What is truth?
The Second Draft, producer of Pallywood, has a new movie called the Birth of an Icon, which examines the circumstances surrounding the alleged shooting, by Israelis, of Muhamed al Durah and his father Jamal at Netzarim Junction. Dhimmi watch reproduced the original introduction to the movie from Second Draft in a post dated December 16, 2005, which described both the background and the Birth of an Icon's intent.
Who can forget the image of Muhamed al Durah, gunned down in a "hail of Israeli bullets" at the very beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada? The impact of this dramatic footage on global culture is close to incalculable. It is one of “the most powerful images of the past 50 years,” one of the shaping images of this young 21st century. ...
it constitutes one of the greatest media manipulations in modern media history: a lie that has killed many and a shameful MSM cover-up. And therefore, correcting it offers a critrical starting point for both media reform and a reformulation of how we think about the Arab-Israeli conflict. ...
Second Draft, which has already posted raw footage from that day, now offers citizens of cyberspace a look at the available evidence specifically about Al Durah, and, as with Pallywood, analyses of the media’s “first draft” of this story.
The issue of who killed the Palestinian boy, if indeed he was killed, continues to be debated to this day, as the comments on Dhimmi Watch show. The producer, Richard Landes, approaches the subject in the manner of a documentarist unraveling a mystery. For example, Landes asserts that five scenarios are possible in the context of the raw footage
- Israel on purpose;
- Israel by accident
- Palestinians by accident;
- Palestinians on purpose;
Israpundit, however, didn't like it, principally because Birth of an Icon didn't set out to debunk what Israpundit thought was an open and shut lie in the service of Palestinian propaganda.
Second Draft should make the charge first to provoke maximum interest and then go on to prove it. It should not ask a question. It should start with an assertion it wants everyone to accept. "The French colluded with the PA to produce the biggest blood libel of the twenty first century with disasterous effect."
Too wimpy. But Second Draft is unrepentant. In the current preface to the movie it says, "We put the evidence before you and the five possible scenarios with arguments for and against. Judge for yourself." Now it's entirely possible that Israpundit is right about the conclusion and yet for Second Draft to be right about the process. For example, odechadangloblog thinks Landes has proved that "the 'killing' of Mohammed Al-Dura was faked by a Palestinian cameraman working for France 2, who are still trying to cover it up. See with your own eyes." Curiously enough, Landes himself, in his debate with Israpundit, didn't think the boy was even killed! "I don't think he was killed", and offers this bit of evidence: "no blood, he moves in take 6, the last take". That's also the view of Justify This! which notes "the boy being seen in unscreened footage covering his face and moving when he is supposedly dead".
Solomonia notes that the MSM has taken to covering the Second Draft project. MSM covers blogs; man bites dog. Unfortunately, the links to the MSM examples are all expired. However, a search on Google News turns up this link to Newswire, which covers the story in a very basic way.
One of history's most ancient questions, in fact the one asked by Pilate of Christ before his crucifixion, is "what is truth?". (John 18 37:38) Pilate turned away to address the crowd before hearing the answer, possibly convinced that one answer was as good as another, in what may have been the earliest recorded instance of post-modernism. And the truth according to Pilate, was that Christ was innocent, and therefore after a little slight of hand with Barabbas, liable to be turned over for execution.
The imperative to action, whether in mundane life or in life-and-death situations has forced humanity, from earliest times, to act as if it were certain even when it was tormented by questions. While both faith and skepticism require each other to exist, they are uneasy companions. Maybe that's why news items are called stories, because it is simply too hard to lay out events without a narrative, as if the facts themselves would vanish without a framework to hold them. One of the nice things about the blogosphere is that it comprises multiple stories and allows the contradiction to be endured: Israpundit articulates the need for action; and Richard Landes thinks he knows the truth, but is careful to preserve, in his garden of ideas, the bloom of doubt.