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There is a going on in
Obviously, this is not the forum for rehashing any of the talking points on either side of Israeli-Palestinian affairs. But it can be stipulated that the case hinges on whether France 2 and Enderlin accurately reported the tragic death of a 12 year old boy at the hands of the IDF, or were dupes for a sinister piece of agitprop. There isn’t any way to reconcile the positions of Enderlin and Karsenty; they are mutually exclusive. The case recalls the Dreyfus Affair, with cameos by Rosemary Woods and Dan Rather’s fugazi memos.
I first heard of Mohammed al-Dura from an Egyptian taxi driver, when I asked about the picture wedged in his sun visor. That now-iconic image is a still shot from the video footage now at issue in the Karsenty case. That cab ride was during the fall of 2000, as the Second Intifada was just taking off. A couple of years later, I read the James Fallows investigative piece in the
My surprise stemmed from ignorance of French defamation law. Basically, it is easy to win a libel suit in
the defendant was deliberately lying or showed "reckless disregard" for the truth. By contrast, French law places the burden of proof in defending against a libel suit extraordinarily high. If Enderlin filed a similar suit in a US Court—against Fallows, for instance—not only would he lose, almost certainly the case would be promptly dismissed for failure to state a cause of action, and his attorney might well be sanctioned.
[Anyway, a technical aspect of French law is hardly the most ‘fascinating’
tidbit of the case. My nominee: Deus ex Jacques? I highly recommend reading further.]
-posted by brian
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