In an ongoing series of posts about the France2 tapes, I include this (and two more) about my own experiences:
I had the rare privilege to visit Charles Enderlin at France2 studios in Jerusalem in October 2003, and view about 20 minutes of tape from Talal abu Rachmeh’s work of September 30, 2000. Although I had already become acquainted with a tendency to stage scenes of fighting and ambulance evacuations, I was in for quite a surprise. Talal’s work was considerably more obvious in its filming of fakes, many of them quite badly staged for the cameras. In fact, if the cameraman who filmed the footage at Second Draft, to some extent, a photographer of Pallywood, standing back often and filming both the scene and the set, Talal was a Pallywood photographer, filming up close only the key “sight bytes” (as in the Molotov Cocktail scene ).
At one point, some youth are evacuating a “wounded” comrade, when one of them sees another ambulance with more cameramen. He puts the wounded boy in a headlock and yanks him over to the other ambulance, dragging the other “evacuators” with him. The experience of watching Talal’s work was literally surreal, Alice in Wonderland. I was astonished. It gave me information vertigo. What was going on?
At another point, a boy faked a leg injury, but instead of drawing big kids who could pick him up and rush him past the cameramen to an ambulance, he only attracted little kids. He shooed them away, looked around, and, seeing that no one was coming to evacuate him, straightened up and walked away without a limp. An Israeli cameraman working for France2 who was watching the film with me and Enderlin at the time, laughed at this point.
When I asked him why, he said, “because it looks so fake.”
“That’s my impression as well,” I responded.
Enderlin commented, “Oh, they do that all the time. It’s their cultural style. They exaggerate.”
When I walked out of the office, I was in shock. They do this all the time?! It’s their cultural style? Enderlin’s condescending “orientalism” really disguised an information catastrophe. The joke was on us all – the responsible media, the trusting public, the “scoop”-hungry journalists who rummaged through these cheap scenes, looking for something they could use in the evening’s broadcast. That’s when the term Pallywood first occurred to me.
Other journalists who saw Abu Rahmeh’s rushes in Paris at France2 in the Fall of 2004 had the same impression and got the same answer from France2 executives. In a radio interview , translated here, Daniel Leconte recalls:
the staging which obviously they were obliged to acknowledge as we sat around the table with the representatives of France 2, that is was staged – which is pretty outrageous (quand même extravagant) – and when we said to them, “You can see it’s staged,” one of them said, smiling, “Yes, but you know well that it’s always like that.” [To which Leconte responded:] “You may know that, but your viewers still don’t know.”
At least Leconte and Jeambar still adhere to principles of modern journalism. The PA has no scruples about doctoring film with shots from other days in order to “tell a higher truth.” Charles Enderlin responded to the scandal caused by these revelations with a defense that suggests he has “gone native.” He used Talal’s footage to run his story “because it corresponded with the situation on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” Leconte “even-handedness” – “if we did something on this, we could not do it on this alone.”
It is partly out of the refusal of the MSM to police itself (even rival networks!), and partly out of the brazen refusal of France2 and Charles Enderlin to release their incriminating tapes, that I launched the Second Draft website. Visitors to that site can view the evidence themselves, rapidly become more knowledgeable about the case than the journalists who pretend to inform them, and so, not only pass their own judgments on what happened at Netzarim Junction on September 30, 2000, but also on the quality of the journalism they read in the MSM.