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« If you don't know him yet, discover the "Borat phenomenon" | Main | What makes a good user interface »

19 November 2006

Comments

Oded  Sharon

No offense, but I find your newly found enthusiasm from Ali G/Borat very amusing, considering it's about 5 or more years old.

It's like you're only encountered something new an exciting and you're all cheerful and giggly about it, and yet it's been around for a while.

While for me, it's "yesterdays' news" your fresh "firsts" are nice, and refreshing, beucase they feel so innocent !

I'll end with an analogy :
Wow ! There's this new guy around, Tim O'Reilly who publishes a series books about computer !
They have these cute animals on the sides !
Do you know what i just found out ? He also gives lectures !
What a guy !
Anyone seen this new invention of his ? It's called Web Two-O.

:-)
Have fun !

ouriel

Oded, you are right. i did not know him before and for me this is a revelation. To be honest in France it was not known until very little. S

John

Sacha Baron Cohen should create
a very sad movie about the French.

What about one Merkava tank facing 100 Leclerc tanks ?Israel has the power to invade France with one tank even though it has 3 times more tanks than France and 10 times better , stronger and faster.

Greg

This is what leads me to think that French society and its system of government have evolved neither on the anti-Semitism issue nor on the issue of the interference of the executive in all State mechanisms. And if they have evolved, it is probably backwards


An Anti-justice Justice, an Attempted Holdup

Objectivity consists in considering only the objects present in a situation; when it comes to justice, it means considering only the facts and disregarding the individuals involved, whatever their identity, their influence, or their interests.

By exploiting the Karsenty lawsuit as they did, by authorizing the intrusion of the executive power and its interests, and by allowing the court to accuse our news agency without it being either indicted or represented, Chiraquian authorities are hoping to announce the public authentication of the greatest imposture in audio-visual history, while sparing themselves any real debate.

Such an attempt is possible only in a state in which the executive enjoys excessive power and is able to circumvent any control. Consider the unimaginable: the suspicion of the staging of Mohamed Al-Dura’s assassination by Abu-Rahma and Enderlin has just been dismissed by French justice, without any of the 200 pointers and more than 20 items of evidence proving the imposture that appear in some 11,000 pages and 280 hours of audio and video recordings of the investigations conducted by the Israeli army and our Metula News Agency being examined or discussed by the aforementioned “justice”. That is right: not one!

No expert was called to the witness box; none of our accusations was discussed according to the rules that are customary in a court; none of our images was disputed, no oral or written testimony was taken into account; no Israeli soldier was cross-questioned; no news reporter or cameraman was interrogated. The two documentary films that the parties to the law suit claim they possess – and that would indisputably establish the report’s authenticity and, consequently, our error – the 27 minutes of rushes mentioned in the notarized deposition of Abu-Rahma and the images of the child’s agony, which Charles Enderlin claims to have, were not submitted to the judges.

Why? Why would the parties to the lawsuit forego the presentation of these two documents which, in the space of a few minutes – and much better than the certificate of good behavior and morality Chirac offered Enderlin –, would establish once and for all that France 2’s report is authentic and that we are indeed nutcases or agitators, in any case unworthy of our profession? Moreover, the parties could then, if they so wished, have all the media that have reproduced elements of our investigation condemned almost automatically. Not to mention the savings in court expenses that the public service would realize on behalf of the French taxpayer, and its contribution to reducing the clogging of tribunals.

The reason is obvious: it is to be found in the question itself. The images of Mohamed’s agony do not exist, because the “Mohamed” of France 2 is not dead. As for the 27 minutes of rushes, they have been seen by a sufficient number of pairs of respectable eyes, so we have no need to make conjectures: they do not contain any image of the “murder” that were not already presented to TV viewers worldwide on September 30, 2000, and certainly not 27 minutes of the infanticide, as Talal Abu-Rahma declared three days later under oath to lawyer Raji Surani.

The very fact of seeking to obtain the whitewashing of the public channel’s image by a court without presenting these two film documents, while refraining from answering evidence accumulated by the boxful by the two entities that have inquired into the Affair, stems from a fraudulent attempt to exploit the judicial system so that it condones a crime. It is what I call “an attempted holdup.”

A Crime, Really?

Many have contested the comparison that is made more and more frequently between the Al-Dura Affair and the “Affaire” – an abbreviation which we generally use to refer to the sentencing of Captain Alfred Dreyfus to public humiliation and life imprisonment. Some consider it exaggerated; for my part, I find it to the advantage of the public service, the forgerers and those who are using the judicial system of their country to save them from opprobrium and from the sentences they deserve.

