New York, NY, July 11, 2008 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed support for a call by the French Jewish community for an independent investigation into a French TV report that purported to show the killing of a Palestinian boy by Israeli soldiers.
A France 2 TV broadcast of September 30, 2000 claimed to show the killing of Mohammed al-Durra, during an exchange of gunfire in Gaza. The Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), the umbrella organization representing French Jewry, requested that French President Nicolas Sarkozy appoint an independent commission of inquiry into the report to determine its authenticity.
"That report, transmitted around the world, incited much hatred and violence toward Israel," said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, National Director. "Yet, some people who have seen extensive footage, beyond what was broadcast and the additional footage shown to the court, have advanced serious arguments that the entire incident was staged."
The ADL leaders said that an independent commission would be able to see and analyze all existing footage, consult experts in ballistics and other relevant fields, and provide an objective assessment.
In a letter to President Sarkozy, Mr. Lewy and Mr. Foxman said: "If the France 2 video report was not an accurate and truthful portrayal of the events it purported to show, Israel was slandered. The truth must come out, not only in the cause of justice, but also possibly to reduce Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim anger against Israel as a step toward peace."