BBC Today Uses Photoshopped Picture of Rachel Corrie Debunked in 2006

August 29, 2012

The less than objective BBC is also less than accurate, as they use a photoshopped picture that was already debunked 6 years ago.
Here is a secreenshot of the BBC online:

Just one problem: The BBC is using a faked photoshopped picture that was debunked in 2006:

The inconsistencies in the photo are

  • Rachel Corrie casts a shadow to her left, but the tractor does not
  • The man in the picture also casts no shadow — nor does he have any feet

Add this to the inconsistencies the other International Solidarity Movement recite about Rachel Corrie’s death.
And to the false photos and information we are apparently going to be getting from the media.
See also: The Corrie family should place the blame where it really lies on FaithFreedom.org
Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon


Did Rachel Corrie get college credit for joining the ISM?

August 29, 2012

Media_httpwwwevergree_yiwpj( Elder of Ziyon) There is an interesting detail in this 2003 article from a local Olympia, Washington newspaper that profiles a number of Evergreen College students who traveled to Rafah along with Rachel Corrie:

Rafah is one of the most dangerous places in the Gaza Strip–“a combat zone,” according to Captain Jacob Dallal, the Israeli army spokesperson.
…My Jewish ass has been to Israel several times, but never to Gaza, and I am a bit scared. I have been told not to use any of my Arabic, lest I be suspected of being an Israeli spy. Above all, I have been told not to mention my religion.
[Corrie’s] cohorts at ISM Rafah were an international group, with members from both Europe and the U.S. It was a young group–most people were under 30, and many were closer to 20. And it was a group that held the potential for romance–a Swedish ISMer named Stefan Villkatt would soon become Rachel’s boyfriend.
…In addition to Stefan, there was Chris Allert, 31, also from Olympia, who joined the ISM in April 2002 after hearing about the intense fighting in the West Bank town of Jenin.
…There was Will Hewitt, 25, another Evergreen student who arrived in Israel around the same time as Rachel.
..And then there was Joe Smith, 21–yet another Evergreen student who, with his thick beard and red-checked kaffiyeh, looks like a better-fed, Palestinian-territory version of John Walker Lindh. Joe is from Kansas City, Missouri, and says he (like other Evergreen students) is getting independent study credit for his time in Rafah.

At the time, the US State Department had a travel warning against Americans going to Gaza.
If true, Evergreen College was rewarding students to go to a war zone and put their lives in danger.
(h/t Daled Amos via email)

The Geoduck Fight Song

words and music by Malcolm Stilson, 1971

Go, Geoducks go,
Through the mud and the sand,
let’s go.
Siphon high, squirt it out,
swivel all about,
let it all hang out.
Go, Geoducks go,
Stretch your necks when the tide
is low
Siphon high, squirt it out,
swivel all about,
let it all hang out.


Corrie Verdict Won’t End Delegitimization by the ISM

August 29, 2012

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12106#.UDzQGcFlS6V
  Now that the Judge Oded Gershon has ruled that the death of Rachel Corrie her own fault and an accident on the part of the IDF, if anyone thinks this affects the de-legitimization efforts of the IDF to protect the people of Israel or for the nation to protect itself from terrorists, they had better think again.
Judge Gershon, by allowing this publicity farce to be held at all, has unwittingly put Israel in a no-win situation by falling into the ISM’s publicity trap.

