Monthly Archives: June 2008

What has Jews Tied in Knots: Shrinkwrapped tackles a Problem Posed by TAS commenters

My favorite shrink blogger has just posted a meditation on a question posed by some commenters here at the Augean Stables. It goes to the core of what I’ve called “Masochistic Omnipotence Syndrome” and takes the analysis to new depths of psychological analysis. Shrinkwrapped begins with a discussion of the Ben Dror Yemini article, and comes to his remarkable conclusion:

Ben-Dror Yemini concluded with some questions about the Israeli response, or lack thereof, to the entire affair:

    And where is Israel? It does not exist. It is the Dreyfus in this affair, but a strange Dreyfus. A Dreyfus who has had a libel stuck to it, but who remains nonchalant. Others fight for it. Official Israel has never bothered to thank Karsenty, or others who have fought to dispel the libel. Regarding assistance, there is nothing to even discuss; on the contrary. Unofficial Israel was on Enderlin’s side. Most of the articles, mind you, were against Karsenty and for Enderlin.

    Justice came to light, in France, not in Israel. This is not by chance. If the trial had been held in Israel, there is concern, only concern, that the result would have been different. Freedom of speech is indeed a supreme value but on one condition: That it is found in the hands of very specific people. But that is the subject of a different article.

For those who have not followed the case, Richard Landes has a summary here; also see the discussion of Pallywood, and by all means read the entire article by Ben-Dror Yemini, with special attention to the comments.

Sophia noted [Emphasis mine-SW]:

    There is so much guilt – guilt that Jews should be bearing arms at all – we’re ready to assume the mantle of wanton destroyer because even to pick up a gun is unsettling for so many of us. One principled antizionist position argues that the moral dilemmas confronting the defense of a state, including the conduct of wars and police actions, contradict higher Jewish moral codes – even the basic principles of Torah – THOU SHALT NOT KILL – the voice of Ha Shem resonates through the ages.

    This argument is not so easy to deflect as more spurious antisemitic or racist claims against the Jewish state or even the universalist argument against the existence of a “Jewish people”. The universalist argument works toward one world, one global people; thus any particularism in an affront to that scheme. One can argue rationally against this.

    But how do we argue with G*d?

    I submit, many Jews, including many Israelis, maybe not even consciously religious, assume guilt that isn’t even theirs because the incredible moral conflicts involved in self-defense, let alone in war, can so outrage the soul.

    There’s another possibility … perhaps they are simply so depressed after their endless battle for survival, their war against man, that they no longer wish to live. That is maybe even more disturbing. It means that many Jews would rather die as a people, or would rather kill their own state, than fight for life.

She made a second comment that was even more pointed and trenchant:

    Nevertheless I submit there is a huge moral weight assumed by most idealistic Jews, certainly by Israel; and that’s reflected in the history of the IDF, the idea of restraint in arms.

    It makes failures of this doctrine, even accidental disasters, that much more striking and it’s used again and again in anti-Israel propaganda; ironically, as we all know, if Israel really were like the Nazis or even most Western states, the propaganda wouldn’t be so effective. For example there’s nothing unusual about the US missing a target and the Brits just used “vacuum bombs”, a particularly lethal weapon, against the Taliban, the Soviets disappeared millions; and terrorists strike anybody and everybody who happens to be in range. Peace movements to the contrary notwithstanding, ideological and even religious justifications support even the bloodiest of these deeds.

    Children are killed in war, many deliberately – as in attacks on Israeli children, the masses of Basij. But the idea that Jews would kill a child – even accidentally – instant abomination. There must be atonement. Did this, consciously or otherwise, drive media coverage of al Dura?

    Is it a particularity of Israel that even accidental deaths in the conduct of a war are fodder for the international press as well as self-loathing? It’s a toxic combination: guilt, the need for atonement, a press hungry for sensation, a public perhaps unconsciously seeking the familiar image of a crucified innocent.

This is embodied in the expression so often heard these days among the Israeli left: “so what if Al Durah was a fake, we’ve killed over 800 children in the Intifada.” This quote comes from statistics tendentiously compiled by B’Tselem, an Israeli group (anyone under 18 is a child, and anyone who is [reported] not engaged in military action is a civilian). Gideon Levy took the theme to its climax in his response to the latest developments in Paris: “We’ve killed 800 Muhammad al Durahs!” So accidental becomes, symbolically intentional.

Israeli Cabinet Approves Prisoner and Remains Swap with Hizbullah

On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet approved by a vote of 22-3 a proposed prisoner swap with Hizbullah that would return to Israel the remains of the two soldiers kidnapped at the outset of the Second Lebanon War, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, and information on the whereabouts of Ron Arad. Hizbullah will attain the release of Samir Kuntar (more on him below), along with several other captured Hizbullah fighters. Remains of IDF soldiers and Hizbullah fighters will also be swapped in the deal.

The Israeli government released the following statement outlining the principles of the agreement:

“The government approves the agreement for the release of the soldiers held hostage in Lebanon in accordance with the following:

1.The kidnapped soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, will be returned to Israel. A report regarding the disappearance of Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad will be handed to Israel, in accordance with government decision number 978, taken on November 9, 2003, and the remains of Israeli soldiers killed in the Second Lebanon War that have not yet been handed over will be returned.

In return for the kidnapped soldiers, Israel will release prisoners and detainees currently held in detention facilities within its borders, and will also transfer remains and information as follows:

a. The prisoner Samir Kuntar and four illegal Lebanese fighters, currently held by Israel, will be released to Lebanon.

b. The remains of dozens of infiltrators and terrorists, including eight Hezbollah fighters, will be transferred to Lebanon.

c. Israel will hand over to the secretary general of Hezbollah information regarding four missing Iranian diplomats.

d. After the exchange is executed, Palestinian prisoners will be released. The number and identity of the prisoners will be determined solely by Israel.

2. The prime minister’s coordinator of prisoner exchange negotiations Ofer Dekel will continue the negotiation process in accordance with the following principles:

3. The government will hold further discussions in order to complete and carry out the agreement in accordance with the principles listed in this decision.

4. The government of Israel is reiterating its commitment to do everything in its power to obtain solid reliable information that would shed light on the fate of Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad.

5. The government of Israel is also reiterating its commitment to continuing efforts to secure the release of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.

6. The government of Israel will not abandon its efforts to locate and return all the hostages and the fallen soldiers whose burial sites are not known.”

