Saturday, May 24, 2008

Victory for Truth in Al-Dura Case
Ed Lasky

There are reports coming in from France that a French Court has overturned a libel verdict against Philippe Karsenty who has courageously challenged the veracity of French journalist's Charles Enderlin's filmed account of a battle that occurred in the Gaza Strip between Israeli troops and Palestinian terrorists. The Palestinian version was that Israeli troops had killed a young boy, Muhammad al-Dura who was seen on the film crouching behind his father. There was a break in the film and then an image of the boy slumped over was seen. Palestinians and their supporters claimed that the Israeli troops had killed al-Dura; the cause became a cause celebre in the Arab world and played a role in stoking terrorism against Israel. In the heat of the events, the Israeli government accepted responsibility. However, after more investigation of the matter-looking at the placement of the Israeli and Palestinians, it became clear that the Israelis were too quick in accepting blame. Extended analysis made it clearer that the young boy was most probably killed by the Palestinians during the battle.

Karsenty had claimed that Enderlin and the Palestinian cameraman had faked the footage to place the blame on Israel. There were gaps in the film that was broadcast throughout the world, missing film that had been edited. Enderlin sued for libel and in the first round in France won. Karsenty appealed that verdict. The issue received a far more intensive analysis during the appeal. Today, that libel verdict was overturned.

Enderlin's mendacity cost a lot of lives.

Victory on appeal would seemingly corroborate claims that the Enderlin footage was, at best, not accurate and may indeed have been faked. French TV and Enderlin himself have refused to release the footage that was edited from their final version.

This is a major victory for not only Karsenty for but for all those who believe that the media should be held accountable for accurately and honestly recording and reporting on the events of the day. We have seen the photofakery during the Hezbollah-Israel war we have seen the al-Dura case; we have seen many other examples that all too often the media (like the terrorists) play by their own rules.

The french court just declared that sometimes the rules of law do triumph in the end.

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