Had Judge Gershon thrown the case out of court and saved the Israeli taxpayer wasted time and money for a publicity stunt by the ISM, the Rachel Corrie circus might have finally ended. Now that the case is over, even though the IDF was exonerated and her death found to have been unintentional and an accident, the Rachel Corrie media hounds in the ISM, including her two parents who are making a career off her death rather than discouraging other parents from letting their children to go off to be cannon fodder for terrorist groups in the ISM, can continue their well-paid careers as champions for Hamas.
What Judge Gershon failed to grasp, in allowing the trial to go forth in the first place, is that the ISM will now claim the verdict a sham and try to indict Israel in the Hague for “war crimes”. The same charge in the Hague would have been brought had the IDF been found guilty, as the ISM would then insist on a tribunal to try Israel for war crimes anyway.
In order for matters such as the Corrie case to be presented to the Hague, it is required that the use of the courts in the country accused of such crimes be exhausted first. Now that the trial is over, the ISM groups that generated this farce will approach the Hague, claiming the Israeli court was biased and requesting a trial on war crimes charges.
Hence, Judge Gershon, by permitting this trial, instead of ending the matter, has only led Israel down the primrose path to being accused of war crimes by a kangaroo court of international judges, some of whom are from the most oppressive totalitarian regimes in the world. This is the same kangaroo court that found illegal the Security Fence that was set up to stop suicide bombers from entering Israel to murder Israelis.
Let me tell you about Rachel Corrie: When I visited Israel in 2010 when this trial first began, I brought with me a tape-recorded phone interview I had with ISM activist Joseph Carr, who allegedly was with Corrie when she was killed.
Carr actually used photoshop to create phony photos of Corrie standing in front of a bulldozer that were picked up by the wire services and later retracted. Carr was not called as a witness by the Rachel Corrie Foundation because this canard would have been shown in court.
 
In that phone interview, Carr described to me how he and Rachel Corrie, not long before her death, had actually walked out into a combat zone to retrieve the dead body of a Hamas terrorist in front of IDF soldiers, because Hamas terrorists had asked them to do so.
Carr described to me in the interview – that I furnished the IDF’s defense lawyers – how he and Corrie would advance bit by bit into the no man’s land, yelling that they were peace activists and unarmed, until they reached the body and picked it up.
I asked Carr if he was afraid at the time of being arrested by the IDF for doing such a thing and he replied, “No. Because we knew the Arab snipers would shoot them if they did.”
It’s all on the tape the government has. What it tells anyone with common sense is that Rachel Corrie knew that she was there to draw fire on IDF soldiers if they ever sought to move her. The IDF video of her being struck by the D9 bulldozer also shows she was not protecting a house, and that the ISM “witnesses” who claimed they were running alongside the bulldozer screaming for it to stop (including Carr who claimed this), were not there.
Rachel Corrie’s mother is a case in point. She appeared on radio in Santa Cruz, California, where she admitted Rachel had told her she had also retrieved the dead body of a terrorist from a weapons smuggling tunnel at one point. “I knew she was really doing something dangerous when she told me that”, she admitted in the interview.
Her daughter had written her about “the martyrs” who died fighting the Israelis and how they lacked the sophisticated weaponry of the IDF.
Did Cindy Corrie tell her daughter to come home and stop being a human shield for terrorists? No, absolutely not. Did she tour the US telling other parents not to send their sons and daughters to Gaza where they would be used by terrorists as human shields? No, she did not.
Later, when Cindy and Craig Corrie were kidnapped for ransom in Gaza by Palestinian terrorists at gunpoint, then released when her kidnappers realized their value for propaganda against the Jews, the elder Corries didn’t bat an eyelash and continued their new career as propagandists for the Palestinian terror groups, particularly Hamas.
Some moron in the US State Department made a statement that the Israeli court’s investigation of Rachel Corrie’s death was inadequate. The US State Department is also to blame for allowing ISM activists to get new passports with no problem when they are deported by the Israeli government so they can continually return to Israel and foment riots in Judea and Samaria.
A real investigation needs to be done to determine what the US State Department’s relationship with the ISM is, and its work as human shields for Arab terrorists. If the US State Department can arm and train a Palestinian army and then have the trainer, General Keith Dayton, say with a straight face the army may attack the IDF in two years if the Palestinians aren’t given a state, how difficult a stretch is it to ask what the State Department has had to do with ISM activities since the gang’s inception in 2002?
ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf were both low level State Department employees working in Jerusalem when the ISM was first created. In the US Congress, Representative Peter King’s commission on Homeland Security needs to investigate this issue. After this creation, the ISM created a network of movements on US campuses worthy of a Rico Statute investigation.
The death of a stupid (yes, that’s the appropriate word) 23 year-old girl, who thought of herself as an anarchist and revolutionary and planted herself in front of a bulldozer in a combat zone because she figured the IDF soldiers inside the tractor would not emerge to move her for fear of being shot by Arab snipers, got an unexpected shock when the tractor, whose driver couldn’t see her, accidentally ran over her.
For the Arabs her death was a propaganda bonanza that ultimately opened up the Rafah and Philadelphi Corridor to aid the Hamas regime in Gaza. Now the Hague will only put more pressure on Israel as the nation is falsely accused of war crimes because of this girl and her opportunistic parents, who will gladly make hay joining the bandwagon of de-legitimizers of Israel.
Anything for the ISM to keep the war roiling until – they hope – the end of the Jewish state.
Rachel Corrie just needs to go away, but watch as this next becomes a case accusing Israel of war crimes.
Meanwhile, maybe Israel is growing up, because almost on the same day this verdict came out, 109 ISM activists, more Rachel Corries, were finally turned away at the Allenby Bridge by an Israeli government that has been a fall guy to the ISM and their terrorist sponsors for the last 11 years.
But don’t expect the Rachel Corrie clown show to end with this investigation. Plan on Israel’s lawyers and foreign ministry to be tied up in the Hague for the next few years, while the threat from Iran looms ever closer.


