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Who “killed” the Al-Dura kid, on-line?

The Al-Dura Story and Call

Take-A-Pen editorial*

2008 April 9


Backgrounder to the Al-Dura Cartoon*   


    Let's speak seriously about The Story - which is behind the seemingly light-minded 2 minutes long UPDATED Comics flash movie: Who killed the Al Dura kid, on-line?  [UPDATED with the Paris Court's VERDICT!] 

The Al-Durra Story** has all the ingredients of humankind's greatest epics: a tragic story, full of doubts and mysteries, may be not true at all, however influencing the life of masses of people and even mainstream history; beyond logic and beyond imagination.

    (Cartoon or comics about a tragedy?! This comics' goal is: to bring the truth about this great story, this history-changing libel, to the widest possible audience. Since the great comics book "MAUS" brought successfully to many million previously uninvolved people the human side of the Holocaust, by images of mice cats and pigs only, the comics form is not limited to amusement any more.)

    On September 30, 2000 all honest people on earth watched with horror a short video on TV, showing how a Palestinian boy was - seemingly - dying from gunshots in his father's lap, in Gaza. In his voiceover France 2's reporter Charles Enderlin asserted (though, as it turned out, he had not been present at the event and leant on the sole eye-witness Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu Rahmeh who sold the video to France 2) that after a crossfire between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers, the shots which he said killed the boy came from the Israelis, implying it was deliberate.
    France-2 gave its video gratis to hundreds of TV stations and the story spread across the world like wildfire.

     Icon of hatred - The Al Dura images, together with France2's accusation against Israel, became the most powerful icons of hatred in decades against Israel and the Jews; for Palestinians, for the global Jihad, for Israel- and Jew-haters everywhere, and even worse: hundreds of millions of credulous honest people around the world also believed the accusation. For one example, Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl's Muslim killers used Al-Durrah's image in their video showing Pearl's beheading. For another: a European Nobel laureate and some other famous writers compared Israel to Nazi Germany, referring to Al Dura.

    Doubts and suspicions around the authenticity of the movie started slowly and cautiously only - as is, and as should be, the nature of honest experts and true democracies in such a loaded case. By time however a growing numbers of, and by today practically all serious experts around the world concluded that: the France 2's al-Durrah movie must have been a forgery and the verbal accusation France-2 made was totally unfounded. Analyses of the site layout and other evidence have firmly proved that IDF soldiers could not shoot the boy.


    Where is the raw footage? - The video published on TV was 55 or 59 seconds long (two versions exist). The full footage could have spilled light on the truth, but the state-owned TV Channel France 2 had always refused to publish the 27 minutes long raw footage. After 7 years of hiding it, however, in September 2007 the Paris Appeal Court instructed France-2 to submit the full raw footage to the court.

    The day of truth - Take-A-Pen was in the courtroom on November 14, 2007. To everyone's surprise, France 2 presented a total of 18 minutes long rushes only, instead of 27 minutes they had always talked about - rather suspicious in itself.  And what did the newly revealed 17 minutes show? Routine rioting scenes, some obviously staged, of children running shouting throwing stones, sound of gunfire in the background, an injured falls - and the ambulance arrives within 2 seconds, and a few people walk by at leisure... These new 17 minutes had no connection whatsoever with the known Al-Dura scene!

    ‘Andre', who also wrote and drew the Cartoon video - actually me, the undersigned - prepared right after the hearings, still in the courthouse, (HonestReporting and Take-A-Pen together) a video of 4 interviews**. Philippe Karsenty, the defender in the case, celebrated France2's failure to support its claims. 
In my interview I said: "I watched very carefully, together with the panel of 3 judges, this first ever public screening of 18 minutes of the raw footage. The main finding is that in the whole material there isn't a single frame which supports in any remote way the voiceover assessment that Israeli soldiers killed the boy, or were involved in any way - or that the boy was killed at all.  On the other hand I counted a dozen points in the footage supporting the defender's, Philippe Karsenty's view that the France2 movie was totally staged; probably by Talal Abu Rahma, the Palestinian cameraman - who, oddly enough, was the sole eye-witness."

    Game over - or at least, after such France2 failures it should be. After that screening not the slightest fact supports France 2's version any more. Verdict is due on May 21****. Until then the great question is, whether the judges, presided by Judge Ms. Laurence TREBUCQ, dare to decide against the ‘state institution' France 2 (which its lawyer called in the court, somewhat pompously "The Voice of France"). - It still counts in ‘La Republique'. 

    The future? In Paris, the city where Captain Dreyfuss was once unjustly sentenced and much later rehabilitated, TV France 2 may also become from the accuser today the accused libelous party tomorrow; for disseminating its fake Muhammad Al-Durrah movie without due diligence and for the unfounded libelous accusation it made, and for obstructing the finding of truth, by concealing the full raw footage for 7 years; and of 9 minutes raw footage even today.


     Why to pursue this story, after so many years? Because the event's importance, even after seven and half years, can not be overestimated.  It seems that today the Al-Durrah movie represents not the century's worst brutality by Israel but the century's biggest and most devastating libel fabricated by Israel's adversaries. People must know this. The media have to correct their literally lethal libelous mistake.

