Middle East Forum Fights the al-Dura Libel
September 30, 2013
PHILADELPHIA – Today, marking the 13th anniversary of a notorious incidence of fraud by France 2 television, the Middle East Forum announces that it has paid the station a fine of €10,001 (about US$13,500) on behalf of media critic Philippe Karsenty.
France 2, a French government-owned television station, broadcast images on Sep. 30, 2000, of Mohamed al-Dura, a Palestinian child appearing to cower in fear in the arms of his father, contending that he was intentionally killed by the Israeli army. Research since then proved that this story is an example of "Pallywood" – false staging of a news story to make Israel look bad and incite antisemitism.
Images of the boy's seeming death spread far and wide throughout the Muslim world, inciting violence against Israel and Jews that continues to this day. The video was used, for example, to justify the murder of Daniel Pearl, while Osama bin Laden used images of al-Dura to stir Muslims to anti-Western hatred.
Since 2002, Mr. Karsenty has worked to expose France 2's manipulations, an effort that received a substantial boost in May 2013 when the Israeli government issued a report confirming his work.
Unfortunately, France 2 and Charles Enderlin (the reporter who edited and narrated the Dura story) responded to his critique not by commending Mr. Karsenty and correcting their work, but by suing him for libel.
After viewing raw footage proving the false reporting, an appeals court dismissed their suit. France 2 and Mr. Enderlin, instead of dropping the matter, then appealed that decision to the Court de Cassation, France's highest court. It overruled the appeals court on a technicality (that the raw footage should not have been admitted as evidence) and fined Mr. Karsenty €10,001.
Truth, thus, was no defense for Mr. Karsenty. To protest this travesty of justice and the privileging of a fraudulent Palestinian narrative, the Middle East Forum's Education Fund has paid the €10,001 fine for Mr. Karsenty.
(The Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, is dedicated to defining American interests in the Middle East and protecting America from Islamist threats. It achieves these goals through intellectual, activist, and philanthropic efforts.)
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