Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Leading Critic of French al-Dura Coverage Convicted for Revealing the Fraud

This item was sent to PRIMER by Jerry Gordon.

Phillipe Karsenty was convicted of defamation by what passes for a Court in France for having the effrontery of revealing the fraud of the Al Dura affair and attacking the lies of the producer of the infamous child killing fraudulent video Charles Enderlin and the state owned France 2 TV News channel. This is Kafkesque. Doubtless this travesty of justice will be appealed. The stain of this court ruling is on the honor of France for this calumny. But then think of the Dreyfus affair. After three trials it was left for the President of France to 'pardon' Capt. Henri Dreyfus for the sin of being Jewish and set up by an anti-Semitic French General Staff. The irony in the Karsenty case is that both he and Enderlin are Jewish.
Phillipe Karsenty

In our NER video interview with Nidra Poller on the Al Dura affair, we asked about the peculiarities of the French system of justice (?). She responded:

Gordon: Because the Al-Dura affair has persisted, it has involved a series of legal matters in the French courts. One of the principle accusers of the fraud is Philippe Karsenty . He who appears to be a minor hero for taking on this myth that Mr. Enderlin and others including the Palestinian camera man have perpetuated in this regard. What can you tell us about that and more importantly how peculiar is the French juridical system?

Poller: I attended on almost every hearing in this case. I know Philippe. I have known him since he started working on the case. I covered the whole trial. In the first trial I was sitting very close to Maitre Amblard who is the lawyer for France2 and Enderlin.  I write about her head of thick, white hair and all of her gestures. I especially wrote about a pile of folders and documents that she had. I was thinking my goodness, she must have all of this evidence and here I am stupid and thinking I'm a journalist and writing about this. When the trial started, I don't know what was in the stack of files. They didn't have anything and all of the years they've never have produced a bit of evidence. They don't cross-examine. What happens in the court resembles nothing you could imagine in an American court where people are put on the spot.  So there was not any kind of cross-examination and over the years, I have seen Philippe improve his presentation and his manner of dealing with this situation. He presented three dimensional mock-ups of the Netzarim Junction. At first when Amblard presented to three judge panel, they were saying what is this excited guy doing .  At the latest appeal I watched them start out very hostile to Karsenty . They seem to express the view that we are the judges and we get this evidence .  Talking as a writer ,not a journalist, I think they were saying, oh my goodness, how are we going to convict this guy? It is a fake so they have put off their verdict twice. They can't settle this issue in court. You can't settle this issue if you only stay on the Al-Dura affair ... .

In mid-June I had this email response from Esther Schapira, noted German investigative journalist who has produced several powerful investigative reports on the Al Dura fraudulent for Hessiche Rundfunk:

Two weeks ago, when I was in Israel, our film was shown on Israeli TV again and the case is still being discussed there. Unfortunately I guess we'll never know the whole truth and even if we did it wouldn't change most people's perception. However it is worth fighting for the truth nevertheless as we don't have another option. I do keep my finger's crossed for Phillippe. He had to pay a much higher price for his "mission" and I still find it unbelievable that a tv station tries to silence a critical voice by putting it on trial. We as journalists have to be open to criticism more than anyone else. We have to justify our work and deal with every kind of criticism, no matter how hard or even unfair it may seen. And he has done nothing else but gathering material and drawing his own conclusion and asking questions that France 2 has failed to answer until today.

An article about the French court's disgraceful action may also be read on the Times of Israel website.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New York Times (As Usual) Ignores Reality

This was originally sent as a letter to The New York Times, which had been the epitome of what a newspaper should be when I was growing up.

The May 28 editorial, "Shuttle Diplomacy, Kerry Style," questions Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "commitment to a two-state solution," but surprisingly does not question West Bank chieftain Mahmoud Abbas' commitment to anything resembling peace.

For his part, Abbas not only refused to even respond to Olmert's offer back in 2008 to give him his Palestinian state in the equivalent of all the disputed territories, but has spurned negotiations ever since and has adamantly insisted he will never compromise one iota on any of the core issues.

Abbas' government blatantly violates almost all its solemn commitments under the failed Oslo agreements, indoctrinates schoolchildren with hatred, glorifies terrorism while honoring dead terrorists and paying salaries to live terrorists responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians.

He makes their release from prison yet another precondition to negotiations while asserting he will never recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

In sharp contrast, Netanyahu has worked assiduously and relatively successfully to improve the lives of the Arabs living in the areas administered by the Palestinian Authority while continually trying to entice Abbas to return to the negotiating table.

In the absence of meaningful negotiations, nobody can know precisely how much Netanyahu would ultimately compromise, but both his words and his deeds provide evidence that he greatly desires peace with all of Israel's Arab neighbors, including the Palestinian Arabs.

On the other hand, Mahmoud Abbas' words and actions strongly suggest he has no interest in living in peace with Israel, at least under any circumstances which would not set the stage for the ultimate elimination of the only true democracy in the Middle East.