Elder of Ziyon: Corrie roundup

August 28, 2012

CiFWatch points out that the ISM is responsible for Rachel Corrie’s death – but no one is blaming them for their cavalir attitude towards the deaths of “activists:”

In a 2002 article, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf wrote, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent,” adding that “[i]n actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured.”
Shapiro and Arraf lauded such deaths as “no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah.”
ISM activists and organizers have time and again justified terrorism and associated with terrorists.
In 2003 alone, for example, ISM activist Susan Barclay admitted in an interview that she worked with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jidhad; terrorists originating from UK who had attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people, had, according to an Israeli report, ”forg[ed] links with foreign left-wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)”; and senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.
…Corrie’s ISM colleague and handler, Joseph Smith eulogized Corrie, chillingly justifying the sacrifice of human life for the cause, stating:
“The spirit that she died for is worth a life. This idea of resistance, this spirit of resisting this brutal occupying force, is worth anything. And many, many, many Palestinians give their lives for it all the time. So the life of one international, I feel, is more than worth the spirit of resisting oppression.”

Commentary notes that Rachel Corrie was no peace activist.
The ISM themselves wrote back in 2002 that they actively encouraged their volunteers to put themselves in danger:

Without a doubt the level of risk dramatically increased in this latest ISM campaign with internationals on the receiving end of shrapnel, live fire over their heads, tear-gassing, rubber bullets, sound bombs, beatings, interrogations, arrests and deportations. Without sounding crass, the benefits were many and obvious.

In an astonishing example of admitted conflict of interest, No comments yet and 0 Reactions notes (after saying that Israeli justice is hopelessly biased). He admits that his wife had volunteered to assist the Corries in the court case. In fact, his wife Stacy Sullivan is the press contact for the Corries! Time apparently thinks that such an egregious conflict of interest is AOK as long as it is parenthetically mentioned in a long screed against Israel.
By the way, Vick quotes Corrie’s sister as saying “I can say without a doubt that I believe my sister was seen as that bulldozer approached her.” Here’s what an Israeli D9 armored bulldozer looks like:

It doesn’t look like the driver has a very clear view at all.
I have still not seen anyone actually point out where the Israeli judge says anything that is less than truthful.
And the Philadelphi Corridor that Israel was clearing was, under international law, legally controlled by Israel. As Wikipedia notes:

Under the provisions of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979, the buffer zone was controlled and patrolled by Israeli forces. After the 1995 Oslo Accords, Israel was allowed to retain the security corridor along the border.

And this classic 2005 piece on The Forgotten Rachels is important to recall as well.
PJMedia had a nice article worth reading from 2010.
And if you are in a very politically incorrect mood, you can always re-watch my 2008 Rachel Corrie music video. 
(h/t EG, CHA, Anne)


CUNY CAUGHT IN LIES, Tony Kushner EXPOSED by Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld. UPDATED

May 14, 2011

Both the ZOA and CAMERA have made strong statements in support of Wiesenfeld and against the conferral of the honorary degree to Wiesenfeld. On the other hand, the Conference of Presidents has refused to make any statements. Abe Foxman of the ADL has attacked Wiesenfeld as has Ed Koch. via Caroline Glick

CUNY is not going to stop at honoring anti-Israel playwright Tony Kushner–now CUNY has announced that it will fly the Palestinian Arab flag at commencement ceremonies.  Word of this comes from Alana Goodman, who spoke to a spokesperson from the university on why the Palestinian flag is being flown at City College:
“The City College flies all of the flags that are flown at the United Nations,” the Vice President for Communications Mary Lou Edmondson told me. “It has nothing to do with foreign policy.”

