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Monday, March 08, 2010

The truth about Rachel Corrie

The picture at the top of this post is one that was widely distributed around the world and is used to back the claim that the bulldozer driver who accidentally ran over Rachel Corrie must have seen her. Indeed, in the picture at the top of this post, the driver must have seen Corrie quite clearly. There's only one problem: The picture was taken five hours before Corrie was killed. David Bedein explains.
Immediately after the accident, our news agency asked to peak with the spokesman of International Solidarity Movement Mike Shaik, who referred us to Lynn Clausen, a 24-year old resident of Washington from the Christians Peacemakers Team based in Hebron, which trains the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteers.

Shaik and Clausen then sent our agency to speak with Corrie’s friends who were with her at the time she was crushed.

Corrie’s friend Joe Smith described how Corrie sat on a mound of dirt facing the IDF bulldozer making its way to the house it was about to demolish. “Rachel had two options”, Smith said. “When the bulldozer started to dig in the dirt pile, the pile started to move, and she could have rolled sideways quickly or fallen backwards to avoid being hit. But Rachel leaned forward to climb to the top of the dirt pile. The bulldozer’s digging drew her downward, and its driver could not see her anymore. So without lifting the scoop, he turned backward and she was already underneath the blade”

Smith’s description is very important, since the picture published by Reuters shows Corrie standing to the left of the bulldozer, in a location where the driver can see her very clearly, as she holds a megaphone in her hand. Beneath the picture’s caption was written: “Photographed before Rachel Corrie was run over by an IDF bulldozer.”

Everyone who looked at the picture and the text understood that the driver, who saw the American civilian standing in front of him, just continued crushing Corrie to death. But Joe Smith said that the picture was taken hours before she was run over, which happened at 5:00 p.m., and not a few minutes beforehand. Smith emphasized that at the time of the incident and during it, there were no photographers in the area.
Read the whole thing.

Testimony is to be heard this week from people who were present when Corrie died. I wonder how much their stories have changed in the last seven years. I discussed the Corrie case at great length in a post two years ago. Unfortunately, the video that I used at the time is no longer available.


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