In France, anti-gay marriage voices emerge — from gays

Yesterday, I posted about the differences between gay sex (which is none of my business, so you can do what you like) and gay marriage (which is a significant state institution that cannot be treated in a libertarian way).  I was not arguing against gay marriage, per se, although I do have different ideas than most about ways in which committed same-sex partners can confirm their status so as to ensure equal treatment under the law.

Out of France, though, comes a group that is strongly opposed to gay marriage.  That’s a dog bites man sentence.  What makes it a man bites dog story is the fact that this group is made up of gays, who believe that gay marriage is wrong, that it is at odds with gay culture, and that it is inconsistent with the core nature of marriage:

If you read French, you can learn more about this group here. And then, because I don’t read French, feel free to come back to this post and tell us what they say.

Sunday morning Open Thread — plus a mish mash of news and ideas

Nothing in this morning’s news, or in my own life for that matter, is moving me sufficiently to justify a full post on a single subject or idea.  I did find some interesting things online, though, that I’d like to share with you.  Also, I always appreciate it when you share interesting things right back at me.

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It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that I must get myself a copy of Greg Lukianoff’s Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate.  George Will wrote about it today:

In recent years, a University of Oklahoma vice president has declared that no university resources, including e-mail, could be used for “the forwarding of political humor/commentary.” The College at Brockport in New York banned using the Internet to “annoy or otherwise inconvenience” anyone. Rhode Island College prohibited, among many other things, certain “attitudes.” Texas Southern University’s comprehensive proscriptions included “verbal harm” from damaging “assumptions” or “implications.” Texas A&M promised “freedom from indignity of any type.” Davidson banned “patronizing remarks.” Drexel University forbade “inappropriately directed laughter.” Western Michigan University banned “sexism,” including “the perception” of a person “not as an individual, but as a member of a category based on sex.” Banning “perceptions” must provide full employment for the burgeoning ranks of academic administrators.

Many campuses congratulate themselves on their broad-mindedness when they establish small “free-speech zones” where political advocacy can be scheduled. At one point Texas Tech’s 28,000 students had a “free-speech gazebo” that was 20 feet wide. And you thought the First Amendment made America a free-speech zone.

Young people, rather than being taught mental toughness, are having their brains turned into jello.  They are left like two-year olds who scream “No” loudly and repeatedly whenever anything challenges beliefs or desires.  What’s really frightening is that they have now become the intellectual equivalents of feral animals.  They cannot have their minds changed through reason, since they do not know reason.  They can have them changed only through brute force and bribery.

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The Leftist mindset encourages racism against whites, because under Leftist rules, it’s impossible for whites to be the objects of discrimination (emphasis mine):

The San Francisco Housing Authority, which runs more than 6,000 units of public housing for the city’s poor, is headed by an executive director who discriminates against white employees in favor of African Americans and regularly employs offensive, outlandish language and behavior in the workplace, according to a lawsuit filed by the agency’s own lawyer.

The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court by the agency’s assistant general counsel, Tim Larsen, paints executive director Henry Alvarez as a mercurial bully – a description echoed in interviews with The Chronicle by several others who have had close contact with Alvarez since his arrival at the Housing Authority in 2008.

[snip]

Larsen, who is white, has worked at the Housing Authority for eight years and says that he was repeatedly passed over for promotions and plum assignments in favor of African American employees.

Alvarez is African American, and according to Larsen’s lawsuit, screamed at Larsen daily; gave him menial jobs such as organizing recycling; and told him to “stop being so Anglo,” that he “did not have enough kink in his hair,” and that “if you had more melatonin in your skin, I could make you my deputy.”

[snip]

Amos Brown, president of the Housing Authority Commission, staunchly defended Alvarez, saying Larsen’s lawsuit “is not about Henry.”

“You have someone who’s white, someone with specious, fallacious allegations, filing a suit that he was discriminated against,” said Brown, who is African American. “It’s a joke. How can he be discriminated against?”

***

Racist!!!  (I mean, it is racist if you criticize a black person, isn’t it?)