Enderlin Defends Himself: What Planet is he on?

Charles Enderlin has responded to Elie Barnavi’s article in Marianne at his blog. It is vintage Enderlin — no real evidence, just indirect logic. If the Shabak doesn’t think he’s a criminal, then he isn’t; if Israeli journalists visited him in the hospital and the King of Jordan shook his hand, then he’s not a faker… I present below the French, followed by my translation and comment. I recommend visiting Enderlin’s blog, where he has an exchange with one of his critics, a Fracophone Israeli blogger named Victor Perez.

Cher Elie Barnavi

Vous avez toujours su défendre avec talent les positions israéliennes et j’attendais votre intervention dans ce débat avec curiosité, mais, là, vous m’avez étonné. Ancien ambassadeur, vous avez certainement un niveau d’habilitation « sécuritaire » vous permettant l’accès à certains dossiers du Shabak, le service de sécurité intérieur israélien. Un simple coup de fil à Tel Aviv vous aurait évité de publier des inexactitudes. Pour le Shabak, Talal Abou Rahmeh qui a filmé la mort de Mohammed A Dura n’est pas un propagandiste palestinien et n’est soupçonné d’aucune activité subversive anti-israélienne comme vous l’affirmez. La réponse que nous avons reçue de ce service – et d’autres – lorsqu’il a fallu obtenir pour Talal une autorisation d’entrée en territoire israélien était la suivante : « Il est blanc comme neige ». Les accusations que vous portez contre lui sont fausses et inadmissibles.

Vous mettez en doute la crédibilité des rushes tournés par Talal. Là aussi, je dois prouver que l’absurde est faux. Que des images tournées par un cameraman sous le feu ne sont pas l’équivalent d’une caméra de surveillance, comme dans un super marché… Oui, Talal n’a filmé que ce que les circonstances permettaient. Ces scènes d’Intifada ont également été tournées par d’autres cameramen qui se trouvaient sur place, notamment d’Associated Press et de Reuters.. De nombreux confrères y étaient dés le lendemain, le 1er octobre 2000, ainsi que les jours et les semaines suivantes. Plusieurs se sont retrouvés, couchés au sol, entre deux feux. Nous avons présenté à la justice des témoignages qui contredisent l’opinion de vos « experts » parisiens. Pourquoi vous contentez-vous de l’avis de gens qui n’ont jamais mis les pieds à Gaza ou assisté à ce genre d’affrontement ? Pour notre part, lorsque cette campagne de diffamation a débuté, nous avons présenté les images à un médecin légiste qui a conclu que les mouvements de l’enfant étaient consistants avec l’agonie. (Selon le dictionnaire : les instants qui précédent la mort).

Rating Facts far below Reputation: Insights into the French Intellectual Scene and the al Durah Affair

Anne-Elisabeth Moutet is one of the people I have consulted with often in the course of working on al Durah. I cite her a number of times anonymously in my essays in France, including one of the most striking comments: “In France no one apologizes publicly for a mistake. It’s considered a sign of weakness.” Now she brings her formidable capacities to bear on the al Durah affair. Knowing two thirds of the people who signed the Nouvel Obs petition, she called them up and asked why they had done it. The result… a pathetic and hilarious insight into the corporatist mentality of the French intellectual elite — Jewish and non-Jewish. This may be the best piece on the French cultural context of the al Durah affair.

L’Affaire Enderlin
Being a French journalist means never having to say you’re sorry.

by Anne-Elisabeth Moutet
07/07/2008, Volume 013, Issue 41

To understand the al-Dura affair, it helps to keep one thing in mind: In France, you can’t own up to a mistake. This is a country where the law of the Circus Maximus still applies: Vae victis, Woe to the vanquished. Slip, and it’s thumbs-down. Not for nothing was Brennus a Gaul. His modern French heirs don’t do apologies well, or at all if they can possibly help it. Why should they? That would be an admission of weakness. Blink, and you become the fall guy.

So, in the case of Muhammad al-Dura-a 12-year-old Palestinian boy allegedly killed by Israeli fire during a skirmish in the Gaza strip on September 30, 2000-it was not really to be expected that the journalist who released the 59-second news report, Charles Enderlin, longtime Jerusalem correspondent for France 2 TV, would immediately admit having hastily slapped together sensational footage supplied by the channel’s regular Palestinian stringer, and not checked whose bullets had, in fact, killed, or perhaps even not killed, the boy.


Meanwhile, Enderlin and his bosses at the state-run France 2, who had distributed their news item free worldwide, were refusing to answer questions. They flatly declined to provide the complete 27 minutes of footage taken that afternoon by the cameraman, or to concede any possible error, ping-ponging in the classical obfuscating pattern of bureaucracies everywhere. (“It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” hasn’t yet made it to France.) It took two years for Enderlin to give his first interview, to a friendly colleague, Elisabeth Schemla, the respected editor of the website and a former L’Express associate editor, in the course of which he confused “protecting one’s sources” with not providing the tape. (Personal disclosure: I was at the time deputy editor of

On Not Following Europe’s Lead

Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, argued this week against those who would urge America to follow Europe’s example.  

Before we start imitating someone, we should first find out whether the results that they get are better than the results that we get. Across a very wide spectrum, the United States has been doing better than Europe for a very long time…

Sowell focuses on European minimum wage laws and restrictions on pharmaceutical companes.

If Europeans have higher minimum wage laws and more welfare state benefits, then we should have higher minimum wage laws and more welfare state benefits, according to such people. If Europeans restrict pharmaceutical companies’ patents and profits, then we should do the same…

Minimum wage laws have the same effects in Europe as they have had in other places around the world. They price many low-skilled and inexperienced workers out of a job.

Examination of Sarkozy’s Record vis-a-vis Israel

(Post by LB) 

Nicholas Sarkozy, President of France, is considered a friend to both Israel and the United States. He is certainly a huge step in the right direction from his predecessor, Jacques Chirac. He is proud of his Jewish roots (his maternal grandfather was born Jewish is Greece, then converted to Catholicism), and has spoken often about Israel’s right to defend itself.

That being said, Sarkozy has had his moments in which he at least sounds like he is equivocating on that firm support. During Shimon Peres’ visit to France in March of this year, Sarkozy said that it is crucial for Israel to stop its “colonization” in the West Bank in order for there to be peace. While running for president in May, 2007, Sarkozy defended the security barrier, saying that it was on disputed ground, and when peace came, they would negotiate its route. But on his recent visit to Israel, Sarkozy said that, “One does not protect oneself with a wall”.

