I submitted an article about the Israeli court decision against the Corrie family regarding her 2003 death, to Truthout a few weeks ago. It’s just now been published and I hope you’ll visit and read it. I dissected the claims of the State against Corrie and used the defense’s words from the court records to impeach it. One of the most astonishing things said there, is that Corrie wanted to be a martyr for the Palestinian cause: in effect, that she committed suicide by stepping in front of that Caterpillar D9 tractor. The only suitable response is rage: rage against the injustice of it all, rage against Israel’s unmitigated chutzpah.
Excellent piece, Richard. The only thing I would add is that in the instance of Tom Hurndall’s death, it took his family a year of pressure and threat of legal action against the British government to compel them to demand an Israeli investigation into his death. Without his family pushing it all the way, Tom’s death would have also been attributed to his own foolishness for having given his life to save two children from harm.
Here is another angle to it all: over decades of heated demonstrations in quite violent general circumstances there are only one or two fatalities and this are too under dispute whether they are accidental or not. Doesn`t that piece of data by itself tells you how on one hand tremendously careful Israel is with human lives and on the other hand how wildly disproportionate is the obsession with Israel?
You’re serious, aren’t you? Are you referring to white western activists, or to Palestinians who have been murdered while participating in nonviolent protests?
Human Rights Watch: “Serious human rights violations continued in 2011 in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Israeli soldiers used unnecessary lethal force against demonstrators in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and across the border in Lebanon. Israeli military attacks in Gaza and policing operations in the West Bank resulted in the deaths of at least 37 civilians.”
And: “Israeli forces in the West Bank killed at least five Palestinian civilians as of October. After the end of an arrest operation, soldiers fatally shot two men while they were standing with a group of demonstrators who were throwing stones, B’Tselem reported. In another case, a soldier shot and killed an unarmed resident of Qusra who was protesting against settler incursions on village lands. Soldiers shot and killed an unarmed 66-year-old man in his bed after mistakenly entering his home in search of a suspected Hamas member, according to Palestinian rights groups and international media reports.”
The link: http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-israeloccupied-palestinian-territories
More on how ” tremendously careful Israel is with human lives” here:
Tibor, you are seriously trying my patience.
Richard Silverstein says
Ludicrous. There have been a number of foreign activists killed & far more severely maimed Keith lost eyes, brain damage, etc. Even more Palestinian activists Jane Bern murdered & maimed. Did you not read that under Zuaretz’s command 100 civilians were killed? That’s record you’re proud of?
The Israeli army has taken to shooting at peaceful demonstrators with teargas canisters and live ammunition. Remember Tristan Anderson, who was shot in the head with a canister and is permanently in a vegetative state. Tom Hurndall was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper. A young woman lost an eye. There is quite a list of westerners, and the list of Palestinians is staggering and includes children and old people.
[comment deleted for comment rule violations–read the comment rules before publishing here again]
Cobalt Shiva says
Did anyone notice why the Israelis were destroying that house in the first place? Or is that inconvenient for the narrative?
Richard Silverstein says
You didn’t even read my piece at Truthout. I have no respect for anyone who posts a comment & reveals they’re too lazy, ignorant or prejudiced to actually read the piece to which the post is linked. Don’t post another comment at this blog till you read that article & I mean it.
I admit my ignorance but I have no idea what you refer to in “under Xusretz`s command 100 civilians were killed”
Richard Silverstein says
So sorry about the error. I typed “Zuaretz” into my iPad & autocorrect “corrected” it into gibberish.
Fred Plester says
If you described the incident to any US politician or official, and substituted “Irish” for Palestinian, “British” for Israeli, and “South Amargh” for the location, they’d tell you it was deliberate murder.
Perhaps an American reader could try this, in NY or Mass. and see.
I still insist on the argument. In your own article you say that 11 activists were killed in the last 12 years or so. That`s one fatality per year. Every person`s life is important but numbers still count in this regard and I still cannot see how in the heated and violent circumstances it all took place – the many incidents and the many people on both sides involved – the figure would have not been meaningfully higher if Israel had not taken the maximal measures to avoid them
Obviously you didn’t read my comment, or you are saying that Palestinian activists don’t count. As we know, they are shot, teargassed, run over, etc., on a daily basis, or is that too inconvenient to talk about here?
I would like to know how a demonstrator got shot in the hand if the IOF was firing “warning shots in the air.” And if they’re so cautious, is it appropriate to use live ammo at nonviolent protests? What’s wrong with you people, firing live ammo around unarmed civilians????
