Al Dura Affair: France 2 Cooks the Raw Footage (Comments on Nidra Poller)

Nidra Poller has the best account of the courtroom antics at PJ Media. I append comments and reflections. In comparison with so many accounts in the MSM, this one shows how important it is to be familiar with the issues before writing about matters.

Al Dura Affair: France 2 Cooks the Raw Footage

By Nidra Poller
Paris, November 15, 2007

Palais de Justice, Paris, November 14th, France 2 and Charles Enderlin versus Philippe Karsenty—the appeal.

In response to an order issued by the Appellate Court for handover of the unedited raw footage shot by France 2 cameraman Talal Abu Rahma on the 30th of September and 1st of October 2000, the state-owned TV network produced an 18-minute CD, a certificate of conformity, and its Jerusalem Bureau Chief Charles Enderlin. This is the first time monsieur Enderlin has stood before the court since a series of lawsuits for defamation was initiated in September 2006. Enderlin said, in interviews and on his France 2 blog, that he was pleased to have the opportunity to display the raw footage and bring an end to years of unfair, unfounded accusations. French media have shunned the issue, but an array of international journalists and concerned citizens came to see the evidence and judge for themselves. The hearing was scheduled for 1:30 PM.

By noon, dozens of people—journalists and people connected to the al Dura affair—were gathered in the small waiting area outside the courtroom. An hour later, an impatient crowd of 50 or 60 people pressed the early birds against the closed courtroom door. Gendarmes and several individuals in civilian clothes tried to clear a path for lawyers and clients to enter through a side door. Shouting, begging, and threatening to cancel the hearing, they forced their way through the compact mass, carrying folding chairs. Judge Trébucq herself, not yet draped in her official robes, was lugging chairs like a humble servant of the law.

The crush endured. It seemed endless, it was unbearable and absolutely senseless.

There’s a theory that some traffic jams are caused by purely psychological phenomena. Someone brakes sharply during heavy traffic, and a whole knot of stop and go traffic is created by people reacting to him and each other. The knot can remain for hours after the initial braking, as long as the press of traffic remains the same. Here, in a half-empty hallway, everyone was pressed against the door, the object of everyone’s desire. The ones who did not press, like John Rosenthal in the back, did not get in.

From time to time a gendarme emerged and scolded the unruly crowd whose voices disturbed the court where miscellaneous business was being handled. Philippe Karsenty’s father who was standing next to me said “Enderlin is here.” We thought he was joking. Luc Rosenzwieg, whose presence in the courtroom was essential, almost passed out. Daily Mail journalist Melanie Phillips (author of the famous Londonstan), who comes from the land of the disciplined queue, could not believe the Palais de Justice would show such disdain for citizens. Over-eager citizens who have been following the al Dura affair through the Net shoved their way in front of journalists assigned to cover the story and bring the news to millions. Richard Landes and Tom Gross, who need no introduction, did their best to shield us from the worst assaults. A tall slim pale young man with a keffieh around his neck waited, expressionless. Someone whispered: “He’s from the Associated Press.”

It is somewhat alargming to realize to what extent French journalists have no inhibitions about advertising their political commitments. Wearing a keffieh as a scarf is a sharp announcement of ones political sympathies. Imagine a journalist being taken seriously as a candidate to work for a major international news agency who wears an Israeli flag button on his lapel.

Once more a path was cut through the raving crowd. Charles Enderlin arrived with a suite of lawyers and a gaggle of followers.

An enraged Serge Kovacs (France 3) full of sound and fury harangued the crowd from the rear, then got into a shouting match, in Hebrew, with Stéphane Juffa (Metula News Agency). According to our translators, Kovacs was doing a j’accuse on us. Enderlin is his Dreyfuss. We were the lynch mob. He was out of control. We sent a few gendarmes over to expel him.

As I watched and listened from a distance, I saw this red-faced shouter who, people informed me, works for France3. He seemed to illustrate still more dramatically than the AP keffieh guy just how openly partisan the passions of French journalists. Enderlin innocent! A new Dreyfuss. The scandal of attacking him in court! Shame on you.

I spoke with Serge today: a fascinating man, filled with passion, child of Holocaust survivors from Hungary, tremendously worried about the wave of anti-Semitism that is destroying European culture. So why is he protecting Enderlin? Because Enderlin helped him through some difficult moments… out of loyalty, out of professional solidarity. Did he know that Enderlin is the plaintiff and Karsenty the defendant? “No.” Did he realize how much Enderlin contributed to the very Judeophobie he was worried about? “They didn’t need al Durah to hate.” Did he realize that Enderlin behaved badly as a journalist? “Possible, he’s not called ‘Scoop’ for nothing.” Did he want to see the evidence? “No.”

“Charles is above all proud. If you want him to admit error, you’re asking him to put a bullet to his head and pull the trigger. Forget it. He would sooner die that admit error, and Arlette Chabot will defend him, not because he’s right, but because he’s her employee and her organization’s reputation is at stake. If France2 loses this case every journalist will have to fear having his work questioned.”

Isn’t that the essence of journalism in a free (i.e., a publicly critical) society? Shades of Dreyfuss alright: If we admit error, we lose face, lose authority, lose power.

2:15 PM-The court instructed the gendarmes to let us enter one by one, one journalist, one citizen. The ordeal was over for those of us who made it through the door. It was about to begin for Jamal and Mohamed al Dura, “target of gunfire from the Israeli positions,” dixit Charles Enderlin on that fateful day.

