The Age brought out its Israel bashing cannons for the second day running today with a couple of one sided articles on the case brought against the Israel Defence Forces over the death of International Solidarity Movement's Rachel Corrie - The mother who never gave up and another even more sugary apologia from Ruth Pollard for this sad soul who tried to kid the world she was in the region for the purpose of achieving peace.
True to form, there was no other side to this story and no mention of the ISM's history of backing terrorists including the suicide bombers who blew up a bar in Tel Aviv - Mike's Place on April 30, 2003 - murdering and maiming some true innocents. Three died and about fifty were wounded. None of them had families who would dream of taking their case against the terrorist group that claimed responsibility in a court in Gaza or the West Bank.
You see, that's what the Age has been highlighting even with its factually challenged reports - that in Israel, the rule of law exists and Breaking the Silence and the Corrie family are able to make their cases in the arena of public opinion and inside the legal system. And unlike in the Age, within that system, the contrary view also gets a run.
In a free and open society, we can even talk about the continued exploitation of Rachel Corrie.
Some of the ISM’s volunteers are undoubtedly naïve young people who arrive in the Middle East with little understanding either of the conflict itself or the manner in which they are cynically exploited by the organisation’s extremist leaders. The ISM, however, is rarely – if ever – held to account by the families (or countries) of those injured or killed as a result of its having encouraged and facilitated their unnecessary entry into a conflict zone and their collaboration – knowingly or not – with proscribed terrorist organisations, even despite statements from ISM leaders such as this one concerning Rachel Corrie’s death:
“It’s possible they [the protesters] were not as disciplined as we would have liked,” Thom Saffold, a founder and organizer of the International Solidarity Movement, said in a telephone interview from the group’s base in Ann Arbor, Mich. “But we’re like a peace army. Generals send young men and women off to operations, and some die.”
And we can even see different and less charming pictures of Corrie and her family such as those posted above and below. At least we can thank the Age for drawing the distinction between the two even if it wasn't forthcoming enough to tell its readers the full story of ISM and Corrie.