Circling the Wagons around Charles: Le Nouvel Obs calls for Solidarity with their colleague under attack

I put up the following astonishing “public letter of support” for Charles, that paragon of journalistic virtue who is inexplicably allowed to be the target of criticism from people who are not part of the clique. It’s classic ad hominem with no regard for the evidence. In the future, these cosigners will be part of a list of ignominy, the in-crowd that kept the al Durah affair from seeing the light of day for so long. Amazing.

Text in French followed by English translation (mine, subject to correction), followed by the names of signatories.

Comments welcome.

APPEL
Pour Charles Enderlin

NOUVELOBS.COM | 04.06.2008 | 15:39

Sept ans. Voilà sept ans qu’une campagne obstinée et haineuse s’efforce de salir la dignité professionnelle de notre confrère Charles Enderlin, correspondant de France 2 à Jerusalem. Voilà sept ans que les mêmes individus tentent de présenter comme une “supercherie” et une “série de scènes jouées” , son reportage montrant la mort de Mohammed al-Doura, 12 ans, tué par des tirs venus de la position israélienne, le 30 septembre 2000, dans la bande de Gaza, lors d’un affrontement entre l’armée israélienne et des éléments armés palestiniens.

Le 19 octobre 2006, le tribunal correctionnel de Paris avait jugé le principal animateur de cette campagne, Philippe Karsenty, coupable de diffamation.

L’arrêt rendu le 21 mai par la cour d’appel de Paris, saisie par Philippe Karsenty reconnaît que les propos tenus par ce dernier portaient “incontestablement atteinte à l’honneur et à la réputation des professionnels de l’information” mais admet, curieusement, la “bonne foi” de Philippe Karsenty qui “a exercé son droit de libre critique” et “n’a pas dépassé les limites de la liberté d’expression”. Cet arrêt qui relaxe Philippe Karsenty nous surprend et nous inquiète.

Il nous surprend, car il accorde la même crédibilité à un journaliste connu pour le sérieux et la rigueur de son travail, qui fait son métier dans des conditions parfois difficiles et à ses détracteurs, engagés dans une campagne de négation et de discrédit, qui ignorent tout des réalités du terrain et n’ont aucune expérience du journalisme dans une zone de conflit.

Il nous inquiète, car il laisse entendre qu’il existerait désormais à l’encontre des journalistes une “permission de diffamer” qui permettrait à chacun, au nom de la “bonne foi”, du “droit de libre critique” et de la “liberté d’expression” de porter atteinte impunément “à l’honneur et à la réputation des professionnels de l’information”.

Au moment où la liberté d’action des journalistes est l’objet d’attaques répétées, nous rappelons notre attachement à ce principe fondamental, pilier de la démocratie et nous renouvelons à Charles Enderlin notre soutien et notre solidarité.

Paris, 27 mai 2008

English Translation:

APPEAL
For Charles Enderlin
NOUVELOBS.COM | 04.06.2008 | 15:39

Seven years. It’s now seven years that a obstinate and hateful campaign has tried to tarnish the professional dignity of our colleague Charels Enderlin, correspondent for France2 in Jerusalem. For seven years the same individuals have attempted to present as a “hoax” and a “series of staged scenes” his report showing the death of Mohammed al-Doura, 12 years old, killed by fire coming from the Israeli position on the 30 of September 2000 in the Gaza Strip during a confrontation between the Israeli army and armed Palestinians.

On the 19 of October 2006, the correctional tribunal of Paris had judged the principle animator of this campagne, Philippe Karsenty, guilty of defamation.

The decision rendered on the 21 of May by the appeals court of Paris, invoked by Philippe Karsenty recognizes that the claims made by him “unquestionably struck at the honor and professional reputations of the information professionnels” but admits, curiously, that the “good faith” of Philippe Karsenty, who “exercised his right to free criticism” and “did not transgress the limits of free speech.” This decision which exonerates Philippe Karsenty both surprises and worries us.

We are surprised, because it grants the same credibility to a journalist known for the seriousness and rigor of his work, who exercises his profession in sometimes difficult conditions, and to his detractors, engaged in a campaign of negation and discrediting, who ignore all the realities of the terrain and have no experience of reporting from a conflict zone.

It worries us, because it gives permission in the future for a “permission to defame” journalists, which would permit anyone, in the name of “good faith” and “the right of free criticism,” to strike with impunity at the “honor and reputation of information professionals.”

At a time when the freedom of action of journalists is the object of repeated attacks, we invoke our attachment to this fundamental principle, pillar of democracy and we renew our support and solidarity with Charles Enderlin.