Judge Trébucq introduces the session. “I know there are many journalists here,” she says… and reminds us that it is strictly forbidden to use recording devices. Yes, but the reminder has a special flavor, something like a wink, here in France where the media are conspicuously ignoring the al Dura affair. Reading an excerpt from the cameraman’s testimony under oath—”I filmed 27 minutes of the incident that lasted 45 minutes—” the judge asks why there are only 18 minutes on the CD. The seasoned France 2 journalist gives a garbled excuse, a long diversion about how they never conserve raw footage, but this subject was exceptional, so he kept the cassette in a safe. He tells how Talal Abu Rahma was allowed by the IDF to go to the Annual Congress of Press Mediators in April 2001 to receive an award. This was clearly his strategic option, and he used it throughout the screening. Verbose and evasive, he constantly diverted attention away from the image, away from the specific detail under scrutiny, away from events that occurred that day at Netzarim Junction.

So how did the 27 minutes boil down to 18? Enderlin denies that anyone ever said there were 27 minutes… and then says there was some irrelevant material that he chopped off the day after the incident.

The incoherence of the argument was only matched by the oily self-confidence with which he said it. I expected the judge to peer over her glasses at Charles and say, “Are you kidding? Who told you you could make such judgments. I want the entire tape.” But no.

The judge presses the point, asking Rosenzweig and Landes to estimate the duration of the footage they viewed. They both attest to more than 20 minutes… Rosenzweig remembers someone mentioning 27. Karsenty’s lawyer concludes for the record: something is missing.

The raw footage was not so raw. And it was barely al Dura. If we take the cameraman’s word for it, given under oath a few days after the incident, not something but everything is missing. This is supposed to be the raw footage of the al Dura death scene. What we get is raw footage of Palestinian youths throwing stones, firebombs, and burning tires at the Israeli outpost. And provoking no reaction, except for one teargas bomb. Real provocations alternate with those familiar fake battle scenes with instantaneous ambulance evacuations.

Everything is missing. This is the big news for the public, what should have been in the Jerusalem Post and any other MSM reporter’s account. Talal said he had 27 minutes of the 45-minute long shooting ordeal; Enderlin said he cut painful scenes of the boy’s agony; Talal told Esther Schapira he had sent Charles initially six minutes of the shooting. And there are none. We see minute after minute of Pallywood (which Charles’ imagination populates with rubber bullets coming from undetectable rifles, inflicting such terrible wounds that constant ambulances are necessary). But nothing more on al Durah.

A 45 minute ordeal of Israelis targeting a defenseless boy and his father — the core of Talal’s oft repeated claims that made this footage so terrifying — boils down to 60 seconds. The first and foremost revelation of this showing of the rushes is that the 27 minutes that Talal swore to under oath he took, do not exist. He caught virtually nothing of the alleged ordeal. We are left with six takes of ca. 10 seconds each, each notably discontinuous with the previousl

The 21 minutes that I saw three times in Enderlin’s office, scene after scene of Pallywood, is entirely different material. And out of the combined 21 minutes of previous rushes and the 27 minutes of shooting, we were shown 18.

Judge Trébucq had asked Charles Enderlin to move back from center stage to a more modest position but he continued to assume the lead role, talking without interruption. Telling war stories. Making cultural interpretations. He sent his trusted cameraman to Netzarim Junction that day because seven Palestinians had been killed on the Temple Mount the day before. He expected protests.

This was actually quite shocking. The court should have viewed the scenes before having Enderlin frame them for us. It was like giving him the opportunity to set the stage. Like the MSM when the story first aired — “Attention viewers, the footage you are about to see is shocking. Please be advised.” — he tells us what we are to see.

As Charles Enderlin switched on his anchorman’s voice and stonewalled, his legal team—Maître Amblard, who has been handling the cases for the past year, reinforced by a tall dashing Maître Pierre Olivier Sur and the scowling Guillaume Weill-Raynal— stood squarely in front of Landes and Rosenzweig, blocking their view of the screen.

Again, I expected the judge to tell them to sit down. They did not. Which drove me and Luc to go on the floor even closer. It actually backfired. I was right behind Philippe and got to give him some points to make.

Enderlin comments: This is what we call typical Intifada scenes. A game that’s played between the Palestinian youths and the Israeli soldiers. The limits are clearly defined. That’s why the kids aren’t afraid, they move around casually, throw a firebomb, laugh and joke. The Israelis up to this point are firing metal bullets coated with rubber. They cause big bruises.

Ah, but we are seeing all these ambulances pulling up with hurling sirens. So Charles Enderlin explains that sometimes the bullets do penetrate, the wounds are more serious, and the Palestinians call an ambulance. Yes, the game can go on for hours, then somebody loses his nerve, shoots live ammunition, and people get killed.

Judge: What time of day is this?

Enderlin: The end of the morning. This kind of action was going on off and on all morning. I told Talal to wear a bullet proof vest, but he didn’t want to… As it turns out…

The time line clicks on, the minutes go by, and Charles Enderlin, flanked by someone presented as a specialist (in images? photojournalism? the Mideast conflict?) never stops talking. Still no images of Mohamed al Dura and his father caught in the crossfire. The action is interspersed with brief interviews. Enderlin translates from the Arabic. They are protesting because Sharon went into the Al Aqsa Mosque…or defiled the mosque, or destroyed it… They are angry. This is the expression of their anger.

I noted to Karsenty and he noted to the judge, that the interviews take place with the Israeli position behind them. If the ambulances were taking away wounded from Israeli fire, why are they in plain sight of the Israelis.

