An Open Letter to a Palestinian Propagandist (FrontPageMagazine.com) By Pierre Rehov 05/16/12)
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Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to French journalist
Charles Enderlin who helped publicize the infamous and discredited
video of the supposed shooting death of Palestinian Muhammad al-
Durrah, which fanned the flames of the Second Intifada against
Israel. The author of this letter, Pierre Rehov, is a French
filmmaker and novelist who, along with French journalist Philippe
Karsenty, was at the fore of the effort to debunk the al-Durrah
In our previous discussions we had taken the habit of addressing each
other in an informal way, so I will not adopt a pseudo-official tone
to speak to you publicly.
The open letter you have published against Philippe Karsenty has put
me in such a rage after years of silence on this matter, I have to
intervene or to speak in a familiar way, to add “my two cents.”
The reasons for this anger? The underlying bad faith in each of your
sentences makes me feel ashamed for the special correspondent I used
to respect … once upon a time.
You probably already know I was the very first, with the support of
the Bn’ai Brith, to be revolted against the deadly false report that
your TV channel and yourself released in September 2000. My disbelief
in the face of such images, the certainty that there was rigging,
manipulation, or at best, misinterpretation of facts led me at the
time to involve myself body and soul into the conflict and, without
you, and the phony images of your activist cameraman, I would
probably not have embarked on this career of independent documentary
filmmaker, which launched me in your line of work. But quite
obviously not on the same track.
Between September 2000 and January 2001, I traveled to Israel four
times and once to Gaza to meet most of the participants, some
politicians, and the Druze soldiers of Magen Shaloch accused of
the “murder” of al-Dura, whom you, as you yourself said in your open
letter, have never even approached.
During this same period, I hired a lawyer, Maître Julien, to file a
complaint against France 2 “for spreading false news causing a
disturbance of public order.” Had it not been shouted “death to Jews”
on the streets of Paris the next day? In the complaint, I added a
folder which you can still find traces on the net today:
Strangely enough, the case was dismissed by the prosecutor in less
time than it takes for an Arab propagandist to convince his audience
of the monstrosity of Israel. My attorney, who specializes in
defamation cases, could not believe it.
I was hoping that thanks to our exchanges I would perceive some form
of regret on your part, because I was convinced that you had been
manipulated and that somehow you were now defending your honor the
best you could. I had come to feel compassion for you. Indeed, what a
burden it must be for a Jew to know he has been indirectly,
unintentionally and out of clumsiness, responsible for the deaths of
so many innocents. Innocents on both sides, Charles!
As, if instead of preparing his Al Aqsa Intifada for two years,
Arafat had not refused the proposal of Barak, if he had accepted the
truce proposed by Bill Clinton after Ariel Sharon went on Temple
Mount, if Mr Chirac had not meddled with it with all the arrogance
and all the smugness that characterize French politics towards
Israel, and if, finally, you had not been fooled,if you had not had
wool pulled over your eyes by the nephew of one of the founders of
the PLO, I mean your beloved Talal, thousands of lives would have
been spared on both sides and, perhaps, today, the Arabs living in
the disputed territories (I do confirm, this is official language,
rooted in international law) would have a country by now, provided
they are able to have one, without foreign help and that of Israel.
You have chosen to use irony to attack my friend Philippe Karsenty.
In so doing, you have indirectly attacked me. Because, for the
record, it was I who introduced Philip to the Al Dura case, when we
were both members of a Jewish organization. I gave him my file. I got
the same organization to buy the first film by Esther Schapira, that
I had previously helped, by giving her all my contacts in Israel and
my own version of events.
Much ink has flowed since this tragic case. We have both written,
been published, and we have both made a number of documentaries and
news stories. You have done so with the means of a TV Channel that
supports you. I have done so… with the means at hand.
And this sums up the whole history of Israel and anti-Jewish
propaganda, which has developed in the world like a virus. Huge means
on the Muslim side. Little enthusiasm for propaganda, nor the time to
implement it in the the Israeli side. I use the term Muslim here,
because if it was just a territorial dispute, it would have been
solved long ago!
Comfortably settled in Jerusalem, walled up in your indefensible
positions, don’t you feel, though, this nauseous wind blowing, which
has already and more than once in our common history, forced us to
adopt a position of survival?
In our discussions, you have almost made me doubt, when you have
claimed you are a true Zionist, who would not take over the destiny
of a people with a different culture. This view that requests to give
everything up to finally live in peace is, basically, honorable, if
not acceptable. But in this case, why systematically demonize Israel
and ignore the reality that exists in the opposite camp?
So that both parties can reach an agreement, it is necessary for
their hopes and goals to be realistic, if not achievable. You know,
as well as I do, that the Palestinian leadership and the Arab
dictatorships that support them, have never had any other purpose
than the destruction of Israel and that, failing to achieve it by
military force, they have chosen the path of demonization. Thanks to
you, among other “bona fide journalists,” it is working pretty well.
From one provocation to another;from one death to another. Tragedy
settles in. And the world is convinced that the Jew, and only the
Jew, carries evil. Nothing new here.
I will conclude this column I am sending you with a little anecdote,
I have already told you and you did not believe.
While I was shooting “The Road to Jenin” (which was broadcast again
last week on Arutz 1, to commemorate the battle), and, to please my
Palestinian fixer (it was also a matter of survival) I was
hypocritically singing Talal’s praise and his scoop, the fixer having
taken a liking to me asked me if I “could be interested in a similar
case”, claiming it could be arranged if I had available means. You
did not believe my story. For my part, I refused to have a child
killed so as to make me famous and to advance the Palestinian cause.
To compensate, my fixer was kind enough to arrange the false
testimony of a Palestinian woman who was supposed to have given birth
at a checkpoint, because of the wicked IDF soldiers. This false
testimony, and its preparation, including the intervention of the
doctor who made her repeat her lines, are an integral part of this
film that I sent you and I recommend you should watch.
Even if you claim you have done so. And even if, to use your own
words, you did not want to make any comment after viewing it, out of
kindness to me.
I regret all this. And, just like you, I dream of going back in time,
to the precise moment when you took the decision to broadcast this
live death without knowing any better. Getting a scoop before
What would you do if you could start it all again?
All I wish you is that you can manage to get to sleep occasionally.
(Copyright © 2012 FrontPageMagazine.com 05/16/12)
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