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Philippe Karsenty on Al-Dura Verdict: ‘A Dark Day for French Democracy and a Dark Day for the Truth’ (INTERVIEW)

June 26, 2013 12:29 pm 52 comments

Jamal and Muhammad al-Dura take cover in the Gaza Strip in 2000. The IDF is not responsible for the 2000 al-Dura shooting, a new Israeli government report found. Photo: France 2.

Shortly after a French court found him guilty of defamation over his work to expose the now infamous al-Dura hoax, Phillipe Karsenty spoke to The Algemeiner and shared his reaction to the verdict.

“I am very disappointed because I thought that there was a chance that the justice system would find me not guilty of defamation,” he said. “I don’t have the verdict, the written verdict, the argument of the judges, but the verdict was postponed twice so they only found me guilty on the third time,” he said, implying that there is more at play in the case than meets the eye.

Karsenty publicly accused state television network France 2 of falsely depicting the death of a young Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, in a firefight between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers. The start of the Second Intifada in which over 1000 Israelis were killed, was largely attributed to the video, which was broadcast September 30, 2000 and circulated throughout the world.

“I think it is a dark day for French democracy and I think it is a dark day for the truth,” Karsenty declared of the verdict, adding optimistically, “and the truth will prevail in the end, I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I know that it will prevail.”

Karsenty sharply criticized the French justice system and those that participated in what he calls the “covering up” of a “blood libel.”

“I see that some people on the other side are very happy because they are saying it is a day of honor for journalism. It is a day of shame for journalism, and I think it is a day of shame for French democracy which is covering up from the bottom, to each and every level a blood libel,” he said.

“All the journalists aligned behind Enderlin,” he said of Charles Enderlin, the France 2 Jerusalem bureau chief, whom he accused of fabricating parts of the segment, “Sarkozy granted him the Legion of Honor.”

Karsenty came across as disappointed but also hopeful, and said that his work on the case was not over.

“I don’t see where the light comes from,” he continued “but if I would say something I would say ‘gam zu letovah’ (also this is for the best.)”

“I will try and expose this lie of course,” he promised, adding “the thing is I am not sure which way I want to expose it, but I want to expose it of course.”

Asked about his current legal options following the court decision Karsenty mulled: “I can do exactly as France 2 did, go to the French supreme court. But I am not sure that I want to go there firstly because I think that the French judicial system is not fair.”

“Last time I won this case, and even after I won this case the court of appeals didn’t admit the truth, so the judicial way is not the way to have the truth revealed, but was only a tool to force France 2 to bring their argumentation,” he said.

“But it was not useful in getting them to admit the truth,” he concluded.

Karsenty was convicted of libel in 2006, but the judgment was overturned on appeal in 2008. France 2 appealed that appeal at the “Cour de cassation,” France’s highest court, and last year the court annulled the 2008 acquittal.

“I saw that France 2 said that they would be willing to work with any investigation committee. Let’s see what they are talking about, if they are really willing to fight for their good name and fight for the truth,” he challenged, further considering his options.

Speaking about the feedback he has been receiving since the verdict, Karsenty says he has received a lot of support.

“Everybody is very upset, because everybody who has seen the evidence knows it is a hoax,” he shared. “So when you see that the French judicial system is covering it up and even fining me, it is a disgrace.”

Last month, the Israeli government concluded that al-Dura was not harmed by Israeli forces and did not die in the exchange of fire.

“In September 2007, a French court instructed the TV channel to hand over the entire, unedited footage shot that day, thus reopening the case. In the full video, Muhammad al-Dura can be seen waving his hand, moving his leg and without any visible bloodstains, despite claims made during the news report that the boy had died,” reported Ynet news in March.

In April this year Karsenty was named on The Algemeiner’s ‘Jewish 100′ list of the “Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life.”

