This sad story should be familiar to you. Muhamad al Dura is the Palestinian child who was filmed by Charles Enderlin and shown by France II television as he was supposedly shot dead by Israeli soldiers at the beginning of the violence instigated by Arab Palestinian extremists in October 2000 in order to disrupt the peace process. An initial IDF investigation accepted that Al-Dura was killed by the IDF, though no body was ever produced, the angle of fire was probably impossible, and there was no explanation of why IDF troops would continue, for a relative long period, to shoot at a small defenseless boy and his father, rather than shooting back at the Palestinians who were shooting at them.
Al Dura's "martyrdom" became a rallying point for motivating violence among Palestinians, and a device for rallying world support for the madness of the so-called "Intifada."
However, doubts were eventually raised about who actually shot al Dura and whether or not he was even killed. Enderlin's film showed only a part of the original footage. Those who had seen the unedited film claimed there was evidence of serious tampering. Phillippe Karsenty charged that Enderlin had fabricated the scene. Karsenty was convicted of libel in 2006 for claiming France 2 Televisionís coverage of al-Duraís apparent killing was fraudulent. He appealed and demanded that Enderlin produce the unedited film. At an earlier hearing, Enderlin produced only a part of the missing footage, giving rise to legitimate suspicions that he has something to hide. The next hearing in Karsenty's appeal trial is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 27. See the Al Dura Video here
More detailed information about the Al-Dura case is available here.
Because it was a central "exhibit" in the "case" the Palestinians presented against Israel, and because Palestinian propagandists and their collaborators have been caught "improving" reality on other occasions, such as the non-existent Jenin massacre. the film and Karsenty's case have become a cause celebre for Israel advocates. Bloggers and publicists have expended much effort to vindicate Karsenty and prove the film is a fraud.
I wish M. Karsenty and his supporters every success. Please do not be angry with me, however, if I do not share their enthusiasm and dedication to the cause, and bear with me while I explain. There are minor and major reasons why this is not a priority fight.
The minor, tactical reasons are as follows. These events took place in 2000. They damage they did was already done. Most of the world has already forgotten about the event. Supporters of the Palestinians are oblivious to factual evidence, which they deride as "positivist facticity." They will continue to believe that Muhammad Al Dura was killed by Israel regardless of the verdict of the French court. If the court rules against them, it will be claimed that the French courts are controlled by "Zionists." If the court rules for them, it will trumpeted as another "proof" of "Zionist war crimes." We have only to examine the case of the fabricated "Jenin Massacre" to see that it is so. After a month of suicide bombings that resulted in about 100 deaths, Israel had raided the bases of those bombers in the West Bank in late March 2002 in Operation Defensive Shield. The world should have breathed a sigh of relief that a source of terror was eliminated. However, Palestinians invented a false rumor that Israeli troops had killed 500 civilians in Jenin in April of 2002. In fact, about 56 Arabs died, over half of them terrorists who were killed in the exchanges of gunfire. This was the estimate of the IDF, which was later vindicated both by Human Rights Watch and the UN. Neither of these organizations is suspected of "Zionist sympathies." This did not prevent pro-Arab forces from continuing to claim, over and over, that Israel massacred 500 people in Jenin. Palestinian footage showed "corpses" falling off stretchers, getting up and getting back on. A fraudulent film, "Jenin, Jenin," was exhibited to rapt audiences around the world, showing the "evidence" of the "Zionist" massacre. The lie was repeated by ostensible proponents of "peace" and dialogue. It did not really help that the massacre never happened. Nobody is interested in "positivist facticity." Absolutely nothing was changed by the revelation of the Jenin massacre fraud, and nothing of importance would be changed by the revelation of the Al Dura fraud.
These are all minor points. The real problem is that the dispute over Al-Dura, and the energies expended on it, divert attention from the fact that the Palestinians deliberately ignored their written commitment to abandon terrorism. They planned and instigated the violence, as Marwan Barghouti freely admitted in an interview. The outraged supporters of the Israeli cause were drawn by the enemy to fight the battle over an irrelevant issue, on terrain favorable to the enemy.
In 1939, in preparation for their invasion of Poland, the Nazis fabricated a Polish attack on a German border post. That was the Nazi "narrative." All the facts about the attack could not be positively verified until the end of World War II. Imagine if you will, that instead of focusing on the Nazi aggression, the entire question of whether or not to fight Nazi Germany had been diverted to a discussion of whether or not the supposed Polish attack on the Germans was genuine. That absurd scenario is the real equivalent of the Al-Dura case. Ami Isseroff
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Replies: 2 Comments
What makes you so certain that the Al-Dura story isn't still used as a rallying point for a significant number of people who like to paint Israel as the most malevolent state entity in the world? The average westerner may need to be prodded to remember the story, but that may not be so in those corners of the world where "child martyrs" are used by those who recruit the naive to their cause.
Lynne T, Monday, March 3rd
Perhaps I'm fantasizing, but it occurs to me that an israeli priority should be to inhabit the forefront of petroleum alternative research. In the event that such an alternative could be found that would replace oil, Israel's enemies would have even less wherwithal to produce pseudo-documentaries. It would have a greater effect than a thousand new warplanes and tanks.
Howard Wolf, Thursday, February 28th
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