Skip to comments.Al-Dura Anti Israel Propaganda Film Fails to Convince Court in France
Posted on 11/21/2007 4:17:34 PM PST by IsraelBeach
Al-Dura Anti Israel Propaganda Film Fails to Convince Court in France
By Alex Margolin
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel ---- November 21, 2007 ..... Images of a young, terrified Mohammed al-Dura and his father crouching to avoid gunfire quickly became an iconic symbol of the nascent Palestinian intifada. The images broadcast around the world led to harsh international criticism of Israel.
Seven years later, a courtroom in France reacted with skepticism this time for France 2 TV, which aired the al-Dura anti Israel propaganda video.
The raw footage was screened in a Paris courtroom last week, part of an appeal by Philippe Karsenty, who last year was found guilty of defaming France 2 TV and correspondent Charles Enderlin.
France 2 TV initiated legal action against Karsenty, the founder and president of Media-Ratings, a media analysis company, after he publicly called the al-Dura video a hoax and called for Enderlin's dismissal. Last September, an appellate judge in France insisted on seeing the tampered footage of Israel soldiers defending themselves for herself. The raw footage, for years the subject of speculation, controversy and Palestinian incitement, was publicly broadcast for the first time.
The November 14 screening, which packed the French court with international media and interested parties, featured a surprise visit from Charles Enderlin, who had not been scheduled to appear in court. But according to reliable witnesses who saw the raw footage, there is no evidence that Israel was responsible for the killing, or even that the boy had been killed.
Alain Benjamin, who covered the hearing for HonestReporting and Take-A-Pen, told Media Backspin editor Pesach Benson that the footage failed to confirm Enderlins accusations against Israel.
We can definitely say that nobody can say who was shooting at who, Benjamin said after viewing the al-Dura footage. Charles Enderlin said in court that the Palestinians started shooting first, but in the end, there's no way we can say what happened that day. You can't tell who did what.
The assertion from Charles Enderlin, that the Israel Defense Forces killed the boy, is totally wrong, he continued. The least he could've said was that the boy was killed - but we don't know by who.
Benjamin said he was not alone in questioning France 2s basis for accusing Israel of killing al-Dura. Some people maintained that the footage was staged Islamic propaganda. Others think the footage was real, he said. Not one person believed that the version of France 2 TV was right.
Boston University Professor Richard Landes, one of the few people to see the original footage prior to the court hearing and to write about it extensively on his blog, Augean Stables, told HonestReporting and Taka-A-Pen that France 2 TV failed to show the complete raw footage. Instead of the entire 27 minutes shot by cameraman Talal Abu Rahma, France 2 TV showed only 18 minutes of footage in court.
The big story is that France 2 TV presented tampered evidence to the court, Landes said outside the French courtroom following the hearing. They cut scenes. There are at least two scenes that I remember.
Landes said both of the missing scenes depict Palestinians staging injuries for the local cameramen. One of the scenes, he said, is captured by a Reuters news wire crew. It shows al-Dura cameraman Talal Abu Rahma shooting fake footage of a Palestinian youth pretending to hand off a Molotov cocktail and then being carried off into an ambulance.
There is another scene of a guy who grabs his leg and he limps as if hes been hit, Landes said. And at that point, whats supposed to happen is a bunch of big guys come, pick him up, and carry him into a Palestinian ambulance past the cameras.
But instead, its just a bunch of little kids, he continued. So he shoos the kids away, realizes that nobodys there and walks away without a limp.
Others who saw the film noted said al-Dura appeared to be alive at the end of the film in contrast to Enderlins pronouncement that the boy had died. Witnesses said France 2 TV had edited several seconds of footage at the end of the scene that showed the boy moving and even raising his head.
Media expert Tome Gross told HonestReporting and Take-A-Pen that he saw no evidence proving Israel was responsible for killing anyone that day.
I was really surprised the film France 2 TV produced wasnt more convincing of Enderlins case, he said. It was clearly cut up with lots of bits missing. We didnt even see in one instance during the film any Israel soldiers shooting. We didnt see the boy claimed to be al-Dura die.
So, for France 2, a very respected media network, and Charles Enderlin, a very respected journalist, to claim he knows that Israel killed this boy, is the worst kind of journalism, he continued. For him to broadcast that he has no doubt that this boy was killed and killed by Israel, is very irresponsible journalism and we would expect more from such a senior correspondent.
Alain Benjamin said there were at least two important lessons to learn from Philippe Karsentys determined stand against France 2 TV, which had the power of the state behind it.
One guy stood his ground for four years. It's a lesson in perseverance, he said. Israel should take a cue from this trying to pursue the truth rather than put what they can under the carpet quickly. If Israel's public relations people had pursued all these different things that showed this wasn't Israel's fault, things would've turned out differently.
The other lesson sheds a light on a process very wide spread in the Middle-East, he added. People don't realize that Palestinians get their jobs as journalists because they're sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. They're out to push an agenda. It's up to the news services to disclose that they're using local TV personnel to capture breaking news.
Although many witnesses in the French court felt that the hearing served to help Karsentys case against France 2 TV, it remains to be seen how the court interprets the video. The verdict is scheduled to be delivered on February 27.
Alex Margolin is a researcher with HonestReporting.com
Another Pallywood production.
Did they cut the Green Helmet Guy out of the video?
So it is still Israel’s fault...
It couldn’t be that Israel knows the deck is stacked against it from the top down... Remember that Chirac guy that was in power at the time and what he did the first time it went to court?
Who is a Jew, incredibly. He'd better hope I don't see his vile face on a New York street any day soon.
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