Phillips in Standpoint: Al-Dura “Blood Libel”, Victory for Palestinians in “Psy-Ops War”

This week, Melanie Phillips’ article on the Al-Dura affair, “Faking a Killing”, came out in the July edition of the British Magazine Standpoint. In the article, Phillips argues that the killing was undoubtedly staged, and that the footage does not show the death of young Muhammed.

But we now know that this whole fiesta of violence and incitement was based on a lie. For whatever people think they saw in those 55 -seconds, it was not the death of that boy. He was not killed by Israeli bullets; he was not killed at all. At the end of France 2’s famous footage, he was still alive and unharmed. The whole thing was staged, a fantastic piece of play-acting, an elaborate fabrication designed to blacken Israel’s name, and incite the Arab and Muslim mobs to mass murder.

Phillips calls the incident a blood libel, rooted in the medieval charge thats Jews murder gentile babies. She then goes through the inconsistencies brought up at the trial- the missing footage, the actors playing for the cameras.

Just Don’t Touch their Symbol: Ben-Dror Yemini tackles the al Durah affair in the pages of Maariv

Just Don’t Touch their Symbol

(Article by Ben-Dror Yemini, Ma’ariv, 20.6.08, Weekend Supplement, pp. 18-19)
En français au site de l’UPJF.

Everyone remembers the death of Muhammad Al-Dura. France 2 accused the IDF; the Israeli media went along. One Frenchman dared to doubt and began a kulturkampf; the Israeli media was silent. It has now become clear that he was right. Israel is still silent.

The Muhammad Al-Dura affair refuses to die. In Israel, it is mainly the first part that is recognized. In France, in recent weeks, there are those who are already calling it a new Dreyfus Affair.

The beginning is well-known. The pictures that were broadcast seven and a half years ago shocked public opinion in the country and around the world. They saw a father and boy hiding behind a barrel. They shout for their lives as the bullets strike them. The father tries to protect his son. Unsuccessfully. Tal Abu-Rahma, the France 2 cameramen, delivered the material to the network’s well known and veteran Jerusalem correspondent, Charles Enderlin. From the raw material, the latter filtered less than 60 seconds of harsh and horrifying footage, and added commentary that cast the responsibility on IDF soldiers. Within a few days, this item became the harshest propaganda ever against the State of Israel. Whoever tried to cast doubts then was considered a heretic. After all, there was photographic evidence and there is nothing higher.

Muhammad Al-Dura became a symbol. Public squares have been named after him. Stamps have been issued in his honor. The Palestinian poet Muhammad Darwish dedicated a poem to him. His pictures became much better known than that of the Jewish boy raising his hands opposite a Nazi soldier. Already, one can no longer count the number of times Al-Dura has been cited in articles written against Israel around the world. And not just against Israel. For some of the writers, well-known authors, Nobel laureates, Israel became a Nazi, child-murdering country. This did not happen solely due to Muhammad Al-Dura’s 60 seconds. But the weight of that short clip was very high. This was biting, ultimate evidence of Israel’s murderous character.

But there were a few among us, and around the world as well, who thought that something was amiss in those 58 seconds that became a global sensation. Among those was Israeli physicist Nahum Shahaf, who was a member of the committee of inquiry that was appointed shortly afterwards. There was also Esther Schapira from German television, who came to curse because she was convinced that the IDF had killed the boy, but it became clear to her that France 2’s version had more holes in it than Swiss cheese. There was also Luc Rosenzweig, a respected French journalist, formerly of Le Monde, who had prepared his own investigation. His editor did not believe what he saw. They went together, along with another journalist, to the heads of France 2 in order to view all of the footage that was filmed that bitter and hasty day. They saw and were surprised. Their doubts only grew. The investigation was published in L’Express.

Among Charles Enderlin’s and France 2’s most outspoken critics was Philippe Karsenty, a young and successful Jew, who set up a media criticism internet site (“Media-Ratings”). Karsenty claimed that Enderlin had lied and that he and the channel had to draw conclusions.

France 2 is not just another television station. It is a superpower. It is a flagship and establishment channel in one. The channel and Enderlin sued Karsenty for libel. Karsenty demanded one thing: Show the full film that was shot of the event. The court refused. Karsenty lost and was convicted of libel. He did not give up.

In the appeals court, Karsenty reiterated his demand. This time his demand was met. It was a turning point. The full film, to all those who have seen it, leaves no room for doubt. The verdict was handed down four weeks ago on May 22. It was determined that Karsenty is not guilty of libel. The verdict analyzes the item that was broadcast, the full film, the evidence, the contradictions. The conclusion is unequivocal. The plaintiffs, Enderlin and France 2, come out not well at all.

The verdict did not cause many reverberations. In France, there was scant mention. In Israel, the affair came up against the Olmert affair and the talks with Syria, so that the story received very little coverage. What could have been a great achievement for Israel was about to go out with nary a whisper. But this is not what happened.

Before we continue, it would be worthwhile to recall the Israeli side. Articles appeared in Israel that were critical of Karsenty. What does it matter who killed him, wrote Arad Nir on Ynet. Gideon Levy went further and wrote that it did not matter since it is known that Israel kills children. It is certainly known. There is an old hobby to this effect. Jews. Children. It is a matter of history. Even journalist and historian Tom Segev mocked the inquiry of German journalist Esther Shapiro, who prepared a report for German television. It was not really proper on her part to exonerate the IDF soldiers of blame for the killing. She is not serious.

A series of prominent Israeli journalists were recruited not only to enshrine the libel that it was Israeli soldiers who killed or murdered Al-Dura. They were against the very idea of an inquiry. After all, they are energetic journalists. They had vigorous conclusions. Why confuse them with facts?

Let us return to France. Just as the affair was due to expire, Enderlin’s supporters decided to organize a petition of support for him. True, Enderlin said that the full footage included harsh segments of Al-Dura dying and it became clear that this was a lie. True, the verdict is unequivocal regarding the lack of credibility of those who were involved in broadcasting the doubtful segment. True, that Enderlin himself was nowhere near the scene when the events took place. But Enderlin’s friends, or those who believe that their enlightened state finds expression in besmirching Israel, lined up alongside one of their own. After all, he belongs to ‘the vanguard.’