Paris, 27 of May 2008

Pour soutenir cet appel, cliquer ici

Les premiers signataires

Farid Aïchoune (Le Nouvel Observateur), Josette Alia (Le Nouvel Observateur), Claude Angeli (Le Canard Enchaîné), Max Armanet (Libération), Association du Prix Albert Londres, Claude Askolovitch (Le Nouvel Observateur), René Backmann (Le Nouvel Observateur), Luc de Barochez (Le Figaro), Frédéric Barreyre (France Inter), Nebia Bendjebbour (Le Nouvel Observateur), Michel Bôle-Richard (Le Monde), Christophe Boltanski (Le Nouvel Observateur), Nicolas Brimo (Le Canard Enchaîné), Hervé Chabalier (Capa), Alain de Chalvron (France 2), Patrice Claude (Le Monde), Sylvain Cypel (Le Monde), Olivier Da Lage (RFI), Jean Daniel (Fondateur du Nouvel Observateur, écrivain), Sara Daniel (Le Nouvel Observateur), Christian Dauriac (FR3), Gilles Delafon (Le Journal du Dimanche), Grégoire Deniau (France 24), Jack Dion (Marianne), Mireille Duteil (Le Point), Kathleen Evin (France Inter), Didier François (Europe 1), Pierre Ganz (RFI), Alain Girard (Ouest France), Martine Gozlan (Marianne), Gérard Grizbec (France2), Jean-Claude Guillebaud (Journaliste et éditeur), Henri Guirchoun (Le Nouvel Observateur), Gilles Grandpierre (L’Union de Reims) Vincent Hugeux (L’Express), Jean-Marc Illouz (France 2), Erwan Jourand (AFP), Jacques Julliard (Le Nouvel Observateur), Sammy Ketz (AFP), Serge Kovacs (France 3), Michel Labro (Le Nouvel Observateur), Jean Lacouture (Ecrivain), Serge Lafaurie (Le Nouvel Observateur), Loïc Lemoigne (France 3), Gwenaëlle Lenoir ( France 3), Manon Loizeau, Alain Louyot (L’Expansion), Guillaume Malaurie (Le Nouvel Observateur), Jean-Paul Mari (Le Nouvel Observateur), Robert Ménard (Reporters sans frontières), Agnès Molinier (Présidente de la Société des journalistes de France 2), Denis Olivennes (Le Nouvel Observateur), Claude Perdriel (Le Nouvel Observateur), Pierre Prier (Le Figaro), Jonathan Randal (Washington Post), Philippe Rochot (France 2), SCAM (Société civile des auteurs multimédia), Société des Journalistes de France 2, Syndicat SNJ-CGT de France Télévisions, Maurice Szafran (Marianne), Marcel Trillat (Journaliste), Pierre Weill (France Inter), Franck Weill Rabaud (RFI), Wiaz (Le Nouvel Observateur).

• Théo Klein (Avocat, ancien président du CRIF), Régis Debray (Ecrivain, directeur de la revue Medium), Hubert Vedrine, (ancien ministre des affaires étrangères), Guillaume Weill-Raynal (avocat) soutiennent cet appel de journalistes

58 Responses to Circling the Wagons around Charles: Le Nouvel Obs calls for Solidarity with their colleague under attack

  1. oao says:

    Amazing.

    Oh, no, it it precisely true to form and predictable and many of us predicted it.

    the opposite would be amazing.

  2. andrew says:

    An excellent article (in French) is to be found on the site http://www.upjf.org. It compares this frantic defense of the author of a possible (to say the least)
    hoax to the “Monument Henry” of the Dreyfus Affair. This was the subscription for the defense of the memory of Colonel Henry, who had committed suicide in
    1898, right after it had been proved that, with certainty, the documents he had “found” as proofs of
    Dreyfus’ culpability were in fact of his own makings.
    Hundreds (or thousands) of antisemites, from the whole of France, contributed.

    Concerning the present text, it is to be noted that Enderlin’s version of the event is reported as if no discussion could be possible, that the judgment is misreported, finally that the argument boils down to “how dare you compare the word of a simple
    karsenty to that of a Journalist ? Typically, they
    pretend to consider this judgment as having made it
    permissible to put in doubt ALL reports by journalists.

  3. Eliyahu says:

    Menahem Macina sent around a copy of the above petition together with an article about the Faux Henry. It seems that Charles Maurras, of Action Francaise, considered an “ultraright” political movement, called Henry’s fake “un faux patriotique.” In other words, the fake was patriotic and thus justified, even admirable. In Enderlin’s case too, we have the signers of the petition/appeal on behalf of Enderlin consider his lie to be righteous, justified, admirable.
    The journalists in the group may feel some envy of Cher Charles [Charlot de Jerusalem] for his having made history. As said before, rational examination of the evidence is strictly verboten. Curious, isn’t it, how today’s Left is so much like the Right of one hundred years ago?? The good lie is admirable, just don’t cause us cognitive dissonance with your facts and your reasoning and rationality.

  4. andrew says:

    It is hard to realize up to which point Israel is, for
    many French media, the country they love to hate, just
    in the same way that the French right of Maurras’time
    loved to hate the Jews. During the first intifada,
    France TV channel 2 (yes, this is the one of the
    al-Durra’s affair), for months on, would START the
    major news bulletin, each day, with the standard
    sentence: today is the [DayMonthYear]; since the
    beginning of the intifada, [… a number precise to the
    unit] Palestinians have been killed (in case you ask,
    no, they did not say how many Jews had lost their
    lives). A few years ago, Sara Daniel (one of the
    signatories of the above petition, and the daughter of
    Jean Daniel, the founder of Nouvel Observateur) made up
    a story about Israeli soldiers raping Moslem girls so
    as to have them “honour-killed”: I believe she never
    apologized.

