Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Charles Enderlin is a French journalist, specializing in the Middle East and Israel. He is one of the prominent actors in the Muhammad al-Durrah affair and the ensuing controversy about freedom of speech in France. An expert on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, he is the author of several books on the subject, including Shattered Dreams: The Failure of the Peace Process in the Middle East, 1995-2002.
Charles Enderlin was born in Paris in 1945, and grew up in Metz with his divorced mother, his sister and his grandparents, a family of Austrian Jews who moved to France after Anschluss. He studied medicine in Nancy, before leaving for Israel in December 1968 at the age of 22 to live on a kibbutz.
In 1971, he became a journalist with an Israeli radio station. Two years later, he became correspondent of RMC, and the next year, senior editor at the news department of Kol Israel. At the beginning of the 70s, he acquired Israeli citizenship.
In 1981, he became a correspondent with the French television channel Antenne 2, acquiring the title of grand reporter in 1988 ("grand reporter" is a senior title in the French media). Three years later, he became chief of the Israel bureau of France 2, the new name of Antenne 2. As of 2005, he was also vice-president of the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in Jerusalem.
He became an expert on the political and diplomatic process of normalization between Israel and the Palestinian Authority , which helped him write an overview of the negotiations in 1997, published as Paix ou guerre, les secrets des négociations israélo-arabes 1917-1997 (Peace or War, the Secrets of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, 1917 - 1997).
Muhammad al-Durrah controversy
In autumn 2000, pictures of the young Muhammad al-Durrah, shot dead during a firefight between the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and Palestinian activists, appeared on French television. In Enderlin's commentary on the images (which had been taken by Talal Abu Rahma, a Palestinian cameraman on Enderlin's team) Enderlin stated that al-Durrah had been killed by the Israeli troops, and he became the target of a "campaign of harassment" .
On the Internet, French language websites accused Enderlin of having doctored the images of al-Durrah's death. The Ligue de Défense Juive (Jewish Defense League, an extremist movement banned in Israel) called for a "demonstration against France 2 lies". Other websites made explicit reference to physical violence. For example, the website www.amisraelhai.org published a list of "bad Jews to be re-educated with baseball bats". Several Jewish organizations awarded Enderlin the "Goebbels Prize" for disinformation. See #Notes for a list of these organizations.
The IDF initially declared it was probably responsible for al-Durrah's death, but a comprehensive IDF investigation released November 27, 2000 reached different conclusions, stating "A comprehensive investigation conducted in the last weeks casts serious doubt that the boy was hit by Israeli fire. It is quite plausible that the boy was hit by Palestinian bullets in the course of the exchange of fire that took place in the area." Later investigations by others came to similar conclusions.
These investigations, and several emerging facts, raised further questions about Enderlin's commentary on the images. The film was about 27 minute long, of which only about 55 seconds were made public (about three minutes and 26 seconds were later released to the Israeli army). Asked why only this short portion was shown, Enderlin told the French monthly Télérama, in October 2000: "I cut the child's death throes. It was too unbearable". However, in late 2004 Enderlin told Télérama magazine that there had been a "misunderstanding," that he had meant to use the word "agony" to describe the scene of the shooting of Mohammed al-Durra. 
In October 2004, journalists Denis Jeambar, Daniel Leconte and Luc Rosenzweig (a former chief editor of Le Monde and currently a Metula News Agency contributor) met with Arlette Chabot of France 2 to review the complete film. After the viewing, on October 22, 2004, the Metula News Agency repeated earlier claims that the incident had been staged. 
On January 25, 2005, in Le Figaro,  Jeambar and Leconte (like Rosenzweig) refuted Enderlin's longstanding explanation of why the footage of the killing was brief and apparently truncated, stating that the "unbearable" images of al-Durrah's "death throes" did not exist. Instead they noted that in the 27 minutes of tape "Palestinians seem to be organizing a staged event. They 'play' at war with the Israelis and simulate, in most of the cases, imaginary injuries."  However, Jeambar and Leconte indicated that, although questions were indeed raised as to why Enderlin accused the Israeli Army of shooting the boy, and spoke of images showing his agony, the film produced by France 2 did not allow one to conclude that the death of the boy was faked. They repeated these statements in later interviews on radio, and with the Cybercast News Service (CNS).  Leconte took Enderlin and France 2 to task for not admitting what he insisted was an error in attributing guilt to the Israeli army: "Who will say it, I don't know, but it is important that Enderlin or France 2 should say, that on these pictures, they were wrong - they said things that were not reality." Leconte also insisted that the fact that Enderlin did not provide an explanatory response to Leconte and Jeambar's revelations in Le Figaro, indicated that his and Jeambar's points were indisputable, stating "Enderlin would be better off recognizing it. That would resolve at least one part of the debate".
