Mohammed Al-Dura: Take 2

Posted by John Rosenthal

I assume most Trans-Int readers are familiar with the Mohammed Al-Dura/France2 affair. For those who are not or who would like to review some of the details, I have reconstructed here my Al-Dura/France2 dossier from the old site. Since the French public television channel’s famous story of the "boy-martyr" Mohammed Al-Dura – allegedly killed by Israeli army fire at Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip on September 30, 2000 – began to break down in winter 2004-2005, France2 has steadfastly refused to release the full rushes of the Netzarim events filmed by its Palestinian camerman Talal Abou Rama.


Nonetheless, other film crews were also present at Netzarim on that day: many film crews. Indeed, as Boston University historian and media critic Richard Landes has shown through a careful analysis of the video evidence available, Netzarim had less the look of a war zone than that of a… film set: albeit a somewhat more chaotic film set than those that one might expect to find in Hollywood as opposed to what Landes has provocatively labelled "Pallywood".


In an invaluable contribution to clarifying the events surrounding the supposed Al-Dura "martyrdom", Prof. Landes has assembled a large archive of this evidence and made it available to the public on his remarkable website The Second Draft. Visitors may browse through the raw footage and decide for themselves what they believe was occurring at Netzarim Junction on the day in question. A particularly good place to start your visit is with Prof. Landes’s new documentary on the Al-Dura affair, "The Birth of an Icon".

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