Al-Dura Attack Hoaxed. Israeli Doctor Court Battle
By Gavriel Queenann
First Publish: 2/15/2012, 5:31 PM
Israeli Physician Beats Arab Propaganda Machine
The French Supreme Court overturned a libel ruling against Dr. Yehuda David who said Muhammad al-Dura's scars were from surgery
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The al-Dura Incident
French Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a judgment against Israeli orthopedist Dr. Yehuda David, who was sued for slander by the father of Muhammad al-Dura.
"This is a great victory," David told Arutz Sheva."This is proof that I spoke the truth and the Palestinians lied in an attempt to discredit the State of Israel."
The Muhammad al-Durrah incident, which occurred on 30 September 2000, has become an iconic example of the propaganda war being waged against Israel.
Jamal al-Durrah and his 12-year-old son, Muhammad, were filmed by Talal Abu Rahma, a local Arab cameraman freelancing for France 2, as they sought cover behind a concrete cylinder after being caught in crossfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian security forces.
The footage, which lasts just over a minute, shows the pair holding onto each other, the boy crying and the father waving, then a burst of gunfire and dust, after which the boy is seen slumped across his father's legs.
Fifty-nine seconds of the footage were initially broadcast on France 2 with a voiceover from Charles Enderlin, France 2's bureau chief in Israel, who did not witness the incident himself but his only information was received by phone from the cameraman.
Enderlin reported that the al-Durrahs had been the "target of fire from the Israeli positions," and that the boy had died. After an emotional public funeral, Muhammad was hailed throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds as a martyr.
An IDF investigation in October 2000 concluded Israeli soldiers "probably did not shoot the al-Durrahs." Three senior French journalists who saw the raw footage in 2004 said it was not clear from the footage alone that the boy had died. They noted France 2 had cut the final few seconds of video in which he appeared to lift his hand from his face.
France 2's news editor said in 2005 that no one could say for sure who fired the shots. French media commentator Philippe Karsenty was sued for libel by France 2 for saying he believed local Arabs had staged the shooting themselves to create a media incident. A ruling against Karsenty was overturned by the Paris Court of Appeal in May 2008. France 2 has appealed that case to the French Supreme Court..
David, a physician at Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv, entered the al-Dura fray on 13 December 2007 when he told Israel's Channel 10 that he had treated Jamal in 1994 for knife and axe wounds to his arms and legs sustained during an Arab gang attack.
David said the scars Jamal claimed as bullet wounds from the 2000 incident were actually scars from a tendon repair operation that David performed in 1994, leading Jamal to sue him for libel. His victory in France's Supreme Court on Wednesday is widely seen as a national victory for Israel.
He told Arutz Sheva that he plans to open a Facebook page and set up an association whose sole purpose will be to fight those who find a libel on IDF soldiers in the world.
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Re: Al-Dura Attack Hoaxed. Israeli Doctor Court Battle
National Victory, Blow to Palestinian Propaganda
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Prime Minister: The al-Dura case is a victory for justice and truth - Israel's victory over Arab propaganda's long tale of lies.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, at the beginning of a cabinet meeting Sunday morning, “A few minutes ago I spoke with Dr. Yehuda David, an Israeli hero,” referring to the Israeli orthopedist who emerged victorious from court on Wednesday after the French Supreme Court overturned a judgment against Dr. David, who was sued for slander by the father of Muhammed al-Dura.
"The Muhammed al-Dura incident of September 30, 2000, has come to symbolize the ongoing propaganda against the State of Israel. While this war does not involve bullets and missiles, it is, nonetheless, as vicious and as destructive. This war, being fought in the sphere of public diplomacy, propagates lies and libels in an effort to cast Israel as an international pariah and strip her of all legitimacy and credibility."
Netanyahu noted that Dr. David immigrated to Israel and joined the IDF and that his sons also serve in the IDF. "As a reservist, he received a citation for saving lives under fire during the Second Lebanon War, and he lit one of the torches on Independence Day," the Prime Minister stated.
"Dr. David has also lit a greater torch. Not only has he fought for Israel on the military battlefield, he has also fought on the public diplomacy battlefield in the great battle for the truth.
"He set out against the Muhammed al-Dura libel. This mendacious story caused more damage to the state of Israel than any other account in recent years, more than any other libel, and Dr. David set out to puncture this lie with the truth. He fought for five years in a difficult legal campaign.
"We had already decided, even before the result was known, to submit a decision for Cabinet approval to cover his legal costs. Last week, we learned that he had won. His is not only a personal victory,;it is a victory for justice and for truth. It is Israel's victory over Palestinian propaganda's long tale of lies, which is spreading around the world and according to which Israel is guilty even if it is proven otherwise, and even then, Israel is still guilty.”
Netanyahu added that, “I think that it will serve us for many years, but what I would like to commend [him]. Here is the personal example of one man, a Zionist and an Israeli patriot, a proud Jew, who took upon himself an extraordinary fight for truth. He won and his victory is a victory for us all.
"I take my hat off to him. I think that I speak for all ministers. I know that Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein have all assisted in this effort over the years. I congratulate them. I congratulate Israel on this important victory in the public diplomacy war.”
Photographs and video footage of 12 year-old al-Dura being shielded by is father and supposedly shot and killed by IDF bullets at the Netzarim Junction in Gaza on September30, 2000, became the source of worldwide defamation of Israel and helped spark the Oslo War in which some 1300 Israelis were murdered. The France 2 report of the incident claimed that al-Dura was killed by Israeli gunfire, but a subsequent investigation by Israel and additional footage showed the boy lifting his head, opening his eyes and lifting his arm after being pronounced dead. Other evidence showed that if he was hit, it had to be by Arab bullets, due to his location. Philippe Karsenty, a French journalist, was sued for libel in 2004 by France 2 for saying that the film of Al-Dura’s death, which accused Israeli forces of killing him, was distorted and false. He, too, was vindicated.
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