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Europe is allowing itself to live with and be controlled by another Big Lie.  This lie is that it’s Israel’s own fault that they hate her so:

For Israel’s European critics, “Greater Israel” is no longer all of the West Bank, which even Netanyahu has conceded may be ceded for a real peace deal, nor even retention of an undivided Jerusalem. They are now acting as if any Israeli government that acts as if it is going to hold onto all of the Jewish areas of Jerusalem is a foe of peace. In doing so, they are not only distorting Israel’s position — which is still perfectly compatible with a two-state solution based on the ’67 lines with swaps — but also covering up or ignoring the fact that the Palestinians have refused Israeli offers of a state and now no longer even wish to negotiate.

Only by ignoring history can Europe pretend that it’s position is just. The Palestinians also specialize in Orwellian historical rewrites.

And these are the people Obama so desperately wants us to emulate?

No one is better at self-delusion than a Leftist.  I watched the first few minutes of Anthony Bourdain’s Layover, this one about what one can do with 24 hours in Paris.  The videos on the Travel Channel website consist of short clips from the show, focusing on the substance of what he says, which is interesting.  What the clips don’t include is the introduction Bourdain gave for the full half hour show:  In it, he lauded Paris’s free medical care, long vacations, short work weeks, and focus on the good life of eating and recreation, all of which he attributed to France’s socialism.  How elite.  How sweet.  How sadly out of date.  Piercing this gauzy veil of cliches means acknowledging that France’s economy is a disaster.  Its free medical care, long vacations, short work weeks, and good life are unsustainable.  Only by clinging to the delusion, rather than the reality, can Leftists continue to justify pushing socialism on the United States.  (And in this vein, please check out this tongue-in-cheek letter to Forbes.)

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On a topic that is related only because it involves Israel, the IDF website has a fascinating story about the way in which it analyzes mistakes so as to avoid them in future.  It’s so tempting, when things go wrong, to look away from them, or to find a scapegoat, in order to avoid dealing with the unpleasant possibility that you erred.  However, unless you confront that possibility, you cannot avoid precisely the same error in the future.  In the wake of the election, Republicans need to focus on identifying and correcting errors, rather than spending their time whining and scapegoating people (i.e., saying “Romney was a boring technocrat who ran a lousy campaign,” rather than saying “Romney’s campaign should have done this differently.  Now we know better.”).

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Taking a page out of Glenn Reynold’s book, it probably behooves me to remind you that I’m an Amazon Associate.  This means that, when you access Amazon through a link on my page, even if you don’t buy the linked item, I get a penny (or fraction thereof) on every dollar of goods you purchase.  I don’t know what you purchase or even who makes those purchases.  I just know that the more people who reach Amazon through my portal, the more pennies I get.  If you’re thinking of doing a little Christmas shopping online, I would appreciate it if you’d use this Amazon home page link or if you’d link through the Amazon ad in the sidebar (listing books and other items I recommend).

Yes, #OWS is antisemitic. Bill Whittle explains why. And I explain why there is no 99%.

This is as pithy a summary as any I’ve seen about the antisemitism permeating Occupy Wall Street, and binding together the Left, the Islamists, and the White Supremacists:

(If the video isn’t showing up, watch here.)

By the way, why is no one commenting on the fact that the so-called 99% are not a monolithic block, but range from the 1% crazy guy eating food out of a garbage can, all the way up to the 98% gal who was raised in poverty, but worked her way up to splendid financial independence?

This whole 99% versus 1% thing is insanely stupid.  The American reality is that we don’t live in the Middle Ages, we don’t live in a totalitarian dictatorship such as North Korea or Cuba, we don’t live in pre-Revolutionary France, or in any other time or place where the vast majority of citizens are or were a monolithic block of nasty, brutish and short lives, rules over by a few vastly wealthy despots.

Yes, there are some vastly wealthy people in America, although the ones such as Bill Gates and Larry Ellison are singularly disinterested in political power, instead just wanting toys (Ellison) or to save the lives of Third World children (Gates).  Mostly, America represents a rare economic continuum.  There is no 99%.  Instead, in America, we have the 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5% . . . 50%, 51%, 52%, 53% . . . 87%, 88%, 89%, with the vast majority living in the middle of the percentage bell curve, a bell curve that has nothing to do with either Wall Street wealth or Zuccotti homelessness or even spoiled brat student loans.