  5. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,
    Why are you offending – defaming! – Chaplin?!

    (for those who’re less fluent, Charlie chaplin’s French nickname is Charlot)

  6. E.G. says:

    I, for one, am awestruck by the similarity between this quote from the above Appeal

    “We are surprised, because it grants the same credibility to a journalist known for the seriousness and rigor of his work, who exercises his profession in sometimes difficult conditions, and to his detractors, engaged in a campaign of negation and discrediting, who ignore all the realities of the terrain and have no experience of reporting from a conflict zone.”

    and this one:
    “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
    By George!

  7. Shriber says:

    Can anyone write “Trahison des Clercs:”

    This clowns in the Observateur, which hasn’t observed anything anew since its founding need to get a grip.

    Their little Soviet Republic of letters is crumbling and they have decided to go down with ignominy.

  8. Chaim says:

    “….who ignore all the realities of the terrain and have no experience of reporting from a conflict zone. ”

    ===========================================

    And what “realities of the terrain” would that be, this “reporting from a conflict zone”? The reality is that Hamas and Fatah do not allow freedom of the press – i.e., freedom to criticize Hamas/Fatah. The penalties for which are either kidnapping, death-threats, or banishment from the OPT. The “realities of the terrain” means that Palestinian claims – no matter how baseless, absurd, or fake – tend to be reported, while Israeli claims (almost always fact-based) are heavily scrutinized.

    Why isn’t the hateful material at MEMRI or PMW (the actual ‘reality of the terrain’) ever reported by France2 or the MSM? What about Palestinian media that deliberately calls on women and children to act as human shields against anticipated IDF airstrikes? http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/Hamas+exploitation+of+civilians+as+human+shields+-+Photographic+evidence.htm

    Why aren’t these ‘realities of the terrain’, these facts that paint Hamas and Fatah in a bad light and add actual context to the situation, reported just as vigilantly by France2 as anything that puts Israel in a bad light?

  9. Shriber says:

    I noticed that there was an American reporter on the list of signatories: Jonathan Randal (Washington Post)

    This is what I found about him on line:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1978584.stm

    Friday, 10 May, 2002, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
    “Journalist battles war crimes summons”

  10. Shriber says:

    I noticed that there was an American reporter on the list of signatories: Jonathan Randal (Washington Post)

    This is what I found about him on line:

    <a href=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1978584.stm<Journalist battles war crimes summons

    Friday, 10 May, 2002, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
    “Journalist battles war crimes summons”

    Randal has also written a book on Osama bin Laden and I wonder if the book has been translated into French and he is trying to keep his name current.

  11. Michelle Schatzman says:

    I wrote a very polite and urbane e-mail to Jean Daniel, where I formulated the following hypothesis : it is probable that Enderlin knows that he messed up, but he can’t confess, because he’s been threatened if he does. I also wrote that it is known that journalists cannot report freely from the lands governed by palestinian extremists, and it would be very nice if journalists agreed to admit it and exert their solidarity in case some people lose their jobs, since they might have to leave places where they can’t work.

    I would be very positively surprised if I received an answer… it may be interesting if lots and lots of people could write.

  12. E.G. says:

    Another striking similarity:

    France2 set an example Iran threatens to sue countries damaging its nuclear reputation

  13. oao says:

    Curious, isn’t it, how today’s Left is so much like the Right of one hundred years ago??

    If you realize that the left-right continuum is not a line but a circle, you will be surprised if they were NOT similar.

  14. E.G. says:

    I concur with oao, in line (oops! let’s put it tangent) with Jonah Goldger’s “Liberal Fascism”.

  15. […] The Augean Stables – Circling the Wagons around Charles: Le Nouvel Obs calls for Solidarity with their colleague under at… […]

  16. Joanne, says:

    I cannot believe this! Nowhere does the statement acknowledge the fact that Enderlin and his cameraman lied. Nowhere!

    And why is criticism the same thing as impugning? It cannot be impugning if it’s the truth of the story, not the reporter’s inherent competence over his career, that was being brought into question.

    And where does the issue of the conditions of war reporting come into it? The tapes showed plainly that there was no battle going on.

    In defending Enderlin, this statement shows the very weakness of any possible defense of Enderlin. To wit, it sidesteps the main issue: that the story was a lie.

    I cannot believe what I’m seeing here. It’s a strange combination of a strong, even arrogant tone with laughably flaccid logic. My mother told me that an older saying went, “If you’re wrong, pound the table.” Boy, is this petition ever an example of that.

  17. E.G. says:

    An interesting comment from the Nouvel Observateur “appeal” site:

    “Et où est la mobilisation pour Mark Steyn?
    Le journaliste canadien qui est persécuté par des extrêmistes islamiques au Canada, qui le traînent dans la boue diffamatoire, salissent non seulement son honneur mais vont jusqu’à le traduire en justice pour des propos qu’il n’a jamais émis ou écrit!

    Mark Steyn, journaliste respecté et expérimenté, doit débourser des sommes astronomiques pour ses frais d’avocat, pour se défendre face à une meute de radicaux pour prouver son innocence, dans un pays qui garantit la liberté d’expression!

