The Verdict: Philippe Karsenty is 'Not Guilty'!
France-2’s Al-Dura movie may be rightly called “a total fake”, “totally staged”! Thus reports Endre Mozes of Take A Pen http://www.take-a-pen.org/english/Articles/Art21052008.htm present at the court hearing.
Was France-2's Al Dura movie a brave revelation of an Israeli brutality - or an irresponsible distribution of one more false Palestinian accusation of Israel with a murder it never committed; the most powerful blood libel of the 21st century?
For years the world believed to the short France-2 film as a revelation.
Now the Paris High Court of Justice acknowledges in its verdict the evidence collected by experts in all these years and allows calling the Palestinian-made France-2 film a "totally staged fake, a forgery". This is a breakthrough.
The most difficult question is now: will this truth spread in the world as widely as the libel did? The answer may have historical effects.
France-2 gave the video gratis to hundreds of TV stations and thus the story spread across the world like wildfire. The Al-Dura images, together with France2's accusation against Israel, became the most powerful icons of hatred in decades against Israel and the Jews. Hundreds of innocent people were killed in the upheavals incited, Jewish American-French journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded live on video, as revenge for Al Durra.
Hundreds of millions of credulous honest people around the world also believed the accusation. A European Nobel laureate and many other famous intellectuals compared Israel to Nazi Germany, referring to the Al Dura tragedy.
The Al-Durra story had from the beginning all the ingredients of humankind's greatest epics: a tragic story, full of doubts and mysteries, may be not true at all, however influencing the life of masses of people and even mainstream history; beyond logic and beyond imagination.
In the course of time experts from the whole world built up evidence that this Al-Dura film was not authentic, but heavily edited, probably totally staged.
On November 14, 2007 the reason of France 2's obstinate secrecy became clear on the court's demand to see the raw footage. France2-selected 18 minutes-long part only of the known 27 minutes to be presented in the courtroom. The judges and we the audience in the small room couldn't see one single frame supporting France-2's Al-Dura film and years-long statements. Some omission, editing and staging became absolutely obvious.
The day of the verdict, 21 May 2008 came after eight years of growing doubts and after four years of legal fight in Paris courts between the giant France 2 state television and young journalist Philippe Karsenty.
The verdict had been anticipated in huge tension, but today Charles Enderlin and France-2 were absent. They obviously knew they had lost the case. Enderlin, in the last year, has lost much of his previous great prestige as a reliable expert on Palestinian and Israeli matters and become perceived to be, in the best case, a credulous victim of a Palestinian fraud. Naturally, the defendant, Philippe Karsenty and many others were there also experts and media activists who had contributed to revealing the truth, and citizens from all over Europe, the US and Israel who came to Paris to watch the court proceedings and today’s verdict from up close.
The Verdict: On 21st May, 2008, at 1:55 P.M. the panel of judges of the Paris Court of Appeal, presided by Judge Ms. Laurence Trebucq, rendered the short verdict that:
- Philippe Karsenty is NOT GUILTY.
The consequences of this decision are :-
a) that Karsenty’s harsh criticism of France 2’s film in 2004 that the film was a 'fake', a 'forgery', 'totally staged' – has not been libelous, but legitimate.
b) This also means that the court recognized that the Al-Dura story, the 21st century’s most devastating media campaign against Israel, using the heart-breaking image of the frightened and, as if, dying 12-year old boy – based solely on a heavily edited film and testimony of one Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu Rahme, the sole eye-witness, is not a reliable source.
c) An important detail is that in the full judgment document (not read in the court and to be published only later) the court accepted the argumentation of Karsenty's lawyer that journalistic productions made under totalitarian regimes, like Hamas, where people are regularly killed in short street tribunals for their views, are inherently less reliable and must be scrutinized before accepted as proofs.
d) This verdict means, most importantly, that Israel is not guilty, again, as proven 1) in the Jenin accusations, 2) in the staged libel of the Gaza-beach tragedy, 3) in the 'apartheid wall' fabrications, and 4) in many other co-productions of Pallywood, the Palestinian news industry and some greedy Western media.
e) And this verdict means that France-2 and Charles Enderlin ARE GUILTY; at least of negligence, of distributing such a capital accusation without due or even minimum checking. Later, when the fraud became growingly obvious, France-2 of Director Arlette Chabot added insult to injury by suing the critics and keeping the evidence, the raw footage, hidden so long. This was certainly not a mistake already but arrogance of a monopolistic state TV.
The future? In Paris, the city where Captain Dreyfuss was unjustly sentenced twice and rehabilitated much later, TV France 2 may also become from the accuser of yesterday to the accused libelous party tomorrow; for disseminating its fake Muhammad Al-Durrah movie and unfounded libelous accusations without due diligence done.
Most important and urgent now is the dissemination of the truth revealed about the Al Dura forgery. If mainstream media won't do this willingly, we all who know now the truth have to urge them to do so.
The media have to correct their literally lethal libelous mistakes and rebuild their morality. The remaining most important question now is: will this truth spread in the world as widely as the libel did? The answer may have historical effects