That excuse, however, doesn’t even get off the ground–for one simple reason: The United Nations doesn’t fly the Palestinian flag. It only flies the flags of its 192 member states.
Read the whole thing. via daledamos.blogspot.com

Kushner is an Israel-bashing leftist. Other Israel-bashing leftists who teach at CUNY recommended that the university honor Kushner with an honorary degree. Last week, the CUNY Board of Trustees met to consider the recommendation and due to the objections raised by trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, the board decided not to accept the faculty recommendation and passed him over for the honor.

Kushner pulled out the McCarthy card. His leftist fans at the New York Times and everywhere in academia rallied to his defense and began a process of demonizing Wiesenfeld.
The university president panicked and took the unprecendented move of overturning his trustees’ decision and agreed to give Kushner the honorary degree.
Now the leftist screechers are demanding that Wiesenfeld be removed from the board of trustees because by professing an opinion they don’t like, he has destroyed what passes for academic freedom in their twisted little Orwellian world.

Kushner’s anti-Zionist anthology, which he co-edited with Alisa Solomon, first came out in 2003. I knew many of his contributors. They include profoundly anti-Zionist Jews such as Henry Siegman, Chris Hedges (about Siegman), Naomi Klein (about Rachel Corrie),  Blanche Wiesen Cook (who was or still is associated with John Jay College/the CUNY Graduate Center—the college which nominated Kushner for the honorary degree), Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Daniel Boyarin, Ella Habiba Shohat, Judith Butler, Marge Piercy, Susan Sontag, etc.

These were the kind of leftists (there are no other kind) who love Broadway and Hollywood celebrities. They especially love all the Jewish theatre people who stand against Israel on nothing other than their own naked ignorance. If a playwright is not known to be properly anti-Israel, his or her work will not be produced. It is as simple as that.
To be sure: mourning all the dead Jews murdered in the European Holocaust remains a theatrical favorite but only as long as the somber themes include happy little touches (think about the misuse of Anne Frank) or when the destruction of the Jews is universalized by bringing in every other genocide to prove that there was nothing unique about the Shoah, and that Jews will not mourn other Jews only, that Jews will mourn all victims equally.
However, when one of these anointed Broadway and Hollywood darlings, like Kushner, is actually called on his brand of anti-Semitism, something which happens very rarely, the celebrity who is used to naught but praise, is shocked–shocked!–and righteously, mightily, offended.
Indeed, Kushner was so shocked that he wrote a three page letter to the CUNY Trustees accusing them of “defaming” him by deciding not to award him an honorary degree. In the letter, Kushner insists that his view that Israel engaged in the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians in order to create a Jewish state is not an anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic view. He also claims that the “brunt” of the “ongoing horror in the Middle East” has been “borne by the Palestinian people.”
And then Kushner trots out his credentials, which include his proud board membership in Jewish Voice for Peace, a radically left anti-Zionist organization which supports the effort to boycott, divest from, and isolate Israel (BDS). He also notes that he “has a long and happy affiliation with such organizations as the 92nd St Y, The Jewish Museum and the Upper West Side JCC.”

the leaders of the major Jewish organizations — almost all located in New York – have not seen fit to stand up for Wiesenfeld is a mark of shame on all of them. What their silence shows is that there is no reason to believe that they are up to the challenges of defending the Jewish community in the US on any issue of major or minor significance. Wiesenfeld is after all being demonized for the act of standing up to a maligner of Israel. That’s all he did. And they cannot even muster the courage to defend him for that.

The article was originally published in the Friday, May 13 edition of the Great Neck News under the title Great Neck Resident Bravely Opposes Honoring Anti-Israel Playwright, and was written by Liz Berney, who was a Republican candidate for Congress in New York’s 5th Congressional district.

The adage “no good deed goes unpunished” has a new victim – Great Neck resident Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, who serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY). Mr. Wiesenfeld bravely stood up to oppose an outrage about to take place at CUNY’s John Jay School of Criminal Justice – and now Mr. Wiesenfeld is being subjected to a slew of attacks.

