A French appeals court confirmed that the France-2 TV report of the death of Muhammad Al-Dura in 2000 was staged while the Israeli Supreme Court is considering revoking the station’s press credentiala.
After the French court decision, handed down last week, Philippe Karsenty said France-2 should acknowledge that it “created and is continuing to perpetuate the worst anti-Semitic libel of our era.”
In 2004, Karsenty, publisher of a media critique website, claimed that France-2’s claim that a young Palestinian boy was killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza was false. Arabs used these images to fan the flames of anti-Israel hatred.
In the footage used by France-2, an Arab father and son are shown ducking from gunfire until there is a cut to the boy lying in the father’s lap. Then correspondent Charles Enderlin, who was not on the scene at the time, tells viewers that the boy was shot dead by the Israelis.
An official Israeli investigation, as well as subsequent reports in foreign media outlets, showed that it was not physically possible for the Israeli soldiers to have shot the boy. The France-2 news director, admitted that it is impossible to know for sure whether the Israelis or the Arabs killed Al-Dura.
In 2004, Karsenty called for the resignation of France-2 employees. France-2 sued Karsenty for libel and won the case in October, 2006. But he appealed the decision and the French judge ordered France-2 to hand over the raw footage to the court. The court overturned the libel conviction and indicated that Karsenty’s claims that the report was a fake could not be lightly dismissed.
On May 12, the Israeli Supreme Court heard arguments to revoke the media credentials of France-2. A decision has not been reached.