So the verdict from the Israeli court is back: it was an accident. This is, in a sense, not news. Nearly everyone was expecting such a verdict; those who think it was an accident expected the verdict to agree with them, those who think Israel deliberately ran over Corrie never expected an Israeli court to admit it. So, frankly, what's the news?
David Bernstein's take on the case and reporting is well worth a read:
I've come up with a pretty clear dividing line for sound coverage and poor coverage. Sound coverage at the very least mentions that Corrie was working for the International Solidarity Movement. Even if the story doesn’t give any further details, a bit of Googling would quickly reveal that the ISM is a far-leftist organization that supports Palestinian terrorism, has served as cover for terrorists, and encourages its participants to insert themselves as dangerous situations where they may suffer "martyrdom."It's a fair point. A Google image search for "rachel corrie flag burning" reveals several photos which indicate that Ms. Corrie was not totally separate from radical causes. If you want to argue that the bystanders reporting Israeli reckless negligence were neutral and trustworthy, this has to put a sheen of doubt on that argument.
The Grauniad editorial writers are in no doubt where the blame lies:
Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall, Brian Avery, Caoimhe Butterly – all killed or severely injured while bearing witness to what happens to civilians in Israel's combat zones – leave a stain no court can erase.It falls to me to note those words: "combat zones". If civilians go into combat zones, for reasons worthy or otherwise, they are taking their lives into their own hands. There is very limited scope for blame when one of them gets killed. Even soldiers are routinely killed by their own colleagues and equipment during peacetime. Why should civilians expect themselves to be any safer? If you wouldn't stand in front of a bulldozer on a building site in Slough, why think that it would be any safer in Gaza in a "closed military zone"?