Another weekly demonstration attended regularly by internationals in Bilin has been regularly attacked with live ammunition as early as 2006: http://www.haaretz.com/news/activists-security-forces-fired-live-ammo-at-anti-fence-protest-1.204280
How on earth can anyone say with a straight face, with this kind of behavior being engaged in by Israeli military, that Rachel Corrie caused her own death?
Every person counts but the topic here, as the title clearly reveals, is the case of Rachel Corrie and by implication others in her category. I quoted the 11 fatalities figure from the associated article by Richard (cited above) and used as a reference. I am not as strict as the host of this blog about the off-topic notion (Lenin famously commented that “everything is linked to everything”) so you are free to extend the scope to Palestinians casualties. Except that then you cannot do it one-way only and conveniently ignore terror activities from that side in the last decades – just the unimaginably horrific “suicide bombing” form of it with its totally indiscriminate nature has taken the lives of (and maimed even much more) very many Israeli civilians.
You are one of the most disingenuous hasbarists I’ve run into in ages, Tibor. I’m pulling the plug on you right now. You CANNOT tell me, or Richard or anyone else, that Palestinians who participate in nonviolent protests against the theft of their land are the same people who engage in terrorist activities. (And since there hasn’t been a suicide bombing in more than a decade, kindly shut up about suicide bombers, it’s the hoariest old wheeze of hasbara you can cough up.) To put Palestinian demonstrators into the same category as terrorists, in fact, is a sleazy, cynical and utterly outrageous hasbara stunt that reveals you to be utterly without credibility. I have the perfect epithet for you, Tibor, but if I use it Richard will ban me; instead, I will simply say that you really make me sick.
Of course I got your point, Tibor, that Palestinian lives are not worth being protected. The Palestinians, of course, are aware of this.
Jay Green says
“there hasn’t been a suicide bombing in more than a decade”
The last suicide bombing took place on April 19’th, 2008. Other than that, terror attacks against Israelis do occur fairly regularly.
My mistake, although the 2008 bombing was the first in ten years. It is misleading to imply that Israelis are under constant threat of terrorist attacks from Palestinians. “Terror attacks” do not occur fairly regularly, otherwise you would have absolutely no tourist industry, not to mention the number of Jews making aliyah would drop to nothing.
The point is, you are claiming that unarmed nonviolent Palestinian protesters are terrorists and should not be given the same safety considerations as internationals (not that Israel does this anyway). I would say you apparent disgust at my comment is the equivalent of crocodile tears, something Israeli zionists are very good at. Sorry, but you’re just not going to convince me that those scary ol’ Palestinians are all closet terrorists and that all of Israel is under constant threat of being blown to smithereens. On the other hand, the people of Gaza live under such a threat every day.
Mary, saying non-violent demonstrating over and over won’t change the fact that stonethrowing is considered violence here, and I suspect, also in most democracies.
These demonstrations are not MLK type demonstrations but can and do cause bodily damage to the security forces, and hence the violent (and often excessive) force in response.
Were the Palestinians to openly reject armed resistance and stonethrowing and move to MLK or Gandi type demos we might be in a far better position for understanding.
Were I to be a Palestinian I wouldn’t be a terrorist or use violence, (like Ehud Barak claimed he would), but would non-violently demonstrate for “one man one vote” as the solution to the conflict (2SS died ages ago)
How many Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian stones? And shooting live rounds of ammunition is a proper response?
I should remind you that under international law, the Palestinians are permitted to engage in armed resistance to occupation. Stones, in the world of weaponry, are pretty far down the armament food chain; shooting people with live bullets in response is outrageously disproportionate.
And obviously, stone throwing is not terrorism.
Two members of the Abu Rahama family were murdered by tear gas, one by being shot in the chest with a tear gas canister (an IOF soldier was caught on video tape aiming and firing it directly at him), and another by asphyxiation/poisoning. Neither of them ever threw a stone, were leaders of the weekly demonstration at Bilin, and would not permit any participants to engage in stone throwing.
Jay Green says
“My mistake, although the 2008 bombing was the first in ten years.”
Not sure that’s correct:
Dimona bombing – February 4, 2008
Eilat Bakery Bombing – January 29, 2007
Tel-Aviv bombing – April 17, 2006.
The list goes on. Not to mention the second intifidah, which saw dozens of suicide bombings a year.