    Pourquoi ne voit-on pas d’appel de solidarité avec Mark Steyn, votre confrère canadien, dans vos colonnes? Pourquoi ce silence?”

    Come to think of it, there IS a symmetry between the Steyn and Enderlin cases. Steyn dragged before that committee by his detractors, Enderlin initiating trials for his; Steyn writing statistics-based projections, Enderlin broadcasting hate-inciting fake report; Steyn persecuted by extremist Islamists, Enderlin claiming that his contradictors are extremist Zionists… A mirror image.

    Yet the leftist N.Obs only supports M Enderlin. Is it because he’s French and Jewish or because Steyn is neither Jewish nor anti or post Zionist and hardly Left leaning? Of course, nobody in his/her right mind or even left one would suspect that the differential solidarity might stem from the real or imagined persecutors’ stand on the Palestinian cause. Or would s/he?

  18. Eliyahu says:

    oao, glad that you’re coming close to my view on the left-right nonsense. I don’t believe in any left-right spectrum or continuum or circle. I think that ideologies and politics are much more complex.

    Ideologies and politics exist in a three-dimensional universe. So it’s only to be expected that the “ultra-left” Daily Kos takes up for Islamofascism and that “leftists” and “anti-imperialists” are eager to hear the pleasant words of State Dept consultants like walt-mearsheimer [who echo the “Zionist Occupied Govt” charge made by American “ultra-rightists”], while French “gauchistes” echo Charles Maurras and America’s own middle of the road Republican, Condi Rice, accuses Israel of “humiliating palestinians.” As if Condi were another “leftist” agitator on the UC at Irvine campus.

    By the way, does Condi think that maybe Jews might be humiliated or even slightly put out by the descriptions of Jews as sons of apes and pigs which are regular fare on palestinian authority radio/TV and on Hamas radio/TV and press and in the PA schools and mosques?? I don’t especially like Hilary but she did point to this problem [of Judeophobic agitation in PA media and schoolbooks] in her speech to AIPAC.

    EG, I’m surprised that somebody posting a comment on the Nouvel Obs site would care about Mark Steyn. Of course, the general lack of concern for his civil liberties on the part of the usual suspects does not surprise me. Anyhow, the fact that the post was allowed to stay up on the site long enough for you to see might indicate that the NO respects freedom of expression more than the Guardian or bbc where such arguments are often removed.

    to conclude, I recall reading an item in a French paper back in the early sixties. It was about one Pierre Guerin [probably Pierre], known to be a fervent “gauchiste.” He had been attacking Israel even then. But he insisted that he could not be an “antisemite” because “Je suis homme de gauche.” That is, he couldn’t be an “antisemite” because he was a “leftist” and “leftists” can’t be “antisemites.” I think that these maniacs are still making that claim today.

  19. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    a. Anyone can post a comment on the Nouvel Obs site (unlike Le Monde’s one).

    b. My best guess for the comment not being removed is that they don’t have the faintest idea about who Steyn is or his present trouble.

    c. Freedom of expressioin respected by French MSM is an oxymoron.

  20. oao says:

    glad that you’re coming close to my view on the left-right nonsense

    eliyahu, I’m not coming, that’s where I’ve been for a long time.

    I don’t believe in any left-right spectrum or continuum or circle. I think that ideologies and politics are much more complex.

    Totalitarianism is the same no matter what ideology drives it.

  21. Joanne, says:

    I just got this in a fortune cookie, only hours after I wrote my comment above: “Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.” Isn’t that funny? Talk about being apropos.

    Actually, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a lot of cross-pollination between the far left and far right, as both were anti-West, anti-democracy, and anti-capitalistic. So what we’re seeing today is nothing new.

    Here is an article that was written a long time ago, but still makes interesting reading. It’s about the widespread antisemitism in the socialist movements during the 19th century. It’s well worth a read: http://www.paulbogdanor.com/geltman.pdf.

  22. AT says:

    My … it seems that the little journalists are scared of some criticism.

  23. Cynic says:

    Joanne,
    The Geltman pdf doc is not on the server
    The requested URL http:// was not found on this server.
    It gives me a 404 error.

    AT,
    Journalists like to carry a big stick to browbeat as they “preach” while they fear falling out of line with their peer’s agenda.

    Here is a case not dissimilar in distortion where Haaretz is involved:
    It is in Portuguese from the blog run by the “Federation of Jews of the State of Rio de Janeiro”
    Arrest of Elior Chen and the Image of the Jewish Community

    Basically Haaretz published a headline on the 5th of May saying that the Jewish community of Brazil was hiding this person who was evading criminal proceedings against him by the Israeli authorities (“Interpol suspects Brazil Jewish community sheltered rabbi wanted for child abuse)
    when in fact on the 2nd of May the Rabbinic Council of São Paulo sent a document to all the Synagogues in Brazil forbidding any help be given to this person because of the crimes he had committed.

    The indignation and and discomfort suffered by the Jewish Community must be understood as non Jewish citizens start with finger pointing and calumnies of Jews aiding criminals.

