Chesler Chronicles

The Hoax That Launched the Al-Aqsa Intifada: Mainstream Media Complicity and Silence.

An Historic Moment
Left to Right: Gilles Dreyfus, the author, and Philippe Karsenty at the author’s home.

The same mainstream media that ran front page photos of the Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, allegedly being murdered in his father’s arms by Israeli soldiers–are, shamefully, not running any stories about the hard-won Karsenty decision in Paris.

Thus, as of this writing, the hardcopy of the New York Times has not covered the story. Surprisingly, the New York Sun didn’t either, nor did the hardcopy of the Wall Street Journal. According to my online survey, there is no coverage in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Detroit Free Press, The Miami Herald, The Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Washington Post, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner or the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Well, maybe they’re working on huge weekend stories. If so, I look forward to reading them. However, a brief mention would be in order. Naught but chaos rules.

Google Mohammed al-Dura and you will find 111,000 references to the case–although there were probably millions of references to the case between the fall of 2000-2003. Google the case at the New York Times today and you will get 24,800 references to it. Google the Los Angeles Times and 11,400 references to al-Dura are listed. The Washington Post has 23,300 references to the al-Dura case listed.

When will they come clean, play fair, report the truth? Never? Or when it is too late?

Brian Rohan of Reuters covered it, (“French Court Cancels Libel in Intifada Video Case”), Melanie Phillips of Britain’s Spectator covered it (“A Milestone Victory”), as did the Jerusalem Post (“Court Overturns al-Dura Libel Judgment”) and other Israeli media. Of course, Pajamas Media published a statement by Karsenty and pieces by Richard Landes and myself.

As I noted earlier, HERE and HERE, the online version of the NY Times did cover the French decision–and, as one of my readers has pointed out, although the article gave equal “voice” and equal weight to both sides in the dispute, the headline itself was clear. “Critic of Palestinian Video Wins French Case.” (I literally did not see the headline, I only saw the “iconic” photo and the text beneath the headline. I apologize).

The International Herald Tribune ran yesterday’s AP dispatch: “Paris Court Acquits Media Watchdog of Libel Over Footage in Boy’s Death.” This story essentially takes the same line as the Times, namely, that the court merely ruled that Karsenty was entitled to voice his opinion without that opinion being deemed “libelous.”

This view of the court decision (which, as of this writing, has still not been released), does not admit that there is actual footage in which the presumably dead boy is seen alive after he has been pronounced dead. It also does not present background or context for the dispute. No other instances of staged Palestinian fauxtography are brought to bear e.g. the Palestinian lawmakers forced to work by candlelight–while it was still daylight; the same woman or the same man telling the same (false) story in Lebanon or Ramallah or Gaza to the same grateful and gullible western media.

There are no stories (at least, not yet), in which the mainstream Western media admit that in the past, they have allowed themselves to be fooled, over and over again, by the narrative of Palestinian Victimhood and Israeli Evil because it suited them–the facts be damned.

Fausta Wertz tells us that France’s Channel 2 (!) which perpetrated the hoax, has not reported the verdict. (This is France’s state-run media channel). Only Charles Enderlin, who sued Karsenty for libel, mentions the verdict on his own blog. His spin: The child died, the Israelis did it. No alternate comments are allowed on his blog. Fausta quotes Nidra Poller in Paris who describes the French media coverage as “sly” and “smartass.”

Fausta tells us to “expect nothing more from the media.” Chilling–but she might just be right.

Please let me know what the media in your state is saying–or not saying. I hope that MEMRI is checking the Arab language media to see what they print, if anything.

Please read Yaacov Ben Moshe’s Open Letter to Charles Enderlin and France2, HERE.