 ** Pls activate, this is the Take-A-Pen HR Youtube movie ‘Al-Dura Footage Revealed For the First Time'



All Workshop secrets of the Al Dura Cartoon

    Bullet-holes; the simple proof -
You probably noticed that the Cartoon video uses only one scientific argument of the available many; that:" the bullet holes in the wall are perfectly round, meaning the shots came exactly from the direction of the cameraman" - because this is such a clear and simple one to see.  It was assumed that we all had realized that the camera was also set exactly in front of the Al Durras and the wall.
A question, frequently asked, is: ‘Maybe the bullet holes had been there before?'. Watch again the comics' video, and stop it a few times during the 7 seconds copied from the original Al Dura movie: at first one round bullet-hole is seen above the kid's head; then a shot hits the wall online and when the little cloud it made clears away, you see the round second bullet-hole done. The next frame shows already 4 bullet-holes above his head, all ‘perfectly round'. So most bullet-holes were made within that 1 minute. Where are the holes done in the previous 44 minutes when, Talal said, IDF soldiers "deliberately targeted" the Al Duras?!


   Is the child living? - other analyses of the France 2 video (see about it also the ‘International Experts' below) showed that in the 3 seconds between 55" and 59" - left out of France 2's present version - after people around declared in Arabic: ‘The child is dead! The child is dead!" the kid lifted his elbow and looked at the camera.  So it seems he was living at that time. That is why the "killed" is in quotation marks. Our comics' video doesn't deal with this issue, because this is rather complex to demonstrate. We can't know, but we hope he is alive and well somewhere.


    International Experts - The comics' written and narrated text refers by their first name to international ‘experts' - Esther, Philippe, Richard and Andre - who, and some others - contributed to the understanding today by all who studied the case, that: Talal Abu Rahmeh's movie is not authentic; that France 2 didn't do its duty of checking this sensitive material before distributing widely; and that Enderlin's accusation was totally unfounded.

    Let me introduce these experts:
- Esther Schapira is Senior Investigative Reporter at the German HR Television in Frankfurt (part of ARD), who prepared and published in 2001 the probably first well-researched major film about the Al-Dura case: "Three Bullets and a Dead Child". Her interviews with the key players revealed serious controversies within France 2's version. For clarity's sake, her exact wording was not "fake" as in the Comics, but "The published film doesn't tell us the truth", and: "Enderlin and Talal lied to the public in general and to me personally when they talked about the length and the content of the filmed material". The 1O seconds long film section in our Comics showing Talal Abu-Rahmeh, the sole eye-witness Palestinian cameraman, disclosing him bluntly contradicting himself, was copied unedited from Esther's film.

Philippe - Philippe Karsenty, founder in 2004 and president of Media-Ratings  monitoring French media, among others for anti-American and anti-Israeli bias. Philippe became widely known when published that France 2-s famous Al-Dura movie, accusing Israel with killing the boy, to be a fraud. Philippe concluded that Muhammad Al-Dura was not killed at all. France 2 sued Karsenty for defamation and won in 2006, but an Appeal Court demanded to see France 2's hidden raw footage, which when presented didn't support at all France 2's standpoint. Verdict is due on May 21, 2008; observers expect Karsenty's victory this time.

Richard - Richard Landes is professor of medieval history at Boston University, and, quite relevantly, expert on medieval blood libels and apocalyptical movements. Richard has been one of the most thorough researchers and most popular presenters of the Al Durra case, since 2001. His lectures and websites http://www.seconddraft.org/france2.php    and the http://www.theaugeanstables.com/  discuss the Al Dura case deeply. Two of his most popular Youtube movies about the case are: ‘The birth of an Icon' and ‘Mohammed Al-Dura was not killed'.  

Andre - Endre Mozes is founder and president of Take-A-Pen, a multilingual grass-roots media-watch organization in 18 languages. Their website http://www.takeapen.org/ presents serious doubts about the Al Dura film since 2002, and is today the widest multilingual distributor (in 10 languages***) of the revelations and arguments about France 2's Al Dura movie being a fraud. Andre is interviewed about the raw footage seen in the Paris court on Nov.14, 2007, quoted above from a Youtube movie TakeAPen made together with HonestReporting. Andre wrote and drew the comics flash movie on Youtube: ‘The Al-Dura Story - Who killed the Al-Durra kid online?"  (First Apr. 2008 - UPDATED as per the Verdict of the Paris Court of Appeal, published on May 21, 2008****)


For the more diligent researcher of the case - the best way to learn from the Cartoon Video is to stop it a few times,  when more complex - like geometrical - explanations are on the screen, and learn them in fhalf-half a minute


What to do now?


    How can we, beyond getting informed, promote finding and spreading the truth? - This unchecked libel has been widely disseminated by the media. We should keep the same media accountable for properly informing the public now, about the Paris Al-Dura Trial and about the growing evidence that the Al Dura movie and its statements were  straightforward fakes, or at least not authentic. It hasn't happened until now, the mainstream media shunts the trial and the new findings. What we can do is to write our Letters to the Editors of our papers, demanding that they report about the truth (or at least very serious doubts) particularly after the Verdict in Paris.


*by Endre Mozes, based on Take-A-Pen backgrounders of Oct.23 and Nov.14, 2007, updated: April 2, 2008 [the Cartoon updated as per the verdict in May 2008]

** The name Al Dura is written in many forms, incl. al Dura, al-Dura, Al Dura, Al Durra, Al Durrah and more

***Multilingual Al-Dura material (in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Finnish, Hungarian, Swedish, Dutch, Danish etc) on: http://www.takeapen.org/

****The court's Verdict on May21,2008 released Karsenty from all charges, and all but substantiated his accusations that France2's video is untrue, that it was staged by the Palestinian photographer.

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