Enderlin responds: “They’re far away, out of range.”
Philippe: “About as far away as the Al Durahs in the subsequent shooting.”

We hear gunfire in the background. Karsenty interrupts to say there is no sign of bullets coming from the clearly visible Israeli position. Enderlin laughs in his face. Hah! If I could get a film that shows bullets coming from a firing position, it would be a scoop.

Abu Rahma interviews a Fatah leader who speaks English. He too explains that they are angry because Sharon went into the Al Aqsa Mosque. Abu Rahma asks him how long he thinks the protest will last. Undaunted by this curious question, the Fatah militant replies that it will last until the lesson is learned (does he mean until the message is heard by the Israelis or learned by the Palestinians?) and concludes: “they want to defend al Aqsa with their blood.”

The timeline reads 13 minutes 66 (?) seconds. Enderlin explains: Talal switched off his camera and wraps it up. He had done his day’s work. When he turns it on again, the real shooting has begun. Enderlin’s voice is dramatic. He comments, as the camera searches. Real gunfire, Talal is trying to see where it is coming from, is it the Israeli position? No, is it the Palestinian… From the “twin towers?” The fortress?

Karsenty reminds him he said you can’t see the bullets coming out. Enderlin says you can see the tip of the barrel of the gun at the window.

While we see the smoke of guns firing from the Palestinian position.

Suddenly everything is confused. The timeline skips from 14’20 to 17’00. We see the beginning of the al Dura news report as it was broadcast. The avocat général fiddles with the controls, the image winds back, forward. We’re back at the interview. The commentary is confused. Is Charles Enderlin saying the fire was coming from the Palestinian positions?

This moment was very strange. Enderlin started to make remarks to prepare for what was to come, indicating that we had seen the previous footage and we would now be seeing the footage of the al Durahs (the three minutes). At this point I realized that they had cut the scenes I saw (and probably more). I was in disbelief (I am so naive).

At this point the stop and go of the remote started to break down and we went back and forth jumping wildly. But between the previous rushes and the 3 minutes, the screen goes blank. Obvious editing.

Finally—it’s not clear how—we get to the al Dura footage. And all we see is what you got in the original September 30, 2000 broadcast. It’s spliced. But we recognize the details. Karsenty interrupts every few seconds to point out the anomalies. No blood. The boy is holding a red kerchief to make it look like blood.

This was big. The best footage I have seen — at Shahaf’s — is not as sharp as this. The shape and movement of the scarf seemed much clearer, but since Philippe was jumping up and pointing it out to the judges, I couldn’t see as clearly as I’d like.

The soldiers were supposed to be firing at them for 45 minutes, the wall is intact, there are a few holes. Round holes, shot head on.

Charles Enderlin and Talal Abu Rahma have consistently claimed that the Israeli position was directly opposite the targeted man and boy. It is not true. Enderlin stands in front of the judge and says everything and the opposite about the positions. He does not reply to a single objection raised by Karsenty, raised by other analysts repeatedly over the past seven years: The father’s arm is intact, he claims he was hit nine times by high power bullets, his muscles smashed, his bones crushed. No blood on his white t-shirt. Voices in Arabic shout “the boy is dead! the boy is dead!” He is sitting next to his father, eyes wide open.

Charles Enderlin standing in a French court explains: Oh, that’s something cultural. In their culture, when they say “the boy is dead” they mean he is in danger of dying, that he is in a very dangerous situation, he might die. The judges smile.

And the courtroom laughed. It was one of Charles’ less briliant moments.

We reach the end of the scene as it figured in news reports, the point where Charles Enderlin said, “Mohamed is dead, his father is critically wounded.” We might ask what that means in his culture…because the scene continues for another three seconds in which we see the boy who is lying on his stomach with his hands over his eyes, turn, lift his elbow, shade his eyes, look at the camera, and slowly return to his prone position.

Philippe Karsenty interrupts every few seconds, leaps up, points to the screen, asks for a slow forward, backward, forward. The boy is moving. He is alive.

The expert steps in, points to the image, the position of the boy’s foot, and declares: “A living person couldn’t hold his body in that position.”

That was one of the more bizarre moments of all. He talked about how the body had gone limp and the boy was unquestionably dead (in scene 5) when a) his hand is on his eyes and his elbow is off the ground, and b) in the next scene he moves.

Back in the autumn of 2000 when the al Dura news report first hit the screens, Talal Abu Rahma and Charles Enderlin often told how they experienced, by exchange of cell phone calls, that terrible ordeal as it was happening. Talal phoned to say the man and the boy were pinned down by gunfire. Enderlin said be careful. Talal described how the man tried to protect the boy, called someone on his cell phone, tried to show the Israeli soldiers he was a helpless civilian, with a child. Abu Rahma filmed, phoned, filmed. He told Enderlin to look after his family if anything happened to him. He was ducking bullets, shielded by a panel truck, a few kids were gathered around him, seeking refuge. Bullets were flying. How many phone calls? Maybe a dozen, as they told it then. All the way up to the fatal outcome.

On November 14th, Charles Enderlin, standing before the judges, as the brief one-minute of raw footage focused on Mohamed al Dura and his father drew to an end, began that litany: and Talal was calling me as it was happening…

He would have gone on if someone hadn’t interrupted him. Most likely Philippe Karsenty, making another point about the signs of life in the allegedly murdered child. He might have gone on, and described the dramatic phone calls back and forth, without realizing that everyone in the courtroom saw that the raw footage focused on the al Dura incident lasted only one minute. Just one minute. How many times did the cameraman call the journalist as he filmed that dramatic one-minute incident?
And the totality of film recorded by the France 2 cameraman on that fateful day, over a period of at least 5 hours, was eighteen minutes?

