You’ve heard of Muhammad Al-Durah: this is the boy whom Israeli soldiers purportedly killed in a gun battle. The image of this alleged death was caught on video, broadcast on French TV, and sparked the Second Intifatah, with its thousands of lives lost.
The only problem is that the video was almost certainly faked. Although it is not known whether Al-Durah never died, or whether he died as a result of Palestinian gun fire, the one thing that is clear is that Israeli soldiers could not possibly have killed him.
In France, Philippe Karsenty began complaining about this big lie, and was promptly sued for libel. He lost at trial, but appealed. The appeal has been going on forever, but news is coming out of France that it’s over — and that Karsenty prevailed. In other words, a French appellate court has held that Karsenty did not make any libelous statements when he accused France2 TV of intentionally televising false footage.
Sadly, we all know that, once the lie takes hold, the fact that the truth eventually emerges is irrelevant. The lie has a life of its own, and dominates the discourse until decades into the future, when the history books are written. Nevertheless, it is some small consolation that one brave man, who confronted the lie head on, has finally been vindicated.