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.

9 Responses to Esther Schapira’s Statement of the Question of Staging

  1. sg says:

    I doubt Derfner has any idea what it is like to get threats from the far left and Moslems for publishing things they don’t like….

    (To his credit Derf is keeping this topic boiling for Post readers)

  2. andrew says:

    This increases our admiration for the first courageous people who, like Esther Schapira, had to face life threats to make themselves heard (not in Paris, of course). It is fully understandable that, to be heard at all, Esther Schapira had to be prudent about her
    already devastating findings. I do not foresee, especially in France, the possibility that the truth might come to light, with the help of the judiciary apparatus, without major troubles, political or otherwise, to come. Yes, in more than one sense it is the Dreyfus affair revisited. Things will of course quiet down a lot if there are definite advances in the
    current ”peace talks”, but it is frightening to realize up to which point the Israeli position has been fragilized by the war of the media.

  3. sg says:

    I doubt Derfner has any idea what it is like to get threats from the far left and Moslems for publishing things they don’t like….

    (To his credit Derf is keeping this topic boiling front and centre for Post readers)

  4. AT says:

    Derfner lost this battle … his second column tries to sweep a backhanded apology into a “I was not really that wrong” position, but he ends up looking like an unprofessional fool (in my opinion).

    I had a lot more respect for him before he tried to put his second foot in his mouth (although it seems that both feet fit quite well at this point).

  5. oao says:

    Things will of course quiet down a lot if there are definite advances in the current ”peace talks”

    No chance for the latter (except in the mind of idiots olmert, barak and livni), but even if this a replay of dreyfus then things may quiet down only to go dormant until another opportunity of a replay.

    but he ends up looking like an unprofessional fool (in my opinion).

    depends to whom. not to other fools, of which the majority consists.

    oao
    http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

  6. Solomonia says:

    Derfner Rides Again…

    Larry Derfner can’t quite bring himself to fill the hole he’s dug himself into by just admitting he was wrong, and that his instinct concerning being a good leftist is that he has to stand against anything anyone who he……

  7. [...] case gets more problematic when we consult with Esther Schapira. She writes, in response to Derfner’s use of her work: It has been said several times that I didn’t find [...]

  8. [...] that the shooting was staged.” I have already dealt with both Esther Schapira, whose response literally contradicts this characterization of her position, and that of Gabriel Weimann, who is careful to insist on a position of academic [...]

  9. [...] generous permission) in my own documentaries, has now come out with a new study. Given how much (she has subsequently admitted), intimidation played a role in her modest conclusions last time (”the Israelis didn’t [...]

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