Al-Durah Myth Exploded
For more than a decade, the Al-Durah myth -- the supposed killing of a Palestinian boy by the IDF at the start of the second intifada -- has fueled Palestinian and Arab propaganda seeking to delegitimize the Jewish state. Now, belatedly, an Israeli review commission has concluded that, based on all the available evidence, the boy was NOT shot by the IDF and was not killed. Period.
The damage to Israel, however, cannot be undone. Still, the review commission served an important function in reminding media not to swallow uncritically all the lies told by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. In the Al-Durah case, a French TV channel immediately ran with doctored tape purporting to show the last moments of al-Durah's life. The commission found the entire raw footage was omitted from the damaging report aired by France 2 and actually showed the 12-year-old boy alive at the end.
Another damning part of the report notes that France's Channel 2 relied entirely on incomplete footage provided by a Palestinian stringer in Gaza. Channel 2's correspondent didn't even witness the event.
Israel was slow to react to the Al-Durah propaganda affair. Uncritically, Israeli security officials -- without looking at the evidence -- initially even bought into the myth. It took persistent efforts by whistleblowers and investigative reporters to take a second look and prod the Israeli government to use all its forensic know-how and resources to mount a serious probe.
In the meantime, the Al-Dura hoax spread its anti-Israel and anti-Semitic poison across the globe. The Al-Dura myth inspired Osama Bin Laden and the killers of the U.S. Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl.
For the last dozen years, Al-Durah has been the poster boy for inciting a Palestinian terror war against Israel. Another confirmation that lies spread much faster than the truth.
A copy of the complete report can be found here.
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers