Charles Enderlin, France2’s correspondent in Israel, is infamous for using Palestinian stringers to do his reporting. Clearly it’s a lot safer for Enderlin to stay in his hotel while someone else is in the middle of the fray. Once he receives the video footage Enderlin reports whatever his stringers bring back to him.
On September 30, 2000 France 2 broadcasted 55 seconds of edited footage while Enderlin, who was not present at the site, reported that 12-yr-old Mohammed Al Dura had been killed by the IDF. Philippe Karsenty, director of the media watchdog group Media Ratings has maintained all along that the footage was a hoax staged by France2.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America has Timeline of the Al Dura Affair: A French Media Scandal and summarizes the situation (please go to their site to follow the links):
For years, Charles Enderlin of French public television network France 2 has been battling accusations that his September 30, 2000 newscast of a Palestinian boy allegedly shot to death by Israelis was staged. The 12-year-old, Mohammed al Dura, became an icon of Palestinian “martyrdom,” fueling Arab hatred of and violence against Israel, even while serious doubts mounted about the authenticity of Enderlin’s broadcast.
Enderlin and his network responded aggressively with deceptions, cover-up, and lawsuits, while the mainstream media largely ignored or dismissed the accusations, as well as the inconsistencies in Enderlin’s story. But Enderlin and France 2 might have finally overplayed their hand with a defamation lawsuit against a tenacious blogger whose appeal resulted in a court-ordered public viewing of some the original film footage France 2 had been concealing. According to witnesses, the original footage shown in the courtroom by Enderlin was edited. The question is, will the Al Dura affair finally be discredited in the mainstream media?
According to Boston University Professor Richard Landes, who saw the original footage of the event in Enderlin’s office four years ago, Enderlin provided the court with an edited film from which two obviously staged scenes were cut. Click here to see a film of the evidence suggesting the broadcast was staged, and here to read CAMERAs backgounder on the affair
You must read Richard Landes’s post.
Nidra Poller asks, Al Dura Affair: Did the Raw Footage Sink France 2’s Case? And she’s in the courtroom:
Enderlin stands in front of the judge and says everything and the opposite about the positions. He does not reply to a single objection raised by Karsenty, raised by other analysts repeatedly over the past seven years: The father’s arm is intact, he claims he was hit nine times by high power bullets, his muscles smashed, his bones crushed. No blood on his white t-shirt. Voices in Arabic shout ‘the boy is dead! the boy is dead!’ He is sitting next to his father, eyes wide open.
Charles Enderlin standing in a French court explains: Oh, that’s something cultural. In their culture, when they say ‘the boy is dead’ they mean he is in danger of dying, that he is in a very dangerous situation, he might die. The judges smile.
We reach the end of the scene as it figured in news reports, the point where Charles Enderlin said, “Mohamed is dead, his father is critically wounded.” We might ask what that means in his culture…because the scene continues for another three seconds in which we see the boy who is lying on his stomach with his hands over his eyes, turn, lift his elbow, shade his eyes, look at the camera, and slowly return to his prone position.
No Pasaran has video from Honest Reporting:
And I assure you, they will never ever turn up.
Melanie Phillips, writing for the Spectator, The al Durah blood libel, explains why this matters (emphasis added):
But this scandal goes far beyond France 2. Soon after it transmitted the 55 seconds which showed the ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah, it helpfully sent various news agencies three minutes of the footage of this incident – including the frames in which the ‘dead’ child is seen moving, but which of course it had not broadcast. For reasons which invite speculation, not one of these agencies broadcast it either. Had they done so, there would have been no ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah and untold numbers of subsequent deaths would have been avoided.
It is therefore not surprising, but no less shocking, that with a couple of heroic exceptions the mainstream media has until very recently ignored the evidence suggesting that a monumental and deadly fraud was perpetrated here, indicators which have been around for years. As of today, the Karsenty case has been totally ignored by the mainstream French media. It is also deeply troubling that the Israel government ignored this evidence for seven years, that it is only very recently that its press spokesman Danny Seaman said the incident was staged, and that even now certain representatives of the Israel government are playing a most ambiguous role in defending their country against this modern blood libel.
The ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah was swallowed uncritically by the western media, despite the manifold unlikeliness and contradictions which were apparent from the start, because it accorded with the murderous prejudice against Israel which is the prism through which the Middle East conflict is habitually refracted. This scandal has the most profound implications not just for the media, not just for the Middle East conflict but for the western world’s relationship to reason, which seems to grow more tenuous by the day.