For those of you who have not been following this story, here is some background:

If the world’s greatest physicist stated that “it would have been better if blacks never existed,” there isn’t a single university in America that would even consider bestowing an honorary degree on such a hateful, bigoted individual.

Yet, CUNY’s John Jay School is about to award an honorary degree to a mediocre, propagandizing playwright, Tony Kushner, who has made a career out of spewing similar hateful statements at Israel, and who serves on the board of radical leftist organizations such as the so-called “Jewish Voices for Peace” which promote anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and other campaigns aimed at destroying the State of Israel. Playwright Kushner called Israel’s founding a “mistake” (Ha’aretz, 4/7/04) and stated “it would have been better if Israel never happened” (NY conference reported in NY Sun (10/14/02). Kushner also falsely accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “behaving abominably towards the Palestinian people” (Yale Israel Review, winter 2005), falsely accused the Israel Defense Forces of “brutal and illegal tactics” (London Times, 5/7/02), and blamed Israeli policies for the PLO massacre of Israeli athletes at Munich. Another Tony Kushner “gem” was: “The biggest supporters of Israel are the most repulsive members of the Jewish community and Israel itself has got this disgraceful record.” (Ton Kushner in Conversation, ed. Robert Vorlicky, Univ. of Michigan Press, 1998, pp. 83-84.) Kushner also edited a book of essays, Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2003), condemning every aspect of Israeli life and law including Israel’s right to defend herself from attack.

Kushner’s screenplay for the movie “Munich” was atrociously inaccurate. The film was criticized by Professor Alan Dershowitz, former U.S. Holocaust Museum Director Dr. Walter Reich, CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting), and a slew of others. Kushner’s “Munich” falsely depicted Israelis as bloodthirsty, money-obsessed, unjustified, sloppy, guilt-ridden avengers, morally equivalent to terrorists. The film falsely blamed Israel for “dispossession” and “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians, and portrayed Palestinian terrorists sympathetically, as, for example, middle-aged poets, teachers and ordinary family men. According to former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy, Kushner’s screenplay for the movie Munich “had no relation to the truth or the facts.” Leon Wieseltier wrote that “Munich” equated counter-terrorism with terrorism. (The New Republic, 12/19/05)

Senior editor Gabriel Schoenfeld’s thorough analysis called Kushner’s Munich “pernicious” in its espousal of a “cycle of violence” theory and “the most hypocritical film of the year.” (Commentary, Feb. 2006) Schoenfeld also noted that Avner Kauffman, the real Mossad agent in the counter-terrorism effort, remained a patriotic Israeli afterwards, certain that the counter-terrorism mission was necessary. In reality, Kauffman and the other Mossad agents felt much like the Navy SEALs who were involved in the bin Laden operation must feel. Yet, Kushner falsely portrayed Kauffman as guilt-ridden and so disgusted and tormented by the “treatment” of Palestinians that he abandoned Israel. (In Kushner’s world, America’s SEALs should be so tormented and guilt-racked about having killed bin Laden that they will reject America.)

Schoenfeld also explained that the movie never gave any inkling that the PLO’s massacre of Israeli athletes at Munich was preceded by decades of unrelenting Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, abetted by Arab governments – including the PLO bombing of a Swiss Air flight bound for Tel Aviv in 1970 (killing 47 passengers), hijackings and attacks on passengers at European airports, and PLO sub-group PLFP’s attack on passengers at Israel’s Lod airport (killing 26 passengers) five months before Munich. Instead, Kushner made it seem as if Israel did something horrible prior to Munich which instigated the PLO terrorism there. Nor did the movie reveal that the post-Munich counterterrorism operation was also necessary to prevent future attacks. Instead it portrayed counterterrorism as encouraging future attacks.

As bloggers have noted, Mr. Kushner’s anti-Israel, pro-Arab propagandizing is downright bizarre in light of the fact that Kushner is a self-proclaimed gay Jewish socialist. He would probably be murdered on the spot if he stepped foot into the homophobic Palestinian / Arab territories whom he lauds over the tolerant State of Israel.