    A forma irresponsável como o jornal Haaretz tratou toda a Comunidade Judaica brasileira deixando uma imagem irreal preservada para sempre nos arquivos do espaço virtual e que certamente será utilizada nos sites e blogs anti-semitas …

    Translation: “The irresponsible form in which Haaretz treated the Brazilian Jewish Community by leaving an unreal image preserved for ever in cyberspace and which certainly will be used in anti-Semitic sites and blogs …”

    Not enough, Haaretz continues stating that on the 4th of May the Federal Police issued a document warning the Jewish Community not to harbour or help Chen, when it was the Rabbinic Council that issued it 2 days before.

    Isn’t it time that journalists were held to certain standards whereby they are complicit in the suffering of those brought about by their lies, distortions, withholding facts, disinformation, …..?
    They want to be journalists writing for public consumption then they must not be permitted their cowardice.

  24. Cynic says:

    Why aren’t these ‘realities of the terrain’, these facts that paint Hamas and Fatah in a bad light and add actual context to the situation, reported just as vigilantly by France2 as anything that puts Israel in a bad light?

    Because it conflicts with their agenda.
    And when they are caught out they do not have the courage of their “convictions” to admit it! And silly people then assuage this maliciousness with naive, stupid …

  25. Cynic says:

    I forgot to add to the last paragraph:

    And what “realities of the terrain” would that be, this “reporting from a conflict zone”? The reality is that Hamas and Fatah do not allow freedom of the press – i.e., freedom to criticize Hamas/Fatah.

    What!
    Meeting the stringer at the Colony Hotel or through the internet or by cellphone to get the story – the reality of the terrain.

  26. Joanne, says:

    Sorry, Cynic, I tried it from this thread and I also got an error. Yet I got to it quickly by going through Google. I’ll see if this works again.

    http://www.paulbogdanor.com/geltman.pdf

  27. Joanne, says:

    Yep, it does. Give it a try here. I don’t know what I did differently. It’s the same site. Maybe it was adding the “http” that made the difference.

  28. Cynic says:

    Joanne,
    Thanks. It works now but not because the HTTP was missing. The WWW got Bognador’s landing page without problems. Must have been some problem with the link on his site.

    Anyway I find the article most interesting and can certainly “entertain” some people with it.
    If it’s of interest there is an Australian, John Ray, who has had some interesting takes mainly in his bog “Disecting Leftism” and has these documents which maybe oao will have the energy to crit. A longish read with the links:
    The American “Progressives” were the first Fascists of the 20th century

    and
    Hitler was a Socialist

    Modern Leftism as recycled Fascism

  29. Eliyahu says:

    Cynic, you meant the American Colony Hotel just about one city block east of the old armistice line [Green Line] going through the heart of Jerusalem. The American Colony Hotel is the HQ for all sorts of intrigue, particularly pro-Arab, anti-Israel intrigue. Close to this hotel were Jewish neighborhoods from which Jews were expelled at the beginning of the Israeli War of Independence. These expulsions from the Shim`on haTsadiq, Nahalat Shim`on and Siebenbergen Houses quarters took place in December 1947 and January 1948. The Arabs “ethnically cleansed” the parts of Jerusalem that they captured in the war, thereby creating a Judenrein zone. Now they and their Western supporters have the hutspah to call this Judenrein zone “traditionally Arab East Jerusalem.”

    If Cynic knows Jerusalem, the Siebenbergen Houses were on the lot now occupied by three new hotels, the Olive Tree, Grand Court, and Novotel. This lot is about 100-150 feet to the west of the American Colony lot. The other 2 quarters were around the tomb of Simon the Just to the north of the AC Hotel.

    The American Colony commonly lodges NGO operatives, intelligence agents, journalists, and the like.

  30. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,
    What I wrote was sufficient for you to get the drift
    The American Colony commonly lodges NGO operatives, intelligence agents, journalists, and the like. I would have written their ilk :-)

    The last time I had a tour of Jerusalem, and a very rushed one it was, was at the end of 1973.

    Joanne,
    Thanks. It works now but not because the HTTP was missing. The WWW got
    Bognador’s landing page without problems. Must have been some problem with
    the link on his site.

    Anyway I find the article most interesting and can certainly “entertain” some people with it.
    If it’s of interest there is an Australian, John Ray, who has had some
    interesting takes mainly in his bog “Disecting Leftism” and has these documents which maybe oao will have the energy to crit. A longish read with
    the links:
    The
    American “Progressives” were the first Fascists of the 20th century

    and
    Hitler
    was a Socialist

    Modern
    Leftism as recycled Fascism

  31. Ari says:

    Re: Haaretz on Elior Chen

    Cynic, this website is about truthful journalistic reporting, so let’s be truthful in our own reporting. Your post is misleading on one count, and plain wrong on another.

    The is very explicit, both in the title and in the body, about the suspicion being that of the Interpol. Indeed, the local Interpol representative is quoted to that effect. If the Interpol did indeed suspect the Jewish communities was sheltering Chen, what is the problem? Are you disputing that the Interpol suspected as much? Note also that the Interpol rep is quoted as saying that the Jewish community “supposedly didn’t know about the accusations against him in Israel.” So at worst they were unwitting accessories. Furthermore, he goes on to say that Chen “was found alone, in the street of Julio Conceicao, so we think he was already separated from his peers.”, which I interpret to be saying that apparently at some point Chen’s “peers” became aware of the charges against him and were quick to disassociate themselves from him. Hardly a case of slander; in fact, quite the opposite.

