Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Max Blumenthal On Corrie Trial

The Rachel Corrie "trial" continues in Israel, and although the Huffington Post has given it a news headline in the past, this time they decided to send the most anti-Israel blogger they can find, Max Blumenthal, to cover the story. It's a downgrade, last time it was Amy Goodman.

His title, as you might expect, is inflammatory: "There Are No Civilians During Wartime." This is based on the testimony of an IDF colonel who ran bulldozer units at the time, though Mr. Blumenthal doesn't give him a last name. Even more interesting, Blumenthal doesn't provide any context for the statement. Makes one wonder why not, especially after Blumenthal wrote this:
"In the back of the courtroom were Rachel's parents, Craig and Cindy, and her sister, Sarah, back in Israel for the second round of hearings in their civil suit against the state of Israel. They were joined by supporters, friends and a handful of reporters, including me. No reporters from the Israeli media were present -- the case has been virtually ignored inside Israel."
Of course the case hasn't been ignored in Israel. JPost and Ha'aretz had stories about it last week. So am I going to believe Mr. Blumenthal is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Ha!

So I did a little background digging: The only other news organization that quoted "Yossi" was Al Jazeera, who referenced an "audible gasp" in the courtroom, a detail that was missing from Mr. Blumenthal's account. Even more informative is that "Yossi's" opinion proceeded to be twisted by the talkbackers (though not Mr. Blumenthal) into an "official" viewpoint of the Israeli government. It seems most likely that both Blumenthal and Al Jaz waited for a quote that they could use to slander Israel and jumped at the chance. It wouldn't be the first time.

As for the rest of the article, Mr. Blumenthal mostly complains about how the Corries are continuing to push despite the Israeli government not bending over backwards to help them. Of course the truth of the case has been out for quite a while, so Blumenthal wisely steers clear of talking about any facts, preferring to nitpick.

That's when he hits his second emotionally-charged distortion. Click below to read it.

"Among the most disturbing aspects of Corrie's case is the abuse of her body by Israeli authorities after she was killed."
Oh my! Corpse abuse! This is a part of the story that I haven't heard before. Please provide more detail:
 "Somehow Hewitt and his fellow activists from the International Solidarity Movement were able to get Rachel Corrie's body out of Gaza. But first Hewitt was ordered by Israeli troops to remove the body from the casket and carry it across a border checkpoint. Only Hewitt was allowed to escort Corrie's body in the ambulance; the rest of the activists who witnessed her death were forced to hitchhike home in the desert. Finally, Corrie's body was transported to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv where the notorious Dr. Yehuda Hiss autopsied her."
 What? That's it? A bunch of terrorist supporting ISMers were inconvenienced when they tried to enter Israel with Corrie's body? That's what you call "abuse?" Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Blumenthal is not done. Keep the "abuse" accusation in mind, because he changes topics here:
"An Israeli military police report stated that an American official did indeed witness the autopsy. However, when the Corries asked American diplomatic officials including former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzner if the report was true, they were informed that no American was present at all. The Israelis had lied to them, and apparently fixed their own report to deceive the American government."
 That's pretty serious as well, that "the Israelis" were lying to the Corries and deceiving America. Oh wait, let's take a look at the very next paragraph:
"On March 14, during the first round of hearings in the Corries' civil suit, Hiss admitted under oath that he had lied about the presence of an American official during the autopsy of Rachel Corrie."
 Oh, so it was really this one criminal doctor who had lied, and his lie passed up the chain of command? In fact in the link that he provided the testimony was that Hiss had violated an Israeli court order to have an American official there.  What was that about "the Israelis....deceiving the American government," Mr. Blumenthal? It sounds like he can't even keep track of what he is saying. So now we are going back to the "abuse" accusation so pay attention:
"He also conceded to taking "samples" from Corrie's body for "histological testing" without informing her family. Just which parts of Corrie's body Hiss took remains unclear; despite Hiss's claim that he "buried" the samples, her family has not confirmed the whereabouts of her missing body parts."
 Now again, we don't know to what extent those "samples" are, they could be fingernails for all we (or Mr. Blumenthal) knows. More importantly is that this Hiss guy is hardly a stand up guy, he has single-handedly stole body parts from many people of all nationalities. It seems highly disingenuous for Mr. Blumenthal to claim that "Israeli authorities" had been "abusing" Corrie's body, since it seems obvious that Hiss was answering to no one but himself. Then again, what else is new?

Then, as you might expect, Blumenthal attempts to balance his lack of information with emotional attacks:
"The treatment of Rachel Corrie's body is peripheral to her family's lawsuit. But it demonstrates the degree to which she and those whose homes she died defending have been dehumanized -- "there are no civilians during wartime," as Colonel Yossi declared. Rachel Corrie's family is seeking only one dollar in symbolic punitive damages from the Israeli government. Their real goal is to force a country in a perpetual state of warfare to treat its innocent victims as human beings, and to be held accountable if it does not."
First of all, as the link above demonstrated, she wasn't defending "homes" she was defending smuggling tunnels. Or maybe it is a strange coincidence that of all the picture the ISMers took that day, there is none of an IDF bulldozer destroying a home? Maybe they ran out of film.

But then again, this paragraph is more revealing than I think Mr. Blumenthal intended. The Corries don't want "justice" and they don't want "the truth" of their daughters' death to come out. They want Israel to back down when unarmed Americans are used as human shields by terrorists, even if doing so means innocent Israelis get killed. If the truth is that Corrie's death was either (a) an accident or (b) her own fault, will the Corries or Max Blumenthal accept it? Of course not. It's the ethereal standard in action all over again, no ruling that doesn't favor the Corries will ever be acceptable.

Like Corrie herself, this trial is not about solving anything but scoring PR points against Israel. We see that in all of Mr. Blumenthal's writings, including this one. It makes all of that crying for "justice" seem that much more hypocritical.

1 comment:

  1. The Palsbara anti-Zios are not really interested in the truth.

    They are interested in making Israel look bad.

    That is why they are paying so much attention to this trial.


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