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Sunday, September 17, 2006


Nidra Poller has been attending the Al-Dura trial in France. Here is an excerpt from her most recent report:
Next big surprise: the paucity of France 2’s arguments. Their lawyer, a slim racy woman with long thick white hair that she constantly coiffed and uncoiffed, ruffled, caressed, raised, lowered, and twisted with obvious pride, was seated about 2 meters away from me. I watched her working quite feverishly, shuffling papers, attaching post-its, scribbling notes, consulting with a colleague who looked more like a hatchet man than a partner in her law office, and in general giving the impression of someone who was preparing a whopper of a case.

When it was her turn to plead, she laid out the same tired non-explanations that France 2 and Enderlin have been giving for the past six years. It always begins with Charles Enderlin is a respected, experienced journalist, he has been Jerusalem correspondent for X years, he is Franco-Israeli, he has written books and won prizes…and it goes on to say how respectable is France 2, how devoted to excellence in journalism… Then she starts trashing everyone on the other side. Karsenty, his witnesses, his sources, their sources, the Israeli army investigators, the Metula News Agency…they are all low class, unreliable, unrespectable, dubious, bumbling fools if not outright conspirators.

All these droopy snoops have been dogging Charles Enderlin for six years. Enough already. Staged scenes in the outtakes? Perhaps, she says, but none of them were in the news report. (Assuming of course as given that the al-Dura scene was not staged). Besides—and this was the best of her low moments—a journalist from l’Express told her that in certain situations a person will lie down and play dead in order to save his life.

She accused Karsenty of making such a big noise about the al-Dura affair in this incriminated article that it went all the way to the Wall Street Journal and other such international media. What a disgrace, for France to be dragged through the mud that way. And she concluded that her client was asking for 1 euro of symbolic damages, and let this story be put to rest forever.

What astonished me is that France 2 dared to take someone to court over the al-Dura affair and not come up with a single new argument. Everything that was said in court had been said before. It was and still is utterly beside the point.
If what we saw in court was really the trial, France 2 lost. And will certainly appeal the judgment. The only thing that could tip the balance in their favor would be orders from above.
Read it all.


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