The initiative for the petition came from Le Nouvel Observateur, an important and prestigious weekly, founded by Jean Daniel. His daughter is Sarah Daniel, a journalist in her own right. We will return to her. Nobody among the signatories is familiar with the affair. But all of the signatories, without exception, are identified, to one degree or another, with the anti-Israeli line. Most, like Daniel and his daughter, are Jews. And this is strange because Daniel himself, as a leftist, has criticized the French media in the past for exaggerated hostility towards Israel. It is interesting when he will write the article against himself.

Among the signatories are Hubert Védrine, former French Foreign Minister, and Theo Klein, former president of CRIF, the French Jewish umbrella organization. The petitioners also succeeded in recruiting an Israeli supporting player, who is only a millimeter away from comparing Israel to the Nazis. He is Avraham Burg, the former Speaker of the Knesset.

What is strange is that the petition is not only a defense of Enderlin’s impugned integrity. The petition, in a precise manner, supports the first version, on Israel’s guilt: “Seven years. For seven years a despicable campaign of hate has been trying to stain the professional honor of Charles Enderlin. For seven years, there have been those who have tried to present as ‘fabricated’ and as a ‘staged scene’ his report that shows how a twelve-year-old boy was killed by shots fired from an Israeli position.” Yes, that is their one-sided conclusion despite the court’s verdict. Like the anti-Dreyfusards, who also stubbornly clung to the first version.

The signatories are correct about one thing. For seven years, in their words, “A despicable campaign of hate has been conducted”. But the campaign has been waged against Israel, not against Enderlin. The many and the prominent were on Enderlin’s side. The few and the negligible came out against him. The French system of justice, after entering into details, after viewing the entire footage, after having heard expert testimony, after uncovering the lies, arrived at a sound verdict. It was a victory of David vs. Goliath. One stubborn, unknown young man forced the large network and the celebrity journalist to reveal the truth. The libel was refuted. The verdict leaves no room for doubts.

So how exactly did the signatories reach the conclusion, which has already been refuted in court? As usual, hostility against Israel forced the hand. It is possible to assume that none of the signatories were well versed in the details. But they all share one thing in common: They all belong to the same loathsome and fashionable anti-Zionist stream, in France as well as in Israel. Not all are on the same level of hostility. But they are all in the same direction.

Among the signatories, as we have mentioned, another name pops up, unknown to most Israelis: The journalist Sarah Daniel. In November 2001, this same Sarah Daniel wrote about Muslim girls murdered for reasons of family honor. Except that she added one paragraph: “Palestinian women raped by Israeli soldiers are systematically murdered by their own families. The rape, in practice, is a war crime, because the Israeli soldiers act in full awareness of the consequence of their deed”.

From where did Daniel take this fabrication? That is it. From nowhere. In fact, this is another libel disseminated in very marginal circles. And where was it published? In Le Nouvel Observateur, the journal of her father, Jean Daniel. The same paper and the same people who just sponsored the petition for Enderlin.

The petition took flight. In the last two weeks, it has become the focus of conflict between opposing camps in France. The defensive text of the signatories, against journalists in service of the truth, recalls the text of the anti-Dreyfusards, against officers working in the service of the state. One must not criticize them. The truth is theirs. Harming them is harming the holiest of holies. Then they were anti-Semites. Today they are anti-Israelis.

In the wake of the petition, a courageous and important verdict, that almost foundered in deep water, received a new lease on life. The debate on the petition put the Al-Dura affair back on center stage, in France, not in Israel. The historian, Professor Richard Landes from Boston, who followed the affair and even testified himself, wrote a comprehensive and very un-complimentary article about the signatories. Landes is the one who coined the phrase “Pallywood”, about the media of Arab and Palestinian propaganda. He also investigated the Al-Dura affair in depth. He came to Karsenty’s side.

The argument also spread to France’s leading newspapers. Professor Eli Bar-Navi, former [Israeli] Ambassador to France, wrote a scathing article against the signatories. “Since Deir Yassin,” he wrote “there has not been an affair which has caused so much damage to Israel.” Afterwards, additional articles appeared, most in the same vein. An editorial appeared in Le Figaro this week asking the signatories whether media personnel are beyond criticism. Also the big guns, like philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, expressed serious doubts about the petition, and the CRIF has already announced that it has joined the appeal for a commission of inquiry into the entire affair.

Enderlin’s supporters are trying to paint him as the new Dreyfus. Poor guy. It is a little hard for him on Devil’s Island. He made a nice little career for himself out of the Muhammad Al-Dura story. Now the achievement has become a stain. Enderlin is not an Israel-hater. He is no different than most of the foreign journalists in Israel, and he is even an Israeli citizen. He is part of the herd. A herd which is also well-represented in the Israeli media.

And where is Israel? It does not exist. It is the Dreyfus in this affair, but a strange Dreyfus. A Dreyfus who has had a libel stuck to it, but who remains nonchalant. Others fight for it. Official Israel has never bothered to thank Karsenty, or others who have fought to dispel the libel. Regarding assistance, there is nothing to even discuss; on the contrary. Unofficial Israel was on Enderlin’s side. Most of the articles, mind you, were against Karsenty and for Enderlin.

Justice came to light, in France, not in Israel. This is not by chance. If the trial had been held in Israel, there is concern, only concern, that the result would have been different. Freedom of speech is indeed a supreme value but on one condition: That it is found in the hands of very specific people. But that is the subject of a different article.

Al-Ahram’s Version of Journalism

(Post by LB) 

Al-Ahram Weekly, in its usual shrill anti-Israel pseudo-journalistic style, ran an article this week by Khaled Amayreh entitled “Israel’s very own Guantanamos”. Without attributing its claims, and by making outrageous comparisons, Al-Ahram tries to paint a picture of a violent Israel summarily torturing Palestinian prisoners in modern-day concentration camps. 

Israeli maltreatment of Palestinian captives and political prisoners has reached unprecedented levels of brutality, according to lawyers, human rights groups and newly-released prisoners.

There are currently as many as 12,000 Palestinian detainees languishing in Israeli detention camps, many of them without charge or trial. They include hundreds of university professors, engineers, school teachers as well as religious and civic leaders, students, resistance fighters and women activists.

It is no secret that most “resistance fighters” are involved in other professions on the side-many suicide bombers are students or lawyers who decided that their professional lives needed the extra flavor that killing Jews would bring.