    Secondly, the article does not report that the federal police issued a warning to the Jewish community to refrain from aiding Chen, but rather that it issued a communique saying “we’re sure that Sao Paulo’s Israeli community, upon learning of the torture cases, alerted the religious representatives of the city and prohibited the community to cover for the fugitive.” Note that this communique was released on the same day Chen was apprehended, probably (judging by its language) *after* he was arrested. So far from being a warning not to aid Chen, this is actually praise for not aiding him. (If I had to speculate, I would say that the purpose of this communique was to quell rumors that had already begun to spread that the Jewish community had been protecting Chen.)

    Thus the article is not in the least negative about the Sao-Paulo Jewish community. It seems fair and true to the facts (assuming, of course, it contains no factual errors). As for the failure to mention the Rabbinical Council’s warning, it would not have changed the gist of the report, as the report doesn’t even hint at any witting culpability on the part of the Jewish community. My guess would be that the reporters were not aware of it. I would further speculate that the reason for this is that the reporters weren’t reporting from the scene, but rather from their Tel-Aviv office, basing their own article on reports coming out of Sao-Paulo—reports that failed to mention the Rabbinical Council’s warning. Sloppy reporting? Perhaps. But the key point is that the article does not reflect negatively on the Sao-Paulo Jewish community, so the issue is moot (in this respect).

    Coming full circle back to the title, here your grievance is well-founded. Although (presumably) factually correct in that the Interpol did suspect the Jewish community of sheltering Chen, the title fails to make the point that the suspicion was of *unwittingly* sheltering him, which of course makes a world of difference. Given the neutral-to-positive tone of the article I suspect the title is the handiwork of the editor rather than reporters.

    In conclusion, while the title does reflect negatively, unjustly so, on the Sao-Paulo Jewish community, the article itself does not. I am not a Haaretz apologist—far from it—but as I said, we should be truthful and accurate in our own reporting.

  32. Ari says:

    Sorry about the HTML boo-boo in the last post.

  33. Cynic says:

    Ari,
    Don’t know when you read Haaretz’s online but they changed the headline and most of the article after receiving a letter from Brazil criticizing their initial reporting.

    “Interpol
    suspects that the Jewish community in Sao Paulo hid an ultra-Orthodox
    rabbi… – Interpol suspeita de que a Comunidade Judaica de São Paulo
    escondeu um rabino ultra-ortodoxo…”.
    Este tipo de generalização e manipulação nas manchetes de jornais e em suas primeiras linhas, as mais lidas, é exatamente a mesma que constantemente
    condenamos quando atinge as minorias, os judeus, o sionismo e Israel. Mas foi a opção do jornal israelense e nossa reação é exatamente a mesma.

    I will translate the part after “Interpol suspects that the Jewish Community hid the ultra orthodox Rabbi”

    This type of generalisation and manipulation in the media’s headlines and their first lines, the most read, are exactly the same that we constantly condemn when they affect minorities, Jews, zionism and Israel. But it was the option of an Israeli paper and our reaction is the same.

    O Haaretz enviou para todo o mundo a mensagem de que os judeus do Brasil e mais especificamente os de São Paulo são responsáveis por abrigar um rabino
    criminoso, omitindo que se tratava de um cidadão israelense, que não foi preso em Israel e que conseguiu sair de lá sem problemas. Isso é inaceitável.
    …………..
    Mas a matéria do Haaretz continua errada quando ao seu final declara que a Polícia Federal emitiu um comunicado para a Comunidade Judaica no dia 4 de
    junho – com o mesmo texto do comunicado do Conselho Rabínico do dia 2 de maio – alegando que apenas a partir daí a comunidade passou a tomar
    providências, o que não condiz com a verdade.</em.

    Haaretz sent to the world a message that the Jews of São Paulo were hiding a criminal rabbi when in fact they omitted to say that the person in question is an Israeli citizen and was not arrested there and was able to leave without any problems.

    Haaretz’ material continued incorrectly stating that the Federal Police issued a communication to the Jewish Community on the 4th of June – the exact same text that the RC had issued in its letter on the 2nd – alleging that from this police communication the community took action “to not helpthe individual in question”, which does not conform to the truth

    Chen was apprehended several days after the RC issued its document not to help him.

    Read the complete article ( unfortunately it’s in Portuguese) and get the Communities perspective first.

    No, in Haaretz’ case they may not be in the same league as France 2 but in their haste to get at the religious community they hurt everybody who is Jewish, in Brazil anyway.
    You have no idea what the South of Brazil is like for the production of anti-Semitic material what with the remnants of Nazi Germany and now especially with Iran operating there (Hezbollah and other groups running drugs and arms and laundering money) under the guise of Palestinians in the town of Cascavel and elsewhere.
    And anything the MSM there can get their hands on to castigate the Jews will be used to full advantage.

  34. Cynic says:

    RL,
    It seems like my comments are getting through now.

