Thursday, January 13, 2005
What is interesting in the following story is that French media (printed and broadcast media) seem to be united in refusing to publicize the "evidence" of an hoax by pressuring journalists who fear for their careers. A sort of French omerta not very surprising but worrying when you know that "a French CNN" or a French "BBCI" will be launched in 2005 (or 2006) . What's the issue? According to CNSnews.com, "French state-owned television is using what some call intimidation and threatened libel lawsuits to quiet calls for an investigation of TV images that showed the alleged shooting of a Palestinian boy - 12-year old Mohammed al-Durra - by Israeli soldiers in 2000. The video from the TV channel France 2 has become famous around the world as a symbol for the current Palestinian intifada (uprising) and shows a boy trying to take shelter behind a man during a gun battle in September 2000 between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers at the Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip. Independent media analysts in France (in particular Philippe Karsenty and Media-ratings) and in Israel have provided what they call conclusive evidence that the video of the incident was staged and at least one member of the French Assembly has called for an official investigation of the episode, but France 2 has so far refused to undertake a comprehensive inquiry. France 2... provided copies of articles reporting it was filing a libel suit against un-named individuals for defamation. But Stephane Juffa, editor in chief of the Metula News Agency based in Israel, said he and two other colleagues carried out a thorough investigation, which included scores of interviews and scene-by-scene analysis of the video and other material filmed in 2000." Remind too that "a shot from the Mohammed al-Durra video was also prominent in the background behind Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl as he was being murdered by his Islamic kidnappers in Pakistan."
Here, at the World Editors Forum, we have no means to check if the 2000 video was an hoax, but we are concerned by the fact that French mainstream media have ignored this polemical story.
Source: CNSnews.com and Media-ratings (in French)