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PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

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Rachel Corrie – Not a Saint but a Silly Girl

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- Tom Winnifrith

A court in Israel has today rejected a claim brought against the Israeli state by the parents of “peace activist” Rachel Corrie who died while protesting on Gaza ten years ago. She died crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer. It must have been a horrible death. But this photogenic girl was no saint. She was just misguided and silly and was not murdered.

In the West, Rachel has been almost beatified by the liberal elite. Alan Rickman wrote a play about her life. There have been numerous songs written and the narrative is clear: “she was entirely innocent and the Israelis deliberately killed her as she did nothing wrong.”

That is simply not true. This young lady chucked in an Ivy League education to go to Gaza to help the poor beleaguered Palestinians. The patronising attitude of Western youth is that a people capable of launching 200 rockets a month onto Israeli civilians and who – at that time – sent a suicide bomber a week into Israel to see how many civilians could be taken out, needs a bunch of historically misinformed students to help them. Help them do what?

Once in Gaza Corrie organised a mock trial of George Bush for war crimes and was pictured at a demonstration burning an American flag. I am sure that plays well in Hampstead but how exactly does that foster understanding and peace rather than merely reinforcing prejudices and hatred? In the week she died, the Israeli army was trying to clear a row of houses which Hamas snipers used as bases to snipe at the IDF. The liberal elite refer to Israeli soldiers firing on the poor Palestinians. What even Hamas admitted was a concern that the “peace activists “might get caught in the cross fire – i.e. that there were two sides shooting. Israelis do not bulldoze houses just for the sheer hell of it.

The buildings the IDF bulldozed were not just family homes but were family homes used by Hamas as cover to shoot Israelis. What would you suggest that the Israelis do? Hamas uses family homes to snipe/fire rockets at Israel from residential areas for a reason. That reason is that when Israel tries to defend itself, it is that much easier to make the wicked Jews look like the callous murderers. Certainly Hamas convinced Rachel of this.

And then we come to the incident. There is, as it happens, video footage from inside the bulldozer that shows that the driver could not have seen Corrie as she stood between a house used as shelter by snipers and his vehicle. But that does not matter. Other “peace activists” insist that Corrie could have been seen (even though they were not actually in the bulldozer). So hard evidence vs biased accounts from the unsighted. Well let’s all believe the latter and hold another fundraising in Islington for the poor Palestinians in memory of Saint Rachel.

No-one should die young. Or in such an unpleasant manner. But this silly and naive girl cannot be said to be entirely blameless in the cause of her own demise. She was and is no saint.

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