdict in English
      http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=58048

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    2. Thanks, Ian - another comment of yours languishing in Spam!

      This is worth bearing in mind re the ISM:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/1451730/The-peace-group-that-embraces-violence.html

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  9. Here's a picture of a D9 bulldozer:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/US_Army_D9_bulldozer_Gail_Gray.jpg

    As you can see, a fully grown man is barely visible over the top of the huge blade while standing up.
    Gideon, USA.

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  10. In a Palestinian Authority television interview in July, the corrie's family arab lawyer Hussein revealed his attitude toward the Jewish state, saying that Israel's founding was worse than the founding of Nazi Germany because "Nazi Germany was a state based on the rule of law for a short while," whereas "the State of Israel was founded from the start on robbery and theft."

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