Monday, May 26, 2008

"A Dubious Montage"...The Al-Dura Decision

The French Court has finally released its official decision on the Mohammed al-Dura libel case and it's a watershed indictment of Pallywood and its stooges in the media.

When you remember that the image of a helpless boy caught in a crossfire has been marketed around the world as what amounts to a blood libel against Israel and the IDF, this is on a par with the Dreyfuss case.

Dr. Richard Landes at the Augean Stables, who has done sterling work on this story and testified at the trial has a rough translation of the court's decision:

That the accused author,(this is Phillipe Karsenty) in his letter of 26 November 2004, imputes to Charles ENDERLIN the act of disseminating a fake news report, by narrating the inconsistent document (i.e., footage of his cameraman, and imputes to the public television station the act of committing a media imposture in diffusing this report on the 30 of September 2000;

Considering the defamatory character of these accusations, which the tribunal (i.e. the first court) justifiably considered that the deed of knowingly fooling and disseminating and/or causing to disseminate a false report containing images that do not reflect reality, in representing a “false death”, even if the author took care to accompany his accusation with a certain number of explanations, unquestionably such an accusation strikes at the honor and reputation of information professionals, and that all the more when the defamatory deed is accentuated by the use of terms like “masquerade,” “imposture,” “deception,” to qualify the attitude of FRANCE2 and “staged scenes,” “pure fiction” to qualify the initial reporting;

Considering, that the accused gave fourteen pieces of evidence as proof of the truth of these defamatory claims, and requested the hearing of 3 witnesses capable, according to him, of proving that FRANCE2 put on the screen a dubious montage, widely contested at the time of its first broadcast, which permitted him to conclude that a manipulation of the report on these conditions of filming and on the reality of the scenes filmed by his cameraman, in particular concerning the death of Mohamed AL DURA;

Whereas Philippe Karsenty takes up subjects of general interest, such as the work methods of the media, and specifically, the public station, the power of images and the relevance of live commentaries, concerning the right of the public to serious information, which gives all its legitimacy to the publication of his research, Charles ENDERLIN can all the less try and avoid the criticism that targets him as a professional of information, correspondent in Israel and the Palestinian territories for the televised news of FRANCE2, broadcasting at hours of peak audience, and as such he exposes himself inevitably and consciously to the most attentive surveillance of his deeds and gestures by both his fellow citizens and his colleagues ;

Considering that as the tribunal noted, the inquiry of Philippe KARSENTY brings up two major kinds of criticisms about the news report in question, on the one hand that Charles ENDERLIN presented incorrectly that the deadly fire was deliberate and from the Israeli position, on the other that the images of the death of the young Mohamed AL-DURA were fictional and did not correspond to the reality commented on by the journalist ;

That the author of these statements under accusation emphasizes the inexplicable incoherence of the visible images which, according to him, even involves the principal scene, on the absence of any probative value to the wounds of Jamal AL DURA presented by FRANCE2, and finally on the contradictory responses of Charles ENDERLIN to the questioning about his editing cuts of his montage, as well as those of his cameraman on the subject of the sequence of the scenes he filmed and the conditions of filming ;

Considering that it is established that Charles ENDERLIN was not witness to the events that he commented in “off [screen] narration, according to a procedure that is in no way contrary to the journalistic ethics, as long as, as in the case in question, FRANCE2 had indicated to the viewers, on October 1, 2000, that the death of the boy “had been filmed by Talal ABU-RAHMAH, [his] correspondent in Gaza, and October 2, that the cameraman “filmed the unacceptable”, which did not necessarily permit one to deduce that the commentator was not on the scene; that this fact led Philippe KARSENTY, without being able to figure out that the commented event was fake, to wonder about the concordance between the images chosen by the Palestinian cameraman (“I decide what’s important,” we hear him say in one of his interviews), and the commentary on these images by Charles ENDERLIN ;

That the thesis of MENA, the subject of a book by Gerard HUBER published in January of 2003 entitled Counter-Expertise of a Staged Scene (piece #3), which infers, from the fact that one sees young Palestinians taking advantage of the presence of cameramen to act out battle scenes and injuries, the fictive character of the death of the young Mohamed AL-DURA, taken up by Philippe KARSENTY, supports itself on the persistent reticence of FRANCE2 to allow the viewing of the rushes of their cameraman, on the imprudent affirmation by Charles ENDERLIN, that he cut out of his montage the images of the agony of the child, and on the declarations made by several journalists who had viewed the rushes ;

That it results from the testimony of Luc ROSENZWEIG, former editor in chief of le MONDE, who, after have met, in May of 2004, some colleagues who communicated to him their doubts about the report of Charles ENDERLIN having contacted subsequently Denis JEAMBAR and Daniel LECONTE, he viewed with these two, the rushes of FRANCE2 on 22 October, 2004, and was surprised to find that, out of the 27 minutes of rushes of Talal ABU RAHMA, more than 23 minutes of the filmed scenes had no relationship to the images broadcast by the station, that is of the scenes of the death of the “petit Mohamed”, and consisted in the playing of false scenes of war by young Palestinians; that the witness concluded his testimony to the first court that he was convinced that there was a greater probability that the scene was staged than the probability that the version presented by FRANCE2 was correct, while acknowledging that, as a journalist, “the criteria for going further were not available.”;

That this testimony was supported by the opinions, not contrary, of Daniel LECOMTE and of Denis JEAMBAR, expressed in the Figaro of 25 January 2005 (piece #16) and an interview broadcast on February 1, 2004 by the station RCJ (piece #4) ;

That the two journalists there declare without ambiguity that they told Arlette CHABOT about their “serious doubts,” but their “readiness to dismiss the accusations of ROSENSWEIG about the staging of the death of the child if the viewing of all the rushes of Talal ABOU RAMA confirms that Charles ANDERLIN [sic] declared at two occasions at lest, one of which to Telerama : “I cut the agony of the child. It was unbearable… it didn’t add anything,” and, having seen the rushes, noted that “this famous agony which Enderlin affirms having cut from his report does not exist.” ;

That they also observe that “in the minutes that preceded the gunfire, the Palestinians seems to have organized a staged scene, … playing at war with the Israelis and simulating in most of the cases, imaginary injuries,” and that the viewing of the full rushes demonstrates that at the moment when Charles ENDERLIN declares the boy dead… nothing permitted him to affirm that he was really dead and even less that he was killed by Israeli soldiers.” That according to them, the journalists from FRANCE2 assured them during the session in which they saw the rushes that, “their experts even showed that the boy was his by shrapnel (?) or by bullets that ricocheted off the pavement, bullets that, in any case, did not aim at the father or the son” ;

There's more,but I think you get the idea.For those of you who's French is better than mine, Dr. Landes has a link to the PDF of the decision in the original language.

It's taken a long time,but the truth is finally out..thanks to an incredibly brave man, Phillipe Karsenty.

And Mohammed al-Dura? Carl at Israel Matzav has long surmised that he never was killed at all.

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