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Al Dura Death a Fake!

Dr. Richard L. Benkin

In 2000, the France-2 television station, aired footage purporting to show a young Arab boy being shot to death by Israeli soldiers in Gaza. Most people remember the incident because it soon became a cause caliber for anti-Israelis everywhere. The footage was shown again and again, often accompanied by screams about “Israeli barbarism.” There were riots and protests worldwide, and subsequently the boy, Muhammed Al Dura, was hailed as a martyr throughout the Arab and much of the Muslim world. Iran, for instance, has named over 150 schools for the child.

But as it turns out, the entire incident was staged; a fake. Now, the French courts have made it official by throwing out France-2’s libel suit against Philippe Karsenty, a media critic who has been accusing the TV station of fabricating the false incident and violating every canon of good journalism. In taking its action, the court said that France-2 “created and is continuing to perpetuate the worst anti-Semitic libel of our era.” The French Supreme Court soon will decide whether or not to revoke France-2’s press credentials.

The France-2 “report” shows Al Dura and his father cowering behind a large barrel, allegedly as protection against Israeli gunfire. There is an abrupt cut in the film, and we see the boy lying in his father’s lap. France-2 correspondent Charles Enderlin, who was not even there at the time, then says in a voice over that Israeli soldiers killed the boy. The Israeli government apologized profusely for the incident then launched its own investigation. Soon it became clear that there was something fishy about the alleged incident. Most tellingly, the investigators took a wide view of the area (as the France-2 footage had a very narrow focus and did not even show the Israelis in relation to the Arabs). When all the parties are shown, it was clear—and the investigators demonstrated conclusively—that it was physically impossible for any Israeli soldiers to have shot the boy. In fact, the angle of the bullet makes it far more likely that Palestinian snipers “martyred” the boy to advance their cause. Additionally, the boy was buried before an autopsy could be performed, and the burial was in Jordan rather than Gaza so Israelis could not perform one. Jamal Al Dura claimed that his son was “shot in the back” until he was informed that no Israelis were behind the m.

The France-2 claim violated the laws of physics—but evidently, not the laws of political correctness. For the response by Arabs, leftists and their uncritical sycophants was that any Israeli investigation had to be a whitewash and could not be believed. Despite the questions, they continued to use the incident to justify anti-Israeli terrorism; and the international media along with misnomered “human rights” groups joined the chorus of shrill voices. As Daniel Seaman of Israel’s Government Press Office noted in 2007, “Without any deep and serious investigation, the global media convicted the State of Israel in the murder of a little boy.”

Starting in 2004, more and more reports began surfacing about the incident, calling it “dubious” and “a hoax..” Several of these outlets are even known for being pro-Arab in the Middle East conflict. That same year, France-2’s News Director admitted that it was impossible to know “with 100 percent certainty” whether Israelis or Arabs shot the boy. But facts are facts, and Karsenty published an article calling for the resignation of Charles Enderlin and another France-2 employee for staging the Al-Dura boy's death. France-2 sued for libel and won an initial decision, but on appeal, the wheels started coming off its cover up. The physical evidence against France-2 was overwhelming, so in September 2007, the judge ordered it to hand over the film. But in a cynical move, the station refused to do so, submitting only part of it and purposely hiding the most damning evidence against it.

After the verdict, a triumphant Karsenty said, “The Al-Dura lie is an assault on our ability to think, to criticize, to evaluate, and finally to reject information.”

The leaders of the anti-Semitic war against Israel purposely staged event—probably even murdered the boy themselves—to help dupe the rest of the world into thinking that their cause is just. And it was not even the first time. Time and again, they faked evidence to advance their cause—in perpetrating the false “massacre” in Jenin, in the faked photos that claim used to claim falsely a “massacre” in Qana, in the false claims that Israeli are responsible for terrorist bombs that explode inaccurately among Arabs; and so on and so on. The question is whether or not the majority of the Muslim world will recognize the fraud perpetrated on them and ask: ‘Why, if your cause is so just do you have to engage in frauds and fake evidence? Is it that the facts demonstrate that your cause is not just? Let us hope that for once fact is strong enough to overcome bigotry.