To return to our brave fellow Great Neck citizen: Mr. Wiesenfeld (whose parents are Holocaust survivors) was rightly outraged when he learned of plans to confer an honorary degree on anti-Israel propagandist Kushner. At a CUNY Trustees’ meeting on Monday night, May 2, 2011, Mr. Wiesenfeld spoke up about Mr. Kushner’s anti-Israel views and the growing acceptance of anti-Israel views on CUNY campuses and elsewhere. (Hurling false accusations at Israel is the current form of the ages-old scourge of anti-Semitism.) In the ensuing vote, Mr. Wiesenfeld and four other trustees (Judah Gribetz, Peter S. Pantaleo, Deputy Mayor Carol A. Robles-Roman and Charles A. Shorter) voted against the Kushner nomination, thereby defeating it. (Nine out of the 12 trustees must approve an honorary degree nomination.) The CUNY Trustees also voted overwhelmingly, 10 to 2, to table any further discussion of the Kushner nomination, rather than to take it up again. (NYT, 5/5/11 & 5/6/11)

Unfortunately, the story did not end there, as it should have. Kushner “defended” himself by issuing a statement claiming that he “supports” Israel while reiterating his false anti-Israel views and justifying them on the basis that other Jews (the ill-informed and/or self-hating variety, no doubt) share his “outrage, grief, terror” and “moments of despair” that the “brunt” of the “ongoing horror in the Middle East . . . has been born by the Palestinian people.” (Tell that to the Israeli Fogel family – including the 2-month-old baby girl and two little boys who were brutally murdered in their sleep last month by Palestinian terrorists. And tell that to the Chasids returning from praying at Joseph’s tomb two weeks ago, who were gunned down by Palestinian policemen shouting “Allahu Akbar.”)

Kushner also claimed that he is not an extremist, while Jeff Wiesenfeld rightly pointed out that accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing” crosses the line and constitutes an extremist blood libel against the Jewish people. Wiesenfeld asked, if Kushner is correct that Israel is guilty of ethnic cleansing, then why are one million Arabs living in Israel, under better conditions than in Arab countries? Mr. Wiesenthal’s statement read:

“All of us on this board have voted for hundreds of honorary degrees since I’ve been on the board; people of all persuasions, and quite a few critics of Israel. The qualitative difference with Mr. Kushner were his claims that it would have been better had Israel not been created, a denial of Jewish nationhood that he would deny to no other people and his accusations of ethnic cleansing by Israel. The Jewish people and the State of Israel are among the few peoples of the world never to have had a policy of ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing is Nazi Germany, Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda and the like. The accusation is a blood libel against the Jewish people for which they’ve paid dearly through history. A million Arabs live in Israel in conditions better than in virtually any Arab state; were they subject to ethnic cleansing like Christians in Arab lands, they would not be there.

As for Mr. Kushner’s “support for Israel”, I do not know of many people who support Israel and lament her creation, nor do I know too many people who charge her with ethnic cleansing who celebrate her creation. Were Mr. Kushner to renounce just these libelous statements, which cross the line, even I would cast my vote for him. Why? Because then he is like any other critic of Israel, expressing views with which I greatly disagree, but not accusing Israelis in a libelous manner of a universally unforgivable crime.”

Certain groups insisted that Tony Kushner should still be honored, and that Jeffrey Wiesenfeld should be thrown off the CUNY Board of Trustees! According to the respected New York Academy of Sciences: “A campaign against Wiesenfeld has been launched by the PSC-CUNY faculty union, almost entirely dominated by members of the extreme Left, who have never been shy about their anti-Israeli and anti-meritocratic sentiments.” A writer for the Guardian (a paper that is always ready to viciously attack Israel) compared Wiesenfeld and the CUNY Trustee’s vote to the McCarthy era. (No one is impinging on Kushner’s first amendment rights; the vote merely reflected the fact that Kushner does not deserve discretionary accolades for his hateful propaganda.) A one-sided New York Times blog (5/6/11) claimed that the vote stifled “freedom of thought and expression” at CUNY and spoke of Kushner’s supposed “extraordinary talent,” without mentioning any of Kushner’s extreme anti-Israel statements.

