Philippe Karsenty is tall, handsome, charming–and very determined; un homme, tres serieux (a very serious gentleman).
Karsenty, a 41 year-old former stockbroker, media analyst, and founder of Media-Ratings, came to America on a lecture and media tour shortly after his interim victory in a Paris courtroom in the matter of the Al Dura Hoax. The state owned TV channel, France 2, sued him for defamation when Karsenty insisted that their airing of a brief (55-59 second) portion of the (27 minutes of raw footage) constituted a Blood Libel. The staged event took place on September 30, 2000 at the Netzarim Junction and became the Face that launched far more than a thousand Islamist riots, anti-Israeli petitions, and successful and intercepted Palestinian suicide bombings.
This past September, almost seven years later, a Paris judge finally ordered that France 2 turn over the film to the court by November 14th. The trial itself is set for February 27th of 2008.
Karsenty recently visited me one afternoon and he returned two days later to speak at a gathering to honor him at my home. Among those whom I invited were a direct descendent of Captain Alfred Dreyfus (my friend and neighbor, Gilles Dreyfus) and yes, I took a photo of us all. After all, the Al Dura case exemplifies how powerful a single photo can be.
A version of this article appears in the Oct. 24 Jewish Press under the title “An Unsassuming Hero Standing Up For Truth”. For full text of this article, click HERE.