MoveOn.Org Ad Celebrates Mother who has Decided her Baby Will Never Serve Country

MoveOn.Org’s new anti-McCain ad, “Not Alex”, has started running  on  national cable channels. In it, a young mother, addressing John McCain, introduces her first baby, Alex, and describes what the little guy is up to – eating, chasing the dog. Then comes the punchline- “John McCain, when you say you would stay in Iraq for 100 years, were you counting on Alex? Because if you were, you can’t have him.”

Just like that. Without knowing what the situation will be in 18 years, nor what little Alex will choose to do as an adult, our hero has decided that her son is definitely not volunteering to defend his country. The ad celebrates mom ‘protecting’ her child from the grasp of the militaristic folks who are trying to snatch him away from her.

In today’s New York Times, William Kristol attacked the ad as well, quoting the mother of soldier in Iraq:

“Does that mean that she wants other people’s sons to keep the wolves at bay so that her son can live a life of complete narcissism? What is it she thinks happens in the world?…Someone has to stand between our society and danger. If not my son, the who? If not little Alex then someone else will have to stand and deliver. Someone’s son, somewhere.”

While he may be exaggerating by saying that the ad shows “contempt for those parents who might be proud of sons and daughters who are serving”, he is accurate in describing it as “suggesting that military service and sacrifice are unnecessary and deplorable relics of the past…And the sole responsibility of others.”  

In addition, Solomonia posted a piece on the ad and Jeff Jacoby’s response.

Spyer Agrees that Concessions to Hezbollah Ill-Advised

In yesterday’s Jerusalem Post, columnist Jonathan Spyer of the IDC echoed the sentiments that I have been expressing on this page in previous posts. I have argued adamantly that the Bush administration’s conviction that the Siniora government will be strengthened, and Hezbollah consequently weakened, if Israel’s transfers  Sheba’a Farms to Lebanon is not only false, but dangerous. It will only cement Hezbollah’s belief that Israel’s destruction can be hastened through force of arms. In Spyer’s words,

Hizbullah will claim that Israeli concessions on this issue are proof positive of the successful application of violence against Israel, since the international community declared the matter closed in 2000 and then reopened it as a result of the war of 2006. (This claim is factually accurate.)

PCP Runs into Opposition: Kristof vs. Steinberg on Hebron

I was going to fisk this prime example of the Politically-correct paradigm, with its Oslo Logic of inverted cause and effect, and I still welcome commetators to do so. That it comes from Kristof, whose work in Darfur is so courageous and relevant, is sad but not surprising. In the meantime, Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor has published an excellent rebuttal which I reproduce below.

(UPDATE from Shrinkwrapped below.)

The Two Israels

Published: June 22, 2008
HEBRON, West Bank

Nicholas D. Kristof: Inside the West Bank

To travel through the West Bank and Gaza these days feels like traveling through Israeli colonies.

You whiz around the West Bank on new highways that in some cases are reserved for Israeli vehicles, catching glimpses of Palestinian vehicles lined up at checkpoints.

The security system that Israel is steadily establishing is nowhere more stifling than here in Hebron, the largest city in the southern part of the West Bank. In the heart of a city with 160,000 Palestinians, Israel maintains a Jewish settlement with 800 people. To protect them, the Israeli military has established a massive system of guard posts, checkpoints and road closures since 2001.

More than 1,800 Palestinian shops have closed, in some cases the doors welded shut, and several thousand people have been driven from their homes. The once flourishing gold market is now blocked with barbed wire and choked with weeds and garbage.

“For years, Israel has severely oppressed Palestinians living in the center of the city,” notes B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights group, in a recent report. The authorities, it adds, “have expropriated the city center from its Palestinian residents and destroyed it economically.”

Writing (Away) One’s Future: The Nakba and Palestinian Destiny

Barry Rubin, one of the most astute observers of the Middle Eastern scene, has the following reflections on the Palestinian Nakba. They explain a critical episode in the long and painful tale of Palestinian suffering.

Self-Made Nakba
Barry Rubin
May 19, 2008

It’s become fashionable to match celebration of Israel’s founding (though part of the media can’t even admit Israelis are celebrating) with Palestinian marking of their 1948 “nakba” catastrophe.

Yet whose fault is it that they didn’t use those six decades constructively? And who killed the independent Palestinian state alongside Israel that was part of the partition plan? Answer: The Arab states and Palestinian leadership themselves.

The mourners were the murderers.

You can read details in my book, The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict. Here’s a summary. The key point is that in rejecting partition, demanding everything, and starting a war it could not win, the Arab side ensured endless conflict, the Palestinian refugee issue, and no Palestine. It wasn’t murder it was suicide.

Or in the words of General John Glubb, commander of Jordan’s army: “The politicians, the demagogues, the press, and the mob were in charge….Warnings went unheeded. Doubters were denounced as traitors.”

That’s an old and persisting story. It’s hard for Westerners to imagine how thoroughly Arab culture throttles dissent with this technique of considering any criticism as betrayal. It’s the dynamic that led the French Revolution to the terror. It’s a daily norm in the Palestinian territories. Their unity — 80% approve suicide terror — is itself the product of a regime of both physical and mental terror.

Briefly, the British tried to help the Arabs win; the Americans to assist them in finding a last-minute way out, and the soon-to-be Israeli Jews were ready to have a Palestinian state alongside Israel if their neighbors had accepted it.

The British government provided money and arms to Arab states (for Egypt 40 warplanes and 300 troop carriers; for Iraq, planes as well as antiaircraft and antitank guns; for Saudi Arabia, a military training mission) while embargoing them to Israel, tipped off Arabs about the timing of its withdrawals (giving them a head start to seize abandoned installations), subsidized the Arab League, blocked Jewish immigration, and let British officers run Jordan’s army in the war against Israel.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Said later said, “It became clear to us that Britain viewed with favor the Arab aims regarding Palestine.”

It’s well-known that President Harry Truman supported partition and quickly recognized Israel. But in March 1948 the U.S. government offered the Arab states a serious plan to suspend partition, block a Jewish state, and create a new, long-term trusteeship. They considered but rejected it, even after Washington proposed an international peacekeeping force–including Egyptian troops–to maintain order.

Finally, if the Arab side has accepted partition, the Jewish leadership would have accepted establishment of a Palestinian Arab state. Many were desperate to get a state at all, lacked confidence they would win the war, and knew they could not buck an international consensus.

