A new Israeli report exonerating Israel in the events surrounding the death in 2000 of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura, an event used by the Palestinians to claim he was killed by Israeli crossfire and to incite crimes such as the lynching and subsequent disemboweling of two Israeli soldiers, triggered a hatefest against Israel within a “secret” Facebook group of foreign correspondents and human rights activists called the Vulture Club.
Some typical comments were:
Peter Bouckaert, senior official at Human Rights Watch: “Typical IDF lies. As usual, it takes them a long time to really build up the falsehood. ” Bouckaert’s virulence even extended to the coverage of the story by the New York Times: “It really isn’t good journalism to write this up as if these are credible allegations when it is a pack of lies.”
El Mundo reporter Javier Espinosa: “[T]he lobby uses all its strength and is able to push anything in majors [sic] English newspapers or in the NY Times. Israeli embassies call their contacts in all those newspapers and they agree to publish that information. That reinforces lack of media credibility and conspiracy theories as we are being used as mouthpieces for propaganda,” Espinosa added.
Associated Press photojournalist Jerome delay: “The IDF thinks the earth is flat, btw.”
There was vitriol directed at Philippe Karsenty, a French media analyst who was sued by France 2 television after he said France 2 aired staged footage of Al-Dura’s death. AFP reporter Marc Bastian wrote, “And fuck no, it’s not true that ‘Everyone in France knows the footage is a hoax,’ as Karsenty says. Everyone here knows that [France 2 journalist Charles] Enderlin is an honest man, and Karsenty is an extremist.”
Bouckaert answered, “That’s about the kindest way to describe Karsenty. I would add a few descriptive words after extremist.”
Bastian concluded, “I know, I’m always too polite.”
Only one problem: on May 21, 2008, an appeals court ruled in favor of Karsenty and dismissed Enderlin’s case.
Andrew Ford Lyons, who works with the International Solidarity Movement, wrote of the report, “a feeble attempt at historical revision, at best.”
Perhaps this cadre of antisemites might want to look at the evidence, but it’s doubtful. For the sake of edification, here are the essentials of the case, as compiled by frontpagemag.com:
The tapes show no blood on the Al-Duras or following their evacuation, at the scene.
Only Abu Rahmeh caught the film, although several other cameramen were present.
Doctors Juna Saka and Mohammed El Dawil at the Shifa hospital in Gaza say the father and boy arrived at the hospital between noon and 1p.m., but Enderlin reported that the incident began at 3 p.m.
The evacuation was not filmed.
The tapes show no bullet holes on the Al-Dura’s side of the barrel.
No bullets were ever recovered.
Palestinian Arab officials ordered no autopsy and conducted no investigation.
In three hours of Palestinian-produced rushes, Israelis were not seen firing.
In the background, Palestinian cameramen loitered casually, without fear.
At the hospital, France 2 tapes show a body much larger than that of Mohammed Al-Dura, with surgical abdominal wounds, not wounds from high-powered gunshots, according to forensic medical experts who have seen the France 2, Reuters and AP footage.
Shots fired at the Al-Duras triggered small round clouds of smoke.
Subsequent ballistic tests showed that only head-on shots could produce such small circular clouds. Upon impact, shots fired at a wide-angle throw off great clouds of smoke in the opposite direction.