Rabbinical Thoughts on the Corrie Verdict

by Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton

Early this morning in the US, the news came through. The state of Israel is not legally responsible for the death of a young American woman, killed by a Caterpillar bulldozer while standing in front of a soon-to-be demolished home in Israeli – occupied Rafah, Gaza nine years ago.

The state many not be legally culpable, but the Jewish people are not exonerated, or free from the stain of Rachel Corrie’s death. No matter where we stand as diaspora Jews, members of American civil society, supporter or detractors of Israeli government policies and procedures, we are all fully affected by this shameful, sad outcome.

It was an honor, earlier this year, to have met Cindy and Craig Corrie, Rachel’s parents, and to have worked alongside them as a faith leader against the Occupation. Sitting in a modest hotel lobby next to Cindy as we both worked for the campaign on our laptops, I reflected on the dignity and courage she clearly must have modeled for her daughter.

I marvel again at her dignified and clear response today to the verdict:  “This was a bad day not only for our family but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel.”  To be called out so clearly, and in the face of such a sad personal moment, must serve as a shofar call in this, our peoples’ time of reflection.

Uveshofar gadol yitaka, vekol demama daka. After the great call is sounded, the quiet voice is heard. Let our work soften the severity of the harsh decree.


5 thoughts on “Rabbinical Thoughts on the Corrie Verdict

  1. This is really terrible bollocks: ‘The state many not be legally culpable, but the Jewish people are not exonerated, or free from the stain of Rachel Corrie’s death.’ So now all Jews are collectively guilty for Rachel’s death? What is this calvinist Rabbi trying to do, guilt trip us? I don’t live in Israel, never supported the Israeli state or its racist policies, how do I need to be exonerated? Maybe its Jewish religious leaders who need to be exonerated for not abandoning their faith in a religion that advocates the eye for an eye ideology that the Israeli state is currently pursuing to its bitter end?

  2. Villains make excuses. The problem is with those who believe them. That is the crisis of Morality these day:

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