What do these two cases have in common, and what is not comparable? It is time that we defined them! The common points, first: they are both based on a trumped up charge, a staging, that aims at stigmatizing the Jewish nation as a whole by reference to the allegedly unworthy behavior of some of its representatives in uniform. They both imply an atavistic character traditionally attributed to the Jews by their worst despisers: betrayal of his “adopted fatherland” for Dreyfus, and satisfaction in humiliating non-Jews, a propensity to cowardice and especially to picking fights with those weaker than they are, and even more especially with non-Jewish children. They both involve the interference of the French executive power on the side of the forgerers. In both cases the partisans of these views have tried to have their crimes endorsed by a partially consenting judicial system.

Now what about the differences? At the time of the Affaire, the press was divided between the pro-Dreyfus and anti-Dreyfus newspapers; today, all the French mainstream media are putting up a screen in front of Charles Enderlin in order to enable him to avoid confronting the truth. There is not one Zola among them either, not a single a well-known French person who has the courage to oppose this imposture. On the contrary, fear pervades the entire profession and intellectuals do what they can to keep at a distance from any real debate. Not one French colleague, in this dynamic, not one philosopher has asked to consult the army or our agency about the conclusions of our investigations, not one person, with full knowledge of the facts, has refuted the least our hypotheses.

The most significant differences between the two cases are first, that in the Al-Dura Affair – according to the deposition of the one and only witness, Talal Abu Rahma – the Jews pushed their “atavistic perversity” to the point of aiming their fire at the child for 45 minutes without interruption, and ended up killing him, whereas Alfred Dreyfus “contented himself with betrayal”. The other difference consists in that, to our knowledge, the Affaire did not involve the death of man, and that, after being dishonored, its principal victim served a sentence he did not deserve on Devil’s Island (French Guyana). The Netzarim Controversy, for its part, made many victims, to begin with the 13 dead in the October riots. It is not Mena that established this cause-and-effect relationship, but rather the Or inquiry commission, which considers that the broadcasting of Rahma and Enderlin’s report constituted one of the most important factors pushing the Israeli Arabs to violence. Thereafter, there were the two hapless Israeli reservists literally torn to shreds by the crowd of cannibals at the Ramallah police station, with cries of “revenge for Mohamed Al-Dura”. There was Daniel Pearl, decapitated in front of the portrait of the so-called child-martyr. Then there are all those who died in the Intifada, to an extent that nobody will be ever be able to establish, but the whose antagonistic nature was undoubtedly compounded by the staging performed by France 2.

These are the reasons which lead me to think that this affair is more serious than the Affaire. This is what leads me to think that French society and its system of government have evolved neither on the anti-Semitism issue nor on the issue of the interference of the executive in all State mechanisms. And if they have evolved, it is probably backwards.

Impunity and Disaster

Admittedly, on the level of internal communication, the president of the Republic’s interference in the legal debate saved the public service – very temporarily – from disavowal. But at what price!

For several years in Metula we have suspected Jacques Chirac’s claw behind many arbitrary decisions that protected Enderlin and his employer from the blinding light of truth. How can we explain otherwise the fact that for more than one week Miss Chabot forsook all her obligations as news editor at France 2 to make appearances on all the tricolor media in order to demonize “little” Mena?! This also clarifies the outrageous and inappropriate vocabulary she used to qualify us (while taking care to never mention us by name), going so far as to claim that we were “negationists” and “revisionists” (sic). In the absence of clear orders from very high up, together with the assurance that she would never be abandoned alone on the battlefield, under no circumstances would Arlette Chabot have undertaken this crusade. Similarly, the semantics she used do not come naturally to a person in charge of news for the largest public television channel in France.

Then there was the sham press conference that Chabot organized in the headquarters of France Televisions, with armed watchmen that she stationed around the entries with the sole aim of preventing our journalists from asking questions that FR2 cannot answer. It is perhaps the place to indicate to those who read us that in six years of existence – including the test phase – neither Metula News Agency nor any of its contributors have ever been accused of anything by any police force or any system of justice. This is especially true in France, where such a charge would enable us to bring before the court the tons of evidence and witnesses for the prosecution against Rahma, Enderlin and France 2 that are currently piled up in our garden.