Of course Talal’s answer would be, I called during the 45 minutes that punctuated my six takes of 10 seconds each (cell phone batteries doing better than camera batteries). I can imagine these phone calls. They were the way that Talal set “Scoop” up to see what Talal wanted him to see when he got the tapes — a tragedy of monumental proportions.

The session ended. The debate continued in the marble halls of the Palais de Justice. Interviews were filmed. Information and impressions exchanged. The behind the scenes story will be reported in the coming days.

The next hearing is scheduled for the 27th of February 2008.

My inside informer says that the judges will do a thorough re-examination of the entire case.

This is excellent news. If the judge is diligent, Enderlin’s goose is cooked. Few people merit such a fate more than this man who was either complicit or duped, and has spent the last seven years defending his lost honor no matter what the enormous collatoral damage.

41 Responses to Al Dura Affair: France 2 Cooks the Raw Footage (Comments on Nidra Poller)

  1. fp says:

    rl,

    you say you are naive. how naive can you be after such a “court” to still posit “IF the judge is dilligent”? IF?

    the whole thing was predictable circus and reinforced my position that (a) french justice is a contradiction in terms (b) MSM is incorrigible (c) it won’t change anything even if Enderlin loses. and my sense is that the system won’t let a star journalist lose.

    fp
    http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

  2. Diane says:

    Richard,

    What a crazy ride! It seems incredible to me that Enderlin didn’t get better advice of counsel. Did he not even bother to rehearse what he would say? He tripped himself up so often and so completely that Karsenty hardly needed to even be there.

    Unlike fp, I’m very encouraged by this report. In fact, it leads me to an interesting legal question: couldn’t Americans maimed or bereaved in Intifadah II violence theoretically sue France2 for civil damages in American court? Like the Americans who sued Iran (successfully) for sponsoring Hamas attacks? Or Holocaust survivors who sued Swiss banks? Wouldn’t that be just too delicious? French taxpayers forking over their hard-earned Euros in compensation for Enderlin’s unscrupulous on-air slander? Oh, it warms the heart to think of it.

  3. fp says:

    diane,

    to me it looks like enderlin did not need better advice, because he was an arrogant lier and yet there is a good chance he got away with it. which is what he was counting on.

    as to suing france2, I assume that france2 would have to lose to allow for that. and even then, to prove a direct connection between their lie and specific victims would be a tall order. but it could force france2 to spend a lot of resources on defense if some good lawyers got together and represented a group of victims pro-bono or on commission. it would certainly be publicity for the good side for a change and it may have some effect on MSM behavior.

    but I won’t hold my breath.

  4. Anat says:

    Dianne,
    I believe such a suit is on its way in Israel, but I agree it would be better in the US and even better in Britain or France.

    fp,
    I don’t think it depends on the results of the present case, which has to do with technicalities of the libel law rather than with the al-Durah evidence in itself. It would help, however, if Enderlin is first sued for tampering with evidence.

    Having said that, I must emphasise that this is a layman’s impression. I am not a lawyer.

  5. Richard Landes says:

    fp: as you see in the bbc article, enderlin’s already complaining about how this is all having a “chilling effect” on the MSM’s freedom to comment freely [i.e., slander] Israel.
    it won’t happen overnight, but i do think we’re in for major changes in the MSM.

  6. Anat says:

    RL,

    This point of “commenting freely” is very interesting. For it was Enderlin who sued Philippe for “commenting freely”. Is he saying that he as a journalist has greater rights than Philippe for free commenting?

  7. RL says:

    it was bizarre beyond belief. but he attacked pk for commenting negatively. and, yes, he does think that as a journalist he has greater rights than pk. it’s one of the characteristics of the european elites. they are still profoundly pre-modern in their sense of entitlement. it’s one of the phenomena that feeds eurabia: the elites consider commoners so far beneath them, that it doesn’t matter to them who is manning the factories and the farms — christians, atheists, muslims — what’s the diff?

  8. Eliyahu says:

    Anat has a good point about freedom of comment. It’s still whose ox is gored. Karl Marx once said that nobody is against freedom but only against the freedom of others.

    fp, hope you don’t mind my reference to km. Anyhow, as for suing France2, the outcome of the present case is not essential to a suit brought in the United States against France2.

    But with all of our happy chatter over Enderlin’s foolishness in a Paris courtroom, Condi and Bush Junior and lowlife olmert and terrorist-in-a-suit Abu Mazen are trying to advance the cause of terrorism and barbarism with their Annapolis Conference for War & Genocide. We ought to focus more attention on that problem.

  9. Ian Zwerling says:

    Enderlin should be found guilty for his immense arrogant disregard for the Justice system in France by concealing evidence that is damaging to his case. It should be accepted as an automatic admission of guilt on his part. If there was ever a greater reason for the existence of Israel as a refuge to humanities scoundrels prowling the uncivilized and barbarian streets, it would be difficult to find.

  10. Joel says:

    Charles Enderlin is easily the lowest Jew on the planet.
    He is the ‘Capo de Tutti Capos’.

  11. RL says:

    there’s a lot worse than Charles Enderlin, who when all is said and done, is a tragically pathetic figure, a hollow man who’s had to gut his critical intelligence in order to save face both within (he’s convinced he’s in good faith) and without. the damage he’s done is incalculable. but for malevolence and misguided self-loathing, there’s much worse.