Hat tip:  Ed Driscoll

Can Europe Save Itself? What I Saw in Paris

Bookworm recently asked, “is Europe trying to save itself?” To that question, I can only offer anecdotal evidence from family and business visits made to France and Belgium this summer, shortly after the Greece-precipitated financial crisis.

Europe (witness the EU) is an uber-bureacracy. For centuries, Europe’s forms of governance have devolved into top-down, centralized governments that control virtually every aspect of individual life while disenfranchising the connections between citizenry and the ruling classes.  These trends metastasized under the EU and, following adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon in May, a treaty that cemented the supra-national power of the unelected EU authority. “Europe” effectively ceased being democratic. In tandem with this trend, European citizens have been conditioned to think less as “citizens” and more as “subjects” of their governments. Today, the only real power of dissent left to them has been to riot destructively in the streets or to paralyze their countries in strikes (France maintains a separate police force 100% dedicated to dealing with social disturbances). Setting parked cars on fire (car-b-cues) is a charming French tradition of civic protest that is now spreading to other European countries.

In this Bismarkian state model, the trade-off for political disenfranchisement has been a guarantee that the social welfare state would take care of all its citizens’ needs: retirement pensions, joblessness benefits at a high fraction of one’s previous salary, “free” education, public safety and health care. In France, this compact is proudly referred to in Orwellian terminology as “Solidarity”.  The EU compact also offered an end to Europe’s perpetual war and tribalism. As one of my elderly relatives put it to me, “my grandparents lived through three wars, my parents live through two and I lived through one. With the EU, I could hope that my children would never know war”. It’s an appealing vision.

Thus, for the greater perceived good, the vaste majority of citizens in France and other EU countries passively accepted what was handed to them, be it political correctness, Islamic migration, or economic and tax policy: why waste time worrying about what one cannot change? Such issues were best left for the ruling elites to address. Unfortunately, such also generated a toxic blend of cynicism, pacifism and lassitude laced with a nihilistic hedonism. Europeans stopped caring, partied on and stopped having babies. When government strips life of meaning, what’s the point of meaningful living, right? The Euros lost pride in self and pride in their own nations and cultures. They also lost their sense of civic responsibility. Whenever disaster struck in Europe (floods, heat waves, violence), I could not help but notice how passively Europeans deferred to authorities for help, rather than helping themselves. Rampant theft and vandalism is accepted as part of normal life: car windows are routinely smashed. In the nicest neighborhoods of Paris, the bottom floor windows of homes are paned in bullet-proof glass to discourage home invasions, which are accepted as quite normal occurrences…even in daytime. The cops seldom respond. In Europe, the victim is often treated as the perp while the criminal is perceived as the victim. One seldom if ever sees ordinary citizens sandbagging during floods the way we do in the U.S., for example – everyone looks out for themselves and leaves the heavy lifting to the “authorities”. Pacifism and passivity go hand-in-hand.

When visiting my relatives in France in the past, I could be assured that most (not all) had only vague ideas about what was happening in their country, their economy and the world. Most accepted the dispositions of the (mostly government controlled) media at face value. Moreover, why worry about the present and future (e.g., why save for retirement) when the government’s “Solidarity” will take care of it for you? And, while my focus in this discourse is on France, be assured that these observations apply also to Europe in toto.

All this has changed.

The Greek crisis, which closely followed the international banking crisis, caused a severe crisis of confidence and with it, an awakening. As a Dutch business associate remarked to me, “how can it be that we must work hard to pay taxes in the North until the age of 68 so that people in Greece can work hardly at all, pay no taxes and retire at the age of 60?”. Europe, like the U.S., is broken and broke.

The Greek crisis forced average Europeans to realize that the entire economic and political structures upon which their “solidarity” depended was about to collapse as the economic and political contradictions of the EU socialist state came to a head. An elderly gentleman I know – a world renown attorney, a member of the French Resistance, a former advisor to French prime ministers as well as to a U.S. president and an ardent supporter of the EU – looked at me and said, “it’s all finished, now”. I asked him “what”, exactly, was finished. He replied, “The EU, our peace and our prosperity”. The people, for the first time, were realizing that there was no money to pay for it all. For the first time ever, I saw fear and doubt in my relatives’ eyes. For the first time, I saw graffiti (most European towns are plastered with graffiti) and posted flyers denouncing the EU along with EU policies toward immigration. For the first time, I saw a steely flintiness in peoples’ eyes (not just in France) when the subject of Islamic immigration into Europe was raised. I saw also a new appreciation by Europeans of their heritage and values. Nationalism is on the rise. I saw more pride in France and its history, especially among the young. My daughter, who had been studying in France on an exchange program, remarked that many of the college students with whom she studied were returning to the Church and expressed a new-found resolve and pride in their country and heritage.