Admittedly, the trial – without trying – against Karsenty and the ultra-petita denials of justice against Mena have made it possible to delay the decisive moment, but not to stop truth from marching forward. And the price of this Pyrrhic victory is a heavy burden to for French society to deal with. How many corrupt institutions did it take to obtain this transitory and so fragile success... from France 2, forced to trample the provisions of France Televisions journalists’ Charter, to the CSA [Higher Audio-visual Authority. Translator’s note], that made itself irrelevant by deciding to make no decision regarding the many serious infringements of its rules through the acts and the zigzaggings of the prestigious public channel. And the Council of State [body that assists the executive with legal advice and constitutes the Supreme Court for administrative justice. Translator’s note], when alerted by angry citizens after the resignation of the commission directed by Dominique Baudis, made one of the least relevant decisions since its creation regarding this affair. This came within inches of the “absolutely ridiculous”.

And now the infringement of Jacques Chirac, who in a letter addressed to a French court spoke in praise of a forger and war monger...

How much good soil has been corrupted and poisoned for nothing, for want of the courage to recognize one’s mistakes. But recognizing one’s mistakes is decidedly not French. The more power corrupts other pillars of democracy, the more it transforms a pitiful, ill-conceived scam for mass consumption, and the more it drowns the country in untruths, along with its unbearable constraints. And the more the contents of the scandal, when it explodes – and it will explode! – will stain institutions and leaders, forcing them to do some house cleaning. It will be fun!

OK, the court that defamed us and the president of the State who confused powers and duties are protected by immunity and we are in the regrettable incapacity of calling them to justice. But sooner or later, some subordinate will stumble, allowing us to bring a beam of light in the midst of this long tunnel, since the heads’ of thieves always wear a hat on fire.

Terrorizing the small Media

The final part of this small argument. It has to do with the detestable effect – that no one else has pointed out – of the anti-Dreyfus camp’s legal defense strategy: avoiding at all costs the vector of the evidence – Mena and its correspondents –, and attacking instead with the rage of swindlers the media small fry. By way of sowing terror among them! The Gaullists and the post-Gaullists have always busied themselves with infiltrating the press, but now the Web, the blogs and other newspapers of the Net are taking the sh… out of them, to the point of making them sleepless.

The few thousand euros in fines and damages inflicted on Karsenty have already sufficed to make the free-thinkers to fall in line. The sites that only recently still scrambled to publish an article of the Mena, the French Jewish media – RCJ, Radio J, etc. – are avoiding us like the plague, exactly like the mainstream media. They are showing themselves in this instance to be inconsequential whiners, outlets that are concerned only with their petty status, devoid of interest and incapable of comprehension or reaction, when their country and their community face a real danger. The same can be said of the Jewish institutions: they remind me of... ok, we will talk about them some other time.

So Chirac will not have lost everything, this being said without the least trace of sarcasm. Karsenty, condemned for having reproduced texts of Mena that accused a leading public television channel of fraud; Lurçat, indicted for having called for a demonstration against France 2, His Master’s Voice; and Gouz, for doing the exact opposite – for having reprinted a statement from our agency recalling that in a democracy it is not up to the street to judge journalists and award them a “Misinformation Prize”. We should now add that it is not the role of the Élysée Palace either!

Henceforth it is a reign of terror. In France one can no longer defend Israel against the ritual crimes that the State television accuses it of, without risking prison. You simply hold your hands up as quickly and as high as possible, and turn your head in the opposite direction, so as not to see anything. It is not spokespersons of this caliber that could have prevented Dreyfus from being sent to Devil’s Island. No one who surrenders without fighting can ever be a Zola...

Can anyone seriously contend that, in light of such remarkable results, this regime will not silence others??

What Jacques Chirac has not fully understood is that in spite of this rather pitiful retreat, the planet is really beating to the rhythm of the global village. This causes France to turn inwards, to turn backward. He launches a “French-style CNN”, without realizing that what makes the real CNN interesting is its absolute independence from the government. This is the case with the other large American networks, each of which has its own identity and its political orientation.

And the blogs blog on, the Web webs on, and the small informants continue to inform without fear, in the clear light of day! And all these media, the confidential ones as well as the gigantic ones, raise questions about the new Affaire that are prohibited in Paris – the independence of the judicial system, Chirac’s interference in its course. It is springing out from every corner: this is what freedom – that old adversary – is about! Take a look [Chirac] at the world’s largest blog, the one that is the most consulted, according to a survey of the Washington Post (which has a left orientation). Nothing is missing there, and it is only a tiny sample of what is being said about you! I know that you are not terribly good at English, so I shall translate it for you: Little Green Footballs. You open your umbrella, and you click [here]. You see, private Enderlin’s worries are not over!

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