  35. oao says:

    maybe oao will have the energy to crit

    i long lost the energy to crit things that have been obvious for years and decades, but which are ignored or denied in clear contradiction to reality.

    the similarities between the nazis and the bolsheviks in terms of dogma, operations and their consequences are so obvious that if they are not acknowledged or understood, no crit will make a dent.

  36. oao says:

    Don’t know when you read Haaretz’s online but they changed the headline and most of the article after receiving a letter from Brazil criticizing their initial reporting.

    The advent of electronic versions of output allows to obscure lies, biases and errors by revisions without acknowledgment. This facilitates rather than discourages such practices.

  37. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,
    I meant to thank you for correcting my description of that hotel.
    Maybe subconsciously I did not want to associate it with America.

  38. oao says:

    cynic,

    one of the problems with the israeli left, including Haaretz, is that high on their moral multiculti horse, they do not countenance in what passes for their heads the vile anti-semitism that has always existed outside of israel and which is now raising its ugly head everywhere. it probably never occurred to them what such a presentation of jewish behavior could trigger.

    worse: since that presentation was false, the speed with which they made that mistake indicates their own anti-semitism (which is hardly the first time they exhibit it).

  39. Cynic says:

    oao,
    If you have time take a look at some of the stuff he has posted.
    It seems that we have one uphill struggle to overturn the disinformation of Communism that was inflicted on the world before we can come to grips with today’s progressive left because it is the dogma on which they have built their notions.

  40. Joanne, says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Cynic.

    Regarding the American Colony Hotel, it really does seem to be rooted in an Anglo, genteel pro-Arab tradition. Read this fascinating article in the New York Times from two and a half years ago: http://tinyurl.com/4vsbz8 .

    Also, there is some interesting material on the American Colony Hotel in a recent book by journalist Stephanie Guttman. The book is called “The Other War – Israelis, Palestinians and the Struggle for Media Supremacy,” and it’s well worth a read.

  41. oao says:

    It seems that we have one uphill struggle to overturn the disinformation of Communism that was inflicted on the world before we can come to grips with today’s progressive left because it is the dogma on which they have built their notions.

    that’s not the only struggle: the same is true of fascism. just look at what pat buchanan is writing about hitler, blaming the british for WW2.

    this is an almost automatic consequence of the collapse of education. today’s generation know nothing about history and make up their own ignorant interpretations.

    which is why this is no surprise to me.

  42. Cynic says:

    oao,

    Many years ago Buchanan was discarded for the nut that he is but unfortunately the media which should be maintaining people’s attention are now using his mouthings as a stick with which to beat the West.

    As I mentioned in another post a while ago, even in my day – that is many years ago – we were not taught history even if it was by the British.
    It has turned out to be propaganda. Just fed propaganda or as my father would have it when he thumbed through my text book as I was doing homework: “Hmm, propaganda for a proper goose!”.

  43. oao says:

    cynic,

    sure.

    my point was that many years ago there were still people who lived during the war, including in the press. and there was still some distinction between history and propaganda.

    as time passed, less and less people who were alive then died, and the distinction was blurred. but it did not happen brusquely and recently. it was a slow process which accelerated in time, where now people are not aware of the distinction–they think propaganda IS history.

    note that this is precisely the situation in the moslem world. which confirms that the west is descending from civilization to lack thereof by dumping rationality. at that low level the west has no chance against islam.

  44. oao says:

    Many years ago Buchanan was discarded for the nut that he is

    but the whole point is that they did pick him up again, because they can no longer see that he’s a nut.

    furthermore, now it’s not just him. there’s quite a few ignorami who spit the same nonsense as he does, and they are viewed as quite respectable.

    these days output is assessed by reputation instead of the other way around. the rational basis for assessment is gone.

  45. Eliyahu says:

    Joanne, Cynic, oao, etc.
    –one of France’s star intellectuals, Bernard-Henri Levy [or Levi] wrote a book which has some detail about Communist-Nazi resemblances and how the Communists helped the Nazis in the pre-1933 period, if only by echoing some of their national-territorial claims. See his book, Le Testament de Dieu [I believe that it was translated into English]
    Also see Georges Goriely’s writings, particularly an article in LeMonde about how the French CP helped the Nazis take over Saarland through their propaganda.

    If you examine what the Commies circa 1932-33 were saying about the poor Germans, victims of Western imperialism and French chauvinism, you find an amazing similarity to what Commies of both the Stalinist and Trotskyist stripes have been saying on behalf of the poor Panamanians [I meant, palestinians]. Anyhow, Panama is sort of a fake nation or people too, like the “palestinians.” Whereas the palestinian people notion was invented by the British, Panama was separated by the USA from Columbia, whereas nobody before had considered Panama a separate country, just a departamento of Columbia.

    as to buchanan, I have not read what he said, but in the late Thirties there were some commentators [Dorothy Thompson, etc] who blamed Britain precisely for encouraging Germany and helping the Germans get a better strategic position before attacking Poland, etc. Of course, if I know buchanan, he probably tries to confuse the whole issue, mixing fact and fiction to promote his own line.

    Joanne, I think that you’d like the book by Barbara Newman, Love and Death in Beirut [or the like]. She too talks about the central role of certain hotels in the Lebanese civil war of 1975-1982. Her book has some very important info about Lebanon which you will see in few other places.