Before one can solve a problem, one must first recognize and define the problem. Europeans are still far from ready to take charge of their destiny. I just don’t know if average EU citizens have the wherewithal to resist and upend the uber-State and its entrenched ruling classes. A Tea Party movement would be inconceivable to Europeans, for example.  However, I do believe that average Europeans are waking up to the crisis and beginning to define the problems…all problems, including the one of Islamicization. This trend will continue, especially as new economic and political crises inevitably appear. In Europe, as in the U.S., the entire “solidarity” compact between State and Subject is about to go humpty-dumpty as reality sunders its foundations.  I suspect that the consequences will be very, very ugly. I saw evidence of this on my visit to Flanders, but that will have to await another post.

I do know that what eventually happens in Europe will have profound consequences for our country as well. This is not a crisis of European civilization but of Western civilization. We all face the same abyss.

AP writer seeks inspiration in trashy romances

This is supposed to be a “news” story about the Obama family trip to Paris.  It strikes me as coming much closer to a bad bodice ripper, with scary Messianic overtones:

People gawked and cameras clicked as the Obamas cut a wide figure through the French capital even while confined to a presidential motorcade. It was more personal for the few kept not so distant — the restaurant owner who “saw God,” the chauffeur reveling in a “magnificent mission.”

President Barack Obama, wife Michelle and their two daughters touched lives in simple ways during a private stay in the French capital that closed out a six-day presidential tour rich in history, symbolism and giant messages to the world.

[snip]

Michelle Obama, whose wardrobe choices are analyzed, gets an A-plus [from the French] for sartorial glamor, natural poise and sheer intelligence.

But the common touch the first American couple represents, so antithetical to the traditional pomp and circumstance of French heads of state, sets them apart.

[snip]

Boudon [a restaurant owner] was over the moon.

[snip]

“I saw God before me,” he said, “because I saw this smile that a million people have seen around the world. I saw her (Michelle) radiant. … It’s idiotic, but it’s like that.”

[snip]

Even the conservative Sarkozy appreciates Obama’s personal style and, multiplying direct contact with citizens, is desanctifying the office.

Barf.

By the way, have any of you noticed that while George Bush was lambasted for the fact that he’d never seen the world, Obama gets a free pass for the fact that (as far as I know) his international travels consisted for two years in an Indonesian madrassa when he was a kid, plus short visit to an obscure African village?  Apparently that’s enough to make him a sophisticate, and have people drooling over his big-boned woman.

Jerusalem — and Paris

The French Foreign Ministry has taken umbrage at the notion that Israel claims sole proprietorship over its capital city, Jerusalem.  Never mind that those who wish to share Jerusalem with the Israelis (a) deny that Israel even exists and (b) would like to see all of Israel’s Jewish citizens dead.

You know, if we’re going to go around sharing capitals, I think Paris is far too insular, insofar as it considers itself merely the capital of France.  As someone who, despite Sarkozy, has trouble warming up to France, I think I’m fairly similarly situated to the Muslims who have, shall we say, trouble warming up to Israel.  I think, therefore, that Paris should be my capital too.  And since it will be my capital, I should have all of the rights of the French citizens who currently lay claim to that City.

I can see it now.  Because there are more of us Americans who dislike France, than there are Frenchmen in total, when elections come around regarding Paris, we win.  I can just see Paris in a few years under this regime:  Those rude, condescending, supercilious French people, and those hostile, antisemitic, misogynistic North African Muslims will have been cordoned off in a small French section (possibly one of the infamous banlieus).  The rest of Paris will be ours.  We’ll have a McDonald’s on every level of the Eiffel Tower; Hillary’s hippie museum can take up a wing (or maybe two) in the Louvre; there’ll be power boat races on the Seine; the dollar will be the accepted currency; and police officers will be helpful and polite.

