Media analyst Philippe Karsenty spoke Tuesday afternoon in Boulder at a luncheon sponsored by Stand By Israel. A heavy debt of thanks to Sylvain Hayoun for his role in putting the event together.
France 2 TV has brought libel charges against Karsenty in a legal battle spanning a period from about 2004 to a pending and imminent 2nd French Supreme Court decision on an appeal from France 2, which had been defeated in a lower court decision. Karsenty charged that France 2 and their producer and journalist Charles Enderlin falsified and misrepresented the evidence of the supposed deliberate Israeli killing of the innocent child Muhammad Al-Dura during Israeli cross-fire with Palestinian gunmen.
The case led to discovery of remaining, cut film from the 2000 incident which showed, for instance, that the child Al-Durah was moving even though France 2 and Enderlin claimed he was dead. That scene had never been revealed or shown publicly even though it was in possession of France 2 TV and Enderlin. Israel in May, 2013 released a report that, after a full investigation based on ballistic forensics and other evidence, concluded that their soldiers could not and did not kill Al-Durah and he was not harmed at the site of the supposed battle, the Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip. Karsenty cited a litany of evidence that purports to show that, at the time of supposed death, Al-Durah was still alive and the father was not shot some 12 times. The father lived afterwards.
The supposed killing of Al-Durah has been and continues to be a rallying cry for Islamist indoctrination demonstrating Israeli and Jewish perfidy. The journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded in retaliation for Al-Durah’s death, he is martyred in postage stamps of multiple nations, has buildings named after him, monuments named after him in prominent squares in, for instance, Mali, his image adorns the background of images of terrorist suicide bombers and he still evokes a rallying cry in Muslim demonstrations throughout the world.
Karsenty maintains that he is trying to demonstrate the perfidy of the French political establishment which has sought to defend their semi-official public television by pressuring the judicial system to purposely bias in favor of Charles Enderlin’s libel charge. Karsenty explains that he has had to fight the French political establishment, large parts of the French intellectual establishment, French anti-Semitism and even the Israeli government which, until recently, has tried to stay out of the legal and public battle.
I am mixed between calling this a case of David (Karsenty) vs. Goliath (the French political system) and/or Alfred Dreyfus (played by Israel) vs the French political system (played by the French political system) with Karsenty in the role of famed journalist and writer, Emile Zola.
Both metaphors are apt.