New York, NY, May 22, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed a decision by a French appeals court overturning a libel verdict against a media critic who questioned the veracity of a France 2 television report about the killing of a Palestinian boy in September 2000.
The appeals court overturned an earlier court decision that French media critic and activist Philippe Karsenty libeled France 2 and its Jerusalem correspondent, Charles Enderlin, by accusing the network of selectively editing images of Mohammed al-Durra, the 12-year-old boy whose death during a gunfight in the Gaza Strip provoked widespread Palestinian and Arab anger against Israel.
Enderlin's report accused Israeli troops of killing the boy as he and his father took cover.
"The decision by the French Court of Appeals paves the way for public recognition of the way the international news media misrepresented and sensationalized events on the ground in September 2000," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
"This case should serve as a wake-up call to all correspondents assigned to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that false or sensationalized reporting is unethical and immoral. The news media has a responsibility to never allow itself to become an advocate, or to propagandize for either side of a conflict."
In February, Karsenty presented judges with evidence, including a ballistics report and video footage from other sources, showing that the al-Durra's death had been staged.
An Israel Defense Forces investigation concluded that the IDF was not responsible for his death.