The 9-minute gap

Richard Landes invented the word ‘Pallywood‘ to describe fake ‘news’ created by Palestinians as supposed evidence of Israeli atrocities. And he has been in the forefront of the effort to expose the truly murderous deception perpetrated on the world in the Mohammed al-Dura hoax.

The 55 seconds of video allegedly showing 10-year old al-Dura shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in September 2000, and provided to world media by France2 Television, provided a focus for outrage and hatred of Israel. It appeared in the tape of Daniel Pearl’s beheading, and was cited as the reason two Israeli reservists were torn to pieces by Palestinians after they lost their way in Ramallah. Probably no single image is so emblematic of Israeli ‘inhumanity’ to Palestinians than that of the terrified boy in the arms of his father.

Today in a French courtroom, unedited film shot on behalf of France2 by Palestinian cameraman Talal abu Rahmah was supposed to shown as evidence in a libel suit filed by France2’s Jerusalem bureau head Charles Enderlin against French media critic Philippe Karsenty, who had accused Enderlin of complicity in faking the incident and called for his resignation.

This would not be the first time that anyone outside of France2 has seen the unedited footage. Landes saw it in Enderlin’s office in Jerusalem in 2003; he reported that it showed Dura apparently raising his hand to his forehead to look out after he was supposedly dead, and contained other incidents, quite obviously staged, in which Palestinians pretended to be wounded and were loaded into ambulances (in one case, when nobody came to pick up a ‘wounded’ Palestinian, he was seen to get up and walk away, obviously uninjured).

Landes was in the Paris courtroom today (read his account here) when the film was shown — that is, when only 18 of the 27 minutes of the film were shown! Several of the obviously faked sequences had been cut. There is both testimony and documentary evidence to prove this, as Landes explains.

The judge will render her decision of February 27. But whether justice will be done and Enderlin will lose his case, or not — Enderlin is very well-connected, an acquaintance of Jacques Chirac — the case illustrates the power of the media and the importance of the information war.

It also illustrates the cynicism of many in the media, who understand the Palestinian fake news industry, but exploit it anyway because it provides sensational footage. And it illustrates a remarkable lack of initiative by the Israeli government, which simply closed its eyes while the IDF and the state itself were dragged through the mud.

Update [15 Nov 2027 PST]: Richard Landes and Nidra Poller provide the best account of what transpired in the courtroom on Wednesday here.

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