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|Muhammad al-Dura: Theater of the Absurd? By Stephanie L. Freid|
Source : Pajamas Media (April 6, 2009 )
When (1) ARD documentary filmmaker Esther Schapira viewed the now iconic images of Muhammad (2) al-Dura and his father Jamal back in 2000 she felt there was more of a story to tell. So she set out to produce a film called How Soldiers Live with the Knowledge of Killing a Young Child. But during her research it emerged that this wasn’t simply the story of a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers. It wasn’t clear who killed him, Schapira said. But ultimately it appeared highly unlikely that he was killed by
So she ditched the original idea and instead made the documentary (3) Three Bullets and a Dead Child, which shows the nearly impossible likelihood that the boy was shot and killed by the Israeli army. Schapira admitted that while she was researching the documentary, evidence also surfaced suggesting the incident was staged. But she left that aside.
When the documentary aired nationally in
Her latest work (6) The Child, the Death and the Truth: The Mystery of the Palestinian Boy Mohammed Al-Dura aired in
And then there was the issue of missing video.
There was a lie, Schapira said by phone from
What wasn’t being shown to the public? Was it a clear view of bullets coming from the Palestinian side? Or a sequence showing how the child is killed?
Schapira procured images from Mohammed al-Dura’s Gazan autopsy and hired German biometric facial imaging expert Kurt Kindermann to compare the autopsy, the funeral, and the
Schapira presents these findings in her latest documentary along with an impossible timeline sequence: Mohammed al-Dura was shot at , but the
But the issue of al-Dura’s mortality wasn’t the focal point in producing the latest piece. For Schapira, this was about the ongoing battle between viewers, the media, and truth. She said:
People view footage and believe they are eyewitnesses to an event when in fact they are not. I knew this before but never realized it so acutely until working on this documentary. The problem usually lies with a correspondent who didn’t see an event with his own eyes. Information is delivered by fixers at the spot who may not be free of their own political agenda, and we journalists report it but have no way of validating. And if the images fit a theory or idea we already have in our minds, they are the most dangerous of all because we don’t question them.
A hoax? The entire al-Dura event completely staged? I have a tough time with that. (7) The footage is too grainy and the shot too long to see blood. I haven’t seen close-ups, but I don’t believe the expressions of terror seen on the faces of father and son could have been faked. And an awful lot of people would have had to have been in collusion to pull off that kind of hoax. I’ve spoken with journalists who were in
Regardless, after talking with Esther I was troubled. So I telephoned Israeli journalist Adi Schwartz, who has covered al-Dura extensively. Talk to me about the hoax theory; I’m struggling with it, I said.
Leave that aside and I’ll give you a different angle to think about, Adi countered. Usually in journalism and life, when a claim is brought forward, the burden of proof is on the claimant not the other way around. In the al-Dura story it is the other way around. (8) Charles Enderlin and (5) France 2 claimed the (9) IDF killed a boy, but I interviewed Enderlin and he has no proof it’s true. His line is that
Stephanie L. Freid
© Pyjamas Media
(1) ARD: http://www.tagesschau.de/
(2) al-Dura: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_al-Durrah
(3) Three Bullets and a Dead Child: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=F41E6B7A-2DE0-4260-8E4E-23F37036ACB0
(4) Analyst Philippe Karsenty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Karsenty
(5) France 2 Television’s: http://www.france2.fr/
(6) The Child, the Death and the Truth: The Mystery of the Palestinian Boy Mohammed Al-Dura: http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2009/03/05/gaza-strip-martyr-mohammed-al-durah/is-palestinian-boy-filmed-being-killed-by-israel-still-alive.html
(7) The footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUhM2NZavcc
(8) Charles Enderlin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Enderlin
(9) IDF: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Defense_Forces
Mis en ligne le 7 avril 2009, par