Jack Chivo: The last nail in the coffin of the al-Durrah fraud
On February 15, 2012, the French Supreme Court hammered the last nail in the coffin of a fraud perpetrated for almost 12 years by the Palestinian propaganda machine.
The court totally vindicated an Israeli surgeon, Dr. Yehuda David, accused by one the principal actors of the fabrication, Jamal al-Durrah, of breaching the patient-doctor confidentiality, when he disclosed that al-Durrah lied when he presented five year-old wounds as proof that he has shot in 2000 by Israeli soldiers.
Many will surely remember the big hoopla in September 2000, when the world media was buzzing with the story of a young Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Durrah, allegedly killed by the Israelis in Gaza, while hiding behind a steel barrel during a confrontation with the Hamas forces.
The only "witness" to the incident was a Palestinian cameraman employed by the France 2 television station, who took pictures of the father and son. They were next to a concrete wall pocked with deep holes from bullets fired from heavy machine guns, which allegedly killed the boy and severely wounded the father.
From day one, there was a different reaction from both sides. The Palestinians reacted with fury and, for many months afterwards, there were marches all around the Arab world, with stamps issued showing the young martyr, poems written about him, and streets renamed on his memory.
The Israelis appointed a number of commissions, concluding that because of their soldiers' positions, across from the two in an angle, it would have been impossible, ballistically, for them to aim at the al-Durrah father and son—and there was no proof that the child was even dead, or that the father was wounded by the Israelis.
Over the next few years, while the Pallywood propaganda was in full gear, a number of investigations and reports by media outlets around the world, including one from the official German television network (the equivalent of our CBC) came to the same conclusion.
There was one exception, the French France 2 station, which had spread the story around in the first place, through its Jerusalem correspondent, Charles Enderlin. Even worse, when the station was asked to provide the raw footage of the incident, running for about one hour, it steadfastly refused, releasing less than one minute of the recordings.
At the time, I wrote myself a few columns in which I raised a number of additional questions, especially about the fact that while the bullet holes seen in the massive concrete wall behind the al-Durrahs were about one-inch wide and very deep. This meant that they were from high calibre and powerful bullets, which would have shredded to pieces any part of a human body they would have penetrated.
The shirts that the two wore after they were allegedly already dead or wounded by dozens of projectiles were immaculately clean. Moreover, after 20 minutes of allegedly serious injuries, there was not even one drop of blood on the pavement where the two were prostrated.
I also wondered about the cicatrices shown by Jamal, the father, a few weeks after the incident, which appeared to be old and healed for a long time.
The fight in France was taken on by a French media observer, Philippe Karsenty, who directly accused France 2 of showing a fabricated story and alleged that the whole incident was nothing but a staged falsehood.
Rather than proving its point with facts, France 2 choose the legal avenue and took Karsenty to court, accusing him of libellous statements.
In the first instance, France 2 won, even while refusing to show the original tape, but Karsenty went to the French Court of Appeals, where he was victorious hands down. A renowned French ballistics expert demolished the whole theory of the incident after France 2 was forced to present the raw footage, where it was clear that there was not even one image of the two being shot or wounded.
The tape also showing the young "victim" raising his head with the eyes wide open and looking around—a few minutes after the cameraman and France 2 in its original reporting had declared him dead.
But the story continued with a strange twist, which was finally put to rest on February 15 by the Supreme Court of France. During the Israeli investigation, a surgeon from a Tel Aviv hospital, Dr. David, stated that the injuries and cicatrices shown by Jamal were not new, because five years earlier, he had operated on him after Jamal was viciously tortured by Hamas enforcers on trumped charges.
Because of the severity of Jamal's injuries, he had been transferred to the Israeli hospital, where Dr. David saved his life. After Jamal disputed Dr. David's report, the Israeli doctor released from his file pictures of Jamal with his old healed wounds, which were a perfect match for the alleged new injuries. Which put the Jamal claim to rest.
And here comes the twist. Afterward, Jamal did not pretend anymore that these were new wounds. But, supported by some unknown benefactors with deep pockets, while still residing in Gaza he sued Dr. David in a French court for "breaching the patient/doctor confidentiality".
In the first instance he won, but the Supreme Court later totally reversed the judgement, most probably because, by going public with his injuries, Jamal was the first one to breach the rules of confidentiality.
Will this be the end of the al-Durrah saga, which appears to have gone full circle, with all of the false allegations being finally demolished by the courts? I would not hold my breath!
Jack Chivo is a retired journalist who lives in West Vancouver.