By NBC News staff and wire reports
HAIFA, Israel — An Israeli court rejected on Tuesday accusations that Israel was at fault over the death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a 2003 pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza.
Corrie’s family had accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter, launching a civil case in the northern Israeli city of Haifa after a military investigation had cleared the army of wrongdoing.
In a ruling read out to the court, judge Oded Gershon called Corrie’s death a “regrettable accident,” but said the state was not responsible because the incident had occurred during what he termed a war-time situation.
At the time of her death, during a Palestinian uprising, Corrie was protesting against Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
“I reject the suit,” the judge said. “There is no justification to demand the state pay any damages.”
He added that the soldiers had done their utmost to keep people away from the site. “She (Corrie) did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done.“
Emphasis mine; more at the link.
If you are stupid enough to stand in front of a moving bulldozer, and ‘dozers don’t move that fast, you deserve whatever happens to you.
Corrie’s mother Cindy told a news conference after the court’s decision that the bulldozer personnel had the “ability” and also an “obligation” to have seen that her daughter was in its path.
As it happens, I am a heavy equipment operator, and I can tell you that the operator cannot see through a steel bucket or blade. The operator knows what he is doing through seeing material move past the edge of the blade, by feel (the resistance of the material to the advance of the machine), and by experience.
The operator also “knows” what he is doing through assumptions; we assume that no one is stupid enough to stand in front of the blade. This is Jack, one of the backyard bunnies. If I walk toward Jack, he sees me as a menace to his health and life, and he hops away. Heavy equipment operators assume that people are more intelligent than rabbits, and will hop out of the way of approaching heavy equipment; apparently Jack is smarter than the late Miss Corrie was, because Jack would never have simply stood in front of a moving ‘dozer!
The Israeli court was absolutely right to dismiss the lawsuit. If Cindy Corrie wants to blame somebody for her daughter’s death, she should look in the mirror and ask herself how she managed to rear a daughter dumb enough to stand in front of a moving bulldozer.