  12. Michael N says:

    RL – “he does think that as a journalist he has greater rights than pk. it’s one of the characteristics of the european elites. they are still profoundly pre-modern in their sense of entitlement. it’s one of the phenomena that feeds eurabia: the elites consider commoners so far beneath them, that it doesn’t matter to them who is manning the factories and the farms — christians, atheists, muslims — what’s the diff?”

    How tragically true that is. (And how astute of you to omit Jews from the list in that last sentence – as the BBC have done several times when offering readers on their website a box in which to tick their religious denomination). It’s so close to being an American cliche about Europe that it’s tempting to dismiss it, but like most cliche this has so much unpleasant truth in it.

    I regularly read and comment at a site others here may be familiar with – http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/ – and recently one BBC journalist who engages with that site on a more or less honest and open level told of how a colleague of his at the BBC complained that in doing so he was giving the anti-BBC bloggers a kind of credibility and publicity they didn’t merit; best to just ignore them, he thought. After all, the BBC is paid to occupy the public space; anyone else is merely trespassing.

    Which is astonishing not only because it displays precisely the disdain most journalists have for the non-media masses, but in this instance particularly, because those bloggers who complain of what they perceive to be bias and incompetence at the BBC are forced under threat of fines and imprisonment to part with their share of the £3.2 billion every year which funds such disdain and contempt. We are forced to pay for their nice lives in the media bubble, and when we accuse them of getting things either incompetently or deliberately wrong their default response is to act as though the masses outwith the BBC don’t have any right to express an opinion.

    As for the other point you raise, this is unfortunately something that the British National Party have latched onto; they are opposed to globalisation because it disrupts settled indigenous communities and invites millions of foreigners to come and live here. I have no truck whatever with those racist thugs, or their solutions, but they do rightly identify, as you have, the fact that in the UK (I cannot speak for Europe) the population is seen as a vital component of the economy and little more. I’ve lived in the UK and the USA, and another friend who has done the same once remarked to me that the difference between the two countries was that the US believes that free-market capitalism benefits it as a community; while in the UK our leaders now believe that what used to be the community is a great benefit to the economy. The UK has been turned into a labor market with no sense of cohesion or community, no identity. We love (again) to look down loftily on what we wrongly perceive to be America’s obsession with money, without having the wit even to recognise that our leaders have systematically destroyed our community in the interests of business. (Sure, these are sweeping generalisations, granted, but I believe there’s some truth in them).

    All of these seemingly disparate factors play their role in a world in which the media shields the truth from us, lies to us, constantly oils the wheels of European-Arab cooperation and bridge-building, while abandoning to the wolves the one inconvenient State whose existence threatens that project.

  13. Ian Zwerling says:

    Free-market capitalism is what Jihad is at work with because it is seen as a crusader war. Islam is the most extreme religion because of its unity of God and man. Christianity had Jesus transform a historical narrative of God’s presence in the world, while Islam injects Gods presence into its followers life, there is no distinction between Allah and man. This creates a euphoria that resembles a hypnotic or drug-induced state of being, that invites violence and irrationality. It is the direct antithesis to a materialistic and individualistic form of society.

  14. Lorenz Gude says:

    As important as this trial is, and I believe it will be a major event in the history of media, it is a key event in a larger process. Just as Bill Gates cannot rid himself of Open Source software, Enderlain (even with a compliant French court) cannot rid himself of the Blogosphere – which is a new form of civil society created by networked social media. In 2000 Enderlin and France 2 held all the power; today they do not because they have to share control of the narrative with the those like RL and PK who insist on real journalistic standards.

  15. fp says:

    Dianne,
    I believe such a suit is on its way in Israel, but I agree it would be better in the US and even better in Britain or France.
    RL>fp: as you see in the bbc article, enderlin’s already complaining about how this is all having a “chilling effect” on the MSM’s freedom to comment freely [i.e., slander] Israel. it won’t happen overnight, but i do think we’re in for major changes in the MSM.

    I am not convinced. It looks more like pre-emptive whining by enderlin to help his case and to alert the media of the potential loss of status and power you referred to, so that they close ranks.

    RL>it was bizarre beyond belief … it’s one of the characteristics of the european elites. they are still profoundly pre-modern in their sense of entitlement.

    Hence my observation of a circus. Can justice come out of a circus?

    Are french courts an elite component? If so, what is the chance that they will go against another elite member? Do we have serious evidence that they have in the past?

    Eliyahu>fp, hope you don’t mind my reference to km … their Annapolis Conference for War & Genocide. We ought to focus more attention on that problem.

    Not at all, for 2 reasons: The european elites are still in his sway; and he was not a complete fool, he had some excellent insights, even if the world does not work exactly as in his theory.

    IZ>Enderlin should be found guilty for his immense arrogant disregard for the Justice system in France by concealing evidence that is damaging to his case. It should be accepted as an automatic admission of guilt on his part.

    Should. But the question is about the “will”.

    Joel> Charles Enderlin is easily the lowest Jew on the planet. He is the ‘Capo de Tutti Capos’.

    I am with RL on this one. There’s plenty worse, he simply was in a position to do more damage than most, which was not exactly his intention. One can’t compare him to a Finklestein, for example.

    Mike N>the difference between the two countries was that the US believes that free-market capitalism benefits it as a community; while in the UK our leaders now believe that what used to be the community is a great benefit to the economy. We love (again) to look down loftily on what we wrongly perceive to be America’s obsession with money, without having the wit even to recognise that our leaders have systematically destroyed our community in the interests of business. (Sure, these are sweeping generalisations, granted, but I believe there’s some truth in them).