Incredibly, pro-Israel former Mayor Ed Koch wrote to CUNY Board Chairman Benno Schmidt, demanding Wiesenfeld’s removal from the Board of Trustees, and demanding that, despite the vote against him, Kushner should receive the honorary degree. Koch stated that Kushner’s personal views should have nothing to do with honoring him, and asked, “What does Kushner receiving an award have to do with criticism of the State of Israel?” (Id.) Similarly, Chairman Schmidt publicly stated that political views were irrelevant to the granting of an award.

Really? Hateful views don’t matter? Would CUNY ever confer an honor on David Duke, even if Duke invented a cure for AIDs? And, here, Kushner is being honored for the same written work which espouses and is permeated by his false and hateful views!

Shamefully, as of the writing of this article, it appears that the Chairman of the CUNY Board of Trustees will capitulate to Koch’s misguided letter and the leftists’ campaign. Chairman Schmidt scheduled a meeting of the 7-member Trustees’ Executive Committee (which he is believed to control) for Monday evening May 9, to apparently overrule the full Board vote and to grant Kushner the award.

I hope our community will support Mr. Wiesenfeld for standing up for what is right. Feel free to write to The New York Times, or to CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein (535 East 80th Street, New York, NY 10075) or Inside Higher Education (on the web) or any other appropriate publication. If a college trustee such as Great Neck’s Jeff Wiesenfeld is removed from his post for refusing to honor an anti-Semite, we are all in trouble.

Indeed.


The Death of Rachel Corrie: Why Aren’t The International Solidarity Movement And Gaza Hospital Being Investigated?

November 8, 2010


Photo with explanation:

In 2003, The International Solidarity Movement had the following article on their site–providing eyewitness testimony that contradicts what they have been saying since:

The closest eye witness account on the murder of Rachel Corrie
by Tom Dale
March 17, 2003
…I ran for an ambulance, she was gasping and her face was covered in blood from a gash cutting her face from lip to cheek. She was showing signs of brain hemorrhaging. She died in the ambulance a few minutes later of massive internal injuries. She was a brilliant, bright and amazing person, immensely brave and committed. She is gone and I cannot believe it.

But the accounts are very different, depending on whom you speak to. Judy Lash Balint notes the conflicting stories on where Rachel Corrie died:

The real issue is, was Rachel alive when she was taken by Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance to Martyr Mohammed Yousef An Najar Hospital? In other words, where did she die? Were adequate efforts made to save her in the hospital?
Again, there are conflicting stories. Joseph Smith [an alias used by American ISM activist Joe Carr] tells me in a telephone interview the day after the tragedy, “She died in the hospital or on the way to the hospital.” CNN also reported that Rachel died there. (Israeli bulldozer runs over 23-year-old woman. CNN, Monday, March 17, 2003)
In his account posted on http://www.arabia.com/, ISMer Tom Dale has a slightly different story. On March 17 he writes: “I ran for an ambulance, she was gasping and her face was covered in blood from a gash cutting her face from lip to cheek. She was showing signs of brain hemorrhaging. She died in the ambulance a few minutes later of massive internal injuries.”
But Dr. Ali Mussa, director of Martyr Mohammed Yousef An Najar Hospital where Corrie was taken, seems confused. On the day of the event, Dr. Mussa tells AP Gaza reporter Ibrahim Barzak that Rachel died in the hospital. (American Killed in Gaza. AP. March 16, 2003)
One week later, in a telephone interview, Dr. Mussa states definitively to me that Rachel died at the scene, “in the soil,” as he puts it. The main cause of death was suffocation, Mussa asserts. There were no signs of life, no heartbeat or pulse when she arrived at the hospital, he says. Mussa states that Rachel’s ribs were fractured, a fact determined by X-rays.
Doesn’t quite jive with the photo essay on the pages of the Electronic Intifada website for March 16, 2003. (Photo story: Israeli bulldozer driver murders American peace activist by Nigel Parry and Arjan El Fassed, The Electronic Intifada, 16 March 2003.)
A caption under one photo of doctors leaning over a female patient reads: Rachel arrived in the Emergency Room at 5:05 p.m and doctors scrambled to save her. By 5:20 p.m, she was gone. Ha’aretz newspaper reported that Dr. Ali Mussa, a doctor at Al Najar, stated that the cause of death was skull and chest fractures. Dr. Mussa told me he was one of the treating physicians, yet he alone maintains that Rachel was dead before she was put into the ambulance.
To further complicate matters, on that same website, a report from the Palestine Monitor is cited. Here, the writer says that Rachel fractured her arms, legs and skull. She was transferred to hospital, where she later died, says this report.
…A few days after the incident, ISM Media Coordinator Shaik tells me by phone from Rafah that three ISMers, Tom, Alice and Greg were in the ambulance with Rachel. She died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, says Michael.
But Greg Schnabel, 28, who is quoted in numerous wire service and newspaper stories, never says he witnessed the death of his comrade in the ambulance. In his account published a few days later on the ISM website, he carefully states that she died twenty minutes after arriving at the hospital.

