Al Durah : Why truth matters

Today, on May 22nd, French courts will give their final decision regarding the trial opposing France 2 to Philippe Karsenty.

This long lasting legal battle has been raging since questions about the authenticity of the images shown by the French media have been raised. In fact, it is the professional standing of Charles Enderlin and the whole TV channel that are under fire due to their frontline involvement in the Al Durah hoax.

Following the Israeli governmental report, it is increasingly clear that the truth may not be as simple as it has been presented in the early days of the Second Intifada. The overall cover up and distortion of the realities on the ground has been serving a political agenda going beyond the objectivity which should structure a journalist’s job.

Questions have been raised about the necessity of such a drive for truth. In fact, the damage done by these politicized images has already been devastating. From 9/11, to Daniel Pearl and from the blood thirsty suicide bombers striking Israel to Mohammed Merah, the myth of Mohamed Al Durah has served to justify an enormous amount of murders. No legal decision will bring back the innocent victims of the terrorists who cowardly used these staged events to justify their crimes.

Nevertheless, thriving to find and demonstrate the truth about this case is essential for three reasons.

The first and most important point of this affair lays in the inspiration individual men and women have been providing the general public with. The decade long fight to obtain the truth out of a complex and highly politicized situation has seen public personalities such as Mr. Karsenty put on the frontline and openly attacked. The media attention that the Al Durah hoax is receiving should be sensed as a source of inspiration for any commentator, analyst, journalist or simply citizen willing to expose the fallacies of pro-Palestinian propaganda. The truth about the Mohammed Al Durah and the images shown by France 2 serves the role of showing that regardless the weight of the institution or the strength of the politically-correct majority, strong and courageous figures can help turn the tide and take on the lies that protect those harming innocent civilians.

The Al Durah case is also instrumental in proving the intrinsic incoherence of the pro-Palestinian discourse. Propaganda is certainly a natural element of any conflict, yet the groups and associations working on Western Campuses and societies try to install a quasi-dogmatic understanding of the situation in Israel and the territories. Al Durah has been used as an icon meant to symbolize Israel’s brutality. Any time someone mentions the barbarity of Arab-on-Arab violence or the continuous repressions instigated by Hamas and the PA against their own people, the rebuke consists of the same monologue based on the alleged crimes perpetrated by the Jewish State. Exposing the truth about this decade long hoax is a necessary stepping stone to further prove that the self-proclaimed intellectuals and academics close to the Palestinian discourse aren’t interested in the truth or the objectivity of their reports and studies but only and exclusively in denigrating the State of Israel. As it has been highlighted in the first point, public figures taking a stand, how difficult and dangerous it may be, against these blatant lies are essential in countering an international system which is by default oriented toward the Palestinian propaganda.

The third and last reason for which the Al Durah case should be treated with the outmost importance it deserves consists in the defense of democracy and of media freedom and objectivity. The strength, irrationality and anti-Semitism with which the critics of the Al Durah hoax have been met with represent the underlying threat to the Western Liberal democratic system. When the media are no longer under check as they report false stories based on a clear political objective, then the citizens’ ability to think clearly and rationally is breached. History in Europe should be considered as a great proof that information and the use of information by those who want the eradication of Jewish life can have horrible effects and be at the source of the most heinous crimes committed in the history of Mankind.

The long lasting quest to expose the truth about Mohammed Al Durah and what happened on that faithful day is then an essential part of the larger battle that must be waged against pro-Palestinian lies and propaganda. The exploitation of false reportage and misleading information has been a major source of a high amount of innocent civilians’ deaths. The Al Durah case shows how the terrorists who are trained and motivated to harm Israel and the West disregard the truth and find in any excuse a way to justify their acts. The responsibility is then on our side to diminish any legitimacy they may find through these supports and counter any attempt to condition people’s minds with fake reports and misleading journalism.

About the Author
Riccardo Dugulin is an independant international affairs analyst. He holds a Master in International Security from the Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Po) and has worked in leading think tanks in Washington DC, Beirut and Dubai and has held the position of security coordinator for a security assistance firm.