“Terror attacks” do not occur fairly regularly”
Depends on your definition. While the the number of terror attacks has substantially decreased, thanks to the efforts of the Palestinian Authority to curb violence, and effective intelligence. On the flip side, rocket attacks against Israeli towns are fairly common, occurring once every two weeks or so. Once in a while, there’s a shooting or a stabbing. In any event, terror attacks are definitely not a rare occurrence.
“The point is, you are claiming that unarmed nonviolent Palestinian protesters are terrorists”
I do not claim that. nonviolent protesters are not terrorists.
“something Israeli zionists are very good at”
That’s a pretty crude generalization, don’t you think?
“but you’re just not going to convince me that those scary ol’ Palestinians are all closet terrorists and that all of Israel”
A minority of Palestinians are terrorists, I never suggested otherwise.
Bob Mann says
What a disgusting post. Particularly: “And since there hasn’t been a suicide bombing in more than a decade, kindly shut up about suicide bombers, it’s the hoariest old wheeze of hasbara you can cough up” which is not only sickening in its insensitivity but also factually incorrect.
2005: The Karni border crossing attack was a suicide bombing which occurred on January 13, 2005 at the pedestrian/cargo terminal Karni Crossing located on the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier. Six Israeli civilians were killed in the attack and five Israelis were injured in the attack.
2005: The Stage Club bombing was a terrorist attack which occurred on February 25, 2005 in which a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up outside the “Stage” beachfront nightclub in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 5 Israelis and injuring 50.
2005: The second HaSharon Mall entrance suicide bombing was a suicide bombing which occurred on July 12, 2005 in the HaSharon Mall in Netanya. 4 people were killed in the attack.
2005: The Hadera Market bombing was a suicide bombing which occurred on October 26, 2005 at the entrance to the main fruit and vegetable open-air market in Hadera. The site of the attack was chosen in order to cause maximum number of casualties. Seven people were killed in the attack.
2006: The 2006 Tel Aviv shawarma restaurant bombing was a suicide bombing on April 17, 2006 at “Rosh Ha’ir” shawarma restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel. Eleven people were killed in the attack and 70 were injured. The Palestinian Islamist militant organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
2007: The Eilat bakery bombing occurred on 29 January 2007 when a Palestinian suicide bomber from the Gaza Strip infiltrated the northern suburbs of Eilat, Israel. Upon seeing the police approaching, he entered a neighbourhood bakery and detonated his bomb, killing three people: the bakery’s co-owners and an employee.
2008: Three Palestinian suicide bombers broke through the border fence to attack the Kerem Shalom IDF post, blowing themselves up and wounding several Israeli soldiers. Hamas claimed responsibility.
Kindly post your sources, including any information as to the persons or organizations responsible for the bombings. Then I will post you a link listing the names of Palestinians, including children, shot to death or killed in air strikes by the IOF.
Sure you’re offended, but just imagine being a Palestinian and losing several members of your family to Israeli terrorism. The Abu Rahma family of Bilin is one such family. There are so many victims that they literally number in the thousands. Yet the only dead activists who seem to register on your radar are white, non-Arab internationals. All the others are no better than dogs. I think it was Menachem Begin who described Palestinians as ‘cockroaches in a bottle.’
Mary, I see in your answers a distinct incapability of seeing the two sides of a coin. Isn`t Rachel Correy`s case also almost a full decade old? Yet, you would have no problem dwelling on it forever while the infinitely more terrifying suicide-bombing phenomena, in your view, need to be brushed aside and forgotten. You must understand that it left huge scars in Israel and actions by it vis-à-vis Palestinians in the ensuing period were very much influenced by that.
The good news though is that war-fatigue seems to prevail now and with some luck (esp. that economic difficulties do not spoil things) these dark chapters can be indeed put behind.
Bob Mann says
Thanks so much for your friendly and courteous response. I genuinely appreciate that.
The information I posted was pulled from this Wikipedia page:
In most cases, the page also includes any claims of responsibility for the attacks listed.
I am confident that you could easily provide a link to a list of Palestinians, including children, who have been killed by Israeli forces. Those deaths (especially the youngest ones) are horrific and condemnable.
However, I was simply taking issue with your claim that there had been no Palestinian suicide bombings in over a decade. The information provided was meant to be evidence against your statement which I believe to be false. Are you prepared to admit that you made a mistake in that regard?