    Weeelll, by definition the elites of any society, particularly those who own it, see the “community” as a target for control and manipulation, and the US is not any different. And it is not a free-market, but a corporate welfare state, where profit is privatized and costs are socialized. The real difference is that the US has a plitical system which (a) creates and tolerates competing elites, from whose competition the community gets some bones (b) the money basis permits mobility into the elites. However, for all sorts of reason this advantage is decaying and the consequences won’t be prettier than Europe.

    IZ>Free-market capitalism is what Jihad is at work with because it is seen as a crusader war. Islam is the most extreme religion because of its unity of God and man. Christianity had Jesus transform a historical narrative of God’s presence in the world, while Islam injects Gods presence into its followers life, there is no distinction between Allah and man. This creates a euphoria that resembles a hypnotic or drug-induced state of being, that invites violence and irrationality. It is the direct antithesis to a materialistic and individualistic form of society.

    The problem is more fundamental. Islamic society has failed relative to all other forms (even USSR, China and India produced something, and they were not market based). So the only way to save islamic society is to take over the west, subjugate it, and live off it as parasites, as Islam has done in history).

    Christiany did not “have” Jesus. Jesus, to the extent that he existed historically, was a jew who promoted a return from Roman corruption to the true judaic roots. It is Paul who hijacked Jesus and built a myth around him that has absolutely nothing to do with what Jesus was all about. It is a “fake religion”, but then all religions are fakes and have components that would not hesitate to do the same as the islamists if they had the power.

    LG>As important as this trial is, and I believe it will be a major event in the history of media, it is a key event in a larger process. Just as Bill Gates cannot rid himself of Open Source software, Enderlain (even with a compliant French court) cannot rid himself of the Blogosphere – which is a new form of civil society created by networked social media. In 2000 Enderlin and France 2 held all the power; today they do not because they have to share control of the narrative with the those like RL and PK who insist on real journalistic standards.

    You are too reliant on the blogosphere. First, in many instances it reflects lack of power to improve reality, which is what I call “expressive behavior”. And second, for all the blogosphere, the west position and Israel’s status have accelerated their loss, and islamists have raised their profile primarily in a period in which the blogosphere has come into its own. All factors are products of their societies and reflect it, including the blogosphere. The bad side can also use it and it does. At best, it gives some platform to the good side, but i see no evidence that the latter overcomes the former.

  16. Michael B says:

    “An enraged Serge Kovacs (France 3) full of sound and fury harangued the crowd from the rear, then got into a shouting match, in Hebrew, with Stéphane Juffa (Metula News Agency). According to our translators, Kovacs was doing a j’accuse on us. Enderlin is his Dreyfuss.”

    Wow, Enderlin as Dreyfus. When an empowered and profoundly entrenched status quo is forced to confront reality …

  17. Michael N says:

    fp – an interesting set of responses, and your nuancing of my friend’s reading of US and UK political-economic differences is well-made.

    (Re religion, given that the only substantive records we have of Jesus are all more or less the products of a Pauline-inflected theology, it is tempting but merely speculative to claim with any certainty what Jesus ‘really’ was by peeking behind the curtain of the existing testimony.

    The fact that very fine scholars in this field can come to such widely divergent viewpoints on this point as those held by Geza Vermes and John Dominic Crossan should be a warning against blithely assuming that we can take these heavily Pauline documents, subtract the Paul from them, and find a residue that constitutes the ‘true’ Jesus.)

  18. Ian Zwerling says:

    While Islam gives its followers the illusion of power and dominance, it never meets their expectations creating an intense feeling of inferiority. This inferiority, like that of all failed theories, leads to a protective and paranoid expression, in the hope of finding salvation in a miracle of deliverance, as the l2th Mullah of Irans theocratic and messianic leadership demonstrates.
    Globalization and global Jihad are strange bedfellows having risen to power by a fear of women’s influence in the world. They are testosterone and brainless driven movements of the worst kind, based on a fear of castration, in the instance of Islam, projecting this fear back onto women with female castration, in the instance of globalization on exploitation of the worlds resources to their finite point of no return.

  19. Ian Zwerling says:

    Globalization and global Jihad are strange bedfellows having risen to power by a fear of women’s influence in the world. They are testosterone and brainless driven movements of the worst kind, based on a fear of castration, in the instance of Islam, projecting this fear back onto women with female castration, in the instance of globalization on exploitation of the worlds resources to their finite point of no return.

  20. Ian Zwerling says:

    We condemn the death of innocents in suicide bombings, especially women and children, but this is their obvious target, generation is a betrayal of the promises of Islam, a movement away from its promise to its mesmerized followers.

  21. Ian Zwerling says:

    We condemn Islams medievalism but this is actually a complement to them because we give value to something that demonstrates no value. It doesnt progress because it is dead weight, has no inertia to go somewhere, while its followers wait for a miracle. The Islamic Jihad bomb isnt the miracle they expect, but a way of protecting itself in its paranoid worldview from encroachment, while it waits for its miracle to happen. While we use computer systems that Islam takes credit for, having invented the binary code, zero and one, they project themselves automatically into the modern world.

  22. fp says:

    mike n,

    >it is tempting but merely speculative to claim with any certainty what Jesus ‘really’ was by peeking behind the curtain of the existing testimony.

    it’s actually not THAT speculative. do yourself a favor and check out

    THE MYTHMAKER
    http://www.amazon.com/Mythmaker-Paul-Invention-Christianity/dp/0062505858

    Probably the best analysis of the issue available. Hard to argue with and I’ve read critiques.

