"It's possible they [the protesters] were not as disciplined as we would have liked," Thom Saffold, a founder and organizer of the International Solidarity Movement, said in a telephone interview from the group's base in Ann Arbor, Mich. "But we're like a peace army. Generals send young men and women off to operations, and some die." [emphasis added]
Washington Post, American Is Killed By Israeli Bulldozer, March 17, 2003
For two hours we attempted at great risk to ourselves to obstruct and frustrate the bulldozers in their work.
Richard Purssell, ISM member
The problem is that the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) has a history of deliberately putting protesters in danger in Israel:
- On 2 April 2002, Australian Kate Edwards was shot and wounded in Beit Jala near Jerusalem from where Palestinians were firing on the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo. She and other volunteers marched on Israeli lines to protect their Palestinian friends. The clearly logic-challenged. Edwards complained, "I never thought for a moment that they would fire live ammunition at us."
- In April 2002, Irish ISM member Caomhe Butterly served as a human shield in Yasir Arafat's compound in Ramallah during the intifada. Later, on November 22, 2002, she inserted herself as a human shield again and was wounded during an IDF operation in Jenin. One of her admirers described how Butterly"would walk up to a tank and place her hand over the muzzle." Butterly was an organizer and spokesperson aboard the 2010 Gaza flotilla.
- April 13, 2003, ISM member Thomas Hurndall was shot and killed when he challenged an Israeli tank force in Gaza.
- On April 24, 2010 Bianca Zammit, a Maltese national, joined a group of Palestinians who charged the security fence between Gaza and Israel. That area of the fence has often seen terrorist attacks. Zammit was shot through the thigh by a sniper, but was back to her comrades an hour later.
- On May 31, 2010, Emily Henochowicz, an American Jewish ISMer, lost her eye after she was hit by a tear gas grenade that ricocheted off a highway divider during a violent demonstration near Qalandia in the West Bank. She had been a regular at Palestinian demonstrations at Sheikh Jarrah, Bilin, Nilin and Nabi Saleh.
Thus ISM has been able to continue to put the lives of their members in jeopardy -- with impunity.
Here is the official Statement Regarding Civil Suit in the Matter of Rachel Corrie:
The death of Rachel Corrie is without a doubt a tragic accident. As the verdict states, the driver of the bulldozer and his commander had no possibility of seeing Ms. Corrie and thus are exonerated of any blame for negligence.Rachel Corrie's death was a tragedy -- and entirely avoidable.
(Communicated by the State Prosecutor's Office, Tel Aviv District)
On Tuesday the 28th of August 2012, the Haifa District Court reached a verdict in the suit submitted by the parents of Rachel Corrie against the Defense Ministry. In the verdict the honorable Judge, Oded Gershon, accepted all arguments presented by the State Prosecutor's Office (Tel Aviv District).
The death of Rachel Corrie is without a doubt a tragic accident. As the verdict states - the driver of the bulldozer and his commander had a very limited field of vision, such that they had no possibility of seeing Ms. Corrie and thus are exonerated of any blame for negligence.
This verdict is based on three different investigations that were presented to the court by The State Prosecutor's Office making it clear that the driver could not spot Ms. Corrie and thus could not have avoided this tragic accident. More so, an expert who testified on behalf of the Corrie family also noted that the driver could not and did not see Ms.Corrie due to the nature of the vehicle he was operating.
Furthermore, the action described in the suit was "a military action in the course of war" according to all criteria and that the state (therefore the Defense Ministry) is exempt from responsibility for it. The security forces at the Philadelphi Corridor during 2003 were compelled to carry out 'leveling' work against explosive devices that posed a tangible danger to life and limb and were not in any form posing a threat to Palestinian homes. The work was done while exercising maximum caution and prudence and without the ability to foresee harming anyone. [emphasis added]
Will the Corries take any recourse against the International Solidarity Movement that got Rachel Corrie killed -- and continues to put others in danger -- with impunity?
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