I do also agree with your remark about “white non Arab-internationals” getting much more attention than the numerous Palestinians who have died over the years. I certainly do not put the former group any more prominently on my radar than the latter. In fact, I think it’s somewhat insulting that so many others do, including with respect to Rachel Corrie. I don’t think the death of a white, young, American female ought to receive the outsized attention compared to the many seemingly anonymous Palestinians who have not had tributes and plays written about them and the like.
Also, I believe the quote you are thinking of is from former Israeli Army chief of staff, Rafael Eitan who forty years ago disgustingly used the phrase “drugged cockroaches in a bottle” with respect to Palestinians.
In any case, I would hope that you would be willing to amend your earlier comments with respect to Palestinian suicide bombings against Israel having considered the information presented to the contrary.
Deïr Yassin says
The “drugged cockroaches in a bottle” was by Rafael ‘Raful’ Eitan, another Sabra and Shatila-responsible according to the Kahane Commission. Contrary to Sharon he was allowed to retire quietly. He later drowned in the port of Asdod, swept away by a wave. ‘The ways of the Lord’….
Cockroaches in a bottle was Rafael Eitan’s unfortunate expression.
Begin, whilst being a former terrorist and later statesman was a gentleman and would never use vulgarities. He would never see Arabs as inferior but as the enemy to be fought against.
Richard Silverstein says
This is an inappropriate comment. You only had to note that there were suicide attacks without cutting & pasting propaganda from whatever pro Israel source you used. I hate litanies of crimes like this. Each side has their lists of martyrs. What you”ve done is akin to victim pornography.
Bob Mann says
Victim pornography? Lists of martyrs? No names of any individuals killed were mentioned.
Propaganda from a pro Israel source? It’s just a list from Wikipedia identifying dates, locations, and brief summaries of the incidents.
You sometimes chide people for making claims without backing them up, so I just wanted to make sure to include some basic info from a relatively neutral site in making my assertion.
I’m not understanding your reaction here.
Jay Green says
“Each side has their lists of martyrs.”
Very few Israelis regard their dead as martyrs. We don’t believe in the notion of martyrdom, most of think of death and killing as tragic, senseless and avoidable.
Not to stray too far out of the pasture again, but most of us Muslims do not consider suicide bombers to be martyrs; in fact, suicide is a one way ticket to the hellfire according to Islam.
In Islam, a martyr is someone who has died for the cause of Islam, for the sake of justice, in the act of saving another life, a civilian killed in war, or a soldier fighting for a just cause. A woman who dies in childbirth is also considered a martyr. There are others.
Once again, I apologize. I was not given correct information on the issue of suicide bombing, and googling got me nowhere. Listing who died isn’t relevant as we cannot justifiably discuss suicide bombings and peaceful demonstrations against occupation in the same breath, but as we can see, it is easy to fall into. I merely resented the fact that as a knee-jerk reaction to my point about the dearth of Palestinian activist deaths being acknowledged and memorialized by anyone, someone saw fit to bring up Palestinian terrorism as a justification for the lack of caution used by the IOF and, by extension, its use of deadly force against unarmed protesters.
The Wikipedia entry is very helpful, and please accept my mea culpa for making an assertion without correct information to back it up. I try not to make a habit of it.
What I am trying to say is that there seems to be two different prisms through which nonviolent protesters are viewed; that is the attitude I am sensing here. I’ve long said that it is a form of racism, even in the Palestine activism world, which reveals itself when international activists such as Rachel Corrie and Tristan Anderson are given extensive focus, but Palestinians who give their lives in peaceful protest are not.
Human life is human life, and Israel definitely places less value on the lives of Palestinian activists; perhaps this is so because of that automatic association of Palestinians to terrorism, which is unfair and wrong. Unarmed protest is not terrorism; shooting at anyone participating in unarmed protests with live ammunition is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, but of course Israel doesn’t bother itself with such trivia.
Bob Mann says
I appreciate the mea culpa here – it’s often hard to keep track of everything that’s going on.
With respect to your other comments, I mainly agree with everything that you’ve written in these paragraphs.
Let’s hope that there will come a time in the not-so-distant future when peace will prevail.
Richard, shouldn’t this comment from watcher be moderated? I looks to be pure anti-semitism in a disguise of only disliking “Talmudic Jews” (whatever they are).
And scumbag? Crap? Is this where you want your blog to go?
Richard Silverstein says
All you had to do is note the comment without the finger-wagging in the 2nd paragraph. I agree with you though that the comment went WAY beyond the pale & deleted it.