Reprinted from 2003. Published in Makor Rishon and in the Jerusalem Post (2003).

A news story which shocked the world this week dealt with the crushing of American citizen Rachel Corrie by an IDF bulldozer, who ostensibly blocked with her body a bulldozer about to demolish the home of a Palestinian terrorist in Gaza, made huge headlines all over the world. I asked to speak with the spokesman of International Solidarity Movement Mike Shaik, who passed me on to Lynn Clausen, a 24-year old resident of Washington from the Christians Peacemakers Team based in Hebron, which trains the ISM volunteers.

Shaik and Clausen sent me to speak with Corrie’s friends who were with her at the time she was crushed. Corrie’s friend Joe Smith described me how Corrie sat on a mound of dirt facing the IDF bulldozer making its way to the house it was about to demolish.

“Rachel had two options”, Smith says. “When the bulldozer started to dig in the dirt pile, the pile started to move, and she could have rolled sideways quickly or fallen backwards to avoid being hit. But Rachel leaned forward to climb to the top of the dirt pile. The bulldozer’s digging drew her downward, and its driver could not see her anymore. So without lifting the scoop, he turned backward and she was already underneath the blade”

Smith’s description is very important, since the picture published by Reuters shows Corrie standing to the left of the bulldozer, in a location where the driver can see her very clearly, as she holds a megaphone in her hand. Beneath the picture’s caption is written: “Photographed before Rachel Corrie was run over by an IDF bulldozer.” Everyone who looks at the picture and the text understands that the driver, who sees the American civilian standing in front of him, just kept on going, crushing her to death. But Joe Smith says that the picture was taken hours before she was run over, which happened at 5:00 p.m., and not a few minutes beforehand. Smith emphasizes that at the time of the incident and during it, there were no photographers in the area.

After I checked the pictures that Reuters distributed to the world’s newspapers, I noticed the difference between the colors of the sky in the picture where Corrie stands with the megaphone and the one that shows the body after the incident. The time the picture was taken also appears in text on the Internet site, saying that it was in the morning. It is not noted that the incident took place hours later.

I called Reuters’s photography department and asked for an explanation.

The photography editor said that the pictures were not taken by his agency, which had no photographers in the area at all, and that the pictures came to them via ISM.

The Reuters photography editor added that he wrote clearly that the pictures had been taken by ISM.

I pointed out to him that no such notice appeared in the pictures I saw on the Reuters site. I asked the director general of Reuters in Israel, Tim Heritage, whether Reuters has a set policy of using pictures provided by political organizations, and Heritage replied that it is widespread.

Heritage promised into check the matter of the misleading picture that was taken before the incident and asked me to call him back in an hour.

After an hour, Heritage was no longer available to speak with me. I went into the Reuters website and was amazed to find that the pictures of Corrie had been removed.

Thus the American woman who came to protect the homes of Palestinian terrorists with her own body was wiped out twice: once by an IDF bulldozer and then by the Reuters agency, which came to “document” the incident.

The damage the agency caused still requires repair. A picture is worth a thousand words. The picture of Rachel Corrie with the megaphone, standing before the bulldozer of the “cruel Zionist occupier”, who was “crushed after this picture was taken”, as Reuters falsely wrote, will be engraved in the memories of those who follow events in the Middle East.

[By no strange coincidence, the web site of the International Solidarity Movement, at, features the picture of Rachel Corrie, holding her proverbial megaphone, with a caption which says that Rachel was in the clear sight of the bulldozer driver before he ran her over. Yes, five hours before…]

Rachel Corrie in front of IDF vehicle, five hours BEFORE she was crushed by another IDF vehicle

Rachel Corrie at the time of her death

These pictures were sent out by Reuters in sequence, and gave the impression that Rachel was mauled by the bulldozer after she had been standing with a megaphone in hand, in clear view of the bulldozer driver which ran her down.

David Bedein (born August 31, 1950) is an MSW, a community organizer by profession, a writer, and an investigative journalist. In 1987 he established the Israel Resource News Agency, with offices at the BeitAgronInt’lPressCenter in Jerusalem. He serves as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research. Mr. Bedein has also reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor RishonPhiladelphia InquirerJerusalem Post, and the Jewish World Review. For four years, Bedein was the Middle East correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered controversial Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Mr. Bedein is the author of Where Has All the Flour Gone? The Whims and Waste of UN Palestinian Refugee Policy. The book documents Bedein's years of investigative journalism focusing on the activities of UN agencies in Israel and the Middle East. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, in commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2010, the agency decided to focus on producing short movies, instead of monographs, and to film each aspect of the UNRWA investigations in a clear and cogent fashion. In that context, Bedein produced two documentary films on UNRWA: Inside the UNRWA Classroom and CampJihad in 2013 Bedein was active in the Israeli peace movement for over for 17 years. In the 1980s, Bedein went to Ethiopia as part of a delegation to investigate the impact of the famine on the Ethiopian Jewish community. Most recently, David Bedein's organization has developed Btselem Watch, with its own website whose purpose is to introduce professional criticism and feedback to leading organizations which are described as human rights groups that operate in the political domain. David has developed a speaker's bureau which is offering speeches and presentations, live or via Skype. Mr. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, the New Israel Fund, and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Mr. Bedein has also reported on all of these events and organizations at Under the Direction of David Bedein The Center for Near East Policy Research and have produced a number of investigative video productions. In July 2013 they released the film titled "Camp Jihad" allegedly showing activities and interviews in which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in its 'summer camps'. This was not the first time he dealt with this topic. UNRWA released an official rejection of these claims, claiming the summer camp shown, and the people involved are not affiliated with UNRWA. In a November 2013 meeting between US Secretary of State, John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, parts of this film were shown. A review of Bedein's new book, Roadblock to Peace How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, can be found here. Bedein has been involved in UNRWA Reform Initiative, which involves requests of donor nations to make reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein's legal counsel articulated these requested reforms in a letter to the British government DFID Agency which helps UNRWA.  In March 2014, Bedein participated in an informal panel at the British House of Commons with experts on UNRWA education. Since the publication of Bedein's book, Bedein has discovered several new findings concerning UNRWA, Islamic groups that fund UNRWA Jews killed the Palestinian Authority Christian Education Texts Used in UNRWA Schools UNRWA Child Death Cult Education.


Leave a Reply