    I have a hard time considering faithers who study christianity, not matter how genuinely they try to be objective. At least crossan is a civilian, unlike vermes.

    Even they dk how faith affects them. There are quite a few cases which demonstrate the problematics, e.g. the Quran documents and the shroud of turin. You should read about Vermes and the former.

  23. fp says:

    ian,

    re your #19, I follow you to a point.

    islam is both inhibiting societal success and exploits the ensuing envy and frustration to feed jihad. it has also a lot to do with sexual suppression and oppression. in the latter sense church catholicism is similar, witness the child abuse epidemy.

    globalization is a corporate effort at forcing labor in the west to compete to cheap labor in the third world and to exploit the unrestricted mobility of capital while labor is stuck.

  24. fp says:

    ian,

    re your #21, I see nothing in islam that’s a promise. there is nothing in muhammad to suggest that.

    re your #22 the encroachment occurs BECAUSE of the discrepancy between islamic society and the west. the defense in a static islam can only be jihad.

  25. Ian Zwerling says:

    Its no accident that Bin Laden attacked the twin towers, the symbol of capitalism and globalization. When the leader of Iran appeared at Columbia and made the famous homosexuality comment, he was making a political argument, that while the Islamic world is on a Jihad course, the west is becoming a fetishistic degeneration of the body into sex instruments of personal satisfaction. Internet porn, which one would find objectionable by the right wing, seems to be accepted as a natural element of society, while sex continues to be only partly understood, its exposure to developing minds is disturbing, and can only be understood as an acceptable element of society, useful in some way. Since sex is a generative behavior, it is itself ontological and cant be deconstructed, therefore it must be seen as an engine of social development. Globalization is not a rational process, exporting jobs is a fantasy, it encourages the worst traits of nationalism, as witnessed by Russia’s behavior, by Chinese exploitation, a development of an American get rich quick mentality and a financial oligarchy. It destroys the middle-class that existed since economic stability was a main goal of post-war economic policies. Capitalism is economic warfare in the marketplace. Jihad is political warfare. They are mirror images.

  26. Ian Zwerling says:

    Everything in Islam is a promise, a promise of success, of course, in comparison to other religions deemed inferior.
    The Islamic narrative is the danger to the West, the hypnotic spell that it emits that lulls the west into a false sense of reality. The Al Dura case is an example, so obviously false to defy description but on every front we have a false reality present, the middle east peace process, the proclamations of the Arab anti-discrimination league, etc. The Al Dura case is deemed legitimate by its supporters because in Islam it isnt the fact that matters but the statement being made, a fable if you will. Its like sympathetic magic. Its like the scene in Blazing Saddles where the sheriff puts a gun to his own head and threatens to kill his hostage. It is making the statement that if you dont submit to our will, we will kill our own children because we are out of control and you will be held responsible. Unfortunately, the west has bought into this irrational scenario

  27. Ian Zwerling says:

    I can see how one can compare Paul to Enderlin, Paul having persecuted Christians until his conversion and Enderlin, a Jew, a turncoat. But I disagree that Jesus tried to purify Judaism and I see Enderlin as a casualty of European anti-semitism, where he has institutionalized guilt and lives in a pit of hell of his own creation.

  28. fp says:

    ian,

    every religion is a false promise. by definition. that’s true by definition. when I said I see no promise I meant that whatever promise it has — like all religion — it cannot fulfill it. it is the west which is losing, not islam which is winning.

    i referred to paul not in comparison to enderlin, but in response to the claim that christianity “had” Jesus. It did not. it INVENTED a jesus that did not exist, possibly physically did not exist.

    whether you agree that jesus tried to purify judaism or not, there is better evidence that he did (see the source I cited) than what paul invented 100 of years after jesus time. there is no evidence FROM THE TIME JESUS purportedly LIVED to document he was inventing any new religion, so at odds with judaism.

    christianity was invented by paul out of thin air.

  29. Eliyahu says:

    Ian, it is tempting to psychoanalyze Islam, as you do. I think some of your analysis seems good. Looking at Islam and its impact historically, which I’d rather do, I believe that
    1) the Arab conquest/[or coming of Islam] wrecked civilization in the Orient, that is, what is today called the Middle East. Before Islam, the Orient [Egypt, Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, Anatolia] were centers of civilization. The ancient Greeks and Romans had learned from Oriental peoples, Egyptians, Jews, Phoenicians, Babylonians, etc]. At the time of the Arab conquest, the city of Gaza was home to a school of Greek rhetoric and Beirut had a school of Roman law, not to mention the Jewish Talmudic studies going on in Israel and Babylonia, and other cultural events and progress in these various countries.

    The Arab conquest wrecked cities, destroyed, shifted, and drove away populations, etc. Eventually Arab rule brought down the level of agriculture in various ways, one of them being the hyperexploitation of non-Muslim [dhimmi] farmers. Another way was –in Mesopotamia– failure to maintain and restore the wondrous ancient irrigation system. This system was in the end destroyed by Mongol invaders, but why didn’t the Arabs or other Muslims restore it? etc. Now this history is fairly concrete and obvious, at least to me. And the splendor and prosperity of the ancient East can and should be compared with the dismal Arab-ruled lands of today, with the oil-rich Arab states as false exceptions, since their prosperity was not produced by their labor but by the accident of their location over oil fields. Indeed, Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia are showy and gaudy today. But this is only sustainable if they don’t run out of oil and the price stays high.