Why, then, did the Arab side, and especially the Palestinian leadership, reject partition, go to war, and trigger a 60-year-long crisis that was a disaster for their people?

There are four basic reasons:

Article on Al-Dura Trial on Palestinian News Site

The principle Palestinian Newspaper, Al-Quds published a translation of an article on the Karsenty-Enderlin decision written by a reporter at The Media Line. This is the first time (to my knowledge) that Palestinian media have covered the unraveling of the Al Durah story.

Israel Officialdom Silent on A-Durra Trial Victory

For a larger image, click here.

The Media Line article reads as follows:

Eight years on, the case of Muhammad A-Durra, the 12-year Palestinian who became the “poster boy” of the Israeli-Palestinian violence will not go away.

Last week a French activist, who has been fighting a legal battle to prove that the television footage of the boy’s death was faked, triumphed when a French court ruled he would not be condemned for defamation for saying the state-owned television station France 2 falsified footage from the scene.

But French media activist Philippe Karsenty feels let down that the Israeli government has not come to his aid on this issue, and says Israel should use his legal victory as leverage to boost the country’s image.

As Expected, Hezbollah Finds New Excuse Not to Give up Arms

(Post by LB)

As a follow-up to my previous post on the misguided efforts to convince Israel to give Sheba’a Farms over to Lebanon, I am including the following quotation from The Media Line’s article, “Hizbullah: Israel Land Deal Doesn’t Mean the End of Resistance”.

Hizbullah officials say that even if Israel withdraws from the disputed Shib’a Farms, the movement will not disarm, as it still has to defend Lebanon from “any future Israeli aggression.”

It is stunningly obvious that Hezbollah, committed to Israel’s destruction, will not simply give up its arms if Israel hands over the Sheba’a Farms over to Lebanon. It will simply be another victory for Hezbollah, and will reinforce their image, and their argument that only through force of arms can they extract concessions from Israel. Most of their achievements have been accomplished through violence, and they will continue to attempt to bleed Israel in this way.

Omerta and the European MSM: Rosenthal on the Al Durah Case

John Rosenthal, one of the most astute journalists at work in Europe today, whose work I have featured a number of times here at the Augean Stables, has an excellent article up at PJMedia on the French media’s reaction to the Al Durah affair. For the first time in the history of this blog, not only has one of my posts been mentioned, but still more important, the commentators who contribute so much to the discussion with their learned and lively comments.

    Le Nouvel Observateur’s “Appeal for Charles Enderlin” positively exudes such a sense of corporate privilege, as Richard Landes and his commentators on Augean Stables were quick to point out.

Rosenthal examines a number of the signatories (the “List of ignominy”) of signers of the Nouvel Obs petition, including the head of “Reporters without borders” an organization, as Rosenthal points out, one would have expected to view Karsenty as a classic “cyber-dissident” taking on the “grands medias.” Alas, not really an NGO, it appears to be another PGO (para-governmental organizations). I suspect that this list will serve as the starting point for PhD theses in media studies (if civic polities survive).

Hattip to all of you who have contributed.

When it Comes to Al-Dura, Journalists Are Against Free Speech
Despite the Al-Dura ruling, reporter Charles Enderlin can still count on his colleagues to stand by his story.

June 20, 2008 – by John Rosenthal

Earlier this month, the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur launched a surreal “Appeal for Charles Enderlin” in response to a French court judgment clearing media critic Philippe Karsenty of charges of having “defamed” Enderlin and his employer, France 2 public television. The court thus overturned the October 2006 condemnation of Karsenty by a lower court.

A full professional translation of the higher court’s judgment is available here on Richard Landes’s Augean Stables blog. (The complete judgment in French is here.) Richard Landes’s translation of the Nouvel Observateur’s “Appeal for Charles” is here. The “Appeal” has in the meanwhile been signed by hundreds of Enderlin’s colleagues in French journalism, plus several “personalities,” and even some simple “web surfers” [internautes].

I say that it is surreal, since it is by no means clear what the point of the appeal is supposed to be or what exactly the signatories want done “for Charles Enderlin.” It was not, after all, Enderlin who was on trial: he and France 2 were the plaintiffs. The “Appeal for Charles” identifies Karsenty as the “person mainly responsible” for an “obstinate and hateful campaign” against Enderlin. But, as PJM readers will know (and Nouvel Observateur readers might not), Karsenty is in fact just one of numerous critics who have challenged the authenticity of Enderlin’s September 2000 report allegedly showing the killing of the Palestinian boy Mohammed Al-Dura by Israeli troops.

It was indeed France 2’s legal strategy of singling out Karsenty and two other website owners for prosecution – as well as Karsenty’s “obstinate” refusal to be intimidated – that converted him into one of the chief protagonists of what has become the “Al-Dura affair.”

The authors of the “Appeal” – like Enderlin himself in a blog post published shortly after the rendering of the court’s decision – take heart in the fact that the higher court “recognized” that Karsenty’s litigious remarks regarding the Al-Dura report “unquestionably do damage to the honor and reputation of news professionals”: i.e. Enderlin and France 2 as a whole. But the court’s observation in this connection is in fact a mere tautology. In his November 2004 text – in which, incidentally, Karsenty called for the “immediate dismissal” of Enderlin and France 2 news director Arlette Chabot – Karsenty himself describes Enderlin’s Al-Dura report and, above all, France 2’s defense of it as “a masquerade that does dishonor [déshonore] to France and its public television.”

The real question, of course, is whether Karsenty’s criticisms of France 2 are well-founded and whether the underlying accusation that the Al-Dura report was a fake is true – or, in other words, whether it is not in fact, as Karsenty’s remarks suggested, Enderlin and France 2 that brought the “dishonor” upon themselves. The French court did not answer this question. Nor indeed did it have any need to do so.

Read the rest.

Derfner tries again: A for effort, C- for analysis

Larry Derfner sets his cap on being the only informed and responsible media expert willing to take on the al Durah case which, he seems to believe, is now dominated by the extreme “right-wing,” at least in the Anglophone press. He’s informed, I’ll grant him that. Can he analyze evidence? Doubtful. What’s his problem? The strictures of politically correct utterances about the Palestinians.

The piece is long and involved and riddled with error. For those who are interested, it offers important insights into a kind of bizarre thinking disorder in which a priori established boundaries of what is moral or immoral to say, not only prevent someone like Derfner from thinking through the evidence, but heaping scorn on anyone who follows that evidence where it leads. As a detailed study of how the PCP (with its commitment to Liberal Cognitive Egocentrism, and cultural relativism) processes evidence it’s close to incomparable.

