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On September 30 2000, two days after Ariel Sharon, then the leader of Israel's opposition Likud Party, went for a walk on Temple Mount, Palestinians mounted a demonstration at Gaza's Netzarim Junction. A 55-second piece of video footage of that demonstration, transmitted that day by the French TV station France 2, was to cause unprecedented violence in the Middle East and throughout the world.

The footage, with a voice-over by France 2's Jerusalem correspondent, Charles Enderlin, showed what was said to be the killing of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura by Israeli marksmen. Viewers saw the child crouching in terror behind his father, Jamal, as they sheltered next to a barrel under what Enderlin said was Israeli gunfire, and then slumping to the ground as Enderlin pronounced that he was dead.

That image of the boy screaming in terror before being killed was uniquely incendiary. It portrayed the Israelis as diabolically gunning down a child in cold blood, even as he cowered for his life. It ignited the Arab and Muslim world with apparent proof that the Israelis were deliberately killing their children, inciting a murderous frenzy.

Al-Dura became a poster boy for the Palestinian and Islamist war against Israel and the West. The day after the France 2 broadcast, the second intifada erupted in its full fury; according to the 2001 Mitchell report, the two events were directly connected. Twelve days later, a mob of Palestinians shouting, “Revenge for the blood of Mohammed al-Dura” lynched two Israeli army reservists and dragged their mutilated bodies through the streets of Ramallah.

When al-Qaeda decapitated the journalist Daniel Pearl, the video of this atrocity was punctuated with references to al-Dura. After -September 11 2001, Osama bin Laden said: “Bush must not forget the -image of Mohammed al-Dura.” Several Arab countries issued postage stamps with his picture. On Palestinian Authority TV and in its school books, al-Dura’s example is used to encourage other children to emulate his spirit of “sacrifice”.

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Denis Higgins
July 21st, 2009
1:07 PM
Amazing how a nation run by a pack of bigotted rabbis and former soviet "jews" could continue to be defended by otherwise rational citizens in the US and UK.

Ben Alofs
January 9th, 2009
3:01 AM
The allegation by Melanie Phillips that the death of Mohammed al-Durra was somehow faked is slander of the first order. I have reviewed lots of video rushes available and the 'analyses' by self declared 'experts'. None of them can explain to me why the terror of Mohammed and his father was so god-damned real. This is something you simply cannot fake, certainly not amateur actors. Why was the Israeli army so keen to remove the wall with the bullit marks after the shooting? Reporters have been to visit Mohammed's mother, who was in mourning. Was she faking as well?? The court in the libel case ruled that the evidence presented by Karsenty "did not allow it to rule out the opinion of (France 2) professionels", but it also rejected claims by state prosecutor Antoine Bartoli that Karsenty's evidence was "neither complete nor serious". That is all. It does not rule that the Mohammed al-Dura case is fake and the case has now gone to the highest appeal court. There are organised attempts to discredit anything which is perceived as negative for Israel. The case of Mohammed al-Durra is one of them. We are now in January 2009 and witness the savage Israeli bombardments and shellings of Palestinian civilian targets. Are all these women and children faking death as well???

Peace Nick
December 22nd, 2008
7:12 PM
Melanie Phillips is to be congratulated on bringing this to our attention. This was a story ignored by the media in Britain, its ok to smear the Israelis but never the Palestinians. How many people still believe there was a Jenin Massacre or that Corrie & ISM are "pacifists" due to slanted reporting. Most people get their "facts" from the BBC or C4 News, no wonder they know little.

Patrick Heren
July 17th, 2008
9:07 PM
I am not surprised. Nor by the bias of the British press. But their physical cowardice is rarely as well delineated as in Melanie Phillips' article. The Provisional IRA's shrewdest and least-remarked propaganda victory was the McWhirter murder. After that, it was a rare British journalist indeed who asked straight questions of the IRA.