The Algemeiner wrote of Karsenty at the time: “More than a decade on and Karsenty is still embroiled in the controversy surrounding the Al-Dourah case. A modern day Emile Zola in some respects, he was one of the first to accuse the France 2 television network of airing staged video of the apparent death of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy. Whether in suing or being sued, Karsenty has made the case that some media outlets will go to great lengths to frame Israel as an aggressor and criminal state. Today, Karsenty continues to monitor the media as it errs through his Media-Ratings, which monitors the media in France for bias.”


  • Michael Perloff

    This is evidence that the French have no honor.

  • Prof. Dr. Ekkehard W. Stegemann

    It’s good to know that someone like Mr. Karsenty is fighting against those unspeakable lies and libels. He is libelled, therefore. I experienced that perverse reaction, too. Do not give up, Mr. Karsenty, I know, you won’t. Kol HaKavod!
    Ekkehard Stegemann

  • Do not blame the French people. Blame the leftist judges and journalists. They diffame and oppress those who do not share their views.

  • Alan Finkelstein

    I saw Phillipe Karsenty’s presentation a few year’s ago at a Jewish Community Center in New Jersey. He laid out a well researched expose of the lie, including photographic evidence of Palestinians running past Mohammed Al Dura and his father at the approximate moment when France 2 claimed he died from gun fire, and a copy of the boy’s autopsy which took place 5 hours before he suposedly died!!!

    I commend Mr. Karsenty for his bravery in the face of a deeply flawed law system in France and urge other French citizens to support him.

  • I want to ask: why is it that the Hammas has not built one systhem of protection for their civilians? how do you explain that in almost all their manifestations the very front of them is usually women and children?their “soldiers” do not wear uniforms, and some have been photographed shooting from the roof of a public school.

  • France 2 and Charles Enderlin fail to accept the fact that they were lying during the whole process of investigation and that their fabrication was exposed by Karsenty.

    This preliminary ruling will not change the reality.

    @Karsenty: hang in there!

  • A century after Emile Zola showed France the antisemitism in their military we find the same antisemitism in their journalism and their courts. I feel sorry for the French people who will in the long run suffer more than the Jewish people will.

  • juan manual

    shame on france

  • Michael Perloff

    But what about the Buffalo?

    There, now two of us have made entirely irrelevant off topic comments. Then again yours serves as an indictment of the Arab policy of purposely placing civilians in harms way in the hope that gullible victims of their propaganda will be diverted from focusing on their genocidal goals.

  • Michael Perloff

    But what about the Buffalo?

    There, now two of us have made entirely irrelevant off topic comments. Then again yours serves as an indictment of the Arab policy of purposely placing civilians in harms way in the hope that gullible victims of their propaganda will be diverted from focusing on their genocidal goes.

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    France has long been an enemy of the United States. It sometimes pretends otherwise to gain economic/political advantage but it has a long history of anti-American attitude. The French also have a huge amount of anti-semitism-this too is nothing new. In the middle ages they roasted Jews on spits (see Barbara W. Tuchman’s A DISTANT MIRROR.) The French have not won a war since Napoleon. I personally despise them and would not set foot in their country on principle.

  • Cut them off from your vacation budget. Get smart cosmopolitan Jews.

  • George Weiss

    It is a sad day for journalism in general and the French judicial system in particular. it is obvious that france has lost to Islam and it is a slippery slope from here.

  • When it comes to the laws of defamation, the law tends to be an ass, whether it’s British adversarial / common law or French Civil Code. I believe the test is not whether or not the defendant spoke the truth about the plaintiff/complanant, but rather whether the plaintiff/complainant’s reputation was tarnished by the defendant’s claims.

  • Stan the Man

    How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?
    Answer:Nobody knows – its never been done.

  • The verdict against Karsenty is an echo of the verdict of the employment tribunal against Ronnie Fraser in his pursuit of the antisemitic practices of the University and College Union in the UK. Arab money has so corrupted the judges that they are happy to go along with anything that denigrates Jews and Israel, an echo not of Dreyfus but of the judges in Nazi courts.