Oh, and if the French are right about Jerusalem, I can see that too:  Lots of filth and dead Jews.  End of story.

It is already happening there

The other day, I asked “can it happen here?“  The Radio Patriot reminded me that it is already happening there, in France.  Mark Steyn talked about the demographic destruction of Europe in his book America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It.  But he didn’t include maps.  The most striking thing in the link to the post about the radical changes in France is the growth in the number of mosques.

In our children’s lifetime, the Catholic nation of France, the nation that was at the center of unimaginable bloodshed to maintain its Catholic identity (think of the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, for example), will become a Muslim nation through a fairly bloodless, demographic coup.  So fall great nations.  I’ve never been a huge francophile, but I find this sad in a way I did not find the fall of the Soviet Union, an empire collapse I thought was (to borrow from Martha Stewart) a “good thing.”

American voters have their eyes wide shut *UPDATED*

Terry Sater writes about the fact that, coddled by loving euphemisms, Americans are marching headlong into the same dreadful socialist experiment that failed all over Europe — a failure that took place within the lifetime of every single American voter.  This is not a case of a few centuries or even decades having dimmed the lessons.  We saw socialism die, and we’ve seen the havoc it still creates in Europe.  Nevertheless, lulled by PR-approved phrases such as “Fairness Doctrine” and “Universal Healthcare,” we’re on the verge of voting in a completely Leftist government, beginning with the White House and ending with Congress.  I urge you to read his editorial and to email it to your friends.

UPDATE:  In the above post, I included a throwaway line about the havoc of Europe.  DQ appropriately challenged that conclusory statement, pointing out that many Americans think that Europe runs perfectly.  I happen to believe the contrary is true, based on reading European newspapers, having been to Europe myself recently, and speaking to Europeans here in America.  However, a combination of laziness and business meant I never took DQ up on his request that I enlarge on that conclusion.  Fortunately, Danny Lemieux did a lot of that work for me in a comment to this post, which I’m reprinting here:

Don, Americans go to Europe as tourists. They enjoy the tourist areas where people, on a day to day basis, look happy and prosperous. You can see happy people just about anywhere in the world. Americans eat great food (because it is different) that many ordinary Europeans will never enjoy, use efficient rail systems that drain public finances, and never have to worry about negotiating their ways through the regulatory mazes that define day-to-day life in those societies.

I happen to think Paris is one of the most beautiful and happy places in the world. I love visiting there.

What American tourists will never see is that I have solid upper-middle-class relatives in Paris, living in affluent neighborhoods, who must park their cars on their tiny lawns in locked compounds for fear of getting their cars torched or stolen, have bullet proof glass on their first-floor windows to prevent (prevalent) home invasion, whose daughters are terrified of being gang raped by Muslims “youths” (“un tournant”) and who, either foolishly or because their tax system leaves them relatively little disposable income, have failed to save for their retirement because their government promised to take care of them in their old age…when it is becoming quite apparent that their government can’t… and won’t. One of the reasons (foolish as it may be) that European governments are frantically allowing swarms of Muslim immigrants to invade their countries is because they need laborers to keep the economy going as European baby boomers retire, having left behind far-to-few children to take their place.

For the most part, Europe is no longer democratic. Ordinary people long ago lost their ability to make themselves heard, other than by rioting. Their governments are ruled by distant, unelected aristocratic elites, most of whom reside in Brussels. Freedom of speech? Forget it. Right to self-defense? Forget it. The right to own property? For far too many Europeans, forget it? As my astute daughter observed, they are simply regressing to their historical comfort zone, one defined by landlord and serf relationships.

Europe is a cesspool of age-old mistakes that get repeated over and over and over again. Americans just don’t know how good we have it here because we so-called “sophisticated” Americans have never had a proper frame of reference.

So, I will always love to go to Europe as an American visitor, but I go with no illusions about what it is and where it is going.

Some quick hits from the Brits *UPDATED*

Britain’s Telegraph has three interesting articles, and the London Times one:

Read about the vast difference between Britain’s and France’s socialized medicine. I’d certainly like to know what accounts for the difference before I start making changes to the American system. Color me skeptical, but I bet Obama, who shows himself to be remarkably ignorant about so many things, doesn’t know.

