Those familiar with the story of Muhammad al-Dura are familiar with perhaps one of the most egregious blood libels in modern history. A Palestinian cameraman named Talal Abu Rahma and a reporter for France 2 were at the center of the controversy. Talal filmed the alleged murder of a Palestinian boy at the hands of Israelis and sent the rushes to Enderlin, who assembled a report based on that account.
There was a small problem. The story was manufactured. In his three documentaries (we strongly encourage you to watch them all), Richard Landes chronicled everything but there was another filmmaker who was an integral part to Landes’ research. Her name was Esther Schapira and she produced a documentary entitled, Three Bullets and a Dead Child.
Schapira’s film did incredible damage to both Talal and Enderlin. She recently wrote an open letter to Enderlin that is well worth the read.
Here is an excerpt, via PJM:
Before this story brought us together, your name didn’t mean anything to me — like to the rest of the world outside France — and if I could have chosen, it would have stayed like that. After we first met in 2001 I just thought of you as a man with bad behavior, an old bully. Back then I had contacted you because we were filming a documentary on Mohammed Al-Dura, which aired in 2002. I thought I would get support from you as a colleague working for a company which is closely linked to ARD, our television network in Germany. Instead, you threatened to sue me should I dare to accuse you or your company of having lied or fabricated anything. This came as a real surprise to me, because I hadn’t said anything like this, and I had no suspicions up until that moment.
This was more than 10 years ago, and we both have grown older, as I could see when we met again in a courtroom in Paris. You as the plaintiff, I as a witness. It was our fourth encounter, and each time it got worse. The older you get, it seems, the more stubborn you are. It was always unpleasant, so I preferred to avoid any contact. Quite frankly, this is one of the reasons why I decided not to sue you after you published your lies about me in your book, Un Enfant est mort, and this is also why I didn’t even write to you before. I simply didn’t want to waste my time with you, and I didn’t want any contact. However, I could not avoid meeting you again because of that stupid trial of yours against Philippe Karsenty, meant to silence all the critics.
It may sound silly to you, but as a journalist I feel personally insulted by your behavior because it is a disgrace for our profession. As journalists we have the duty to find out the truth and tell it. We are not part of any campaign. We are eyewitnesses and we tell our audience what we have seen, what we heard, and what we found out. We ask critical questions and we insist on getting answers. We act according to our best belief — or at least we should. And when we get criticised, when people question our work, when they have doubts and even when they attack us in an unfair way, we have to deal with that by giving more and better and more convincing answers, by presenting more facts. And if we don’t take them seriously because their reaction seems to us to be completely unjustified, we just raise an eyebrow and let them do what they think they must do because this is the freedom of expression, freedom of speech, the essence of democracy.
In essence, Enderlin has essentially doubled down on his denials and Schapira will have none of it. When you watch her documentary, you will understand why she’s had enough of Enderlin (as well all should). The most shocking revelation in Schapira’s letter is that Enderlin is still doing news reports.
Here is Schapira’s documentary. It is WELL. WORTH. THE. WATCH.