Rattling the Cage: Get real about Muhammad al-Dura
Jun. 18, 2008

If I thought Jerusalem Post readers were being exposed to a full debate about the Muhammad al-Dura affair, I wouldn’t feel the need now to go into the specifics of why I think it’s ludicrous and morally blind to claim that the Palestinian boy’s killing was a “hoax,” a staged event. If there were other people writing in English against the hoax theores, I would rest my case with my column (“Al-Dura and the conspiracy freaks,” May 29), and not react to the rebuttals by Philippe Karsenty and Richard Landes (“Conspiracy theories and Al-Dura,” June 12), Jonathan Rosenblum (“For once, the good guys win,” June 13), and a couple of hundred Talkbackers.

Ludicrous and morally blind…” I can think of lots of reasons to argue that the al Durah affair was not staged, but “morally blind”? What’s that supposed to mean? That if you think it’s staged (an issue of evidence, I believe), then your are somehow defective morally? (Apparently, when one reads on, yes.)

But the debate on al-Dura, at least in English, is completely one-sided. The Web is swamped with right-wing Jewish writers continually piling up the “evidence” for their conspiracy theories, while all the prominent, disinterested investigative journalists who waved off that idea – even while disputing the original story that the IDF killed the boy – have moved on to other things. So since no other writer I know of is still busy taking up the cause of reason and decency in this unrelenting, supremely charged Israeli-Arab issue, I guess I’ll have one more try.

Why is arguing staged a “right-wing” phenomenon? Because we who believe it are depraved enough to believe that the Palestinians would stage such an event? Does that mean that in order to be a member of the “Left” (which apparently Derfner believes he represents), you have to be credulous on principle?

FIRST OF all, let me restate my basic point of view. I think it was probably Palestinian gunmen, not Israeli soldiers as first believed, who shot al-Dura to death and wounded his father, Jamal, at Gaza’s Netzarim Junction on September 30, 2000. I never believed that Israeli soldiers deliberately, with malice aforethought, shot a cowering boy and a father pleading for mercy, which is how the Islamic world and the international Left typically portrayed the killing. As I wrote: “Israel and the Jewish world are right to be appalled at how the Palestinians and the Arab world distorted and exploited al-Dura’s death as grotesquely as they did. They took what was at worst an accidental IDF shooting and turned it into a mind-shattering act of Israeli sadism.”

In that column, I didn’t make any judgments on the original reporting by France-2 TV correspondent Charles Enderlin and cameraman Talal Abu Rahme, or on their handling of the challenges to their story afterward, except to say it was absurd to claim they cooked the whole thing up. (I was writing in reaction to Karsenty’s May 21 acquittal on appeal of the libel charges filed against him in France by Enderlin and France-2 TV.)

NOW, THOUGH, I think it’s fair to say that Abu Rahme – the only cameraman who filmed the shooting – made extremely rash, hot-headed accusations against the Israeli soldiers involved, which damages his reliability and that of his assertions to Enderlin that the IDF had positively shot al-Dura, which is what launched the story in the first place.

This is good. Of course, if Talal is so unreliable, then why is he not capable of staging the scene? (more below)

As for Enderlin, he has been accused of shoddy reporting, stonewalling and even lying not only by the conspiracy theorists, but by some of those prominent, disinterested investigators who nevertheless dismiss the idea of a hoax. After speaking by phone with him, I don’t say he stonewalled or lied. He has reasonable answers to the accusations against him, and he still believes that what he reported and what Abu Rahme told him – that Muhammad and Jamal al-Dura were shot by Israeli soldiers – was accurate. He even has a reasonable answer to what seems the most damning accusation against him – that since there is no raw footage of Muhammad clearly dying, Enderlin had to have been lying all those years when he said he’d edited the boy’s “death throes” out of the broadcast because they were “too unbearable” to watch.

In response to my questions, Enderlin stands by his statement that the death throes can be seen in the raw footage. Evidently, he is referring to the final seconds of film that show the prone Muhammad raising his arm a little, then gradually drooping back down to a prone position. “The French term I used [translated as ‘death throes’] was ‘agonie,’ which means the moments preceding death, not ‘agony’ as in the English term. We showed the tape to a coroner in France, and he said it was absolutely consistent with the moments just before death,” said Enderlin.

Now it gets interesting. Thank you LD for calling CE, because I think this is the first time we have Charles addressing the issue of what happened to the “agonie.” Did you ask him if he has the “coroner’s report”? Did you ask him why, if the boy is still not dead in “take 6”, he told his viewers that he was dead two takes earlier, and Talal’s audience was screaming he was dead three takes earlier? Why would you accept so unlikely an explanation from Charles and be so ferociously skeptical of what we have to say? Because Charles is a “colleague”?

Esther Schapira’s Statement of the Question of Staging

No one can fault Larry Derfner for lack of effort. But his research skills seem to need honing. He called Charles Enderlin before writing his next contribution to the al Durah affair, but not Esther Schapira. He cites her, along with two other “highly respected, disinterested journalists” whom he trusts much more than the “right-wing Jewish writers continually piling up the ‘evidence’ for their conspiracy theories” (among whom he includes me). At one point he invokes Schapira to make the following point:

Furthermore, that each of these investigators [Schapira, Leconte, Jeambar, Weimann] also dismissed the possibility that the shooting was “staged” – I think that alone is reason enough to brush aside the idea that Abu Rahme, the al-Duras and a cast of helpers pulled off a colossal hoax to blacken Israel’s name by faking the death of a 12-year-old boy.

Esther Schapira, with whom I had a number of candid conversations over the years, wrote me the following for attribution:

    It has been said several times that I didn’t find any hints supporting the accusation that the famous scene at the Netzarim junction was a hoax and this was why I didn’t include it in my film. This is wrong. Indeed even in 2001 I already came across a number of interesting hints indicating that the so called „killing of Mohammed Al Durah“ might be a Palestinian propaganda fabrication. However, back then when I did my film, I focussed on the question who could have killed Mohammed Al Durah. This already came as a surprise to me, because initially I was sure that there was not doubt that it was the clear case of a Palestinian child getting killed by israeli soldiers. I wanted to do a film about the tragedy of a child getting killed in the conflict and about the unusal situation for soldiers to be confronted with children. I wanted to know how the soldiers cope with the feeling of having killed an innocent child.

