The Al Durah Hoax and the Root of All Evil

Why did the Al Durah Hoax happen? Why would the France 2 television network perpetuate such a hoax? Why are they STILL unwilling to release all 27-30 minutes of video? Why hasn’t there been more outcry over this blood libel that fueled so much death and destruction?

Those are all great questions, and you will never get any straight answers.

However, there is one word that answers every one of those questions in some way. It’s a five letter word that we are all familiar with:

Greed.

It was greed that prompted Talal Abu Rahmeh to stage the scene in the first place. It was greed that caused France 2 to edit the piece for added impact. And it is greed that keeps France 2 from admitting any wrong-doing.

Yes, there are a number of other reasons why these people have acted in this way. Without doubt, Talal Abu Rahmeh was also swayed by his sympathy for his fellow Palestinians. Lying for nationalist purposes would have been justifiable in his eyes. He may even have been given instructions by Arafat loyalists.

However, when you are in the business of reporting the news, there is a great temptation to cut corners, to cheat. You know that your career depends on being noticed, being first to air, and being the most sensational.

Being sensational means that you’ll be hired more often. It means that your job will be more secure. Your paychecks will be more regular and fatter. And, if there are nationalist reasons for cheating, well it’s a win-win situation – epecially if you’ve done it before, and you know that you probably won’t get caught. (They almost never get caught.)

Let’s not forget France 2. They saw a chance to grab ratings and visibility. Their Jerusalem bureau chief would have seen this as a golden opportunity for promotion. The Al Durah video would have been a tremendous feather in the cap of ANY news man. It would have made you a rising star in any news organization.

And, something this big? Well, you just don’t want to know if it’s not legitimate. It’s just too good. Think about a shady relative giving you a suitcase full of cash. Maybe he stole it. Maybe he got it from a drug deal. Maybe he killed someone to get it. But, whatever the reason, you don’t want to know where the money came from, because if you did, you’d have to give it back, and you can’t bring yourself to give back that much money.

For the France 2 bureau chief, the Al Durah video was like that. There was no way that he was going to ask where it came from. There was no way that he was going to run a fact check. It was just too good to entertain the possibility that he’d have to reject it.

At every level in the France 2 network, it would have been the same story. Greed would have stopped the mouths of those whose job it was to ask if the video was true.

Unfortunately, this greed and corruption sowed death and destruction among both the Palestinians and the Israelis. The greed and corruption of just a handful of people caused thousands to lose their lives and millions to suffer terrible hardship and injury.

The love of money really is the root of all evil.