On February 10, 2005, in an online discussion forum for Le Nouvel Observateur news magazine, Enderlin was asked how he would describe the same video images today. He replied that he would say the same things, but that in the editing process he would include footage of the "child's agony," seemingly contradicting his late 2004 clarification to Télérama. During the first edit, Enderlin said, the video in question was "cut considerably at the time because it made the report too hard."
In response in Le Figaro to the question posed by Leconte and Jeambar about why he accused the Israelis of the shooting, Enderlin said "the image corresponded to the reality of the situation, not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank." However, Leconte's vehement reply was "I find this, from a journalistic point of view, hallucinating. That a journalist like him (Enderlin) can be driven to say such things is very revealing of the state of the press in France today". 
- "What he says about terrorism during the Algeria War can by applied to the Israel-Palestine conflict. He explains quite clearly, for instance, how, from the moment where the oppressed takes arms against the occupier, he crossed the line of moral interdiction. And he also describes very well the atrocious marriage of terrorism and repression."
- (about Albert Camus's Réflexions sur le Terrorisme)
- "When a press correspondent starts working while thinking about the reactions which will be induced by his information, he is dead meat."
- Antisemitism in France is "a French problem, which belongs to the French police and to French justice. Not to the press".
- "If my editor-in-chief decided that such or such subject should be filmed differently because of such or such possible reaction, I would face a major problem. This never occurred".
- In Israel, words will trap you from the first moment. As soon as you talk about Cisjordania or Judea-Samaria, according to whether you say "Occupied Territories" or "Territories" only, you will automatically be classified as pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli. It is complicated, perhaps impossible, to escape it. I try using the UN formulation. You have to be distant, forget who you are. "
- Reality is this: in Camp David, Israel never offered a Palestinian state upon more than nine-tenths of Cisjordania, nor conceded the sovereignty of the Arab quarters of Jerusalem and the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Arafat never demanded the effective return of three million refugees. Moreover, it would be dishonest to say that everything collapsed from this moment. On the 23rd of December 2000, Bill Clinton made his "parameters" public, which were much more advanced than the progress from the summer. Why so late? Probably because Ehud Barak had asked him to do so, not to "reward violence", as the al-Aqsa Intifada had just broke out. During the Taba talks, in January 2001, we were close to an agreement. But months of work would be missing.
- Shattered Dreams: The Failure of the Peace Process in the Middle East, 1995-2002 ISBN: 1590510607 (2002)
- (Le Rêve brisé : Histoire de l'échec du processus de paix au Proche-Orient (1995-2002))
- 1997: Paix ou guerre,les secrets des négociations israélo-arabes 1917 -1997 (éd.Stock)
- Shamir, une biographie (1991)
The "Goebbels prize" was awarded by a "collective against disinformation", which included :
- ABSI - Keren Or
- AJGE (Association des Jeunes Juifs des Grandes Ecoles)
- Amitiés Judéo-chrétiennes de Boulogne
- Amitiés Judéo-chrétiennes de Toulouse
- Association France-Israël
- Avocats sans Frontières
- Centre Simon Wiesenthal
- Cercle d'Etudes Hébraïques de Loire-Atlantique
- CIMO (Comite Information Moyen Orient)
- Comité Mondial pour la Justice et la Paix
- Forum Citoyen Juif
- HEVEL (Association Internationale d'Aide aux Victimes de la Violence)
- Ligue de Défense Juive
- Ligue contre la désinformation
- Maccabi-Inter Créteil
- Maccabi-inter Sarcelles
- SASSOUN (Association d'amitie du peuple armenien avec le peuple juif)
- TASK FORCE
- UPJF (Union des Patrons Juifs de France).
- Other Press page about Charles Enderlin
- jewishjournal.com Shattered Dreams' 10 Years After Oslo We learn what was offered at Camp David. by Ethan Bronner, The New York Times
- Interview With Charles Enderlin
- Biography on France2.fr (in French)
- Interview (in French)
- L'express (in French)
- La stratégie de harcèlement judiciaire de Gilles-William Goldnadel (in French)
- La haine envers Charles Enderlin, correspondant de France 2 à Jérusalem : Pourquoi ? (in French)
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