15 Nov 2007

Pallywood Defamation Case Appeal Produces More Scrutiny

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Talal abu Rahma for France 2

World-wide Islamic outrage over the shooting of young Mohammed al-Durah by Israeli security forces as reported by France 2 led to the lynching of two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah and poor Khalid Sheikh Muhammed (who sawed off the head of Daniel Pearl in retaliation) wound up having water poured in his face.

Melanie Phillips, in the Spectator, describes how the ongoing defamation suit by France 2 and its Jerusalem correspondent Charles Enderlin against French media watch-dog organization Media Ratings’ Philippe Karsenty (who accused them of fraud) is progressing.

After Philippe Karsenty, founder of the French online media watchdog, Media Ratings, accused France 2 of staging the al Durah ‘killing’ and called for the resignation of both Charles Enderlin and France 2’s News Director, Arlette Chabot, France 2 and Enderlin sued Karsenty for defamation, and won. In a disgraceful piece of judicial cronyism after the gratuitous intervention of the then French President Jacques Chirac, the court decided against Karsenty and in favour of France 2 and Enderlin. Karsenty appealed; the judge ordered France 2 to produce the unscreened footage of this incident; today it did so.

Well, sort of. What it actually produced was 18 minutes out of the 27 it was required to bring forward. From this footage, which according to France 2’s Palestinian cameraman was filmed during an implausible 45 minutes of continuous shooting by Israeli soldiers, there is no evidence that anyone at all was killed or injured — including Mohammed al Durah who by the end of the frames in which he figured seemed to be still very much alive and unmarked by any wound whatsoever.

The drama of today’s hearing was enhanced by the appearance of Enderlin himself, who until today had not graced this case with his presence. As the film was shown to a packed and overheated (in every sense) courtroom, Enderlin and Karsenty offered rival interpretations of the images on the screen. If Enderlin thought he would thus demonstrate the inadequacy of Karsenty’s case, he was very much mistaken. On the contrary, parts of his commentary were so absurd that the courtroom several times burst into incredulous laughter.

Enderlin offered only a vague, rambling and unconvincing explanation of why he had only produced 18 minutes of footage rather than the 27 he claimed to have received from his cameraman in Gaza (Enderlin himself was not in Gaza when these events occurred). After the hearing Professor Richard Landes, one of the people who had already seen the contested footage, said that two scenes had been cut out which clearly showed that the violence had been staged — including one in which a Palestinian preparing to throw a missile is suddenly picked up and carried into an ambulance despite showing no signs of injury. This scene, said Landes, was filmed by Reuters, who actually filmed the France 2 cameraman filming it. …

The Appeal Court is not due to give its verdict in this case until next February. As of today, such are the fresh contradictions and questions thrown up by the showing of this footage it would seem that France 2 has painted itself into a corner from which it will find it increasingly hard to escape.

Read the whole thing.

Pallywood video link.

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One Feedback on "Pallywood Defamation Case Appeal Produces More Scrutiny"

Anne Onym

I’m always amazed to see how many interesting, and sometimes important, events happening in France one may learn about—from abroad!

NOT-EVEN-A-WORD about this story on a French radio station, a French newspaper or magazine, or on a TV channel. Even not on France 2. Didn’t you report about on your blog I would just never have heard of, seemingly!

I’m as shocked as disappointed, as you may easily imagine.

I guess there may be much at stake about the ending of this affair because Charles Enderlin passes as one among the best reporters in here and France 2 is part of France Television, itself owned by no less than the French government!

Thank you, Never Yet Melted (and Internet), to keep us informed about what is happening in our country. It provides us with some fresh air.

One of your loyal readers, from France (Sorry not to write under my real name.)



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