A 55-second video report, produced in 2000 by a French TV station and distributed free of charge around the world, has caused untold injury and grief to Israeli civilians. This month, the French author Nidra Poller analyzes the evidence in Commentary magazine and shows that the video is a fraud – “an almost perfect media crime,” the retired French journalist Luc Rosenzweig calls it. There is a wider story here; we are vulnerable to video lies.
The reported death of a Palestinian child, Mohammed Dura, in Gaza did as much as anything else to ignite the current uprising. In the video segment produced on Sept. 30, 2000, and distributed immediately, state-owned France 2 television accused the Israeli army of deliberately shooting and killing the 12-year-old. This version of the story was retold around the world – and it has figured in countless wall posters, an al-Qaeda recruiting video, an epic poem. But, according to Poller, the video is a fraud. The rest of the segment – which wasn’t aired but which Poller saw – shows the child propping himself on an elbow, shading his eyes with his hands. A boy named Mohammed Dura did die in a Gaza hospital that day. His face doesn’t match the face in the video.
See also Myth, Fact, and the al-Dura Affair – Nidra Poller (Commentary)
See also Who Killed Muhammad Al-Dura? Blood Libel – Model 2000 – Amnon Lord (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 15 July 02)