  • The French Jews are absolutely right in being upset. If I were they, I would pack up and leave the country for the heavenly land of Israel. Screw the French, we are leaving…

  • The French Jews are absolutely wight in being upset. If I were they, I would pack up and leave the country for the heavenly land of Israel. Screw the French, we are leaving…

  • This rejection of truth (even if judges may still doubt the facts) and justice is not mere hostility against a Jew or against Israel.
    It’s just another symptom of a civilization collapse.
    Marxist ideology has become the official religion in many western countries, especially among politicians, judges and mainstream journalists.
    Political opponents (like a young pacifist protester against Hollande) are now sent to prison.
    Philippe is a kind of other first martyr (in its etymological meaning).

  • France has ben acting cowardly in the thirties, and it continues and it looks like England is going the same way as they were not sure they should teach about the shoa in their schools.
    A spanish jouralist wrote:Europe died in Auschwitz.

  • Jeff Blankfort

    A story that never made the papers: In 1983 I visited a Palestinian hospital in the hills above East Jerusalem where six Palestinian children, the oldest 13, were being fitted for prostheses after having had their legs blown away by the cluster bombs dropped by the Israeli air force during its invasion of Lebanon the year before.

    The six children had two legs among them. There was no one in Lebanon to film them as the bombs were falling but I photographed them that afternoon in East Jerusalem just after visiting Yad Vashem that morning.

    • you mention one single case, and I understand that your intention is to be objective. well let me tell you, I live in Ashkelon, about air from the Gaza strip. ans I have good friends in Sderot. I also have…had good friends in Gaza from the time, before Hammas gouvernment, that doctors and other medical technicians used to come to the hospital of Ashkelon in order to extend their knowlege. Until today, this hospital gets palestinian patients for special cases, especially children. This, nobody ever come to see and mention to the media!
      You say that you went to Yad Veshem, the museum of the holaicost. Do you know that the official position of the Hammas is still to destroy Israel?the children from the age of 7,8 are militarily trained

  • The French never change, they have no honor just remember Capt. Dreyfus!

  • Alan Schwarz

    Dreyfus Affair 2013…

  • it starts with a D ,i cant remember exactly the name of that french officer in the 19# century.
    what was his name ?
    dont know why this event came to mind.(if you know what i mean)

    • Euripides_Smythe

      Dreyfus — Alfred Dreyfus — the “Dreyfus Affair” (as it is commonly referred to) was exposed by Emile Zola (his “J’Accuse” editorial) involved a case of rabid anti-Semitism in which French authorities knowlingly and falsely accused Dreyfus of treason, an act that was actually perpetuated by a non-Jewish, favored military officer named Esterhauzy (my spelling may be a little off).

      In the current case, rabid anti-Semitism led the French to knowlingly and falsely accuse Israel of harming the obviously unharmed Al-Dura.

      Same old, same old, vicious French anti-Semitism.

  • If there are 20 comments. why are we only able to see two of them – only one of which actually deals wit the case – and that, minimally?? Where are all the other comments??

    Is this another form of “shell” game?? Is there not sufficient space on the computer?

    I’m not impressed with this so-called “reporting.” It looks phony to me.

  • I am no lawyer, but did the court not find correctly. The injustice is the fine. It should have been 1 cent, the value of their reputation ?

  • Richard is a absolutely correct. The West continues down its path to self-destruction. I feel we are totally screwed. The future is now, in front of our eyes, and they’re stuck under two feet of sand.


    • Ditto. Absolutely the Israeli government and the Jewish community around the world needs to get behind Mr. Karsenty who has so valiantly taken on this very important case totally on his own until now. G-d bless.

  • Frumious Falafel

    You fought a courageous fight — simply doing that exposed this lie for all the world.

