Background on al-Dura: important web sites, pro and con

Richard Landes, of Boston University, is (to my knowledge) the leading advocate of the idea that the death of Mohammed al-Dura was an elaborately-staged hoax. His blog TheAugeanStables is full of references, updates, videos, forensic reports, and other links supporting his argument that this was in its entirety a "Pallywood" production (Hollywood + Palestine, get it???). A related blog is here, and Natan Sharansky's essay about the latest twists in the case is here.

Charles Enderlin, the long-time Jerusalem correspondent for the TV network France 2* has his own running commentary, in French, at the France 2 blog site. He is a central figure in the story because his initial reports established the idea that the boy Mohammed had been killed by Israeli soldiers. The Landes camp believes that the scenes in his report were staged, and they have pushed relentlessly for release of the full footage France 2 shot that day. Enderlin and France 2 have refused. As any of these blogs will explain in detail, several trials in France have ensued.

My general experience in life makes me skeptical that large-scale conspiracies can be pulled off -- and kept secret for seven years, which is how long it has been since the original event. So based on what I have personally seen (not having devoted myself to the story for the last few years), I am not ready to say: Yes, for sure, this was a huge, big-lie, blood-libel, conspiratorial hoax. But Landes et al seem more fervent about turning up all available evidence and getting to the bottom of things than their antagonists do, which tells me something.

* Yesterday I incorrectly wrote this out "France Deux."