May 25, 2008

Mohamed al Dura case not quite closed

I smelled a rat when zionists started crowing about their great victory in the Mohamed al Dura libel case being heard in a French court just recently. The decision of the appeal court is so nuanced if you google the name al Dura you will mostly get the bragging of zionist blogs rather than zionist inclined mainstream newspapers. You saw the film purporting to be of Mohamed al Dura and his dad being shot several times by Israeli soldiers. You saw this picture:

The film was beamed around the world, Israel owned up fairly instantly and then set about destroying much of the evidence while it worked on a cover up. Sam Kiley, a very pro-Israel journalist, left Rupert Murdoch's Times newspaper because his editor wanted a story on the unit that killed al Dura but without any mention of the boy they killed. This was a definite case of Israel killing a child and by no means an isolated case.

So what's this trial business all about? Some guy accused the film makers of falsifying the film. The film-maker/s sued and won their case first time around. The accuser appealed and won his appeal. Case closed, zionists cock-a-hoop and Israel has carte blanche to carry on killing children with gay abandon and not even a tut tut from western liberal media, except, ironically, Israeli media.

Speaking of Israeli media, Ha'aretz carries a report from Reuters on the appeal. The headline is perfectly responsible:
French court: Claim that Al-Dura tape doctored isn`t libelous
You see that? The claim that the al Dura tape is doctored isn't libel. Does that mean it's true? Er no. It just means that a court has decided that it wasn't libel. Now I don't quite know how the French court can decide that a campaign to sully someone's reputation isn't libel but it looks like the film-makers were put in the position that they had to prove that the film was not doctored. I should have thought that such proof would be impossible but let's see what the report says:
The Paris court ruled in favor of media critic Philippe Karsenty, who called into question the veracity of the report, but it also said that it did not rule out that journalists at France 2 had acted professionally.
Eh? So the "media critic" did not libel the film-makers but the film-makers did not act unprofessionally. This is bizarre. The crux of the "media critic's" case was that the film-makers had acted unprofessionally so how did the court find that no libel had been committed?

Let's see what the court said:
The court said in its ruling the new footage "did not allow to rule out the opinion of (France 2) professionals," but it also rejected claims by state prosecutor Antoine Bartoli that the new evidence was "neither complete nor serious."
It seems to be saying that the original film was not doctored but if you jump through enough hoops you could present what looks like a sincere case that Israel did not kill Mohamed al Dura. I can't see any other interpretation.

So how did France 2's lawyer take it?
Francis Szpiner, France 2's lead lawyer, said he was disappointed with the decision but pointed to nuances in the ruling and said his clients would take the case to France's highest appeals court.

"One cannot make the ruling say what it did not - because the court states that Karsenty did not provide proof of his allegations," he said.
Unfortunately the full ruling isn't yet available but that hasn't stopped the bloggers for whom truth is irrelevant cheering their victory in a court in a country where any criticism of Israel is rapidly becoming illegal.

ADDITION: I just had a look at the Jerusalem Post report on the same thing and it has a quote from France 2 (the film's makers) as follows:
"the appeals court ruled that Karsenty's words were, in fact, libelous, and that Karsenty failed to prove that the news was staged and/or false."

The statement added that the case was nevertheless overturned because "the court believed Karsenty had the right to stridently criticize the [France 2] report, since it dealt with an emotional topic, and that Karsenty's investigation into the matter convinced the court he was being sincere."

A source close to Enderlin's side of the case explained that "you can get out of a libel suit either by proving you're right, or by showing you were sincere and had some research. The court found the latter to be the case."

The source also said Enderlin and France 2 would appeal the verdict, noting that they had won three out of four instances of judgment in the matter.
I also had a little look at Harry's Place. Now that really is a site for which the truth is irrelevant but I notice that David t rather smartly just ran the Ha'aretz report and linked to the Jerusalem Post one that he had reason to expect to be more stridently pro-Israel. Even Engage's Dr Hirsh is a little circumspect in his defence of the child killers. He simply links to the Jerusalem Post article without any comment of his own.

The fact is that there is still no hard evidence of the fact that the film of al Dura's killing was doctored and every reason to suppose that the child, Mohamed al Dura, like hundreds of other Palestinian children, was killed by Israel.

The only lesson I can see here is one I tend to adhere to anyway and that is, don't sue, it's a mug's game.


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