    The fact is that anyone now with a head on their shoulders knows the truth because of you. The fact is that any reasonable person now knows to highly discount “video evidence” if it emanates from the Palestinians. The fact is that you showed, by the very alignment of those arrayed against you in this fight, who is on the side of discovering the truth, and who is on the side of continued capitulation.

    For this we are all grateful Karsenty!


  • David S. Most

    Is this just another example of the pervasive influence of Islamophilia in France?

    Karsenty appears to be the victim of French political correctness…or just French fear of Its Muslim citizens?

    • The first thing that came into my mind was the Drefus case. I see others thought of it too. France is corrupt. She accepted the Nazis without a fight and now she accepts Islam terrorism and lies without a murmur.

  • Truth will win out. Please continue your good fight. Remember, even Dreyfus eventually was exonerated.

  • The verdict is not unexpected in a nation of cowards. We are seeing it start here too. They just pulled a poster of known, wanted terrorists so as not to offend.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If 19 Jews/Israelis had done the 9/11 attacks, I would expect to be profiled. But no! That might be offensive! So we search 90 year old grndma’s, children in wheelchairs. Yet Muslim women can have ID photo’s with no face! We are insane and deserve what’s coming. It’s the fate of cowards!

  • Bernard Ross

    no news release is giving the details on which the verdict was based: the legal reasoning for the decision.

  • Bernard Ross

    The GOI has been derelict in supporting Karsenty. The french are a truly disgraceful nation. It is reminiscent of the Dreyfus affair and echos the hypocritical french in not designating hezbullah a terror group because it might harm french soldiers. Only the french are capable of admitting that their facts evolve from their desired conclusion. I have no doubt having seen the video that there was collusion in a blood libel against the Jews by the french govt.

  • jacob mandelblum

    Nothing to wonder…

    Just remember the DREYFUSS process and you will get the answers you are looking for…
    Nothing has changed in that rotten country and soon they
    will be part of the WORLD CALIPHATE…

  • Sharon Klaff

    A dark day indeed when the UK government saw fit to ban entry into the UK by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer!

  • We should wait until we read the full court decision. But as it stands now, it seems this is a blatant miscarriage of justice.

    If factual evidence plays such a small role (or no role at all) in judicial decisions, then we are all in very serious trouble.

  • Mr. Karsenty,
    Chazak veEmatz!

  • To think it would come to this-
    France a nation that enabled Israel to secretly produce its atomic bombs would be guilty of faking the death of
    a Palestinian boy.

  • There shouldn’t be any surprise to the verdict. France has been taken over by the Muslims. They can have it.

  • Lana Drennan

    By exposing the hypocrisy of and the cover-up by France2 and Enderlin Mr. Karsenty has shed light on both. He now has a world wide audience and we are gathering strength from his courageous fight. This setback only makes everyone more determined to right this wrong.

  • No gentlemen. It’s worst than that.
    It means that Israel didn’t help whasoever P. Karsenty or the jewish community during all these years.
    It won’t change our determination to help Israel in the future but the failure is right here. This affair should have been carried by both French and Israel jews.
    The Captain Dreyfus need more than 12 years to be inocented. Il has to be the same in France for Al Durah case because 30 000 jewish kids had to leave republic scools after that and synagogues burned, rabbis and a lot of jews have been treathened because of this case.

    We won’t put an end to it.

  • Philippe mon frère,

    Nous t’aimons!

    Hashem will vichysoisse them!

  • Karsenty should ask French legislators, that is, deputies in the National Assembly, to overturn the law that forbids a court from ordering a plaintiff in a libel to present evidence.

  • no better example of the dysfunctions of western society at the dawn of the 21st century. france and karsenty deserved better.

    • France is getting exactly what it deserves and it will be worse and worse. As for us leaving in Israel, thanks God, philippe Karsanty is right: gam zou le tova. Thanks to him the world knows not only this hoax, but the whole pallywood story and he has our total support for exposing the truth!

  • Good luck to you Karsenty! Keep up the good fight!

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