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« Renewed Directions | Main | The Great Foreign Policy Blunder »

January 16, 2009



I used to sympathize with the Palestinians..Since 9/11, all bets are off...


when faced with uncomfortable logic, Neurotica seems to retreat to emotion, "...Im leaving it at that."..."The conversation was already draining me...." etc.

Nicolas Krebs

"The French Appeals Court found that Enderlin's report of the death scene was a fake."


Tom Bowler

No? You are only technically correct. While the French Appeals Court did not come right out and say the report was faked, it did acquit Karsenty of the libel charge the France 2 brought when he accused it and Enderlin of faking the story.

'The veteran journalist was accused in 2004 by Philippe Karsenty, the owner of an internet site, of broadcasting a staged report on the al-Dura killing, and of instigating hate against Israel and Jews throughout the world. Karsenty was convicted in the original defamation trial, but a second trial ended with the judge demanding to examine the full footage of the al-Dura report before deciding whether Karsenty was guilty of defamation or not.

Enderlin explained in court each segment of the 18-minute footage filmed on September 30, 2000, by his cameraman Talal Abu Rahma at Netzarim junction while Enderlin was in Ramallah: the street battles with dozens of people throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at an IDF outpost, an interview with a Fatah official, and the incident involving Mohammed al-Dura and his father in the last minute of the video.

Karsenty challenged Enderlin's explanations. "The boy moved his head after we heard the cameraman say he was dead. How do you explain this?" asked Karsenty. "Why is there no blood on their shirts although they had bullet wounds?"

Enderlin said that Talal Abu Rahma did not say that the boy had died, but that he was dying. The journalist maintained that only the Israelis shot at the al-Duras, explaining that he could hear the difference between the shooting of the Israeli rubber bullets and Palestinian regular ones.

Karsenty repeated several troubling details. He pointed out that an article by senior journalists Denis Jeambar and Daniel Leconte in 2004 noted some staged scenes filmed by Abu Rahma in the first part of the footage, which they had examined at French TV studios with former le Monde journalist Luc Rosenzweig.'

Regardless of any face saving window dressing in the decision, reversal of Karsenty's conviction vindicated his claim.

'Convicted of libel in 2006, Karsenty was slapped with two $1,380 fines - one to be paid to France 2 and one to the station's reporter - and ordered to pay another $4,000 in court costs when he wrote that the incident constituted a "masquerade that dishonors France and its public television."

On Wednesday, his appeal against that conviction was upheld.

The IDF, which initially apologized for the death of al-Dura, concluded after an investigation that the boy could not have been hit by Israeli bullets.


Karsenty's claims are based on inconsistencies in the footage, including a publicly available video-taped admission by Abu Rahma that there are untold secrets related to the case, the fact that only seven bullet holes are seen behind al-Dura despite Abu Rahma's repeated statements that the child survived 45 minutes of continuous shooting by Israeli forces directed at the boy, footage clearly showing pretend gun battles and faked ambulance runs at the junction that day, testimony of the IDF soldiers stationed at the junction who said they did not participate in any firefight that day, and the lack of footage of al-Dura's actual shooting.'

My emphasis above.

Nicolas Krebs

"No?" (Tom Bowler)

No. Nowhere the french court claim that "Enderlin's report of the death scene was a fake".

Tom Bowler

It was though.

Nicolas Krebs

"It was though." (Tom Bowler)

You can see the toughs of french magistrates several thousand kilometers of you?

Tom Bowler

It, the death scene, was a fake, regardless of what the French magistrates may have said.

Nicolas Krebs

"It, the death scene, was a fake, regardless of what the French magistrates may have said." (Tom Bowler)

Do you acknowledge that your statement "The French Appeals Court found that Enderlin's report of the death scene was a fake." was wrong?

Tom Bowler

I will concede your point. The French Appeals Court did not find that Karsenty "proved" the Enderlin report false. And because he had not "proven" the falseness in the Court's view, they based their decision in his favor on his "good faith". However, consider these interesting excerpts from the decision.,

'Given that, indeed, the testimony by Luc ROSENZWEIG, former chief editor of MONDE, established that after having met, in May 2004, some colleagues who shared with him their doubts about Charles ENDERLIN’s commentary, and having thereafter himself shared these doubts with Denis JEAMBAR and Daniel LECONTE, on October 22, 2004, he viewed with them FRANCE 2’s rushes and was surprised that, of the 27 minutes of Talal ABU RAHMA’s rushes, more than 23 minutes of the scenes on film had nothing to do with the images broadcast by the station, including those of little Mohamed’s death, and consisted of young Palestinians faking war scenes. The witness concluded his testimony at the hearing in the lower court by stating his conviction that “the theory that the scene [of the child’s death] was faked was more probable than the version presented by FRANCE 2,” while admitting that, as a journalist, journalistic “criteria did not allow him to go further than that.”

Given that this testimony is confirmed by the opinions, essentially corroborative, of Daniel LECOMTE and Denis JEAMBAR, put forth in an editorial in the Figaro of January 25, 2005 (exhibit No. 16), and an interview broadcast February 1, 2005, by RCJ television (exhibit No. 4);

Given that, in these, the two journalists unambiguously stated they had told Arlette CHABOT their “serious doubts”, but that they were ready to “disregard the accusations by ROSENSWEIG about the child’s death having been staged if viewing the whole set of rushes filmed by Talal ABOU RAMA confirmed what Charles ENDERLIN claimed on at least two occasions – including once to Telerama: “I edited out the child’s agony. It was unbearable … It would not have added anything”; and – after having seen the rushes – that “this famous ‘agony’ that ENDERLIN claims to have edited out of the film does not exist”;


Considering that Richard LANDES, journalist and professor at Boston University, whose testimony was heard by the first judges, testified that, according to him, after having studied the rushes by Reuters and the commentary by Charles ENDERLIN, with whom he discussed the issue, the probability that the child’s death ENDERLIN reported was staged, was “greater than 95%.”'

I think the Appeals Court was very kind to Enderlin, demanding a very high standard of proof from Karsenty to show that the report was false, rather than to demand any proof whatever that the report was true.

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