    My findings, that it is most unlikely that he was killed by the Israeli soldiers for a number of reasons came as a surprise to me and already caused an outcry and I got life threats and needed police protections when I appeared in public. As I was aware of the emotional impact of that scene I stuck strictly to facts and findings and left out everything that seemed like speculation. Now, in retrospect with the knowledge of today, I know that it is very justified to question if he did get killed at all.

Now Derfner assumes that those who take the most “cautious” position are the “highly respected, disinterested” journalists, and those who go farther are zealots with an agenda. Here, Schapira notes the ferocious hostility she encountered just for suggesting the position Derfner adopts at the beginning of his article. Just because people aren’t committed to a cause doesn’t mean there isn’t pressure on them to scew their findings, and that, somehow, their conclusions are “disinterested.” Apparently Derfner makes no allowance for the kinds of pressures and intimidations that our MSM journalists endure — both death threats, and the more pervasive need to “line up with the pack.”

I am preparing an extensive fisking of Derfner which will be up soon.

Will the Lebanese Army Confront Hezbollah? U.S. Takes Appeasement Route in the Meantime

In today’s New York Times, Nicholas Noe, Editor-in Chief of , calls for the United States to strengthen Lebanon’s army by granting it access to more sophisticated weaponry. He argues that a strong military would allow it to confront superior Hezbollah forces, and would erase the “defense of Lebanon from Israel” pretense that Hezbollah uses to justify its possession of weapons. These two arguments border on contradictory- either the Lebanese army intends and needs to crush Hezbollah militarily, or it will be able to negotiate the dissolution of Hezbollah as an armed force.

Regardless, it is a difficult question. Israel itself called for a strengthened Lebanese military deployed south of the Litani River at the end of the Second Lebanon War. An army with a backbone would do a great deal in strengthening the authority of the central government. If the army is to defeat Hezbollah militarily, or at least possess the credible threat of so doing, it will need an influx of modern weaponry.

The Court of Appeals Decision: A Professional Translation into English

Here is an English translation of the astonishing judgment of the Appeals Court in Paris finding Philippe Karsenty innocent of defaming Charles Enderlin and France2. In a decision that gave a ringing endorsement of freedom of speech at a key moment in French, European and Western history, the judges deem that although the language used by Karsenty in accusing France2 and Charles Enderlin of broadcasting a terribly destructive hoax — the al Durah footage — would constitute defamation if it were unsupported. But given the incoherences of both the footage and of Enderlin’s explanations to the court, Karsenty had every right to denounce him in the liveliest language, and Enderlin had no business thinking he should be free from serious criticism from fellow citizens.

Here is a professional translation of the entire French decision, available in French in PDF and online. I will return to this text and highlight and comment on it in the coming days.

FEES: 500 € CASE NO. 06/08678

11th Chamber, Section A

Delivered publicly on Wednesday, May 21, 2008, by the 11th Chamber of Criminal Appeals, section A.

On appeal from a judgment of the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance, 17th Chamber, of October 19, 2006, (P0433823039).


KARSENTY, Philippe

Office of the Public Prosecutor

Civil party, non-appelant
Residing at 206 Jaffa St, Jerusalem (Israel)

National Television Company FRANCE 2
Civil party, non-appelant
Residing at 7 Esplanade Henri de FRANCE, 75907 PARIS Cedex 15

Assisted and represented by Benedicte AMBLARD, advocate at the Paris bar, attorney registration number TQB113 and by Francis SZPINER, attorney registration number R049

JUDICIAL PANEL at the oral hearings and deliberations:
President: Mrs. TREBUCQ
Counselors: Mr. CROISSANT

COURT CLERK: Mrs. DU PARQUET at the oral hearing and rendering of the judgment

OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR: represented at the hearings and the rendering of judgment by Mr. BARTOLI, attorney general.



Philippe KARSENTY was summoned before the criminal court by order of the examining magistrate, charged with having, in PARIS and on the national territory:
• On November 22, 2004, by means of an audiovisual communication – in this case, by publishing on the internet website www.M-R.FR an article entitled “FRANCE 2: Arlette Chabot And Charles ENDERLIN Should Be Removed From Their Positions Immediately,” which contained the statements quoted in the body of this judgment – alleged or imputed facts impugning the honor or esteem of the national television company, FRANCE 2 and Charles ENDERLIN.
• On November 26, 2004, by means of an audiovisual communication – in this case, by publishing on the website a press release entitled “FRANCE 2 : Arlette Chabot And Charles ENDERLIN Should Be Removed From Their Positions Immediately,” which contained the statements quoted in the body of this judgment – alleged or imputed facts impugning the honor or reputation of the National Television Company, FRANCE 2 and Charles ENDERLIN,
Acts foreseen and penalized by articles 23, 29 section 1, 32 section 1, 42, 43 of the law of July 29, 1881; 93/3 of the law of July 29, 1982.


The court, in a judgment rendered after due hearing of the parties,

Rejected the defense plea,

Found Philippe KARSENTY guilty of the charges and sentenced him to pay a 1,000 € fine,

Granted the petition of the National Television Company FRANCE 2 and Charles ENDERLIN as civil parties and ordered Philippe KARSENTY to pay to each the sum of one euro in damages and interest and, together, the sum of 3,000 € under article 475-1 of the code of criminal procedure.


The appeal was filed by attorney Pierre-Louis DAUZIER, for Philippe KARSENTY, on October 19, 2006, in opposition to the criminal and civil judgments.

By orders staying the running of prescription, dated January 10, March 28 and June 20, 2007, the court set the case for hearing on September 12, 2007.

At this hearing, after having studied, at the request of the civil parties, several excerpts from FRANCE 2’s televised news, regularly transmitted by the parties, including the report broadcast on the 8:00 p.m. televised news September 30, 2000, and heard the parties on Philippe KARSENTY’s petition to the court to appoint an expert whose task, after having viewed the 27 minutes of rushes filmed on September 30, 2000 at the Netzarim junction by cameraman Talal ABU RAMAH, would be to determine whether there is a link between the scenes preceding the report and the images of the report itself. The defendant having presented his case last, the court joined this matter to the facts of the case.

The president, after having asked the parties (the defendant having addressed the court last) their opinion on the benefit to the court were it to view itself the cameraman’s rushes, decided that the court would deliberate the issue and announced the court’s decision at the public hearing of October 3, 2007.