  46. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    to me the similarities are so obvious that I really don’t need to read about them. i figured them out by myself a long time ago.

  47. Eliyahu says:

    oao, I think that in #38 you meant “acknowledge the exixtence of” when you wrote “countenance.” In other words, you are saying [I think] that HaArets scribblers cannot or don’t want to acknowledge the reality of Judeophobia [antisemitism] in the world. It may not have been part of their indoctrination as they grew up. Real concrete proof of Judeophobia/antisemitism causes unwanted cognitive dissonance for the well-indoctrinated “leftist.”

  48. Ari says:

    Cynic, I’m not 100% clear on your response. I understand you are claiming that the current version of the article (the one I linked to) is substantially different from the original. (BTW, I read it on Sunday, right after seeing your post and before submitting mine.) Did you read the original version? Is there any way to recover it? I’d really like to see it. When you say “Read the complete article ( unfortunately it’s in Portuguese) and get the Communities perspective first.” Are you talking about the Haaretz piece (didn’t know they had a Portuguese edition) or a response to it?

    While I certainly would not want to see any increase in anti-semitism, attempting to prevent it by misreporting (or simply not reporting) events will often backfire, not to mention that it cuts both ways (recall that one of Enderlin’s defenses was that even if his report was factually incorrect, it served to accurately depict a higher truth).

    So as much as I sympathize with the Brazillian Jewish community, their perspective is not really germane. The question here is whether the article reported accurately and fairly. Based on its currently available content I would have to say yes. If a previous version of the article did otherwise, it would of course be despicable and deserve much broader attention.

  49. oao says:

    So as much as I sympathize with the Brazillian Jewish community, their perspective is not really germane. The question here is whether the article reported accurately and fairly.

    yes and no.

    yes, accuracy is important. however, in the context of current antisemitism and its potential consequences you better be sure that what you write is accurate.

    furthermore, the media is daily choosing what to print and what not to print on a rather subjective basis. given the rising anti-semitism around the world they wouldn’t have been remiss to delay this story for a while, until they learned more about it.

    but they jumped to it because it’s part of their dogma: here’s the immoral jews at work and we are the moral jews for bringing it to your attention.

  50. Cynic says:

    Ari,
    Please read what I wrote.
    No, Haaretz does not have the capacity to write in Portuguese. The complaints of FIERJ were in Portuguese
    For one it was not the police but the RC who days before sent a letter requesting that the guilty party be given no succour.
    Now imagine, if the police had addressed such a letter to say the Muslim community, the screams of outrage at the implications that.

    I don’t have time to monitor the media what with being between work and a hard place, but what I can say is that after FIERJ’s letter to Haaretz the paper persisted in the “police sent the letter”.
    So what Haaretz basically persisted with is that the Jewish community is without scruples; that the police had to warn them not to help a criminal. “what can you expect from Jews!!!”

    not to mention that it cuts both ways (recall that one of Enderlin’s defenses was that even if his report was factually incorrect, it served to accurately depict a higher truth).

    Paleeeeeeeeze! Don’t give me that Rather crap of “False but Accurate” BS! As for Enderlin’s defense; that was no defense but horribly offensive.
    Ari, where are you from that context doesn’t matter?

    ….their perspective is not really .
    Is that what you’d apply to the Jews of Europe in the 30s? Their perspective was not germane!?
    So what is pertinent in this little Haaretz episode?

  51. […] 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 […]

  52. Sissy Willis says:

    As I wrote in the comments at John Rosenthal’s PJM piece, it sounds like gang warfare, with the Cliques [Enderlan and the signatories] facing off against the Outlanders [Karsenty and his fellow seekers of wisdom and truth], and you get it just right:

    “I put up the following astonishing ‘public letter of support’” for Charles, that paragon of journalistic virtue who is inexplicably allowed to be the target of criticism from people who are not part of the clique. It’s classic ad hominem with no regard for the evidence. In the future, these cosigners will be part of a list of ignominy, the in-crowd that kept the al Durah affair from seeing the light of day for so long. Amazing.”

    Against the need to regain lost “honor” amongst their peers, mere truth is nothing to the Cliques. As Shelby Steele wrote In another context regarding what motivates leaders of the Islamist terrorist community, they “have used menace to make their people visible in the world, to bring them back into the scheme of history.”

  53. […] “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 […]

  54. […] my initial responses to the Nouvel Obs petition supporting Enderlin, I noted that in the future, PhD theses on the dysfunctions of the media in the […]

  55. […] petition at Le Nouvel Obs (a major French weekly newsmagazine) in support of Charles. The text is a monument to the guild mentality of French journalists. It rejects both the principles of journalistic transparency, and the notion […]

  56. […] petition at Le Nouvel Obs (a major French weekly newsmagazine) in support of Charles. The text is a monument to the guild mentality of French journalists. It rejects both the principles of journalistic transparency, and the notion […]

  57. […] blog.  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 […]

  58. […] Every time that the Al Durah narrative gets identified as a fake, calling into question both the “IDF targets Palestinian children” narrative and the competence of the MSNM’s reporting from the Middle East, the MSNM circle the wagons and defend their “honor.” […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *