zondag 18 november 2007

Mohammed Al-Dura: tussen Kim Phuc en Pallywood?

Het is een van die zaken waar je als leek eigenlijk weinig over kunt zeggen: de één is vast overtuigd van Israëls schuld, de ander is vast overtuigd dat het allemaal in scene is gezet. En het is vooral iets waarvan ik het moeilijk vind te begrijpen waarom het niet allang duidelijk is. Er is bijna 30 minuten film en er waren allerlei mensen aanwezig tijdens Al Dura's dood.
Als Israël Al Dura niet heeft doodgeschoten, waarom heeft het leger dat dan niet vanaf het begin duidelijk gezegd, en France 2 toendertijd voor het gerecht gedaagd met de eis tot rectificatie en openbaarmaking van al het filmmateriaal?
En als France 2 zo overtuigd is van haar gelijk, waarom dan niet direct al het materiaal op YouTube gezet, for all to see?
Zes jaar na dato is onder zware druk 18 minuten film vrijgegeven, die volgens verschillende bronnen geen eenduidig antwoord geeft op de vraag of en hoe Al Dura is gedood. Waarom het er allemaal toe doet, vraag je je wellicht af, er zijn sindsdien honderden Palestijnse jongetjes door het Israëlische leger gedood.

"The al-Dura report has had terrible consequences, causing hate against Israel and Jews," Karsenty told Haaretz. "We have to repair the damage now, before it's too late."

Al Dura werd een symbool voor Palestijnse onschuld en Israëlische wreedheid, omdat hij van dichtbij in koelen bloede doodgeschoten zou zijn zonder zelf iets te hebben gedaan. De beelden van hoe zijn vader hem probeert te beschermen en hij in zijn armen sterft, zijn hartverscheurend. Uit de Vietnam Oorlog weten we, dat een foto het beeld en de beeldvorming van een oorlog kan bepalen. Al Dura is de Kim Phuc van de tweede intifada. We weten ook hoeveel mogelijkheden er zijn om beeldmateriaal te manipuleren. Tijdens de Libanon Oorlog zijn daar een paar sterke staaltjes van uitgekomen. Zoals de dood van Al Dura staat voor de onderdrukking van een heel volk, zo staat een in scene gezette of aan de verkeerde partij toegeschreven dood voor de grootschalige manipulatie en propaganda van Palestijnse kant, en de kritiekloze manier waarop Europese media daar in trappen.

Fri., November 16, 2007 Haaretz

French court examines al-Dura footage
By Haaretz correspondent

PARIS - A French appeals court screened footage today of the September 2000 television report on the death of Muhammad al-Dura, in a case of defamation brought against French television and its correspondent in the Middle East, Charles Enderlin.

The veteran journalist was accused in 2004 by Philippe Karsenty, the owner of an internet site, of broadcasting a staged report on the al-Dura killing, and of instigating hate against Israel and Jews throughout the world.

Karsenty was convicted in the original defamation trial, but a second trial ended with the judge demanding to examine the full footage of the al-Dura report before deciding whether Karsenty was guilty of defamation or not.

Enderlin explained in court each segment of the 18-minute footage filmed on September 30, 2000, by his cameraman Talal Abu Rahma at Netzarim junction while Enderlin was in Ramallah: the street battles with dozens of people throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at an IDF outpost, an interview with a Fatah official, and the incident involving Mohammed al-Dura and his father in the last minute of the video.

Karsenty challenged Enderlin's explanations. "The boy moved his head after we heard the cameraman say he was dead. How do you explain this?" asked Karsenty. "Why is there no blood on their shirts although they had bullet wounds?"

Enderlin said that Talal Abu Rahma did not say that the boy had died, but that he was dying. The journalist maintained that only the Israelis shot at the al-Duras, explaining that he could hear the difference between the shooting of the Israeli rubber bullets and Palestinian regular ones.

Karsenty repeated several troubling details. He pointed out that an article by senior journalists Denis Jeambar and Daniel Leconte in 2004 noted some staged scenes filmed by Abu Rahma in the first part of the footage, which they had examined at French TV studios with former le Monde journalist Luc Rosenzweig.

Jeambar and Leconte called on French TV to launch its own internal enquiry, citing a possible lack of journalistic standards, but did not not share the theory of a possible staging of al-Dura's death.

"The al-Dura report has had terrible consequences, causing hate against Israel and Jews," Karsenty told Haaretz. "We have to repair the damage now, before it's too late."

Tension was high in the courtroom yesterday, and some pro and anti-Enderlin militants were arguing loudly, causing some commotion. Dozens of Jewish bloggers were present at the courthouse.

Serge Kovacs, a friend and co-worker of Enderlin, said Enderlin was falsely accused and has become a "new Dreyfuss." Enderlin told journalists that there was no new "affair," and suggested they come to the next hearing on February 28.

Karsenty said that he intends to counter-attack French TV by pointing out that they only presented 18 minutes out of the 27 minutes Abu Rahma originally claimed to have shot.

Nov 15, 2007 The Jerusalem Post

French court sees footage of al-Dura

More than seven years after Muhammad al-Dura, 12, was apparently shot to death during clashes between IDF troops and Palestinian gunmen at Gaza's Netzarim junction, a small packed courtroom in the Palais de Justice here viewed raw footage of the incident Wednesday.

Among those present in court were Charles Enderlin, the Israel correspondent for the France 2 TV station whose original report of the September 2000 incident blamed Israel for the killing, and Philippe Karsenty, the director of the media watchdog group Media-Ratings, whose assertion that France 2's coverage was "a hoax" sparked the ongoing legal battle.

Members of the French media did not appear to be present among the approximately 60-strong audience; some members of the public could not get into the small room where the uncut footage provided by France 2 was screened from 2:15 p.m. to 4 p.m. Although the footage itself ran for a total of 18 minutes, it was stopped at several points so Enderlin could comment on what was happening.

The footage shown in court, however, was inconclusive. Toward the end, the tape appeared to show Dura briefly putting his hand to his forehead to check what was happening around him, and moving his leg.

The footage also featured his father shouting out, "Muhammad is dead! Muhammad is dead!"

Enderlin said after the hearing that France 2 had produced all the raw footage it had, based on "an original tape that was kept in a safe until now. We presented a DVD that was made in front of a bailiff from the original tape... not from the various copies you can find here and there."

France 2's original September 30, 2000, broadcast showed 55 seconds of edited footage from the Netzarim junction. Enderlin was not present at the junction, but voiced over the footage according to information given to him by cameraman Talal Abu Rahma. He explained in his news report that the footage showed a father and his son caught in a gunfight and that the boy was killed by shots coming from the IDF position at the Netzarim junction. France 2 offered the video for free to other television stations.

Wednesday's hearing followed a September demand from the French appeals court judge that France 2 show it the raw video footage of the events.

Following the incident, al-Dura became an instant icon for Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israeli brutality. However, the IDF, which initially apologized for the death, concluded after an investigation that the boy could not have been hit by Israeli bullets.

When Karsenty branded France 2's video of the incident a hoax, he was sued and found guilty of slander. His appeal prompted the current legal battle.

Two months ago, the deputy commander of the IDF Spokesman's Office, Col. Shlomi Am-Shalom, wrote to France 2 asking for the unedited footage. Am-Shalom stressed that the IDF had "ruled out" the notion that al-Dura was killed by Israeli fire.
The case is set to resume on February 27.

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