As far as I know, there has been no interest in resolving the contradictory stories involving the hospital and whether the physicians there did in fact take proper care of Rachel Corrie or in any way contributed to her death.
The contradictions just seem to pile up. Lenny Ben-David, who has written exhaustively about this, notes that accounts contradict testimony given in March that Rachel Corrie was standing in front of the bulldozer:

At the trial in Haifa last week, Corrie’s colleagues testified that Rachel stood in front of the bulldozer and the driver intentionally drove over her. Israel has been saying for seven years that the driver couldn’t see her. Again, careful review of news accounts and statements made by ISMers immediately after her death prove that Corrie was squatting down amidst the rubble, thus minimizing her profile:
“When the bulldozer approached a house today,” wrote the New York Times, “Ms. Corrie, who was wearing a bright orange jacket, dropped to her knees.”
“The bulldozer drove toward Rachel slowly, gathering earth in its scoop as it went,” an ISM friend stated in 2003. “She knelt there, she did not move.”
Another colleague related: “She did not ‘trip and fall’ in front of the bulldozer. She sat down in front of it, well in advance.‎“
He added: “Corrie dropped her bullhorn and sat down in front of one of the bulldozers. She fully expected that the driver would stop just in front of her.”
The conclusion: Corrie’s ISM colleagues may have committed perjury by insisting that she was standing.

Unfortunately, Rachel Corrie had no reason to have such an expectation, based on the close calls other members of ISM had:

According to one of Corrie’s colleagues, whose recollections were published three days after her death (emphasis mine):

For two hours we attempted at great risk to ourselves to obstruct and frustrate the bulldozers in their work.

Another ISM colleague stated:

Our group began to stand in front of these bulldozers in an attempt to stop them. Generally they did not stop when we stood in front of them, but continued to push the earth up from underneath our feet to push us away. Several times we had to dive away at the last moment in order to avoid being crushed. This continued for about two and a half hours. … At one point, Will from the United States was nearly crushed between the bulldozer and a pile of razor wire. The bulldozer stopped at the last minute in Will’s case. If it had moved any closer he would have been impaled by the razor wire.

Besides “Will,” Newsweek’s Hammer reported on “Jenny’s” close call:
An Irish peace activist named Jenny was nearly run down by a D9. “The bulldozer’s coming, the earth is burying my feet, my legs, I’ve got nowhere to run, and I thought, ‘This is out of control,’” she told me. “Another activist pulled me up and out of the way at the last minute.”
On that day in March 2003, the ISM internationals had decided to play a game of Russian roulette with the Israeli army, and Corrie lost.

The New York Times article concludes:

Cindy Corrie added, “An Israeli colonel said at this trial that there are no civilians in a war zone. But there are. If that hadn’t been the army’s attitude, maybe my daughter would still be with us.”

The sad fact is that the colonel is right and Mrs. Corrie is wrong. Under the coaching of the International Solidarity Movement, Rachel Corrie and others entered an area where civilians should not have been and put themselves in danger.
If Cindy Corrie really wants justice, she should investigate the responsibility of the International Solidarity Movement which deliberately put Rachel Corrie in harms way and look into what actually happened at that hospital in Gaza.
Unfortunately, that is unlikely.

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Caterpillar, Rachel Corrie and Israel

November 3, 2010

Previously, the Corrie family sued Caterpillar in U.S. court, but a federal court of appeals ruled that the company “cannot be held legally liable for the use of its bulldozers in Israeli military operations because the equipment is paid for with American government funds and represents an extension of American foreign policy, a federal appeals court ruled,” reported the New York Sun.

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