-By Warner Todd Huston
French media loses big court case proving Palestinian propaganda false, New York Times ignores shocking story… Why?
France TV 2 has lost a major court case in France that makes the lie to a major piece of Palestinian propaganda. In 2000 an incident occurred in the Palestinian areas that has since been used as propaganda for the Palestinian cause all across the world and the New York Times has repeatedly been a willing host for this propaganda. Now, however, it has been proven that France 2 perpetrated a lie that has given succor to terrorism. And where is the New York Times with this momentous news that proves Israeli innocence? Nowhere to be seen.
In 2000 the Palestinians began what they called the second intifada against Israel, a kick in the teeth to the Israelis seeking only peace. During the early stages of this attack France 2 TV, a state run television station, aired what it claimed was a video of a child and his father being shot and killed by Israeli security forces.
Palestinian sources claimed that what France 2 TV showed the French public and the world was the death of 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura and his father, killed by Israeli security forces. The shock of this small boy being mercilessly shot down by Jews drew condemnation like a lightening rod. Supporters of Palestine the world over were outraged, posters appeared, protests were whipped up, postage stamps with the image of this child's supposed last minutes on Earth were even created in Egypt and Tunisia. The "death" of Muhammad al-Dura rallied support to Palestinians against the Jews. And for the last 8 years the New York Times has been right there with the "news" pushing the story for all its worth.
In 2002, for instance, a Times story told of how little Muhammad al-Dura was a "12-year-old boy from Gaza whose father could not shield him from a hail of Israeli gunfire." In 2000 a Times story told us of frightened Gazan Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, who told a pitiful story of the fear of his own children based on the "death" of little al-Dura.
''Like every child here, they are haunted by the image of Muhammad al-Dura,'' he continued, referring to the 12-year-old boy shot dead as he crouched behind his father -- film that is repeatedly shown on Palestinian and Arab television stations. ''I have never had a gun in my life. But my children -- who are doing pee-pee in their beds -- want me to buy one, because obviously Muhammad al-Dura's father couldn't protect him well enough with his bare hands.''
The New York Times has been at the forefront of allowing Palestinians and their sympathizers use the al-Dura tale as propaganda to further Palestinian interests. Dutifully, maybe even with relish, the Times has recorded how this image has been a rallying point for supporters of the Palestinians against the Jews.
There was a problem, however, with this little tale. The film showing the death of little Muhammad al-Dura didn't seem exactly right to some folks in France, in particular a bulldog journalist named Philippe Karsenty (among others). Mr. Karsenty didn't think things seemed right with the claim that it was Israeli bullets that struck the boy and his father. It seemed to Mr. Karsenty that the trajectory was wrong for bullets to be coming from where the Israeli forces were firing. Then he noticed that, despite the fact that the boy and his father were supposedly shot to death, no blood appears anywhere on the video of the "shooting." Not on the walls where bullets seemed to splatter, nor on the pavement under the prone, supposedly dead, figures of the two. Philippe Karsenty felt that the whole thing was a Palestinian fake and he began to agitate for the truth.
France 2 TV, however, not only denied any such possibility, but refused to show the world all the video before and after the supposed shooting that might clear the matter up and prove one way or the other. Philippe Karsenty continued agitating and writing excoriating France 2 TV for its obstinacy until the TV station decided to take him to court for "libel."
In 2005, the New York Times published a story detailing the case against France 2 TV. It seems to me that this is the only story that the Times published about the questions over the authenticity of the al-Dura video. I have searched the Times archives and found but this one story.
Well, it is now 2008 and the French court case is over and it is a stunning result. Mr. Karsenty won. The case of libel was thrown out. This is a stunning victory because Mr. Karsenty had to prove to the French court that his claims that the film is a fraud are legitimate claims. Karsenty presented enough evidence for the French court to rule against a state operated entity and this is a big upset in France because this does not typically happen. The state almost never loses.
Karsenty had several experts come to his aid as technical witnesses that the whole thing did not add up but the French court also at last had a look at some more of the film that France 2 TV had steadfastly refused to show up until this point. It clearly showed Palestinian operatives staging a faux fight between themselves and the far off Israeli security forces. It revealed fake rescues of unharmed people, fake casualties and staged injuries. What the court saw was the creation of Palestinian propaganda. In other words, the "death" of Muhammad al-Dura was a staged lie, invented as theater by Palestinian operatives to use as anti-Jewish propaganda. Karsenty, for his part, has demanded that France 2 TV admit their lies.
Now it is time for France 2 to acknowledge that it created and is continuing to perpetuate the worst anti-Semitic libel of our era. It's the responsibility of the French government and, ultimately, the responsibility of the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy -- who is, for all practical purposes, the chief executive of French public television -- to finally reveal the truth.
Since the New York Times has used this story to the succor of terrorist supporters everywhere since 2000, one might imagine that the Times would rush to correct the record now that the evidence proving that the al-Dura tale is a lie has been accepted by French courts.
One would be wrong to assume that the Times was so willing to debunk its favorite anti-Jew story, sadly.
There is no story in the Times print edition on the Karsenty victory since the French court ruling was handed down on May 21st. Not one. All I can find is one mention in a NYT Internet blog, The Lede, by Times blogger Mike Nizza from May 21st, 2008.
And, instead of a story revealing how this al-Dura film was a lie, what does Nizza conclude about the court case? That the "debate" is "far from over."
The court's ruling has not been released, increasing the likelihood that this round in a continuing debate is far from over.
Nowhere does Nizza mention that the rest of the al-Dura film clearly shows the staging of a firefight. Nizza doesn't bother with the fact that the al-Dura death scene was an Oscar worthy performance by Palestinian propagandists.
So what gives, New York Times? Why the reluctance to cover this new twist in the al-Dura story that you have used so many times in the past to support Palestinian terrorists? You have used this tale to beat the Israelis up for 8 years, now. But, we have final proof that this is a faked video. The Jews didn't kill little Muhammad al-Dura.
Where is your story now?