Speaking of the NSH, here’s one man’s story of what happened to him when he tried to improve his treatment for cancer. It’s a reminder that a whole bunch of socialism is less concerned with getting a good deal for all and much more concerned with making sure that some guy over there doesn’t get a better deal.

One British columnist offers a good analysis pointing to a McCain victory in November.

And some good news: Although it’s for the wrong reason (shock collateral damage in the form of Muslim deaths), some of the most outspoken clerics in the Islamic world are starting to turn on Al Qaeda. (H/t Danny Lemieux, who read it at Flopping Aces.)

UPDATE: You have to read this one too: Melanie Phillips’ marvelous op-ed about the way in which the British body politic is trying to bamboozle Brits into ceding all national power to the European Union (and the way in which plucky little Ireland is the one thing that stands in the way).  Phillips also disclosed the really dirty little secret, which is that the horses have already left the barn:  the EU controls most of British day-to-day life already.

Not that France ever had free speech as we understand it….

. . . but this is sad:

Brigitte Bardot was convicted Tuesday of provoking discrimination and racial hatred for writing that Muslims are destroying France.

A Paris court also handed down a $23,325 fine against the former screen siren and animal rights campaigner. The court also ordered Bardot to pay $1,555 in damages to MRAP.

Bardot’s lawyer, Francois-Xavier Kelidjian, said he would talk to her about the possibility of an appeal.

A leading French anti-racism group known as MRAP filed a lawsuit last year over a letter she sent to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. The remarks were published in her foundation’s quarterly journal.

In the December 2006 letter to Sarkozy, now the president, Bardot said France is “tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts.”

Bardot, 73, was referring to the Muslim feast of Aid el-Kebir, celebrated by slaughtering sheep.

French anti-racism laws prevent inciting hatred and discrimination on racial or religious or racial grounds. Bardot had been convicted four times previously for inciting racial hatred.

“She is tired of this type of proceedings,” he said. “She has the impression that people want to silence her. She will not be silenced in her defense of animal rights.”

Bardot’s extreme animal rights activism isn’t my cup of tea, and there’s no doubt that she’s allied herself with France’s less savory political right wing, but neither of those behind-the-scenes facts goes to the point that someone is being fined for expressing political speech that might hurt someone’s feelings.

On a slightly different, slightly the same topic, I was at a school meeting yesterday reviewing results from a parents’ poll.  The questions covered a variety of topics, and the parents had the opportunity to give narrative answers (in addition to the usual “strongly agree, agree, disagree” crap which creates black and white in a world of gray).

Anyway, the essays came back with some parents happy about things, some parents unhappy about things, and some parents obviously nut cases.  The happy parents expressed generalized happiness; the unhappy parents were very specific about their dislikes, and pretty consistent from one parent to another; and the whack jobs were unintelligible.

The core information in the responses, once you got rid of vague and loony stuff, was practical and helpful.  Nevertheless, the very strong feeling at the meeting was that the information should not go to the teachers because the negative (practical) information might hurt their feelings.  I was the lone dissenting voice.  Am I the only person left in the world who, although hating bad news, nevertheless feels that it can be useful?

I should add here that no teachers were mentioned by name.  There were no personal insults.  These were comments that went to the system as a whole, and can be remedied only by the system as a whole.  But the general consensus was that the teachers’ fragile egos just couldn’t take the hit.

Aaaggh!!!

Better late than never

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.

Does this look like a dying child to you?

The Mohammad al-Dura film that France2 TV showed sparked the second, bloody Intifatah, since the video appeared to show a 12 year old boy being killed by Israeli gun fire.  In the years since then, analysts have demonstrated that, given where the Israelis were positioned, it would have been virtually impossible for them to have fired the fatal shots.  However, there have also always been rumors that al-Dura’s death was staged, and that he didn’t die at all.  Thanks to a trial in France that is forcing publication of video shots that were withheld from the original inflammatory footage, this second theory may gain some evidentiary ground.  For example, Danny Lemieux sent me to this newly revealed 10 second shot, which shows the boy in the famous death pose, except he doesn’t look as if he is either dead or dying.  You can see more rejected footage (that is, footage French television deliberately elected not to show) at Augean Stables.