web counter Media Lies: Remember the Palestinian boy....

Saturday, March 05, 2005

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

Remember the Palestinian boy....

....who was killed by Israeli soldiers, initiating the intifada? The story is false. In what sadly is an unsurprising revelation, the media lied.
Clifford May has an important column in today's Washington Times about the 12 year-old Palestinian boy who allegedly was shot and killed by Israeli gunfire in September 2000. The death of the boy, Mohammed al-Durra, helped set off an intifada, according to former Senator Mitchell's 2001 report. However, May argues that Israeli gunfire did not kill al-Durra, and suggests that a government-owned French television network cameraman may have staged the "death."

That Israeli gunfire could not have killed the boy was the conclusion of (1) a German television documentary in 2002, (2) liberal journalist James Fallows writing in Atlantic Monthly a year later, (3) the editor-in-chief of L'Express and a French documentary filmmaker who reviewed the unedited video of the shooting, and (4) Nahum Shahaf, the physicist assigned by the Isreali government to review the incident. Each concluded that it was physically impossible for the Israelis to have killed al-Durra given the position of the troops in relation to the boy. Even France 2, the television station that initially claimed the deadly gunfire was coming from the Isreali position, now states that no one cansay for certain who killed al-Durra.

But there is more. The film was shot by a Palestinian cameraman. No one else representing France 2 was present. The information used by the France 2 reporter in the voiceover came solely from the Palestinian cameraman. The reporter now states that he doesn't know the facts, but defends his claim that the Israelis killed al-Durra on the theory that it "corresponded to the reality of the situation not only in Gaza, but in the West Bank." In short, the facts of the case don't matter. Indeed, they can be fabricated as long as they correspond with the beliefs of those who "report" them.
As Hindrocket points out, we've heard this claim before. Apparently "fake but accurate" has been the standard in news media for a while now.