July 11th, 2008
12:07 PM
MEMRI - that would be he monitoring service of the Middle East that has never once reported on Israeli bigotry? As to 2nd class citizens - take a look at Blood and Religion by Jonathan Cook. His findings are not even controversial re. the Israeli Arabs.

Stefan Denis
July 9th, 2008
9:07 PM
P.S. Richard, I do not for one moment deny that disgusting things are taught about Jews in some mosques. And, of course, I deplore such preachings.

Stefan Denis
July 9th, 2008
9:07 PM
Richard, thanks for the comments. MEMRI has, to my knowledge, never published/broadcast examples of Israeli bigotry (e.g. the recent example of mass Bible burning) despite calling itself a Middle East Monitoring service. Re .2nd class ctizens - sticking just with Israeli Arabs (Palestinians in the disputed/occupied territories are far far worse off) Jonathan Cook has pointed out, nearly all Israeli land is in trust for Jewish people living anywhere. Arab Israelis have no right to it and legally can be excluded from parts of their own country. This notion was embodied in Israel's Law of Return. It was passed in 1950, and it's purpose is still relevant - to erase the demographic threat of a Palestinian homeland in a Jewish State. Moreover, In 2003, the Knesset passed a temporary amendment to the landmark 1952 Nationality Law - the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law. It denies Israeli Arabs a residency permit for a Palestinian spouse living outside Israel or the right to bring that spouse into Israel. I hope the above provides a glimpse of how Israeli Arabs are 2nd class citizens in Israel (albeit ones considerably better off than Palestinians elsewhere).

Stefan Denis
July 9th, 2008
9:07 AM
Richard, I appreciate you comments. I am under no illusion as to how disgusting some of preaching in mosques is (and I don't need MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institue) to tell me (which, to my knowledge, has never once deigned to report any incident of Israeli bigotry). Just sticking to Israeli Arabs (whose situation is far far better than those in the Occupied/Disputed Territories) - a couple of examples for starters: nearly all Israeli land is held in trust for Jewish people living anywhere - Israeli Arabs have no right to it (court rulings may eventually disrupt this arrangement) AND in 2003, the Knesset passed a temporary amendment to the landmark 1952 Nationality Law - the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law. It denies Israeli Arabs a residency permit for a Palestinian spouse living outside Israel or the right to bring that spouse into Israel.

July 9th, 2008
2:07 AM
MELANIE PHILLIPS is a gem and Gideon Levy is a disgrace. So too much of the French media. On 17 Oct 1961 the Paris gendarmerie, under its chief of police, Maurice Papon, beat to death hundreds of Algerian protesters and threw their bodies into the Seine. For over 30 years the French media covered up this crime. It hid in darkness those bodies that had floated through the middle of city of light. Only in 2001, under Lionel Juspin a modest plaque was affixed on the Saint Michel bridge regretting that tragedy. The French press collaborated with the Nazis and to this day it abets the slandering of Jews, the murder of Algerians and the killing of the truth.

July 8th, 2008
4:07 PM
To Rachael Correy man. Have you seen the IDF released footage of her death? She and her little trotskyite pals in the ISM were trying to protect Hamas and Islamic Jihad smuggling tunnels in Gaza, not houses from demolition. Furthermore, defectors from the ISM have said that the Palestinian handlers for the activists were trying to get them killed so they could have "martyrs" for the cause. Go look at Lee Kaplan's blog or look for the video on Youtube. What "second class" citizens, Mr Denis? You mean the Israeli Arabs who can vote, have equal rights with other Israelis except that they are not called up for national service but can volunteer? If you are talking about the Palestinian Arabs then we are talking about something else. Go look at the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs and you might find that the West Bank and Gaza at NO time counted as "occupied" but instead come under "disputed territories". Try and wean yourself from the pro-palestinian myths and look at what they teach their kids and preach in the mosques. Palestinian Media Watch is a good source or try MEMRI.

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