CAMERA’s Israel office, which monitors wire stories in real time as they are sent out from the Jerusalem bureaus of news agencies to media outlets around the world, yesterday flagged inaccurate language about Rachel Corrie’s death in an Associated Press story. In response to CAMERA’s urging, AP editors commendably improved the copy, resending the story with the more precise language.
The original article, by Tia Goldenberg, inaccurately reported: “Rachel Corrie was killed in 2003 as she attempted to block the bulldozer from razing homes in the southern Gaza Strip” (“Play about American activist performed in Israel,” July 9, 2013. ) While Corrie may have believed that she was blocking a bulldozer that was razing homes, Judge Oded Gershon of the Haifa District Court found that the bulldozer that killed her was clearing rubble.
According tohis ruling:
The mission of the IDF force on the day of the incident was solely to clear the ground. This clearing and leveling included leveling the ground and clearing it of brush in order to expose hiding places used by terrorists, who would sneak out from these areas and place explosive devices with the intent of harming IDF soldiers. There was an urgency to carrying out this mission so that IDF look-outs could observe the area and locate terrorists thereby preventing explosive devices from being buried. The mission did not include, in any way, the demolition of homes. The action conducted by the IDF forces was done at real risk to the lives of the soldiers. Less than one hour before the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit, a live hand-grenade was thrown at the IDF forces.
e. I hereby determine that, on the day of the incident, the two bulldozers and the armored personnel carrier were occupied with the clear military operational task of clearing the land in a dangerous area which posed a significant risk. The force’s action was designed to prevent acts of terror and hostility, i.e. to eliminate the danger of terrorists hiding between the creases of land and in the brush, and to expose explosive devices hidden therein, both of which were intended to kill IDF soldiers.
Acting on this information, AP sent an updated story out on the wire with the more accurate language: “Rachel Corrie was killed in 2003 as she attempted to block a bulldozer she believed was razing homes in the southern Gaza Strip.” (Emphasis added.)
CiF Watch, a CAMERA affiliate, had earlier prompted a correction on the very same topic at the Guardian.(See here.)