September 17, 2007

IDF Ends Its Silence On Al-Dura

The IDF has ended a seven-year silence on the al-Dura controversy, which countless critics of Israel has used to cast its military as a brutal and inhumane force. It now wants France's Channel 2 to release all of the outtakes from the report, claiming that the video sequence that purports to show the murder of a child was staged by Palestinian propagandists working in league French television:

The IDF has abandoned its official silence in a seven-year-old case that has been characterized as a "blood libel" against the IDF and the State of Israel.

On September 10, the deputy commander of the IDF's Spokesman's Office, Col. Shlomi Am-Shalom, submitted a letter to the France 2 television network's permanent correspondent in Israel, Charles Enderlin, regarding Enderlin's story from September 30, 2000, in which he televised 55 seconds of edited footage from the Netzarim junction in the central Gaza Strip purporting to show IDF forces shooting and killing 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura.

After its exclusive broadcast that day, France 2 offered the edited film free of charge to all media outlets. The footage, and the story of the purported IDF killing of al-Dura, was quickly rebroadcast around the world. ...

In his letter, Am-Shalom asked for the entire unedited 27-minute film that was shot by France 2's Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu-Rahma that day, as well as the footage filmed by Abu-Rahma on October 1, 2000. Am-Shalom requested that the broadcast-quality films be sent to his office no later than September 15. France 2 has yet to hand over the requested film.

Roger Simon started a petition at Pajamas Media almost two weeks ago, demanding that Channel 2 publish the entire video sequence to determine the veracity of its reporting. I posted a link at The Crow's Nest on September 6th, four days before the IDF requested the outtakes for their own investigation. The refusal of Channel 2 to release the footage after seven years have passed indicates that the media outlet has less interest in truth than in covering their backsides.

Three years ago, a French media critic accused Channel 2 of duplicity in the report. Phillippe Karsenty published a letter reporting that the broadcaster staged the al-Dura report, and Channel 2 sued Karsenty. A judge ruled in Channel 2's favor despite acknowledging significant evidence of Channel 2's guilt because Karsenty allegedly only used a single source for his report and that the IDF never challenged the video, a finding that both Karsenty and the IDF have challenged. The IDF submitted a brief to the judge which explained that the IDF had quietly asked for the complete videotape for years, and had been rebuffed repeatedly.

Why not release the whole tape? If the original Channel 2 reporting is accurate, the entire tape will show no staging and just the normal manuevering and set-up work of any camera crew in a war zone. That would put an end to the controversy and allow the IDF to conduct a thorough investigation into the actions of its soldiers. The French broadcaster apparently believes that its video will show something else -- and whatever that might be, Channel 2 doesn't want anyone to see it.

That should tell us all we need to know about Channel 2's credibility. A real news organization would have allowed the entire videotape to be seen, at least by media critics and the military investigators who could have done some good with the information. A propaganda outlet would hide it. Channel 2 has made its decision about how it sees itself.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (9)

Posted by stackja1945 [TypeKey Profile Page] | September 17, 2007 6:40 AM

"less interest in truth than in covering their backsides" Sounds like tne new media. Cover the backside not the truth.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | September 17, 2007 7:07 AM

Another media outlet doing the propaganda work for terrorists. There seems to be more and more of that going on these days.

Posted by DanThePainter | September 17, 2007 7:09 AM

Related video:
Muhamad Al-Dura was not killed.

>> a video telling the story behind one of the scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that erupted at September 2000.
this video proves that the French TV lied, and Muhamad Al Dura was not shot by IDF troops. >>

Posted by David M. Hartzell | September 17, 2007 7:26 AM

What do you want to bet that the tape will have been mysteriously destroyed sometime in the past seven years?

Posted by TomB | September 17, 2007 7:42 AM

I am shocked, shocked!
MSM playing propaganda war for Palestinians!
How is that possible!

Posted by Jweaver | September 17, 2007 8:32 AM

I cannot believe it has taken Israel this long. It is time to bring back Bibi.

Posted by Alex Bensky | September 17, 2007 8:46 AM

I'd be fascinated to know how often Channel 2 makes its tapes available without charge to anyone who wants it? Is this the usual practice or was it done because of the...ah...special nature of the tape?

Just asking.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 17, 2007 9:48 AM

David Hartzell,

Tapes, not tape. If you watch the video critique, you find that at least two camera crews were on the scene, one of which operated from a vantage point directly behind the boy and his father.

I think Channel 2 is more afraid of the French court system at this point. If they can be proven to have withheld evidence in a case decided in their favor, I think vacation of the judgement against Karsenty will be the least of their worries.

Posted by hadsil | September 17, 2007 6:05 PM

The Dreyfuss Affair II

Post a comment