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October 3, 2014 12:15 pm

Al-Durah Whistleblower Launches New Campaign to Counter France 2 Advertising Blitz

avatar by Ben Cohen

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An image from Philippe Karsenty's new Facebook campaign countering France 2's advertising blitz. Image: Philippe Karsenty.

Philippe Karsenty, the French-Jewish activist who became internationally renowned after he charged the France 2 television network with having used staged footage in its report on the apparent killing in 2000 of Muhammed Al-Durah, a 12 year old Palestinian boy in Gaza, has announced a new campaign against the state-owned network.

In an interview with The Algemeiner, Karsenty explained that his campaign was being mounted in response to an advertising blitz by France 2 across the country.

In 2004, Charles Enderlin, the France 2 reporter who broadcast the story that al-Durah was shot by Israeli troops during a gun battle with Palestinian terrorists – thereby turning the young boy into an icon of the global anti-Israel movement overnight – was accused by Karsenty of having used staged footage, and of not confirming that al-Durah had been killed. As a result, France 2 sued Karsenty, winning its case in 2006. Karsenty appealed, and in 2008 the original judgement was overturned by the Court of Appeal in Paris. In 2012, however, another court annulled the decision in favor of Karsenty, on the grounds that damning footage he has acquired to support his case had been secured illegally; last year, Karsenty was convicted of defamation by the Paris Court of Appeal, and ordered to pay 11,000 Euros in damages. An American organization, the Middle East Forum of leading Middle East scholar Professor Daniel Pipes, paid the fine on Karsenty’s behalf.

Karsenty told The Algemeiner that the case is now being considered by the French Supreme Court. Should he lose his battle there, Karsenty is resolved to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Karsenty explained that his campaign, launched on Facebook, is in response to a massive promotional campaign by France 2 – ironically begun, Karsenty said, on September 30,  the fourteenth anniversary of the broadcast of Enderlin’s report on al-Durah.

The France 2 campaign features images of their top presenters above slogans like “En Quete 2 Verite” and “Zone 2 Turbulences.” (In French, the number 2 is spelled “deux,” a word that is pronounced exactly the same way as the preposition “de.” ) Using a picture of Enderlin and al-Durah, Karsenty’s counter campaign is based on word plays: for example, instead of “En Quete 2 Verite” (“Looking for the Truth”,) Karsenty substitutes “En Quete 2 Mensonges” (“Looking for Lies.”)

France 2 presenter Elise Loucet fronts a campaign poster with slogan, "Looking for the Truth." Image: France 2.

"Stealing Lives:" Karsenty's response to France 2's marketing slogan, "A Slice of Life." Image: Philippe Karsenty.

“France 2 is spending money on advertising while still defending the worst blood libel of our times,” Karsenty, who now serves as deputy-mayor of the Paris suburb of Neuilly, said. “They are still covering up their mistake which is responsible for the beheading of [Wall Street Journal reporter] Daniel Pearl. They were responsible for the first terrorist beheading of the 21st century.”

Pearl was kidnapped by jihadi terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. The terrorists released a gruesome film of Pearl’s decapitation, juxtaposed against the France 2 footage of al-Durah’s alleged killing.

Karsenty said that he is now soliciting ideas for further word plays to undermine the France 2 advertising campaign. He continues to campaign against media bias and will be visiting the U.S. this November on a lecture tour.

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