    2) Arab culture and Islam are generally obstacles to civilization. Indeed, Karl Marx wrote that explicitly.
    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2007/11/was-karl-marx-zionist-neocon-bat-yeor.html

    Others wrote that too in the 19th century, including “bourgeois” writers. So Marx agreed with many “bourgeois” on that issue. Marx’s position is starkly in contrast with that of edward Said. In fact, not only was said too dismissive of criticism of Islam, but much 20th century writing about Arabs and Islam in the West –especially by Establishment hacks– has been overly favorable, covering up the flaws and faults of Arab/Muslim society and history. Said of course falsely claimed that the Establishment writers were unfair to Islam. He was turning reality upside down. Money talks, rightly or wrongly, and the Saudi and Kuwaiti trillions have an impact on how Islam and Arab studies are taught in the West, including the US & UK.

  30. fp says:

    eliyahu,

    does marx turn in his grave when his current disciples ally themselves with islamists?

    i don’t think it’s right to mention marx and said in the same sentence or paragraph. despite the flaws in marx’s theory, marx would probably not let said clean his toilet.

    even with oil the arab states have produced nothing, certainly not a civilization. in fact, everything that’s been achieved there is due to western business and knowhow, including the extraction of oil. had it not been for the west, they would have still had the oil in the ground and lived in tents.

  31. Eliyahu says:

    fp, Marx was wrong about a lot of things. The world is not inevitably moving towards some sort of egalitarian Commie paradise. Far from it. Another of his flaws was that he gave too much credence to kant & hegel and their prejudices against Jews. Further, he was not totally honest. Yet he was generally a serious writer, I believe, and sincerely held to his theories, although he probably changed his mind about various matters as he got older and farther from the kant-hegel influence that he had experienced at university. Also, he was capable of learning from knowledgeable people, like Cesar Famin, the French historian and diplomat whom marx quoted and paraphrased in his article about Jerusalem [New York Daily Tribune, 15 April 1854].

    edward said on the other hand, was simply a fake, a clever crook. No integrity whatsoever. He was writing with political purposes and with preset conclusions. Someone had probably assigned him to write books like “orientalism” and the others, just as walt-mearsheimer were probably assigned to write their anti-Israel tract. One of his big lies is that academic writing on the Arabs, Islam, and the Arab-Israeli conflict was predominantly anti-Arab before his time. This is a big lie.

  32. Michael N says:

    fp, I actually HAVE read the book you link to, along with many of the others on this theme for the writing of my University thesis. I “did myself the favour” of studying the question under the guidance of some very fine and irreligious scholars.

    When you blithely state that Paul invented Christianity out of thin air, I can see that we have little prospect of a productive conversation on this theme, and as it is not strictly topical to this blog, I am happy to let the subject rest.

    Are all religions fictions? Yes, of course they are. They are man-made constructs. Islam aside, I can’t think of a religion that claims to be anything more than the (potentially flawed) human mediation of a divine truth. That is not to defend religions as such, but rather to agree that they are fictitious, in the same way that a painting or a great novel is fictitious, or a Bach organ chorale tells a great truth using a language that is abstract and meaningless in any rational sense.

  33. fp says:

    mike n>When you blithely state that Paul invented Christianity out of thin air, I can see that we have little prospect of a productive conversation on this theme, and as it is not strictly topical to this blog, I am happy to let the subject rest.

    agreed. if that’s not obvious to you, there is no point in further discussion.

    >Islam aside, I can’t think of a religion that claims to be anything more than the (potentially flawed) human mediation of a divine truth.

    Given that there is no divine truth, then they are superstitions created to exploit inherent human weaknesses, including ignorance, in order to control. I am willing to accept that some of the major players did not realize this is the essence, but this does not negate that this is what it is.

    Now, I understand that when they were invented the state of human knowledge was so limited that this is the best they could come up with. But to persist in this day and age is a civilizational failure of the first degree.

  34. Joanne says:

    I have the impression that no one will ever see the undoctored 27 minutes, that Enderlin will be allowed to prevaricate with few consequences, and that the judge will not be diligent. I have the feeling that this will end inconclusively. How depressing.

  35. fp says:

    joanne,

    I’m sorry, but when I envisioned that quite early on, I was as always perceived as “negative”, “pessimist”, etc. but I am a realist.

    there was really nothing to suggest that the outcome would be different, no matter how much we wished it.

  36. Michael N says:

    fp, you are so much more than a realist…

  37. fp says:

    well, when my predictions/expectations are accurate I am quite happy to be just a realist.

  38. […] Hman Rights Statement of Talal Abu Rahma, Arab Cameraman for France 2 Yid With Lid Richard Landes: Al Dura Affair: France 2 Cooks the Raw Footage (Comments on Nidra Poller) Nidra Puller’s Courtroom account Richard Landes, Mohamed Al Durah’s Father, Jamal Al […]

  39. […] Here is Nidra Poller’s account of the proceedings, with Richard Landes’ comments. […]

  40. […] In a disappointing climax, the defamation case brought by France-2 against Philippe Karsenty, who claims the September 2000 footage showing the death of Mohammad Al-Durah is a hoax, ended with a win for the state-run TV station. Karsenty was convicted of libeling France-2 and its Israel correspondent Charles Enderlin, the court ordering him to pay a fine, legal fees and a symbolic 1 euro in damages to each of the plaintiffs. (See Nidra Poller’s report from the Paris courtroom here.) […]

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